Saturday, 30 April 2011

Mommies

Our little man is 7 today, Masha Allah.

Sitting among the mommies crosschecking with each other on progress of their kids at school,  the peeing difficulties of one of the boys and undertaking a general survey of which hospital/doctor is best when it comes to treating flus, I felt a bit bored. 

I ended up watching the mommies instead.  Lovely women all of them.  Hats off to all those with that job.  I can only admire your energy.

My energy levels are pond-size compared your sea-size ones! 

Back on Cancer Planet it is nausea and constipation and the occasional daze.  To each his own I guess.

Happy Birthday Nanu.  Love all of the you that was, is and will become Insha Allah.  Just don't grow up too quickly.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Chemo #3 - Thank you

I am really warming up to my onco or maybe he is warming up to me?  Anyway, same thing. 

IA by the end of my treatment, we'll be very friendly, if not totally buddy buddy :).

No, seriously, he was super nice.  Asking about my breast, nausea, menses, weakness, constipation, etc.  The icing on the cake was being spared the steriods!!!  What a relief.  On the other hand, he mentioned increasing my chemo dose next time and shook his head no-no style when I enquired whether it was possible to do the chemo every 2 weeks instead of 3.  Oh well, I'll just have to be patient I guess.

The bed I was put in today had a good view of the TV.  But I had another TV right in the bed next to mine, tuned on cancer channel.  The talkative chinese guy with nose cancer (I had not realised this even existed!!!) had less interest in the Royal wedding and more in telling me about his cancer journey.  I was patient.  I grunted, nodded and mmmmmed.

Each of my excursions to the hospital has been for a lesson.  Today, listening to the monologue from the chinese guy and seeing another young cancer patient (maybe 17 or 18 years) with only skin and bones, I felt grateful for MY cancer.  Really.  I am very grateful that MY cancer:

  • Is initital stage;
  • Is located in the breast rather then a vital organ;
  • Is only progesterone receptive and not oestrogen or protein receptive;
  • does not not make me go through the ordeal of long chemo/herceptin sessions;
  • does not require that I have a catheter port inserted in my vein;
  • has timed the treatment rightly to fall in winter rather than summer;
  • has not taken away my ability to get up and go out or socialise;
  • has taken only my hair and half of a breast away.  It has spared the best of me.

My Allah, this Mercy is from You and You alone.  Alhamdulillah.  Thank You.

PS: I must thank William and Kate too.  Thank you guys for picking my chemo day as your wedding day.  I appreciate the entertainment.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Habitual criminal?

So it is the eve of what I hope fervently will be my 3rd chemo session tomorrow.  Fervently because I am hoping my blood results will show that I can undertake the 3rd session and thus take me that one step closer to making progress in the treatment.

Yes, you've guessed right.  I have developped chemo fatigue.  If I had my way, I'd be double dosing the rest of the chemo treatment in a couple of weeks just so that it is over sooner rather than later.  But that's my taciturn onco's call and knowing him, I really should not be messing with his protocol.

So yes, I am quite looking forward to the END of tomorrow, when a dose of chemo coupled with a royal wedding should see me in good spirits IA.

These past days I have indulged in all of my heart's desires (which really are my tongue's desires) as I know that the coming week will see me yoyoing between no taste and bad taste, dance fever highs and pit bottom lows, zombie peace and foggy wars.  Absolute fun I tell you!!!  Ha! I feel like a habitual criminal returning to an all too familiar cell!

So, before I head to jail tomorrow, let me pen down a few things which I am grateful for.  Let's see:

  • The now ritual Bouillon Mee Foon with "Heart" before chemo;
  • Friends in far away lands skyping me and showing me their boys;
  • A workplace that reminds me that pain and suffering does not come only in the form of cancer;
  • Quick henna; and
  • Love of the purest kind.
Alhamdulillah.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The hardest part

Today I was asked what's the hardest part of my cancer.  Without batting an eyelid or missing a heartbeat, I said losing my hair.  No, not the nausea, not the weakness, not the surgery, not the sutures, not even the partial disfigurement.  It's the hair.

But that's an easy answer.  It's not the hair actually.  Or rather should I say, it's not just the hair? 

