Loving my hair….

I posted a video on my Cancercize with Renee B Facebook page yesterday. I was showing off my hair.

Okay not really showing off the hair, rather the hair straightener I used. As you can tell from this picture it really straightened my hair.

When I posted the video about how well the product worked I had comments from friends. One of the comments was they were glad I started liking my hair. Oh Boy! That is a loaded statement in itself! I try to adjust to my hair and it’s ever-changing “style”. Truth is I do not like it. I don’t know when it will finish changing and what it will do next. I AM thankful that it is growing back thick and full like it was in the past.

As I was thinking about that I realized that I have never truly liked my hair. I would grow it out then cut it. I would dye it, curl it, straighten it then wash it out and start over again. I would be happy if I could  get all the sides to lay flat at the same time. I would be happy if it would stay in a ponytail during a workout. I would be happy if the gray roots aka groots were always covered. When I couldn’t keep my weight under control I was happy that I could change my hair.

I knew I was going to lose my hair during chemo. I figured since I never really liked my hair it wouldn’t really matter, and hey I have always wanted naturally curly hair. Ha! Little did I know. Now it is so curly it is hard to do anything with it! So I tried a new product that is to help straighten it. It didn’t really work for me but it did give it some soft control.

Today I did not wake up in time to shower. To tame my wild unruly hair I put on a head band and then used clips to hold down the parts the headband couldn’t. Didn’t look to bad. By the time I left the house I put my knit hat on. It was cold out this AM. I never took the hat off at work. Figured a hat is the best way to hide a bad hair day.

When I got home tonight and finally took the hat off I realized I still had all the clips and head band on too. I had forgotten all about them. Funny thing is, it has been hours and I still feel like I am wearing my hat, clips and band. BUT my hair is laying down flat at last!


PS I am wearing more of that amazing lipstick my girlfriend sells in this pic. It is why I took this picture. I am wearing two layers of Dawn Rising and one layer of Roseberry. Thanks Julie!


I don’t know who this is….

Something is off.

This week has been a tough week. No reason in particular. It just feels rough, out of sorts, extra long and just plain off.

I know it is me. I know that it is something in me that is off. I can’t place my finger on it. I am starting to believe that it is the medication I am taking to keep the cancer from growing back. At least that is what I am choosing to think.

I ache, all over. I can’t stop crying. My body is not recovering from exercising like it should. I am not even over doing the exercise, so that is not the excuse. I just feel off. I hurt enough to notice it but not enough to stop me from pressing forward. Going to work, working out, being ‘normal’ and to not call the doctor. Just off.

I find it troublesome when something is on the edge of your tongue yet still so elusive you can’t put your finger on it.

Last Christmas we celebrated somberly. I knew about the cancer and at the time I didn’t know what or when treatment was going to happen or by whom.

This year I celebrate Christmas somberly again. Thankful that I am in remission and that I am nearing my one year mark. Thankful that my family is closer and tighter than ever before. Grateful that I can close this chapter of my life.

At least that is the theory. The cold harsh reality is I am still fighting. Fighting to get sleep ( these 4:30 AM wake ups are rough) Fighting to get healthy (ugh, still fighting with the carbs) Fighting to move more (my motivation and endurance are still lacking) Fighting to find the good in every thing and everyone (it is there, I may not have it but I know others do) Fighting to find my new normal (blah I HATE that phrase) Fighting to not let the outside be reflective of my inside (I have changed, I try to hide that)

Things I have learned so far through all of this:

I have many friends. Some that I never knew I had. I also have less friends. One’s I never should have had.

I am way more into my appearance and hair than I ever thought I was. Who knew I had so much vanity? I honestly didn’t.

That no matter how determined and consistent I am, I still lose focus and energy and motivation to keep doing what is right.

That my job is just a job and it no longer brings me joy. I want more. I have also learned that over time doing the same mundane things you lose sight of the goal of wanting more and something different, something better. Changing and doing more was so intense I couldn’t breath or speak. That is gone. Worn away by the everyday. How did I let that happen?

I am different. My body is the biggest give away. My hair is obvious. My weight is even more obvious. All the scars and lack of nipple cements the difference. I am different on the inside too. Most days I am learning who I am now. Who I want to become. What I am made of.

I look at this picture I took yesterday in the bathroom at work. I took it because I was wearing a new lipstick that I bought from my friend and I wanted her to see what it looked like on me. I do not see Renee. I do not know who this person is. I don’t recognize her at all.

