" I implore you, my child; observe heaven and earth, consider all that is in them, and acknowledge that God made them out of nothing (ex nihilo), and that mankind comes into being in the same way..." 2 Maccabees 7:28

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More Glam

Today I went to a "Look Good, Feel Great" seminar put on by the American Cancer Society; a seminar in how to take care of your appearance during and post chemotherapy. And I gotta say, ain't it great being a woman? Here we were, a bunch of strangers with nothing in common except our lumps. But that was enough, apparently; we all chatted like old friends, showing each other our scars and helping to draw in each others eyebrows. I was the youngest in the group, but fully accepted; in a sense even an "elder" as I am almost halfway through the chemo and have had one mastectomy, while most of the women were just starting the process. So I felt like a seasoned veteran, sitting back and sharing exaggerated war stories about my wounds and the way things used to be...

Chemotherapy puts your body into a menopause- like state. Not full menopause, but many women report hot flashes and mood swings. For me, it has just been hyper- emotionalism. EVERYTHING makes me cry. It's really embarrassing. At the class today I got to be the head wear model for the group (ironic, since I haven't even looked at my OWN bald head yet) so I was up in front of everyone and someone mentioned the recent earthquake and I started tearing up. And then someone else mentioned that her hair had just started to come out this morning and I started leaking again. Then when I went home the dog was panting and her lip looked like it was kind of stuck on her dry tooth and she looked so pathetic that I wanted to spring another leak... oh well. I'm not grumpy or depressed, it just seems that my emotions are very close to the surface (and my reason somewhat submerged). I am still working on a letter to Sheila but it makes me cry to write it so I write in short bursts.

I went to a prayer meeting last night- it was really a warm, welcoming group of people. We prayed the rosary and crowned Our Lady for the feast of Fatima, and the woman who runs the group asked me to pray over another member of the group who is dying. Well, I'm not really accustomed to praying over people and even less so when other people are watching me; there was only one solution. I put my hands on her and burst into tears. Honestly, you'd think I was a professional mourner or something, the way I go on. (Once in confession a priest said to me, "we'd better stop now, or you're going to dehydrate!" And that was BEFORE chemotherapy!) But it worked; everyone later told me how moved they were by my prayers. So let that be a lesson to you; when in a tight spot, cry. Works every time. I should know.


hopeyg said...

Well Papes, this one made me laugh again. You were always a bit leaky. When ever I describe you to other people I say that you are the most compassionate person I know and then I relate the story of how you cried when we flushed a spider down the toilet in Texas. Love ya, your younger but less leaky sister.

sheshe said...

we should have a crying contest... you and i. see who cries the most in public situations. i think i cry more in front of others than i do by myself. sad, but true.

professional mourner. i love it!

datatech57 said...


Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Gee, I wonder why we chose the same color scheme? ;-) I believe I will have to keep reading about your adventures.

Just so you know, I am a Lutheran Christian, but I tell everybody that I let my "inner Catholic" come out to play during Lent. I wear black on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and avoid meat on Fridays during Lent. I haven't gone so far as to give up chocolate during Lent, at least not for a long while. In 2002, my chemotherapy started on Ash Wednesday, so I told everybody I gave up my hair for lent! The second time I had chemo, my head was shaved on Maundy (Holy) Thursday, and this time around, we shaved it on the Saturday before Palm Sunday. I seem to have a theme going here.

Anyway, may God be with you.


Kathryn said...

I know round 4 of A/C is coming. Hang tough!! I guarantee you will never, ever feel as sick again as your 4th round of A/C will have you feeling. And, don't forget, after that you are 1/2-way through and definitely on the down-hill side. Taxol has side-effects, sure, but they are different. Nausea is not one of them. Once you're feeling better, time to get some carry-out from Cheesecake Factory to celebrate!
God bless, Kathryn

sheshe said...

I got your letter in the mail today and it gave me certain kind of comfort that I haven't felt in a long time. Thank you and I love you very much.