I think I know what it is.  It's about not having a choice. About how you want to be, who you want to be, what you can reach out and pluck from the tree of life.  But mostly about what you can no longer allow yourself to dream and hope for.

It's the absence of choice that is the hardest part of cancer.  Not the hair.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Dodo islanders

There's a garden of thin short spikes on my head.  Tonight I am plucking them off as I would unruly weeds.  It's that part in the chemo cycle when they fall with ease.  And as I type this, I am getting what I dread as hot flashes!  Menopause is such a scary word.

I know I must be repeating myself like a beserk parrot but tired is a word I am not getting tired of using.  I am tired. So tired.  So so tired.

On a different note, we dodo islanders are a unique breed.  We are masters at passing the buck.  Today I witnessed and participated in some buck passing. 

Our meetings start with some careful but discreet looking to your right and left for identification of who to pass the buck to, then there follows a slow dance of recriminations, polite finger-pointing, a bit a serious plannning, some weird form of division of labour and finally locating that one agent to lumber with a whole can of worms to tease apart at short notice.  And then the buck stops.

 All this is done with a combination of civility, bull tactics and unearthing of obscure papers and commitments to hang a poor sweating culprit.

But then, as you leave the meeting, you laugh and chide your opponents a little, forgive any mishaps and forget the gaping lapses and head straight to your desk to do your part to save the day.

Yes, we dodo islanders are a unique breed.  We scrap everything and save the day :)

Monday, 25 April 2011

Eye Candy

Another day of being wedged in the crack.  No walking.  Not much talking.

The aide de camp of the President of India is indeed an eye candy. He's a pretty boy. 

I think some more eye candy can help reduce my stress levels. 

Maybe some Ranbir Kapoor will help.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Zoning out

Chemo's effects were well felt today. 

Ha!  And there I was thinking that I had somehow escaped the bouts of weakness I felt in the first round.

From the moment I woke up, it's been low energy and zoning out.  I zoned out into a weird space.  Few thoughts, fewer sentences dancing in my head.  Ten hours of falling in a crack while life buzzed around unaware of my absence.

Happy Easter folks.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Zen

It was when I was lying flat on my stomach looking down into a bowl filled with water and rose petals that the thought came to my mind.  The moment had chosen us, "Heart" and I.  We did not choose it.

And the moment chose us wisely I think.  It knew the exact day, time and mood when we would both be tired, free and willing. 

There was no plan, no pressure.  Just a quiet invitation that led our feet to the doors of the spa. 

It's been a long long time since I had a massage and as the masseuse was untying knot after knot in my back and neck, I silently winced.  It hurt!  I had amassed a good amount of tension and kneading all that away had, of course, to hurt. 

But there is something to be said for the power of the human touch.  It is just flesh on flesh, skin to skin contact, but boy, does it do wonders for your body!

So tonight, I am all zen.  The moment chose the body today.  The spirit can wait.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Tortured souls

Almost everyone I know is hiding a tortured soul behind a large smile.  Everyone is pretending.  I am too.

The truth is we are all fleeing.  Some of us are running from our spouses/partners.  Some are running to what looks from a distance as greener pastures. Some are running from the past.  Some are running to the future. Some use lies.  Some hide truths.  Some think they can fool.  Some are fools.

Human beings are ingenious when it comes to running.  We rarely use our two feet.  I think we think it is too primitive.  Instead, we concoct complicated plans, use sophisticated speech and apply twisted shady means.

But when all is said and done, we must admit that it is impossible to run from our tortured souls.

And that's a good thing.  Because at the end of the day, our tortured souls are our homes.  And there is no place like home.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

I'm irked

Something is irking me tonight.  It's to do with poor decision-making. 

It's thursday.  End of the week almost and it feels like a lot has happened the last 5 or 6 days.  Right now, I am exhausted both physically and mentally.  Physically because I drove (and I dislike driving) while being drunk on a lot of beauty.  I could not help the drinking and the driving was out of guilt really.  Mentally, I am wasted because lately I feel like I have been battling the lethargy and depression of someone else in addition to coping with my cancer.

See, there is much resistance to change in my surroundings and a propensity to leave decision-making to later rather than sooner. 

And here is where I fit, or rather misfit.  I am, by nature (thank God for that), quite malleable regarding change and rather quick on taking decisions, both good and bad ones.

