a little c

because I refuse to give it a big one

Posts Tagged ‘my head as an art piece’

Paying it Forward

Posted by wendy on 2011/05/06

This is going to be a quickie, because my Dad came down to be with me for my last chemo, and we’re all heading out into the world to see and do stuff today.

Chemo  #8 went off without a hitch and (due to mixups and denials and then retractions of denials) today I’m off to get my neulasta shot and I don’t even think an all-caps YAY could describe how happy I am about that.  My recovery is so much faster with it.  I don’t go back to the clinic til June, which means I am doc-free until the 31 (Radiology).  Hmmm….whatever shall I do with my time?  😉

I bedazzled my head yesterday to celebrate and it was a big hit at the clinic–I lost count of the number of people who took my picture (good thing I’m not camera-shy at all, eh?).  It was a bittersweet moment when my pump started beeping for the last time, though.  This bit of my fight is over, the next one starts next month–but, I think I am through the hardest times.  That’s a good–yet, really surreal, feeling.

Shiny!

So, after the clinic, we went to my favorite Chinese restaurant for dinner, and had a really lovely meal, all chatting and with me a little bit on cloud 9, I think.  But, the most extraordinary thing happened when our bill came–we all grabbed our fortune cookies (mine was yet another what I like to call “observation cookies”, because “you are full of grace” is not a fortune, that’s just VERY VERY TRUE. ) (What?).  My Dad wanted to buy dinner, so as he was pulling out his credit card, the waitress came by and took the bill and passed Dad a handwritten note.  I’m kicking myself for not remembering the exact quote right now, but it was essentially about the healing power of God–it was just a really nice little reminder for all of us, I think.  So we all read it and smiled (because hellooo, what timing, right?), but then hit HIT US.

Whoever sent that note PAID OUR BILL.  And left.  We have no idea who it was, our waitress was all smiles and completely mysterious (I think she enjoyed the whole thing, too).  You know, it was just the perfect way to end my chemo, I think.  A random act of kindness from a stranger to all of us.  It was marvelous.

I have so many friends who are of so many different faiths–I like to joke that “all my bases are covered” when it comes to beating cancer, because I pretty much have all the major religions behind me–and a few of the non-major ones as well!  😉  I feel blessed on all levels, you know?  I have friends who pray for me, I have friends who don’t pray, but send me love and good vibes across the cosmos, I have friends who light incense for me, and yesterday, a total stranger said a prayer and bought my family lunch.  With all the horror and anger that we’re faced with in the news every day, it’s easy to forget how many amazing, wonderful people there are on this planet.  I’m going to make an effort NOT to forget that again.

My sister gave me a copy of “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” by Deepak Chopra, and there is a chapter devoted to giving and receiving.  Essentially, it’s about giving everyone you meet a gift–whether it be a flower, a compliment, or a simple silent blessing or prayer that they receive happiness in their lives.  It’s my favorite chapter in the book, and I read it often.  Because every day that I wake up is a gift.  Life is about love and sharing.  And, I am alive.

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Oh. Seriously.

Posted by wendy on 2011/04/01

You know, there are so few upsides to the entire chemo thing.  Of course, one of the biggest downsides is that you lose your hair.  Now, I would venture to say that an upside of losing your hair is that you tend to lose ALL of your hair.  ALL. OF. IT.    I haven’t had to shave my armpits since, oh…January?  I can’t remember.  And, there was this glorious period in which shaving my legs was a distant memory as well.

HOWEVER.  In the past 2 weeks,  shaving my legs has once again become a daily chore.  To which, I say….”Really, Universe?  REALLY?!  Of all of the hair on my body to start growing back like gangbusters–it had to be on my LEGS?”.  Yeesh.   I mean, I was  actually ENJOYING that bit.  I know life isn’t fair and all that, but it really does feel SUPER UNFAIR that my legs have more hair on them than my head.

My eyebrows are still hanging on for dear life, and for that, I am completely grateful.

Whilst–I do love that word. “Whilst”.  Whilst whilst whilst.  Well, not so much now, because I just used it too much and it doesn’t feel like a word anymore.  Like pants.  Pants pants pants pant….wait.   What was I talking about?  Oh yes!  Whilst I am on a whinging kick, can I just say that I’m super upset that it’s freezing cold outside and I cannot take my cutely bedazzled and sparkly head out in public?

