Monday, June 29, 2015

"My" cat

Have I told you about my cat? She's not really mine, but she thinks she is. ... Sometimes.

Judy and I have been watching her for months, Rear Window style, because there's not much else to do when one of us is living through chemo and the other of us is taking care of the chemo patient, and we can't, for the life of us, figure out who her real people are. She's very friendly and goes in and out of several apartments in my little courtyard.

Every once in a while, she's on my doorstep when I come home or she follows me up the stairs and just waltzes in like she owns the place. (I love that about cats!)

Today, I came home from work and she was lying in front of my downstairs neighbor's door. As soon as she saw me, she came running, and then proceeded to follow me home.

I used to not think cats followed people, but this crazy girl has changed my mind.


After a grueling three hours at work this morning (I know that three hours shouldn't be grueling, but I'm more tired than I've been since that day that I woke up early to be at the airport and fly halfway across the country a couple weeks ago), it was a perfect day to have a furry little friend for a few hours.


There are few things in this world that make me happy in the same way that a purring kitty does.

I know that weird little cat isn't really mine, but this afternoon, she was. ... And then, at dinner time, I opened the door and she walked right out and I got to enjoy my fiberlicious spaghetti without an animal trying to get into my lap.

I have a cat, but I don't have to feed or clean up after a cat. It's the best of both worlds, for sure!

Life is just a bowl of cherries

I'm sitting in bed this morning, watching Covert Affairs (I'm in season five, so it's almost over) and eating a bowl full of of cherries, feeling a little upside down and inside out about this day, when I thought of this old Mary Engelbreit picture.



I'm going back to work this morning. It's very part time, and I'll be doing admin projects for the CFO rather than going back to my department and working with lending. I am incredibly grateful that the bank has been so supportive of me wanting to reinstitute some normalcy in my life, and I'm looking forward to figuring out if my brain still works. (Chemo brain is the bane of my existence. It's better than it was, but I still get surprised by my memory lapses and/or the inability to find the right word(s).)

I'm excited to go back to work. I'm also a little nervous about how my body will react to getting put back on a schedule. It's going to be so great to see my work friends again on a regular basis. That said, I'm a different version of me than I was just six months ago, and I can't help but wonder if/how things will/could be the same.

Like I said, I'm feeling a little upside down and inside out. Grateful, excited, invested, anxious, concerned, curious, committed. I am all of those things, and some more that I can't quite put a finger on. (Again, with the cursed inability to articulate.) But I am full of cherries and I am full of hope, and I've got to think that's a winning combination.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Did you know?

MD Anderson was a person! 


Not, MD, as in Dr. Anderson (though he was a doctor), but Monroe D. Anderson.

He was a person. And he started this amazing thing. (Well, him and some other awesome people started it.) But he was a person, and he wanted to help people who had cancer. ... I sort of love him.


I love him and his red brick buildings. They were gorgeous, and I SO didn't get enough pics to show you even half of what was the Houston MDA campus.

Both of these shots were taken from the pedway that connected the hotel (above) to the hospital itself.



Judy and I walked from the hotel to my Monday afternoon appointment, and when we turned the corner and saw this sign, it was... well... it was amazing.

A Sarcoma Center. 

An entire department, with multiple doctors dedicated to people with sarcoma diagnoses.



Here, I was not an anomaly. Here, I was just a patient.

(And I mean that in a good way.)

And, oh my gosh... the hotel. MD Anderson owns an adjacent hotel, on MDA property, specifically for the use of MDA patients and their caregivers, managed and operated by Marriott.

Hello! This is the view of the lobby, from the restaurant on the 2nd floor.


Also, can I tell you how much I love a hotel that has a self-serve frozen yogurt station that's open 24/7?

Uhm, no. No, I cannot. Because there aren't words for that kind of love.


And, hello! ... Best froyo flavor. 

Of. All. Time.


I seriously couldn't even tell you how many free samples I had of this stuff. It was amazing.

