Between you and me

Just between you and me … I have this post that I’ve been working on, called What I Saw at the Race, but I can’t seem to finish it.  I know there should be pictures posted of me and my team at the Race for the Cure, especially after all your support, but … it’s hard.  As I go through chemo and these weeks of weakness it’s getting harder to post (or even see) photos of myself.  I know that it’s impossible to fight and win against this cancer without there being a physical toll, but … still.  As I looked at photos this week of me and my cousins at the race, and then later of my friends and me at our MOMS Club costume party, I just am struck by how very bald I am.  And pale.  And not altogether like myself.  And I wonder if perhaps it’s time to get a wig or commit to wearing a hat all the time, to assuage what little vanity/pride I have left, or to protect the feelings of others.  I’ve been wearing my baldness proudly, showing the world that there’s nothing to be ashamed of in being sick.  But now I’m wondering if I just look … sick?

Edited to add:  As always, fellow bloggers and friends pulled me out of my funk before even an hour had passed.  Two special readers, The Dairy Wife and Skywriter, gave me new blog bling this week and wrote really beautiful things for me.  Thank you!  And then there’s Mom Huebert from Chocolate After Supper, the only person I know who successfully saved a slice of wedding cake for her 25th anniversary.  Her comment on my MOMS Club post caught my eye.  I like her! 

I’ve decided just to suck it up and post a picture of me from our MOMS Club costume party yesterday.  There, over and done with.  Now, instead of feeling sorry for me, go over to From the Frontlines and send their family and teenage friend E your prayers today, would you please?  I’m just being vain.  They’ve got a diagnosis to absorb.


Why, yes, that is my WhyMommy tiara from MOMS Club, and my WhyMommy cape from Girl.  Who did you think I’d be going as, SuperMom? 


35 Responses to Between you and me

  1. oh, honey — do whatever feels right to you, whatever makes you more comfortable.

    you don’t owe us pictures.

  2. whymommy says:

    But I want to do this transparently. I want you all to come along for the ride. It’s not always an easy ride, though, or an especially pretty one. And now if I post a pic, it will be like fishing for compliments. But I’m not. I’m just writing the truth as I see it.

    And the truth is, I’m bald. I’m going to post the pictures now, and move on.

  3. I’m sure you do look sick. Who wouldn’t look sick? But you are right, there is nothing to be ashamed of and you don’t need to protect anyone else. But if for yourself, it would be fun and cozy to start wearing soft hats or wigs with the cold weather approaching or even getting a make-up makeover for the sake of girly vanity, go right ahead. If it all seems like too much effort, don’t bother. You are you no matter what you put on your head and face.

  4. Colleen says:

    You do whatever you need to do to get through it.

  5. PunditMom says:

    But you ARE being a supermom! So why not wear the cape?

  6. Ally says:

    It’s funny, since I didn’t know you well before your diagnosis, I didn’t have a clearly formed vision of you pre-chemo. To me, you’ve always been bald. I know this must be disturbing to you, but it’s not at all for me. You may not look like what you’re used to seeing in the mirror, but you look just beautiful to me. Really. The picture in this post? You’re radiant. So do whatever you need to do for yourself, but as for others, you have no need to protect us from anything.

  7. Mary Alice says:

    I agree, you do look radiant in this picture…a tiara always helps. Thank you for the prayers for E. We appreciate it so much. It is wonderful for my daughter to see how people will come together to help her pray for her friend. Thank you and Bless you – you are in our prayers as well.

  8. April says:

    You and your smile are beautiful.

  9. jen says:

    you are beautiful. i hope you write that post. and i hope you know how amazing you are.

  10. mo-wo says:

    I think you deserve to wear that cape everyday! You look great but of course you would glow with that short dark and handsome in your lap like that.

    Wish I could tune in the show next week… I’ll look for the link, anyway.

  11. Your oldest friend, Adam says:

    You’ve got your comic lore all mixed up. You’re not SuperMom, but WonderMommy, with golden tiara, matching bracelets, and the lasso of truth!

    It was a beautiful day in Mississippi today, cool in the shade, clear, warm in the such, so we all went out to Roosevelt State Park for a picnic and play. The thing that stuck me was that even as things had changed since we were there in school, things still remained the same.

    Yes, you are bald, and perhaps pale, but the posted picture betrays your physical condition to reveal that you are still much the same.

    So, don’t be afraid of the vulnerability you feel regardless of it is with others or the weather (OK, if it is cold, put on a hat like your Mother tells you to). It is an ironic thing that our Father uses the ravages of life to strip away in us our pride and vanities, our unhumbleness, such that we can be a help and blessing to others. Only He can bring such beauty out of hardship so that it is when we are most vulnerable, the most exposed, that we are also our most intimate, our most relational with others.

    You are being a blessing to others in ways you were never able to be before. And when was the last time you got to wear a tiara and cape?


  12. Imstell says:

    My heart aches for your injured self image. Cancer destroys indiscriminately. I still have difficulty looking at the photos of myself bald and bloated from steroids feeling like the Chemotherapy Poster Child.

    It’s bad enough that our bodies betray us, that the very symbol of our womanhood becomes deformed and diseased awaiting amputation; but our psyche is also battered and our constitution is stressed to the point of breaking until one day we look in the mirror and don’t recognize the stranger looking back.

    Yet for each and every thing that cancer steals from us a gift is left in it’s place. I’ve seen your generous attitude towards others’ and the perspective your illness has given your life. Don’t you find that AMAZING? I am one year out from treatment today. I can feel that charitable view of the world beginning to fade and it saddens me.

