Why yes, I’m in the beginning of Round 4 of Chemo, just kicked off yesterday with a good 8 hours of infusions and heading back for another 2-3 hrs today, but still reminiscing over the fun I’ve had on my “good weeks”. I’m just coming off of one really GREAT one! Some of the highlights have really involved me being a real KID again! Because the truth is, y’all…
I SUFFER FROM A MAJOR “PETER PAN COMPLEX”.
In my mind, I am and always will be a big kid and am shocked when I hear my friends say that they are lawyers, doctors, nurses, teachers, or any other kind of “responsible career”. Moreover, when I come to know that I’ve been a teacher, am a wife, a mom, etc., etc., etc. Aren’t we still just playing the game of LIFE?
Well, I may be a real life “grown up” and maybe I am battling a real life “battle of breast cancer“, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t make the most of it and seize my good moments and be…
I truly, have grown to love my “Mr.Clean” shiny bald head, and enjoy rocking the bald boho look with enormous earrings or sporting every line of the Chemo Beanies that Angelle Albright will let me get my hands on. That’s what I am most comfortable in, it feels the most real as to who I am and let’s me and my family be who we really are right now and own what we are going through.
However, the other reality is that, I didn’t grow up in a theater my entire life for nothing, have imaginary horses (and, perhaps, other friends), have raised my children in rehearsals while I brought them with me as a costume designer and choreographer for plays and allowed them all the imaginary friends, dogs, and whatever else their enormous fantasy loving minds could conjure up to NOT embrace the world of some FABULOUS WIGS right now and play a few characters while I can. I mean, am I right or am I right???
Why the heck not?? Who’s gonna stop me? (That’s another new anthem I’m taking on by the way! )
It began at Mary Bird Perkins Center, as they allow patients to come to their “salon” to be gifted 2 wigs or a wig and a hat & scarf. My bestie came with me to snap some shots. And I …”enjoyed” the characters that “showed up”, needless to say. Here’s some intros with pics:
So that was a blast! Truly. I came home with one wig, a hat and scarf. But this had created a monster! Although I still knew that boho-bald and Chemobeanies would be my home base, this wig thing could be fun! So, I indulged and ordered some fun more imaginative venues of wigs for my repertoire. Why? Because, once an artist and actress, always and artist and actress. And well…
I can wear a bunch of wigs for fun with the kids in the morning (as per my daily routine) when I get myself up every @ 5:45a.m. to get ready before the kids’ 6am school alarm goes off. I do it rain or shine, sick day or not, so that they can see that mom’s making the most of every day, pulling up her boot straps, or fairy wings, or rainbow wig, and “kicking cancer’s butt” no matter how that may look today. I want that to be what they see before they go to school. No matter how pretty, crazy, or even ugly it may look. It’s not fake, it’s me being me, showing them I’m trying. And frankly, in the end, we all have to…
And this has seemed to make “US”, our quirky family, very happy. It’s not always or every day, but sometimes. Yet, we have enjoyed it! The kids really have. And that really matters to me in this whole grand scheme of things. So here’s another little glimpse into the many versions of Mommy that my kids pick out the night before to make them breakfasts, pack their lunches or hang out on the weekends. Ya never know who may answer the front door when I’m feeling up to it. I may even show up like this to school for storytime? Who knows. And again, who’s gonna stop me?!?
(Meet my personal, The Dude’s, & Sidekick’s fave:
“Cotton Candy Mommy“
(fun, comfy, free-spirited me!)
Here’s “Firecracker and Sunshine’s fave:
“Rainbow Mermaid Mommy”
(Very fantastylike, but not practical for making breakfast, better for reading stories and coloring)
….I can hardly handle this one, truly. This is truly JUST for the kids. Oy vey!