And there's a little restaurant across from the froyo stand that has a breakfast and lunch salad bar.


Amazing, beautiful, GLORIOUS fruits and vegetables (and grilled salmon), by the pound. This was the first time I'd had oranges and strawberries since chemo. Oh, my. The agony and the ecstasy. (But it was worth it. ... Mostly, because I had a toothbrush only 6 floors up, and I could get that acid out of my mouth asap.)

Oh my gosh, Houston was awesome. (I say that like we saw the city. We so didn't. But the hotel and the accommodations - oh, right, and the medical facility - were totally awesome!)

Project Chia Pet - Week 1

I've had a lot of comments on my hair growth in the last week, and today I had the thought... "What if I documented how fast it's growing by doing comparison shots every week?!"

And then I picked up my phone and took a selfie to do just that. Don't worry that I'm wearing my pink flowery robe and my glasses instead of actual clothes and my contacts here, so it's not an EXACT side-by-side.

But still... Would ya look at that?




It's darker.

And it's longer.

This time last week, I could barely grab onto the hair on the top of my head. Now, it's long enough that I can actually PULL it! ... It's very exciting. (Possibly also a little masochistic, because I yank on it about twenty times a day (uhhhh... because I can!), but mostly it's just exciting.)

My plan is to do a selfie side-by-side every Friday so all thirteen of you who read this ridiculous blog can have a visual of my new Chia hair as it comes back in. You're so welcome.

*Answers to questions I get asked all the time:

Yes, it's super soft.
I can't tell yet whether it's curly or straight.
It's very close to my original color, with maybe a little more gray mixed in.
No, I'm not shampooing it. (Some things never change, right?) But seriously, it doesn't need to be washed. It doesn't get greasy or dirty feeling. At all. If anything, my scalp is still so dry that I feel compelled to rub moisturizer into the top of my head twice a week. It's so weird.

Flora and fauna

I've been home for almost a week, and I'm finally posting some pics from Houston.

 I've been tired. Too tired to open my laptop. (But not too tired to marathon Covert Affairs on Amazon.)

Don't judge.

Anyhoo... we didn't get out much (I'm tired enough here, in my own home, living on my usual schedule... you don't even want to know how tired I was in Texas after traveling and not sleeping in my own bed for days on end), but last Friday... we DID get out. My mom's cousin, Jan, came and picked us up and took us to lunch and then drove us around town for a while so we could see some of Houston.

It. Was. Gorgeous.


For real. How amazing is this house?!


And the trees.

Oh, my. THE TREES. Leaves growing on the branches and trunks of trees.


These next two pics were taken in the courtyard of the restaurant where we had lunch with Jan.






Suffice it to say... the view from the MD hotel was substantially better.


And these were the trees in front of the MD Hotel.

They were super awesome. Very delicate flowers, both bright and soft pinks. 





The landscaping was incredible. Lush, almost tropical. Not what I was expecting to see in Texas. AT ALL.

And then Judy and I took some selfies in front of the pink trees, because as much as the trees were super pretty... we think we might be even prettier.


We crack ourselves up.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I don't look like Voldemort anymore!

Behold:


The pic on the left was taken May 24th, the pic on the right was taken today.

My goodness, the difference a month can make (post-chemo, anyway) is astonishing!

Those are my real eyebrows and my real lashes. I'm not wearing a stitch of makeup in either shot. Which, as we all know, is not my usual MO when it comes to pics I post on the www (or even let people take in the first place), but I wanted a true side by side.

While I know my eyelashes will have a relatively short shelf life - they'll just fall out again the next time I restart chemo - I have a couple good months of mascara ahead of me!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Cancer's so freaking sexy

Some days (like when I have to get blood drawn, and the nurse has a guaranteed stick without having to try and hit a vein), I think my port's about the coolest thing ever.

And other days (like today, when I look down and happen to see the a vein literally popping right up and out of my chest), I think it's pretty vile that I have foreign matter imbedded in my chest, and a freaking tube stuffed inside one of my veins.


