Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mamma Jamma Ride coming up

So i've been aware of the aweseome Mamma Jamma ride against breast cancer coming up this weekend, the 25th - but not being a bike rider for some reason i was feeling kinda detatched from the details and involvement. But today i got an email from my friend Chris Pellegrino, telling me he was riding for me! I'm really touched. Not only is Chris a good friend, he is also one of the owners of Austin Fine Properties the Real Estate company i work for. It feels so good to be so fully supported by them in my personal life as well as proffessional . 
One thing that is awesome about this event is that it is raising money for 10 different LOCAL non profits including two of my faves that are close to my heart - The Breast Cancer Resource Center & Wonders & Worries - read about Wonders & Worries and what they mean to me HERE
So if you have been hearing the buzz about Mamma Jamma ride and looking for a person or reason to donate, check out Chris's personal page below and donate :))  and maybe train for next year!

Chris' Mamma Jamma ride!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Look Good...Feel Better = feel awesome

the large bag the goodies came in
of all  the many wonderful services & progams for those undergoing treatment for cancer, this one could possibly this make-up junkie's absolute fave.

The American Cancer Society offers their Look Good...Feel Better to help women learn to apply make-up to look better during treatment. As well as offer tips & advice for hygienic safe practices while being compromised immune wise, and BEST OF ALL provide the survivors with a chock full o nuts bag of free make-up & products. So amazing.

Some things i learned:
Your skin can get drier, so use gentle cleansers and facial and body moisturizers for dry skin.
How to apply under eye concealer more effectively for dark circles as a result of fatigue & lack of sleep
How to blend and use more eyeshadow than I usually use to really accentuate eyes - this is important when you lose your hair and wear scarves bring more focus to eyes. i amd LOVING this part. I usually just put on eyeliner, glittery of course, and light mascara.
Same with more blush, you can get pretty pale undergoing chemo
Don't get manicures, any cuts from cutting cuticles can put you more at risk for infection. I am sad about this, i am manicure obsessed and get them regularly. But i learned to make sure to really use cuticle oil a lot to keep them from drying out. and you can push them back with cuticle pusher back sticks, and wear clear polish so Drs can check your nail bed color for signs of anything.
We learned some make-up brush cleaning tips.
Eyebrow filling techniques for thinning or complete eyebrow loss

Our "teacher" was Matilda, she is a stylist & make-up artist at Ulta and has gone through specific training to be able to offer this program. She knew a lot about chemo & it's side effects. She was very knowledgeable about the situation specific make-up & beauty needs. She explained in great detail about the hygiene needs. And she was cute as all get out.

me & Matilda

As for the make-up bag, i'm amazed at all the goods inside, i didn't get a picture of it all, but there was TONS, and good brands too! Chanel, aveda, Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown among others.
I got cleanser, moisturizer, 3 tubes of eye cream, two tubes of body lotion, concealer, 2 eyeshadows, eyeliner, brow pencil, mascara, foundation, powder, 3 lipstics, blush,  I'm in love with it all.

just some of the goodies

Lipstick is my fave make-up
And even though i'm still not used to the time it takes to do it all in the mornings, i really am having a blast pampering myself with it all and playing and i really do feel pretty.

I hope that every woman with any type of cancer takes advantage of this program. Please if you are reading this and you have a friend, pass the info on, i think it's so very important to have that girly/womany/pretty feeling when you are dealing with things that are doing their damndest to take that away from you.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chemo Round 2

I was late to this appointment because 1. i am not used to putting on total make-up, it um...takes longer & 2. i didn't give myself scarf practice time, this was day after shave day, i had a mini fit of panic, but got it in the end.

My darling friend Laurie who braved this trail just before me, met me there to hang for a while. We share the same oncologist, you should have seen his face when he walked in the room and saw us both there. he was all "what???" her support has meant the world to me.  Laurie also brought me a latte - joy.

Port access was easier, i didn't have to get med explanation, all in all uneventful and cozy. it's odd how i  sort of look forward to it.

Beth came to visit too

I lounged out and read magazines

One thing that was different, i got less of the steroid, because i suffered from really bad stomach pains last time, sort of acidy.

As a result of this i think, i felt much sicker sooner. Night of day two, morning of day three were bad. I conveniently remembered the 1 million anti nausea meds i had and that miraculously did the trick on thursday morning. So i was able to get to my beloved accupuncture appointment with Dr. He

Another interesting point, is that altho my white blood count was low at 2 weeks as it was supposed to be, it had climbed high enough by the infusion day that i did not need the shot of Neulasta which i was dreading.

