Haven’t been feeling well and wouldn’t you know the pattern repeats. Second day after treatment, I get sick. This time it was a little different and I won’t get into the disgusting details but, yeah, I got sick. Last time I got sick two days afterwards, as well, but it was somehow “less,” only got nauseous but nothing dramatic. I get very tired, don’t want to eat, my joints and/or muscles hurt like the devil. The doctor said it would be “manageable,” and he was right. It is manageable because I know that in a couple of days the pain will be gone. Well, it’s still here, but tonight, it’s less, so I’m on my way.
Why I’m really here tonight, writing at 9:22pm on the East Coast of the U.S.ofA. is because of a very special visit I had this morning (by now, yesterday). Even though after she left, I soon went back to bed, I could not forget and my friends did a great job on Facebook, keeping it fresh in my mind…. all day. So, I’ll go back a bit….
If you remember, today I was going to the Island (NY speak) because I had an appointment to get my head shaved by the good people of “Mondays at Racine’s.” As luck would have it, they had to cancel everything because their ceiling caved in. As luck would have it (again), a friend of mine, Janet, offered to come over and shave my head. At first, I didn’t want her to go out of her way because she’s a working girl and I just felt like I would be imposing, even though she offered, but that’s how I am. Good news is that I got over that and did accept her very kind offer.. and I was so glad for the company.
Janet is a beautician and I’ve got to say that I know quite a few of these ladies who pamper other people’s hair, though myself, never had gone to a salon other than in the early 1980’s when I found “Portraits in Long Hair,” a place that actually catered to the growth and health of hair and not the cutting of it. I loved this place and patronized it for quite some time. LOL… Until layered perms became all the rage! Remember, Paula? Anyway, I was always really attached to my hair and I think because I had such a low body image, my sense of feminine identity got all tied up in my hair. Yes, I was vain about it and probably still am, but now, I have a better sense of myself as a whole person so the hair, and losing it, doesn’t affect me as bad as it once did. (Just in time!)
These ladies are some of the most compassionate people I know. It was my friend and neighbor, Melissa the Beautician, who urged me to go for the burgundy when I decided to dye my hair again and I’ve got to say that was the best advice I ever got regarding color. This doesn’t make her compassionate, of course, but she will make house calls to pamper homebound ladies and I had just happened to know one of them. She and her daughter remembered her long afterwards. Dang, if she wasn’t spot on with her color advice to me and I loved it so much that all the rest of my makeup matched my hair, including nails and eyeglasses. I’m talking deep, dark, matte burgundy lipstick in the summer and also at school where I worked for a year as a paraprofessional. Nobody said anything but you know, you’re working with middle school aged kids and I was wondering if it was appropriate. As it was, I was hard pressed to even find a female teacher wearing makeup at all.
Janet said that this shaving was going to be emotional and I really didn’t believe that it would be because I had already gone over a week with most of my hair gone and had been left with wisps of it on my head; so, anything was going to be better than that. You know, I did get emotional but not because of getting what was left of my hair shaved off. I just kept thinking how blessed I am to have friends who care about me so much that they would drop everything and come by to do whatever, and today it was coming by to shave a tiny amount of left over wisps so that I could be more comfortable and not feel like a horror movie character. My friend brought me two pairs of earrings to go with my new do! I had been meaning to crochet up a couple of pair of humongous earrings to go with my new look, but I hadn’t been up to it the past few days and also I’ll just say that Chemo Brain is REAL. I am reminded of that “Your Brain on Drugs” commercial and that’s exactly what it is. Case in point: after writing that, I picked up my knitting for NO. reason.
The most wonderful part of our visit, though, was our chat afterwards. Janet had coffee and I had water because I’m not liking coffee right now. That conversation was better than the shaving as I love talking to people. I just enjoyed it so much, you know? She even thought about my son and brought him a fidget spinner which is all the rage among kids his age right now. That was so sweet and extra thoughtful.
During our conversation, it came up about how some people have a positive attitude and some don’t when dealing with this disease. How some people don’t handle it the way you think according to what you know of their history and personality. I thought about this. I have a strong feeling that, for myself, I have a talent? Gift? for just forgetting everything. My talent is Denial. I don’t have a sense for what can happen because, I think, I’ve not experienced cancer first hand, so this is my first go around and hopefully my last. I also tend to trust doctors, so whatever the doctor tells me, I believe… until I can’t. I tend to just go along with things, you know? I give the benefit of the doubt to almost anything that comes up…. again, until I can’t. Maybe this part of myself is an asset during this time. I actually LIKE being a trustful person. I don’t like not trusting people, what I’m told by them and of situations. Yes, sometimes it doesn’t work and people turn out to be not what they seem, situations, too; but I like being trustful. Am I pulling the wool over my own eyes? I don’t believe so, and believe me, I get crazy if I feel that I am being taken advantaged of. That is the worst thing anyone can do and I go ballistic.
Maybe some people can’t handle dealing with cancer because it, or some other trying time, was the last straw. There comes a point sometimes when people just can’t deal any more. Sometimes we just feel, and women are a feeling breed, that we can’t do any more, or that we need to be recharged and renew the spirit. Faith in a higher power is so critical to dealing with the challenges of life; and everyone has their own way of doing it whether it’s intentional or not. What everyone needs is support, knowing they are loved, FEELING like they are loved, wanted and valued which helps to bring out that voice that says, “Hey, you’re worth the fight.” Regardless of how it seems and nobody really wants to admit this, but that saving thought is not always an automatic thing. Only the egomaniac is the first to proclaim how great they are. So many more of us hide our lack of confidence. It wasn’t until I got to the point of not caring what people thought of me, what I said, what I did, that I could just relax and just continue to be myself and be happy about it. Does that get me into trouble at times? A resounding YES~! It’s the spice of life.
People have been saying that I’m a strong person. Upon reflection, I can tell you that I’ve been through a lot in my life, a lot of chronic physical pain and pain in different forms. Some of it nobody knows about. Yet, I never would have guessed that I’d be going through this experience right now. This is the real deal and anything that came before this was preparatory. This cancer has put a strain on my relationships at home, something I never would have thought would happen. You never know what life has in store for you, that’s for sure.
So, I can’t figure out an ending for this post. I feel I want to move on and talk about different topics, but I’m stuck. In those cases, I really need to just end it. I’m sorry if this is turning out to be unfocused, but that’s part of the deal, too. You never know exactly what is going to make the difference in someone’s life. It could be fleeting, just a one day thing, or the effect can affect a whole life going forward and sometimes explain a past unexplainable until just that very moment.
Hubby kissed me on the head last night!