Saturday, 28 June 2008

The Benefits of Very Short Hair

I have decided that instead of feeling sorry for myself and indulging in self-pity I would compose a list of benefits of having very short hair.

1) It is cooler in the hot, humid weather.

2) I am able to have all the car windows wide open, and the sun roof open, without hair blowing in my face!

3) It is quick to get ready; I just wash my hair and go.

4) It is economical; I save on hair styling products and visits to the hair salon.

5) When I awaken in the morning I have no "bed head"!

6) I have no "bad hair days"!

7) There is no hair out of place. I can be confident that I look the same all day, from the first look in the mirror to the last look at night!

I know that my hair is growing and I won't always have very short hair. I will look back on this time and thank God for bringing me through it.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008


I have "signposts" that mark where I have been and where I am now.

As I was getting drinking water to fill some water jugs, I recognized a "signpost". When I just had chemo I filled a large water bottle on a regular basis. I needed to flush the toxic chemicals from my sensitive organs. When I was experiencing the side effects of "Stemetil", the anti-nausea drug that I was allergic to, I could barely walk downstairs; I needed to use two hands to carry a filled water jug. Now I can carry two water jugs, one in each hand. I still drink water, but I don't have the urgency or need to rid my body of toxins.

I am now walking, quite briskly, by myself to Curves. I used to only go for a walk if I was accompanied by my husband or my daughter. I feel as if my oncologist gave me a gift or "the key" to now live a healthy life when she gave her approval for me to join Curves.

There are other "signposts" when I do laundry; make dinner; wash dishes; load or unload the dishwasher. These are all tasks that others in my family had to do, without any help from me. Now they chip in as needed, but I am the one who is now able to do these on a regular basis.

The other night, as my husband and I were watching TV, I asked Dan if he ever was reminded of when I was so sick. It was a "signpost" to me, but to him it was just a continuation or resumption of a normal occurrence.

I have decided that when I notice a "signpost" I will thank God for how He has brought me from "there" to "here".

"You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 118:28,29 (NIV)

Thursday, 19 June 2008


I was thinking about my life, and how much of it centers around the need for patience. I have written in boldface the words that came to mind regarding Patience. I then sought scriptures that conveyed the impression God was giving me regarding these words.

A suggestion I have is to read this twice. First read only the boldface words. On the second read-through, just read the scriptures one after another. You will find that they flow from one to another and it is my desire that you will be as encouraged as I was.

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter, Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4: 8,9 (NLT)

"Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10: 22,23 (NIV)

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths." Proverbs 3: 5,6 (NLT)

"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ - to the glory and praise of God." Philippians 1: 9-11 (NIV)

"For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that causes me shame, but that I will always be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past, and that my life will always honor Christ, whether I live or I die." Philippians 1:20 (NLT)

"The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth." Psalm 145: 18 (NIV)

"Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilius, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught." Luke 1: 1-4 (NIV)

"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." Romans 15: 4 (NIV)

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Physical Exercise

I am taking part in the "30 Days for 30 Dollars" challenge at Curves. I had wanted to start doing exercises to help build up my muscles, as they had been weakened through inactivity;the trauma of having cancer; the resulting chemotherapy; and major abdominal surgery. Also since I no longer have ovaries I am at a greater risk for osteoporosis.

When I had my first follow-up appointment with my oncologist this month, I had mentioned my desire to one day join Curves; she thought that would be a good idea. I am taking it slowly and trying to not overdo it. I only go around the circuit once instead of the usual two and a half times. I was advised by a former physiotherapist to start with three repetitions and build up each time by one. I go three times a week and it usually takes me twenty minutes to walk there, so I am getting plenty of exercise. I am glad that I have already been building up my strength through going for walks with my husband or my daughter. I plan on joining Curves once this trial period ends and I hope to one day resume my beginner ballet classes.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008


I have "taken the plunge" by going without my wig in public. I have had a "love/hate" relationship with my wig. When I was losing my hair I appreciated having a "hair prosthesis" that helped to keep up the appearance of a normal healthy female. I grew accustomed to putting it on before I faced the public.

At first I disliked all the hair around my face. I could not tuck some hair behind my ears, as I was used to doing, because I did not have any "sideburns"; the hair that grows just in front of your ears. I often felt it was like I was wearing a mask, in that it hid the true state of my hair or lack of it.

My main reason for not wearing my wig was the fact that it is synthetic hair, so it was too hot to wear in the humid weather. So far I have had only positive feedback to such a short "hairstyle". If anyone has thought negatively, they have thankfully kept their criticism to themselves. My hair is downy soft and lies flat against my head. Today, though, I just noticed a tuft of hair sticking up. I wonder how I will like my hairstyle once it is "sticking up" all over!

Thursday, 12 June 2008

My Blog

There are days when a lot happens and I think "I could blog about that", yet I don't because I can't find the words to make it sound interesting and not like a report. There are other times that I write a lot in my journal, but I don't write those entries on my blog; they are not to be shared publicly.

I have chosen not to limit who can read my blog. I know some of the people who read my blog on a regular basis because they have told me they do. I try to keep them in mind when I am writing my blog to make sure that they can understand what I am trying to convey. It is easy to get stuck in "Christianese", which is a term for words and terms that only those in Christian circles would be able to understand. I have also wanted to be real in my struggles, especially concerning my battle with ovarian cancer. I have even shared some of the heartache that I have faced in the past, not in detail but in generalities.

To write on a blog, I feel, is both a privilege and a responsibility. I often have my daughter, husband, or mother read my blog before I actually post it. As a result there have been times when I have edited it for clarity or to remove unnecessary information. I have stated in the header of my blog that "It is my desire to encourage others and to bring glory to God. I desire to be led by the Holy Spirit in what I share".

Wednesday, 4 June 2008


Yesterday, I had a "momentary lapse of reality", if that is what you would call it. I was getting changed in the bathroom. As my torso was exposed, I was momentarily surprised to see the scar. "Oh yeah, I had surgery". I know I had surgery and I have seen my scar every day since then, but yesterday was the first day that I was looking in the mirror as I changed. This experience got me thinking about scars. At the moment mine is "angry red" against fair skin. Up close it doesn't look that red, but seeing my reflection in the mirror, the scar is definitely noticeable.

The other day when I was in the checkout line at the grocery store, I noticed that the cashier had a faded pink scar just below her neck. Someone once showed me their scar, which had faded to white. I know that my scar will continue to heal; it might be the "pink variety" and not the "white kind".

In the midst of my rambling thoughts, God brought to mind the fact that Jesus still had His scars after the Resurrection. God has the power and ability to remove the scars and re-create new fresh skin, yet He chooses to leave our scars as reminders.

"One of the disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, 'We have seen the Lord!' But he replied, 'I won't believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side,' Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. He said, 'Peace be with you.' Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here and see my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don't be faithless any longer. Believe!'. 'My Lord and my God!' Thomas exclaimed. Then Jesus told him, 'You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who haven't seen me and believe anyway.' John 20: 24-29 (NLT)
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