Friday, May 31, 2013

Lung Cancer you have really, really pissed me off!!!

Yes, I ‘heard’ that hair loss could be a side effect of brain radiation therapy. I even acquired a preemptive ‘fade cut’ however hair loss never happened.

Until yesterday, the proverbial ‘morning after’ 10 brain radiation treatments over 15 days.

Awakening to the gift of another Stage 4 morning and painlessly hugging my pillow good morning, I was surprised at the amount of ‘cat hair’ on my pillow.

Except it was not Stardust’s hair as I discovered walking into my bathroom, it was mine!

The day I graduated high school in 1968 I began to grow both my lifelong mustache and my hair long.
Lung Cancer I know you specifically are not responsible for trying to scalp me before you tried to kill me but you triggered the radiation therapy to get you out of my head. I hold you responsible. Plus I am feeling great after treatment, and all systems are go escalating toward DEFCOM 1 on June 11 when I start chemo against you..

Radiologists and even my friends at Salon On Main had told me IF you lose hair, it more often than not grows back, sometimes even a different color and texture. Though I am not sure that curly blond or ginger is my look.

As my wife’s Multiple Sclerosis spouse caregiver since 1989 I know how quickly time when involved in fighting any DX works against support. ‘We the people’ have the attention span and support of a Hallmark “get well” card.

Trying to steal my freak flag may have been the 24/7 kick in the butt to get busy. No longer can I hide beneath 'you look fine'. Not that I dislike the Yul Brynner or Pitbull look but I need a metamorphosis to ‘Spouse Caregiver outliving lung cancer’. I have people to entertain and money needs to be earned. The sequential order of priorities shifts as we spiral into a symbiotic relationship, a real death waltz. Outdancing death now that I like!

Thank God there are those moments when these Irish eyes are simply left smiling. A young clerk noticing my shirt and hat combo at the grocery store checkout shared it was “sooo Thoreau! Obviously you hear that different drummer.” … you have no idea. 

update Since no matter how I try to rock it, splotchy hair loss just does not look healty, so with brain mets in retreat and feeling Stage 4 on top of the world and ready to rumble with lung cancer, I  got rid of it and got myself an ice cream cone. 

Patrick Leer
Health Activist:
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @


  1. It's the eyebrows I miss! Damn you WBR!

  2. I know someone who had long, straight,blonde hair. After she started chemo, lost it all, and wore a wig. Now, with 2 years out, her hair is black and curly. When Charlie lost his hair to chemo, including eyelashes and brows, his hair grew back white & was fuzzy, like a new-born bird. Later, it went back to it's normal color and texture. I didn't loose my hair, but it got very thin. A friend and I sat up late one night (after a chemo treatment) after we had taken our night meds (that puts you sleep) and cut my hair really short. We got up the next day and laughed our *sses off because it turned out to be a really good haircut! HA!

    It does piss one off at times...

  3. thank ladies and now that I know it can come back different I am 'chaneling' wavy long red :) like Shawn White

  4. dude you were a total looker 1980, I think I may have dated you!!! So glad your still smilin' cause its so cute.

    1. ahhh Mel! You know how to make bald man blush. :)