More sparkles. I feel like this would totally be appropriate for both ballet and beach.

 

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If life gives you lemons, make sure you’ve got some vodka in the freezer, because lemonade without vodka is boring.

Posted by wendy on 2011/03/30

Occasionally, I like to look on the bright side of my situation.  So, today, I am going to make some hard lemonade and share it with you.

I have  discovered an unending wellspring of support and love in both likely and unlikely places.   People I’ve never met have knitted me hats, sent me little gifts and cards to cheer me up–I’ve had countless emails offering support and well-wishes from so many people–it’s humbling and overwhelming and nearly impossible to articulate how appreciative I am and how much of my strength has come  from this knowledge.

Along those lines..I’ve met the most amazing women since this happened. Women who’ve been through it, women who are going through it–they make me laugh and think and they give me hope.  I really love that.  Granted, I have no doubt we’d all much rather  be able to bond over our love of shoes/scrapbooking/stamp collections/whatever, but just the same, I’m glad to have found them.

I no longer have to shop in expensive specialty shops for bras.  That first trip into Victoria’s Secret to buy a cute little padded bra (courtesy of my fabulous friend, Brenda, who immediately sent me a gift certificate when she found out about my diagnosis and pending surgery)?  Well, that was super fun.  And, then–a huge revelation for me was finding a Calvin Klein bra for $6.99 in TJ Maxx.  INSANE, people.  I used to pay $60 for my bras on a good sale day.  I love that I can walk into Target and pull a cute little 36C off the rack for $10.

And, clothes!  ooo..I’ve discovered that my inner fashionista is actually coming out to play more and more.  When you don’t have any hair, you’ve gotta work everything else just a wee bit more, I think.  And, there is the added bonus that my wig is already styled, so the usual half-hour/hour I used to spend on my hair  before going out has been cut to pretty much nothing.  I’ve always been pretty firmly against showing up at Walmart or the grocery store in your sweats (Seriously–M makes fun of me because he says I dress up for doctor’s appointments like I’m going on a date–he’s not entirely wrong, although I’m less likely to wear my super sexy lacy bras to see my oncologist. I like her a lot, but not *that* much), but I’ve discovered I pay even more attention now.  I’ve become very detail-oriented with jewelry, shoes, bags.  I like exploring this side of me.

Tank Girl! Fake cigarette (cause smoking is bad--mkay?), fake gun, fake mohawk--but GENUINE bald head! A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I tell you! Well. Hopefully, just the once.

I’ve also found this experience to be a validation of the lifestyle changes I made last year.  2010, aka The Year of Getting Fit, was an important year for me.  Had I not lost weight, I may not have found the lump in my breast.   All those months of daily workouts and getting in shape were instrumental in my ability to  heal quickly from my surgeries, and I firmly believe that it’s made chemo much easier for me than it otherwise would have been.

Artistically, it’s been fun to play around with my shiny bald head.  One does not get the opportunity to bedazzle one’s head very often, I think.  There are days I cannot face a camera, but the times that I have felt well enough to do it, I’ve been pretty pleased with the results–and since I am freakishly into documenting stuff, I think it will be nice to have something to look back on and smile about.

So, you know–good things have come from this.  I try to keep that in mind when I start to feel dark.

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Glitterati

Posted by wendy on 2011/03/29

Shiny!

I look so serious.  But, then again, bedazzling one’s head is pretty serious business, I should think.

The bone pain has lessened considerably, therefore my love affair with Taxol continues.  Because I really am loving this no-nausea deal.   M and I are sneakily plotting and planning a trip in between Taxol treatments–because if this keeps up, I think a wee bit of travel might do me some good.  I’ve always believed that my convalescence should totally have been in England, dammit.  We shall see.  I’ve also got to work in a trip to Michigan to see my family there, as well.  ooo..dig me and my inability to sit still!  People to see, places to do.  I am a busy woman and cancer needs to step back and realize I simply do not have time for it anymore.  Oh wait, it doesn’t work that way, does it?  pfft.

36 days til chemo is over.  Then, I get to play with the radiologists! eeeeeee!  Gosh my summer is going to be chock full o’ fun!  😉

 

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