Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wigs and Girdles

I went to an outside wedding last summer in 110* humid weather. I was wearing the most wonderful dress that made me look amazing. Well that is after I put on this thing called "spanxits" and a bra called "Wonderangel" Or "Angel wonder' or "waterboob" and some pantyhose that had adhesive or lycra or something in them or something like that, I forget now. But those 3 undergarments made me look like I was 20 lbs lighter and my butt was toned and my breast look like theyve never looked before....just amazing.

Then I left my air conditioned room to get in the car and suddenly the allusion wear became a suffacating prison of mass proportions.

It was the longest wedding and reception ever held. I got many complimnets that I had never looked better. ANd let me tell you here and now.....I never HAD looked better. The undergarments were SHRINKING while on my body. This caused every fat molecule to rise up to become cleavage. I had swollen feet too, but no one said anything about them.

When I got home it took me two hours to PEEL those elastic body cuffs off me and they went shooting off into different corners of my bedroom. I remember I had to lay on the floor to get the bottoms off. It is hilarious now thinking back but that night I really couldnt get them off. The heat and humidity made them stick to me like there really was adhesive in them.....and dancing around on one foot and rolling on the floor fighting them off didnt exactly make for a great mood so I tried to forget about it.

Till someone asked me yesterday how it felt to wear a wig.

And I thought;
Just like wearing a girdle on a hot humid day.

Only on your head.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Back to School Nite

This is my son's school's back to school nite. The night you shuffle from room to room with a few hundred other parents and listen to the teacher's class rules for 12 minutes and then shuffle to another teacher's room. I go every year and tonight will be the final "Back to School Nite" for me.

It is funny that it is also the night you scope out other parents and see how they have fared for the year. Have they gained weight, changed their hair, gotten skinnier, lost more hair, gotten a paunchy stomache. Its human nature to measure ourselves against the current society we are in.

I of course will be sporting store bought hair and less eyelashes and eyebrows. I will have to find a great lipstick color to contrast.

I will be reflective tonight. Thinking about all the past "Back to School nites" and thinking about my son going off to college and how the whole dynamic of the family will shift. I hope I wont feel useless and put aside. I take all these "mommy jobs" pretty serious.

Thank goodness for technology and Skype and texting and cell phones. I dont know how our parents did it when we flew the nest. No contact. Just pay phones.

I wont miss "Back to School Nite" and all its scoping out of parents and teachers and snickering and "looks" but I will miss the feeling of purpose and connectivity I feel when I go scope out the "other home" of my son for so many hours a day.


Thursday, September 09, 2010

Off Topic

This is completely off topic and random but I was thinking this morning that its completely odd that this Rev. Terry Jones really got his hands on that many Korans to have a burning.

Did he go to the nearest mosque disguised as a radical needing a bunch of Korans to give away? Did he go to the Imam and say, "I have a burnin yearnin to read?" hahahaha pun intended.

Really, he could be burning bogus Korans, just used old books. Endangering the troops in Muslim countries over a "Huck Finn" and "Moby Dick" burning.

His energy and passion and desire for hooplah and revenge couldve been used for greater good. Not blowing a bunch of money for a book burning that wont bring about anything but more hatred and war seeking radicals a great example for more recruitments.

What happened to turn the cheek? Love thine enemies? What is Koran burning going to get us as a nation in the end? Freedom of speech? I dont think this is what our forefathers meant. I just really dont.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Shiney head

A spider bit me on the head.


My nekkid head has a bug bite on it. Its like the red circling light atop a light house.

I had the wig on but when I itch my head it wiggles the wig.

Switching to hat/scarf combo for today.

What a funny way to start the day!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Support Systems

Last night someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and smiled at a woman I didnt know with several kids. Her daughter is in band with my son but I dont know her. She pointed to my hat/scarf combo and asked me if I was going through therapy.

I replied, "yes, chemo-therapy." This lady tells me that she is a two time cancer survivor and she had a very amazing tale of survival to tell! She was encouraging and inspiring, and very sweet. Then other people apparently listening in chimed in with experience with their aunt and mother in law going through radiation and chemo.

Thats what happens when you have cancer. Everywhere you go you find out that nearly everyone has had cancer of some type or been touched by it some how. And people want to reach out to you and tell you of their story. Whether it have a happy result or an on-going heart wrenching tale, people touched by cancer have a compelling need to reach out.

