I can’t keep up with Linda. No sooner do I drop a thank you note in the mail for an especially thoughtful this or that, than another gift arrives, all timely and needed and perfect in that moment. I don’t know how Linda guessed that my eyelashes are shedding while my eyebrows look like something glued on a sock puppet, but she showed up recently with plans for a day of beauty. It’s definitely time for beauty.

Graduation season has arrived and during the month of June, Bernie and I always have a handful of dinners to attend in honor of residents and fellows (who have been training to treat patients exactly like me). I’m a sucker for these milestone moments, and also any excuse to drink more than I should and gab the night away in expensive shoes. The new body fits well into most of my old formalwear, but it would be nice to have a swish of hair to top it off. I’m getting very impatient (and remaining quite vain) about that. I’ve got a solid crew cut happening, but when I revealed it to my mom to assess its public readiness she was baffled: “…what color is that, exactly?”

So, April will be my guide as to when my colorless hair has grown from chemo-cut to chic-short. Among other things I love about that gal is the fact that she cannot lie; she’ll tell me when I can stop being The Cancer Girl in the Jaunty Hat. Unfortunately I’m still halting otherwise lovely conversations to explain my natty get-up. But unbelievably, there are actually moments when I forget the past six months until someone asks me what’s going on under my fedora. In the meantime, Teddy fully endorses my hedgehog hairstyle: “Hey, you finally look like ME!”

Adorably fuzzy Teddy

As I wait for hair to grow, life has returned to some sort of normal. Last night we had a real party over here with grilled foods, too much wine, and unsupervised children. April’s funny husband was sitting next to me, medicating himself with red wine and beer chasers after a long afternoon of little league torture. At some point there was a dearth of dry towels as small, wet children quit the water fun for dinner, and I lamented the fact that all of the beach towels ended up at the Cape. As April bundled her children into my stained and mismatched wash-the-car rags, Big Bryan admonished me with his usual dry wit: “This. THIS has become your biggest problem. The towels are at the Cape.” True. No more complaints here.

Mixed company conversation...

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