Monday, December 17, 2012


I had been working on a post about Quinn's terrible sleep habits lately, but I just can't bring myself to complain about my lack of sleep or my toddler in the wake of Friday's horror. Not yet, not when so many parents are burying their children the week before Christmas.

When I heard the awful news Friday morning, I fought the urge to drive straight to daycare to hold my own little boy. I picked him up early that day, held him extra close, caved to his requests to rock him "mo mo" (more, more) before I put him to bed that night, found so much comfort in his chubby little arms wrapped around my neck.

I'm lucky I don't have to explain any of this to Quinn, don't have to find the right words to talk to a child about something so unspeakable. Because I don't know what I'd say. There are no words.

Like all of us, my heart is broken for Newtown. I am sickened, and saddened, and so angry. It might take me a little while to get back to griping about a toddler who just wants to cuddle in the middle of the night. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Sometimes I surprise myself when I catch my reflection in the mirror in the morning. I don't expect to look so sick, because - for the most part - I don't feel sick. I still wake up expecting to look like I used to, like somehow overnight all of this cancer crap will have just been a bad dream. But then there's my image in the bathroom mirror, reminding me that I'm still in this fight, still getting chemo every three weeks, still facing Stage IV cancer.

People continually tell me how great I look, and I appreciate it. I really do. But there's a process that goes into leaving the house every day so that I don't look like a cancer patient. Somehow, putting on a little blush (and some eyebrows) makes me feel better, almost normal.

I go back and forth in my head about why I wear a wig or even a headscarf most days. On the one hand, I do want to feel normal, and while I realize a scarf doesn't accomplish this, it somehow doesn't scream cancer the way my bald head does. On the other hand, if I'm really kicking cancer's ass, shouldn't I be a poster child for what that looks like, baldness and all? Most days, I'm not that brave. And truth be told, I don't want the sympathy stares. 

I have a crop of fuzz on my head, but it's about as thick as the hair on Chris' arms (so, not very thick). But I have very little in the way of eyebrows or eyelashes. My skin has taken on that chemo sallowness that comes at a certain point after so much poison has been pumped through your body. And I have flaky patches of dryness everywhere because chemo sucks the moisture right out of your cells, no matter how much water you drink; living in Arizona probably doesn't help.

So I thought I'd share my process for looking presentable.

I start with this:

Sorry about the scowl. I hadn't had coffee yet.
And a little foundation and blush always helps...

Eyebrows are also good! Here's one...

And the other... I used to draw them on with pencil, but lately I'm liking a waxy product that I paint on with a brush. So much for chemo making it FASTER to get ready in the mornings. Also, who knew I had make-up skills at all? This is a whole new world for me, and Sephora may or may not be my new favorite store.

A little eyeliner (to make it look like there are eyelashes) and some mascara to the few hairs still hanging on, and we're almost there!

Only takes this many products...

And a wig and some lipstick...

Ta-da! And while the end result's not bad, I'm really looking forward to having hair again and all that entails - basically, a long-term remission (like twenty years would be nice).