Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.

He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.

Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."

I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.

I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Big Girls Need Love Too

When I told Yanellie I had changed so much she wouldn't recognize me, and I was officially part of the "big girl's club." She told me to "watch myself."
She said that 150Lbs barely qualified me as curvaceous, especially at 5'5". She hits that on her thin days. 
I told her we'd wait and see because people's reactions to my appearance certainly have changed and a forty lb. weight gain along with buying a new  XL wardrobe is nothing to sneeze at. 
 In the past four years, I've looked like an anoerxic thirteen year old, a twenty something model, a punk rock mohacked momma, a bald beauty, a dying child, a very sick young mother.
With each of these exteriors comes a completely different reaction from people. I've been able to experience how different people are treated because of how they look and all without the magic of a make-up artist.
I've had the modern miracles of cancer, chemotherapy, an steroids to aid me with my bodily changes.
It is fascinating. 
I shaved my head early in chemo when I wanted people to respect I was sick.
 With a bald head, people will assist you. They know you are handicapped. They open doors, lift grocery bags and give smiles and sympathetic glances if x is misbehaving. 
On the flipside, when I look healthy, I get glares or curious glances from the eldlerly when I park in the handicapped spot. People look down their noses if I'm exhausted or can't breathe and can't control my child. 
Life is easier when everybody feels bad for you. 
Not everybody gets to experience the dichotomy of living two totally different lives.
In my previous life, I was one lucky girl. I came from a supportive family. I was cute and talented. I grew up with the proverbial (or even literal) silver spoon stuck in my mouth.
Now, on the flipside, I'm where just about everybody pities the situation and the trials I have overcome and it'd be difficult to find a willing participant to trade places.
I may as well revel in the social dynamics. Problems are only problems if that's how the person chooses to see them. It's in the eye of the beholder. It's all about perspective.
It's been interesting to see how the same people change their actions based on my situation, based on whether I have hair or not, now based on whether I'm 115 lbs. Or 150lbs. 
I've always preached that people should love the body they're given and work it like they mean it. 
That was easy for me to say when my body and looks were the same as all those seen on tv and in magazines. I felt like a hypocrite when I started mourning my flat abs and glaring at my pudgy checks and squinty eyes in the mirror. 
Men stopped whipping their heads around to stare or sticking their hands in their pockets when I stood beside them. 
I begrudged the change, but kept telling myself I was lucky to ever have been "that girl" anyway. I was hot enough in college to cause car accidents. 
Really. Literally.
Some poor boy was staring so hard he didn't see the car turning in front of him and rear ended her at full speed. 
Again, lucky for the experience. Those days are over.
 I guess I now know why people marry. J and I can lose our young beautiful bodies together, side by side, with out worry. 
That doesn't mean I'm not having trouble acclimating. I tried to fit into my size 2 jeans at 140 lbs. It took that long to finally admit I'd grown and start buying a new wardrobe. 
Now I'm working to find clothes that suit my new "body type."
 I officially look like a mom. I'm being treated as an adult who could be in charge of a ten and seven year old instead of the babysitter. 
My gray "mom" hair may have something to do with that too, but it's clear my days as a young fresh faced twenty something are over for now. 
I was personnally offended when FOX and NBC refused to show a commercial for Lane Bryant lingerie during Dancing with the Stars and American Idol, citing the commercial was to "provocative" or showed too much cleavage when more cleavage was shown on the dancers and idol ran a Victoria Secret commercial. 
I was in my livingroom pumping my fists, screaming discrimination and muttering about how those skinny chicks and executives better watch out. 
I've officially switched to the other side. 
I'm big and learning it can be beautiful. 
Even though cancer sped up the process so the changes in people"s reaction to me are more apparent, I think what I'm going through is something everybody will experience at some point. 
I've always said I live life fast. That pattern hasn't stopped. 
Now that I'm coming to accept myself, I'm learning how to work my "new" body with its look, size, limitations and abilities. 
It's fun to explore a new realm of myself and I'm always up for refreshing with a new wardrobe, no matter what the reason.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Wow. I could have written this exact post myself. Though we are fighting different health challenges now, just know that you are never alone.