Don't worry about how my coping skills sometimes include taking a picture of the stuff that grosses me out...

But seriously, how nuts is that vein that pops up/out when I am in a reclining position?!

I'm grateful that it doesn't pop when I'm sitting/standing upright, and that it's only when I'm at an incline that I'm reminded that I'm sort of part robot now, but still... it's like my body couldn't get any weirder if it tried. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday


So... there's good news, semi-good (which is actually sort of bad news, but I'm choosing to call it "semi-good") news and totally awesome news.

Good news: the tumor wrapping itself through and around my large and small intestines is roughly unchanged since my last scan in May (side by side above - left is my May CT, right is the CT portion of the PET/CT done yesterday)

Semi-good news: there's a spot in my back that lit up hot in the PET. That it's hot is a fairly good indicator that the spot in my back is de-differentiated. So, I have two different stages of cancer growing in this body right now. Awesome possum.

Totally awesome news: the hot spot was graded as 4.9, and they don't officially recognize de-differentiated liposarcoma and begin treatment until it's over a 5. Soooo... yesterday's scan just bought me another 2-3 months chemo-free. Wahoo!

Dr. Z will get me scheduled here in TX for a scan in two months. She wants to bump my every three month schedule up to two, so she can watch what's happening between rib #9 and #10 very closely. As soon as that little dude hits anything higher than a 5 on a radiologist's report, or breaches any major systems, or starts causing symptoms, we'll talk chemo. Until then, my hair and my lashes are greenlit to keep growing!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thursday

It's been a crazy morning, buuuuuuut...


The PET is happening. Today. Woot!

I check in at 1:00. I'll be injected with radioactive matter around 1:30, and the scan itself will happen at 3:00. And since 3:00 is before 4:00, this should give Dr. Z enough lead time that she'll be able to prep my case to present it to the board for additional opinions tonight. 

Halle-freakin-lujah!

I don't have my follow up appointment with her scheduled as yet, but her scheduler has assured me that they'll figure out a way to squeeze me into her already full day tomorrow.

*Deep breaths.*

It's all coming together. Last night, even though I knew there was still time, I was in a little bit of a panic. (Don't believe me? Ask the friend and cousin I was texting, frantically.) But it's all falling into place, with basically perfect timing.

Once again, I have been shown that there is A Grand Design for my life. Especially when the things that matter the most to me are completely and totally out of my control, and they still fall miraculously into place, I am aware that I am loved and watched over. 

Today is going to be fine, and tomorrow I'll have some answers.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wednesday

So... this is what I did most of today.


Yeah, that's my very fancy view of the parking lot through a rain streaked window.

It's been raining off and on all day. Judy and I had been mocking Hurricane Bill's "heavy rain and strong winds" (listen, we've lived in Taylor, where 50 mph winds aren't all that rare, and we've weathered many a crazy monsoon storm in the great state of Arizona), but then we went for a walk this afternoon and saw this.




So maybe there is something to these tropical storms after all. Or maybe we could insert an analogy here about how the Arizona trees don't fall in a mere 20 mph wind because their roots have had to grow deep all their lives. Either way, consider our mocking of this storm retracted, because it turns out 20 mph winds can cause all kinds of damage when the ground is soaked. Those upended trees are downright scary!

Meanwhile, back at the hotel... I'm still waiting for an insurance approval before MD can schedule my scan OR my followup appointment. Ugh.

I know it can take time for the insurance approval to come through. Please. It's wrecked my schedule more than once when I'm on my own home turf, so I'm not surprised that it's taken 48+ hours. But still, I am bugged. Oh, well.

There's still time for an approval and a scan tomorrow. The doctor will need to have the scan done by 4:00 for her to get the results in time to present my case at the board meeting tomorrow night, but I have hope that it'll all work out for a round table discussion Thursday night and a treatment plan to be presented on Friday. And if it doesn't... then I'll look into moving the return flight and extending my stay through the beginning of next week. That's not what I want to do, but it's in the realm of possibilities, and it's not really all that bad of a worst case scenario.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tuesday

It's Tuesday, and Judy and I are holed up in the hotel, waiting for a call from MD that my insurance has approved the scan and I can come back. As I didnt get out of there until 4:00 yesterday, and it's noon-thirty as I type this... my money's on the scan happening tomorrow, not today.

