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Monday, May 23, 2011

The Balancing Act



Wow, my last post was sad, but that's how I felt that day...sad and depressed. And then as my mother told me a week later while laughing, I got my weave the next day and all was good! I went from sad to Beyonce in a few short hours. It's amazing what some hair can do...at least for me...but one of the reasons this was so hard in the 1st place was losing my hair...and as I make the transition back to having hair that looks "normal", each step (wig, baby hairs, hairpiece and new curls) has made me feel more like myself again. Why am I so shallow?? Who knows, but it's a part of me and always will be. I didn't take any pics of me of me in the wig and tried to delete any pics anyone else took, but as soon as I had some more hair, I was right back in front of the camera...the old me was back!

Losing my hair is still a fear for me, especially when the threat of another transplant looms in the distance. That is a possibility some day, but I can't focus on it now. Losing my hair was so devastating, I can't bear the thought of going through it again. Plus my new hair is so soft and curly!! And a big part of the hair drama was wrapped up in my wedding...I've had people tell me, "oh get a fabulous wig", oh you can wear a veil/scarf" and every time I wanted to scream at them, "NOOOO". That is NOT how I imagined I would look at my wedding, that's not how I want Ross to see me as I walk down the aisle. Thankfully, the good Lord has allowed me to have my dream, the weave (while very expensive!) is very natural and when I look in the mirror, I see the girl I always invisioned on her wedding day and I can't tell you the joy that gives me.

So when I think of the wedding, the hair, the chemo, the scans, work, friends, family, LIFE! I'm like how do I balance it all?? I feel like I'm several different people split into various areas of my life...going to the hospital for treatments, planning the wedding, and living my regular daily life. It's exhausting to have this balancing act and I still can't believe this is my reality! But wedding wise, I'm in good shape (ok, a little stressed out, but that's just me), we get married in a week and a half and then go to Greece for our honeymoon. Praise God for allowing the honeymoon to take place now, because there was a time I wasn't so sure. I had my bachelorette weekend in Miami a few weeks ago (some pics to the right) and it was soooo much fun! Just what I needed to get in a good place!

Of course, with every up there is a down. I found myself bawling this weekend as I watched an Oprah episode recapping an old show with a mother who died of breast cancer...I had seen the old show pre-diagnosis and it was really sad then, but it broke my heart now and most importantly, it scared me. I kept thinking, I don't want to die. I don't want to die. And I don't feel like I'm dying, most days I feel fine except for my persistent cough and the fact that I get tired easily when exerting a lot of energy. But the fact remains that there is still cancer in my body and it has to get out or I could die. And that's so scary, almost incomprehensible, unimaginable and horrifying all at once. This is coming from a person who had panic attacks about death as a child. I'm not ready to confront that...at all. And all the more frustrating is that my last PET scan showed my most recent treatment was a "wash" as my doctor called it, because the disease got smaller in some areas and larger in others, so he didn't want to continue with it because it "kind of" worked. Therefore I'm on a maintenance drug weekly and steroids while I'm in Greece to keep the disease at bay until I can start a new drug called SGN-35. It's about to approved by the FDA and supposedly a wonder drug...but I've heard that before, so we'll see. The good thing about this disease is that my doctor is amazing and on the cutting edge of all things lymphoma and they are constantly coming out with new drugs. He even told me that some people with lymphoma are being treated as though it's a chronic disease, getting treatment for a year and taking 2 years off and then going back to treatment when they've come out with a new drug. So there's hope that I could do that too, but honestly I just want to be done, I want to be cured damnit! And he told me that's still possible, so I continue to perform my amazing balancing act until that day comes.