chemo

"Once Upon a Time..."

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My dad writes of this 1978 photo, "...both you and your dad had hair."

How cute are we?

I'm certainly not missing my hair or saddened by the loss of it, thanks to a number of factors:

The first being that I find it quite exhilarating that I can get in and out of the shower, dressed and be out the door in 15 minutes.  That's crazy, even considering the fact I've always prided myself on being a pretty low-maintenance horse girl, comfortable popping a ball cap over a pony-tail most days.  Even when I wanted to get a bit gussied up, I was a 45-minute-max, shower-to-door-girl.  No all-day, multiple-hour beauty routine for me.  But 15 minutes?  With a shower?  Wild!

The second, of course is that Boyfriend continues to be fascinated by my baldness, loves to shave the left side of my head to help me keep it even, and tells me how cute and sexy I am, ummm, pretty much every opportunity he gets.  Feels good.  And I continue to feel like I won the Boyfriend lottery... How is it that a girl could be so lucky?  Sigh.

BUT - I have become OBSESSED with other people's hair.  I find myself staring at peoples' hair, wondering, Should I try something like THAT?  After years of KNOWING my own hair, and what I think works for me, my face, my hair type, color...suddenly there are SOOOOOOO many options.   And it would have NEVER crossed my mind to cut my hair short previously.  NEVER.  I'm going to be forced to try some short styles as it grows out.

What about highlights?  And why not some fun with colors, too?  Blonde?  Red?  Things I would have never entertained previously because the committment would be too permanent on longer hair.  People have also told me it may very well come back different - curly, thicker, finer, straighter.  I can't wait to see what I have to work with!

So in light of the fact that Monday is my LAST DAY OF RADIATION, I'm open to suggestions.  Because it's going to start growing back soon, and a girl has to think about these things!

:-D

Dad and me at the 1978 Volkswagen Club of America Convention.

How the Hair Went Down, I Mean, CAME OFF

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Enough with the green wig, right?  Did she do it?  Did Girlbert shave her head?

YES.

And nearly a week ago, at that.  But then I went and got all sick with a broken immune system, and have been useless to edit video and write anything to do it justice.  And you have to do something like shaving your head JUSTICE, am I right?  

Because it's not everyday that somebody shaves her head BALD.  Even Britney only did that once.

Extra special thanks and so much gratitude to the entire staff of the Hans Wolf Salon and Spa in Santa Barbara.  Ryan is the man responsible for the Extreme Girlbert Makeover a couple of months ago, and he did the head-shaving honors, joyfully declaring, "I've always wanted to shave a woman's head!"  So glad to be of service.  And Colleen Elizabeth fixed up my eyebrows so that my face would be up to the challenge of pulling off BALD.

I finally get a good, clear view of my biopsy scar.  Kinda Franken-like, just in time for Halloween, I guess.  

And then my brother shaved his head, declaring, "I can't let you be the only bald Tomlin!"  We've never looked so alike - obviously!  Boyfriend, of course, shaves his head anyway, so I kinda feel like the hot, bald chick now.  It helps that he tells me that every five minutes, of course...

My life is a fairy-tale.

If only I could click my ruby-slippered heels together and have each of my favorite bald men on either arm...

A Public Service Announcement From Girlbert

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Despite all my best efforts to stay unexposed and rested up, the chemo and radiation have supressed my immune system enough that I have a pretty good chest cold.  No worries (or temperature, which can be a biggie for a person in my condition), though, I seem to be clearing it out, and should be over it in no time at all.  Longer than the average person, obviously, but I'm on the up and up.

But my docs want me wearing a mask on my face in public, (the better to cover the steroid fat-face and acne, I say!), hand sanitizer in my back pocket, and be really cautious.  As in, do you really need to go into CostCo today?  Probably not...

But we did have some health and banking-related errands to do yesterday, so I got to get out of the car and go into some places.  And you wouldn't believe the looks!  One of my favorite stops was to the bank for a deposit, and walking in wearing my hat, sunglasses and mask - you should have seen all the teller's faces!  They asked, "Can I help you?" through some very intense looks and gritted teeth...fun!  
"Just need to make a deposit," I said, taking my sunglasses OFF (sheesh) and digging through my purse.  They remained ready to push that button.

I did notice that every other person I came across did a double take, but I'd have done the same (and probably have), in the past, never thinking there are people out there with compromised immune systems that have to be really careful during cold and flu season, not to mention this swine flu thing.

But here's the cake:
Toward the end of our afternoon errands (we'd already deposited Mom at the airport, so SAD to see her go - such a good time with her!), we decided to pull over at a coffeehouse on State Street and let me run in and get a couple of cups of hot tea, Boyfriend staying in the car.  So I pulled my mask on, hopped out and opened the coffeehouse door to THE. DIRTIEST. LOOK. EVER.  The dirty look was shot by a customer who'd turned from the counter to watch me step inside.  I smiled through my mask, he was probably unable to see it.  He turned away, finished paying, the woman he was with standing off to my other side, waiting for their order.  Then he turned back to me.  

"ARE YOU CONTAGIOUS?"

With what, the swine flu?  Like I'm just walking around with the swine flu?  'Cause I heard they all can't get out of bed, or are in the hospital.

 "Actually, I'm a cancer patient, and the chemo and radiation is suppressing my immune system, so I'm wearing this (pointing to my mask) to prevent myself from being exposed to anyone else who might be carrying something."  Like yourself, sir.

"Humph," he frowned and walked past me.  

My eyes followed, and the woman he was with looked  ABSOLUTELY. MORTIFIED.

I turned back to the counter, and all the teenage coffee shop workers behind the counter were significantly wide-eyed with disbelief at what they had just witnessed.  In unison, "What can we get you started?"

"A cup of chamomile, and a cup of jasmine tea, please."  

That was some yummy tea.

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