Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Overcoming Cancer's Hairy Situations

I really hate my hair.  

I know, I know, this is something you hear women say all the time. But this lady was recently bald. Her hair is growing back in full swing. I should be happy, right?

Well, at first, I was ECSTATIC. I chronicled every little wisp that sprouted up.  That peach fuzz was endearing and cute. Until it started morphing into a salt and peppa 'Fro. Now, it's just plain Fugly. Yes, that's right. I'm going to sound like a whiny, complaining bitch for having hair on my head. You're probably saying to yourself, "You should be happy it's growing!" or, "It's really pretty on you! If I didn't know you, I'd think you had it CUT that way!"

Oh, really? Do people really have their hair dyed and cut EXACTLY like this? Do people chose  hairstyles like this? Let me tell you, it's only going to get worse if the curls keep curling. I can't seem to gel it, comb it or do ANYTHING with it. And please don't tell me to put a head band on because that's even sadder on this do. And my beloved hats that I loved a few months ago? I can't even stand the feel of them anymore. This hairdo is for the birds. Literally. In fact, I think a bird was nesting in there earlier today but I was too tired to disturb it.

I had counseled myself through baldness by saying to myself and others, "Hair is so overrated. Every girl should be bald at least once in her life, just to feel how liberating it is! I may even STAY bald, or at least keep a very short hair do. I really don't miss my old hair. It was SUCH a pain in the ass to do. Don't let your hair DEFINE you."

Well, I believe every word of that to be true but now I just want to fast forward a few inches. I'm really not asking for Rapunzel. Nurse Jackie will do just fine!

When I was bald, this is what I heard:

"You look great bald! I can really see your face now!"
"Don't ever have long hair again!"
"Your head is just so perfectly shaped!"

And people stared at me in public if I didn't wear a hat or scarf. The looks were mostly of pity, discomfort, or a little sadness. So, one day, while having coffee with my girlfriends, I made this sign. I said, "If I could make a T-Shirt, this is what it would say!"

(God, I really do have a nice head! And yes, middle fingers were intentional.)

Now, when I go out in public, people just stare at my hair. Like, "Dear Lord, woman, who cut your hair, Stevie Wonder?"

And there's no hiding from it. It's pitiful. Yes, I know there are worse things in the world. Trust me, I get it. It's my blog and I'll vent if I want to.

My biggest fears are no longer about cancer. Do you know what I am scared of? That I'm going to look like a 32 year actress who plays a 14 year old Jewish boy named Jacob at his Bar Mitzvah. That is exactly where this hairdo is headed. See below.

Papa can you hear me? 

I guess this hair growing process is another fucking metaphor for the "Cancer Journey". 
There is no easy way around it and you just have to go through it. Things are going to get ugly, and strange, and wild. You can't skip past the chemo crapfest or the awkward curls.

Life, in general is like this. You'd like to fast forward through a Jacob In Progress but you can't.  Keep your head held high, smile, and dab on some lipstick so you at least look like a girl. 

And if that isn't for you, just wear a paper bag over your head until the birds have left the nest. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Becky's Homemade Granola

Love granola but don't like all the added sugar and other "stuff" they put in there that's not so natural? It's super easy and fun to make! And if you buy your ingredients in bulk you will save money and always have everything on hand to make a batch. There are tons of recipes on the internet and luckily, granola is very versatile and you can mix and match whatever kinds of nuts and seeds you like. Don't feel committed to just using the ingredients below. Try pumpkin seeds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, or unsweetened coconut mixed in with the oats before cooking. 

I like this version because it doesn't use brown sugar but takes its sweetness from honey and maple syrup. The addition of cinnamon and vanilla add a nice touch, too.

Here you go! (Oh, I would make a double batch if I were you)

Becky's Homemade Granola

2 cups raw Old Fashioned oats
1/2 cup sliced raw almonds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
large pinch salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 TBSP maple syrup
1 TBSP raw honey
2 TBSP coconut oil (I buy mine at Trader Joes but I'm sure you can find it anywhere now, it's so popular. It comes in a jar and has many uses! Get some now!!)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 300. 
In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients using your hands.
In a glass measuring cup, combine the maple syrup, honey, and coconut oil. The coconut oil is solid from the jar when you scoop it out. That's ok.  Microwave the ingredients in the measuring cup for about 20 seconds and stir it up so the oil is now looking like oil and mixes into the other ingredients. If needed, micro a little more to melt it. Add the vanilla and stir.

Pour this liquid mixture over the dried ingredients and toss well to ensure all is covered with the liquid.  It won't look very wet and that's ok. Just coat it all evenly. You can also use your hands if you'd like but I use a spatula.

Transfer it to a large rimmed cookie sheet in a single layer. I line mine with parchment paper because it cleans up easier. Place in oven for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, stir the mixture around so it cooks evenly. Every 2-3 minutes, open the oven and toss again.  It can brown very easily, too fast, so be careful. The mixture on the right is a little too overdone for my liking and the one on the left is just about right. These 2 pans were in the same oven for the same time but the one on the right was on the bottom oven rack, so beware!

When it's done, remove from oven and let it sit in the pan. Every so often, toss it around. It will harden as it cools. Once it is cooled, you can add dried cranberries, chocolate chips, flaked coconut, etc.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. 

Enjoy by itself as your breakfast with milk, mixed in with hot oatmeal to make that even more exciting, over ice-cream, or yogurt. It's yummy. Hope you like it!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Not Yo Typical New Year's Resolutions

I generally don't make resolutions but this year, I have plenty. They are in no order of importance.

1.  Use a blow dryer for its intended purpose
2. Refrain from changing any toilet paper rolls in the house just to see how long it takes them to do it.

3. Clean out the clutter in my life. This includes emotional clutter.
4. Touch my toes and get up from a seated position without grunting
5. Find more uses for coconut oil
6. Resist the temptation to buy Hello Kitty panties for my dental-hygienist 
7. Stop hoarding groceries in my house like I live on the prairie and I'm 100 miles from the nearest mercantile
8. Breathe more
9. Try to vacuum up as many Rainbow Loom rubber bands as possible 
10. Delete any friends from my Facebook list who continue to whine and complain about absolute nonsense or are chronic attention seekers
11. Try to stop whining so much
12. Act on every great idea I have
13. Detoxify the house. This includes making my own laundry detergent and cleaning products and ridding of all products that have been deemed toxic for both body and home.
14. Try to keep my car cleaner
15. Pay as little for TV watching as possible while getting the most bang for our buck
16. Get more sleep
17. Fashion a set of sheets that allows the spouse to be warm and me to be cool
18. Become more techno savvy
19. Add more interesting shapes to my pancake repertoire
20. Have more sex dreams about Don Draper
21. Get the farting and VARTING problem under control
22. Keep better contact with friends and family, especially the far away ones
23. Stop apologizing to strangers in stores when THEY bump into me
24. Forgive and forget
25. Learn to accept a compliment by simply saying "Thank You" instead of downplaying whatever it is I'm being complimented for.
26. Educate my doctors more about breast cancer even though they think they already know it all
27. Be fearless

Happy New Year to you all! Please leave your questions and comments below and thank you for reading this year, and last. Peace and good health to all of you.