First, let me start by saying, I love being bald! I think it's a unique experience and overall, it's pretty cool. Sometimes, though, it's downright cold!
I don't like having to wear a head covering all the time, though. I feel like I have a towel on my head even though my little jersey knit cap is very light. However, the temperatures aren't high enough yet to warrant going without some time of hat/cap/scarf. I know I've always been told about how much heat one loses via one's head, but I had never experienced a "'cold head" until now.
I miss my shower routine. It used to be that I would get in the shower, get all wet and put the shampoo in my hair. Lather up, massage the scalp and then wash my body.
Rinse. Massage head some more. Apply cream rinse.
Shave underarms (each and every time I showered!). Shave legs (about once a month!). Rinse everything.
Stand under the warm water for a minute or so and then get out.
It wasn't a very elaborate routine, but it was mine. Maybe ten minutes max.
And now? I get in, get wet, scrub my body with my scrunchie thing (I have no idea what it's called) and then I'm done! No hair to wash, no hair to shave! Dang! What do I do now?
I think I understand the term, "Shower like a man!" I feel wasteful if I stand under the water for ten minutes, but I feel cheated if I'm done in two minutes.
I also miss the nighttime routine of brushing my hair. This, too, was pretty simple, but I can no longer do it. I usually wore my long hair in a headband. I would take out the headband and brush my hair, massaging my scalp with the hair brush bristles. Ahhhhh, soooo soothing!
I miss being able to eat spicy food. A sore throat is a common side effect of chemo and I've found that my beloved spices just burn going down. I have plenty of good food without the spices, but I miss the flavors.
I miss not being able to smell. Before chemo, I never had a strong sense of smell and now I can smell absolutely everything. This is NOT a good thing . . . especially in China.
I *really* miss teaching! I love teaching. I am glad, however, that I'm able to continue teaching via writing and via meeting with a few beloved students on a one-on-one basis.
I miss being able to go out just for the sake of going out. While my blood counts are good in the latter half of my cycle, I still tend to avoid crowds. I don't want to get sick as that would delay my next cycle. As it is, I have a small cold that was brought into the house by others.
I miss being able to get through a day without taking a nap or without feeling tired if I miss a nap. However, I don't sleep that well at night, so naps are necessary.
In spite of all I miss, I do know how incredibly blessed I am! I receive messages all the time from all over the world. I'm able to spend more time reading, reading, and reading . . . one of my absolutely most favorite things to do! I get to spend time studying all kinds of things. I'm able to spend more time planning meals for my family. I picked up a long-unfinished cross stitch and I'm working on that. I'm working on a knitting project as well. I'm able to watch Smallville on DVD. Yes, a bunch of other "little things" have replaced the "little things" that I miss.
It's all about perspective. I could spend time focusing on what's gone. I believe that doing so would merely make me bitter. However, by focusing on what I do have, I am able to fully realize that life isn't about what's gone, but about what *is.*
I am loved. I am blessed. I am so much more than what this disease portrays. I am a beloved child of God, resting in his promises of grace.