Saturday, 13 December 2008

Part Fifteen - A Kick in the Follicles

You’ll be pleased to know that I’m feeling much more like my usual self this week. However, you should bear in mind that my usual self is a young man with cancer who has been undergoing chemotherapy for four entire months so this news isn’t as thrilling as you may imagine. I’ve been forced into almost complete reclusion for the last three weeks due to me containing about as much energy as a dehydrated stick of celery. Consequently, I lack a fun story to tell you from my week as I’ve basically just been waking up at 4pm every day, eating lots of oatcakes and watching David Starkey’s Monarchy. I could use this blog to detail at length why Richard the Lionheart was such a shit, but you may be more interested in an update of my hair.

My current style can only be described as a detritus. It coped wonderfully well until about a month ago, but then I started to wake up every single morning with a kilogram of hair attached to my generously vaselined lips. Before you cast small-minded judgement upon me for using a product renowned as an anal sex aid on my mouth, you should be aware of both quite how dehydrated chemotherapy makes you and just how fabulous it makes my lips look. I took a number of measures to try and make my hair remain intact which mainly involved using a range of different shampoos, just incase it was actually my choice of hair product that was making my hair fall out and not the four months of intensive cancer treatment. One of these bottles has the motto “There’s more to life than hair, but it’s a start!” on the back which, many a day, I read in floods of tears as my hair disappeared down the plughole. Fuck you, Aussie Shampoo.

I’m not bald, but I do look very much like a Barbie doll that a toddler has maniacally attacked with a pair of scissors. I’m now put in a position where I need to decide whether I should bother to keep the hair that I have or just get rid of it. The problem is that a bald head is to a cancer patient what the yellow Star of David was to Jews in Nazi Germany. That could possibly be construed as wildly offensive as I’m essentially likening an entire religion to a terrible disease whilst also throwing in a flippant mention of the Nazi holocaust, but I mean that it’s a form of instant identification. With my wisps of hair coming out from underneath my hat, I’m still reasonably confident that I can swagger around town in the cunning guise of an entirely healthy man. However, I definitely need to shave it at some point or I’ll have two very different lengths of ridiculous hair when what I have lost begins to grow back. Also, my new hair could end up being a completely different colour to my original hair so, if I don’t shave it, I could end up looking like a very shit and low-budget Batman villain.

On the bright side, three weeks of incessant vomiting and unprecedented fatigue has brought my weight right back down to what it was before I started treatment. I’ve lost about seven kilograms but, worryingly, I don’t actually look physically different. Perhaps all of my vital organs have just withered and halved in size. I am once again a svelte and graceful eleven-and-a-half stone man though, and that’s all that matters. Why Bella magazine haven’t shared the ‘cancer combined with a massive chest infection’ diet with their legions of seemingly obese readers I will never know.

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That picture is perhaps only funny to me as only I know how much time and effort I put into it, and yet it still looks like I did it with my feet.

Make sure you pick up your copy of the Glasgow Guardian at some point during the week, Glasgow cancer fans. My inaugural column has been published and you’ll find it on page four of the Insight section. I refused to send them a picture of me due to my diminishing appearance so they decided to use a picture of a spiky heart monitor on a red cross background instead. This seems a bit dramatic to me, and may make people mistakenly think that my current life is a constant string of thrilling medical sagas like a never-ending episode of ER. Little does the student populous know that I actually just spend most of my time watching endless Deal or No Deal repeats in my pants.

Finally, what’s the bet that at least seven people have bought me this for Christmas?

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