Breast Cancer Blog - Episode 15 : Alien

It hasn’t been the easiest of weeks. It’s been a mixture of ludicrously laughable efforts to get ready for chemotherapy, disastrous attempts to cope with day to day life, and heart stopping, gut wrenching horror. Pretty standard for me, these days.


A while ago Mr G (my husband, who’s developing something of a cult following) pronounced that the last 12 months have given us more challenges than the last 50 years, but yet here we still are, coping and surviving. He has his moments of wisdom and clarity, but also other moments of being an utter twonk. Like when he bought me an easter egg and ate all of the bloody chocolates, and when he tries to upstage my cancer woes with his toe fungus claims. But mainly we do okay.


Make Up Tips

With chemo coming up, I’ve been preparing myself, mentally and physically. Chemo means hair loss, which also means eyelashes and eyebrows, so I’ve been hunting out magnetic eyelashes and eyebrow options. The magnetic eyelashes were pretty darn impressive actually, you do a line of black eyeliner on your upper lids which is, by some crazy fluke of science, magnetic, and the fake eyelashes, also mysteriously magnetised, just kind of stick to them like, well, like magnets. Science is fucking amazing.


The rainbow eyebrow stencils we looked at before (see Episode 12) are clearly for special occasions, not for every day, so I found this eyebrow pen thing, with little teeth, which draws on fine lines which look like eyebrows. It looked simple enough, so I ordered one. It said you needed to practice a few times, so in the style of women in the make up aisles of Boots everywhere, I used the back of my hand to test it out. Remember at this point that I am 54, and I learnt my make-up skills from Jackie magazine circa 1980, and they’ve pretty much seen me through. Contouring is something that happens to hedges, not to faces, and despite working for Clariins for a year once, a long time ago, (I hated it - they were petite, orange and had matching weekend bags, I was large, got my make up from Woolworths and rode a motorbike) I’m pretty low maintenance. It took a few goes, but it was pretty OK, so I tried it on myself. Not bad at all. I have naturally dark brown hair (despite what you see on Instagram) and the colour match was pretty good.


Mr G arrives and is impressed. He wants a go. Mr G has blonde hair, and very pale eyebrows, so pale you can hardly see them. Apparently he has always wanted defined eyebrows, so he asks me to do him too. I tell him this is dark brown and isn’t the right colour, but he insists. I warn him again. He won’t have it, so I go for it. Two things happen:


First, I go to wash my hands to remove the trial attempts, only to realise that the ink is semi-permanent, and wont come off. Not with soap, Fairy liquid or kitchen cleaner. So now I have 4 eyebrows on my hand, for ever. Clusterfuckingly awesome.





And then there’s Mr G. He thinks he looks like Roger Moore, but in reality he looks like he's auditioning for Abanazer’s understudy in the Bermondsey Ex-Con Society’s production of Aladdin. He thinks it’ll rub off. I don’t tell him. I turn the lights down and try not to look at the villain at the other end of the sofa.


Armpit Love

I’m comparing recovery notes with my cancer bestie Darcey, on a daily basis. We both had the same operation and are sharing our armpit journeys. Darcey had to go back and have a new more nodes out, so she has a far superior war wound and even has the honour of a jug full of drained seroma fluid to share with friends. Got to admit, she trumps me on that one. So aside from the birdie song arm exercises we have to do, oh wait, that reminds me hold on, this story will continue after this advert:


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