Week in Review: Week 78

I really really tried to get a blog post up this week but. Work has been busy, evenings have been busy. I’m pooped. I’m sort of trembly all the time, sort of hard to explain but suffice it to say I GOT NO JUICE. But there were still a couple high points this week, so…

I got goodies from plusBKLYN !!! Look how fun their packaging is with hearts all over. I heart YOU, Alexis Krase! My favorite summer dress is from there (see below) and now I have a NEW new favorite that I will share soon!

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New favorite summer dress from plusBKLYN

I’m living on the edge. Yes, I kept driving.

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Ooh, one of the new plusBLYN dresses, this awesome indigo tie-dye dress. Was a chilly day so I needed a cardi over, but. The boxes are encroaching.

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My lovely friend at work gave me these two tiny elephants. They kind of look they were sculpted out of teeth. Which makes them weirdly even more appealing.

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A super-sweet parent from work gave me this tropical print bandana and I’ve been waiting to wear it with this outfit. I never did really pull all my summer stuff out this year so this was buried in the winter clothes and needed a trip to the cleaners. I can’t wait to have access to a washer/dryer in the new apartment! ps, I feel like my eyebrows are disappearing 😦

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Me and some friends went to this wacky “movies on the river” night to see Jaws. It was an interesting way to see a movie…but wet and cold.


We’re the second row back, second raft from the left. You can’t really make out it’s us, but it is.

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My “new mom” raided HER mom’s scarf collection for me and they are UH-MAZING!!! Lots of vintage, touristy ones, one has dance steps on it, another nautical terms, awesome 70s colors. This was a Rome tourist scarf (it says “ROMA) and is perfect with my favorite black dress.

My sister sent me an eyebrow pencil and was like USE THIS. I rebelled for awhile but gave it a try here…and it’s good. It’s very subtle but looks like I have full eyebrows again.

See the picture hanging on the wall at photo left below? I scooped it up at an auction many years ago and have always loved her…walking along a seaside cliff, looking so JOYOUS. I always said I want to feel like her. And now, with my headscarves, I sort of LOOK like her!

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We made a trip to the new apartment to move everything I’ve already packed…but there are Still. So. Many. Boxes. To. Fill. This weekend is IT. I MUST finish up, no matter how trembly I feel. The week ahead is moving and chemo so I really need to get’er done!

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I *will* have a new blog post up this week that includes an embarrassing video of my current apartment in its current state and a throwback outfit that somehow never got blogged from way back in May!

I can’t believe “summer proper” is almost over. I hope y’all are having a good one.

xoxo Bettye

 

Week in Review: Week 77

It was a decidedly NOT exciting week. I missed a couple days of work for not feeling well…there so many different side effects to chemo that every day can be something different. But…halfway through. I’m SO looking forward to just FEELING WELL again after all this nonsense.

The daily headwear is a fun distraction. I have quite a collection of scarves now, thanks to friends and coworkers, and things I’d saved of my mother’s…and a couple hats. I’m kind of a spazz about tying them so so far it’s a pretty basic – kerchief look or this sort of scrub cap look. This one’s a lot of fun, sort of boho hippie with elephants on it.

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This was the whole outfit. I’m trying to get back in the habit of posting “outfit of the day” on Instagram. I can’t wait to be in the new apartment and not surrounded by boxes!

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This is the cutest hat that my sister sent me from Headcovers Unlimited, I think it looks sort of 20’s flapperish. A co-worker said I was looking very Great Gatsby-ish. I’ll take that!

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I tried on some baseball caps at Charlotte Russe. I don’t like that they come up so high on the sides. I passed. I know I could wear it over a bandana kerchief but now that’s more effort and more HEAT. I love getting in my car at the end of the whatever and taking the head thing OFF and letting the ac blast on my bare scalp – woohoeee!

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Yeah. Making myself eat (and drink) enough is a challenge. HOW AM I NOT SKINNY?!? Anyway, I receive many lectures about this so when I saw this adulting sticker I knew I needed to have it 🙂

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A friend gave me this silk scarf. I love the roses and want lipstick to match.

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I did feel well enough one evening to have dinner with friends then go to the beach. They walked to the lighthouse to look for bucks…and I dragged my chair literally like 6′ onto the sand from the parking lost and just sat there and breathed the good air. Til I was freezing. Then I left.

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Had a very pink shopping trip.

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More lecturing pushed me to try Crystal Light in water in hopes I would drink more. Nope. I’ll keep trying. How can eating and drinking enough be the hardest part of cancer?

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And yesterday we had a new awesome work event at Great South Brewery – the two young women who put this event together did an AMAZING job. I was there photographing the fun but didn’t last that long. And after that I was DONE. Was in bed by 7:30, down for the count.

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Well, THAT was the most boring blog post ever! Ha, sorry, folks 🙂 This week coming up is PACKING, more trips to the new place to move stuff, and a kooky fun activity Wednesday that I’ll share next weekend.

Week in Review: Week 76

This was quite a week. Emotionally more than activity-wise.