This Two Time Survivor (yes I'm bad with names)lady from last night was saying to me that its all about the Support System and if we have a good support system we will do great. I wanted to argue with her that it comes from with in. All the support in the world is not going to help if you arent determined to play this drama out a certain way. Support is the bonus that drives you on. But then I kept my mouth shut the whole rest of the time she was talking mulling over the thought in my head.

What really is more important? The Support System or the Inner Drive to "Get'er done"?

My husbands keeps telling me "You gotta fight this". That is his mantra through this whole thing. "You gotta fight this". I'm not sure what I'm fighting and what "this" is but I take his quote to mean that I should not give in to the overwhelming sense of hopelessness and just give up and not want to go to the doctor or chemo therapy and just let cancer take over my body.

I also understand that he is frightened beyond words and he doesnt know what else to say to comfort me. His other oft repeated words in my ear is "This is so hard what you have to go through". He is not able to say any other comforting words but these two phrases and I am fine with this now.

At first I was angry and wanted him to cacoon me and comfort me and act like a mother hen and make me chicken soup and write encouraging notes like I do for them when they are sick. But one day after I saw the look in his eyes I realized that he must repeat in his own head minute after frightening minute," She had better fight this" and "Oh my god this is too hard what we have to go through right now, I dont know what to do to fix this. She has to fight this." After all my mind would be frozen if this were him or my son so I can understand this now.

How he supports me is by shaving my head, he took care of the jackson pratt drainage tube after surgery and he has given me all the shots to the stomach and arm that they asked him to. And he tells me to be comfortable and go out with a naked bald head and not cover it up with a sweaty wig or hat and scarf combo. I wont but wow how nice of him to say. THAT takes courage and is truly supportive. That is admirable and makes me grateful. I dont know if I could return the favor.

My son is my cheerleader. Personal cheerleader and the reason that I fight every day to get past this and move on in life. He is amazing. He sat with me each week to go get blood work and then each Wednesday in the chemo room he sat for 6-7 hours with me. Cheering me up, keeping me distracted, playing cards, hangman, dots or puzzles together. Driving me everywhere and bringing me copious amounts of gatoraide, gingerale and crackers. He can microwave a hot pocket like no one else. He constantly texts me to see how I'm doing and he says the perfect words at the perfect time of comfort and understanding. The child is such a help to me. I sit here typing this with tears welled up in my eyes of gratefulness. He is joy to my heart.

Friends and Family: The funny thing about friends and family is that they have all taken on different roles in my life since I got diagnosed with cancer. The ones that were constant in my life became distant, the ones distant became close and the aquaintances I've barely known have sent cards weekly and messages and really amazed me with how its all been mixed up and everyone together has been encouraging me through this. The ones touched by cancer before have been really prolific in their support. And the funniest thing is that my Mom and Dad text me constantly and they have a Facebook account and can see how I'm doing.

All together my Support System is getting me through this but most of the hunkering down and getting through each day is done by myself to myself. I talk to myself, and cheer myself. Mostly lecture myself. I allow myself a few minutes every day to have tears and feel bad about all the ickiness of cancer and then the rest of the time I do as much as I can to lead a normal day to day life. I smile a lot, joke a lot and try to jolly each day along. When I have to lie on the couch and moan I do. But every other time I strive to find the joy.

The other day I had an outright temper tantrum. I had such a mental block about going again to chemo and I just really cried. My son and husband rushed from various parts of the house and said at the same time, "Whats wrong?" and I said "I dont want to go tomorrow" and I burst out bawling. I was so sick still from a new medicine they gave me for one of the side effects and I was just feeling too weak to go get more chemo... My husband sat on one side of me and my son sat on the other, My husband said, "Honey you have to fight this." My son kept patting my arm and put his arm around me. My husband kissed my bald head and they both just sat there watching me bawl my eyeballs out. They looked at each other over my head with huge owl eyes and then back down at me.

I stood up and shouted," I KNOW I have to go, I Know I WILL go, Its just that I have to cry right now to get this out of my system so I have the STRENGTH to go ."

Thursday, September 02, 2010


Yesterday was a chemo day. In the chemo room. I have nightmares and flashbacks during the day now about the smell of the chemo room. I imagine that will stay with me a long while.

The first time I saw the chemo room I had a melt-down. I ended up there by accident when I first was diagnosed with cancer because the clinic sent me to the wrong room for a pre-chemo procedure and they finally gave up figuring out the mistake and said to go see Nurse Janice and she'd figure it all out.

