Looking Good in Mexico
It's not easy to look stylish when your body is covered in layers of sunscreen and sweat. The wind doesn't help either, when it blasts an extra layer of salt and sand onto your sticky skin and hair. But our trip to Mexico wasn't about looking good.
I was more focused on feeling good and it felt incredibly good not having long strands of hair... sticking to my face and neck! Yay!
Taking Advantage of Short Hair!
I had 2 weeks in Mexico to celebrate the fact that I feel so darn good. No hairdryers and no worries. For about the first time in adult life, I dove into pools and the surf whenever I felt like it. Not once did I worry about keeping my hair dry. My showers were fast and I often went to dinner with my wet hair slicked back.
Since this was a non-glam trip for us, Don and I spent many hours in taxis with no air-conditioning and buses with open windows. I felt like a happy pup, with my face to the window, feeling the warm air blast away. I didn't have to fight my own hair whipping into my face. My short, gray curls just did their own little dance on top of my head. It's a new world.
Wind Blown and Happy
The wind did strange things to my hair. Even Don had a new style going, after this boat ride. I still don't know where I'm going with my hair style, but I enjoyed 2 weeks of not caring!
I Should Be Better!
I dread packing. I've had so much practice, but I don't have a good system.
But I refuse to complain. Tomorrow we leave for Mexico. I won't even complain about the 6 am flight. But the biggest thrill is that my packing is a whole lot less complicated now. After years of packing hairdryers and brushes, I am packing a comb. Even better than leaving a hairdryer at home, is leaving behind the wigs, the scarves and chemo caps!
Woohoo! This is pretty darn exciting!
I liked being in my 50s. It seemed so centered. It was right in the middle of life... since I plan to live to 100. 60 has no special flair.
But the number 60 looks pretty cool when it's written out with tiny, sparkle stars.
It also helps ease the pain of a new decade, when you know your daughter has written a special memory on each of those 60 stars, before they were folded!
I have to find lots of ways to make myself embrace this new age and stage.
I got kind of excited when I realized that Heidi and I have something special going on for the next 6 months! I remember noticing years ago, when Heidi had finally grown to half my height. Now she's a whole lot taller than me but, she is exactly half my age until October.
Funny, I remember when I turned 30 and realized I was half my mom's age! Mom and I didn't exactly celebrate our "half-time" period, but I think Heidi and I should.
I decided we should spend my birthday at the cabin in the Texas Hill Country. It seemed like a good idea, to spend a day or two without TV and Trump news. The bluebonnets were also a lure.
Birthday Greetings from Afar
On my birthday I enjoyed some calls and messages, but I especially loved my singing phone call! Scott and Chali's "Happy Birthday Song" came all the way from Virginia, where they were involved in a wedding. That made me laugh. I was excited to thank them for the gift they'd sent. A tiny donkey pin with abalone saddle! I squealed like a kid with a birthday toy, when I opened it. Scott and Cha know how much I adore donkeys and they know I love tiny things. I've spent this year channeling the stubborn donkey spirit to kick cancer. Now I'll wear my pin and kick this old age stuff!
So my Big Day has passed and I enjoyed every bit. I no longer need a party and balloons to make me happy. I have family and friends who are there for me year round. That's what I learned this year. So instead of a lot of party hoopla, I chose a way to celebrate all year and I'm going to do it with the spirit of a 6-year-old!
A New Blog
I'm taking my new age and removing the zero. I don't plan on becoming a 6-year-old for a year. That makes no sense.
Instead, I'm reflecting on who that 6-year-old-Beth was and how she enjoyed the world. I'm starting a new blog to share about the 60 mini celebrations, that I'll enjoy throughout the year.
These celebrations may last just a moment, like eating ice cream with a mechanical ride-on-horse. Or they could last an afternoon, like the day I spent with furry animals! My new blog will once again, force me to have some fun!
Glad to be 60!
A year ago when I celebrated my 59th birthday, I didn't imagine I'd turn 60 with short, gray hair and a cancer fight behind me. But, I can honestly say now, I'm glad to be 60. I live in a good place and in a good time. My cancer was treatable and I have been able to talk about it.
And best of all, look at my vase of 60 stars! There's plenty of room, so Heidi can make me new stars for many, many more years! Time to start making new memories!
I just got back from my 3 month check up with the oncologist. (Since starting Letrozole meds) I was thrilled to hear my blood work looked great. I even got some hair compliments, since this was the first time I walked in the office, wig-free!
Then I was told to put on a gown. I hate breast exams, especially since it was one such exam that got me on this road, last May. But in truth I was a oddly relieved when I knew I was getting one.
After diagnosis, but before my lumpectomy, it seemed like everyone in the world was focused on my breasts. It's an odd thing to have so many doctors and nurses handling those "turkeys" as my Great Aunt Margueritte used to call them. After a few weeks the focus changed.
Then suddenly the focus was on the scores, the tests, the machines, the chemo, the radiation machine. Even if I was examined, my scars were being looked at, or my skin. "What about these lumps!" I asked repeatedly. I was told they would go away... post surgery stuff... not to worry.
Time Goes On
Then after Christmas, I suddenly wasn't seeing doctors on a regular basis. There was no one checking up on me to make sure all was well. For 3 months, I tried to believe the doctors were right about those lumps being okay.
So, today I was happy to have a breast exam by the oncologist and to hear the words again, that all was okay. Some of the "lumps" are just tightness due to radiation. It will go away and massage can help.
It was a relief to have a good report today. But I still have more than a month until my diagnostic mammogram. I'm going to be really, really happy to get that one behind me.
...unless they are from people that I'm very fond of!
This was a volunteer week for me. I always enjoy gathering with my senior groups, laughing around the quilt covered tables.
Mary eventually told me about a man she'd met at a nursing home who had hair just like mine. That just cracked me up. She wasn't in love with my hair. She was in love with a memory. "Well I hope he was handsome." I said. And I'm guessing he was by the way she grinned. Then Mary's story made me think of my dad's wavy hair. He is not in a nursing home, but I'm guessing Mary would think my dad was pretty handsome.
A Second Compliment
Today I volunteered at the assisted living center where my mom moved 12 years ago. I saw Myrna, who used to clean Mom's room, when Mom was in the early stages of Alzheimer's.
Myrna and I hadn't seen each other since I'd returned after cancer. She hugged me and smiled at my new hair. "Oh you are looking more and more like your mother!" She smiled so sweetly.
Hmmm? That's a thought. My gray hair and wrinkles are aging me... so I look about 80?
But I love sweet Myrna, who was so good to my mom. Those words made me laugh and then smile. I will take that compliment, happily.
I'm actually happy to know I look like my mom. Her hair was soft and white, in this photo 10 years ago.
I miss having Mom at my Quilt Group gatherings
Dad's Good Hair
And I especially don't mind, when they lead me to thinking about other special people.
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. Only this time, it was affecting more than me. I ranted for a year, until I got my vaccine in March 2021.
Coronary Artery Disease was the reason I restarted this blog on September 26, 2021. This time it was 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!