I do know that when I look at this picture I will not be her for long. I am going to fight whatever this ‘offness’ is. I am going to keep moving forward. I am going to wear a hat more often. I am going to believe that 2017 is the year of Renee. I am going to believe that there is only going forward, only becoming better, smarter, funnier, prettier and stronger.

I don’t know who this is. I do know that someday I will.




I push..

I push then I wonder why. My body screams move, then it screams stop it hurts, so I stop and my head screams why did you stop? push through, push harder, and all I can think is why, why am I doing this? is it to prove to myself? is it to prove to those who think I can’t? is it because I need validation, a victory, proof? run. NO walk. NO, run. NO, walk! NO, jog!! now even if it hurts, why? this is the battle in my head. who knew that wogging would be so emotional? I didn’t. I knew it was mental and physical but not emotional. It stirs up thoughts of failure, status quo, aging aching bones and muscles. it brings up doubts of can I do anything? or am I okay with just being where I am at? Am I all worked up from my online goals classes? do I have a real purpose? or just a challenge to prove to myself that I am strong enough, and smart enough and have no limits? I get excited because I have goals and a focus and am constatntly trying to reach them. It is exciting. then day to day life settles in and I doubt I can do them. what is the point? why does it matter? does anyone care but me? how can I a type B introvert be a type A confident person? what purpose does it serve? Then I remind myself… I LIKE having a goal, a purpose, a direction. I have never had one before that was so clear and concise. so real that I can taste it. so much more that I can be. No longer a status quo, a day in day out liver, but a doer, a focuser, a liver of life, a goal setter and achiever….. Why? maybe just for me? maybe just for a kick? maybe for someone else? maybe for the accolade? or simple acknowledgement that I am not dumb, lazy or unfocused. I am not sure yet of the why, but I am sure of the want.

It all started when I nicked my toe shaving……

I should have know that today was not going to be a good day. I didn’t realize it in the moment but I noticed it later. I nicked my big toe while shaving this morning. Yeah, I know TMI, yes I shave my big toes. Once you start you can’t stop, unless you are undergoing chemotherapy and loose all your toe hair.

Yesterday I did my Cancercize with Renee B workout https://youtu.be/JDLqZhLUKnA . It was ARMS. I attempted to do push ups and planks for the first time since the last surgery. I had horrible form and barely did five reps. I felt them all day yesterday. I feel them even more today. In fact my arms are pretty much useless at this moment.

I left for work and the roads were decent so I thought I would stop for gas before the weather was too cold and snowy. I pulled up to the pump and put my card in. It asked of my zip code. I entered it. The machine told me to go see the cashier. Nope. I don’t like human interactions with strangers. I try again. Same response. One more time. Negative. I grab my card and leave. Time is running out now to get to work on time. Why can’t I remember my zip code? #blerg

When I got to work everything that happened the first hour and half annoyed me. As soon as my supervisor came in I went and got coffee with her so I could get a hug. She asked if I was alright. I told her all I wanted to do was cry. That feeling pretty much stuck with me all day. I emailed my husband and told him how much I was struggling. His response was simply ‘keep smiling’ #men

As the day wore on I eventually had to put my hat on. My supervisor asked if I was cold. “No, my hair is driving me crazy” It is true, it felt like I had a big chunk of hair standing straight up and it would bounce when I walked. I couldn’t take it any more even if it wasn’t happening. So red shirt, green vest and purple hat day at work. #sexy

I left work and decided I would try to get gas again. I had looked up my zip code so I was prepared. I get to the pump, hop out of the car, my wallet hops out too. It spills out on the wet concrete. I put my card in and it just sits there. I take it out and try again. The pump would not read or register that I had put a card in. Ugh, I give up. I am tired and I ache all over, I am hungry and I just want to go home pour a glass of wine and eat something that I don’t have to make.

By the time I got home, after dropping my lunch box once and keys twice I was done. I walked in the door and throw all my stuff on the floor and extend my arms. Thankfully hubby responded correctly. #redeemed He got up and just held me. I cried a little but we did not speak. I needed that hug. I needed wine too. I don’t keep wine around anymore but I had a bottle of this wonderful lemon basil hard cider. Had to make dinner because neither of us wanted to leave the warm, dry house. And honestly I just can’t eat anymore pizza at this point.

After I had my first glass of cider, another hug and some food I finally feel like myself. Or close enough.

The picture of the wine glasses was from a New Year’s a few years ago. My glass was big enough to hold an entire bottle of wine. I named her Big Bertha. Sadly she broke about two years ago. At least I have pictures to remember her by.

Somedays are just struggle days. I don’t know why. Emotions, worries and physical hurts can really play tricks on you. I am very thankful this day is over. Or close enough to over.