Dress For Success

Kailey Visiting with me during a Herceptin treatment.
Kailey visiting with me during a                 Herceptin treatment.

Dress For Success

No, I’m not talking about your career, I’m talking about the success of your health. I’m adding this addition to my blog, with a shout out to Kaitlyn, one of the wonderful nurses at the Space Coast Cancer Center that has helped me get through my treatments this past year. She has been a sweetheart that never fails to take the time to come say hello, ask how I am doing, and never fails to pay me a compliment on my appearance, no matter how busy she is with other patients.

It was during my treatment a few weeks ago, when I had Kailey with me to help teach me how to layout this blog better (since I’m clueless and haven’t exactly felt like figuring all of this out on my own), when Kaitlyn told me that I should make an entry on the blog about how I always care about my appearance when I go out. I had previously told her about The Bald and the Breastless. She laughed hysterically at the title, as all people have, which was my goal when I titled it! (So that was a success also!) She said that I am one of the few patients that always show up for treatment “looking so cute”. She said most people dress the way they feel, so they show up in whatever they grab to put on to walk out of the door because they don’t feel like making the effort to look nice, and she felt it might help others to hear how I’ve cared about my appearance, because she truly felt that it would help the patient mentally to “feel better” if they took the time to attempt to “look better”.

I told Kaitlyn, that even at home, on the days that I didn’t feel like even getting out of bed at all, I would make myself get up and get dressed, even if it was to just go sit in the recliner all day. Now did I put on a party dress, heels, and full makeup? I hardly think so! But I did put on clothes that I would normally put on every day for casual wear. I felt that I had to at least make that effort to make myself feel “normal”. Would I have preferred to have stayed in bed in my PJ’s all day? ABSOLUTELY! But I felt that for my mental health, I had to get up, get dressed, and pretend that every day was “normal”, even if I couldn’t do everything else that was normal. At least I was making an effort to do something! I honestly feel that had I stayed in bed, I probably would have fallen into a deep depression, and would have had a hard time getting back on that proverbial horse when the time came.

I don’t believe that I have mentioned this here yet, but our insurance company was willing to pay up to $12,000 for me to buy 2 wigs. Now I’m vain, in a “I’m not walking out of the house looking like I just slopped a hog” type of way, (not that there is anything wrong with slopping hogs, but I would like to think that I would shower and clean up before going out into public first!) because I do care about my appearance, but I’m not vain enough to spend that much of anyone’s money on a wig! I had already read about how hot and itchy they were anyway, and I’ve yet to see a wig on a cancer patient that looks completely realistic in my opinion, so it really wasn’t much of a decision for me. So, due to foregoing the wig, I just went out and spent a small fortune of our own money on a large variety of scarves and hats. Funny enough, the insurance won’t cover any of that, only the wigs. I didn’t wear any hats once all of my hair was gone (that’s another post that’s coming soon), because I didn’t like having the bald portion of my head stick out in the back, but I did find a couple of hats that covered my head well enough that I could wear those instead of a scarf. I would like to also throw in this here for the new head scarf wearer, allow several minutes extra to tie the scarf if you’re a newbie to tying them on your head as I was. You also have to allow extra time getting ready to go anywhere if you want to wear false eyelashes once yours fall out. (Again, I will cover that in another post.) I’m much quicker at it now, but it took me quite a while to perfect putting those little suckers on! (I guess I finally figured it out, because anytime I did mention to someone that I had false lashes on, they always claimed they had no idea, they just thought I was lucky and didn’t lose my lashes!)

When I go for treatments, Dr.’s appointments, or even just to the grocery store, as much as a pain as it is, I take that extra time to select my clothing, and then a matching scarf or hat. I have always taken the time to put on make up and look my very best. I don’t know if its people trying to make me feel better or not, but I have honestly had dozens of strangers that I’ve met, that once we start talking and they find out that I’m going through cancer treatment, (and no, it’s not as if I’m going up, tapping strangers on the shoulder, and start telling them my story, it’s people that I meet and we begin a conversation that eventually leads to my story) they have all said things like, “ well you look fantastic”, or “you look great”, or “you don’t look sick at all”. Part of me has felt that it was their way of trying to make me feel better, but when Kaitlyn pointed out that I always look so nice and well put together and suggested that I blog about my efforts, I started to think there might be something to taking the effort to look better than you feel.

Maybe my efforts do help to make me  not “look sick”, so, maybe that actually helps to make me feel better. And trust me, if those efforts, which at times, are just that, a full-blown effort, are making me feel better than I would have without them, them I am all for it and will continue making that effort!!

First attempt at typing the scarf!
First attempt at typing the scarf!
Treatment, here I come!
Treatment, here I come!
Dinner with my handsome hubby and son at the Mangrove Deck where Nick works.
Dinner out with Dad and Geri
Dinner out with Dad and Geri

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