I had a far-away friend surprise me by showing up Sunday afternoon and saying LET’S GO OUT! I jumped in the shower to wash my hair and THIS happened. I KNEW it was going to happen but I still wasn’t really mentally prepared for GOING OUTSIDE. I’d been looking at head covering options for so long but really hadn’t prepared myself.

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But she’d driven a long way and I couldn’t bail, so…fortunately we were going to a beachy venue and I was able to wear the floppy beach hat my sweet niece had given me in Florida.

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Then the next day I had to go to WORK. Bandanas and head scarves are not all made the same…and I’m a spazz at things like this, so I just tried to keep it very simple.

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A so-very-thoughtful parent at the school where I work surprised me with these two cute embroidered bandanas. I have the perfect outfit in mind for the green and black one!

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This kimono came from Gwynnie Bee but was way too loosey-goosey so it went back. Please ignore my messy apartment, I’m still in the throes of packing.

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I loved wearing this vintage silk scarf that belonged to my mother. Some people thought I looked piratey…some thought I looked patriotic. My vote was for pirate. Next time I’ll wear one big hoop earring to make my intentions clear.

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Had this week’s pre-chemo appointment with a substitute dr. on Tuesday. I ALWAYS miss the Caring Canines, boo.

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This happened. Read all about it here.

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We visited the new house/apartment. This is not my kitchen. But these are Caleb’s now live-in cousins 🙂

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With everything going on this week I forgot to put on real shoes when I left for work Thursday. At least it was just a half-day because I had chemo in the afternoon.

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Kinda getting the hang of this.

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Around the house I don’t wear anything on my head. It’s very cool. Caleb stares at me. A LOT.

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I intended to be very productive with packing this weekend but I feel like crap and am headed to the sofa. Sorry for such a boring Week in Review!

Well, THIS happened…

So… I apologize for my diversion from fashion and plus-size life posts, but this is what’s in the forefront of my life, time, head and heart these days. Last week I posted about the anger and heartbreak of starting to lose my hair. This weekend it *really* started to come out fast. In the shower it would just all mat up into a solid bird’s nest around my head. Trying to untangle it just made giant clumps come out. THAT was an emotional day and many tears were shed over the sinkful of hair. So I went ahead and scheduled a head shaving at a salon in my new town.

What was left before I went. Not much in the front, some length still in the back. Sort of a Friar Tuck look. Not really good.

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And here we go. Morgan the stylist was so sweet and gentle and patient with my papparazzi 🙂 taking tons of pictures. She started with a #1 blade and finished up with a 0 (zero).

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It was WEIRD. It is still WEIRD. But this was the worst part…and it will just get better from here.

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Friends came with me for support (thanks, guys!) and brought me scarves and hats and Fireball 🙂

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Getting there. I had moments of trembling and sadness, but mostly I was okay. I knew this would be better than the blotchy hair loss of the past few days, with hair coming out in the shower every day and on my pillow every night. I’ve been wearing scarves on my head each day to cover up and I was so afraid of them slipping off and revealing my monstrous looking head.

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I *really* hope I don’t also lose my eyebrows. They’re naturally a little sparse but they’re generally not visible under my bangs, which I usually like hanging in my eyes a little bit. No hiding anything now!

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Almost done. Heads are weird.

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Afterwards, a rinse and scalp massage while sitting in a lovely massage chair!

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Bye-bye, hair. See you again soon. I hear such different accounts of how people’s hair grows back after chemo. Sometimes totally silvery grey, sometimes the color of their youth, sometimes curly, sometimes soft. I guess it will be a surprise.

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All done! In my mind I sort of thought I’d end up smooth-headed but it’s actually very stubbly. Apparently if I want a smooth dome I need to shave with a hand-held razor and shaving cream. Not sure I’m up to that…but the stubble is a little annoying as it catches on scarves and feels weird when I move my head on my pillow. But I’ll give it a few days to see if I adjust. I guess I could go to a barber and have them clean shave me…or the hair might continue falling out. I’ve got three more treatments.

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Part of the gang, minus my two photographers. POSH salon in Northport was lovely. They do free head shaving for cancer patients and Morgan was so nice and made it all as pleasant as it could be.

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And I decided to walk out into the world with my bare head. I felt like no one knows me there yet so seeing me sans hair would not be a shock, plus I don’t know them either, so who cares what they think.

We crossed the street for ice cream then went to look at the new house and apartment which is less than half a mile from this nice main street. I did try on my hat gift for ice cream.

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Thank you to my dear friends for coming with me and hugging me and taking pictures, thank you Morgan and Posh for making a not-so-pleasant event as painless and pleasant as possible, thank you Universe for keeping me around 🙂

Don’t worry, I have more fun content planned for the weeks ahead!

Thanks, followers & friends, for sticking with me through this,

Bettye xoxo

 

 

Week in Review: Week 75

It was a quietish week. Was it? Maybe not. I forget.

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This is my solution to too-sheer curtains on the bathroom window that looks directly out onto my landlord’s garden (where he frequently is).

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An unwelcome friend found while packing. I think he came in in a box.

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And he was tossed out in a box. Ugh.

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Going through old school yearbooks while packing. This is college.

