Thursday, October 30, 2008

She's got (no) game

mOh man. I just went on my first date post-chemo. It was a blind date so I went wig-ed thinking that would be easiest. I would wear my fake hair, not bring up cancer, and see what that kind of interaction was like.

I am a failure at subtlety.

So pretty much it was a good time. Scrabble, beer, get to know you conversation. I felt like this was someone I might want to go on a second date with. When we got to the end of the evening and talked about going out again, I kind of snapped. All of a sudden, the half beer, the heat in my cheeks, the itchiness of the wig... I couldn't do it. I couldn't bear the thought of doing it again. I was like "well, if we go out again, I need to tell you something..." and then I awkwardly told him about it and was like "I just feel fake with this wig on, blah blah blah" and then having gotten that out on the table, not being able to stand another minute with the damn hair on, I PULLED MY WIG OFF AT THE TABLE. Yes. That was really, really weird of me. I get it.

Anyway, poor guy. He proceeded to babble about medical conditions that afflicted him and his family. What a trainwreck. I somehow doubt this person will be calling me.

So this is my lesson learned: just show up without a wig. People can't tell. They just think I made the unfortunate choice to shave my head. I don't even have to talk about cancer.

The thing is, I didn't want to talk about cancer, I just wanted to not wear my wig for another second. I wanted to be liked for being bald.

In other news, tonight was my first meeting with Team and Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I'm going to be the Whidbey Island Marathon team's Honored Teammate. After a few practices with them, I'll be able to determine whether or not running a half marathon at the end of March is feasible. If it is, I will need to raise $1000. But I realized that would be pretty easy. If 40 people each donate $25--that's $1000! Or there's other stuff, of course.

So this is a good way to give back to LLS.

And the team's coach couldn't tell that I was the honored teammate--and I was talking to her bald. So there you go.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Git 'er done

Yesterday I spent an hour with my therapist trying to talk about the process of merging back into Life without using sports metaphors. It was harder than you would think.

The Hick is gone, my hair is growing back, the scariest chemo is over. Yay! But I’m still really really tired. Pulling the Hick did NOT magically restore my body to what it was 10 months ago.

My body is tired, but what I don’t think I was expecting is that my brain is tired too. It’s kind of discouraging. One of the reasons I’ve been able to be so effective at my job and cover a position and half over the last two years is that I have the ability to focus and work very quickly and efficiently. Much like if I were to try to go for a run these days, I would fall back to my old 9:30 pace, when I work I immediately jump into my old 1.5 FTE in 32 hours/week and after a few hours I am so wiped out. I work a lot faster than I run, btw. So anyway, I’m trying to figure out how to get everything done with my decreased endurance levels.

Here’s something I haven’t mentioned. Lately, I dream about my hair almost every night. It’s weird. I listened to a This American Life about people who have been blinded or lost limbs and for years and years afterward in their dreams they could still see and walk. I dream that I have hair, but I also KNOW I’m not supposed to. In my dreams, I will incredulously touch my hair or look at it in the mirror it will disappear as my sub conscious remembers that I don’t actually have hair.

I was playing with my long-hair wig the other night and I finally got it to look like my hair used to. I put it on and walked around my room looking at myself from various angles. On one hand I think I have gotten so used to myself bald that seeing myself with hair is shocking. On the other hand, when I saw myself with like, my hair I looked so much like I used (but skinnier) that it was heart wrenching. I accept that this is how I look now, and I even like it, but then I remember… I miss my hair. A lot. Still.

Monday, October 20, 2008

More from the Pro-Choice Prom

Awkward Prom Pose

Me doing yoga after Elisa started talking about how flexible she was... check my shit out!

CL looking so fine.
Rachel in my sunglasses and the necklace I wore to my high school prom.

AC putting my boobs to shame--and in my own dress and sunglasses! Hot damn.

So let me tell you about prom. It was the Planned Parenthood Pro-choice Prom: "Choose a better dress, choose a better date, choose to have a choice." 21+

CL and Elisa hosted the pre-party. I made asparagus polenta with ricotta cheese. It was awesome. Julian was my escort for all intents and purposes. I wore my favorite black dress. It's true: Even bald, I looked better, I had a date I liked better and if I were to get pregnant (hahahahhahahahahaha) I could choose to get an abortion. Yeah!

Prom was at Garfield Community Center and they had a live band playing AWESOME 80s dance music. I danced up a storm. My performance below is really just a warm up. I mean, I boogied. Hard. For hours.

When Julian and I got home from prom we congratulated ourselves on being so young and fun and going out TWO NIGHT IN A ROW (Friday we biked to Neumos for some Inde-Folk-Country-Rock) and I was feeling really... cool? Anyway, I looked at the clock and it was only 11:45! So we were almost cool.

Planned Parenthood Prom Pre-funk

OK, against my better judgment this is me pre-prom. Obviously, I'm succumbing to peer pressure and performing like monkey while Christina yells direction.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


The problem with today is that it’s 5pm and I have yet to get dressed. Or spend any significant amount of time outside of my bedroom beyond several trips to the bathroom and the kitchen for more snacks. But lest you think I’ve done nothing, I have eaten about a million calories, watched half a season of Project Runway, and listened to a lot of Radiohead.

I am tired. I’m finally coming down off the high of having the Hick out and grasping the reality of 16 more months of chemo. Work has been a lot of work. And I have a cold. Bahhhhhh.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

No, it's not a third nipple... or is it?

Can you figure out which 3 teeth are fake? This is really just a shot for Dr. Sheets, my orthodontist. Nice work!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Do you notice something missing?

Yup, they just PULL it out. I mean they put some anesthetic in first, and then they pull... really hard. More pictures to come of me re-enacting the historic battle.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Oh Holler!

I saw Dr. K today. WBC 6.6, Crit 29, Platelets 167!!!

Even more exciting: Hickman Extraction will take place on Monday (10/6) at 1pm. HOLY SHIT.

Less exciting: x-rays of my hips on Friday because they have felt a little funny since the 4 miles of fun running I did a month ago. Damn you, Prednisone!

I can't freakin believe it. I mean, the Hick is REALLY coming out. Soon. Dr. K gave me a hug, told me he was proud of me, and it's like, yeah, this hurdle is CLEARED. I start maintenance chemo next week: methotrexate, vincristine, pred...

More GOOD news. Dr. K said the amount and frequency of my Vincristine infusions will NOT cause hair loss. Grow little baby hairs! You have nothing to fear!

Other things to celebrate:
-Gorgeous weekend at Mt Rainier with 20 high school students. I love the youth I work with. They are amazing, loving, funny, intelligent, growing, and maturing... Sometimes a pain in the ass, but I feel like I have the best job in the world about 65% of the time. The weather was amazing--Paradise (5000 ft.) was 70 degrees and sunny! So beautiful...
-Package from the lovely, amazing, inspiring, and brutally powerful Bekah F. Thank you B, how did you find something so perfect? I will post pictures of my new present when I get batteries for my camera.
-Two yoga classes with Eiric this week. The man makes me SWEAT. Friday night will be my first Kirtan--singing and chanting with my teachers and yoga-friends. I plan on dedicating most of this week to yoga, to strength, and to power.