Saturday, September 12, 2009

I was cheated, I was robbed! (by chemo, that is)

Family Summer 07 001
This picture accurately portrays my thoughts on this topic.

I really considered myself a glass half-full type of girl during the whole cancer process. You hand me lemons, I'll make lemonade.

When the doctor said chemo I thought to myself... Well, maybe I'll get a jump start on the diet I've been putting off.

When we talked about surgery I thought... Well, maybe I can get a boob job while we're at it. I mean really not only were my boobs a tiny size A but they were defective. Defective I tell you!

When the doctor said I would lose my hair I thought about how nice it would be to not shave my legs.

Well class, today I tell the story of the injustices of cancer, of chemo and of being a hairy woman with who can pack on the pounds like the.

Prior to starting treatment I had worked as a restaurant manager for several years. Oh how I loved to manage my favorite restaurant. I loved eating dinner there every night. I loved eating lunch there every day. I loved the cocktails after work. I loved the 1 am meals at fantastic local restaurants. I loved gaining 20 lbs. Wait, scratch that. I did not love gaining 20 lbs. I'm 4'11" for goodness sake.

So when I started chemo I thought I could get a jump start on that weight loss. I looked forward to it. Oh how very wrong I was. I did not lose weight. Between the steroids and the treatments themselves I managed to gain 10 lbs. I was now fat, bald and sweaty. Yes, sweaty. The hot flashes deserve their own posts, don't you think? This is what you have to look forward to. Posts on hot flashes!

Oh but I did not despair my friends. There was the gift of hair loss. Now you know that when I lost my hair it wasn't pretty. It was.... mangeful. Thats my new word. Mangeful. As much as I loved my long locks I looked forward to the loss of body hair.

I blame my mother and her Puerto Rican heritage. My whole life I've been plagued with hairiness. If I were to want silky smooth legs I'd have to shave twice a day. Unless of course I got the chills or sneezed. Then I would have to shave again. The irony is that I'm marrying a man who has very little body hair at all. He has smooth legs, the jerk. I'm harrier than my fiance. Its so unfair.

Needless to say I was really looking forward to that area of hair loss. But you know what? I did not lose the hair on my legs. I had to shave my legs the many months I walked around with a bald shiny head. How can that be?! I thought my fast growing leg hairs would fall prey to the equally wonderful and horrible chemo.

I was cheated and robbed! Why?! Whhhhhyyyyyy?! ~shakes fist in air~

And that concludes my story of why cancer sucks. Deep thoughts on Spontaneous Clapping.

Any questions?


  1. I think you just about covered it's suckiness :)

  2. Sweet pea, you are beautiful! Hair or bald. Gorgeous! Surely you know that?

  3. You are soooo right. The injustice of losing your beautiful head of hair, but then still having to shave your legs. That is so wrong. How do you stay so optimistic?

  4. That is just not right!! You have to go through all of the other stuff and STILL have hairy legs and GAIN WEIGHT!!! Wrong!

    Is there some petition we can get going? I'm sure we'd get a lot of signatures!

    Seriously ... you still looked beautiful, you tiny thing! 4'11"? Ha! If we got together, we'd look like Mutt and Jeff! I'm a bit over 5'9"!!

    Congratulations on beating the beast and also on your attitude. You are my hero!

  5. For me the hair was not the main issue. The REAL problem was that without hair, and if I squinted my eyes and snarled, and if I poked my ears so they stuck out to the side I looked just like Gollum! Google that image and you'll know exactly what I look like with no hair atop the head. And, NO, I did NOT take a photo for posterity! I may have chemo brain, but it never got That Bad! ROFLOL

  6. That really is unfair! You know that's why I love reading your blog. You have the most positive attitude and a great sense of humor about everything in your life. Thank you for shring your stories :)

  7. That is way unfair! Hope you don't mind me asking, but did you lose your eyelashes and eyebrows, too? I agree with everyone, I think you've got a great attitude about it all.

