Yes, my first post chemo haircut. I was a little self conscious in the barber shop taking my own picture, thus the goofy expression. Since my hair is so short now, I decided that I could go to a short hair expert and tried out Jim, the barber next to what used to be The Baker's Peel. I must admit, I'm feeling very New England-y because I refer to the bakery that has been there for two or three years by what was there before. I have not been in a barbershop ever that I remember. It was a really different experience from a hair salon.
All the customers were at least 70, mostly I'd guess were over 80. There was a tiny little dog who lived there and snuggled on my lap for a while. A friend of the owner/barber came in, sat in a chair which was evidently there specially for him and talked for about thirty minutes. He would accept comments from those sitting in the shop, but certainly held the conversation up by himself for the whole time he was there. After he left, I listened to the barber and a customer discussing the customer's impending blindness. He currently had one eye only that could see only red and light. He talked about how he hated the word "blind" and would never call himself that, no matter if he lost the rest of his vision. He talked about how lucky he was because his wife of 60 years helped him out so much and he didn't know what he would do without her. While he was having this conversation, his wife and another customer were talking about how crazy it is that everyone gets all worked up about the first snow of the year, regardless of how much falls. Then the next customer had brought a sword and a couple of other artifacts with him that were made by an Exeter Revolutionary War silversmith ("a local craftsman," he called it). The barber asked him where the silversmith had worked and the customer said he didn't know exactly but it must have been right in town because he had been the postmaster for thirty years after the Revolutionary War. I was astonished that some one would carry this kind of trivia around in their head. It was really cool to see the beautiful work, too.
Then it was my turn and the barber was puzzled when I asked him to leave the top alone. He combed through it and said, "How short was it when you got it cut?" I told him that I hadn't had it cut, that it had all fallen out from chemo. I told him about the leukemia and he asked all kinds of questions about it. He had read the article about the little girl with leukemia who was getting a great response from the T cell therapy. He asked what I did for work and we talked about my being a doctor. I told him I was a palliative care doctor and he had not heard of palliative care so we talked about what that meant for a few minutes. This makes about the fourth time I have explained palliative care to someone I met casually this week alone. I feel like the academy should make me a roving ambassador. Anyway, I am pleased with my haircut and it was only $6. I'm going back for sure. The entertainment alone was worth well over $6.
Other activities for the day included an internet lecture on out patient palliative care, talking via Skype with a friend of a friend who wants to practice her English (native language Hungarian), and (finally) finishing the shawl. I started planning the next project (also for Christmas--better get going), but haven't done a single lick of actual visible work on it yet.
People who have heads for details (or who are on the cancer committee at CMC) will remember that the day I had my lab tests, my last day of work, I went to the CMC cancer committee. O, the irony, huh? Anyway, if I'd been totally with it, I would have gone back to work tomorrow because that is when the cancer committee is for this month. It is really weird to me somehow that the committee is meeting just before I go back to work without me. It did not even register with me that there was a meeting in August or October, but I keep thinking about this one. I will hopefully go to the February one.
For me, I will wish for an end to the most recent run of anxiety dreams. For you, I will wish for an event that gives you as strong a sense of place as I had today in the barber shop.