Amelia June, my granddauther with her cat 'Fearless.'

Granddaughter Amelia June with her cat ‘Fearless,’ 2015.  Click to see freckles!

You got to love my oncologist, a hunk with his gold chains and unbuttoned shirt (3rd button). While he examines the incision on my neck, my nose is three inches from the chest hair tumbling over his open collar.  I am wondering if he is hairy all over. Woof!

He was a veterinarian then a physician in Spain before he migrated to the U.S. and become a hemetologist who sees people with various cancers.  He has a wonderful manner.  He takes time to explain things.  You almost wish you could see him on a regular basis…almost.

My dermatologist sent the lab results to someone at Harvard for a second opinion, he says.  The results suggest no immediate treatment for cancer, just keep doing what I’m doing, body scans every three months, and cut them out as soon as they arise.

The Squamous cancer on my toe comes off July 1. Stitches out tomorrow on incision #2… the very nearly, but not quite “proto-Melanoma.” Melanoma #1 is gone and my back is healing beautifully. There are no guarantees, he says.  Back in six months, but for now no biopsy on the lymph nodes.  And no chemo. Meanwhile every three months for the Dermatologist.

 My sister says, “Don’t you remember Mom was constantly fighting these things. The watchword for those of us with these issues…stay on top of it.


Speaking of hair, I’m reading a fun book, Hair: The Story of the Redhead, by Jacky Corliss Harvey. My family is full of red heads on both sides so I’m enjoying it immensely.

Did you know every red-head and person with the genetic marker for red hair…like me… in the world is related to a common ancestor, and that ancestor came from somewhere in Central Asia and may have been Neanderthal.

Red-heads have a propensity to absorb sunlight, hence their migration to northern climates where the sun is thin on the ground.  And their propensity to develop skin cancer.

Red heads have pale skin, and often fritzy hair of any shade and freckles. Pockets of them reside in various parts of the world especially northern Europe.  Scotland has the greatest concentration of red-heads and highest incidence of the gene marker for red hair, (but it did not arise there or Ireland) according to the molecular clock. Australia has a high incidence of the gene marker as well as plenty of red-heads, probably the result of the land clearances and transportation of the eighteenth century.  Redheads make up 1-2 percent of the world’s population. 

16 thoughts on “Hair

  1. I’m an unusual redhead as my current red comes from chemistry. However, I was born with red hair and my maternal grandmother had red hair as did one of her sons and one of his sons.

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  2. So if a person has a red-headed sibling, but is not red headed himself I would assume that, being a full sibling he would have the marker anyway? But maybe it is not dominant. I mean my husband, who is dark haired (well he used to be) has the same ancestors as his red haired kid sister.

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    • Yes we have the allele, most likely. The gene is recessive and it takes two parents with the allele to produce the child with red hair. However, those same two parents can produce children with other hair colors. It’s complicated! My daughter, who had red-brown hair and has Hazel eyes, produced a child with bright red hair and three others with various shades of hair. To do this she had to have the alleles, one of which came from me and one from her Dad who was Scots descent.

      My Dad had one sister with red hair and four others with various hair colors. My mom had auburn hair. Her dad was a fiery red head as was one sister and one brother. Many cousins on both side with red hair, including Anne who visited two weeks ago.

      Red comes in many shades. I got brown hair with red highlights, brown and grey eyes, pale skin and frizzy hair. Also have strong bones because I absorb vitamin D very well. And am susceptible to skin cancer.


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