Which is fine with me.

Because, A) We're watching Tropical Storm Bill happen outside our 3rd story window. Ten feet of rain's a lot of water, and while it hasn't all come down yet... the city's on flood warning and we'd rather not be out in that. Also, B) I've been up and about way too much over the past two days. It's been great to have a day to stay in bed and off my feet.

Also, this is the reason I'm here for six days. I know that nothing is fast or easy when it comes to getting answers. I have cable TV, a fridge full of snacks that I can eat without having to leave the room, and a Sonic that's directly across the street if I have a sudden need for a giant soda. Win/win/win.

Texas is gorgeous. The people have been awesome. Every person I interacted with in the first 24 hours here was perfectly lovely. I'm so glad that I'm here, that Houston was my #4. I don't know that they'll have a TON of options outside of what I was presented with in Arizona, and it will most likely be chemo again... but they have access to different drugs here that I might be a good candidate for.

A lot of people are asking how I'm feeling, so I'll adress that here. Right now, I feel fine. Pretty normal, actually. My body was completely wasted by the end of the day yesterday, but after a little Panda Express and 8 solid hours of sleep last night, I woke up feeling more like myself this morning. Still bone tired, but my legs aren't swollen and achey anymore, hallelujah!

Emotionally, I'm also fine. I'm sure that a lot of that is that I'm in an emotional holding cell until I can actually get more information. Four weeks ago, the 3-6 month timeline was incredibly hard to hear, much less believe. And it's not like my body actually feels any different than it did 4 weeks ago, but I've had time to sit with that information and accept this as my new reality. This doesn't mean that I'm giving up or giving in, but I am accepting that this tumor is a threat in a way that nothing else ever has been. It's wrapping itself around an organ that I can't live without, so surgery isn't an option. The doctor talked yesterday about a couple different chemos she thinks might do something. ... We'll see. She needs the scan before she can formulate a real opinion (and get a timeline for when we'd have to start), and then I'll have to make some hard decisions. But for now, I am feeling pretty good and am emotionally stable. I know it's just a lull in the storm, but since Judy's here with me and we're in a hotel, it's SORT OF like a vacation.

Of course, I'll continue to post updates as I learn anything new. Or maybe I'll just post pics of the flooded streets. Either way, check back tomorrow and there'll be something here.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday

Here's the scoop on today... There really isn't one. Ha! I had to be there at noon, did registration stuff until 1:00, and then started with the nurse and worked my way up the food chain through the PA and then the doctor. I didn't leave until 4:00. It was super awesome. The PA was really thorough in asking questions and she did a physical exam. The doctor was also AWESOME at asking questions and listening to answers. They'll need to do diagnostic tests before they can formulate a plan. She's going to try and get me in for a pet asap. If the insurance won't pay for the PET, she'll step down to a CT, but the PET will give more specific info as to the tumor type (well vs de-differentiated liposarcoma... well differentiated - my historical diagnosis - is best treated with surgery, de-differentiated liposarcoma responds better to chemo and other traditional treatments), so she's pushing for that. Once she has scan results, she'll present me to the board and they'll have a round table discussion. I'm a tricky case because the way my body presents and the way my pathology reports read contradict each other. The board meets Tues and Thurs nights, so I should have a better idea of what's going on - and what they can do about it - on Wednesday or Friday.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Aaaaaaand, we're here!

It is so green and lush. 


The red brick buildings are gorgeous.


And (*tonight, anyway) our hotel is very fancy. 

This is the view of the atrium from the table where we ate dinner. 

