||Big Night Out
After a nice nap on the sofa it was time to get ready for the farewell party for Ann and John some friends of ours who are packing up and emigrating to Cyprus. Is it a mistake to go? Will it be too much for me? As I am feeling right now I would answer 'Yes' but then again I am stubborn and the thought that a little chemo can stop me from doing what I want to do is definitely a time for me to say' Hey, get lost, I want to have some fun'.
After taking my anti-sickness tablets and steroids I headed up for a nice soak in the bath. While laying there my hands went into auto pilot; straight to my boobs and for the lump. I smiled knowing for sure now that the lump had shrunk. I’m half way there for this phase of chemo, which is another feel good factor. I lay reflecting on the day’s events, tired and feeling physically exhausted. I shouldn’t have gone visiting and shopping between appointments. I should have gone home to rest as I’m not sure that I will be able to make it through the night ahead. ‘This bath is too hot’ I could feel myself burning up. ‘But the water wasn't that hot, it was just my head that felt hot’. I rubbed my hands over my now bald head to splash water over it to try and cool it down. It feels weird; I’m still not used to the way it feels yet. The grayness of my head is disappearing a little now so the visible signs of where my hair line used to be are slowly fading. ‘How long will I be bald for? Again the heat started rising up from the back of my neck, up my face carrying on up to the top of my head, and again I rubbed my head and splashed water over it, trying desperately to cool off. The thing about chemo is that it’s not just the hair on your head that you lose, something I hadn't even thought about until I that is, the hairs on my legs had not grown back fully, well not to the extent that they normal did within the short space of time since I last shaved them, they were patchy and very sparse and not like a slim, ladies form or a man’s hairy monster leg. Upon further inspection, I noticed another area of my body that 'hadn't' got as much hair either, 'My Pubes were nearly gone' Oh My God, no-one ever mentioned that bit. I checked under my arms and 'nope' they weren’t there either, and then noticed that the tiny tiny little hairs on my arms had vanished too. (and no I am not a naturally hairy monster). The chemo is definitely working, well working at eliminating all the hairs of my entire body. Maybe this will be the last shave that my legs will need for a long long time. I smiled again, and after removing the few final hairs from my legs, slowly and carefully I got out of the bath.
I took my time getting ready, mainly so that I didn't exhaust myself before I actually got to go out and party, and paid particular attention to applying my make-up. My skin seems to feels different; better if anything as my make-up went on much smoother than normal (or was this cos I was taking my time, not sure but will definitely let you know when I have to rush it again). Spotting the eyebrow pencil I decided to make a start on getting used to penciling in my eyebrows which isn’t hard when you still have them. I hope and pray that I don't lose them, my Eyebrows and Eyelashes are the one thing that I am hoping and praying remain throughout this entire ordeal, but I am preparing just in case, which reminds me, I must go and pick up some of them falsie lashes the next time I go out to the shops (just in case of course). Thankfully the getting ready to go out process is no longer an hour or should I say a couple of hours ordeal, as I don’t think I could have managed it, especially doing my hair with the hot hairdryer and straightners, with this hot flushing that was now going on, up and down like a friggin yo yo. I was also feeling a little bloated from all the iced water that I had been drinking to cool me down from these dam hot flushes. Dressed still in my dressing gown, I stood up to grab the clothes that I had picked out to wear, a pair of brown cotton slacks and a very low cut alter-neck top with splashes of orange going through it (the reason of the brown shades of eye shadow) as I passed the tall full length mirror, I stopped and started to laugh.. What the hell do I look like? Shabby dressing gown, perfectly made up face, all topped off with the best hairdo, my friggin bald shiny head. If the truth be known, except for the shabby dressing gown, I looked pretty God dam good. I wish I had the guts to go out like this. Maybe a spot of self tan on my shiny bald head would do the trick. I wonder what comments I would get if I didn’t wear my wig, there would definitely be lots of stares and maybe nattering between themselves looking over at me, making it perfectly obvious that they were talking about me. Nope, I definitely not ready for that, so far there has only been Lee, his mum and Luke who has seen the bald me, or as Luke calls me now 'the alien'. I picked Jordon up, give her a good shake and placed her neatly upon my head, followed by brushing it so it look neat and tidy, while my spare hand stayed on the top of my head making sure my wig didn't pull off from the strokes of the brush. I stood there for a few minutes taking in the reflection that was peering back at me. I felt good and definitely liked the look of the image that was staring back at me, not being vain or tooting my own trumpet, but I looked HOT. Smiling and feeling very confident I walked downstairs to Lee who was sat in the lounge putting on his shoes. Looking up at me, his face grew into a huge smile "Corr! You look gorgeous". He said. “Right back at ya sexy” I smiled feeling even better and ready to take on the night.
