Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Whatever Happened to Betty Davis as Baby Jane.... or can I relearn makeup 101?

I really like this picture because it focuses on a happier me rather than a nauseated me.  My daughter Jayme sent me these adorable footed PJs (to keep me warm -- I LOVE THEM!) and my sister-in-law, Carolyn and her husband Chuck gave me the beautiful hot pink roses (aren't they beautiful!) the day I took my third chemo -- oh how I hate to even say that horrible word.  Some wonderful day chemo will be obsolete and our children's children will say, can you remember when our great grandmothers had to take poison to kill cancer cells? How did they endure it?  Dwain reminds me that not even 100 years ago there was nothing.  Nothing at all.  People just died.  Cancer was simply a death sentence. 

I've got to say that the hours and days following chemo leave me wondering if I will actually live or if I even want to.  That may sound harsh, but it's just brutal what it does to your body and your mind.  My friend Cora (Cora's Hidden Riches) left me an encouraging e-mail message because she felt such sympathy for what I was going through.  Cora, I truly hope you don't mind that I share your message, it's so inspirational.  By the way, you should read her blog of blessings that she posts.  They will make your smile grow so big.  This is the e-mail I sent to her and then her reply follows:

I'll tell you what, Cora, sometimes I think the chemo is truly going to kill me.  I don't know how I'll feel about taking chemo again by the time I am to receive the next (4th) treatment.  Right now I'm just now climbing out of  the most vicious nausea I've faced since this whole thing started, and yes I have been taking anti-nausea pills.  The nurse at the clinic had to inject me with additional anti-nausea medication while I was there, and this was after I'd already had a full bag of it before the chemo drugs began.  I want to quit so badly.  I can't bear how the chemo drugs make me feel.  My husband just wears himself out trying to "fix" my nausea, and that frustrates me to no end.  He just can't figure out what to do, and neither can I.  Mostly, I just need to be left alone to sleep.  Chemo is utter madness!  As you can tell from my response here, I'm feeling pretty negative right now -- that's just not me.  Cross your fingers and hope for the best for me.  Thank you for your kind words of support, Cora.  I'm still enjoying your blessings that you share with us all.  -Megan-

I can truly relate!  I wanted sympathy and help, but I, too, wanted to be left alone to die! (Or so I thought!)  I remember one day trying to take a shower.
My legs were so weak that I couldn't stand long enough to rinse off, and I couldn't catch my breath.  My heart was pounding so hard (from the steroids, I guess) and I really thought that was it for me.
NOTHING was edible, but I was hungry feeling.  The indigestion was like fire in my gut.  My urine burned me raw.  My stool burned like fire.  The skin peeled off my heels and I couldn't walk on them.  I had the worst charlie horses because I wasn't drinking enough, and so the story went on and on!  I felt like a whining, miserable wretch.  I can't tell you how I dragged myself in there for #4 through #6.  I guess the question  that plagued me was, "What other option do I have?????"  Don't give up.  Ask for an extra week if you must, but dont' give up!  I will pray for you constantly, Megan!  But hang in there, won't you???
From someone who walked in your shoes, I just know you can do this!!!!!!

Without going into much more detail, that's pretty much how chemo number three felt.  The good news is, this is Wednesday -- 5 days after and I'm feeling better than I have after any other chemo treatment, 5 days post chemo.  In fact, I'm going to go ahead and work tomorrow.  That's another first for me.  I haven't been able to work the first week after chemo before now.  Your prayers are catching up with me, you guys.   If I could insert a smiley face here, I would. 

Dwain took the following pictures. Please enjoy. 
Dwain said I looked like Cleopatra with her lion.  That's pretty imaginative, I'd say, considering I wasn't feeling real swooft.  But thanks, Dwain.  I'll take that compliment. 

How to poach an egg.  That's me feeling good enough to make my own breakfast.
 I want to talk just a bit about some food I found comforting and easy to digest after chemo.  For some reason they are all white foods, but not totally starchy.  One good food is poached eggs. 

The egg cooks rather quickly -- not greasy at all.

Once the egg white sort of comes together with the yolk, you lift the whole thing out with a slotted spoon.
I like to put my poached egg on top of a bowl of grits (see? white food).  It's so easy on your tummy.
The one non-white food is the V8 Fusion that I drink any time I want.  It tastes so good.  Nothing chemical about it.  It's 100% fruit and vegetable juice that's just a perfect mix of sweet and tangy.  When you can't drink water, try this.  
Dwain liked this picture that he took because it captured my little area of recovery so perfectly.  We recently bought that little wooden TV tray that held everything (cell phone, I-Pad, magazines, food & water) so perfectly.  Thankfully  I didn't actually have to use the trash can for anything other than trash (no urping -- oh happy day!).  I never been so happy to finally put everything back in it's proper place once again.  No more recovery area... for the time being.  Yea!

Today I am going into town to have lunch with Dwain, run some errands and buy some makeup.  I haven't worn actual makeup in almost 20 years, but one look in the mirror yesterday told me it was time.  You've heard the phrase "green around the gills?" Yep.  That's me.  Or totally blanched out.  I'm either greenish-looking or have no color at all.  Either way, I'm one scary-looking lady.  Dwain thinks I may end up looking like Betty Davis when she played the part of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.  EEE Gads!

"Sister, sister, oh so fair, why is there blood all over your hair?"

- Film Tagline


  1. I'm just cracking up!!!! And I'm sooooooo happy you are feeling a little better. That has to be the biggest cat I ever saw, by the way! And what it is about makeup????? All of a sudden, I had a urge to start wearing makeup and went out and bought all kinds of stuff from foundation, eye colors, blush, stuff with sparklies in it, etc., etc. Maybe it's because I just couldn't take the chemo face. When you have no hair, all all you see is FACE. . . . well, you get the picture! By the time this is all over, you will have just figured it all out. Isn't that the way it goes?????

    I think about you all the time and always pray for you. Just remember, there is an end to this!!!!

  2. I don't know what to write, not having walked in your shoes but by your description, it's just gotta be hell....period...just hell. I love your picture in your jammies and admire you for your strength and willingness to put that smile on your face and march forth. What a wonderful inspiration Cora surely must help you go on to know she too what where you are and it now in a better spot. I'm glad your feeling better after round 3. I started wearing makeup again a few months ago and have learned quite a bit. One thing I found is us over 50 gals don't need much...a little light, sheer foundation, some blusher, bronzer, little loose powder to set it and maybe one pale shade of eyeshadow...I like a pinkish buff or a yellowish color on me...very light. I also use just a thin coat of mascara and curl my much of anything will make you look older. Recently, I've started experimenting with mineral powder foundation, blusher and bronzer. You can get some real good tips and how tos on You Tube. Can't wait to see your "Painted" face and I'm sure you won't look like Bette Davis. LOL!!!

  3. I had no idea you didn't wear makeup - you always look great! Did you go to Lefler's for a Clinique makeover? I did that last winter and it was such fun. Can't wait to see your new look! SO glad your days of horror didn't last as long this time. I love the photo of you in your footie PJs with a big smile - you're just amazing, the way you keep flying your flags and keeping on keeping on.

  4. I think I got my make up issues from you. Remember how grandmama would spend forever putting on her face everyday? How is it that you didn't end up doing something so ritualistic like that? I almost never wear make up except for special occasions. Personally I think you look fine. maybe just a smidge of blush or something for color and VIOLA! Pretty mommy!

  5. I was thinking of you today when I was at the cancer center getting my port flushed out! Praying you are feeling good, all decked out in make up, and that you have a good weekend!