Look Good, Feel Better


Today I had my usual proton at 6:00.  At 10:30 I  went to a workshop run by the American Cancer Society called “Look Good, Feel Better.”  There were about ten women there….all ages.  We learned how to tie scarves and choose different head coverings.  Then we had makeup lessons.  Lots of fun with lots of wonderful women.  One arrived straight from chemo, rolling her IV pole and drugs along with her.  One was a stunning African American young woman who said she never wore makeup.  I told her it was because she didn’t NEED to wear any.  She looked gorgeous (and was in the middle of treatment…had a wig you would NEVER guess wasn’t her hair)  There were people there from all over the country…many fortunate, like we are, to have family in the area.  Ninety minutes of laughing, fussing around, trying to look good…it did make me feel better

Good thing because the last two days have been less than fabulous.  I know I’ve had it easy and even on my “worst” days, what I have is fairly easy.  The last two days have been not so great….stomach ache, hard to swallow, jittery and unsettled, tired, sore throat, vague headache, short of breath after climbing the stairs…Nothing that doesn’t happen to any of us at any given time no matter how healthy we are.  I  just am so aware of every little thing.  That’s why the workshop was so wonderful.  I totally forgot how I was feeling for ninety minutes.

Feeling “not great”  didn’t stop me from doing what I wanted to do yesterday either.  I went out with Anne to visit an elderly woman that she brings Communion to once a week, a dear woman who, once she found out that her shortbread cookies were the something I could get down (when I first arrived and again now)  hasn’t stopped baking them for me.  She’s a woman of deep faith and it was a privilege to be in her presence.  I’m so glad Anne brought me along. I also walked a mile (not 2 1/2 like I was doing earlier) Guess I’m slowing down.

More things on the calendar.  Most likely my surgery will be April 3 or April 4…a little later than I expected or hoped for.  Erin is coming down to be with Jerry during my surgery.  Sean is coming later to help bring me home from the hospital (and wait on me!) when I’m back at Anne’s.  I have to admit the surgery scares the hell out of me so I’ve stopped reading about it.  I thought I was okay but the other night I could not fall asleep and I think it was because I couldn’t get the surgery out of my mind.   Time to let that go and not cross that bridge till I come to it.

Tomorrow we’re meeting Linda and Ron Orum, fellow Floridians, sort of related to Judy Eckroth (yoga)  They’re her son-in-law’s parents.  They’re at Anderson too.  We’re meeting in the Park right after I meet with Dr. Ho.  I’m looking forward to seeing them.  Meeting people here has been a wonderful POC (perk of cancer)  There are so many strong, vibrant, interesting people in this world, aren’t there?



17 thoughts on “Look Good, Feel Better

  1. You’ve been dancing in the rain for some time now, so don’t feel bad if you miss a step or two. Love, Sonia

  2. Wonderful opening thought by Linda Poindexter, Mary. And, the “Look Good, Feel Better” session sounds like a perfect boost for everyone. So glad you are taking in the sessions there that are offered – so like you. I’m circling the likely date for your surgery on my calendar. PS We’re still freezing here in IN – minus 2º tonight. Stay warm. Love, Barb G.

  3. You’re allowed one or two bad-ish days. You don’t want to feel so great all the fine because then people will stop fussing over you and doing things for you. You need a bad day now and again in order to take full advantage of your POCs

  4. Driving north and north and north. We left a day early to avoid bad weather on Sunday if it is. We always try to guess where we’ll see the first snow and its usually much further
    north than we anticipate. Anyway, the hours of driving allow lots of think time.

    And like Georgia, you’ve been on my mind. There’s no way we can prevent distasteful frightening thoughts…they happen without being invited. It also

    • Sorry. .stuff happened

      So those thoughts come and they blacken us for a bit then we shake them off and and they linger for a bit and we move forward as we should. At least from your posts you seem to be doing remarkably well. I think you should not be thinking about what you used to do but what you CAN do. ..every day, and now you can do it with a variety of scarves styles.

