Shaved, Masked

Okay, first of all I went for it and shaved. It took 45 minutes on Sunday night, probably closer to an hour to get the whole beard off and to actually look clean shaven, no doubt because I used an electric and I don’t know what I’m doing. Yes I cut myself in a few places. I’ll get better with practice, I imagine.

The results are less dramatic than I expected. I look younger. A mole I last saw in September 1989 (yes kids, that’s before the fall of the Berlin Wall) is no longer dark, but is the same color as the rest of my skin. The swelling below my chin post surgery (perhaps lymphedema? who knows?) is a little more obvious. It’s weird to feel my skin exposed to air, but I think I will grow to like it. Carrie was worried she wouldn’t like the clean shaven look but I think she’s coming around to it.

I did it to “commit to the process” as they say. I’d rather look clean shaven than hold onto my beard for some “I don’t want cancer to change me” reason and wind up with a crappy looking beard with a bunch of holes in it. I stopped shaving after high school (with a brief break in 1st year of university) because I had sensitive skin, cut myself a lot, and figured a once-a-month trim was a lot easier to manage. But the beard brought its own skin issues, so we shall see.


Today, I went back with my shaven face to try the mask again. Did it fit right? Apparently. But I don’t really know. You don’t normally wear the mask for very long, but I got a special treatment. They needed to do a CT scan to plot a treatment plan, but the CT machine was a bit wonky. The result is that I sat on the platform, in the mask, screwed to the table and sitting on my hands for quite awhile. A 20 minute appointment stretched out to over an hour. I’m glad the technicians were thorough, but I can say that being immobilized like that gets less comfortable after the first 15 minutes or so. Eventually they came and took off the mask while they had someone troubleshoot the machine.

Looks like my “test run” will be midweek next week.

One reply on “Shaved, Masked”

  1. Jon–

    First off– you may not remember me, but you and I met briefly and went to dinner when you were here in San Diego. I’m a PhD student in UCSD Comm (Kelly Gates’ department), I do work on music and sound, and I’m a huge fan, as they say.

    Second– I have a friend in Kentucky who developed thyroid cancer about a year and a half ago. She had a couple surgeries and lost a bit of her voice for awhile. But now, the only thing left of it is a barely-noticeable scar on her neck and a pretty huge bill (roughly 25K?) that she has to pay off. This week she goes in for her last test, then she’s certifiably cancer-free. I say this by way of encouragement. If you’re going to pick a cancer to get, thyroid cancer is the one. I’m sure the doctors have told you all of this, but there’s a bit of anecdotal evidence as well.

    Finally– I was ordering books online just now and have been periodically checking to see when your MP3 book is coming out. After your talk, I’ve been on pins and needles awaiting its publication. I’ll be checking back periodically, and of course your health comes first. But if you’ve got time to give your adoring fans an update on your work, I for one would greatly appreciate it.

    Take care, man.


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