Brand spankin’ new, a most generous gift from a parishioner:
“The Original Me/”Goldilocks”
An outpouring of love and generosity from a fellow parishioner and friend (and her aunt/ stylist) from a gorgeous salon in town, D’Novo. It’s surely the most like what we’ve always known to be me, and will be me again, when I kick this whole cancer thing. This one is both amazing, and tough for me. It really reminded me of where I was, where I am, but also gave hope for where I will be one day again.
(However, I will save this one for special events, dates, girls’ nights out on my “good weeks”, bc my kiddos have come so far in the transition to me cutting, shaving, and now being bald, that they can’t switch back and forth so well. Quite a surprising psychology behind it all. I get it. It’s tricky for all of us. But, it’s very, very pretty, and we are oh so thankful for the chance to go out and not be a cancer patient once in a while. I can be incognito and have fun being “blondie” again, when being bald is hard. I will still have those days. For this, then, I am thankful. So very thankful.
And then, there was the ultimate,
the “Piece de resistance” if you will…
the fundraiser/ party of all fundraiser/parties!
“GETTIN’ WIGGY WITH IT”!
My best of buds, from highschool, Cecile Charbonnet Kerber, told me as soon as I was diagnosed that she wanted to throw some kinda dance party for me. After getting in cahoots with another fabulous highschool pal, Kristen Chetta Collura (and her hubbie Chad), it was off and rollin, bc Kristen doesn’t mess around. And she’s quite the Firestarter! She worked up quite an event and rallied the troops! So many friends of old and new came together, Nichole Bragg Thibaut, Kim Doernback Mesman, Keri Peters Truitt (& her hubbie Trey), Sloane Baldwin Mcgregor, Chrissy Ward, Jennifer Duncan Jones, Brydie Burke Himel, Gina Gallo Mora, Chris McDonald (of MUGSHOTS BAR & GRILL), SOL JET, HOOKED UP BAR & GRILL…. and so soo many more that made me, my family, my friends (old and new) and so many more have the night of our lives!
I smiled and laughed and DANCED ’til my cheeks hurt (yes, that would include the cheeks on both ends from all that smiling and boogyin’!), had quick chit-chats with as many as I could, but we were so blessed that there were so many, I just couldn’t talk to everyone long, so I finally just DANCED! I cannot resist a dance floor. It doesn’t matter the music, I’ll find a way! I also can’t resist a chance to dress up, and I mean in costume! Neither can my theatrical family. So… without further adieu, my final “wiggy” pics I leave you with are from the final weekend of a most fabulous “GREAT” week marking my halfway mark through chemo. The first of my many milestones throughout my journey of kicking cancer’s BUTT! ( Yes, I still have all my surgeries and radiation, but this milestone is huge for us) Thank you to all who came out and supported in anyway, even if from afar through your prayers and love. We were feeling the love and so was my family.
Team Buna isn’t just us, it’s YOU, too. That’s what that night was all about!
(I could post so so many more, please follow me on my TEAM BUNA FACEBOOK PAGE and post (simply make your pic public to post) more if you have them, so we can see all the wonderful love and support and colorful, wonderful wonderful mohawks, afros, and divas looks that came out in spades! It was fabulous and oh so much fun!!!
and of course, the after party pics…
*the shoes that nearly killed me,
*and my girls who were dying to get in on the action the next morning
NEVER too young for the fun! Do what makes you happy, and never forget where ya came from.
Y’all reminded me, to live, laugh, love, and seize the day. If it wasn’t for the ENORMOUS VILLAGE y’all have created for us, the prayer and amazing support that y’all have given us. Making it through these treatments would be so much more difficult, and I couldn’t get to those amazing 3rd weeks of each round. So thank you.
Well now it’s “Go time.” Now it’s time I go
1) “SHOW ROUND 4 WHO’S BOSS”
2) Say to myself, as I quote my sweet, FUN, and, slyly, VERY WITTY sister-in-law, Janice,
who so wisely said when pumping herself up to “flip it into high gear“:
Couldn’t do it without ALL of you!