Fates were tempted.  Fates intervened.

I stood in the shower this morning, my scalp on fire, and watched swatches of my sweet little pixie cut weave themselves into a toxic toupee, a little mouse-like structure atop the drain.  I ran my fingers through my hair, wincing with the burn, just watching.  I stood there for a long time, using every drop of hot water.   The shower turned lukewarm, then bracing cold.  My hard-earned hair, grown millimeter by millimeter last fall, announcing to the world that I was recovering!  I was okay!  I was going to live!  I was going to be young and hot and vibrant again!  Gone.

Toweling off, unable to stop shedding, I avoided the mirror.    Despite my best efforts, by the time I brushed my teeth and applied a coat of mascara from my new, bacteria-free, immunosupression-friendly tube, I was covered again with a thin layer of hair debris.  As fast as I could brush it off, new ship-jumpers landed on my shoulders, stuck to my back, settled on the counter and floor.

I dressed carefully, in feminine, pretty, underwear.  A shirt that makes me feel a little sexy (cancer, you can take my hair, but I still have a great rack!).  Dainty silver teardrop earrings that my friend Lisa sent last summer.    And then, with practiced hands, I tied a colorful cotton scarf around the remains of my hair….to contain the mess until I can get the hold-outs buzzed off.  I’m way beyond sad cat-lady hair.

It is harder the second time.