The plan was that Lee and I were to pick Moya (Lee’s Aunt) and his mum up from his mums house, along with a quick stop to fuel up. Moya couldn’t get over my wig and believe it or not, their lovely comments really did make me feel more confident. When we arrived at our destination, waves of panic came over me, or were they waves of the hotness that I had been feeling all afternoon, especially since having my bath, but the matter of the fact was that I was feeling so bloody nervous about walking into that party. I didn’t want to be stared at, which is a drastic change for me as with my previous modeling, I am used to being stared at, judged and talked about, but knowing that I was wearing a wig and going through cancer treatment has made quite an impact on my self confidence. The one thing that I didn't want was looks of sympathy, the tilted heads and the long stares. I didn't want anyone to feel pity or sorry for me. After all I am still the same person with the same personality, which is something that will never change. My personality is something that I was born with and one of the reasons why I am loved so much and the reason why Lee fell in love with me. I may have lost my hair and I know I will lose my breasts but breast cancer cannot eat away at my personality and I do hope that everyone will still treat me the same as before.
There were a few positive comments as soon as I walked in from people who knew that I was having the chemo treatment, things like; ‘Wow! You look amazing’ and ‘Oh my god, your wig is fantastic’. These comments were out of the way at the very start and the evening started to be more and more normal as the night went on. Probably down to; the more people drank the less they thought about my wig or what I was going through. Am I allowed to drink while on Chemo, I don't have a clue, no-one has said anything about it and so me being me, straight away held my hand out for my usual white wine and soda, with the soda just to make my drink a larger drink. After all it is very compulsory for me to have my white wine and soda on nights out and tonight was no different. The music was playing, everyone was chatting away, still doing the hugging thing as people came in and then; "You Ok" I heard Maureen shout from over the table, "Yes Why?" I shouted back, "Cos your still on your first drink and I'm already on my 2nd" she laughed. Wow, my drinks weren't going down as quickly as they normally do, I was sipping slowly at it rather than the usual, gulping at the start of the evening and now, everyone else had a head start and they would be for the first time be drinking me under the table. This is so much not like me, I love my wine, my mum calls me a fish as I normally drink quite quickly, usually ending up with me getting quite loud and giddy. I know new that I had some serious catching up to do.
As the night went on, I started to feel a little fidgety and every now and then Lee asked me if I was Ok of which I nodded, smiled and answered "Of course I am", even though I was feeling a bit crap and so friggin tired. When the announcement came that the buffet was open, I was so relieved, I was starving and thought that after some good food inside of me, I would bounce back and get my drinking head on to its full capacity. After filling my plate I started to dig in, only to find that after one sausage roll I was picking at my food rather than eating it. Why am I picking at my food? I never pick at food; I see it and eat it for Goodness sake. Picking a little more and trying different things that I had put on my plate I realized that none of it tasted right. Why does it taste so funny? My excuse to everything is 'maybe not enough wine', which by now I had gotten through my 1st glass and was half way down my second, but still having some catching up to do as the rounds were piling up around me, and I had additional glasses stood there waiting for me. "Your being a light weight tonight girl" Moya laughed. Ok no-one calls me a light weight when it comes to my wine I thought and picked my glass up, raised my glass to her and shouted cheers, as I swigged the remaining glass down my neck. Lucy was sat next to me, looking so radiant, pregnancy was definitely suiting her and was tucking into her plate of nibbles. Liking the look of some of the items on her plate, I got up with mine and went back over to the buffet table, replaced my plate with another and filled it to the brim of cocktail sausages and crisps of every variety and flavour. Things were looking good, even though every 5 minutes or so, the hot flushes from earlier kept raising their big ugly head, making feel so uncomfortable to the extent that I was pleased I was sat down for the risk of falling down from passing out. Every now and again, I could feel my body go slack and lethargic, but I had no intentions of the tiredness to come and take over me and would automatically, shove some more crisps into my gob or gulp back some more wine. Everyone round our table were doing their usual, laughing and joking, making fun of each other, ripping each other with their joking and just doing what they do best. It seemed that I had gotten my second wind and started to join in with them more and more, one thing was still lacking though and that was my drinking, I had now 4 glasses on the table waiting for me and when Martin and Lee got up to go get the next round in at the bar, I was quick in there and told them, "No more for me guys" Both of them looked at me gone out, and then smiled as soon as I pointed to the 4 glasses that were still in front of me.
