Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Not Recognized

Yesterday I was at a funeral for the founder of my husband's place of employment, where he has worked for almost twenty years. I saw some of Dan's co-workers there that I knew, but they did not recognize me or acknowledge me. They were used to seeing me how I looked before I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I did approach one of them, who is also the wife of a close colleague of Dan's. While she expressed surprise and hadn't recognized me, she also said it was good to see me. I could have gone to Dan's workplace for the reception afterwards, but I chose not to. Dan would not have been able to devote his time to stay by my side and re-introduce me to every colleague or client that I knew. It would have been too emotionally taxing for me to have to do this myself.

I am now used to how I look with short curly hair, but many people do not recognize me. I think that this reaction would not affect me to the degree that it does if I had only just cut my hair or permed it. Going through the experience of losing all of my hair and then having it grow in curly has been traumatic for me. I have tried to remain positive about this change, but it has had far greater consequences that I was not prepared for.

Saturday, 7 February 2009


I have not blogged recently because I have been processing a lot of what I have been through with having overcome ovarian cancer last year. Two weeks ago I had my routine follow-up appointment with my oncologist. My CA 125 blood count is well within the normal range and there is no change with my lymph nodes or abdomen. At the end of this month it will have been one year since I had my last chemotherapy treatment. Therefore, I won't need to see the oncologist until six months later instead of the previous schedule of every three months. This was cause for rejoicing and it brought much relief to my family, our friends, and me.

I am a small group discussion leader for the new Bible study on the book of Esther. Often I am in awe of God's timing in how the Bible studies I am involved in are so appropriate to what I am going through in my life. Last week during our discussion time about our responses to the world's standards of beauty, someone mentioned that it must have been hard for me when I had lost my hair. I was able to share some of my feelings about the trauma of having no eyelashes or eyebrows and being completely bald. When I got home from the study I was so exhausted that I had a nap; it took a lot out of me emotionally. I know that God wants to heal my emotions and I believe that He is using this study as part of that process.
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