A recipe for living with cancer.

Posts tagged ‘diet’

Does this Make Me Look FAT?

Some things never change, like our perception of our body.  I have always been overweight heavy thighs, big butt and as I age growing waistline.  I have dieted up and down hundreds of pounds and have been obsessed with the way I look from the waist down.  My breasts and my hair have never been part of this obsession because you can always cover hair, pull it back or wash it quick in the sink if all else fails.  My breasts were always just there, an ok size and shape and neither offensive nor of particular concern.

Therefore I guess it was no surprise when I decided to “go commando,” as Tom likes to say, and not cover my bald head after losing my hair.  Apparently I have a nice shaped head with “no divots” as Brent and everyone else commented.  And caring for a bald head as opposed to a head of hair…incredible, fast, easy and you NEVER have to worry if it looks good! The hardest part was actually losing my eyebrows and eyelashes because this has a dramatic effect on the appearance of your face.  Judy mentioned the word ghost and I realized that is a perfect description of how you look without them.  I would get up each morning and there was a washed out ghostly look to my face and a person who I did not recognize.

As my eyebrows and lashes have come back (eyebrows are really thin, oh well) I look in the mirror and there is color once again and I am starting to recognize the reflection.

Having my breasts removed has also been a bit odd in that I have not “mourned” their loss, but been grateful to have the cancer taken out.  I am alive, what more could one ask for.

After all of this– Tom and I walked out Saturday morning to take a walk in the beautiful weather.  As we walked out the door I turned to Tom and asked, “do these sweatpants make me look fat?”

He looked at me in disbelief and said, “I can’t believe you are asking me if you look fat after going for all these months with no hair.  Are you crazy?”

Some things never change.

Here is a great picture of Tom and me at Elizabeth’s wedding in October.   We are starting to look like twins as my hair grows in! Do you think this dress makes me look fat?  Just kidding!


History Repeats

This was cookie weekend, a family tradition started 65 years ago when my parents were poor and needed an additional source of income.  Mom was a great baker and folks loved her cookies so she started baking and selling boxes for extra cash.  As things got better financially Mom kept baking cookies, but instead of selling them they became gifts at the holidays for my Dad’s clients.  It was well known at the annual Hotel/Motel show in New York City to stop by Berkowitz’s booth to get some of Raynor’s homemade cookies-to a small child growing up she was famous!

My Mom could do anything she was invincible, she could cook, bake, sew, paint, garden, work, do math, and live with my father, she was my hero. When my father told me she had breast cancer my world stopped.  My mother, best friend, confident, teacher, person who I could always make giggle, was 60 and sick, suddenly my life was out of control.  Control– we all try to control that which happens in our home lives our work lives, without control there is chaos.  How do we react when control is taken from us grasping to make sense out of the uncontrollable?  I stopped eating it was the only thing I could control.  I got very thin.

History repeats.

As cookie weekend unfolded I watched all the “kids” and looked at Miriam and how wonderful she looks captured me.  She is a beautiful person, smart, kind and generous and she looks terrific.  I felt a kind of deja vu, I’d been here before.  Yes, cookie weekend has been going on pretty much unabated for the last 40 or so years but there was something else.

My Mom and I were both diagnosed with cancer at sixty.  During this crisis I lost weight and now so has Miriam.  Coincidence or history repeating itself or is it one in the same?  I am not looking for some grand meaning in the coincidence, no irrevocable links of fate, bad karma, or premonition of what the future holds.  I was simply struck this weekend, surrounded by family and thousands of cookies,  I flashed back 30 years.  A similar cookie weekend, kids all around, my Mom recovering from cancer surgery, cookies everywhere and me 50 lbs. lighter and looking pretty good and feeling great.

I think I am jealous.  I want to be thin again, cancer free, looking great, feeling great. I also want the future for my daughter to be cancer free; I don’t want history to repeat.

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