(The following was originally posted on my Carepages blog for family and friends during my treatment.)
Taking this Energizer Bunny and telling her she can't go 90 mph through her days can be frustrating, but I'm learning to adapt. When I need to sit, I binge on home improvement shows. One of my new favorite shows is Restored. The host restores period homes (Victorians, Craftsman's, Mid-Century) back to their original intention with modern upgrades added to the bathrooms, kitchens and floor plans. He claims his favorite thing to do is strip years of old paint from the wood cabinets, doors, woodwork, and other items original to the home. I find stripping away the old paint is kind of where I'm at right now.
In the early weeks of my diagnosis, it was all about priorities and shifting into what REALLY mattered to me and to my family. As the weeks have worn on, other things have been stripped away. I've learned to let Tim and others do things for me. (Sometimes I can't so much as open a Gatorade or a parcel post box.) I did vacuum one day, boy did I catch heck for that! (Clean always feels good, though.) I may be on a vacuuming hiatus for awhile, though.
This past week has been about stripping back my looks. I might not have ever been a beauty queen, but losing my hair has been weird. My head feels. . . vulnerable. . . almost spongy. I've lost about 98% of my head hair now. I'm thankful that, for the moment, I still have eyebrows and eyelashes. The latter is most desperately needed so I can apply my "Better Than Sex" mascara. I don't know what's in that stuff, but between that and the Chocolate Bar eye shadow (yes it even smells like chocolate), I at least feel human for a few moments in the morning. I find having no hair makes me feel somewhere between being a Zombie and a homeless person.
I went through all my scarves. I must have 75 of them. (I've been collecting them for years at flea markets and shops.) Unfortunately, only a handful of them actually fit in a wrap around my head, which I am getting better at. Yesterday I got all done and felt a draft. . . whoops, missed that spot! Of course, there are countless videos online on the different ways and styles to do that. (Something else to do when I'm not allowed to do anything else.) Mark bought me a fuzzy hat to sleep in (so warm and comfy at night), and I am looking at some other fun headwear on Etsy. At least, I can have fun with it, right?
One of the gifts I gave to myself was a Netflix subscription. I've been watching the first episodes of "Grace and Frankie." In case you're unfamiliar with it, the story is about two prominent attorneys who divorce their wives so they can marry each other. Lily Tomlin is a way-out woo-woo and Jane Fonda is an upscale prim and proper. They end up living together (at least so far) so lots of hilarity as they navigate through the differences in their lives. The thing that cracked me up the most was that Frankie (Lily) was this clean eater, environmentalist and in one episode she just goes and buys HoHos, cigarettes, and booze and just starts doing everything all at once. That's kind of what if feels like for me right now. Having spent years trying not to put anything cancer-causing in my body, they now have me so filled up with drugs and chemicals, it's like, who cares? So what if I decide to have a donut, a thick chocolate milkshake, or yesterday, a thick Wendy's hamburger?
I'm not sure how I'll turn out when all this old paint is stripped off, but I do know, deep down underneath there is probably some classic features destined to reveal its original beauty and luster. I'm looking forward to that day.