From Hair to Eternity

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.

Hair has always been a non-factor for me. Mine was pretty much just “there” all my life.  Dishwatery brown; not Marcia-Brady-long-and-straight like I always wanted. Not curly cool…  Just sort of in-between.

Aside from a bad bang run-in with the scissors when I was seven, the only big hair drama for me was when I moved to San Francisco after college. Wanting change and a new look at life, I chopped it super short and dyed it platinum blonde. My identical twin Kelli went into shock and my dad assured me that it was okay with him if I was gay.

When I went to China I bumped into all kinds of challenges, from hellish humidity to the woman who cut my bang cowlick off to the scalp because she didn’t know what to do with it (what?!). In desperation, I tried an over-priced but under-talented Hong Kong stylist who told me that my head was shaped too weird to cut properly and finally landed with a French salon that could at least make me presentable while overseas.

Last fall I returned home with great relief to my girl Patti, the coolest and most talented hair stylist on the planet (of local salon Green). And, about 2 years after the rest of America, I also found a way to make it behave with the omnipotent flat iron.

But still. Hair. Not a thang for me.

When I started to lose my locks with the chemo, I was stunned to realize how much it bothered me. It truly has been one of the hardest parts of this journey, which as I understand for most women, is a very common response.

Read More »

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Atheist Oatmeal

Information comes roaring at you once you become diagnosed with cancer. In the first few days alone you are inundated with literature, binders, books and opinion. In a steady stream, the many different brains of all the slightly weary but steeped-in-knowledge specialists are paraded in front of you as they give you their take on “the matter at hand.” (Thank goodness for note-taking, question-asking, hand-holding backup, in the form of husbands and sisters!)

This is all invaluable for someone like me, who likes to do my homework, understand what’s going down and make a plan. But, as many people warned me… be careful what you google in the wee hours of the night. When you enter “breast cancer life expectancy” or “chemo side effects” into that search field, oceans of data points, POV’s and individual patient and survivor voices can easily submerge you.

Oregon Hoods

One area in which I’ve taken a lot of interest and inspiration is food. We Portlanders are lucky to live in the fine cuisine mecca of the Northwest where so much is so fresh and diverse, and best of all, local. Especially this time of year. The markets are filling with new green veggies and before we know it, berry season will be upon us.  (Bring on the Hoods!  Single best part of living in Oregon in my mind.)

Read More »

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Seeking Optimist Playlist!

One month ago today I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Without much warning….  And damn. This was not in my playbook. I’m only 42?! Not me… not possible. But it was. And it brought me to my knees.

Today, with a lot of support and care, I am standing tall again and this past Thursday I went through my second round of chemo. No picnic but I’m okay and so far, the doctors are all very pleased by how well I’m doing. I give it up to the blend of Western meds and Eastern treatments I’m embracing. Including a lot of walking and yoga and more mindful eating habits.

I’m easing back in to my job at Nike but taking it day by day and extremely grateful for all the people who have not just looked me in the eye but gave me big ol’bearhugs of welcome and strength. My hair has fallen out almost completely now but I’m sporting what I hoped was a sassy wig/scarf combination that would minimize drama and attention.

Axl in better days...

(However, I think it actually makes people start humming “Sweet Child of Mine” as I pass by.  Maybe not such a bad thing?)

But now here’s a short story of another rocker that is higher on my list than dear Axl. Eddie Vedder is what I consider a sublime poet of our time (and lets face it, he’s still hot. Axl not so much).

Read More »

Posted in Uncategorized | 53 Comments