Friday, March 25, 2005


Although to anyone else I look pretty much like Maureen, there are times I look in the mirror, with or without wig, and the face that stares back at me seems very strange. My eyebrows, while hanging in there, are very thin, and my eyelashes are mostly gone. Most of my life, although I don't go out in the sun, I've had some color. Right after chemo I'm ruddy cheeked but by week two of the cycle, I'm all one color, a kind of grayish-pale. The shadows under my eyes, always pretty dark, are darker. And I look older. Without a wig, since I'm all one color and bald, the effect is a little like a china doll head before it is painted and bewigged. If doll heads were dark under their eyes and had lines around their mouths.

I'm not a particularly vain person, but I'm not immune to vanity. I realized the other day that my raincoat, which doesn't fit me but which will fit me Any Day Now, is older than Adam and I am justified in buying a new one, whether I have really gotten all the wear out of this one that I can. I can't say I am much of a fashion and make-up maven. But aging visibly in four months is sobering. It's mortal, as in mortality, not as in elves and humans.

I know that some of this will reverse. My hair will grow back. I'll get color in my cheeks again. Some of the lines will reduce when I'm not being poisoned twice a month. I suspect that in some ways, I will be aged by the chemo and of course, all those things will come back over years, one way or another. It's one thing to know that intellectually, it's another thing to see it happening with surprising rapidity.

It's very science fictional to find that my mirror has developed the capacity to predict the future. At least some aspects of my future.

Bob is home today! We may yet get to go see Robots or something.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geoff goes for surgery Monday. I've been something of a pill; I was the one who insisted on second opinions, who worries over every aspect of the treatment. I'm afraid he's been more of a support for me than I for him.

Melanoma patients do very well if they don't get recurrences, though; melanoma has traditionally been so deadly that chemo and radiation just weren't an option. So he won't be sick, although he's not happy about getting cut up, and I'm not happy about anesthesia. I figure if any institution on earth is going to mess up, it'll be the medical profession. (Personal experience -- don't ask. Usually overtreatment or dire diagnosis for a non-existent ailment.)

Geoff's melanoma can, according to the doctor we finally decided we liked, quite successfully treated. Not 100%, but close. It was caught early.

His post earlier about GBD (Gonna Be Dead) people showed wit somewhat more macabre than typical of him in the past.

Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that his darling cat, Lepton, died this week. Damn inconsiderate of her!

Mary T.

March 25, 2005 3:28 PM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

I've always been fascinated with my own aging process for some reason. The older I get, the more interested I get in my face, and not in an egocentric way but just in the process of its change. But I think I would be a bit unsettled to see an accelerated version of this process, too. Big hugs. Soon as you don't have to fill your body with chemicals anymore, you'll be back to vamping in no time! ;-)

March 26, 2005 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw Maureen at the Imagination-2 reading yesterday, and boy, must I say, I was just so disappointed. I'd been hyped up for a pallid wraith, barely in this world, haggard and aged looking, and what I saw was almost-- oh, dare I say it?-- perky!

(When I asked, Maureen said "Make-up!")

PS-- good to see you up and around and almost even looking healthy, or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

March 27, 2005 11:07 AM  
Blogger Ellen Datlow said...

Good luck on your surgery. Hope it goes perfectly!

March 27, 2005 4:36 PM  
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October 05, 2005 3:42 AM  

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