Today the love of my life went from a Riker…
to a Picard.
Sorry, non-nerd readers. (Can you believe I have non-nerd friends?).
On Saturday evening, he commented that he could tell he needed a haircut because his scalp was aching. His hair felt too heavy. After that, it was amazing how quickly the hair loss went from “I don’t know, is this more than I usually lose when I shower?” to dark brown curlicues all over the white hospital sheets. There was hair, hair, everywhere. So this morning, at his request, the nurse’s aide came in with her trusty clippers and buzzed him down. He’s still got a little stubble, but you can see patches where there’s just no hair at all.
Hair loss is a scary thing. It’s even scarier when compounded with the fact that, over the past week or so, other side effects of the chemotherapy have really caught up with him. It feels like all of a sudden he’s weak, he’s not eating well, his joints are aching as his bone marrow struggles to rebuild itself, and now he has no hair. The classic cancer patient look. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I was really afraid that I wouldn’t find him handsome with a shaved head. I do, of course, both personally and objectively (not that I’m really objective about this, but he’s got a really nicely shaped head! I had no idea!). But there was a definite fear that I wouldn’t be able to control my reaction when I saw him without hair, that my first expression would be of sorrow or disappointment.
I didn’t keep any of the hair. I considered it, but…if it grows back differently, I want to embrace the new hair as his hair. I don’t want to think about his “old hair” as opposed to his “new hair,” just like I’m not thinking of him “with hair” and “without hair.” He will always look just like himself to me. He will always look like the man I love.
Yesterday we had a very serious and detailed conversation with his mother about fertility options in the future (because, in case you couldn’t have imagined this, pumping your body full of toxic chemicals can really do a number on your sperm count). Today, post-gaming the conversation, the following dialogue occurred:
Me: “Now when someone complains about being in an awkward situation, I can say, ‘At least you’ve never had to have a conversation about how often your boyfriend ejaculates with his mom!'”
Him (wincing): “Grammar, honey. Just…think about the grammar in that sentence. Please.”
Then I giggled for about five minutes straight.
Watch those dangling participles,