Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

June 26th –Vain yet Honest

Cancer has made me confront many fears, my insecurities, my perseverance and my strength. I find that throughout this experience, I am pretty happy with how I am dealing with it. However, I am learning certain things about myself that I really don’t like. For one, I am very vain.
I remember when I was first diagnosed 2.5 years ago, I told my Doctor, “OK, the drugs you put me on can make me fat OR bald but not both!” Sure enough, my first round of chemo, I lost a lot of weight and had great wigs so I embraced being bald. This time around I was warned that the chemo drugs might make me swollen or bloated. I reminded Dr. Maki “fat or bald…not both!” Well, slowly but surely, the drugs started to do their thing…and I noticed that my shoes were tight and my clothes were snug. I was so upset! When I visited the Dr. last week for my treatment he looked down at my ankles and couldn’t find them! I was so swollen that he decided to change my regimen for the week and give me medicine that would reduce all of the water retention that has gradually been building up in my body. I assumed that the weight I had gained was real…but excitingly enough, every day my body is shrinking back to its original form. My jeans fit again! My husband, being the voice of reason in our relationship, reminded me that in the grand scheme of things gaining some weight is not a big deal if it means the tumors are disappearing. He asked me “if I had to choose 2 out of 3, what would I choose….being bald, gaining weight or having tumors”. I have to admit that my answer was “bald and tumors…provided the treatments are working!” As I said, I am learning things about myself that I don’t’ like. So, accept me for who I am….vain, but honest! This past weekend Dave and I had a wonderful time volunteering at the New Alternatives for Children (NAC) Summer Olympics with our friends Susan and John. Susan and I are on the board of NAC and it is a wonderful non-profit agency that places medically fragile children in loving homes. The weather was beautiful and Dave and John led the soccer camp. It was wonderful to see so many NAC children of different ages, different sizes and different medical conditions bonding together. It reminded me how lucky I am to be alive and to be able to contribute.