(At a restaurant INSIDE the hotel. This is all very exciting for two girls from Taylor, AZ


It's good to be here. Marriott service (and pillows) connected to MD Anderson by pedway? It's pretty much the best thing ever.

*As of now, we're at The Jesse H. Jones Rotary House tonight, Thurs and Fri nights. Because this hotel is specific to MD patients, they operate on a full-to-capacity status 24/7. If another patient is released and able to go home early, it's possible that a room will open up for Mon-Wed, but we're double booked a couple miles down the road so we'll have somewhere to sleep either way. I mean, I'd rather just walk across the street to go to the doctor, but... I'll take a free shuttle from two miles down the street if I have to.

One more last...

This morning, I took my last shower before I go to Texas.

I've had so many first and lasts in the past five years, but for some reason... the showers always seem to carry significant weight.

I vividly remember the last shower before my first surgery, running my hand across my swollen and extended belly, knowing it was the last time I'd ever touch my stomach without feeling a scar.

I'll never forget how hard it was to wash my hair for the last time, knowing that in mere hours it would be cut off and packaged to send to the wigmaker.

I will always remember the shock of hot water splashing against my head the first time I showered after my hair fell out. Hot water has never felt as awesome as it did in that first baldie shower.

Coming home from the hospital after every round of chemo, I was so weak that I could barely shuffle from the car to my apartment, but I would still somehow gather up the gumption to step into my tub and take a shower. Washing the smell of chemo off my skin was more important to me than sleep, and sleep was more precious than gold.

This morning, I stood in my shower, with my forehead against the wall. As tears rolled down my face and water rolled off my shoulders, I couldn't help but think, "One more 'last'."

Because, tomorrow, my life will change. Again.

I have a return flight booked for Saturday. Only time will tell if I'll be flying home, back to the comfort of my own shower, in six days... or if they'll keep me in Houston for surgery/treatment for a few weeks or months.

I'm not even gone yet, but I'm already homesick for my own home.

Going to Houston is hard. It's what I need to do, and I'm so grateful that I'm strong enough and in a position that I can go, but it's still hard. I'm taking my own soap with me, so I'll still smell like me. But I know that I won't 100% feel like me again until I am home, taking that first shower in my own bathroom, starting the next phase of my life.

Friday, June 12, 2015

24 hours later

It is done.

I am packed.


Yes, that's one carry-on with clothes for six days. 

Including three hats, two scarves, a sweater (in case I get cold in the sweltering humity that is Houston in the middle of June) and an extra pair of shoes. All that's missing is the toiletries that I'll be using from now 'til Sunday morning.

I know. ... I'm, surprisingly, a minimalist when it comes to traveling.

And just in case they end up keeping me in Texas and I want some more wardrobe options...


I have this box packed and ready to be shipped to me.

And yeah, that's another week worth of clothes in that little box.

I know, I'm sort of a packing wunderkind. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

48 hours

It's 9:00 on Thursday night. By this time Saturday, I need to be packed and ready to go Sunday morning.

And, all of a sudden, I'm in a dead panic about Texas.

Am I doing laundry, or anything else even remotely productive in the way of packing/prepping? Uh... no. Instead, I'm sitting in my bed, eating ice cream and marathoning Covert Affairs on Netflix.

And when I'm done with this ice cream, I'm gonna give myself an Ativan chaser and get ready for bed.

I am soooooo not a real grownup.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A few talking points

In the last several weeks, I've had a few friends/family members break down and say the words...

"I just don't know what to say."

And, ya know what? That's alright. It is totally alright not to know what to say. Hell, I don't know what to say about what's going on in my guts right now. If anyone/everyone else knew exactly what to say I'd be shocked. (Oh, and jealous, since I'm so often riding the line between being at a loss for words and starting to wonder if the only words I know anymore are the cusswords.)

So, I thought maybe I'd throw out some talking points. You know, in case any of the 27 people who read this blog have been wanting to say something to me, but haven't been sure where to start.

