As I get closer to completing the five-year remission period (December this year – tempus fugit) it seemed a good time to provide an update; it’s been a year since the last one.
I met up with my Oncology team at the end of June, who remain satisfied with my progress to date: so much so, that they’re happy to delay my next check up until December – which will probably be my final inspection. These examinations are now second nature, and all the nervousness I used to feel about going to Clinic 6 at Lincoln County Hospital has subsided. Looking round the waiting area, I get the feeling that other people don’t feel quite as sanguine.
The biggest change may or may not be connected to my past treatment. I mentioned in my last post that I’d started to lose hair: well, it didn’t stop, and I am now a sleek, hairless beast. After a variety of tests and subsequent biopsy, the outcome seems to be that I have developed Alopecia Universalis, a rare condition characterised by the complete loss of hair on the scalp, face and body. It’s an auto-immune disease that can be triggered by anything — stress, or some trauma that “flips a switch” in your immune system. What happens is, your body started treating the cells that make the pigment in the hair follicles as enemies and attacks them. I‘ve a good idea as to what this traumatic episode might have been…
As this has all been rather sudden and visually drastic, I’ve found it hugely stressful. The fact that the eyebrows have gone too gives a completely different look to one’s facial features, and it’s one I’m finding hard to accept.
The benefits are obviously saving a fortune on hair products & razors (my online suppliers have gone into collective mourning), and my legs, arms, chest, back, etc. look very sleek. I understand that people of a sporting nature – and Love Island contestants – pay huge sums to achieve this state. Also, I’ve taken to buying many, many hats (I refuse to consider a wig of any kind), which – though it could be seen as a strange fashion accessory within the office environment – is very ‘on trend’ in our current sun-kissed climate. Just not in Tesco’s .
This could all be seen as a temporary setback, but it’s most likely a permanent state. In the grand scheme of things it’s a piddling issue, but I was taken aback by the speed of change in my appearance. Acceptance isn’t easy, but you do discover a whole new world of baldy jokes:
I was in a night club last week and this beautiful girl came over to me.
She patted me on my bald head and asked me, “Is it true what they say about bald men making better lovers?”
I said, “I’ve no idea; I’ve never slept with one.”
I also have Matt Lucas and Duncan Goodhew as role models 🙂
Until the next time!
PS. Don’t forget: bald is the new black
Two from the Hat Collection 🙂