11 April 2012

Lounging at Princess Margaret

If Mount Sinai is a Hotel & Spa, then the basement of Princess Margaret is the airport lounge.

I’ve been all over these two hospitals, but for ‘Radiation Therapy’ one goes to the floors ‘below’ of Princess Margaret.  Nothing menacing about the d├ęcor, as it is the superior hotel in terms of guest seating.  Downstairs, where we get sizzled, is no exception.

Pale walls, fish tanks, and caramel coloured club chairs all make the area very inviting.  It is not unlike, though not as nice as, the first class lounge at Pearson. Yet there are newspapers and magazines strewn everywhere and people look fairly relaxed, in the loungey way of being in limbo before the final destination. As an added touch, there are little juice cups laid out on the side tables. And I think there may have been biscuits.

But here’s the best part. Upon descending the wide staircase, the passenger passes by an information kiosk. Rather than talk to a human, we scan a card that was presented to us during the preliminary appointment.  On the screen my name comes up, and the unit to which I’m assigned. 15B.  Then on another screen it lists the various available units, and their status.

Perhaps someone is running late? So I look for 15B and there it is. ‘On Time’.  
First class all the way.

9 April 2012

Easter Egg Head


I have only left the house twice without my wig since I adopted it, back in the fall. The first time was a dark winter afternoon, when I was given one minute to jump in the car, and I threw on a Russian fur (fake) hat with ear flaps and a visor. The second time was yesterday.

The event was Easter at my cousin’s house full of family and friends, a charming and familiar group of people.  Because I am a chicken, I warned her ahead of time that I may not be wearing anything on my head. ‘Awesome,’ she said. I told her that I hoped it wouldn’t make her kids uncomfortable. ‘They’ll love it,’ she said. ‘Maybe I should wear a hat?’ I ventured. ‘No!’ she screamed into the phone.

So I planned my outfit carefully. Because my hair is now silver-ish, I have the same colouring as Anderson Cooper. So taking my fashion cues from him, I  put on a grey shirt, and accessorised with a blue scarf that would hopefully bring out my eyes while distracting from my super high forehead. And because I wanted to look like a girl, I put on some biggish earrings, which seems to be a common trick amongst bald ladies. And then I put on a hat. ‘Why?!’ cried my stylist, Jim. 'You’re with you family, you don’t need a hat!’ His sentiment was echoed by my sister, ‘What the point?’ she said.

I explained that I didn’t want to make anybody feel awkward, since nobody had ever seen me, for over forty years, without a brown bob. I am not someone who has ever willingly changed his or her appearance and I almost feel a sense of obligation to show up with straight brown hair. Furthermore, the world has revolved around me for the last six months, and I’m used to a lot of well-deserved attention.

Easter Egg
So we drove up to my cousin's house without the wig. Though I did wear a cap for security. And I walked into the house. And I waited. And nobody noticed my hair. Silly me. I am so used to thinking about myself that I stopped remembering how everybody else was changing. One girl in the room was a serial hair-changer, and had drastically changed her look every few month. To her, variety is the spice of life. One boy had grown his hair, shaved it, grown a beard, and genuinely didn't notice what people had coming out of their head as long as there was something good coming out of their hearts. Two of the men, formerly-lock lustered were showing a bit of their scalp, and cheerfully took it in stride.

And the fact is, that everybody else has so many interesting things going on in their lives, that short grey pseudo-lesbian biker hair barely makes it on the radar. Clearly, being wigless with loved ones is an easy thing to do.  The only person making it difficult for me, was me.

So in the safest of environments, I’ve officially come out. It’ll be a while before I debut my head in the dog park. And work will be another story. But for now, I’ve officially come out to my family.
And thanks to them, it was a lovely Easter. The Egg Head felt right at home.