Thursday, December 14, 2017

Now I Understand, Nanci.


It's been months and months of being either bald headed and cold or fuzzy headed and cold. So cold that I wear a hat inside, a toque to bed and scarves around my neck. This week I noticed my hair is filling in. What used to be a silver grey hair has become white and the brown hair is much darker, almost black. It's still too short to tell just how much curlier it will be but it's definitely going to be curly! 

I took these photos with my Pad as I have great options in editing and altering the photos. I played around with the colour first. That lead to these, which I think are fun and speak volumes as to how I'm feeling about life right now. I appear to be calm and almost smiling but in reality I'm often not smiling on the inside. 


I never understood when my cheerful and optimistic friend Nanci said she felt so lonely after she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer. Now I do. It's not that I'm physically alone (too many kids, grandkids, friends and an attentive husband for that) but I feel a loneliness deep inside. I've read that other women with breast cancer, or any cancer, have the same feeling. It is a very common side effect of having a cancer diagnoses. 


I'll be in a room full of people laughing along with them when all of a sudden loneliness appears. I feel separated by an imaginary wall. Sort of like the white wall in the photo. Other times I'll be sitting at home listening to music or watching tv or reading when it hits. There's no rhyme or reason to the timing and only time relieves it. I'm learning as I go along how to deal with this and other side 
effects. Fresh air helps. Walking along the ocean or in the woods helps. A good long soak in the tub with a book and a cup of tea helps. 

I'm not telling you this for your sympathy but to help you understand why your friend or loved one or co-worker living with cancer may burst into tears for no apparent reason. There are just so many side effects from this wretched disease and the treatments. 

Just hold their hand and listen to them and don't offer any words of wisdom! 

In memory of Nanci Balogh. 





Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Deep Breathing and Saying NO

"Is Me Disappearing?" copyright Carole Reid 2017

Living with the knowledge that cancer tried to kill me keeps me awake at night. Not every night, but often enough that I've become expert at inhaling long deep breaths through my nose and exhaling slowly through my mouth. 

These past few months (six) have taught me to take better care of myself.

I've always been the type of person who puts my desires and needs after everyone else's. I'm learning to say no and accepting that I just can't/won' take care of much more than myself right now. This is a hard, but necessary, lesson for a mother.  

Monday, November 20, 2017

Most Days I Feel Pretty Good

It's true, most days I do feel pretty good. Not back to normal of course. I know that will never happen. How could it with one less breast, a scar that reaches from my chest bone to my underarm and new daily routines meant to keep cancer from returning.

On those really awful days when I'm sore, tired, sad, grieving and feeling sorry for myself I eagerly make art. Below is a styrofoam print I made on one of those days. Making art heals my soul and gives me a way to express my feelings without having to actually verbalize it. I cry too easily now.

Copyright Carole Reid 2017