Tuesday, June 18, 2013

19 years and counting!

To my most awesome husband, Matt, 

Someone was clearly looking out for me when they put you into my life over 20 years ago. From the best of friends to our lives as a married couple, we've certainly seen our ups and downs. 

We've had all of our vows played out in brilliant technicolor. For better, for worse... Check. For richer, for poorer... Yep, got that. In sickness and in health... Oh hell, yeah. We're stronger for the obstacles life has given us. 

I'm proud of you and I'm proud to be your wife. Thank you for being the man you are and loving me for who I am. 

Happy 19th anniversary, baby.  

I love you. 

-- Nancy


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Cleavage!

I am pleased to announce to anyone that cares that cleavage is back in da' house!

Whoop, whoop!

During my expander phase, I had a weird wrinkle in my skin that made my "cleavage" (using this word very liberally here) look like a freshly shaven vagina. Yep. I said that. Nope, you can't unread it. You're welcome. 

Thanks to McBoobie's handiwork, the weird clea-vagina is gone and I have just one chestal crevice. While my boobs are still not perfect by any stretch, they're more normal for sure. His main concern at this point was to create an attractive "V" area on my chest. I'm pleased! 

I'm not ready for down-to-there shirts quite yet but I will freely admit that I've checked my cleavage out many times over the last two days. Interestingly, it's also just about the only area on my chest where I have any sensation at all. That little valley is all I get. 

I'll take it. :)

Excuse me. I have to look down my shirt again... 


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hair, hair, hair

"Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair"

To me, hair is just hair. I've never been too emotionally attached to it and always had the opinion that it would just grow back if it was too short or a bad cut or whatever. 

Enter cancer. 

Like many people, I cut my shoulder-length hair short in anticipation of chemo. I had always said - WAY before my own cancer - that if I ever got it, I'd shave my head rather than waiting for it to fall out. I did just that once the first clumps started to fall through my fingers and didn't look back.

I've said before that I never shed a tear over it. Welllll, that's a bald-faced lie. (See what I did there?) I did cry. I cried that first day, not for my hair, but because it was real. Chemo was affecting me. That was just one of cancer's many sucker punches. 

It's no secret how much I loved my mohawk. I'm such an attention whore and that shit got some attention! It was fun and unexpected and one helluva conversation piece. If I hadn't lost my hair, I would have rocked that fucker for the duration. No lie. 

Being bald was also no biggie. It was empowering and freeing and so convenient - especially in the brutal Texas heat. I didn't mind it but didn't want to stay bald. It did invoke the "poor you" look for sure. I was definitely happy when it started to grow back. 

I wore my short, choppy hair like a badge of honor. I was a cancer survivor and this was part of my visual proof. I'd see people with like 'dos and feel a sense of camaraderie. It's like bus drivers or motorcycle riders; I wanted to do the "you're one of my people" nods. 

In the 10 months since I finished chemo, I've had six trims and have colored it a few times. People would compliment me and would ask if I planned on keeping it short. I couldn't imagine long hair again. It was just so convenient short. Why would I ever go back?

Yeah, I've had a change of heart. 

My hair is currently in an in-between stage. I feel like it either needs to be a little shorter or a little longer. The color looks like Joan Jett - The Frumpy Years due to a bad bottle job choice. I finally came to the conclusion that I want to let it grow. I want to be able to tuck it behind my ears and have style options. Most importantly, though, is that I don't want the constant reminder of cancer. It's the sole reason that I sport this 'do and I'm over it. 

I'm not going to go all Crystal Gayle or anything and will likely not go past my chin but it's time for a change. Shedding one more "skin", I guess. 

I'll be sure to post pics of the really cute awkward stages. I dread the thought of clips and pins and - oy - headbands to keep my wazzy tresses under control. I may lose patience and buzz it all off but I will try. I've been through FAR worse than letting my hair grow of course. 

It's only hair. It'll grow back. 

Cue the hairy, naked hippies...

"Gimme head with hair
Long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen

Give me down to there hair
Shoulder length or longer
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy"


Sunday, June 2, 2013

It's National Cancer Survivors Day!

Today is National Cancer Survivors Day. I've seen a mixture of reactions from the cancer community. There are some that are so thankful of their survivor status - regardless of what the future may hold. There are others that are now faced with the devastating diagnosis of stage IV/metastatic breast cancer, which has no cure. Fortunately, at this point, I belong to the former group of people. 

I consider myself a survivor. 

I survived the initial diagnosis.
I survived 16 rounds of chemo.
I survived 30 rounds of radiation. 
I survived two surgeries; one of which, required complicated microsurgery. 
I survived losing my breasts. 
I survived being bald - all over my body. 
So far, I've survived CANCER. 

How this is NOT a survivor? I understand that everyone's experiences are their own and I don't begrudge people for going through this awful journey in whatever way they need to. I do believe; however, that you can be a current-state survivor. In my humble opinion, if you're living, you're surviving. Perhaps that's too simplistic. I like simple. It doesn't make my little brain hurt. 

As Destiny's Child said:

"I'm a survivor
I'm not gonna give up
I'm not gonna stop
I'm gonna work harder."

This is my life. I'm gonna rock it. 

Survive on, my friends.