As always, there are three responses that I happen to think are always appropriate when anyone (and I do mean anyone) is facing any kind of trial or trauma (and I do mean any kind of trial or trauma) in their life:

I love you.
I'm so sorry this is happening.
Is there anything I can do to help?

Beyond the three golden statements, there are, of course, several other approved topics of conversation.

Feel free to talk to me:

About your kids
If you've seen a good movie
To tell me what you're reading
Why you think it's ridiculous that everyone on Facebook is obsessing over Caitlyn Jenner
When you try a new recipe for chocolate cake and decide it's the best thing ever
To brag about how your new car gets such incredible gas mileage

Screenshot the lamest thing you've seen on Facebook all day long and send it to me to make me laugh. Call to talk to me about why work is stressing you out. Text me because you're about to explode over how great/terrible it is that the kids are out of school and the entire neighborhood has moved into your kitchen/fridge/pantry for the summer.

You guys, I know this may be hard to believe, but... I'M STILL ME.

I may be sporting a new baby bird fuzz hairdo. I may be about a zillion times more tired than I used to be. I may have been given 3-6 months, outside of a major medical intervention, to live. But please hear me when I say this; I am still me and that means that I still care about all of the important (by which I mean: actually important, but also mundane and seemingly inconsequential) details of your life.

Now, there are a few things that I don't want to hear. So, I'll be real blunt and tell you:

- Don't talk to me about how hard this is for you. I am truly and deeply sorry that my being sick has an effect on so many of the people I know and love, but I can't help anyone else process this. I'm doing my level best to keep my own head above water and therefore cannot be an emotional support to anyone outside of the circle that is my own personal space.

- Don't question my medical choices by offering differing medical advice or miracle cure-all's.

- Don't tell me that I did this to myself.

Don't tell me that I have cancer because I ate too much sugar (in cake, or any of its other delicious forms) or bacon (if one more person tells me that we shouldn't eat cancer-causing pork because of the cloven hooves, I'm gonna lose it) or because I've been carrying an extra 50 lbs around for most of my adult life. Even if you believe this is true, don't say it. It won't help me - in any way - for you to say any version of this out loud, and it will do some serious damage to our relationship if I hear these words come across your lips, esp if you say it after I've told you not to.

- Do not, for the love of all that is holy, read me scriptures, tell me that all things have a purpose, that God doesn't give us more than we can handle, or that my reward will be great when this is all said and done.

Because while I do actually believe that God has a plan for my life, and have accepted that the cancer is part of His plan for me (because we all know for dang sure I wouldn't have added this to my own mortality itinerary), I swear that I will CUT the next person who tries to bring the spirit into this fight.

If I choose to go down a spiritual road during a conversation, then I will need your support and understanding as I talk through those points, but what I don't want is for anyone to think they're my spiritual coach and need to pump me up by sending me scriptures or spiritual/uplifting memes. I will cut you. (And I hate blood. A lot. So that should give you an idea of how much I don't want this to be said/done.)

But really, outside of the four things I've just told you not to talk to me about... Just about anything goes.

You know me. In the way of conversation, just about everything has always gone. 

I love you, and I know you love me. I'm scared, and I know that the people who are closest to me are, too. But don't let yourself get so wigged out that you can't talk to me. You can, and you should. I want you to talk to me. I need you to talk to me. We can talk about the cancer, or we can talk about how Scandal went completely off the rails at the end of season four, or we can talk about the coolest thing you saw on your family vacation, or how you really want to make suckers, but can't find the molds, or about what's new on Netflix. Or whatever.

I'm still me. And you're still you. So, we're still friends and/or family. We can't let the cancer stop us or shut us up, because then it wins. ... And as for me and my house, we don't believe in letting the cancer win.

On the street where I live

May 6th was the first day that I was strong enough to walk outside after round four. May 8th was the first time I had been strong enough to walk a mile since December 23rd. (It may have been a 40 minute mile, but whatever. It was still a freaking mile!)

