Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The New Me

Although getting chemo regularly was very difficult, one of the hardest things for me to go through was losing my hair.

No matter how you look at it, the constant thinning, the handfuls of hair on the floor, in the sink, on the shower floor was just awful. Waking up with fuzz just sticking out all over was devastating, trying to get the unruly frizz under control was impossible, my hair was different, at some points my hair was non-existent or resembled a bird's nest!

I used mousse, shampoo for frizz, olive oil, at one point even Vaseline didn't control the ends. I had headbands, hats, scarves, clips, bobbie pins~anything I could think of to tame and control my hair.

Those of you who knew me before Cancer know that I had one helluva head of curly, thick, beautiful hair. I never took my hair for granted but loved the fact that it was carefree, with curls I didn't need to even pay attention to.
Rainy days were my friend, I loved my hair!

As I progressed further into my treatment, my hair lost it's luster, it's curl, it's bounce, it became stringy and frizzy.
Waking up in the morning was a scary experience, I would look in the mirror and see my hair standing on edge like I saw a ghost.

These past few months, my hair is starting to gradually come back, but mixed in with the new growth  are the kinky, frizzy hair of chemo.
I was holding on for dear life, afraid to cut it. I haven't had short hair since I was in my 20's~ a long time ago.

This morning I had enough, I wanted to stop patting down my hair, hiding from the mirror, I wanted to look stylish, If I couldn't have my luxurious long curls, I was determined to at least look the best I could.
And so I did it, I went and had all those long stringy ends clipped off, shorter than I have EVER had my hair!! With the promise of new growth and strong hair coming in I made a choice and I am happy with the result.

I am a different person this year, Cancer changed me in so many ways. I am living more in the moment, I am conscious of my happiness in life and doing what I want to do. I am optimistic about my future but not worried because I realize worry does nothing to help any situation. I am letting go and giving myself breathing space to be me, to be happy, to live my life now, with my short hair too!
Hope you like the new me!

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Summer is a place for time, I seem to have more time in summer to think, to plan, to create, to read and be inspired.

It is a slower time, a quieter time, to be able to reflect on my life, my dreams, my future.

If I go away anywhere at all, one of the first things I pack is a legal size pad of paper and some pens. I write, everyday. I scribble in the corners, I doodle, I tear out pages from magazines, I write down websites that I want to check out, I write down ideas that come flashing across my mind. I am inspired by whatever I see and hear. Sometimes I will just close my eyes and concentrate on just sounds. Layers of sounds, birds singing, lawn mowers raging, cars starting, planes overhead, the buzzing of air conditioners, the breeze whispering through the tress, the voices of children, the tinkle of the ice cream truck, sounds, all at once surround us everyday.

I let my mind wander to places I have been or want to go, to things I want to accomplish and dreams I have.

Time gives me that gift.

The gift of daydreams, wishes, prayers and thoughts that float free. I love the summer for the quiet, the slower life style, the time to breath and slow down.

Make time for yourself, each and everyday. Realize that this is your life, live it now, don't put it on hold. Take time for you.
Daydream, breath, sit in stillness.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sitting on my shoulder

I've been off chemo treatments since early Spring when I decided to wait to have any operations or further testing. I needed a break, I needed to feel like myself again before I could go on. It has almost been four months, I've tried to stay busy during this time, doing cooking classes and demos and working as much as I could.

I was determined to live my life now, not put anything on hold, no more waiting, putting off, holding my breath.

These past few weeks I can truly say I've been feeling like me, most of the symptoms are gone, just a few remaining, numbness in my feet and toes, still some burning, believe it or not from the radiation I received last year. I still get tired rather easily and my strength is not what it use to be but all in all I feel great. Clint tells me everyday how good I look, bless his heart, and I've gained back the weight I lost (oh darn!)

Without the weekly doctors visits and testing I almost feel like I don't have Cancer. I've kept busy and tried to regain my life back, it is so easy to think that this was all a bad dream, that I am cured, that this is all behind me. I want to think and believe that but during the quiet times, standing in the shower, when my head touches my pillow at night, when I first wake up, the Cancer comes back. It is sitting on my shoulder, hiding in the closet, waiting, watching, ready to pounce.

One phone call can bring Cancer to the forefront, a call from the oncologist reminding me about my appointments, a letter coming in the mail containing all the scripts for my PT/CT scan, Liver MRI, Blood work which will be scheduled in August. A call to schedule my doctors' visits, this reminds me that no, this is not over.

As much as I wish it was.

Cancer sits on my shoulder, mocking me, threatening me, scaring me to death.

I feel too good to be sick, to have Cancer. I go back to my original thought "I am too healthy!!! ~you have the WRONG person!!"

I do realize that my life is changed forever, that I will be followed by these thoughts no matter how far I push them from my mind, they are always creeping in, reminding me of my mortality, the frailness of life.

"Live in the Moment"~ so here I am in my moment of fear but this will pass and I will go on smiling and happy and worry about it tomorrow or the next day, just like Scarlet O'Hara in Gone with the Wind!