Thursday, December 24, 2009

t'was the day before Christmas...

and not a cancer cell stirring (I hope).

Christmas brings mixed feelings. I love being home for the holidays, but I can't help remembering December of last year; it was the lowest, most despondent, most painful month of my life. And hey!! It's all documented here, just a click away.

Here I am, sitting in the exact same spot on the couch, laptop and all, that I sat for all of those miserable months. I see the big tree on the other side of the window, bare spindle arms still exactly the same. I remember watching the leaves fall and imagining each one a cancer cell, withering, dying, disintegrating into non-existence. Hoping the seasonal cycle of death was happening in my body as well.

It was.

I am so thankful I went through veritable hell and made it back for one more year. A few of my friends didn't, and I feel as though it's my duty to relish every sensation that they've been robbed of. Happiness, gratitude, I feel it in my bones.

Hair update: It's growing in kinky and I can totally comb it into a righteous fro. I've always hated the smell of unwashed hair, you know, the combination of oils and skin and such, but I LOVE it now. I run my fingers through my hair and inhale. Mmmmmm, to be human again. And bangs! observe:

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This next bit might be TMI, but then, I suppose that's the point- my little ovary buddies are working again, complete with PMS and cramps and the holy parting of the red sea. Apparently my chemo-induced menopause was temporary. Who knew I'd be so happy to be bloated and irritated?

enough about me...

I want to pass this contest along but I'm too lazy to summarize, so here's the deal:

Honor a special oncology nurse for CURE's 2010 Extraordinary Healer Award
for Oncology Nursing

For the fourth year in a row, CURE is giving you a unique opportunity to
honor an oncology nurse through the 2010 Extraordinary Healer Award for
Oncology Nursing! CURE will accept essay nominations from patients,
survivors, caregivers, and peers describing the compassion, expertise, and
helpfulness that a special oncology nurse has exhibited.

Three nurse finalists and the individuals who nominated them by essay, plus
one guest each, will receive round-trip airfare and two-night accommodations
in San Diego, where they will be honored at a reception to be held in
conjunction with the Oncology Nursing Society's 35th Annual Congress, on May
13th, 2010. One nurse will be presented with the 2010 Extraordinary Healer
Award for Oncology Nursing, and will also receive a special gift in
recognition of his or her service to cancer patients and survivors.

The deadline is April 5, 2010.


I love my oncology nurses. I give them a mental hug every time I think of them. Perhaps they deserve more than invisible gestures of gratitude.


Eidin said...

Merry Christmas, Kaylin. Your bangs are absolutely splendid.

Lauren said...

my hair has started to come back in... i can't wait til its at your length - it's super thin & fuzzy right now and my head feels like a baby animal.

i'm also growing back in all the unwanted hair whose absence i'd been counting as one of the "upsides" of the chemo. i'd been crossing my fingers that it would be gone forever, but i guess not...

merry christmas :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I came upon your blog last week via surfing. I read it in two days over my lunch break.

I love your writing, your human-ness!

I have Follicular Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, the slow-growing indolent type. I haven't passed your way yet (chemo and suffering), but when/if I do, you will have inspired me.

That's all. I just wanted to let you know a stranger popped by and found your writing, well, ah, AWESOME.

Much happiness to you .......


kaylin andres said...

lori and sherri, thanks!

lauren, I knowww, having to shave and pluck again sucks. Another thing I miss about chemo: no zits!

Sarah Feather said...

Kaylin, your hair is gorgeous! I have total hair envy. Mine is about an eighth of an inch right now, but fortunately not as kinky as the last time it grew in. (I was hoping for platinum blonde and stick-straight, but no such luck.) And I hate shaving and zits, too - although glad to hear I'm not alone.

Have an amazing and healthy New Year! Can't wait to read more.


Applecart T. said...

you look good.

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