This latter trait is often mistaken for overconfidence (yes, ahem, according to certain folks, I am both overconfident and arrogant).  I personally know that I have serious confidence issues but they seldom surface in decision-making.  Simply because decision-making for me (when done by the grey matter and not the glass) is very organised and logical.  No shortcuts.  No overlooking facts.  Just assess and jump.

So when others dilly-dally, postpone or cancel, fidget and moan, I am ready to pounce on them! 

I know I must be patient.  Be gentle.  Use some tactics.  And be patient some more.  But first, I must STOP living others' lives along with my own. 

In moments like now (and of course the long drives on meandering roads), I wish for one thing only.  Someone with a sharp brain and wise witty remarks.  Happy to indulge my craziness and frustration with the world.  Forbearing with my excess and drama. Ready to gather the odd bits of me in a spontaneous embrace and kiss my forehead.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Alhamdulillah (Part II)

Today deserves an additional post.

To say: Thank you my Allah.  For taking away my backpack and giving me a hot-air balloon :)

Today "Heart" did some parasailing right up in the air and I, by my Lord's Mercy, am parasailing right down to my liver on a wave of relief :)

Alhamdulillah.

Drama

Today, I threatened my parents that I will leave the house!  Why?  Because my mom won't exercise!

Fouf!!!!  I know, it is childish and irrational. Thank God, my parents know me well enough to just frown on my statements, shake their heads and pretend they didn't hear a thing!

Sometimes, being a petulant child is as rebellious as I can get.  The next step is obviously a full-fledged waterworks operation.  But I'll save that for more critical moments!

I believe drama could be my middle name.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

A block of ice

"A believer's life is like a block of ice.  The more time passes, the more it dissolves, until no more is left and it is time to meet your Lord".

The wise words above are not mine.  They came from a new member of my Cancer Club (Mr. Bashir- 45+ old, male, throat and liver cancer). I met Mr. Bashir at the hospital on the day of my 2nd Chemo where we sympathised at how miser in words our common taciturn onco is!

Yesterday, Mr. Bashir magically reappeared in the office to profer these nuggets of wisdom.  It was like receiving a gift. 

Now,I've had life compared to a journey, a dream, a tree and plenty of other tangible and intangible things, but a block of ice was new.  I quite like the metaphor actually.  I even related it to my mom this evening. 

Tonight, I am tired but Alhamdulillah less tense.  I've carried a stressful thought all day long and somewhere this is the same as carrying a backpack.  At some point, you need to get your backpack off your back, kick your shoes off, put your feet up and sip some cool water. 

I took my backpack off when I got home.  My sister's unexpected visit had brightened the atmosphere.  While we were busy getting dinner ready, catching up on random gossip and generally being "us", I felt myself smiling inwardly. 

Like faith, love is an amazing force.  It is a quiet powerhouse.  It propels you to laugh and eat and be merry while your backpack stays by the door.  It is that cool water that your parched heart savours lazily after having known the bitter sun of worries.

Yes, life is like a block of ice.  And love is like faith.  A gift from up above.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Rabbana

Bad news are in tonight in this household.  More health troubles, more doctors and surgeries and medications and worries.  Carotid stenosis.  30% blockage of the carotid artery.

Strangely enough, Alhamdilillah, we are ok.  With solid faith, nerves of steel and our love for each other, we'll walk together for as long as the Lord wishes. And Insha Allah we'll see through this one too.

Rabbana atina fi dunya hasanatawn wa fil akhirati hasanatawn wa kina azhaban nar . Ameen
(Oh Allah, please grant us good in this life and good in the hereafter and protect us from the torment of the fire).

Sunday, 17 April 2011

You are not fooling me!

I've never been happier to get my periods than this weekend!  And no, there was no chance of me being pregnant and neither is that likely in the forseeable future.

It's just that chemotherapy is supposed not only to take my hair away but also my periods!  And while it seemed like a good thing when the onco said so, I am so desperately clutching at remnants of my feminity that even the periods are welcome!

Today, I was running the word chemotherapy in my mind and I realised that it's such a misnomer.  The chemicals used in chemotherapy are anything but therapeutic.  For God's sake, they are little murderers thirsting after new, rapidly developing cells!  How can that be therapeutic?

