Today's Shout Outs:
Trudy S, Ann M, Saskia, Maggie H, Liz W, Carla S, Toni S, Kelly F, Emily S, Debbie C, Christi B, Carol F, Judy B, Jen Marie T, Roseanne K, Karin M, Susie W, Arlene H, Christina M, Sue C
What does the face of cancer look like? Up until now, for me it was impersonal and personal at the same time. What does that mean? By the time I was diagnosed, my own sister had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, but I had no real idea what it was or what it meant. She had her surgery, her radiation, and she was ok, or at least in my mind she was. I had what I considered to be several good friends that were diagnosed with cancer and I listened to their stories and sympathized, but in all honesty I didn't get it. I wasn't aware. I didn't know. I must admit that I have guilt for not getting "it" and now that I do get "it", my life has changed in more ways than I imagined. I "get" lots of things now that I wouldn't have pre-cancer. Heart ache does bring out the best in us.
I'm not obsessed with my baldness, but admittedly I do keep coming back to the whole "bald" thing. Everyone has been so kind with comments about inner and outer beauty and that hair doesn't define anyone, but the truth is that the "bald" look isn't in when you don't want to be bald. Yes, I get the fact that hair isn't a deal breaker, but...
If baldness was in all honesty "hip", "cool", or even "natural" (other than the group that chooses or the group that has no choice) there wouldn't be a million or billion, I have no idea, and I'm too lazy to do research on it, industry based on growing one's hair follicles. I'm not trying to be rude or mean here but the truth is, I don't want to be bald and I don't want to look like another face of cancer. I realize that there are many faces of cancer and that sadly they are as diverse as you and me, but there is a generic face that we visualize and its the baldness that prempts the "face". I have that face and if I am very close to the mirror and look close into my eyes, I'm ok, but when I happen by the door mirror, it still shocks me to see the person that I don't quite recognize staring back at me.
The other thing that my baldness has invaded are my "shower" moments. I haven't honestly had a shower moment of late, but let me tell you it won't be the same without my hair. There is just something about the water plastering your hair over your head and face that can't be duplicated or fixed. Just another loss.
And my last tidbit of interest is that my baldness has turned into a 5 o'clock shadow and appears to be growing and I have yet to lose hair anywhere else. You know all the places that you would want to lose hair... like your legs, armpits, and yes that very feminine and really not noticeable mustache (not). On the positive side though is that I do have my eyelashes and eyebrows still. I'll enjoy them to the fullest. Ironically, I love my eyelashes now, even though pre-cancer I would have killed for real long Caucasian lashes, not my little short Asian ones.
Overall, I felt pretty good today, but I'm tired now and even though I don't have the same food issues that I had pre-chemo, things don't taste right and I don't get the same enjoyment from food that I did, not that long ago, once upon a time, when my life was different. My mouth sores have been a bit worse this time around and I can mark that down on my growing list of annoyances.
I know I sound a bit despondent and that's because I feel that way, I feel sad for the way things were, but aren't... BUT I am still very grateful to all of you that are out there sending me those cyber hugs, gifts of cards and your faith in me to survive and move forward. I revel in the good that has encompassed me near and far in the face of life's sadness. As Kevin says to me all the time... "it's better than the alternative".
Until next time.