You may have heard of folks who donate ponytails to charity organizations that help people who’ve lost their hair to radiation, chemotherapy, or alopecia. I admire these people, and kudos to you if you’re one of them. But this story, well, it earned my tears. It’s about a cancer survivor, a wonderful friend of mine, blessed both in beating the disease and having her hair grow back, who then donated her lush locks to charity. The whole story can be found on her blog, “Hope. Love, Run.“, but I’ve included a copy here of the letter she wrote to the charity that accompanied her donation. Mazel Tov to Juliana!
I spent last week on the Cape with some great friends from Italy, their three sons, and Netsai, whom some of you know about from earlier posts one and two on dating post-cancer. While the kids—aged 3, 5, and 7—drove me crazy on more than one occasion, I did think about how much I’d like to have children of my own. The question for me, after more than a year-and-a-half of chemo, is whether it’s even possible.
If you saw yesterday’s post, “Discovery“, you may recall that I was a bit of a science geek as a teenager. One requirement for this distinction, next to bringing a brick-sized scientific calculator to math class, was to love all things Star Trek–the television series, films, and my die-cast model of the U.S.S. Enterprise. In late November 1986, two-and-a-half months after my brain surgery, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was released. It had a scene I’ll never forget. Captain Kirk and his crew have traveled back in time to 1986 to stop a massive environmental crisis from occurring. Chekov, unconscious from a head injury, is lying on a table in an operating room and being prepped for surgery. Kirk and his wry chief medical officer, Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, manage to locate Chekov, and when Bones sees what the doctors are about to do, screams “My God, man, drilling holes in his head is not the answer!”. Having gone through it myself, I couldn’t agree more, but a new approach to attacking brain cancer might—at some point in the future—make surgery obsolete.
The morning kayaking adventure around Orcas Island that I wrote about a few days ago ended as they always do there—hauling the kayak out of the water, across a rocky beach, and up a set of stairs to the lawn in front of my parents’ house. My right foot was sore when I reached the shore—the base of my big toe has been bothering me on and off ever since I started boot camp a month ago—but by the time I got the boat up to the house, the pain was so intense that I found it difficult to walk.
Given the name of this website, you might infer that I have a certain affection for Italy (and you’d be correct). As such, after their poor performance against New Zealand in today’s World Cup match, I was feeling melancholic.
While my usual response to the onset of mild depression has been to stay indoors until it leaves me, often plopping myself down on the couch with the TV on in the background, more recently I’ve considered another approach