11.09.2018

Pardon My Goatee

As my male oncologist and male pharmacist prepped me for the side effects during my first dose of Cetuximab, they down played things like the ultra-dry skin and the nail bed infections - something that would ultimately land me a weekend in the hospital, removal of my toenails, and some IV antibiotics. It was all about the rash, and every pill and cream handed me was about suppressing and controlling what is well known to be the most visible side effect of the EGFR-inhibitor drugs.

After a couple of months I noticed something else unexpected, and casually mentioned it to my pharmacist as he stopped to check on me during my weekly dose. "You didn't tell me I'd be growing a beard!" He seemed surprised, and before denying its possibilities quickly searched for side effects on his phone. And there on the drug manufacturer's website it said:

"Skin problems are one of the most serious side effects of ERBITUX. Skin problems include an acne-like rash, skin drying and cracking, infections, and abnormal hair growth."

Abnormal hair growth. No kidding. 

I now found myself sporting hair in places I didn't think my face I needed it, and dark hair at that. Coating my nose were tiny little black hairs only visible under my magnifying mirror and spotlight. There was the dark beard and mustache I was eager to wax if my raw skin would allow it. The first time it happened I was willing to face the repercussions it might have on the compromised skin of my upper lip. It may bleed and scab over, but at least it would be hairless. 

And there is of course the famed long, curly eyelashes everything thinks are so amazing on these drugs. What they don't tell you is those long curly eyelashes curl in any direction they want, including right into your eye. And I can assure you mascara doesn't look nearly as lovely when each eyelash is going off in its own direction. It also doesn't look lovely when its coating the crusty edges of my eyelids, which seem to perpetually be oozing something that replaces itself and hardens faster that I can scrape it off. My normally fine and dainty eyebrows were replaced with thick, course hair that had no interest in staying calm in place or hanging out in the same direction. I resorted to trimming them short, making it all the easier to pop the pimples I'm not suppose to touch and clean the crust that coats them every morning when I wake up.

Last year at my annual skin check, I asked my dermatologist if there was anything she would recommend for the rash aside from my usually scripts, and casually mentioned the obnoxious facial hair. As she scanned my body with her illuminated magnifying glass, she came to my ears and exclaimed, "Girl, you're just down right fury." I hadn't noticed, but I wasn't just the bearded lady, I was also coated in a light dusting of fine baby hair - something you might find on a newborn fresh out of its first bath. 

Having shared a motor home with hair and make-up on many a film set, I had learned of and partaken in the industry practice of face shaving. Not really a hairy girl, I knew the makeup artist used this on talent to make their face paint look more flawless, and to exfoliate. There is a rumor going around that men age so much better because they are forever exfoliating with their daily shave. I tended to opt for the exfoliating factor when I did practice the fine art of a facial shave, as I wasn't really one for wearing layers of foundation.

Faced with a mug covered in course, noticeable hair (in addition to a pimply rash), I decided to bear any pain and misery it might cause my raw, scabby face and shave. It might be one way to also rid myself of the chronic layer of crashed dry skin around my cheeks. I didn't have the patience to wait for my goatee to grow long enough to wax again, nor did I have the confidence to walk around grooming it with hipster beard paste until it was long enough to do so. 

Shaving would be it for me, and I was going to own it. Like so many dirty details of this disease, I have had no shame. And just as normal ladies would never speak of poop or facial hair, I am not a normal lady and so I will.




4 comments:

peter said...

So proud of you living with metastatic colon cancer Sarah. You are truly an inspiration that cancer patients can live with cancer as a chronic disease and its not a death sentence.
I am living with my pancreatic cancer since 2009. In fact I am in peace with it.
Godspeed.

Anonymous said...

My husband passed away July 2018 after a 2 year battle with colon cancer. He was 65. I follow you on Cure Magazine and on Instagram. I commend you on how you live your battle with colon cancer and raising your family. You are an inspiration to many people :-)

vivian sharon said...

Just wanna say a big thank you Sandra Precious for introducing me to Dr Odila the great HERBALIST that helped me prepare home remedies that cured my sister CHRONIC PAIN AND CANCER DISEASE

She was infected with Chronic pain and cancer for the past two years and she was not happy all day so i was desperate to get a cure so that she can live normal and get healthy.
One day i was less busy so i decided to make latest research on chronic and cancer cure and i found a site were everyone was talking about Dr Odila and has ability to cure chronic pain and cancer and all manners of diseases and virus.
So i discussed with Sandra Precious and she explained to me that its very easy working with Dr Odila so i contacted Dr Odila via email (drodilaherbalhome@gmail.com) and he helped me just as he has helped others now my sister is now cured she is very happy now.
and i can also assure you that he can also help you. so if you need the service of DR Odila, ill put his details here so that you can easily get in touch with him. contact him drodilaherbalhome@gmail.com or whatsapp +2348159047935
he can as well cure Psorasis, copd, Extreme vaginal burning & pain, Reoccurent vaginal yeast infections, Candida overgrowth, Cystitis, cancer,ALS, Alzheimer's Disease and other Dementias, Arthritis, Asthma,Cystic Fibrosis,kidney disease,Herpes,hiv,hpv. here is my private email: viviansharon11@gmail.com.


MEDELA WILLIAMS said...


TESTIMONY ON HOW I BECAME INSTANT MILLIONAIRE WITH THE HELP OF ILLUMINATI Hello viewers, i want to use this opportunity to thank Jude Morgan who finally helped me to become a full member of the Great Illuminati Brotherhood and now i am living my life in happiness. I was once indigent and lived my life in extreme poverty, the standard of living became so poor and low that I even thought of killing myself, I was deeply strangled up by poverty and I had no body to help me, to eat was a problem to me and my family. Until I met with a great generous illuminate man by name Jude Morgan who told me there would be no need for me to die and he introduced me into realm of riches and fame. He told me to get my membership form which i did, and he told me to get ready for my initiation day and that all new members will be given a certain reward of $100,000 USD cash on my initiation day, i was so happy. so i was initiated to the Illuminati world and few days later i was awarded a contract worth of millions of Dollars, in my business i am doing very well right now, I used just 100 dollar to get this beg amount of money and I did exactly what i was ask to do and today the story has change, i have up to $800,000000 USD in my bank account, I am a living testimony, my dream and all the wealth, fame, success and riches, i have ever desired is been made a reality. All the same thanks Jude Morgan who made my dreams a reality by helping me become a member of the great illuminate. Hurry up now and call our help desk and also be a happy man like me because we are not getting any younger. Opportunity for you today, do not hesitate, once again this is our help desk contact=:illuminatihome78@gmail.com Thanks for reading my comment WhatsApp number (+2348100649947)