Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Chemo Filter

Yesterday I lost my filter. I blame it on chemo.

I went to a Look Good Feel Better workshop at the Cancer Resource Center at the hospital. It's a great program aimed to help women with cancer literally look good and feel better. They give you a makeup demonstration and free makeup and they show different ways to wear wigs and scarves. There was a lot of helpful information and they even had sheet cake for a 20-year anniversary celebration. I couldn't bear the thought of that much sugar and frosting, but it was a nice effort.

I think I was the youngest of the six cancer women there by at least 30 years. That, for some reason, made me feel a little feisty. And--I'll be honest--a little vulnerable and defensive that these are my peers. That I'm here, learning how to paint on eyebrows, especially when my eyebrows didn't fall out (for which I am eternally grateful). I didn't want to talk about hair falling out (mine obviously already has) or nausea (mine will return next month) or any of the discomforts of my life.

Then they showed us some creative head coverings--one with a pair of tights placed on your head and the legs wrapped around like a turban. My immediate thought was something along the lines of fear and discomfort at the thought of putting the crotch of a pair of tights on my head. My head is pretty vulnerable and I'm pretty particular about what touches what. Hey--I have cancer.

The lady kept talking about how she buys all this great stuff at thrift stores, including ratty wigs, shoulder pads, and tights. Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE a good thrift store when I'm at my ultimate health, even then, with a big can of Lysol. But then when she told me if I wanted to try a pair of her cute tights-turban wig, my reaction?
"Uh, no. I don't really want a stranger's crotch on my head."

She looked at me, completely baffled, and said, "oh."

Why, oh why couldn't I just say "no, thank you"? I blame it on chemo killing my filter.


Laurie, the girls and Scott said...

Um, WHY would anyone - cancer or not, filter or not - want a pair or tights on their head? A shoulder pad hat . . . now that might work for me.

Paul and Mari said...

I love it Jenny! :)

Laurel said...

something about Reeder without a filter makes me giggle.

Might be the ONLY thing we can say was good about chemo, eh?

embrace the non-filtered you. I think it's delightfully giggly.


Andrew & Vanessa and kids said...

Laughing HARD right now, Jenny.
You are SO right.
Even without cancer, I'm not sure that I'd like someone else's nylons on my head.
Love you.

M said...

This is going to be my favorite Jenny Reeder story FOREVER! When we are old ladies, I'm going to remind you of it. And giggle.

Marian said...

Thanks for making me laugh! I wouldn't want that on my head either.

Barbara said...


Annie H. said...

Ummmm...buying nylons or tights at a thrift store is GROSS!! Some things, like tights and underwear, you just buy new. I don't care how poor or cheap you are. SICK.

I can relate to the no filter thing. I'm pretty sure I don't have a filter most of the time :) When I was a nanny, I had to take the 18-month old girl to a music class once a week with other kids, moms and nannies. One lady was super weird and would always sit by me and say cuckoo things. Once she leaned over to me and said, "My feet are always sweaty." I looked back at her and said, "Ummmm, that's gross." She never sat by me again. :)

amy smart said...

Hahah! You know me - all about a good thrift store find, but tights? Uh, no thanks. (ewww.)

To bad you kept trying to get rid of Laurie's shoulder pad. Who knew that thing would come in handy one day. :)

Allison Nelson said...

Lol... love the feisty.

Arian Goodman Johnson said...

Hahahahahaha!!! You have such a way with words! Thanks for making me laugh today. Love you!

Elisabeth Dibble said...

Ah Jenny! You are so funny! :) I don't think I'll ever put my tights on, or look at them in quite the same way now. :)

The Wyler Family said...

seriously... so funny! i love you!

jrlj said...

I'm so glad you said that, I just wish I were there to see it! :)

Lesli said...

Jenny, I think you said what needed to be said, filter or not! Did you laugh all the way home, or just shake your head?

I think you should design your own class!

Love you lots and lots!

Lexi Hill. said...

I don't blame you one bit! I would not want that either! I think that you can blame anything you want on chemo! If you have to go through that, just milk it for all its worth! Love you!
This is Suzanne by the way, not Lexi.

LuAnn said...

Oh Jenny you are so sweet that I think you can say nearly anything and get away with it. I don't get the tights thing. The crotch usually has extra lining and it could look like nothing, but a crotch. Tho I do have a pair of hot pink tights from a thrift store...still in the packaging...my friend bought a 6 pack and shared. I'm sure I'll never wear them...and neither will you! But can I give them to you so I don't have to feel bad about not wearing them and I can tell my friend I gave them to a girl who has cancer to wear on her head?

Librarian Girl said...

Don't know if you remember me, I work at the Church History Library. Was diagnosed with breast cancer within days of your diagnosis last year. This entry made me laugh. I had no filter for about three months. I'm glad you're keeping your sense of humor. Mine has saved me. Keep smilin'. I'll be thinking about you.

Marie Erickson

Librarian Girl said...

Oh, I started a blog too after my diagnosis. It's been theraputic. It's at www.monkeylilybug.blogspot.com if you're interested.