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.

IMG_7632

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!

IMG_7642

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!

IMG_7648

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!

IMG_7650

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 🙂

IMG_7672

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

IMG_7691

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.

IMG_7700

Had a very pink shopping trip.

IMG_7701

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?

IMG_7703

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.

IMG_7707

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.

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.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater cancer chemo shave posh salon northport 8.2.17 1 blogsized

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).

fashion schlub bettye rainwater cancer chemo shave posh salon northport 8.2.17 3 blogsized

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

fashion schlub bettye rainwater cancer chemo shave posh salon northport 8.2.17 4 blogsized

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

fashion schlub bettye rainwater cancer chemo shave posh salon northport 8.2.17 5 blogsized

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.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater cancer chemo shave posh salon northport 8.2.17 6 blogsized

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!

fashion schlub bettye rainwater cancer chemo shave posh salon northport 8.2.17 7 blogsized

Almost done. Heads are weird.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater cancer chemo shave posh salon northport 8.2.17 8 blogsized

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

fashion schlub bettye rainwater cancer chemo shave posh salon northport 8.2.17 9 blogsized

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.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater cancer chemo shave posh salon northport 8.2.17 10 blogsized

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.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater cancer chemo shave posh salon northport 8.2.17 11 blogsized

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.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater cancer chemo shave posh salon northport 8.2.17 12 blogsized

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.

linda 2

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

 

 

It’s Not All Good

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size babylon south bay theater 7.27.17 4 blogsized

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.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size babylon south bay theater 7.27.17 2 blogsized

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.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size babylon south bay theater 7.27.17 5 blogsized

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.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size babylon south bay theater 7.27.17 7 blogsized

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.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size babylon south bay theater 7.27.17 6 blogsized

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.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size babylon south bay theater 7.27.17 8 blogsized

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.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size babylon south bay theater 7.27.17 1 blogsized

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.

fashion schlub bettye rainwater plus size babylon south bay theater 7.27.17 3 blogsized

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.

IMG_7173

I got my appetite back.

IMG_7238

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.

FullSizeRender

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

IMG_7220

Nope.

IMG_7251

Got my blood clot filter taken out.

IMG_7264

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

IMG_7269

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

IMG_7270

Cool bathroom where we had brunch.

IMG_7273

Katie found Tommy.

IMG_7277

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

IMG_7278

There was a beautiful sunset every night.

IMG_7301

IMG_7330

My fambly ❤

IMG_7321

My grand-niece Annabelle is the sweetest.

IMG_7340

My boy was happy I finally came home.

IMG_7349

I got a present!

IMG_7363

And started real chemo.

IMG_7391

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.

IMG_7397

Caleb got some new meds and feels good.

IMG_7403

Janey had a bath.

IMG_7443

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

Week in Review: Weeks 64-67

Wow, I’ve essentially lost the month of May. May was the bulk of my radiation treatments – I still have seven left to go so they’re reaching a little into June as well, but hopefully I’ll be able to reclaim some of June for myself. I’ve been too tired to do much of anything, but here’s what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks.

IMG_6895

I photographed our 5k Jack’s Run for Autism up in Port Washington. It was like The Windiest Day EVER. We couldn’t hang signs or put out balloons to mark the course or anything. But the runners didn’t seem to mind. Those athletic types don’t let *anything* stop them. Respect.

IMG_6912

And then I went for my first chemo treatment. Scary. They kept referring to it as an “all day treatment.” SCARY. But in reality, it was a lot of prep, counseling, two hours of IV hydration and anti-nausea meds before and another two hours after…and the actual chemo was only one hour. But it *was* a long day of not really knowing what to expect so I had my bag well-stocked with activities, snacks, water, super soft kitty blanket, book, etc.

IMG_6919

I was anxious all day waiting to feel awful…but that really never happened. I felt *queasy* for the next week or so but never really nauseous. I will be repeating this procedure on Monday. Hopeful for same outcome.

Ugh. This dress. Not good. It went back to Gwynnie Bee immediately. You win some, you lose some.

IMG_6973

I brought some lilacs in from outside our office door. They smelled so so so so good. And I haven’t killed my succulent terrarium plants yet! Yay Me!

IMG_6976

Caleb is such a sneaky-peeker.

IMG_6977

I found a rock on the beach that looks like a heart. Or a butt. You choose.

IMG_6978

Ahhhhh. I need more of these.

IMG_6985

Don’t work too hard, Caleb.

IMG_6984

Sunrise outside my door.

IMG_6991

How fun is this beachy cake? I just looked, I did not touch.

IMG_7009

A family from the school brought me this card. They’re having their own struggles and yet they took their time to do this for me. HUGS TO YOU.

IMG_7011

My kooky kid.

