The days are really blurring together. My mind is but a facsimile of what it once was – I reminisce about my old brain. A friend emailed me asking me if chemo brain was anything like mama brain – she is a new expectant mom – and I thought, shite, no. For me, mama brain came from the sleep deprived zombie nights, nursing Teddy at all hours and keeping him happy and non-crying. Chemo brain comes from having your brain fried up like offal cuts on poison drugs! But what a difference a cream puff can make, right?! My dear sis brought me a box of my fave Vancouver cream puffs the night before my second round of chemo. I chowed down through those creamy crispy crumbly textures and flavours. Closed my eyes and ate through the anxiety.
Oh how I miss my artful bowl cut, as seen above, during my very first chemo treatment in April… At the time I was so sad to chop my long black hair into the short little ‘do six weeks ago but now I am a solid believer in the short cut. Casual times, no muss, no fuss, no hair drying and no products! But now… NOW I am so sad that my little bowl cut is gone. Because this happened:
My hair was starting to float down like dog-shedding snowflakes, raining hard on my bowl cut parade. Then it began pulling out in huge chunks. And I couldn’t stop pulling at it because I was so fascinated/disturbed. So the time came to shave it off like a teen lawnmower. I was trying to stay thrice removed from the head shave, just mentally floating above, peeking in… I asked Rich to crank some metal and I was trying to stay tough. I was doing ok, laughing even, mostly in shock, until we cut off my bangs – my precious bangs! I’ve had my black bangs for TWO DECADES. A friend once described them to me as my signature look so I glomped onto that idea. When they floated away to the floor in a shaved off heap the tears started pouring down my face.
Looks. Playing with my newfound looks – thug fisherman meets Ian Mackaye. I walked in behind a woman and her two children going into the Ladies Washroom wearing this and I got a freaked out double take. It was so disconcerting and bizarre that I had frightened her – I had forgotten that I wasn’t a long haired lady-looking woman anymore…
This is me right before my second chemo. Chiquita Banana meets Rosie the Riveter, perfect since I am yellowy Chinese AND a feminist. The scarf is light as a feather and colourful and made me feel a little less thug life man-about-town. My red lipstick always helps.
THIS look – this is my wig! It looks exactly like my old hair … it’s so bizarre though, holding it up, it feels like I’ve scalped someone – wigs are creepy. And SOOOO hot. This wig, with the cotton toque on top, it feels like I’m walking around with a bonfire on my head.
I have been the recipient of so many incredible acts of kindness and love. It gives me hope in humanity and makes me count every blessing and friendship and family member. My sweet little boo holding the soft serve ice cream lamp a group of friends gave to me to cheer me up. LOVE it. So silly and fun and perfect because I am a maximum conehead.
This incredible spread … including the gorgeous flowers … from my neighbor – chef and mama Julie of Kitchen Culinaire, who also happens to have an incredible Instagram and blog… Her work makes me want to be a better cook…
Cake. It’s always on my mind, Willie Nelson style. My forever love affair. Making lists of new cake ideas, but listless in my energy and abilities… which makes me upset, anxious, depressed … I know my shitty energy and feelings of chemo-syrup-head won’t last forever. But it’s depressing to me to not have the ability to create at the moment …
Like this happy chappy catbus cake. Sometimes I just have to go back in time and look at the work I’ve made and know that I’ll get back there soon.
Right now I’m just floating along. Like this silly fish cake. Glub glub. I feel like a fish face, round and puffy, maybe a fish trapped in a tank at a Chinese restaurant. Lying in bed, watching Mind Of A Chef, surfing Instagram and posting little things and interacting a bit, impulse shopping and being a general idiot. My Brillo pad hair rough against my pillow, headphones in, drifting in and out of sleep, snacking on crackers and warm water. I’ve been trying to listen to Just Kids by Patti Smith but her voice is so soothing I’m out like a light and have slept through several chapters. Hoping to get out of this fuzzy phase of chemo round 2 and come out into the sunshine, maybe turn the oven on, bake something, take a few pics… ambitious, but possible. I’m still happy though … I have so much amazingness in my life… but can’t help but feel down sometimes still… Thanks as always for the kind words – I am hoping you are all doing well! xo Lyndsay
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Oro’s Cowboy Cake