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It's Not About the Bike

It's not about the's about the hair. But you already know that, as I go on endlessly (and some would say annoyingly) about it. In the event that you live farther than 75 miles of my house--and therefore cannot hear me every morning at 6:30a.m., sobbing and spewing profanities in front of the mirror as I wield a giant round brush, a 2000-horse power blow dryer, a pricy flat iron and four different hair potions in a harried rush to get my chemo curls (only kind of) under control before racing out the door to work--here’s a hair update: It absolutely defies the laws of gravity.

Most people don’t believe me when I tell them my hair grew back in a fro. Ergo, the faux-finish fro foto. I’m not quite ready to debut the fro without the help of Apple’s Photo Booth effects. And Ocho was kind enough to join in the foto fun.

I don’t have a good transition for this, as it has nothing to do with my hair, but I rode my mountain bike up Mount Montara with Ocho today. The bike trail is the old coast road that used to connect San Francisco to Half Moon Bay. It’s no longer the coast road, and hasn’t been for years, because it collapsed in places. It must have been a dicey drive, as I passed a rusted, abandoned car along the side of the trail.

I’ve attempted the trail a dozen times, and usually have to stop because I heat up like a radiator and my heart begins to race like a turbo-charged engine. Today, however, it was foggy and cool, and Ocho was respectful of my silence and my Dalai Lama-like focus. I decided not to look up the road, as it was maddeningly steep and there is always another incline after each difficult turn. So, I played a little game with myself. I refused to look ahead. I focused only on the dirt and rocks and ancient pavement directly in front of me. And it worked.

I’d like to create a cool metaphor for life out of today’s bike ride, but I’m whooped. Besides, you all know it’s not about the bike (even though it’s a totally sick Specialist Stump Jumper that Ocho got me as a surprise last summer). It was about the bike for two hours. But in 20 minutes, I’m going to get ready for tonight’s dinner and a movie with Ocho. And you know for a fact that as I pull out the hair gear, I will have completely forgotten about my big accomplishment and will be focusing on my big hair. Again.


KT said…
Hi Jill, thanks for talking about my favorite thing: post-chemo hair! I'm sorry to hear you hate your hair.....but maybe you kind of like it a wee bit? Maybe it's a good distraction? Maybe a little? At least it's good blog fodder!

I know that sometimes I'm grateful for annoying distractions like that. Like when my hair won't do what I want it to, or when my kids have tantrums for no reason, or even when my oatmeal spills out all over the microwave because I'm not watching it because I'm tending to kids with tantrums. These stupid things give me something else to focus on other than the breast cancer. So when I feel like hurling something across the room (not my kids, just the hairbrush or the oatmeal), I'm mad at that particular object and forget all about the bc.

Oh, and here's a metaphor for your bike ride accomplishment: Don't focus too far down the road (or up the hill?) of life. You'll get dizzy and winded! Just put your head down and take it a day at a time. (not exactly metaphor format, and a bit cliche, but what can you do)

Here's to easy uphill bike rides and a year's worth of good hair days! Katie
lahdeedah said…
Katie, that's the cool metaphor I was hoping to create! I'm going to leave important elements out of my writing more often and have you finish for me :)

I think it's a wonderful metaphor, living now instead of in the past or the future, and one that I'd like to incorporate in my life. Especially now that I really get it, that life is short and happiness comes from recognizing what is good (and not) in your life this minute.

To answer your question, there are times when I like my hair a wee bit! And even though there's lots of evidence to the contrary, I actually do realize that it is simply hair and there are far bigger (not size, just importance) things that matter :)

Hey, Katie, I'll be thinking of you Tuesday. I'll be wishing you courage, tantrum-less kids, oatmeal-less microwaves, and healing.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend. I'm going to go drag Ocho out for some Thai and a DVD...


Sherry said…
Gee whiz, I loved this!!! And you got it, you really got didn't focus on the "big" picture with the bike, you focused on the small thing you could handle!! Woo hoo!! Oldest son's kindergarten teacher taught him (and ergo me) this lesson..he was freaking out about having to make 24 chains for an advent calendar and she showed him how to do one at a time and think only about that "one" not all 24...that was 15 years ago..bless her heart. She had the right idea!!!

As for your hair..oh my goodness. Mine was always stick straight and darn if it didn't come in stick straight so I never had to battle the curls..or the fro!! I have one piece that wants to curl and I curse it every morning but I won't tomorrow because I realize how others have a harder time than I do.

Crap, crap, crappity crap..can you "embrace" the curls?!? I love the photo but would love it "clear and focussed" when you are ready. Bless Ocho..he must love you that guy!!! ;)

Enjoy your evening and your movie chica, you deserve it!! I'm having a martini..not a dirty, just a regular. Wish you were here!!

And you go Katie..LOVE the metaphor!!!!
lahdeedah said…
Sherry, I hope you enjoyed that martini. Would have loved to have joined you :)

And you're right about Ocho: he's one cool dude. Not too many guys would stick with a new girlfriend through cancer and all its weird and dramatic phases.

I'm thinking of posting a Mod Squad tryptich of my hair: the long, the pixie, the fro--without special effects. Gotta get my guts up. Jen's the bold one when it comes to photos...

