Saturday, June 28, 2014

Myriam comes to my hairy rescue...

They're growing I groan to Mr H 

What are?

Look! I say as I shove my shin in front of his face in bed...they've got a cheek ... and I've cancelled all my waxing appointments.

Chemo cycle by chemo cycle my head is making the transition from a fluffy peach to a pale nectarine. Some of my eye lashes have gone down the plug hole but while I now use an eyebrow pencil to complete my eyebrows, I still have to pluck hairs which sneakily sprout underneath...

As if that wasn't bad enough, my upper lip has started a summer campaign to raise money for Mens Health in Movember. If I don't act soon I will be eating moustache hairs for breakfast.

So I amble up the road to see Myriam. I am at risk of infection at the moment  I tell her as  I pull my own towel out of a bag and lay it on the couch. Myriam smiles understandingly as she puts her own away before she cleans her hands with alcohol gel and brings out new wax rollers

My goodness girl Myriam declares as she glides her roller over my legs, a cricket pitch! 

And with each pull I wave goodbye to my hairs...

for now 

When Mr H saunters in from work he grins as he runs his hands over my bronzed, baby smooth legs...

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dealing with Cancer's topsy turvy world...

Mr H often says I am in awe of you Dawn

why I persist

It's how you deal with the cancer and treatment, how you cope, how you still help others. 

On February 10th this year when the diagnosis of cancer was calmly delivered in a small clinic room as we stared at the Xray of my breast on the computer, I dropped my head into my hands... then I looked up into Mr H's pale face and said:

I can't do this I'll never cope.

The annoyingly slim, dark haired, Consultant said: 

but you will cope Dawn and I wanted to scream how do you bloody know ...

At home I sobbed. I shouted. Hit cushions. Stormed from one room to another as I wrung my hands...

had I hit the wall of 'not coping' or was this my way of coping with bad news?

As I endured the two weeks until my appointment with the surgeon to learn the fate of my beautiful breast, I shed enough tears to fill a reservoir. I made phone calls then put down the phone, too upset to talk. Every time someone said you are strong or stay positive I wanted to shout STOP BLOODY SAYING THAT! 

Cards dropped on the mat and I hid them away. I am not ill

Was this 'not coping' or was it my way of dealing with a traumatic event?

I no longer believe there is such a thing as 'not coping' 

In the last three weeks I have dealt with a range of way of coping...

With no energy to go beyond the front door and even though a strong breeze chased clouds across the sky I rested in the garden amongst flowers and the twitter of my newly fledged blue tits...

On a day at the seaside, unable to walk far I concentrated on a tiny crab lying motionless in the sand and curious fossils embedded in a stone, even though their hearts no longer beat they have left their beautiful marks...

...and when the sea side wind caused my head and ear to pulsate for two days I grumbled loudly at anyone happy to listen then visited my GP. But next time, like a geek, I will wear a woolly hat pulled low over my wig covered ears, however hot the sun!

Nowadays living dangerously means daring to eat a poached egg when the yolk is still dippy soldier runny and when I can go to the allotment my tasks are nearly all on my bum...

But my bone marrow has coped with the chemotherapy onslaught this time. My neutrophil count is already high enough for me to have Chemo 3. 

On time!

I am coping...

If you are faced with a mountain, you have several options,
You can climb it and cross to the other side.
You can go around it.
You can dig under it.
You can fly over it.
You can blow it up.
You can ignore it and pretend it's not there.
You can turn around and go back the way you came.
Or you can stay on the mountain and make it your home
Vera Nazarian. The perpetual calendar of inspiration

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Surfing Cancer's emotional waves

Yesterday I cried into cushions, burst into tears on the phone and sniffed my way through conversations...

2014 is passing me by I sobbed to my brother when he called...I am drowning in the arms of Cancer...three days after my second chemotherapy my empty legs refuse to keep me afloat... 

I was in a swell of bedtime I was a cried out wet rag.

This morning a smiling taxi driver pulls up at my door and we chat as he weaves me through the rush hour traffic to my 'Look Good Feel Better' Pampering session at the Oncology Centre. the waiting area we watch each other from under our flickering eye lids and avoid a shared smile in case she is not the one with Cancer.

On our way to the lift a blond lady smiles at me; you were in the next room to me on the ward she says as another joins in... and I was in the first...three in a row! Our smiles broaden and we lift our gaze to take in each others faces...and hair...

Squashed into the lift we share hair truths...mines a wig...never, it looks incredible...Thank you's bounce off the lift walls and we walk out wearing grins.

As we introduce ourselves there are so many stories, mine just stirs into the mix and our nervous smiles relax as some ladies take off their wigs and hats. 

We gaze at ourselves in a mirror and are amazed at the skin care and make up goodies which tumble out of our bags (all donated by the manufacturers).  We twitter like newly fledged birds as the qualified beauticians guide us step by step through how to make the most of our faces.

A (bit worn off as I am now back home) Make up selfie!!
The two hours zoom by and a few of us carry on sharing our wig and hair loss stories while standing by the hour later I am nursing the dregs of my coffee while still talking cancer with three beautifully made up ladies.

A taxi collects me for my trip home. Jason and I chirp away happily as we talk about life changing moments. He gave up his corporate work to drive a taxi...choosing to earn money to live life rather than being defined by his work and have no life... Mine?

... well today it was going to a Look Good Feel Better Pamper session, where I met others who are surfing the same waves