Ouch! Waxing for Real, Not Just Philosophically, After My Breast Cancer

Ouch! Waxing for Real, Not Just Philosophically, After My Breast Cancer
“That’ll go away,” Dr. Hope Rugo told me. It was my first visit with an oncologist after my breast cancer surgery. I could hear a vacuum cleaner in the background, and janitors emptying trash cans. The doctor, whose day had probably started very early, was focused and unhurried, even though it had to be hours after her quitting time. She was looking at the fur on my cheeks, whisper-soft and pure white but thick as shag carpet. My head was still nearly bald but I had grown plenty of hair on my face, hundreds of silk-like strands almost transparent in their delicacy. Facial hair is one of cancer’s almost comical cruelties. Almost comical.  Rugo was the first person to acknowledge out loud what I had chosen to ignore in the mirror and which my husband had the good sense not to mention. “You can have it waxed if you want,” she said. “There’s no medical reason not to.” I thought, "Nope, I’m not going to touch it." I couldn’t bear the idea of feeling the stings from the Vietnamese-speaking wax ladies ripping strip after strip of hot wax off my hairy face. "I’ve been through enough procedures to last a lifetime without volunteering for more," I thought as the doctor continued to talk. I’ll just be a fuzz face from now on. While my husband took notes and asked questions about what the doctor was saying, my mind continued to wander. Maybe I’ll join the circus. My face could be a profit center in a whole new lifestyle. Do circuses still offer employment to bearded ladies? How much longer would my hair have to grow? Would I have to dye it black? I feel strong and healthy, grateful to be alive, but I also feel beat up from my year of cancer treatment. I don’t want to sit in a doctor’s office, a dentist’s chair, or even a
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6 comments

  1. Pat says:

    I really think you missed out on the whole Santa Clause thing……Merry Christmas. May the New Year in your life shine brightly.

  2. Jackie G says:

    Great article and so timely. I am experiencing a beat up body and the facial hair, and happy to know this is an option for me.

    • Nancy Brier says:

      Hi, Jackie. Sorry about the beat up body and the facial hair. I feel that pain! But a moment at the “spa” will have you looking and feeling better. Prayers for your continued recovery. Nancy

  3. RhodesiaRwanda says:

    As a breast cancer survivor 10 years we/I have some reminders of the cancer treatments we endured. This story was making me LOL. I tell my girlfriends after reaching menopause much earlier than natural, that it is as if I was dropped from a mountain into a valley of extreme hormonal symptoms at the age of 46 years old due to aggressive chemo. I joke around with my loved ones saying.with less female hormones in the body this is when we women are at the beginning stage of turning into old men.The light mustache on my upper lip and the 6 thick hairs on my chinnie chin chin that I shave or pluck are the proof.I am still so happy to be alive and living a joy filled life.God bless you for this humorous story Amen! Happy Good Fridat and Happy Easter Resurrection Day

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