Hanging Tough

There is a power to be harnessed in your inner toughness.

I have to admit that from the get-go, I have not resonated with the pink ribbon campaigns, with the survivor mentality and verbage.

I did not feel like fighting or being tough… that meant that I was a victim in some way. I have not signed up for any support groups because I didn’t associate myself with being another “cancer-chic”. But you know what… I get in now.

In the beginning you are swirling in a mass of confusion, trying to make hard and fast decisions, trying to stay on top of so many details. Barely do you have room to get swept up in all the deep and raw feelings of hurt, sadness, depression and fear. You are too busy rushing from one appointment to the next and trying to keep all the other details of your life flowing smoothly along. Then, the inevitable catches up, and all you can do is try and swim. It’s ok to sink under water for a little while too… just be sure to reach up your arms and grab for the help that is offered, and not wallow under water for too long.

A few days ago my hair began to seriously shed. I knew this was going to happen. A veteran cancer-survivor friend encouraged me to take matters into my own hands and not let this get the best of me. She was so right. When I woke up yesterday morning, after giving a little tug and seeing a huge tuft of hair come loose in my hands, I decided to go for it. Joey was still sleeping, so I grabbed his clippers and went for it. I didn’t get upset or cry. For the first time I felt like I was readying myself for battle. This happened to be the morning before my second round of chemo. I had been having nightmares about my hair falling out everywhere and what I was going to look like. No, I was not going to wait for a strong gust of wind to take away my remaining hair! I took a few pictures afterwards, and intentionally showed my tough side. This is what the situation calls for right now. I am in this, and I’m going to come out from the other side in a few months with not a shred of cancer in my body!

You know what, I don’t know if it’s that my body is just getting adjusted to the chemo, or my new attitude, but this one didn’t knock me down as hard as the first one. I AM kicking ass! : )

Shaved head, dose #2




10 thoughts on “Hanging Tough”

  1. Melissa, you are a very eloquent writer and an inspiration to me whenever I start to feel down. Your inner beauty shines through no matter what color your hair is or even if you don’t have any hair. As you mom, I could not be any more proud of you!!!! You keep that spirit and we will win this battle together!!!!

  2. Dear Warrior Princess, the battle favors she who is most prepared. You have a legion of supporters, who are in this with you. Never give up, never surrender!!

    Love, Win

  3. You are incredible…..chills, breathless, speechless……only begin to describe the impact you have on all of us. The beautiful structure of your face, head make you look beyond awesome.

  4. You ARE kicking ass and looking FAB Melissa. I appreciate hearing about your journey and know that I am over here on the sidelines loving you and rooting for you to win. xoxo Toni

  5. I am so proud of you! WARRIOR PRINCESS, KICKING ASS!

    Rinpoche asks about you whenever we are together, and I tell him that you are struggling, but that you are very strong, and you will be healthy in time. He is praying for you. I pray for you every day, throughout the day, I know that you will emerge from this even more beautiful and stronger than ever. You are an inspiration to me and others. Please let me know when you feel well enough for a visit. Your father and I send all our love. Big hugs and kisses to Joey and Julian. Love, Mom

  6. You are kicking ass, and looking gorgeous while you do it!

    Personally, I get the idea of avoiding labels, and have always chosen to state the facts without the titles. Smile!

    In the most generous way, I am proud of you

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