The hard part for me

Everyone deals with cancer differently.
I’m finding it hard dealing with the loss of me. Cause even though I am of course still me what I see in the mirror isn’t me. It’s another version. A rounder, fatter, hairier faced, sick version of me. Last time I had melanoma in my lymph nodes and I needed surgery I was still me. I coped with the pain, the radiotherapy burns and the leftover scars cause the whole time I still looked like me!
You will say hair will grow back. The cortisone effects will wear off. Mobility back when Charlie dies. People loose far more during their battles with serious illness. Its only hair. Its silly but every morning now my hair is everywhere and its depressing. I cannot wash it, brush it or touch it without it coming out in clumps. And no matter how brave you are and how many jokes you can make about pulling off the Telly Savallas look at the end of the day you don’t want to look like him. You want to look like you. Wigs and experiments can give you a temporary fix but what you see in the mirror isn’t you.
Its very hard for me to accept the new me. I am Alethea. I don’t look like Alethea (in my eyes that is) but I am still Alethea. . I am strong and fighting every day, believing in the zapping and before long I will be better. In the meantime one has to try fight depression stop it from taking over your whole body cause you cant help feeling sad cause your body is going through so many changes.
People know you have cancer when you have no hair on your head. And then its like a huge sign saying hey everyone l’ve had or have cancer. And then everyone looks at you differently. They cant help it. Its something humans do. We look at people differently when they are sick. People whisper. Hug you gently cause they think you may break.
So you see cancer is a horrible disease cause it makes you different, people see you differently and all you want to be is yourself.

And all this cause I spent so much time sunbathing without the proper protection. How annoying is THAT!

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. debbie blackshaw
    Feb 27, 2011 @ 14:08:19

    I have just read the blog and parts made me laugh and cry, You have great courage and I pray all works out for you xxxx

    Reply

  2. randi
    Feb 27, 2011 @ 16:49:14

    Alathea
    Hang in there you are doing great. You are an inspiration for so many reading your blog. Depression is quite normal and can come on quite suddenly with cancer-Being normal is all we patients want. I wanted to be normal so badly that I refused to face recurrence of my melanoma, so you see you are brave and you will look like you again-Everyone says hair is just hair (bullsh__)not for women. Look at a picture of your son because thats what your working to get better so hard for-thats what got me through the roughest of morninings. randi-

    Reply

  3. Lesley & kev
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 07:04:54

    You are beautiful Alethea and Telli Savalas was an ugly bastard with a big nose and that lolly pop stick out of his mouth!!! keep fighting girl, strong support hugs xxx

    Reply

  4. Yvette
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 08:03:36

    oh Babe…… hate that you are going through this…. nothing I can say to make it go away other than you are doing great, you will fight it and one day, this will all be a distant memory and you will feel and look like the old Alethea… you are still the same woman…. if not a hell of a lot stronger now… your changing form is a sign of strength, not weakness, remember that xxxx love you xxx

    Reply

  5. Bro.T
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 17:02:47

    Hi sis x. Sorry how you are feeling on the outside but on the inside you are still the Alethea we all know and love and this is whats going to bring you through this journey and get you back to the Alethea on the outside.

    Keep the faith
    Bro.T xxx

    Reply

  6. JK
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 23:30:11

    Hello Alethea, oh it is so hard to read but I so admire your honesty, your raw emotion is so acute. I’m not an expert but have suffered depression over various troubled periods, having babies and life threatening illness in my life. I know that it will always be part of me and will happily let me fall into the abyss if I allow it to get it’s hooks in. I have recognised over the years that my own personal guilt was a huge weight of responsibility that did’nt help me, I realised what I was becoming and doing, particularly to those around me but did’nt know how to stop it, then I got a handle on the guilt and accepted and still accept that I have to let the dark side come, I see it that my mind needs to go to the recesses and to be perfectly frank I have to wallow in it , I don’t feel guilty about it anymore as I know it is a sign that my mind needs to shut down so I let it happen but within a few days I come bouncing back, in my shutdown I find the positives to keep coming back. Since I had my own tumour it is always in the back of my mind that in the end it will get me so I fight the urge to be negative but still know and recognise when I have to shut down. This is really laymans advice, it works well for me since I got rid of the guilty conscience, it is okay to say how I feel and to warn the people who are close to me when I am going off on one. I don’t know if this may help but wanted to share and empathise with you. You are a lovely lady and I am privileged to know you, I think of you often and just send all my love to you both xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Reply

  7. Zhanna P. Rader
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 01:41:30

    Alethea, every woman, if in your shoes, would have felt the same way you feel about your temporary different looks. That is very understandable. Your fight with the disease is fierce, thus some temporary losses… It’s like a war… a battle… I knew of a case when a young woman with cancer did not want to have her breast removed – she did not want to see herself “deformed”. She died as a result. You are fighting for your life. I’d rather be fat and hairless, but live. However, in your case, all that is temporary. Thus you have to remind herself about that each time you look in the mirror. Yes, people often see sick people differently, but with compassion nevertheless. By the way, they do that about old people, too. 😦 You know who you are, you know what you are fighting for, you know that you’ll get back into your usual self… Yes, the road is bumpy, but you are a strong person, and you will win! I wish you easy days during the rest of your treatment.
    Love,
    Zhanna

    Reply

  8. Jacqui
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 20:42:54

    Hi Alethea, just keep on keeping on!! You have a goal, Christian’s birthday, keep it in your mind (as if it would never be there! Duh!), let it carry you through. You will always be you!!

    So brave, such spirit and courage, bless you Alethea, prayers are with you.

    Jacs xx

    Reply

  9. marley demosthenous
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 14:51:12

    I have just read your story and I admire your strength and courage. I hope everything works out well for you. You are in my prayers.xxx

    Reply

  10. sally
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 22:16:46

    When I look at your photos and read your updates I always think that you are beautiful inside and out Alethea. You are still you and you are still a mummy and a wife too 🙂 When this treatment is finished you will be able to see the Alethea that you recogise again in your mirror.
    Take care
    love sally xxx

    Reply

  11. Bev
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 12:49:32

    Hi Alethea. My hair has just started to grow back after chemo. I know that feeling of looking in the mirror and not seeing ‘you’. I tried to make light of being bald and bloated and kept thinking it’s only temporary but there were days that my heart would ache as I so wanted to be ‘normal’. Now every day I look in the mirror and smile. Every day my hair is a little longer. It’s a skinhead look and really annoyingly it’s grey but to me it’s an outward sign of returning to some normality, of that chapter of my life being over. You are so nearly there and have been so strong. I found it was just after the half way mark of treatment that I let it get to me the most. Wobbling from your strength is totally understandable but I’m sure it will return and you will be stronger then ever. In my thoughts and prayers. x

    Reply

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