I am wondering if it is the accupuncture & chinese herbs that are helping that. I also wonder if they can be attributed to my quick recoveries. Who knows. I just know that after that bad 24 hours i really only felt blah-ish and super tired.  I had a low point on saturday night again. but i blame that on the return of the offspring - hehehe. they do wear me out more than if i were alone.

Now it's tuesday as i write this and i have been working, both showing houses and on the computer, running errands, talking small walks doing yoga at home, and attempting pupusa making with my brother

 And i'm half way there....

Monday, September 6, 2010

the buzz

so as i posted just over a week ago, i noticed the beginnings of the hair falling out, it was depressing.
it was pretty slow at first, handleable, but i was scared to wash it, and blow dry it. wanting to "preserve" it as long as possible.
I had things to do, a party, a social media event - the awseome BlogathonATX - an Open House at a listing, shopping, i wasn't entirely ready, i swear i used enough hairspray to kind of shellac my hair in place. That makes me laugh now.
But over last weekend it actually got to be a pain in the ass and also somewhat alarming. Hair was everywhere - so i designated Monday August 30th as Head Shaving Day.

waiting for the clippers

My best friend Elizabeth is also my hairdresser, she is also as close as a sister, i wouldn't have anyone else do this. (see her "pretty handiwork in this post )

so, kinda like the wig post, this wasn't really as sillyfun as i naively hoped. I had a fantasy about initially shaving it for pics into the "chelsea" cut of old skool girl skinheads, a hairdo i wanted soooo bad when i was 13 and living in London, my mother would NEVER let me do it - i wanted a re-do ;)
But once she started it was insanely hard, i couldn't look in the mirrior and tears were streaming, needless to say a majority of the pics are not being published. 

having the back shaved was easy
It doesn't matter what you "know" inside, there's still no being ready for that, it's too shocking. It's like the ultimate hardcore reminder that this is REALLY happening. There is no denying it. It's unreal.

If it hadn't been for Eliz and my dude and some lipstick i don't know how i would have made it out of there. Oh and the cool head scarf....that scarf allowed me a shopping trip to target

so since then i've gotten more comfy with scarf tying, i learned some fun make up techniques from the Look Good Feel Better program (post upcoming), i've gotten more used to looking at myself, i've gone to my son's 3rd grade back to school night, I've felt self concious in stores, i've felt brave too.

It seems like it's going to be a heck of a long time till it starts to grow back, that's depressing, i'm tired of it already.
 but i am looking forward to growing back, and the hairdos to come. such a chance to experiment. 

the pile
so if you you see me now, i will be all gypsy scarfy

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What's that on your head? A wig!

One of my fave children's books is Wig! the B52's song illustrated by Laura Levine. The words are funny, the illustrations are colorful and quirky - it's hilarious. My kids & i have laughed, quoted & visualized the zany wigs on ourselves - the pages are torn.

I tried to envoke this kitchy glamour when i went to the American Cancer Society to get fitted and choose my two free wigs. (please look for the location near you to get yours!) - i brought along my fab friends John & Chris who i knew would cheer me on. But trying on wigs for this occasion wasn't quite as fun as i imagined.

I think i was just feeling a bit tense & down with the obvious signs leading to needing them...i'm gonna try again in a week or so at the oft talked about  mecca Quarter to 10 where faux hawk wigs are rumored to be in supply, so stay tuned for that post.

I do think it's wonderful that the ACS provides this, they also have massive amounts of scarves and hats and turbans and wraps and you are allowed to take 2 home with you. All free.
First the girl (who's name i forgot immediately) showed us the wig room, where i had to pick a couple i thought i might like, it was kind of surreal, and none looked really me-ish

John telling me to get a "realtor" wig

then she measured my head - i have a small head

then she gave me the sorta stocking cap to put over my head, both for hygiene, and to help them not to slide, i think i look weird in it.

I did pick two, but i didn't love them, my natural hair is fine, so anything with volume looks weird to me, i suppose they might look ok to a stranger, and perhaps if i have a new client or something i'll wear one.
ummm no

this almost looks real

I did end up getting this one
She also gave me a Survivor shirt for the ACS Relays - i will find out when those are and sign up!

I really did have visions of this experience & this post to be more fun filled silliness but i just didn't feel it that day, i guess it's because i wish i wasn't experiencing it in the first place.  I am grateful to ACS for what they do though

Don't worry, i AM getting that hot pink wig....