20 1/2 Weeks Post Chemo.....From Dancer to Cancer

I went to the Charlotte Bobcats game last night where they had a special LadyCats Alumni gathering.  This was the first time they’d ever done an event for all the alumni dancers and was so much fun to see all the girls again.  It’s pretty hard to believe that a year ago I was still out there on the court dancing….and even harder to believe I was still squeezing into those tiny uniforms!  What a difference a year makes

Dancing’s always been a huge part of my life.  I grew up dancing….you could say it runs in my family with my parents owning a studio and every female in the family participating in one way or another….and danced for the Bobcats for 4 years before unofficially retiring after last season.  I say unofficially retire because I hadn’t entirely made up my mind to quit dancing after last season.  Cancer pretty much made it up for me.  My first surgery was scheduled the day of try-outs for the current season…and I was in no condition coming out of surgery to keep beat with an 8 count…or really even count to 8.  About the time they were announcing the group to make it to finals; I was stumbling to the bathroom for my first round of vomiting from my pain pills.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you may have a better idea now of why it’s been so hard for me to adjust to my new, softer (and temporary I might add!) body.  I wasn’t by any means the skinniest girl on the team….but I was definitely one of the more muscular ones.  Working out has always been a huge aspect of my life, so not having the energy all fall / winter to work out, and taking medicine that puffed me up like the marshmallow man definitely sucked!!  Going from this….

….to this….

…..over the course of a few months was pretty shocking.  Ok, so maybe that photo is a slight exaggeration, but that’s what I felt like 3 months ago!

I miss dancing a lot, but miss being a part of a team even more….so getting together with the girls I danced with at some point over the last 4 years was a very nice treat.  Here’s a link to the gallery of photos they took at the game.  I try to avoid cameras like the plague right now….or as much as my friends will allow….so I’m really only in the group shots at the end.

One nice thing that came out of the night was that I learned all about how to properly secure my wig on my head. Right now I just pull it on and off every day and say a prayer it doesn’t fall off.   A lot of professional dancers wear weave, or extensions, of some sort (shocker!)….so I had a pool of knowledge to pull from about securing my own hair piece. Which with the wind gusts we are having today in Charlotte, is very much needed!  I really thought my wig was going to blow off walking back from lunch this afternoon and I was going to have to chase after it like a tumbleweed rolling through the desert.  In which case I probably would have just let it blow away because 1) I have enough hair that I don’t look like too much of a freak without a wig anymore and 2) no one wants to be that girl chasing a wig down the street.  Needless to say, I’ll be investing in the all the necessary glues and cleansing astringents over the next few days to avoid any potential future embarrassments.

And seeing all the current girls on the court (in all their skinny, toned glory) was all the motivation I needed to turn down those french fries I wanted to order with my salad for lunch, and get my butt out for a nice long run after work today.  Like I said, I miss dancing a lot….and have thought about maybe trying to make a come-back….which is another reason why having my new found knowledge of wig securement (is that even a word??) is great!  Chasing after my wig on the street would be nothing compared to having my wig fall off in front of 20,000 people!!

I had my 1 month post-radiation check-up two Friday’s ago and forgot to completely forgot to report back on that.  The appointment consisted of a quick physical examination to make sure my skin had healed satisfactory….which it had.  Short and sweet and I was out of there with my next appointment scheduled for 3 months out.  One month post-radiation also means that I am officially supposed to start taking my Tamoxifen pills.  I dropped the prescription off at CVS about 2 weeks ago…but have neglected to pick it up yet.  I can’t really say I have a reason why I haven’t picked them up yet…..I guess it’s just a case of procrastination at its finest.  I’ll eventually pick it up….and I’ll eventually start taking them.  In my mind, when I have 5 years of ahead of me….a few weeks delay in starting isn’t really going to matter.

I’m about 100 pages into the book that inspired my post last week, “Bitter is the New Black”.  It’s actually pretty entertaining.  Decent read overall.

Photos from 20 ½ weeks post chemo are below.  You can see in the first one that I have some serious cowlicks going on around my ears.  That may be more related to how my hair was laying under my wig though….we’ll see!

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