Every day since May 8th, I've been able to walk a mile. Some days, two. And a few days, two and a half... almost three. (These were the days that it was nice enough in the afternoon/evening for me to go on a walk. And/or the days that I was so pissed off that I needed to walk more, regardless of the weather or the fact that the skin on my toes was breaking, so I could burn off some frustration/anger at The Tumor That Will Not Die.)

That's 34 straight days of walking, kids, and 32 days of walking at least a mile.

I know that a mile isn't really all that far, but I'm here to tell you... in this body, esp after chemo, every day that I feel well enough, strong enough, to leave my little house and go for a walk around the block is a win.

I may be slow, but it doesn't matter. I can walk. Outside. And that has been such a gift.

And a few of my favorite trees are, miraculously, still in bloom. (I took this pic this morning.)


I haven't been able to wander far from home, because I often have to turn around and come back (my heart starts beating too fast, a serious hot flash hits me and I can't catch my breath, or my joints - any joint, anywhere on the way from hips down to my toes, literally... my toes - will seize), but these wiry, wispy, yellow-flowered trees on my street have been making my day. For 34 days straight.

I'm pretty sure that Texas will change things, that it will be too wet/humid to walk outside while I'm there, and most likely too hot to keep walking outside here once I get back, but for now... I can walk. Outside. Every day.

And for that, I am grateful.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

That awkward moment when you have to tell a stranger you're wearing a wig...

So, here's a fun story from my actual life.

After my little daytrip last week, I'd been needing to put some gas in my car for a few days, so I ran over to Danny's (or what used to be Danny's, for the life of me, I can't remember the new name of that gas station) to get some gas. While I was there, I decided to let the staff wash the bug guts off my grill. And I figured I should buy some peanut M&M's while the car was getting wiped down. (Can I eat an entire package of M&M's in one sitting yet? No. But I'm working on it. And I'm currently up to eating six M&M's consecutively before my tongue swells and my mouth hurts. Dang these stupid mouth sores all to heck. I hate them.)

Aaaaaaaanyway, this is the conversation I had with the gas station cashier when I was buying my M&M's:

Cashier: I really like your hair.
Me: Thank you.
Cashier: No, I really like it. It's so pretty!
Me: Thank you.
Cashier: I don't know why, but I never do my hair like that.
Me: You have really pretty hair, too.
Cashier: So... how do you get the curls to stay like that?
Me: (pause) I don't know.
Cashier: No, really. Is it your curling iron, or is it hairspray?
Me: Honestly, I don't know.
*dramatic pause while she looks at me suspiciously, like I would lie to her about how I do my hair*
Me: It's a wig. And it was styled before she sent it to me. So, honestly... I have no idea what she did to make the curls at the top/front stay this perfect.
Cashier: But you have a part!
Me: I know.
Cashier: It doesn't LOOK like a wig!
Me: Thank you.
Cashier: It's so pretty!
Me: Thank you.

And then she handed me my change and my wig and I walked outside to sit in the sun and eat our candy.

Awkward wig moments are my new favorite.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Maybe the very best thing about my new removable hair? ... I can take it off my head and let other people try it on. Dinner at the Woods' house was very good times tonight!


Cili 


Maggie


Sally


They're adorable as blondes, no doubt. But if their blond ever goes to brown, I think they'll all be just fine.

Love these little ladies!

It's time for a little sensory overload, kids...

Remember how I had said that I have a photographer friend who'd volunteered to do a photoshoot with the wig? Well... that happened and I got the CD with the pics back last night. I had asked her to shoot me both with and without the wig (because being bald is part of it). 

I'll run through some color pics with the wig first. (There are b&w versions of every color pic, but for the purpose of showing you the color and the high and lowlights of the wig, I'm only posting color versions of the wig wearing shots.)















And here are some of the baldies:








Pics were taken at Mesa Arts Center. Photo cred to Melodee Fiske @ MLFotography. She's awesome, super easy to work with and very affordable. If you live in (or visit) the greater Phoenix area and are looking for a photographer for a family photoshoot, I couldn't recommend anyone more strongly.