I absolutely love the story about your son and his focusing on one paper Advent loop at a time. So sweet, and such a meaningful lesson.

So, I'm going to try to take your and Katie's advice to like my hair a wee bit and even to (gasp)embrace the curls. I'm toying with the idea of wearing it to work tomorrow curly. Stay tuned, and have a lovely Sunday.
Kim said…
I'm having a bad hair day, too. But that's just because I don't have any. :)

I can't wait....CAN'T have a day (days?) where I hate my hair. I will love to hate my hair, if that's what happens. I'm just so ready to have it back, fro or no, and am jealous that you get to write about the round brush, blow dryer, flat iron and hair potions!
lahdeedah said…
Kim, hello! And bless your bald head.

My bald head is on the very first post in September. I absolutely loved being bald. It's obviously the stages in between bald and "back to normal" that are causing me grief.

I'd like to know more about your story...where you're from, kids or no kids, spouse, etc. If you have no hair, I'm assuming you're doing chemo or have recently finished. Did you have breast cancer? Another kind of cancer? I hope things are going well for you and that you're on the road to recovery.

The hair does come back, albeit slowly :)
Dee said…
VIVA LA FRO! *fluffs own curly mess*.

And you're gorgeous, photo booth fun stuff or not.

Keep your head up, and your hair, rock what you got, and never apologize for being you're amazing self.
lahdeedah said…
Hey Dee,

Viva la fro! Mon Dieu! Vous avez raison!

I'm sitting here trying to decide whether to fro or no to work :) I might go for the modified fro. The mo-fro.

Hope life is being good to you. Going to your blog now to see what's up...
SweetAnnee said…
Oh shoot, and I was looking forward to maybe having some curls..but I do not want THAT much curl. You IPhoto finish looks good, perhaps your hair isn't as curly as YOU think.

The bike ride!! woohoo..keep peddling..
smiles, deena
lahdeedah said…
Ok, I clearly (no pun intended) need to post a clear photo. Y'all don't realize the magnitude of the curl.

That said, Deena, I welcome the bike encouragement.

I sincerely hope things are good with you.


Happy Thanksgiving! Woo hoo! One more work day!
I had a 'fro' too all 3 times my hair grew back and darker too but over time it faded and back came my normal color and straighter hair.

Loved the photo too!
lahdeedah said…
Rachel, that's good news! I can't believe you've done this 3 times. You're my hero :) Happy Thanksgiving!
SweetAnnee said…
Hi Jill..I want to send you a me thru my blog..fondly, Deena
Thanks, Happy Thanksgiving!

Yeah, I actually tried to have fun with the baldness, as much as one can. Before it fell out one time I dyed it blonde, another time I cut it by hand because I had always wanted to. Being an artist, the bald head was a challenging canvas-sometimes I would paint it or put glitter lotion on it or other fun stuff :).

lahdeedah said…
How cool! Going to your blog now...
lahdeedah said…
Hey Obsessed, I wrote you a long-winded response then lost my router connection. Grrrr...

I love that you saw your bald head (3X) as your "challenging canvas" and that you used paint and glitter to meet that challenge. I could only hope to be as cool, creative and radical.

Much love to you this Thanksgiving.

And PS: the fact that your post-chemo curliness eventually became straighter gives me wild hope :)
Oh man! I would have loved to see your long winded response :). I hate when it times out!

This same thing I described with the hair has happened to MANY people I know! It's definitely common :).

lahdeedah said…
Rats. I need to either shorten my thoughts or become more articulate so that I can get all this stuff out before I get cut off!

In a nutshell, I said this:

1) I was thinking the other day what it would be like to have to go through hair loss again. And, again, the baldness was not hard. Neither was the wig. What was hard was the chemo-induced cognitive fog and the exercise of abandoning vanity. That you've been through this more than once and have maintained optimism and creativity is beyond impressive.

2) You are very young. At 47, I'm not old, but I'm closer to the median age for someone who gets cancer. I struggle with recurrence fears. I'm sure you do, too, but you live your life with passion and mindfulness. You focus on the now.

3) You practice gratitude. I have always been extraordinarily grateful, but I've had a couple months recently where I've railed against God and everyone else. I needed to feel what I was feeling. but there comes a time when you need to get back to being thankful.

Ok. That's all I can remember... Goodnight, Rachel
I agree with you! The hair loss wasn't hard for being but the fact that it screamed i was 'sick', that I did not like. I also don't like chemobrain and all that, who does?

Wow, you look young-I never would have thought you were 47! Oh yes, definitely worry about relapsing. My back has been hurting a lot the past couple of weeks again. But I have a massage and Dr at the end of the week so that's good.
I try to practice gratitude-not always easy that's for sure! I've had a hard time in this 'after treatment phase'. It's so different and has its own challenges.

Once again, thanks and happy thanksgiving!

Jenster said…
Goodonya for the bike ride!! That is a major accomplishment!

As for the hair, I'm sorry. I'm just now starting to really kind of like my hair. But when I have a bad hair day I look back on the bald days with fondness. lol I think I may have issues!!

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