Looking good


No one really reads the blog on the weekends. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. Lately, I have not had a free minute to even think let alone contemplate anything. I have been with Clayton and the big kids. I have slept a lot. I do mean that. I slept for 4 hours after acupuncture on Friday. Most of the weekend I felt good, but kind of tired or weak. I did a lot with the kids and around the house. I made dinners and lunches. The big thing was going out on Friday night to punk rock karaoke. Kelly and I sipped cokes and watched the first set. It was pretty fun. We only stayed an hour or so. I was feeling tired.

It is interesting though that every time I go out my friends comment on “how good I look”. I still have cancer. I am still on chemo. But I guess my desire to be girly and look girly, even with my 12 year old boy chest, trumps being poisoned girl. I paint my nails. I style my inch and a quarter of hair. I actually got my eyebrows waxed last week. So I have cancer but I still want to look good. Kelly said that I am starting to look too good and people will stop holding benefits for us because I do not look sick enough. When I was on the evil chemo and I gained 50lbs. and was bald people still would say I looked good. Of course I usually had on make up and fake eyelashes, etc. Shayna said it was hard to believe that I was sick because I still looked good. This is an interesting phenomenon. Cancer= looking emaciated and green. I just can’t do it. I can’t give in to the chemo. When I leave the house i still want to look like me.

It has been so great to watch my hair grow in and eyebrows and lashes. And to lose the weight from the steroids. I look like me when I look in the mirror. So on the outside I no longer look like a cancer patient. Which is major. I feel like I can stroll through the mall or target and not get glances of sympathy from fellow shoppers. My cancer is now on the inside. Invisible to the outside world. I remember writing in a blog over the summer how much I hated people “knowing” I was sick by looking at me. It feels good to be able to hide.

I think the fact that I can look good conflicts with the fact that I do not always feel good. Sometimes it is hard for me to accept limitations. I tire quickly. My left arm swells when I do too much lifting. I suffer from chronic fatigue. My stomach is often in a state of upset. I am always thirsty and am frequently nauseous. When I spend the day with Clay I often feel wiped out. Maybe this just goes without saying when you have a toddler…or maybe I am dealing with the effects of chemo. Sometimes I say to myself “What’s wrong with me?” I forget that I am still in treatment. I forget that the treatment makes me sick and tired. Because for the most part…I look like me so I think I should feel like me.

Anyone who knew me before could probaly vouch for the fact that I could go and go and go. I was always busy. I could get up early and cook, clean, go to school. run errands, and do it all. Now just the thought of cleaning is often daunting. I feel inadequate. But I do appreciate what energy and vitality I do have. Honestly, it goes back to quality of life. The chemo keeps me alive. And I feel tired throughout the weekend. It gets better it gets worse. Whatever. I am still here for my family even if I can not do as much as I once could. It could be worse. A lot worse.

12 Responses to “Looking good”

  1. Stacy S. says:

    You are still alive and able to be with your family-that is a wonderful thing. Dont u worry about the cleaning, etc. You put 100 percent of yor energy into getting better.

  2. leah says:

    you look good because you are beautiful, no matter what! you were before, and are during, and will be after.
    enjoy the days off!

  3. Toni says:

    Last week I started a walking regimen, at the behest of my son, and it’s going ok but my stock answer is that it is going to kill me but at least I will die healthy………sounds like something you would say. I am only dealing with fatigue, which will lessen with time, so I pay heed to your fatigue which is accompanied by much more discomfort……I will keep ‘walking’ as long as you keep ‘blogging’
    AND p.s. where do you get those neat descriptive icons which head your blogs?