Nurse Janice was in the chemo room.

I breezed into the room un-knowing what room it was and what I saw hit me between the eyes and made me loose all thoughts in my head and made me stutter and then weep. The nurse grabbed my hand and said, "Are you ok?" and I gulpinly replied, "I have so much anxiety right now, I dont know why, I'm sorry." and she said while patting my hand," Everyone does the first time they see this room, it makes it all a reality for you."

This is the reality of what I saw:

Imagine a small room. Living room size. It has the typical blue green clinic industrial tiles. Non shiney like it has been neglected for a while. Around the room are 10 green plastic reclining chairs. Shiney so they are easily wiped down. The recliners all have a little shelf on the right arm. It extends out about 10 inches from the right arm. This has a flat small pillow with a disposable towel on it. This is where you put your arm to receive the I.V.

To the right of the recliners are imposing I.V poles, computers, monitors and waste bins. One waste bin per chair. These get filled up fast with various flotsam and jetsom that gathers with the care of the chemo patient.

On the I.V. poles are many bags. Various colors of medicines getting ready to be interveniously pumped into bodies to make cells retreat and die. Poison really. But poison invented purposely to kill the cells that make our bodies die faster. I am shocked by the various colors. Neon orange, cherry punch red, Molasses brown, milky white, corn syrup clear, and they all hang atop the poles with tubes connected to the patients.

Besides the overwhelming view of seeing 10 chairs, poles, violently colored medicine is hearing the beeps and chirps from the monitors and blood pressure machines and the IV machines..It first sounds so loud it rushes through your head like a locomotive. THen you see the patients and you loose all train of thought completely.

Chemo patients come to the chemo room because they have to. They are in various stages of cancer. They ...wait. why am I typing "they" like I have no part of this?
We. We come to the cancer room because we have to.
We are in various stages of cancer and we all have a different type of cancer. And its men and women mixed.

The first time I went to the chemo room I saw the 10 recliners full of various patients and my head exploded. My heart broke. I saw very sick people. People reclining with several blankets covering them sleeping with their mouths open and I thought they looked dead. Some were bald, some had a little hair fuzz, some had hats. Most were pale or had facial peeling of the skin. But they all looked helpless.

The helplessness made me loose it.

To the right of all this reclining is a nurses station. Small desks, Computer monitors and straight ahead is a small window. Through this window you see a darkened room with pharmacists hunched over desks and some are busy in the back but you cant see that far to really tell what they are doing. This is the hub of chemo mixing. All medicines and orders come from this window. The people in that window are the masters of the poison that is going in our bodies in the chemo room. Its a scarey room. They have to wear protective gear and goggles. Thick special gloves.

We have a special bathroom behind the nurses desk. When having chemo therapy they give you an IV bag of just saline fluid first and they also "flush" you in between each medicine too. Thats a lot of liquid. There is a regular chain of us pottyers. Its comical if someone goes to the potty before we can disconnect and get there..we get like 5 year olds and say" Whose IN there" " Oh my I hope they HURRY".

To go potty you have to get yourself hoisted out of the green shiney recliner and reach behind the chair making sure not to dislodge the IV from your arm or hand and unplug the IV monitor that is attatched to a pole. You have to then shuffle to the bathroom pushing your IV Monitor pole with your IV bags on top to the bathroom and manage to go to the bathroom one handed.Not easy but doable.

Seeing all this going on really did make my cancer and what I was facing a reality. It made me go to my car and have a melt down and cry and really face what I was to become. A helpless chemo patient going to the chemo room.

But not helpless. It made it so much easier the first time I did have to go to the chemo room to get chemo. I was prepared. My head was wrapped around the reality. I also decided to call it the Party room and I go every time armed with my sense of humor and my gift of gab. I decided not to be helpless but be helpFUL. I make it a visit and got to know all the seat mates and I make the nurses laugh.

The nurses. The chemo nurses deserve all the praise and hugs and love and any raises or benefits they get. TO coin a oft used phrase; they are angels on earth. What a tough tough heart wrenching job they have. I cannot say enough about them in praise of what they do for us.

So I make them laugh. Compliment them. Make sure I say thank you for each chore they perform. Make sure they know that I'm glad they are there. Make sure I'm appreciative.

Having chemo with grace and dignity.