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by Marilyn B.
Read Marilyn's story and track her journey…
I just got back from the "Look Good, Feel Better" program, which is a two-hour workshop with a professional makeup artist who teaches cancer survivors how to put on makeup given the new obstacles (no hair, eyebrows, lashes, etc.). It was great fun, but I'm sad to say I flunked out. According to the teacher, my foundation was too dark, my eyebrows were wonky and when she saw my lipstick, she reminded the class how important it was to NOT pick the wrong color. We learned about cleansers, tonics, face cream, primer, sunscreen, concealer, foundation, powder, eye shadow, eye liner, eyebrow shadow/liner, mascara, lip liner and lipstick.
She never answered my question about how long it takes her to put her make up on each day! Actually, she was great, and I came away with a bag full of high-end cosmetics, all donated by the various companies. It was also great to be in a group of baldies. Thanks to Kristen for the suggestion.
I've been doing very well. My stamina is coming back, I have a fair bit of energy and I've been in good spirits. I continue to have muscle weakness and edema in my legs, and it may take quite awhile to get back in pretreatment shape. I am walking and stretching daily and even made it to yoga class last week. Thanks, Abby! The really big news is that I have started to grow a bit of stubble—fortunately, on my head!
Radiation continues to be just another errand I need to run each day. I still have the fatigue and skin issues to come, but my doctor says I'm "trending well," meaning that if things progress for the second half as they have the first half, I should manage just fine.
I don't have any expectation that I will come through this phase unscathed—most don't. But every day without major side effects is a great day, and it is one day closer to the end. Today was #14 down, and 22 to go. This weekend marks the halfway point, with the projected end date of September 9.
I really love the team at the clinic. They go about the task in an expert way, the whole time talking about random, everyday stuff—the weather, food, motorcycles, baseball, work. After they make all the necessary adjustments and get me all situated exactly the way I need to be, they all stare down at my breast and one of them will state with authority: "Perfect." I take it as a compliment and think that there are worse ways to start one's day.
Thanks for being there for me. We're not done yet, but I'm beginning to see the finish line.
Hugs to you all,