Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Can You See the Real Me?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I finally got the guts, so here it is...I guess if my kids aren't afraid or upset to see my bald head (they sometimes request to see it) then I shouldn't be embarrassed...even my husband shaved his head in solidarity. No kidding, my son was more upset (he was almost in tears) when he saw his dad's bald head, but he does not do that when he sees mine!

I can honestly tell you that I hate what I look like without hair. My clothes don't look as good, I feel fat, it is really embarrassing. So why am I posting this picture? I guess I just feel that some day I am going to look back on this time and regret not taking a picture. Maybe my kids will want to see this strange time in my life. A blip on the screen, as one of my good friends puts it. But here's the proof that I have some real crap going through my system. You can't make this stuff up...Good news is that as of this time, my eyebrows and eyelashes have not fallen out...though I was right in waiting on a bikini wax (too much information, I know).

But my title isn't correct. This isn't the real me...this doesn't feel like me at all. Ever since I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I haven't felt like me. I've just been this "being" going through the motions to get rid of the cancer forever. And my cancer was the size of a grain of rice, yet I STILL have to endure the pain and humiliation of not just having foreign objects in my chest but poison in my body that makes me sick just thinking about it. And I hate that, while I only have 8 more weeks of chemo, I still have a year of having some IV medicine every three weeks AND I have another surgery in November to get final implants and then another surgery to create nipples...yeah, you didn't know that, did you? It doesn't just end with a double mastectomy, even if you don't have to go through chemo! Sometimes it is truly hard to feel positive and thankful for all of the good things when there is such angst in my own body...but outside of writing this down, you will not hear me speak such things. I know there are too many other women who have to suffer this without the help of a spouse, supportive family and friends. I cannot sit and feel sorry for myself because I DO have it good! It is just so hard, when your body feels so crummy, to remember the good things. So I am thankful every day for my husband who takes care of the family when I do need to lie in bed and for my three young kids who don't allow me much time to lie in bed or dwell on this stuff...and who really love me for just being there for them and being their mommy and not someone sick with boo-boos...

To my children's credit, I must mention the important things that happened today: I listened to my 20 month old sing "We are the Champions" with the radio, got to sing into a princess radio and make up song lyrics for my almost 4 year old, and got to make Lego houses for some Clone Troopers with my 5 year old. That's what matters and that was fun. We laughed today all together and separately and I got them to bed all by myself tonight. My house may be a mess, but my heart is happy and full!

I am so thankful for my good fortunes in life. I know I thank my friends and family often, but it is not often enough. I will never be able to write thank you notes for all the kindness that has been bestowed on me, not in my lifetime. All I can do is look forward with a smile on my face and remember the important things in life.


  1. I love you and am so proud of you. You have no idea how much...

  2. paula, you ROCK. and you look fabulous, even if you don't feel it. i'm so sorry you have to go through all of this, but please know you are doing so with more grace and humor than most people would ever be able to imagine, and i'm so proud to know you! love to you and rob and the kids, and glad to hear you're making time for the fun stuff! bet you didn't know that silly songs and lego houses could cure almost anything...but i'm convinced they can! hang in there, and hope to see you soon!