Are you there, God? It’s me. Alice. I miss my hair! No kidding!
I’ve been bald for only two months; it seems like two years! My arms and legs are as smooth as a baby’s bottom, my eyebrows look like the thin penciled line popular with ladies of the flapper era. I have eyelashes but they’re very sparse. The oncologist tells me I will probably see new hair appearing in a few more weeks, with enough to really notice around three months after the LAST chemotherapy, which would be around the middle of July.
When I was shopping for wigs and setting aside hats and scarves–“to have fun with” at my oncology nurses’ suggestion–I was only concerned with vanity. A very long time ago someone told me that he’d never seen anybody, other than me, whose looks were more determined by how my hair looked. He meant it as a compliment–I’m sure, because he was a nice, older man and my boss–but it was sort of true. If I missed one day without a shampoo, my thin baby fine hair hung as limp as a dishrag and made my chipmunk cheeks look fatter as if I were using using an upside down spoon as a mirror. Sadly, I realized it was true: the way I felt about and carried myself depended far too much on whether or not my hair was properly washed and styled.
I’ve noticed lately that lots of people think You make bad things happen to people in order to teach them lessons they need to learn. Naturally it occurred to me that my getting cancer was Your way of teaching me that hair did not define me. Well, it’s true. I’ve learned that lesson well. That’s why I’m writing this letter now as a way to cry “Uncle.” I concede to You on the matter of hair, vanity, and all that! Now I come to ask that–if it be Your will (I know that it has to be Your will from my Sunday school days and I know You’ll forgive me for saying “You” rather than the King James term, “Thy”)–if at all possible, please speed up the re-growth of my hair, no matter what color or texture you choose to send me.
You see, I’ve been having the devil of a time keeping my head warm at night to sleep. Scarves slip and either come down over my eyes to leave the back of my head exposed and cold. Most knitted caps add a layer of bulk that feel uncomfortable. The one I’ve been using lately, a soft fleece-lined stockinette stitch, otherwise perfectly soft and comfy sometimes gets too warm now that the weather is getting milder and I wake up and have to pull it off. Then it starts feeling chilly again, so I lay it carefully over my bald pate and try to go back to sleep without moving. So that’s why I’m so looking forward to having my hair back. I can look perfectly okay with wigs of color and styles which my own hair would be incapable of holding without a whole can of hairspray, but wigs are not comfortable to sleep in, thus cannot keep my head warm at night, trust me!
You already know this I’m sure, but I’ll say it anyway: I’ve always had an insatiable curiosity (Hubby calls it impatience) which I’m sure You stamped into my DNA before I was even born, so if there’s a way please send me a hint about the color I might expect. And this time, maybe the message could come in a much less dramatic way, an email perhaps.