I hate taking anything for anything. But I'm supposed to be on Letrozole for 5 years. This hormone blocking drug will lower my chances of cancer recurrence, so I guess I should. But on January 2, (20 days after starting the medication) my stomach started getting wacky. Sheesh! 5 years of this?
Well, I took a 2 week break from Letrozole and my stomach is still a little crazy. So we can rule that out.
What Else? I have done lab work, so I can rule out all sorts of things. But maybe I've got some lingering issues from chemo or radiation. Or maybe I've suddenly become lactose intolerant. No! Don't take my cheese! Or maybe it's the Biotin I've been taking for hair growth for months! Pretty darn sure that's not it.
I always end on a positive note, so I will mention that my Biotin vitamins are really working! Actually, I have no idea if it's helping hair or lashes. They were going to come back anyway. But for the first time ever, I have fingernails that go snappity snap on my keyboard. This is fun. I feel so grown up with my lady nails!
A New Style
It's an exciting thing when you decide to change your image, with a new hairstyle. But it's a whole different thing when your "new hair-do" is not by choice. I didn't decide to have my current short hair. I haven't even had a real haircut yet. But at least I can choose how I want to... pull it off!
Yes of course, I'm the same person no matter what my hairstyle. But I do feel different in short hair. Initially, when I stepped out without a wig,
I felt like my hair announced, "I've been dealing with cancer!" That was not the image I was eager to portray.
When my hair grew just a little more, I began to feel like I didn't stand out so much. I was suddenly able to enjoy the ease of short hair. It was a breeze getting ready to go out. But a couple times when I needed to "dress up" to go out, it just felt odd. How was I supposed to look dressed up, with my little boy hair? Pearls maybe?
So, I've begun to realize I should take advantage of this period, to experiment with image changes. After all image doesn't really matter right now. I don't care what friends and family think. They know me. I don't have to worry about first impressions, because I'm not job hunting or in search of a mate. So if this new hair can kind of change my image, why not have a little fun with my forced change? What kind of statement does my short hair make? What are my options? Who do I want to be?
A nice thought...
A few friends have boosted my confidence with reminders of fantastic looking celebrities with darling short haircuts. I had some fun looking at photos. Now, if I could just have their young complexions and million dollar smiles and bodies and wardrobes to help me pull off the pixie hair. That would take a lot of money and a time machine.
Younger or Older?
I've been told by a couple people that my short hair makes me look younger. I was also told my hair makes me look more serious. Does that mean older? Sometimes my pixie cut actually makes me feel like a little kid, ready to go climb trees and skin some knees.
But, sometimes I feel like a nun or a rigid schoolmarm. I'll be able to pull off the Scout look in another month or two. If my gray/white hairs start taking over, I'll be able to look like Harper Lee. Neither look, is top on my list.
I began to wonder about the film and TV stars from long ago. Maybe those retro 1950's fashions would be more achievable.
After all, June Clever and Doris Day were soooo old, when I used to watch them on TV. But, what happened? Now I'm way older than the "old stars".
Luckily my hair's too short anyway, because I don't think I'm up for any of those hair-dos.
I was told by one person that my new hair made me look sexy. I'm afraid this dear friend is in her late 80's and she had a teasing grin when she paid the compliment.
I don't think I'll be working on my sexy image, right now. But how about energetic or theatrical? Mary Martin and Julie Andrews had a lot of spunk when they flew and sang and danced. Maybe I need to get back to dance classes, again. It's only been 40 years.
A stranger actually complimented my hair. He said it made me look like an artist. Now that could be a fun image to go for. I do own a couple of berets!
Some Friend Guidance
I'm not really going to suddenly fake being an artist, but that comment made me stop and think. My dear friend Lorie, happens to be an artist. She was rocking my same hair-do, 12 years ago when we had a brief reunion in Michigan.
I remember being delighted by her bold style. She pulled it off beautifully with her huge smile and classy/atsty clothing.
Lorie and I have never stopped communicating since our high school days. She's been on my mind lately, especially since she recently gave me some hair tips. Funny, I never would have had the nerve to cut my hair so short, like Lorie. But I have this great chance to try it out! How often do we get a little push to "change our image"? Yes, I can have fun and let this hair push me to wear new things... change it up a bit... even go so far to be inspired to try something new like painting or dancing. But mostly, I need to just be inspired by Lorie, to wear it like I chose it! I'm going to own this hair... at least for now!
Okay, I've been a good sport about the short and I haven't even griped much about the gray. But theses sudden waves appeared out of no where and I predict, a storm is a-coming!
There's nothing wrong with wavy hair, but I can see things are starting to sprout and bend and twist in odd ways. This photo from a week ago shows some fairly calm waves, but I now have an excited bunch of hairs towards the back. They are teaming up together to create an Alflafa look that I'm not fond of. There are also some amusing little flips here and there around my neck. I have no idea how to go about growing this hair longer.
When my hair gets as long as this little actor's, I may need to slick it down the way he did.
But I feel certain my hair sprout will be just as stubborn as his!
The oddest thing about this last week is that I'm experiencing growing pains! My scalp actually aches as if the hairs are growing in at such angles that my hair follicles are stressed. My tennis cap is uncomfortable. My pillow is no longer soft enough. I don't enjoy running my fingers through my crew cut anymore.
Oh well. This whole hair growth thing is at least, oddly entertaining!
A Good or Bad Holiday?
A year ago, I celebrated Valentine's Day, not knowing that there would be big changes in my life. I enjoyed the silly holiday of cards and candy. It's a treat today, to face this holiday with good health and to have the "bumpy road" behind me. But I'm thinking of a few I know right now, who are just at the beginning of the road.