      Surgery causes the best of us traumatic reactions on the best of days. It’s refreshing to know you’re normal. We do what we have to do each and every day most often without anguish and deep thinking. Unfortunately you have lots of time to research agonize agonize and research more. STOP. You know what you need to know. It’s time to use time for walks books poetry theater cinema outside friends opera photography family and on and on and on

  5. You seem to get support when you most need it . Perhaps it is because you are open to it. Sounds like a hard day, but you managed to find light. We are all so proud of you! Did you ever read THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD when you were a child? You are that tough little engine. Keep going!

  6. Mary you are like the energizer bunny…you keep dealing and dealing! You are the pollyanna of MD Anderson, but in truth, give us a whine or a good swear…you deserve it! Love you and you are in my prayers (Jerry, Erin, Sean, your doctors and nurses, too)

  7. I honestly feel your pain…wish it was Feb 14th and it was all over and you were back in Florida so I could just give you a hug. LUL, Karen x

  8. I can relate to so many of your comments today. A few years back when I ended up in the hospital in
    Gloucester Ma. with a major attack of pancreatitis, I met so many wonderful and interesting people.I was the talk of the place because I was the vacationer/teacher on her last summer fling before school was to start. Needless to say I didn’t make it for opening day. I distinctly remember saying to Bernie: “If I was as good a writer as Mary (Ginley) I could write a great story about this adventure.”.
    I am so sorry you haven’t been feeling well but I am also glad that you were able to have these special people to help lighten your heart.
    Finally, Surgery scares the hell out of me too!
    Love you so much,

  9. wendie@jimhighsmith.com

    Mary-Chilly and rainy here in FL today, but who cares?

    I love the Loook Good, Feel Good get together. Nothing like support you got and gave there on so many levels.

    Safe travel, Wendie

  10. Hi love, Thinking if you. I so wish this wasn’t the path in this moment but it is and I love you for your light, strength, beauty and courage. One breath, one step and, if you can manage one laugh, smile. Just for the record I am in awe of your amazing journey thus far and for that there is a giant hurrah!! Challenging moments are just that -challenging- and you and all your support staff are Olympians!! Love you and miss you, Linda

    Sent from my iPhone

  11. God bless dear friend! You have made it through treatment this far I know you will the rest! Surgery is always scary!!! Remember the manta
    I think I can, I think I can… You are almost through the tunnel and into the light of your beautiful life. Honest I know you got this!

  12. Surgery IS a scary thing Mary, and it would be most unusual if that feeling didn’t occur to you once in a while. Continue to have that positive attitude of yours…it’s good medicine.

  13. Your last quote hangs over my doorframe, a gift and reminder from a friend. I have often retold how I was more afraid of my surgeries than I was of my cancer. My doctor suggested a mind-body exercise on cd that I found on Amazon called ” Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster”. It helped me visualize a positive outcome and calm my physical reaction to my fears. It’s a scary time but you are in good hands; Anderson doctors have done your surgery many many times. Stay strong! peace & love

  14. Dear Mary,
    As you take us all on this journey with you, we are grateful for the many good days and not really surprised for the scary and less good days. We hold you with such love and admiration. I think the photo of you on the beach was such a “Mary” moment! They all are, actually—grandchildren, friends, family, doctors and staff…I don’t think you miss a moment to appreciate every person and
    opportunity to connect. That is life, Mary, as well as any can live it. Love you so much!

  15. Hi Mary, sorry you are not feeling better. It will pass. Wish I had more inspiration for you but you sound like you have plenty of that. Just got back from Key West, one rainy day but very hot up to low 80s. I swam in the ocean. What a treat. Day off so I need to catch up on stuff. Love you.

  16. Dancing and dancing and dancing and dancing. Mashed Potatoes! The Twist! The Stroll! Jitterbug! Squaredancing! Contradancing. So many dances, so many times. Strike up the band!

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