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And elementary school. Oofah. It was a bad hair year. But I loved this blouse, because Laurie Partridge on The Partridge Family had the exact same one.

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I got out to a beach one evening with a friend. There was no sunset and it was actually a little drizzly…but still nice to be out in the air staring at the water.

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At work we had a nice event one evening, dedicating the new gazebo to the memory of a dear friend and co-worker who passed away at the end of 2016. There were family members, employees past and present…lots of tear-filled speeches, but also some laughs…and mostly it was a celebration of her life shared by those who loved her. An emotional evening.

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I spent a LOT of time searching for head coverings….

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…so I don’t look like this.

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I hope I feel well enough to go to this.

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I had a photo shoot and went to dinner with friends after. Dinner was a vanilla milkshake.

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A friend made me dinner and brought me flowers. That was very nice ❤

And now I really must get on with the packing. Moving date is less than 4 weeks away. It’s grey and dreary here today, I should get a lot done. Unless I take a nap instead.

TTFN.

 

 

It’s Not All Good

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So. I have to talk about The Cancer today. Through most of this time I think I’ve been pretty good at keeping my Game Face on. I am not by nature a perky, positive person. I consider myself more of a realist and prefer to face *all* things, good and bad, and not pretend bad things don’t exist. But I *have* really tried to find the good in the situation…to find some beauty along the way…small joys, blah blah blah.

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But yesterday I hit a brick wall. With all the rashes and diarrhea and queasiness and infections and sores and exhaustion and other joys that I have mostly kept to myself…the thing that I’m having the hardest time with is…losing my hair. I knew it was going to happen. I knew the particular chemo drugs I’m getting have that as a side effect. But I still hoped I would somehow escape it.

Nope.

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You know how a little hair always comes out in the shower? That’s normal. But yesterday…it just wouldn’t stop coming out. Big clumps and handfuls. And tears. Then when I tried brushing it out…it wouldn’t stop coming out. My brush was full of hair, my hands were full of hair…if I touched hair, it was coming out. I finally just wrangled it all into a messy bun and called it a day.

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I don’t know if it’s really noticeable yet because pulling hair back into a bun is sort of like a glorified combover (ha ha) but I’m sure in bright light it’s visible. And is only going to get worse.

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I’m afraid to take a shower this morning because so much more is going to come out. I’ll just wash my bangs in the sink. And hope for the best.

So I’m seriously stressing out about what I’m going to put on my head. I KNOW there are 12,000,000 options…but I don’t really see anything that looks like ME to me. I don’t feel sick, I don’t want to LOOK sick. I don’t want to look like someone ELSE. I’m not a hat person EVER – not in the winter to keep warm and not in the summer to shade my face…so this concept of having to put something on my head in the morning and leave it on All Day Long – at work, shopping, etc, just feels so awkward and foreign to me and I DON’T LIKE IT. I DON’T WANNA. WHAAAA.

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There. This is my time I’m allowed to be mad and sad and bitchy and complainy. I’M ALLOWED. I don’t want anyone trying to cheer me up, cuz you CAN’T. No one’s words can change the way I’m feeling. I’m terrified and angry. And I’m just gonna roll around in that for awhile.

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So, now that I’ve alienated half of you (ha ha), I can proceed with my outfit. I LOVE this dress. It’s by Rachel Roy via Gwynnie Bee. It’s dark dark grey and feels like velvety slinky silk. And it has this cool drapey effect on the front that hides EVERYTHING. It’s light and flowy. It’s EASY. Which is exactly what I needed yesterday.

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And we found the perfect location to shoot – this abandoned movie theater. Crumbly and littered…and yet even it had a little spot of wild flowers still growing. Even when I only WANT to focus on the ugly, I find some beauty. Damn it! Ha.

Weeks in Review: 68-74

Week by week it doesn’t feel like I do much…in fact, I’m doing a whole lot of Not Much. But when I looked back at the past 6 weeks since I last posted a Week in Review…yeah, there’s some stuff. So I’ll share.

I finished radiation. 28 treatments. That really felt like an accomplishment. I hope to never be back for more.

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I got my appetite back.

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I was so sure this baseball tee dress was going to be a win. But it wasn’t. I thought it would be cottony but it was more polyestery. And too long.

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This floral silk Lucky Brand top from Gwynnie Bee was a win.

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Nope.

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Got my blood clot filter taken out.

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I left on a jet plane. I did come back again.

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Florida! I stayed overnight with my daughter in her cute Tampa apartment.

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Cool bathroom where we had brunch.

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Katie found Tommy.

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I found the ocean. I floated and bobbed for hours. A manatee swam right past us!

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There was a beautiful sunset every night.

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My fambly ❤

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My grand-niece Annabelle is the sweetest.

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My boy was happy I finally came home.

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I got a present!

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And started real chemo.

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Meet Bruce: IV site gone wrong. One of several unpleasant issues. 9 days out from Treatment #1 I’m back to feeling almost normal. Just tired.

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Caleb got some new meds and feels good.

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Janey had a bath.

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And today I will be…PACKING…because my exciting news is I’M MOVING!!! More details and pictures to come….