See, the word therapy conjures up nice things in my mind, sensations of well-being that are obtainable from a nice aromatic tea, or a leisurely massage, or walking by the sea, or holding his hand in mine...

And that's far, very far from what I am getting these days!

So yes, chemotherapy is the word I'll use, but with just that touch of sarcasm that says: you are not fooling me!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Alhamdulillah

When your day is filled to the brim with beautiful nothingness, you leave the odd worries gnawing at the corners of your mind for tomorrow.

Tomorrow will probably add its own spin on today's moments, erasing some, magnifying others.  So today, I'll swim in content oblivion and say Alhamdulillah.

Friday, 15 April 2011

The strength of a woman

I am one of those people whose heart is made of glass.  Transparent glass, see-through.  No iron bars around it, so it is pretty exposed too.  This piece of glass is usually packaged wholly and offered (almost sacrificially) to one man at a time. 

When Rayyaan was born, he walked on the surface of the glass, leaving his footprints here and there.  These have now become permanent imprints.  Looking closely now, I can see mostly his footprints and some areas where leftover love has left some stains, but pretty much all of the glass has vacancy signs posted all over it.

That made for a lot of empty space.  And inevitably love had to happen.  It came in the form of a little girl. AF9.

As little as she is, she is already a miniature woman, ready to take on the world, with full strength.  Just give her her mom and a sense of security. 

I believe that little girls are precious.  This one is no exception.  When she comes walking, the glass shines brighter and feels lighter.  And it prays. 

Be fierce AF9.  Be tempestuous and roar like the sea.  Demand those kisses and cuddles.  Never hesitate to cry and fight for your world.  Fight with your brothers now, but stick close to them always, they will be your shadow when you grow up.

And May Allah send you His Quran early in life :)

Defiance

Today, while on the bus on my way to work, my eyes misted when an old Hindi song played on the radio (Yaadon ki Baraat).  And I felt, with passion and fervour, that if I could this very moment bundle all of my life together (past, present and future) and place it firmly as a concrete block straight ahead of me, I'd look at it with defiance.  Through tears yes, but still with defiance.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The Superwoman and the Woman

Our maid is superwoman.  She amazed me today.

While I slowly dragged myself around the house, she would whiz around both floors with a broom and a mop, chatting away happily.

Since I am not a morning person, I pretended to read in order not to have to make conversation with her.  But really, she managed to clean the house and iron a pile of clothes in 3 hours!

Now, I am not a neat freak.  But I do enjoy a clean home.  Walking barefoot on freshly cleaned tiles is such a pleasure. 

Talking of barefoot.  My toe nails are hennaed a deep marroon these days.  Last year I went through a henna phase that saw me painstakingly applying henna regularly for a period of 5 or 6 months.  I did it out of pleasure and boredom.  I eventually outgrew that phase.

This year, I am applying henna to cover my nails now turning black due to chemo.  And by black, I mean black.  A very dull black. 

So I may be without hair but my nails can bear witness that I am still a woman!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Running away

I had to escape from myself today.  So here's what I did.

I got up, made a split-second decision to head to work, showered, pulled on the only clothes in my wardrobe that did not require ironing, hopped on a bus, and headed to the office where I sat myself in a cubicle to eat a cheese sandwich with chilli with some of my friends.

I did not stay long in Port Louis. 

By the time I got home, I was sufficiently wasted that sleep claimed me within minutes of me walking through the door.

By the time I woke up, the sun was gently setting.  The day was over. Alhamdulillah.

Sometimes, there is no other way.   Sometimes the only way is to run away from yourself.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Silent Panic Attacks

I've had a series of silent panic attacks this weekend....on top of the nausea and weakness.  This particular bit of information I just figured out (I've been in a fog this weekend and only now seem to be emerging).

I panicked when my nephew refused to see me without hair, when I felt my mood spiral downwards, when I looked at myself in the mirror, etc etc. 

I understand perfectly well what the chemo is doing to my body and I can even articulate my current (and any future) physical change to the world with full graphic details.  But somewhere, deep down, all this is taking its toll on me. 

I feel trapped, caged, limited, old and robbed of my own self. 

