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Published by pam on Mon, 05/21/2012 - 5:48pm

I am very suggestible.  At least at the make-up counter.  I used to easily dismiss the puffed up claims of beauty products, but now, not so much.


I was out of moisturizer.  This weekend, I was feeling pretty good, so I ventured into the land of box stores.  I'm a creature of habit when it comes to moisturizers.  I always buy the same one.  So, although the make-up counter is filled with promises, they rarely have any effect on me.



Published by pam on Mon, 05/21/2012 - 5:30pm

It is strange.  Scarved, I am often invisible.  Mostly, I don't linger when making eye contact with strangers.  I can sense that people sometimes stare, just a little, just enough to decipher the meaning of my covered head.  But they don't stare for long and forcing eye contact seems rude.  The exception is when I see someone I know.  Someone who I haven't seen in a while.  Someone who really should recognize me.  I don't  look away in those instances.  I smile.  People need to know I'm doing fine, scarf or no scarf.  But oddly, I am often not recognized.  There is eye contact, but

Cold Feet

Published by pam on Thu, 05/03/2012 - 6:58pm

So that book I posted about a few days back, well it had been submitted to an agent way back in November.  That agent got a sample - pretty much what I posted on this blog.  She requested the whole manuscript in January.  I sent it to her, got diagnosed with breast cancer, and then pretty let the whole think go.  I thought about telling her to stop reading.  I mean, could I really write and rewrite during chemo?  But, I figured I would most likely get rejected and that rejection would most likely include some feedback, which I might be able to put to good use at some time in the future.

Funny what comes rushing back when you least expect it

Published by pam on Thu, 05/03/2012 - 2:27pm

Boy, have I put off writing.  Part of that is because I am in the 'good' week, which means I'm feeling well enough to be productive.  I can walk AND go to the market AND put a coat of finish on the pantry door AND make dinner AND do a couple of loads of laundry.  But productivity isn't the only reason I've been avoiding it.  Writing is one of the of things that has taken on a strong negative association as a result of this experience.  


Day 17

Published by pam on Sat, 04/28/2012 - 8:08pm

Day 17.  The oncologist said my hair would begin falling out on day 17.  I have come to believe that he often gives me definitive answers when there are none. I want to know when my hair will fall out.  He says day 17.  As if it's an absolute.  As if he has no doubt.


Day17, my hair begins to fall of out.  Just like he said.  I hope he is as accurate about other things (like cure rates) as he was about this.  


I only had a quarter of an inch of hair left so I thought losing what is left wouldn't be a big deal.  But it is.  It turns my stomach. 

Two treatments down and some pictures to boot

Published by pam on Thu, 04/26/2012 - 4:51pm

Click on photos and captions will appear, if you are interested in such things.  Sometimes it takes a second, so be patient. I have completed the second of four AC treatments and I must say, this one seems a bit easier than the last.  I'm guessing that’s because I know what to expect and am better at managing my drugs and my eating.  I had limited side effects last night but took some Zofran before any nausea set in.  I slept well and woke this morning to a 10 o'clock acupuncture appointment.  That could be another reason things are going a little better than last time.  I

Still no pictures...

Published by pam on Tue, 04/24/2012 - 6:53pm

Believe it or not, I am still waiting for Marc to get photos together.  I haven't forgotten.  And I haven't written much because I have been enjoying the fact that I feel good and the weather has been incredible.  Who wants to sit in front of a computer and write?  Not when another round of chemo is coming up so soon.  Tomorrow.  Round two of the AC treatment is tomorrow.  That is the second of four, which is half way.  The second phase of chemo (Taxol and Herceptin) is supposed to be a lot easier to take.  Tomorrow I will be half way through the hard part.  That is what I tell myself.

No hair

Published by pam on Sat, 04/21/2012 - 10:33pm

So like most things in life, the anticipation of loosing my hair was worse than the reality of it.  My family made it a pretty darn good day all around, and as usual, I am grateful for them.  The wig maker left about a quarter of an inch of hair and the kids immediately dubbed me Edgy Mom and told me I looked smart.  Really smart.  They seemed to think it was a look I could pull off.  I'm not so sure, but it is what it is.  


The wig maker definitely knew what he was doing.  He started piece by piece in the back, laying each chunk on a board to prepare it for placement in the finished wig.  In the mirror, I didn't look any different to myself until he took the final few pieces off.  It was a wise strategy.   He was quite a master at making the whole thing as painless as possible.


On our way home, the rest of the family stayed in the car on the ferry.  I went upstairs to play solitare.  I had already forgotten about the scarf .  


The looks reminded me.  I didn't feel pathetic or sickly, so on the occasion I caught someone's eye (most people look away quite quickly), I politely smiled just as I would have that morning.  As though nothing was wrong.  As if I  didn't recognize the hint of sympathy in their eyes.  


Funny, what we think other people can take from us.  How we assume they can define us or redefine us over something as silly as hair.  But no one has that power unless we give it to them.  I don't feel sick.  I feel as though I drew a bad card and now I'm trying to fix what isn't working.  It doesn't make me any less of a force.  Hair or no hair.  Somehow, I though the looks would affect how I feel about myself.  But they don't.  I wonder whatever made me think they would.


Not the reaction I expected.  But a pleasant surprise.


And yes, there are pictures.  I'll post them as soon as Marc finishes with them.  Stay tuned.



Published by pam on Thu, 04/19/2012 - 9:36am

Tomorrow the hair comes off.  Very strange.  But it will be a family event.  Afterwards, we will toast to being one step further along this road, and then we will have lunch.  

Friday, my husband will say good night to a bald wife.  How weird is that?


During my most recent trip to the Oncologist's office, I passed a 60ish bald woman.  She seemed so proud of her shiny head.  I can't imagine myself being so brave.  I should have told her how beautiful she looked and how much strength it gave me to see her unafraid.  But I didn't.  


I doubt I'll be that proud bald woman, but you never know.  


Wish me luck.  


And Saturday, I need a walking partner.  It will be my first hair free walk.  So if someone locally reads this and is interested, let me know.  Maybe we'll post pictures.  That would be brave, wouldn't it?

Let me tell you about my new baby...

Published by pam on Wed, 04/18/2012 - 4:37pm

Once again I find myself not writing because things are going fairly well and I would rather spend my time DOING something rather than thinking about myself.  In fact, right now, I am staring at woodwork in the kitchen that desperately needs finishing and I finally have the energy to tackle the project.  But that would mean not writing.