Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Back in the early days of my cancer treatment, radiation and/or chemotherapy caused my beard to fall out. Once it started to fall out in clumps, I shaved it off.

From that time until perhaps a month after treatment my face and neck were baby smooth with no shaving required. Then it slowly started to grow back just along my left cheekbone.

Over time beard regrowth has spread slowly. It first came back in a line along both cheekbones from sideburns to nose. Then it started spreading southward from there.

Once that regrowth began I had to start shaving because the growth pattern was so weird.

As of this week it has reached down to my jawline on both sides. There are still some spots thinner than others, but if I grow out stubble now it looks kinda normal - not spotty.

Nothing grows on my neck below my jawline, yet. Dr. Rad told me I might never grow beard hair there again since it was ground zero in my radiation treatment field.

The beard hair was sparse at first and I could just shave with water. Last week I used shaving cream for the first time.

The hair on my scalp thinned significantly but never fell out completely. It is now thickening quite noticeably. I suspect that's a factor in people telling me that I look healthier since my head hair appears a lot darker now than it did two months ago.

My cold symptoms are almost completely gone now. That's welcome. And my eye appears to be back to normal.

I still get fatigued at random times, but much less than a month ago.

Another change I've noticed? I'm not as warm-blooded as I used to be. In the past I would be the last person to get cold. But with the weather turning colder now I am chilled quite a bit. Last week The Progeny pulled our down sleeping bags out of the attic to play with. I started crawling into one while working at home or watching TV. I haven't worn pajamas since I was a kid, but suddenly I find myself wearing them all night to stay warm. And even with thick wool socks on my feet are often cold at night.

I'm not sure whether that's because I'm carrying 25 pounds less meat, or because I'm eating just enough calories to maintain my weight and not enough to fire the furnace.

And finally, in taste news: we bought some brownies at the store today and I tried a bite. Remember two months ago I tried some chocolate cake and, disappointingly, it tasted quite bad. But the brownie today actually tasted kind of good! Maybe it's true that I will eventually recover my sense of taste!


  1. Geeze.. what news. I opened your web site for the first time since last spring and had no idea that you were struggling with cancer and its treatment. I am so glad that you seem to be recovering. I know now to keep a closer watch on you. Hope to continue to improve and get stronger every day. Bill Napier (at FOH in Seattle).