New Growth

We have slipped into October and I have never been happier to welcome an autumn. With treatments behind me, I am now back at work and back at life. And while it might be fall everywhere you look, I’m witnessing my own personal spring.

My downy soft 'do.

I have a fresh crop of downy hair that’s softer than you can imagine and has sprouted up into a kind of buzz cut faux hawk. It’s a little bit RiotGrrrl and borders on “tattooed-Portland-momma” style. I’m surprised to find myself digging it. While I still get looks, it’s more of the curious variety than the pitying glance.

In related news, my eyelashes and eyebrows are now growing like fertilized weeds. They help to soften my features, which are prominent once again after shedding what had been an ever-present chemo-bloat. I want to kiss the mirror in the morning when I see the real me staring back.

Having come through reconstructive surgery very well, I am now in the process of “expansion.” My wonderful surgeon, Dr. Murphy, is artfully focused on rebuilding me (Jaime Sommers has nothing on me!) to approximate my former B cup bod. And fortunately a fringe benefit of all this is a chance to defeat gravity.

Oh were such a cool cyborg!

You may be wondering how this all gets sorted out.  For those who want the cliff notes, it goes something like this:  Stiff plastic Tupperware-like expanders are placed under your chest muscles to stretch the tissue to prepare for implants (yes, it hurts…). Each week the doc injects more saline, until one becomes fully expanded (or actually over-expanded in order to give them enough material to work with). Then they go in and swap the expanders for silicone implants.  They give that time to settle and then there is one last surgery to get all the visuals anatomically correct (tattoos are involved… ponder that!).

It’s been a little strange and a lot funny to slowly expand in front of everyone.  The other day my daughter Emma exclaimed, “momma, you’re growing!”

I’ve even surprised myself on occasion. On a recent evening I had ventured to yoga class after having my latest “fill” from Dr Murphy.  As we started to lean into an arm balance called crow pose, I realized too late that my center of gravity had shifted.  And then I promptly fell on my head with a huge crash. It was hilarious and it took everything I had not to bust up.  I went into deeper breathing and steadfastly avoided looking at my sister to keep the giggle fit at bay.  Six months ago I would have been mortified.  Today, it’s just another chance to laugh at life.

This is the Nike YoGirl doing crow pose (now you have the visual!)

Back in the wintery season of removing my bust, my daughter Hadley was, in a word, “maturing.” While Ms. Puberty had been knocking at the door before, she full on entered this summer. I’ll never forget the day that I went wig shopping. Traumatic as that was, it was the same day we bought Hadley her first bra. Hello sweet irony. I gladly pass the torch.

In the early days of confusion and panic, the prospect of losing my hair and my breasts seemed like the worst thing possible. Today I see that this is yet another silver lining of my journey– one which has been strangely freeing. As I was walking down the street in downtown Portland yesterday, a random stranger literally stopped in his tracks and blurted out “You’re beautiful. I really like your hair.” I lifted my chin, looked him in the eye, thanked him, and walked on.

The sun was on my back, there was a twinkle in my eye, and yes Emma, I was growing.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. emma
    Posted October 24, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    dear mommy
    i love you . your post is fantastic,fabulous and super . i love the song playlist . its very creative . your hair is so soft and beautiful . its also so dark i bet it will be very pretty. by emma !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Kristi Jo
    Posted October 4, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    you’re awesome, love your outlook, you rock. Thinking (always) of you!

  3. Anna C
    Posted October 4, 2010 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    I love people like the random man who called you beautiful and I love that you are seeing the real Kerri emerge again. Love the hair. And I want to touch it to feel the softness – is that weird?

  4. Dalla Johannsdottir
    Posted October 3, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Great hair Kerri!
    Hugi just asked me before going to bed if I thought Hadley would come to visit us next summer. I said I hoped she could and the whole family.
    He is taking kung fu lessons again and enjoys it very much. Stirnir is learning to play the guitar and Eyja is talking more and singing and dancing.
    Miss you all!

  5. Margaret
    Posted October 3, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Happy Spring! I am glad you are back writing. Have fun with the hair!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>