Wednesday, December 15, 2010

excuse the crazy hair

15 days' later
so it seems there is enough of the beaucell product to last at least a month and a half, unless you knock one of those superheavy jars off the edge of the sink and spill it all over the floor. (i am amazed i haven't done that yet). what you'll notice, if you can tell from these low-res images, is that my face is rounder all over - basically, it's lost its post-chemo old-witch gauntness.

personally, i was never bothered by the gaunt look because it gave me cheekbones - but after getting so skinny and dehydrated, it looked pinched rather than sculpted.

and of course, my hair keeps sprouting like the crazy afro it is. though now it's flopping to the sides a bit, like tulips after they've bloomed. i do have a list of vitamins and products that will make your hair, eyelashes and eyebrows grow faster and better after chemo so if you want to know, email me directly.

i know i should cut my hair. everyone tells me it'll get better. given all my overwhelming post-cancer expenses, the haircut is not top of my list for a splurge.  i am so relieved to have the stuff on my head for the winter (it was VERY cold being bald in january and i hate sleeping with a hat on, even if it's cashmere and versace or marc jacobs or chanel).

back to park51 and juggling the expectations of muslims, the support of the downtown community and the inexplicable desire of so much of the american public to prefer rumor to fact.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

live for today

live in the moment. i am trying. but along with the actual pouring rain and darkness today, i've got a metaphorical cloud over my head.

i've just met my second friend in the past few days who had her cancer "cured" - through chemo and/or radiation and surgery - and had it come back a year or two later, and then come back again.

it doesn't help that this is around the same time last year that i was admitted to hospital and was well into my chemo treatments - so every subway ride reminds me of my weekly trips up to memorial sloan kettering. the holiday season from halloween to christmas is when i lost control of my life.

as someone who used to see myself as totally in-control, self-possessed and capable, i was so incredibly helpless that i couldn't even walk to the kitchen and make myself toast. just thinking about it fills me with nausea and exhaustion. i can almost feel the burning in my veins as the chemo drugs surged through me. and the panic, the panic.

i was saying something to sasha about thanksgiving last year. i was cross because i had ordered a deep-fried roasted garlic turkey from and i hadn't been able to taste it because i was sick and vegetarian at that point.

and sasha said, "i don't remember anything at all about last thanksgiving."

i think my kids blocked out the whole winter.

this year, i just kept thinking how grateful i was to not be living that any more. i am so relieved to have come out the other side.
i'm also so grateful for all my friends, especially zia and my brother, who did research into alternative therapies and diets when i was too sick and weak and paralyzed with fear to search the internet.

one of the reasons i was able to recover so quickly and so completely, was all the juicing, vitamins, fresh vegetables; the poly-mva, the zhikr and meditation. the supplements mary schook and sheikha fariha and mona chopra recommended. i had a great support system of people who didn't trust the medical establishment.

and i was lucky to have my parents come and hold down the cramped and miniscule fort for the amazons.

for all the adolescent struggles - myself and my parents, me and the amazons - we are almost back to normal.

now just praying to stay that way. breathing and remembering that fear never helps.

as the sufi poet hafiz says:

Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living
In better conditions.