Sunday, February 8, 2009

Growin' It Out for Cancer

Hi Everybody, Chris here. Teresa was kind enough to turn over her blog to me tonight for this very special post. Basically she's tired and I'm giving her the night off. Hey, as exciting as our lives are and cancer is, you can't expect top-notch, hilarious, memorable material every night. That's why you're stuck with me instead...(rimshot)

So as you probably know (since you're reading this blog, and if you're not a registered follower, WHY AREN'T YOU A REGISTERED FOLLOWER YET???), Teresa has cancer. I know, big-time shocker! But her surgery was successful and now she's on to chemotherapy. Huzzah! Where as the oncologist said, she's GUARANTEED to lose her hair. GUARANTEED. (His emphasis, not mine).

Expecting this even before the surgery (apparently some of her pessimism is rubbing off on me), I did what any good boyfriend would do--I offered to shave off my hair in solidarity with her during her chemotherapy. I mean, if you're going to have one bald person in the family, why not two, right? Three, though, wasn't going to be an option. Seamus is far too reluctant to go the shaving route with us. He gets freaked out at the site of a Mach 3. Plus, apparently certain dogs actually need their coats to live. Who knew?

And as it turns out, though, Teresa was just as reluctant as Seamus to go through with my whole head-shaving scheme. She's always loved my thick, full head of hair ("Democrat hair," she calls it, as you probably already know from last night's post) and the last thing she wanted was for me to get rid of it when she lost hers. Christ, she nearly breaks down in tears whenever I get a regular haircut, and I usually end up keeping most of it then. Why have two bald people in the family when you only need one, she said? And who am I to argue? I mean, she has CANCER, for crying out loud! (and don't think she ever lets you forget it.)

Ergo the head-shaving/solidarity thing was right out.

So, we decided to go another way with it instead: instead of shaving my head in solidarity, I would grow out my hair during her chemo and radiation sessions. Less hair for her, more hair for me. She's Curly, I'm Larry and Moe. I get to look like Clinton, she gets to look like Jimmy Carville (and that's Hillary Clinton, for those scoring at home...that woman has quite a head of hair!)

Long story short, I had what may be my final haircut of 2009 (gulp! or at least until August gulp!) Saturday and decided that, much as Teresa is sharing her cancer-related experiences with you on this blog, I'll be sharing my hair growth with you as well. Remember, I'm doing this for cancer, so no, it's not just an excuse to get pretty pictures of me up on the internet. No matter what anyone tells you.

Once a month, we'll take pictures of me (and I'm sure you'll agree that I do photograph spectacularly) or more likely my hair and post them on the blog so you can see the progress my hair is making during Teresa's treatment. And don't worry, I'll save you the trouble of making the joke now: yes, this is going to be as much fun as watching hair grow.

As you can see from the baseline "before" photos at the top and the measurement photo just above, I had my stylist (okay, the woman at Supercuts) cut it fairly short to begin with, about 1 inch long on top at its longest point. And yes, those are gray hairs. Please don't flood our mailbox with bottles of Grecian Formula and Just For Men; I enjoy the salt-and-pepper look. It makes me look wizened and feel smarter than I actually am (like when hot chicks wear glasses, or anyone adopts a British accent).

So yes, get ready once a month to have new photos of my hair posted on the blog. I know: super exciting, right? But here's the thing: 1.) my hair grows really, really fast. Like Usain Bolt speed-of-sound fast, 2.) I think the longest I've ever gone without cutting my hair is 3 months--all told, this is going to be at least 6 months' of growth, possibly 7 or 8 or even longer (if I keep it up post-treatment while Teresa is still, well, shiny. We'll see. That will be a game time and psoriasis-related decision). I've never grown my hair out that long. I have no idea what's going to happen, and 3.) unlike most normal people whose hair grows down as it gets longer, mine doesn't. It grows up. And big. Like pompadour big. Like Del Shannon in 1957 big. Like Roman Centurion helmet big. Like Kid from Kid n' Play big (okay, maybe not that big). My running joke has always been that as my hair grows, it develops into a White Irish Afro (or Wifro, as I've coined it). Apparently we're going to find out what a full-on, full-blown Wifro finally looks like. And you too will get to see this unnatural phenomenon develop before your very eyes. It'll be like paying two bits to see the bearded lady or the six-toed man. Except this is free. And there's much less of a chance that you'll get molested by a carny...

Anyway, that's what I'm doing to support Teresa in her fight against cancer. I'm lettin' it grow. I'm growin' it out for cancer. And I hope you all enjoy and appreciate all the agony, misery, and increased expenditures on haircare products that I'm going to endure over these next 6-9 months. I'm doing it all for your amusement...Actually, scratch that. It's primarily for Teresa's amusement. And Seamus'. Because Seamus loves a good laugh at Food Guy whenever he can get it.

Oops, there goes my word count. The last thing I want is to be labeled as "wordy". There's not enough room for two of us like that on this blog.

See you all in March, everybody. Longer, shaggier, and substantially more democratier than before.

And may God have Mercy on my hair, and yours as well.

Yours in Dep,



  1. I sort of view this as growing hair for two. And, I'm wondering if there is a male version of "Locks for Love" that Chris can donate his hair to when all is said and done and he finally gets a haircut. He's likely to have 6 inches of hair! Does anyone know if men can donate?

    And by the way, Seamus had chemo when he had cancer and he did not lose his hair (dogs don't; the dosage is much smaller). So basically, he didn't lose it for his chemo, he ain't losing it for mine!!

  2. I am so tickled to see your mane of hair develop and applaud your effort for Teresa's battle.You two are quite a pair and puppy makes three. Keep up your notes and updates and know we are here to be part of your cheering squad.Sleep tight----

  3. This is brilliant! I am laughing really loud this morning... So, can we expect to see Chris sporting a "bun" or something? In your last blog, I was so amazed at the similarity in hair in those pictures. Amazing!Democratic hair, indeed! Oh, and I guess I need to register as a user. I don't think I am, but I check in everyday. I guess I need to make myself "known". My apologies. Have a good Monday, and THANK YOU, CHRIS, for a very humorous and informative brief as to your contribution to the "hair goings on" (or lack thereof) in the family. I look forward to the pictures!

  4. a wonderful idea! what a guy! three cheers for chris! 6" of white afro you say? I'm sure that donation will be appreciated. my list of cool things about chris just keeps on "growing".

  5. Chris, I've always thought you had wonderful hair...from afar, of course, because Teresa is quite the vixen, cancer or no. But now I understand why: Democrat hair! Of course! I had no idea. This is going to be fun....and I said that before, which is really weird because cancer is NOT supposed to be fun. In all seriousness, it is truly spectacular to share this with you both and watch as your journey continues. Big hugs to you both!

  6. Chris, isn't 6 inches of white afro Don King? Just asking.

  7. Just catching up on the blog and LOL at the Wifro! I can't wait to see it! I'm already thinking tie-dye by your birthday. And beads. And birckenstocks.

    Thanks for supporting Teresa and give us something to amuse ourselves with at the same time. :)


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