Liberated


I had a good weekend.  A busy one…a socially inclined one.  Dinner with a friend on Friday night.  Yoga class on Saturday; then my daughter and I hopped on the sky train and headed downtown for dinner.  Later we wandered the streets of downtown Vancouver and checked out a few new stores.  The new Victoria’s Secret store is really over the top.  Bras and underwear for as far as the eye can see along with sports wear, casual wear, sleep wear and fragrances, cosmetics, etc., etc., etc.

Sunday I joined a friend of mine with her daughter and several of her friends for the BC SPCA Paws for a Cause.  It is a 5 KM walk to raise funds for our furry friends.  I enjoyed the day immensely.

Tomorrow will be round two of chemotherapy.

I met with the doctor today to review the first three weeks.  My blood work today was in great shape.  The doctor is going to drop the dosage by 10% due to the numbness in my feet.  We discussed chemo and weight gain and it is apparently another common ‘side-effect’ due to the fact that steroids are in there somewhere.  I don’t know.

I will have to be very diligent with food choices over the next six weeks.

Last week my hair started to come out.  A casualty that I knew was coming. Saturday found my bathtub littered with hair as I showered.   I thought it would take longer but once it begins to come out, it simply escalates.  My daughter’s boyfriend came by yesterday and dropped off his electric razor.

Tonight we retired to the bathroom, draped it in sheets and did the deed.  Thinking about shaving my head today I experienced several emotions in anticipation of this event.  I thought of the rather ambiguous relationship that I’ve had with my hair.

I would try for a nanosecond to style my hair.  Truth be told, I really never knew what to do with it.  So I complained, pouted and boo-hooed about my locks.  If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you’ll have read posts where I ranted shamelessly about the inability of my hair to look fabulous and my inability to make so.

Kristen moved the razor gently over my head and we laughed as I received my very first fade.  I had thought I would be far more shocked by my appearance.  I wasn’t.  In fact, it feels strangely liberating.

I have been working on letting go of ego for a while now.  Tonight I feel humbled by it. Despite the oddity of it, I am still very much woman.  It is interesting to me how much emphasis I have put on my appearance over the years to feel feminine.  Believing for so long that I had to look a certain way in order to be acceptable and never feeling that I measured up anyway.

I always felt lacking.  And as I have discovered, it really had nothing to do with my appearance and everything to do with my confidence and belief in self. I will do a photo shoot on the weekend and yes, I will post one of them.

I am fortunate.  I know this.  The life force is so strong in me.  My hair will grow back.  I’ll take the weight that has crept back off again.  I’ll run again.  These passions that run through me will continue.

But I will take this time to appreciate how remarkable the body is.  How resilient.  And I will care for this vessel of mine with a great deal more attention.  And I have been blessed in so many ways.  That I can look in the mirror at this funny woman with a bald head and big ears with eyes that see only the beauty of the spirit that smiles back.  I say the words ‘I love you’ to the reflection and know it to be true.

Fifteen years ago or so, when first I uttered those words to the mirror, they were not sincere.  I’d been told by a psychologist to do this everyday.  I thought it quite a stupid exercise.  Yet I did it.  Everyday, month after month, year after year.

Somewhere around eight years ago, an odd thing happened.  I made the statement to the mirror as I was brushing my teeth.  I finished up and looking back at my reflection.  Something in my eyes…something vulnerable…something sincere….something beautiful…

And I burst into tears.  I glimpsed a bit of my true self that day and I have never looked back.

I will head off to bed now.  Rest up for the task at hand on the morrow.

Sweet dreams.

Thanks again for stopping by.

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