IMG_7029

Her kooky mom.

IMG_7024

Sunrise out my girlfriend’s door.

IMG_7034

I dog-sat last weekend. They’re a tough pair to handle. Not.

IMG_7018

We had lots of lovely porch time.

IMG_7041

Some things never change.

IMG_7080

Ruh-roh. I killed one of the succulents. It rotted away. I think I overwatered. I put a turtle in its place. That will be harder to kill.

blr 10 1

Here is a pic of me at 10. It was part of a video I just saw for the first time, so I apologize for poor quality due to screen grab. I guess my father filmed this back in 1970? Isn’t it weird to see pictures of yourself from the past (well, duh, all pictures are from the past but you know what I mean) that you have No Recollection of? You know it’s you cuz you can SEE you, but. I have no memory of this day or this dress or even my father having a movie camera! And this is funny, in 1970 girls were not yet allowed to wear pants to school. But we were wearing dresses this short (you can’t see the groovy white Jan Brady knee socks I had on but they’re there). How did THAT make sense??

blr 10 2

For some reason this “I Am the Champion” muscle man bicep pose was my go-to photo pose around that age. Who knows. That’s my sister, cheery in yellow.

And there you have it. This month was a LOT of laying around, staying close to home. Hopefully I’ll be able to venture out a little more this month. Fingers crossed!

On another note, I have STILL not switched out my winter clothes for summer! It’s been just cool enough that I haven’t needed to. Maybe this weekend. I kind of think that was the same last sentence from my LAST Week in Review post!

xoxo Bettye

Week in Review: Week 61

Was a pretty full and busy week – had several doctory appointments, went to dinner with friends two nights, had a little photo shoot, work is getting busier…

But we started the week with Easter at the Ex’es. I went to meet the new horse, Harley (spotted horse on the right)…and Amaretto (“Retto”) on the left.

IMG_6663

And said hello to Beau (horse) and Rosie and the goat whose name is NOT Cinnamon but that’s the only name I can ever THINK of for her. Wait, Ginger? Is it Ginger? It might be Ginger. Anyway, this is Rosie in the pic.

IMG_6651

Caleb got a little goody bag to take home after dinner 🙂  Did you notice he has the same color and markings as Rosie??

IMG_6674

Monday’s outfit of the day. Or is that what I wore to Easter dinner? I forget. Wow.

IMG_6675

Had a meeting with a social worker at Sloan-Kettering to see what kind of helpful services and programs they have. But I jumped the gun a bit as you can’t really apply to anything til you’re actually in treatment and have accrued $300 in co-pays. Which I have, just not with THEM. But I got applications to fill out so I’m all ready when the time comes. Everytime I go there’s something new blooming at the entrance.

IMG_6683

Wednesday’s outfit of the day. A second season dress from Alice & You and a sleeveless knit duster from CityChic. Both items via Gwynnie Bee. Maybe it’s time to say bye-bye to Hello Kitty. Goodbye Kitty?

IMG_6701

Had a follow-up visit to the blood doctor. They found a blood clot when I was in the hospital…it partially divided and became several blood clots in my lungs as well. So I’ve been on blood thinners and had a clot filter inserted prior to surgery. Which they now want to remove. THROUGH MY NECK. Gah. That just sounds horrible. I feel the medical profession as a whole could endeavor to make things a LITTLE more fun. I don’t know how, but they’re the ones making the big bucks, let THEM figure it out.

IMG_6704

My cousin sent me this picture of my mother as a baby. I think it’s hysterical! She was born in 1922.

IMG_6705

A package arrived from Old Navy. I’d been so excited for these items but….MEH. I’ve seen the blue floral off-the-shoulder (OTS) dress on a couple bloggers and was just in love with it…until I put it on. I knew it was a questionable choice for me because of the elastic waist. And sure enough it was just not right and I felt very fidgetty in it, constantly fussing with the waist. The OTS part was also not cooperative and I don’t even OWN a strapless bra (oh my gosh the dog just burped in his sleep and it sounded like a child said “hi”) so what was I even thinking?? It was a size 4x. I’m still addicted to striped tops and am looking for a new favorite. This was not it. Too big in the chest and shoulders, too snug at the hips. Sigh. Story of my  life. Size 4x. And I’m looking for a couple pairs of slouchy (BUT NOT SLOPPY!!!) soft fabric, like a rayon or linen blend or tencel, ankle length pants for summer. These linen blend 4x pants were just too big. I couldn’t tie them tight enough to keep them from slipping down my hips. The last dress, the mustard yellow dress is just like the light blue Tencel “nightgown” dress I had from last year…but it’s more of a gauzey rayon and a little snugger fit. Size 4x. Pass. Everything is already on its way back to Old Navy and the search continues. I can spend the same $100 on clothes for MONTHS, buying and returning, lather, rinse, repeat.

