The Doctor's Wife in the Chemo Chair


March 9, 2011

The New York Times

Ruth’s hair was gone from her first rounds of chemo, replaced by a collection of wigs that ranged from professional to va-va-voom. She was wearing one from the latter category, with thick red hair. “World’s smallest transvestite,” she had concluded when she saw herself in it the first time.

I honestly thought her bald head looked beautiful, even though she never bought into my whole “you look amazing without hair” strategy. Before chemo started I had gotten my laptop and Googled “sexy bald women.” It went well at first: Persis Khambatta was the first hit. She was the former Miss India, and several of my friends had already proposed her as the model of what Ruth would look like, albeit by her more familiar name “the bald chick in the first Star Trek movie.” Natalie Portman was the next hit, as she appeared in some movie I had never heard of – I was still doing O.K. Third was Jane Curtin as a Conehead. I lost the round... Read More