  4. Renate says:

    Good morning Andrea.
    I live in the midwest and learned of your “cancer swindle” through the recently published article. Now I read your blog entries every day. I am, of course, yet another person touched by cancer through family and friends. You are indeed an inspiration to me. I come to your site every morning…to check on you, to remind myself of what’s important and to thank God that you’re writing another blog entry. I pray for you and your family…for time spent together and for the realization of what’s truly important in this life. Take care and God Bless you and your family.
    Renate Ping
    Tolono, Illinois

  5. Heather says:

    You may not be “Super Mom” right now, but you are stil a Super Mom. Don’t worry about the cooking and crap, you can let the little things go. You have people offering to help, just like the OB says after you have a baby, LET THEM HELP. You need to get rest when you can, that’s when your body gets it’s chance to heal. Your mind as well.
    Just sit outside while the kids play in the yard and sip some tea and take some pictures. It’s the best time. Do little things when you feel you can.
    I am so glad you’re feeling so much better. But, really try to make sure your symptoms aren’t diabetes, that’s EXACTLY how hubby found out he was type 2, the never ending thirst and the 20 minute peeing.
    Have a great day and enjoy some sunshine (if you have it).

  6. Andrea says:

    Heather it probaly is type 2 diabetes and I am in denial. I will see an endocrinologist in the next few weeks. And up here in the northeast few of us have a back yard doll. I live in a row home. But I am trying to enjoy my time with the family. Honestly, my house is getting quite dirty and I can not keep putting it off. I think I am going to have to pay someone to do it. I just do not have the strength to scrub floors with an regularity. People do help. Or offer to. People take me to appointments. I just can not ask people to help me clean. Its too embarrassing.
    And since Toni asked and others have as well….I find all my icons on google images. I type in various words and phrases. Sometimes I grab an image and use it later if it fits in.

  7. Michelle says:

    IT IS BETTER TO LOOK GOOD THAN FEEL GOOD!! You go! Im glad to read that you are getting out-it is important mentally and physically for you to be active and with those that love you outside of your four walls!!
    Enjoy your day, and evening with the kids-praying for you!

  8. Tina says:

    I really want to thank you for letting all of us into your life. I have tried to adopt your outlook and attitude and it’s made me see how negative the people around me tend to be – and they’re healthy! I pray that if I’m ever faced with a fight like you’re going thru, I’ll remember your grace and strength. I want to shine a more positive light in my little corner of the world!

  9. Mary*Ann says:

    I second what Tina said. You make me think about what’s really important in life. Although I must confess, my son will be sooo disappointed that someone thought of punk rock karoke before he did.

  10. Helen says:

    I am new to this blog thing! I finally had some time to look back, and I see you have some great info on IBC posted in your early entries. What struck me is that you commented on how little was known by health care professionals, and that no one in LLL told you about this. As I said in my previous post, I am a RN and a lactation consultant. I have learned more from reading your blog and checking out the links than I did in 12 years of being a LC and 25+ years of being an OB nurse. I am going to recommend that all of my peers in the breastfeeding groups I belong to read your blog, in hopes of raising awareness. I am also going to pass some it on to the docs and midwives I work with. I intend to be more aware of the possiblity of this disease, in my practice. I am also a grad student in nursing, working toward being a Family Nurse Practitioner..and I am TRYING to learn more about complementary medicine. I feel there is a need for greater understanding of it, for example your experience with accupuncture for treating some of your symptoms. In my practice, I work with an OT who does cranial sacral therapy and energy work with babies who are having problems feeding…usually because of a traumatic birth–(Yeah, hospital births…) and I am a firm believer in it. Learning a little about herbal medicine too…ie fenugreek for making more milk. I also know fenugreek lowers blood sugar..we have to be careful when using it with our diabetic mom’s. Is that an option for you for the blood sugar issues? Check it out with a herbal practitioner.

    I will continue to read your blog. Stay strong, and when you aren’t strong, lean on those who are there to support you….in your real world and your virtual world.

    Blessings to you and your family.

  11. joshua says:

    “beauty’s only skin deep, ya ya ya”

  12. Amy says:


    I too could go and go before cancer…..and would not ask others to “clean my home” as I too did not want help with something so..personal. I finally set daily goals based on how I was feeling and what was most critical. This was my best therapy.

    One day at a time…..

    Thoughts sent your way from Linc. Ne