The Horrors Of Losing Face

I have never been a very vain person. I don’t have the kind of looks that manifest such behaviors and, to be honest, I just couldn’t ever be bothered. Whatever the opposite of a fashion plate is (fashion fork? Fashion napkin?), I’m pretty much that. Narcissism just isn’t my bag, baby. But even I have limits, and undergoing hormone suppression treatments to eradicate the gut goblin has reached them. My limits, I mean.

I have had a beard since 1982. Seriously. It has undergone several incarnations and styles, but overall, chin and jaw have been nicely camouflaged for 37 years. I’m proud of my beard. It is as much an asset of the overall picture as my eyes and my butt are. After all, a man without a beard is a like a lion without a mane. So, you can see why I would be understandably upset to discover that the treatments I am receiving are slowly turning me into a Sphynx cat.

“What the hell are you looking at?”

Having just spent the weekend in Mordor again, for my next round of tests and treatments, I had the opportunity to volley questions at the shamans of the citadel. Questions like, “Will I be completely bald by the time we’re done?” (Maybe.) And “It will all grow back, won’t it?” (It should.) And “Why is it affecting my facial hair?” (A follicle is a follicle, Lupron doesn’t discriminate.) None of these answers made me very happy.

This morning, having hobbled to the bathroom mirror for a good hard look at myself and noting the thinning of hair on my head and chin, I realized I have discovered that tiny nugget of vanity squirreled away deep in my subconscious. I had already given in to the fact my legs and torso have become as smooth as a baby’s butt. My arms are patchy and my eyelashes and eyebrows are also thinning. But my chin. Oh, my chin. That is a desecration!

It isn’t always full, but my beard has always been a defining feature.

My biggest fear at this moment is not the waves of nausea and ass cramps that will plague me for the next two or three weeks, while my body processes the poisons that have been pumped into it – those I can manage. No, it’s more the horrifying trepidation that, by the time all is said and done, I will not only be (hopefully) cancer free, but I will also look like Dobby the house elf.

It may be time to hide the mirrors…

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