One of my colleagues, over a lunch of lamb, fries and salad, related the cancer experience of one of his friends.  The patient had breast cancer, went through the treatment, the cancer went into remission, but resurfaced some years later.  The second time around, she refused treatment. It was too hard.

And now I understand why.  I am still early in this game but I can tell you this much:  tonight, for the first time since being diagnosed with cancer, I prayed for there not to be a second time for me.

This one time, I FEEL I can do it.  But anything more would be beyond my capacity too.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Exposed skull

Hey Woman,

You are a twit!  Have all those biology lessons vanished from your brain?

No hair means you will feel cold, and colder at night.

Don't blame me for tossing and turning all night long if you feel cold.  Just get your bum out of bed and find me a cap.

New in town,
Your exposed skull.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Chemo #2 - The ice is melting

I had my second chemo today.  The day started early with blood test at 8 am, awaiting the results of my FBC, followed by the doctor's review, his green light to proceed with Chemo #2 and finally the lying around for 2.5 hours welcoming those magic chemicals that world leaders should really be paying attention to!! .

Alhamdulillah, Chemo No 2 was not too bad. It was actually better than No 1. simply because I was less nervous.  I knew the drill and went about it a bit mechanically.

Now the absolute highlight of the day was the meeting with The Wolf (my taciturn onco).  The ice is melting people!  He did not make small talk with me (maybe that's a bit much to expect from him) or look up at me for longer than was absolutely necessary, but hey, he asked about my 1st chemo experience and gladly prescribed some solupred instead of prednisone when I told him how the 1 sec presence of prednison on my tongue can get me to throw up!  He also did some poking around on my breast and underarm area and seemed satisfied with both.

Note to Breast: Darling, please overlook all this attention....we have one final hurdle coming next week IA, then this relationship will be on the mend and we can get rolling in the hay!

Unlike hospitals in the 1st World, hospitals on this island are a rather depressing sight and feel.  An example in case: chemo treatment is done in only one hospital here and the treatment room is housed in an old stone building and contains 11 beds that are so close to one another that you can see the toes of the next patient peeping out from under sheets!  There is not a chair for any accompanying relative/friend or personalised attention as is the case in private clinics.  Only a tv set on low volume and fans can count as decoration and they do their best to detract from the drab atmosphere. 

I am not complaining here.  Just a statement (my opinioned self taking over).  See, hospitals here will provide the same goods (i.e drugs and all) as clinics but minus the service.  On the other hand, clinics will provide the whole package in exchange for 60,000+ Mauritian Rupees (the kind of cash I don't want to transfer to any corporation anymore!).  That was a choice I had to make and I picked the peeping toes.  So I'll live.

See, I try to rationalise and see the brighter side of hospital chemo.  And I did see it. Alhamdulillah.  By doing some people watching.  The beds closest to me today had an old man who looked quite ill, a 40+ woman who pretty much kept to her side away from us all and a white gentleman who spoke impeccable french.

And that sufficed to put things in perspective.  WE ARE ALL IN IT.  The young, the old, the white, the brown (and all shades in between), the male, the female, the well-off, the poor. 

It was humbling to see that we live in a mixed bag of cancer.....a bit like those fancy nuts I used to buy in the US!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Send Off

Not much to write home about today.

Ramdom thoughts from no particular location:

  • A delicious Bouillon Mee Foon with "Heart" and the Mascott is the perfect send-off before chemo;
  • A clean bathroom requires that I get dowm on all fours with a hand mop to pick up all the hair that I have shed lately;
  • Waterworks therapy (letting my tears flow freely for a few minutes daily) works like magic;
  • I have pointy ears.  Like elves.  I would have been useful had it been Xmas time!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Going, going.....gone!

I'd be lying if I said the whole losing hair business is not affecting me.  It does affect me.  That's a fact.

To try and alleviate this traumatic phase, I had my head shaved today.  So technically speaking, my hair is now gone.

How do I look?  There is only one word to describe me now...vulnerable.  Not ugly.  Not beautiful.  Just vulnerable.

Amy, in one of her posts, related how losing your hair makes you FEEL you have cancer.  I confirm this.  I now feel I have cancer. 

