Today has been a weird roller-coaster for me. I have obsessed over my dry, brittle, breaking fingernails, lamenting the loss of each one in a strange sort of way. It frustrates me, the little ways that chemo has destroyed my body. Then I read the story of a woman who will never stop having chemo. She can pull her nails out of her fingertips because they are so decayed. I cringe at the thought. She is four years older than me and she is dying. She has no idea how long the chemo will keep her alive. Talk about some perspective. They say it takes 8 weeks for the more minor side effects of chemo to stop. This woman will never feel that freedom. I can bear broken nails and minor nausea for a few more weeks.
It will be while before I begin to feel the effects of my radiation treatments, and I have been up and around a bit more. I find that after 15 minutes, I often need a break but today I was able to be out and about with Brian and the children for a while. It was a big day. A trip to the bank for the boys to open their own savings accounts, and a trip down memory lane for Mommy as I watched my little guys sit in those large chairs across from the “nice man at the bank”. They were thrilled to watch the coin sorter grab their pennies ($25 in change between their two piggy banks!), and Asher kept telling me, “Look, Mom, I have two receipts!” It was good to be part of life again, even if it meant sitting in the chairs at the bank lobby coloring quietly with Audrey.
Lunch out together, two short stops at stores, running into friends, and huge hugs made for a fun but exhausting afternoon. One of my favorite moments was when I was wiping up Asher’s face after lunch.
“Goodness, buddy!” I exclaimed, “You need some chapstick. Your lips are so red.”
Ash hesitated for a moment, then said quite seriously, “Um, Mom, that’s what color lips are supposed to be.”
I guess he thought I had forgotten. After all, I complain about my chemo brain all the time. I busted up laughing in the middle of the restaurant, and for once, people weren’t looking at me because of my wig. And yes, it’s a new one and it’s short and red. Chestnut red. I agonized over that decision even though my “stylist” and Kristin both told me how much they liked it and what a great color it is on me. I’m just not one for change, not that my life has changed much over the last six months or anything. I finally called Brian and asked him what he thought.
“Why not?” he asked.
“I just don’t want to draw attention to myself.” I lamented, once again worrying more about what people think than I need to.
“Hon,” he responded, “You are currently bald. What do you think people expect of you?”
Sigh. He is good for me. And when I get up the courage, I’ll post a picture of my redheaded self. Maybe.