Today was one of the first days in a really long time where I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I didn’t have the feeling that a stranger was looking back at me. For me, I never got comfortable with the physical aftermath of chemo. No hair anywhere isn’t really ever in a woman’s image of herself, it certainly wasn’t in mine.
I do remember at the beginning I barely sat around the house without a hat or head scarf on and then I got wise and embraced the baldness of my head. Having my hairdresser take my hair at the beginning was an emotional experience while sitting in the chair but one of the most liberating feelings I have ever felt. I don’t think I will ever feel more like G.I. Jane in all my life than I did at that moment. It was a sensation of empowerment, courage, strength, and control.
It wasn’t until about round 2 that my eyelashes and pretty much any other form of hair started to fall out and then they were gone like a summer breeze. The lash thing was a big freaking deal for me. You need those babies to keep dirt out of your eyeballs! That was also when I began to see cancer in my reflection and not myself. I learned lots of new make-up tips and tricks, followed the make-up gurus of the world (Alicia, you’ll likely never know just how many of your videos I watched on repeat), and then I practiced!
Speaking of the practicing part, I tried to put on fake eye lashes once. Yep one time. There was never a need to attempt a second time because the first attempt was so clumsy and chaotic. I tucked those babies deep into the trash can never to be seen again. I had fake lashes on the inner part of my eye lid, pointing in every direction possible, extra adhesive running rampant, and me crying because it was so bad. Yep the trash can got those bad boys after that one and only attempt.
But today from a distance, standing there in the bathroom, I stopped, I stared, and I recognized the person looking back at me. My real lashes are starting to grow and I could actually see them from a distance without me looking like a blind person with my body leaned across the counter squinting to see if there were any new lashes. Yes, I expect my lashes to grow at crazy speeds over night, doesn’t everyone?! Of course that isn’t reality, darn it!
I do know I will still have my days where the reflection will still feel strange. Days where I will go to scratch my head, the wig will move, and I will think Stupid Ovaries. That is how the blog name came about, anything that displeases me in this new found life I say to myself, STUPID OVARIES! Who needs ’em anyways!