The trouble with this disease is it is 20% physical and 80% mental (my assessment).  And I am using percentages for a specific reason here.  I take that from my surgeon.  See, he likes to throw figures at me.  According to him (and I trust science in general), I had X% risk of developing breast cancer to start with, there is Y% chance that I will be cancer-free after treatment, Z% probability that it may recur in the other breast, and so on and so forth.

Alhamdulillah, I am not overly concerned by any of these numbers.  I am not trying to beat the maths here.  That's just me.

But to come back to the physical/mental ratio, I place this disease in the grey zone where if it does not kill you physically, it can kill you mentally. 

Cancer consumes you.  It does not allow you to forget.  It clamours for your attention every single day.  There is hardly any respite from it.  Gravity on Planet Cancer is stronger than on earth, my friends.

If your body will deal with the cancer in the way it can (aided or not by medicine), it is mostly in your mind that the cancer will cause most of the damage.

So to survive this onslaught, you draw on every fibre of mental stamina that you possess.  Because at the end of the day, only your inner force can force you to lift your head and look at your body minus certain parts reflected in a mirror, only your soul can absorb the shock of possibilities being written off your future forever, and only your beating heart can accept that you will die.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Urgent - Email addresses needed

Bad mood it is on Planet Cancer.  Although it's been a reasonably good day, I have, underneath all the purple I wore today, felt quite blue.

My scalp itches, my mirror is showing me someone I don't really think is me, I feel fat and I have just enough energy to shuffle myself around the house.

And it occured to me that world leaders are stupid.  All that money spent on weapons and warfare can be so easily saved. 

Here's how.  You have enemies, you want to stop them from doing you any harm, then just feed them some chemo drug.  They will start throwing up all over the place, develop bad constipation and lose body hair (and personal confidence) and generally feel sufficiently crappy about themselves and the entire world that you no longer appear on their radar!  It's that simple.

I must email Obama or Osama..or maybe both!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Is there a secret barber in you?

I woke up this morning with my mind made up.  I wanted to cut my hair today i.e reduce its length from the 7 or so centimetres to about 1 cm.  It simply could not wait any longer.

Now, since the onset of hair loss on thursday, I have been planning to go to the salon to have the job done.  My 2 sisters have both volunteered for the job, but somehow upon waking up today, I decided that the right man for the job is no other than my dad.  And I can tell you, I made the right decision.

If you don't know my dad, let me give you a quick picture of him.  He is 72 years old, the quiet type, ever-ready for service and happy to live in simplicity. 

The news of me having cancer was hard on both my parents  For my mom (a former nurse) it became easier with time since she is somewhat familiar with cancer treatment and its side effects.  For my dad, it was harder I think.  The information on steps of the treatment had to be dosed rightly and often repeated several times just so it would sink in slowly in him.

Somehow, his brain could not fully wrap itself around the concept of me getting bald (hell, my brain is still having a hard time with this one!!!).  We would talk about it, but up until I actually started losing hair, I think he was skeptical about the whole thing and hopeful that it would not happen!

So this morning, I purposely asked him to cut my hair and to prove the necessity of it, I took him outside and ran my fingers through my hair.  Sure enough, a nice little pile of hair came off and he looked at it a bit quizzicallly.

It took just that to convince him that the moment had arrived.  We then went about setting up a place for the deed.

We picked the living room.  My mom brought an old bed sheet and my father sharpened the only pair of scissors he could find. He then proceeded to chop chop chop.

Dear God!  If at the beginning, I felt a bit teary, by the end of it I was bursting with laughter!  My dad found himself ENJOYING cutting my hair!!!!  He was so pleased with the end result that he said he might consider turning into a barber!

So now, with my prisoner cut (which incidentally looks good -except for the odd patches where the scissors went too deep), I am delighted and relieved that my father is part and parcel of this joyride called cancer.  Alhamdulillah!

Ownership is important and sometimes, having a secret barber in you helps just that little bit more :)

This weekend

This weekend has seen me socialising quite a bit....which inevitably will translate into me going back to being a recluse tomorrow.  I am so looking forward to that :)

Now, what exactly did I do? Let's see...visiting my favourite Dr., laughing at the antics of OJM, pickling some love with the 3 monkeys, re-watching Zee TV Awards (OK, this does not count as socialising), attending a beautiful prayer ceremony followed by yummy briani and begging hugs and kisses from Rayyaan.  That last bit is something that I do shamelessly whenever the little man is around...well since he is more interested in my phone than in me, I figured it's quite fair to make bargains like 10 kisses in exchange for him being allowed to play games on my phone, or hugs in exchange for whatever it is he wants, etc.

