[cancer] The production book; or, how shaving took me half the way there

is doing a production book for the upcoming surgical festivities. This includes preliminary activities such as rearranging Nuevo Rancho Lake for a convalescence, pre-op prep, day-of-operation activities, post-op activities and so on. This will help keep me on target as things get potentially confusing and stressful, and help my family and friends manage both me and themselves. Dating a professional event/television producer definitely has its advantages.

We were discussing some of the task dependencies and sequences today when the topic of shaving my arms came up. This in response to the mild unpleasantness of having surgical tape removed on the last go-round — given that I’m a hard stick, and one gets stuck a lot in the hospital, I had numerous tape sites in addition to the IVs in each arm.

This reminded me of an event in my childhood when I applied the scientific method to my own emerging sexuality. I was at a young age terribly self-conscious about my lack of body hair. I suppose in the 1970s that body hair meant masculinity. At least that was my understanding when I was twelve. I’d also heard that once you started shaving (your beard) that the hair would grow in thicker. So one day in the bath tub I very carefully shaved one half of my newly sprouted pubic hair to see if it would grow in thicker than the other half, which remained unmolested.

I was enough of a geek to have a control group (if I’d shaved the whole business, there would have been no way to judge the improvement), but not enough of a geek to keep lab notes, sadly. I can report that results were inconclusive, though I do in fact recall which half I did shave, so further study may be indicated as a long-term follow up to the experimental protocol.

All of which leads to the question of whether I should shave my arms entirely from wrist to the short-sleeve line, or just the likely stick patches. Experience suggests that shaving in patches won’t create any long term differentiation, but three decades on I’m a lot more secure in my masculinity.

Cancer: your guide to a trip down memory lane.