  13. I smiled when I looked at your picture. Your smile is radiant.

    Honestly, in the picture your coloring is good and you look happy. I know you don’t always feel good, and I just wish I could give you a big hug.

    So as you’re reading this … feel my hugs, and know that I DO pray for you everyday and in the big picture of life … this is just a little bit, and it will all be over soon and you’ll have your hair and your life back.

    You’re just paying the price now … sometimes life isn’t free, and sometimes it comes hard, but you’ll win!


  14. Dawn says:

    Fretting about our looks makes us girly girls – it’s normal.

    Nor.Mal. You are normal, Wonder Mommy. 🙂

  15. Love the super mom outfit! I actually always picture you as your second life avatar from BlogHer – tiara, shiny, sparkly dress, and heels. 🙂 Always willing to lend a fellow avatar a hand and find some new clothes. LOL

  16. I think most of all when I look at this picture, you look happy. Which is beautiful!

  17. maggie says:

    You look awesome in that photo – your smile is completely contagious.

  18. girl says:

    You look MARV babe!

  19. Truthfully? You look healthier than your self-image. And most important of all, YOU RADIATE LIFE!

  20. Leigh says:

    I agree with whoever said it up there – you should do whatever makes you feel better, but think about this. It seems like I’ve had so many friends on chemo for breast cancer and I’ve got one friend that has Wegner’s (I may have misspelled that.) and it seems like more and more people are saying ” forget the wig.” My friend with that disease I can’t spell refused to do the wig thing – she wears a bandana on her head. It looks way cool and she has all different colors. If you get to the nitty gritty, I think – I don’t know because I haven’t lost my hair from chemo – I think there’s something about suffering the way you have and not covering it up. I mean, something is trying to kick your ass and you are fighting back in a big way and why the hell should you try to hide it with a wig or a hat. You earned your bald head by God!!!! Wear it like a trophy if you want to and if it makes somebody uncomfortable well then they just need to pull up their big girl panties and deal with it. If they think they’re uncomfortable, well what the hell do they think you are?
    Okay, I went a little crazy. I just wanted to say that you’re my hero and I think you look faboolahhhsss dahling and you alway will!
    p.s. Thank you for the pictures….they make me feel like I really know you.

  21. canape says:

    Wow, Imstell.

    Just wow.

  22. Okay, having never have “known” you before baldness, what am I going to do when your hair grows back in!?!?! 🙂

  23. whymommy says:

    Hey, I never thought of that. Because I was so private with pictures before, you guys really don’t see the difference, do you? And if I had stayed private with the pictures, or not talked about the cancer, you never would have known. Perhaps. But this has really really helped me, and I’m glad that it’s not offensive or appalling to you all — I think we benefit from bringing these things out into the light.

    I can’t be the only cancer patient fretting about my looks today, now can I?

  24. Who doesn’t fret about their looks? Why should you be any different?

  25. I think you should get some really funky glasses…

  26. Bright red, always my favorite frame color.

  27. ~JJ! says:

    Just between you and me…I think you look absolutely radiant in that picture…You are smiling and happy and you wear that crown and cape so well.

    Now, you need to do what makes you feel the BEST about yourself. If it’s to go bald proudly, wear a wig or a hat…it’s whatever makes you more comfortable…

    I personally, think you look beautiful in whatever you wear…and I’m not just saying that to make you feel better. I’m typing from the bottom of my heart!

  28. Arkie Mama says:

    Honey, you look absolutely fantastic — I keep seeing “radiant” in the comments and it’s the perfect description.

    (and i’m loving that tiara)

  29. deb says:

    I think being bald would bother me as well. I have very grey hair, have had for years and sometimes I’m okay with it and sometimes I just want to look like all the other women around me that I see. I just want to fit in. So I dyed my hair and now I want to go back to being grey.
    Try the wig or a hat. If you don’t like it, you can always take it off.

  30. Damselfly says:

    You have a beautiful smile. That says the most.

  31. Amy says:

    Sam, You look gorgeous! What a great smile you have. It goes from ear to ear and your face is just beaming. You look so happy, its infectious.

    I don’t see someone who is sick here, I see someone very happy.

    I think your color looks good too. In this pic, you have a nice rosey tint to your cheeks. I think my Irish skin is fairer than yours. Maybe you are just Irish now? 🙂

  32. KillerBoob says:

    i don’t see a sick woman either (really!).

    but regardless – winter is a blessing in this phase. though i too wore my baldness openly, i found a few knit beanies (banana republic had my favorites last year) that i ended up wearing constantly. my head stayed cozy and they were super cute! maybe give those a try.

  33. b*babbler says:

    This is not an empty compliment, because you look beautiful in that photo. You look truly happy, and that happiness is what radiates through the image, not the baldness or any pallor, but your sense of joy.

  34. skabeagle says:

    I have never seen you look more radiant M’dear. I have been praying for you every day too, without fail. When we go to Old St. Paul’s church up in B’more, I light a candle for you, and ask for God’s healing. There’s a little girl across the street from me that just moved in. She’s quite a bit younger than my daughter, I know she takes the Middle School bus in the mornings. She wears her baldness proudly, and you know in Middle School, that’s got to be tough! I am going to tell her about your blog this week. I think you will be an encouragement to her, and we both may gain a new friend.

  35. […] ourselves, but he wanted to create something special for me to look forward to, as I lay in bed, sick from the chemo, and growing weary of the side […]

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