Overall, Alhamdulillah, it's been a good weekend. I am thousands of hair lighter on my head, 5 scarves richer and hopefully a few degrees wiser (what with me getting older by the day and all!!!).

Random thoughts from Planet Cancer:
(a) The hair falling bit is quite an experience!  I can actually feel the roots of my hair hurting!!!  Not a pleasant sensation, but quite amazing given its newness...The annoying part is to have to pick up all the hair from every surface and constantly brushing my clothes so that the fallen hair does not tickle me!
(b) Am I imagining it or my nails have started growing black?  A week or so should confirm this.
(c) I must restrict the verbal haemorrhage (some call it diarrhea) that I tend to inflict on others just because suddenly life looks beautiful to me :) Alhamdulillah.
(d) Cancer is such a good teacher!  It's giving me a crash course on myself....tough love style!  I'll remember to be grateful!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Dear Hair, I love you

Dear Hair.

It's time to say goodbye.  Not Adieu. Just goodbye.

I will miss you. 

You've been with me when I was in a diaper and ever since.  How can I not miss you? 

We've had a long and loving relationship and I have lots of good memories of us which I will cherish all those months that I will not be seeing you.  Let me mention a few here.

I remember how you used to be long and black as the night in my childhood and teenage years. I used to wear you plaited and combed back....like a real dork.

Then in my 20s, some form of fashion sense started growing in me and I introduced you to a pair of scissors.  I dared not over experiment though.  So I would reduce you to mid length all the while making sure you could still be twisted into a bun.  Made me less dorky, but still quite demure looking.

Then towards my late 20s, I started experimenting with colours on you.  I must say I have sometimes gone overboard with the colour palette!  I am sorry!!  You must have seen all shades of brown, red, burgundy and some light yellow for quite a few years!

Ah yes!  Remember that one time, right after my trip to Pakistan?  I did go totally ape on you and had Sasha chop you off to above shoulder length!  That made me pretty cool.  Lots of people liked it but I felt awkward after a while, so I let you grow back to mid length again.

Talking of Sasha...you know, Sasha is undoubtedly a richer man thanks to you.  All those treatments, shampoos, conditioners, serums that he made me buy for you have made my purse leaner and his fatter.  But that's okay.  I know I chose the best for you :)

Oh yes!  Then there was the trip to Malaysia and our experiment with japanese rebonding!  It was so cheap there that I could not resist.  And you were great!  You cooperated wonderfully....being all silky and smooth on me :)  So much so that you lured me into buying a GHD hair straightener last December.  That little excess of zeal cost me a small fortune but both you and I were very happy with the results.

Hair, I have not been the only one to love you.  He loved you too.  He would sniff you and like that you smelled good.  His nose is now buried in someone else's hair. That's okay too....somehow.

My love, it's time for me to kiss you goodbye. 

Just remember this: you are part of me.  I will not forget you.  Come back soon.

I love you.
S

Friday, 1 April 2011

People Watching

There are bird watchers, deal watchers, perv watchers, dolphin watchers, all sorts of watchers out there.  I am a people watcher.

That's why I enjoy travelling by bus :).  I get to watch all sorts of people.  And I mean ALL sorts!  My bus ride to the office today was consumed by that entirely. 

I watch people's shoes, their clothes, their demeanour, their expressions, their gait, anything out there that is on display. I watch them talk to others or talk on the phone.  Once in a while, I see those who talk to themselves too.  I watch the solitary folks as well as those that move in flocks. 

People fascinate me. 

Mind you, I am quite allergic to people.  But that's another story.

People watching works like therapy for me.  I see bits of myself in others, just like I sometimes see bits of others in me.

The rest of my therapy consists of a combination of chocolate, all sorts of carbs, my bed, fruits, some Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, walking and Rayyaan.

I guess each one of us has his/her own "thing".  People watching works great for me!  It's amusing, enlightening, readily available and best of all.........FREE. Ha!

PS: Am I strange?