Have We Done Hair Off Glasses On? (7 months)

Way over-gelled today, but getting nice and long!

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Sorry about the photo quality. We were scrambling and ended up taking the photos at the Oat. “Not my best work, though. She wanted to look 48. I nearly airbrushed her into oblivion. Ended up checking ‘albino’ in the form

Have We Done Hair Off Glasses On? (6 months)

And, thanks to chemo-induced menopause, my face is becoming furry!

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They Make Me Feel Dressier**

I never would have guessed I’d miss my Groucho Marx eye brows.

Even after I’d lost them, I would have laughed right out loud at the thought of coaxing them back.

But, tonight I did just that.

I googled growing eye brows and then slathered mine in coconut oil.

We’re hard on ourselves. It fuels the economy. But after years of berating my body, my features, my traits, it feels good to know that I’d rather be me.

With or without the caterpillar brows.


Happiness Is…

Being Me.

It’s a month, today, since my final radiation treatment.

In these four glorious weeks, I’ve been living it up and lollygagging with good friends and good family.

I’ve grown some eyelashes and some hair.
I’ve stepped up to the scariness of public speaking.
I’ve coasted obliviously through a significant earthquake.
I’ve enjoyed schedule-free summer days with Lucy and Bayla.

I’m now two weeks into my five years of hormone therapy and — touch wood — its been blissfully imperceptible.

My white blood count is still low (I had a good cry over that news this morning). And various muscles and joints are still struggling with the effects of chemo.

But I feel like myself again — only better, stronger and happier. Really.

I am the rebuilt me.

And, with every thought and every choice, I’m working to stay that way.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Chemo Brane

I didn’t opt for the regular brain MRIs and chemo brain study, so I don’t know for sure how my grey matter fared, but here’s what I’ve noticed:

  • memory leaks (I keep losing things because I simply can’t recall where I put them)
  • crazy word snafus (even though my brain says the appropriate word, my fingers type “duo” instead of “duel”, “link” instead of “leak”, and “your” instead of “you’re”; questioning spelling of simple homophones like “here” and “hear”; and even completely reversing words when typing)
  • word loss (when speaking, I know which word I’m searching for but just can’t find it)
  • balance burps (I have little balance challenges where I otherwise wouldn’t have had)
  • short attention span (I’m actually hoping this is just due to fatigue)
  • constant spouting of Arrested Development quotes (no, wait, I’ve always done that).

If this is the extent of my impact, I’ll consider myself lucky.

Okay, Is There A Carbon Monoxide Leak In this House?

I continued to work through the diagnosis, the surgeries and the corresponding recoveries.

I put my head down and powered through the chemo.

Maybe it’s catching up to me now. Or maybe it’s all my recent celebrating, real-life and staying up way past eight.

Whatever the reason, I’m spent.

Procrastination now drags my daily exercise to almost the full day and, due in part to my hole-falling-into experience on Sunday, I’ve had to replace my daily jog with a second leisurely stroll.

But I’m alive.
And healthy.
And happy.

And grateful.

At Long, Long Last…
and well worth the wait

All winter long, I’ve looked forward to being on this side of chemo.

And now, unbelievably, here we are!

It may be tedious, but I’m so thrilled to have reached what seemed for so long like an unattainable mirage, that I just must document this fabulous, fabulous day.

A Play by Play of this Beautiful, Long-Awaited Day:

9:06 a.m.

The morning drop off.

We’re pretty excited.

10:15 a.m.

Enroute to blood work.

Hope, hope, hoping that my counts are all fabulous and we go ahead with the infusion.

10:30 a.m.

Last pre-chemo bloodwork done. Yay!

A bit abrupt and shocking, but no problem at all.

11:30 a.m.

Waiting for bloodwork results and — hopefully! — chemo — and making friends in the lovely hospital lounge.

12:30 – 2:50

Blood counts are fine! On with the last infusion!

Thanks to a 70 year old firecracker named Helen, our chemo pod was full of laughter and good cheer. A fabulous final chemo experience.

2:55 p.m.

Ringing that bell!

Klunking, actually, but absolutely awesome!

3:23 p.m.

All done. Heading home.


3:40 p.m.

Look who was waiting for us at home. A protective critter from our friend Caroline. Thank you!

I adore armadillos and this cheeky, cheery, luck-dispensing chum makes me giddy with joy each time I pass by him.

5:30 p.m.

A happy, happy trek to the Gratitude Statue.

Spring celebrated this exciting day in all its glory. As I made my way to and from the Gratitude Statue each day throughout this challenge, in deep snow or icy wind, I thought of the sleeping bulbs that lay in wait along the trail. And I dreamed forward to today.

It was well worth the wait.

9:00 p.m.

A massive celebratory basket of joy arrives from Aunt Barb, Uncle Wilf, Kelly, Ian, Luke and Jade. Thank you!

And a fabulous excuse to have a nice long telephone chat with each to dream of the big celebrations to come.