The hot flushes started to get the better of me, cos another one was coming up as soon as the last one had calmed down, which was making me rather fidgety. On top of that my head was spinning and was starting to feel very drained and light headed. I know I wasn't drunk, from years of being able to drink lots and lots, I do know the difference between being drunk and the drunken feeling that I felt from the chemo, I tried to relax back in my chair but was unable to, flushing hot and cold even more, I hoped and prayed that that no one noticed my face getting red. There were all sorts going around in my mind. I didn't really want to be there anymore but at the same time I didn't want to spoil Lee's night and become the party pooper that I have never been in my life. I looked over at him stood with his brother; he was smiling, laughing and joking about. He was having fun. Yes he was having fun and enjoying himself which I truly wanted him to do. He deserved it; he has been such strength to me, been there for me, making me laugh when I looked miserable or giving me comfort and reassurance when he thought I needed it. While I lay in the bath one night, he looked down at me, smiled and said "You are so beautiful" This comment came from out of the blue, but really meant the world to me especially with the way that I am looking now. ”What even with my bald head" I had replied "Yes even with your bald head, everything about you is beautiful" he smiled and went on to say the sweetest things of why he loves me so much, such as my eyes, smile, figure, personality, strength and warped sense of humour. Hearing him saying these things with so much sincerity, I felt myself fill up and tears slowly began to fill my eyes. Even though I had a few tears, these were happy tears. Slushy I know but it is because of the way Lee is, because I love him so much, and the way that he has been this last month that I wanted him to let his hair down and have some fun.
People started to notice that I had stopped gabbling on and playing the fool with them, I started to get bombarded with the question of "Are you Ok?" constantly over and over again. I answered everyone, every time with "Yes, I'm fine" still not wanting to give in, and spoil Lee's night out. But the truth be known, I just want to close my eyes and go to sleep, lay back in my comfortable bed and not sit in the uncomfortable chair that I was in. Lee was asking me every 5 minutes now and was looking over at me more and more, and after fidgeting in my chair for another half an hour, he came over "You look shattered Karen" he said "I'm taking you home". So at 9.30pm we said our farewells to Anne and John who thanked us once again for being there for their farewell party, and made our way home.
As soon as I got sat in the car and we were on our way, I didn't care if any one passing by saw me, cos, I just ripped the rug straigh off, and with the window down, let the cool night air wrap around my very hot and clammy bald head. It had been a very long busy day and I think that I’m experiencing a few more side effects to what I’d had with my first treatment, and that one being the dam hot flushes. I was so disappointed that I gave in so soon to the symptoms that I was now experiencing, as normally at any party or night out, I would be the one dancing around on the tables and definitely the last one to leave. The constant asking from Lee and the others of how I was, I had to give in and take theirs and Dr Chan’s advice and listen to my body, and right now my body was telling me I needed some rest and that a party and being sat upright in an uncomfortable chair was not the place to do it.
After arriving home I headed straight up to bed and can't even remember my head touching the pillow. I have never experienced tiredness like this before but hopefully after a couple of days like the last time, this will pass so I can be as normal as possible and do the things I want to do instead of giving in and being a sodding party pooper.
I don't regret going to the party, I did enjoy it and had some fun, but the only thing that I would have done different if I could have re-done today would be to rest during the day, instead of visiting and shopping. Maybe I could have still been the last one to leave the party then, maybe I could have boogied the night away, dancing around our handbags while doing the YMCA.
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