4.22.17

And last (lastly?) I paid a visit yesterday to the podiatrist, FINALLY, after suffering with heel pain for almost 8 months. I’ve done the stretching exercises. I’ve rolled my foot over the golf ball and frozen water bottle. I was “off my feet” for as much as I could probably ever be between my time in the hospital and then recovering at home after the surgery. I’ve iced it. I went to physical therapy three times for stretching, massage, laser treatments and electronic stimulation. And it’s been 8 months and the pain is bad and not getting better. He took a digital x-ray which showed a heel spur and inflammation, gave me a cortisone shot (youch) and then wrapped my foot up with this cushiony pad and said to leave it on for three days. It’s already off. Ha. It was SO tight, it was as uncomfortable as the heel pain! I’m going to say the edge is off the heel pain but it’s not entirely gone. I also haven’t walked a lot since. He said it could be 4-5 days before it takes full effect. And I go back Friday to follow-up and get another shot if needed.

IMG_6732

And now it’s the weekend YAY. I have errands and apartment cleaning planned for today…and something FUN planned for tomorrow. And when I say PLANNED I mean, we plan to have FUN, we haven’t actually planned yet what exactly we’re doing. So it’s still a surprise.

What do YOU have planned for the weekend? And have any of you ever had success with ANY sort of treatment for heel pain/spurs?

Week in Review: Week 60

IMG_6572

The week started off with consults at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for a second opinion on my situation and treatment going forward. I’m finally learning that “consult” doesn’t mean sitting in a civilized wood-paneled office, a desk away from a doctor, tissues at hand (like on TV)…but instead “get undressed and put on this gown and the dr will SEE you in a few minutes.” I’ve learned to wear loose-fitting dresses so I can by-pass the gown (how smart am I?) but I haven’t figured out how to avoid the endless stream of EXAMS. Ugh. “Hello, I’m Dr. Smith, nice to meetcha, now skootch down and spread your legs.” Hello to you, too.

Anyway, I was pleased with both the doctors, their treatment plan was pretty different than the first place (though they both had very good explanations for why they’d do things their way), and everything moved along at a good pace. Which is very important to me as I don’t want to be spending my summer waiting in a treatment center. I want to get in, get out, and go see a sunset, thank you very much.

Final decision has not been made yet.

IMG_6593

National Sibling Day was this week. That’s me (the short one in baggy ruffled tights) and my sister (the tall pretty one who is looking very Gidget-esque).

fashion schlub plus size blog 4.11.17 3 resizedfashion schlub plus size blog 4.11.17 7 resized

Tuesday afternoon we headed down to a charter boat marina to do some blog pictures. It felt good to be out in the air and be doing a photo shoot.

IMG_6622

I wanted to show you my cute new EASY TO PUT ON sneakers but the dog wanted in the shot. I think it’s time to unmake the bed-sofa.

IMG_6618

Wednesday morning it was BACK to Sloan for a ct-scan. I drank the kool aid. I failed the test. After all the drinking, waiting, changing, trying to get an IV in me (I have tough veins), etc…they got the first picture then the two ladies came hurrying into the scan room where I was and said, “uh, hun, you still have your bra on!” Damn. I was so distracted by “where do I go next?” as I was changing into THE DREADED GOWN that I totally blanked on taking off my bra. Duh. They’d already gotten the first pic so now I couldn’t move, so I had two women, one on each side of me, trying to remove my bra without me moving. Someone should have taken a picture of THAT.

PS, the contrast dye they injected into me for the scan changed my taste buds for three days and everything tasted horrible. Someone should figure out how to market that as a weight loss aid. If eating Doritos is no more enjoyable than eating lettuce, well…

IMG_6623

There was a pretty little gifty in my grocery cart.

IMG_6635

Thursday night I worked our Adventureland event. Twice a year we rent out the amusement park and it’s closed to the general public and made available just to families of kids and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. It. Almost. Always. Rains. or at least threatens. But this night was PERFECT and we had a TON of happy people going on rides, playing arcade games and eating cotton candy. This picture was taken as the event prior to ours was just closing out, that’s why it looks so empty.

IMG_6632

I’m a little teapot….

IMG_6644

The next morning I was verrrrry tired and was wishing I could just climb on the tuffet with Caleb and Jane instead of going to work.

IMG_6648

Got my second wind by late afternoon and picked up a friend (this is her backyard, can you even?) to go to the movies. We saw Going in Style with Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin. Ann Margaret was in it a bit and OHMYGOD she looks UH-MAZING. She’s 76, she looks better than I do. She looks better than MOST people do, ha. The movie was cute.

And now it’s Saturday. I have no plans. Wanna do something??