  8. Oh girl! That totally sucks. I would be upset too. You are such a joy though. It's okay to have some down moments. The weight will come off and someday maybe down the road you can get lazer treatment for your hairy legs...ouch;)

  9. WS, I really doubt you look like Gollum but that comment made me burst out laughing!

    LeAnna- I never completely lost my eyebrow although they did get really, really thin toward the end. I did lose my eyelashes, twice but not until months after I finished chemo.

    The week after I finished chemo I joined Weight Watchers. I lost the extra weight and have kept within 5 lbs consistently since then. I got rid of my larger sizes b/c the reality seems to be when I can't fit in my small sizes and don't want to buy new clothes :)

  10. Loving that you see the good in even the bad. But, I'm shocked that you didn't lose the hair on your legs. That just isn't right.

    You are such a beautiful girl, with or without hair. B is one lucky guy!

  11. This is something I will always find hard to comprehend: why do you lose hair on your head only? I don't get it.

    On another note, you still seem to be a half-full glass of girl and that is the best medicine for you right now. Wishing you much strength and continued good spirits throughout this very difficult journey of yours.

    You look great, pounds on or not.


  12. My name is Ingrid and I'm Puerto Rican and hairy too! LOL! It stinks. :)


  13. What a refreshingly positive attitude, and how stinky of chemo to pull the rug out from under you! Congrats on the Weight Watchers. I know several people who have had great success on the program. I'm in theater, and I totally understand the midnight meals and happy hours stacking up.

  14. Well now, that just doesn't seem fair! Of course, if it were me I would have just stopped shaving my legs and told people that I was grooming that hair to transplant to another area as needed. Bet that would have made them think.

  15. "shakes fist in air". HA! You're funny. And thanks for being so real about everything. I love the way you talk so candidly about these things.

  16. I think that it makes for a great laugh if nothing else! I have man hair and toe beards, I feel your pain in the folicular realm, I am so glad you are doing well now, dont know what I would do without my blog buddy!!

  17. That is peculiar. I would've looked forward to the same thing. We come from a hairy group as well.

    A story to share. My hair is lighter than my sister's so she had it rough. We have the peach fuzz on the side of our faces, etc. but the arms that's what I hate. Well, she had long, dark arm hair.

    One day, as she was getting out at a local rest. with her 3 children a man walks up to her. She's thinking he's going to ask for directions, maybe comment on her beautiful children but no, he takes her arm and says "I just wanted you to know that you have the most lovely arm hair." No joke. She called me immediately from the parking lot to share her news.

    :-] Have a nice and hairy day my friend. I'll be right there with ya.

  18. I think you look pretty without hair! (I shudder to think what I would look like).

  19. You make me laugh when reading about your cancer experiences, and that seems wrong, but of course I'm laughing at your *cancer*, not laughing at *you*, which is of course the whole idea, because f*ck cancer, seriously. I don't care if I hurt *its* feelings.

    You get my meaning, I know you do.

    Anyway I had to tell you that this:

    Unless of course I got the chills or sneezed. Then I would have to shave again.

    Made me guffaw. In my office. There were looks.

    And you were stunning bald. FYI.

  20. OMG Amy!! I just gasped out loud... in the office.

    Curegirl- we should work in the same office :)

  21. Okay, well that hair thing sucks, however, I do feel a new kinship to you, though I already really adored you, because you stated that you are 4'11"... I now officially love you. We are shorties together!!! (and I'm sorry, but I'm two inches taller, but I promise to wear flats if we're ever seen together)

  22. You crack me up! I too am extremely hairy, and the crazy part is my brother is practically hairless. I remember it took him ages to grow a pathetic little goatie, while I was waxing my upper lip at 14. I shave my arms too, least my arms be mistaken for a chimps!

    I'm 5 ft, so I feel your pain on the weight thing. I hate how tall people can almost hide their weight gain in their legs and torso. I have no torso, so it all goes to my belly. Sigh...


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