First of all, I promise the next few months worth of blogs are not all going to be chemo chick stuff. But I thought I would share my hair odyssey since it turned out to be a triumph.
One of the things I dreaded and mourned before it even happened was the loss of my hair. (Not being as brave as so many of you who have rocked the scarves and the bald head.) I don't have good face for bald, let me tell you, and I hated the idea of standing in the shower pulling out clumps of hair. (Not that I had the best hair on the planet mind you. I used to joke that I was having a bad hair life. Still, it was all mine and I've grown rather attached to it over the years.) I decided to get proactive and attack this looming hurdle head on.
So, Tuesday, Gerhardt and I had a date in Seattle with Darla at Hair Options, who does an amazing job of helping women feel good about themselves. I must say it was a little strange walking into a wig shop and being "watched" by all those bewigged mannequin heads looking down on us from the shelves. And at first glance I wasn't sure we were going to find anything that would be a match for me. But lo and behold, we did, and let me tell you, my hair has never looked so good. What a surprise!
And here's the other surprise. I had envisioned myself weeping in the beauty chair as I morphed from hair-covered to bald. It never happened. I did have one moment of "Yuck, is that an ugly sight." But my other half reminded me that hair grows and I was able to shrug it off. (And I must add, it's surprising how quickly a girl can get used to a new look. Now I don't look at my bald head in the bathroom mirror and want to barf.) By the time we left the shop, me with my new head of hair and Gerhardt with his stomach full of chocolate he'd scrounged from that little bowl Darla keeps on the counter, I was feeling downright pretty. What a cool blessing!
The biggest blessing of all though, and the one I'm most thankful for this Thanksgiving, is my husband, who, when I made a comment about being a scary hairless wonder, said, "You're more than your hair." He even observed that I look like the singer Sinead O'Connor. Yeah, right.
How can I not adore this man? He's a true hero! Obviously, a keeper... just like my new wig. :)
It's been a while since I've blogged. That's because I've been busy... getting well. Right after our London trip I discovered I had the alien baby growing in me.
Well, okay, not really. But I did have uterine cancer. Unexpected and unfun. But thanks to modern medicine and the fact that I no longer need my uterus it looks like I'm going to be fine. After some preventive chemo therapy where we will make sure no nasty cells are roaming around loose. Funny how during something like this a girl finds so much to be thankful for. Of course, the top thing would be family. My husband has been my hero, watching over me and going to all my appointments with me, standing guard over me in the hospital. What a great guy! And my family has been there for me, too. God bless my sis-in-law Karen, who made a long drive down the freeway on a rainy day to come see me.
And my friends. Oh, my gosh, when it comes to friends I'm the richest woman in the world. My pal Jill came out to watch over me my first day home from the hospital so Gerhardt could teach his college English class. My pal Karol brought over a gift basket. Roger and Elizabeth came over with a "chemo starter kit" containing everything from scarves to lotion. My buddy Faith (who lives up to her name) gave me a great book titled "You'll Get Through This" - I highly recommend it to anyone going through a difficult time! My agent and editors all sent flowers and goodies. My buddy Kathy vacuumed for me and pals Theresia and Kimberly came out right after surgery also and made pesto for me so the basil in my garden wouldn't go unused. And buddy Kimberly had a girl party for me to cheer me up right after we got the bad news. Kathleen and my friend Diane came to see me in the hospital and Donna, my friend since high school sent flowers and joked about my "tummy tuck". My community of writing buddies was amazing. Marie Bostwick had chocolate chip cookies delivered, Debbie Macomber knit me a prayer shawl which I will proudly wear, my writing group (Susan Wiggs, Anjali Banerjee, Lois Dyer, Elsa Watson, and Kate Breslin) hired a gardener to whip my yard into shape. Extravagant! Doctor-writer Carol Cassella has kept tabs on me to make sure I'm doing okay and children's book genius Suzanne Selfors has checked in several times. So has Alexa Darin. Today I got home from having my port installed to find flowers on my porch from my old friend Lisa and our buddies Casey and Vera.
Okay, this is beginning to read like an acknowledgement page in a book and you've probably fallen asleep by now. So I'll stop. But I'll never stop being grateful to all the people who have been praying for me and have sent cards and flowers and generally made me feel loved. Thanks to the wonderful readers who have become friends and to my great street team. I think that, like George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life" I'm the richest gal in town!
Going through hard things is never easy but let me tell you, it's a whole lot easier with the support of good friends.