Now this is what I call a Cancer Perk!
I just received and set up my new (free! pink!) BlackBerry Pearl, courtesy of an amazing little program from Rethink Breast Cancer and Telus Mobility called Technology & Treatment. Basically it means I can stay on top of the total chaos that is my life while having one less bill to worry about – the program offers women in treatment unlimited texting, browsing, e-mail and nationwide calling for free. Yes, I am totally serious. I wouldn’t make this up. For those of you now thinking, ‘How can I get me one of those?’ I lifted this off the Rethink Breast Cancer site:
Who is eligible: Young women in Canada (in their 20s, 30s or early 40s) who are newly diagnosed and/or in active treatment for breast cancer. For more information, contact Rethink Breast Cancer at 416-920-0980 or toll free at 1-866-RETHINK. Or, send an email to email@example.com
I can now read and reply to blog comments from… well, wherever I may be. Plus I’ve already put all my gazillions of appointments in the calendar – CT scans, clinics, blood work, social stuff, work stuff… the whole nine enchiladas, as my friend Steve would say. And yes, I did set up a big fat reminder that notifies me when it’s time to take a break from chemo, so hopefully I won’t ever screw that up again.
Anyway it’s lovely. It made my day. And the people who help you set it up – both at Rethink and at Telus – are super nice and very helpful. Call them. Do it now. Stop reading, you should be calling. Dial now, please.
Thanks to all you smart, kind people at Telus & Rethink!
So my hair is coming back with a vengeance. Everywhere, if you catch my drift. Loss of body hair was one of those rare things, The Cancer Perk. (Actually I can’t think of any others, except the kindness of strangers and maybe the disabled parking pass you can get for the duration of treatment.*)
When all my hair disappeared I was too busy feeling like crap to fully appreciate not having to shave/wax/pluck/laser… And anyway, I don’t think the chemo-zilian ever really compensated for going bowling-ball bald up top. Not that I’m complaining – I am absolutely thrilled that my hair is growing and especially that my eyelashes are back. I just forgot how much work it is clear-cutting forests and keeping stray eyebrows away from the chin area.
And while being not bald is in itself truly fantastic, I do kind of feel like I’m wearing someone else’s haircut now. Someone with dark, really short hair. Someone with a few GREY hairs.
I don’t know if the grey has materialized due to the stress of having cancer or just because I’m no longer 22, but it is not welcome. The effrontery! Like I haven’t endured enough. In retaliation I’ve dyed my hair and when those pesky little greys reappear, I’ll pluck ‘em out one by one and show ‘em not the slightest mercy.
And yes, I have been warned (repeatedly) that “if you pluck one grey hair out, six more show up in its place,” but I refuse to buy in. I gave up believing in myths like that after a lifetime of blindly accepting my mother’s famous Cockroach Theory, which goes like this: Even if you separate its disgusting little body into several pieces, a cockroach has the ability to regenerate, or somehow drag itself back into one piece. I truly believed this, and as a result lived in more-than-average fear of roaches, thinking them not just gross but supernaturally evil. That is, until one day in a quite nasty Moroccan hotel, when my then-boyfriend and I could not succeed in whacking to death a particularly terrifying cockroach. The thing was almost as big as the shoe we were trying to use as the murder weapon. We would stun it, assume it was dead and stare at it in horror and disgust, deliberating about how to dispose of the body – when suddenly it would begin to twitch again. Before we knew it, la cucaracha was straightening out its crunched up little legs and speeding across the floor again, with then-boyfriend and shoe in hot pursuit. Obviously we had no choice: we had to hack it up. Suffice to say the memory haunts me still, but at least once hacked up the thing stayed hacked up, and my mom’s famous Cockroach Theory was forever debunked.
And so it shall be with the grey hairs: I’ll get them out and they will not be instantly replaced with six grieving relatives. No mercy! I mean business, just ask the Moroccan cockroaches.
*How to get the Parking Permit: You go pick up the temporary disability permit forms at your local vehicle licensing office. Your doctor signs them, and a temporary permit is issued immediately. You will no longer have to pay for metered parking every single time you go to the hospital. You will save a fortune. This tip came from Erella Ganon – and if it helps you, please join me in saying a little prayer for her every time you park for free. She has a tumour in her brain.