Ever since I had chemo, I’ve been experiencing the joys of menopause. Hot flashes all the time … very fun waking up every hour at night and very fun trying to concentrate at work when your body has turned into a human oven. It means I always have to wear short sleeve shirts since when a hot flash comes, you can’t have anything on your arms — not a blazer, not a sweater, not a turtleneck, not even a long sleeve shirt. So…… when I’m not staring at people with hair, I’m completely distracted staring at people who wear sweaters to work. I’m in awe of those who wear blazers and keep them on all day, even in hot conference rooms. And I’m completely and utterly in awe of those women who wear sweaters UNDER their blazers. These are truly super human beings in my mind.
After my Oophorectomy, I noticed that the nurse wrote “2 weeks of pelvic rest” on my discharge papers. I had never heard that term, so I asked for clarity. How ironic. You have your ovaries out and they tell you not to use tampons (duh… I just had my ovaries out, not really planning to menstruate any time soon!). They also say you can’t have sex for 2 weeks. Really? Is that what they’re worried about when you’ve just had painful pelvic surgery???? They also say you can’t douche for 2 weeks. Now there’s a word I haven’t even heard since the 70’s. Who knew they even made such things anymore???????????????????????????????????
When I looked up “ooferectomy” in wikepedia, I thought it ironic that in the first sentence, it mentioned that this procedure is called “spaying” when not in humans. As if I’m not feeling crappy enough, I now have to be compared to a new puppy???????
When I came back from maternity leave after my daughter was born, I was completely obsessed about losing the last 10 lbs of baby weight. I would sit in meetings, completely unable to concentrate on the business at hand, while I focused on how thin all the women seemed to be. I would stare at them in their little pencil skirts, amazed at their ability to tuck in their blouses and even wear belts.
Here it is 12 years later, and I find myself equally distracted. Only now, in my post chemo state, I’m obsessed with people’s hair. I stare at people in meetings, amazed at how much hair they all seem to have. As I sit month after month waiting for my hair to grow in, I’m in awe of those with a full head of hair; I’m in awe of those who have enough hair to blow dry or to wear headbands or pony tails. Totally distracting. That’s all I can say; totally distracting. Ironic, isn’t it? I’ve had my whole body surgically altered as a result of the breast cancer surgery, and yet the only thing that distracts me is hair…………
When I told my daughter I had to have my ovaries out, she said, “No offense, but doesn’t it make you feel weird that they’re taking out the one thing that makes you a woman?”.
How odd that she doesn’t think having both your breasts chopped off would make you feel ever so slightly less womanly………..
I’ve been putting on mascara for 30 years. It’s a little like brushing your teeth. You just do it; you don’t think about it. That was until my eyelashes fell out during chemo. I went 3 months without any eyelashes, so I got a little out of practice.
You’d think it would be like riding a bike, right? Take 3 months off and them jump right back on the bike, right?
Not so. Now I’ve got eyelashes again and I’m able to put on mascara every morning (which is good since my hair is freakishly post-chemo short and I look a little freaky without mascara and a cool pair of earrings!). Here’s the problem: I suck at putting on mascara. I guess I’m so happy to have eyelashes again, that just keep applying and applying and applying.
I look like freaking Tammy Faye Bakker!!
I just had my “exchange” surgery this week. It’s the oh so subtle name they give the reconstruction surgery … the one where they take out the temporary “tissue expanders” and put in the permanent implants. My daughter commented that she thought “exchange” was kind of a weird name for a surgery. As she said, “if you could do an exchange surgery, wouldn’t you trade in the tissue expanders for real breasts????”. Good point.
before, the following were considered compliments that I used to like to hear:
you look fit, toned, well rested,
you have nice teeth, white teeth, toned arms, good legs, six pack abs, beautiful eyes
you are smart, nice, in good shape, have good skin, nice haircut,
First with my bald head, and now with my super short crew cut I hear things like,
“you have a good shaped head”
“you have good ears; they don’t stick out much at all”
“you have an appropriate size head for scarves”
“you have good bone structure to sport a crew cut”
wow… it’s amazing how one’s definition of a compliment can change overnight!
• drive in a convertible without worrying about my hair do
• wear a baseball cap all day, take it off and not worry about hat head
• wash my hair, step out of the shower and be ready for work 10 minutes later (ok… it helps that I have no eyelashes that require mascara!!)
I’m now understanding why men shave their heads!
When I was pregnant, I always found it odd that perfect strangers would come up to me and touch my belly. It drove me crazy. Think about it … someone who you probably wouldn’t even shake hands with is walking up to you and patting your belly. Odd, right? Here I am 12 years later, with my hair just growing back after chemo, and I’m having an out of body experience as perfect strangers are walking up to me and saying, “oh … I love your short hair cut”. As they’re talking, they are rubbing my head as though they are at the carpet store, trying to determine if the carpet is soft enough for their children.
It’s a good thing most strangers don’t know about my surgery …. not sure I’m ready for perfect strangers to be checking out the plastic surgeon’s handy work……………..