I wish I could be of more help to others, who are just getting started, facing fears and unknowns. If they're like me, they don't want to be pestered with pep talks about the "journey" ahead. And they might even be annoyed by Valentine Hoopla. Holidays feel different, with cancer.
How Can I Offer Support?
I wish I had made a plan for getting involved with cancer patients or survivors or whatever you call us. I didn't even think about finding a support group in my most difficult months. But I do feel like I have plenty to offer at this point. And I have plenty of questions for those who have been there, as well.
My heart goes out to those who are having surgery or starting treatment today. This holiday will always be a little tainted by the memory.
Heading off With Valentines and Candy
I gave up on figuring out a way to help with cancer folks. Instead, I bought a few cards and some chocolate hearts and headed to another place, to offer support.
Once again I made a wig decision. Even though I've stopped wearing the wig, I wanted my visit to go well. I needed to be recognized. It's been 8 months since I've seen my 4 dear, elderly friends at the skilled nursing facility. There was a decent chance all 4 would no longer be alive. But they were! And I spent time with each of them, visiting in their rooms. It took a while for Dorothy and Dot to remember me. One has poor eyesight and the other has memory issues. It made it extra fun when they both finally figured out who I was. "When are you coming back with your quilt!" "We've missed you!"
I don't plan to go back with my regular group gatherings. But their smiles and warmth will keep me returning for visits. I won't need Valentine's Day as an excuse.
Starting Up Again
I've had 8 months to ponder my priorities. I knew I needed to make some decisions about returning to my quilt programs with seniors and kids.
I decided on a few changes and will be cutting back on the amount of time I "work". It felt good to make out a schedule before starting back, but I do admit, I actually felt nervous before meeting with each group.
A Cozy Theme
My theme for the senior groups was "House and Home". It was like indulging in my favorite comfort food. At all stops, the fun began, once I got past the reunion hugs... and a few awkward moments with those who had forgotten me... and those who didn't recognize me!
I loved sitting around the quilt with my old friends, questioning and sharing. We discussed "what makes a home" and shared memories of childhood homes... favorite porches and kitchens and windows. We sang songs about houses and even built a few with a deck of cards. It was good to be back.
A New Stop
I added a new stop with my quilt this past week. The IEDA Relief organization needed help with childcare, while parents were in ESL class. There were enough little ones that I had a chance to test my endurance.
A month ago, there is no way I could have spent 2 hours leaping about, keeping young ones entertained and distracted. It was nice to know my energy is back.
Kids at the Shelter
On Friday, I headed out to the Women's Shelter with the quilt and a few supplies. I ended up with only 2 young boys under my care. The weather was lovely and we spread the quilt out on the playground.
We ended up at a picnic table and we talked while the boys made Valentine's cards. It was a wonderful way to end the week, calm and peaceful and comfortable.
I've gotten back on the horse! I haven't forgotten how to lead a group large or small. It's good to be back.
Profile Pic Choice
Choosing a profile photo is not really high on my worry list. But a week ago, I decided it was time to reveal my current hair-do on Facebook. I eased my new wig-less image onto FB, by sharing the space with my 4-year-old, pixie self. It seemed safer.
I really do know that this whole short hair thing is not a big deal. But somehow posting the photo, made me worry less about bumping into acquaintances... who seem jolted by my drastically different hair and end up making awkward compliments.
Haha! It's obviously not all about me. I'm protecting others.
Driver's License Renewal
Yesterday, I had the task of getting my driver's license renewed. I started to dash out the door and then I paused. I'm getting so used to my short hair, so I didn't think about the photo choice. Hmm... do I really want my license to show my crew cut image for the next 10 years? I tossed on my wig and headed off.
Funny. I've griped about that wig for months. The two images don't really look that different!
I spent many of my childhood years in pixie cuts. I envied the girls with hair that moved. I dreamed of having a ponytail that swayed.
I longed to chew on my hair, like some girls. I admired my own mom who twirled her hair with her fingers, while talking on the phone.
Now I look back on those pixie years with envy. Well maybe not this particular cut, that looks like it was trimmed by me. But that pixie hair is longer than what I have now!
There's a good reason my mom kept my hair short. I was not the kind of kid who noticed if her hair was out of place. This is how I smiled for a photo at my friend's birthday party.
This photo is a reminder that I may have some odd hair-dos in my near future!
Embracing the Pixie
My hair is not quite as long a my old pixie. But I'm going to try to appreciate this period of growth, before things start getting really silly. Right now I can't even attempt bangs, even little choppy ones.
My hair is stubbornly growing in a number of directions. Because it's so short, you can't see the very odd cowlicks that are causing some swirls and sweeps, that may start to look pretty darn funny as my hairs lengthen.
I'm going to actually try to enjoy this "wash-and-go-mini-pixie" while I can!
I started this complaining list/blog, in May 2016. I posted 200 gripes about my breast CANCER and then I was done.
On March 13, 2020, I started venting all over again, when another disease (starting with a C) interfered with my life. This time it was the invasion of COVID and it affected every person. I ranted for a year, until I got my COVID vaccine in March 2021.
CORONARY Artery Disease was the reason I restarted this blog on September 26, 2021. This time it was my hubby Don, who was dealing with a worry that started with the letter "C".
Coronavirus and Cancer, Coronary Artery Disease! All are evil, but none can totally get me down... if I vent! I usually end up feeling a little more positive at the end of each post!
Navigating This Mess!
The most recent post is at the top, from coronary posts in 2022, back to cancer posts in 2016.
To find past posts, look below the "Archives" section, to find "Categories".