Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I Did It

So I changed my mind. I just said, “SCREW IT! SCREW CHEMO! SCREW CANCER!” I decided that I was sick and tired of waiting to see what the chemo would or wouldn’t do. I decided I didn’t want some emotional shaving off of all my hair that would feel more like defeat than like fight. So, yesterday, after my fourth chemo treatment (which is hopefully the halfway point) I decided to take most of the rest of it off. But I made it my own, not chemo’s and not cancer’s. And it was fun.  It was one of the best ways I could think of to screw cancer, and with gusto.

I picked purple because purple is the color of Hodgkin’s lymphoma awareness, and it is the signature color for Team in Training, the fundraising arm for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In case you haven’t already read, I’m training for another triathlon this summer, and I have talked 22 other people into doing TNT events all over the country. Together we are TEAM STRONGER, dedicated to the notion that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. So now I am a walking poster for Hodgkin’s awareness and TNT, and I love it.

Before I did this, I doubted whether it would really make me feel any more in control of this whole process than I did before (as I’ve recently written, I was feeling completely out of control). But to my pleasant surprise, it has. I feel stronger, tougher, and more in control than ever, even if that control is mostly illusory. And I feel grateful to be able to feel this way. I know not everyone going through this chemo or other chemos or other cancers gets to feel this way. I know not everyone has a greater than 90% chance of being cured.  

I feel stronger today. I hope this last treatment has cured me. I hope that perhaps you’ll consider donating to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society* today so that other patients out there will have the chance to feel stronger, too, so that other patients will have the chance to be cured. 

*Everyone who donates will receive a beautiful purple SCREW CANCER/One Good Thing bracelet.

More pictures from the transformation!
Hair credit goes to the lovely Alissa at Moshi Moshi in Chapel Hill. Thanks, Alissa, for making this so much fun!
Photo credits go to my wonderful husband, Ed.


Before... I think I look a little scared here.

First swipe with the trimmers...

All gone!

First have to lighten it...

Annie Lennox, eat your heart out.


TNT Purple!

No turning back now...

Under the dryer...

It really is purple!

First look!

I think I am a little crazy.

Did I really just do this?

Yes, I did!

And I love it!

With the lovely Alissa at Moshi Moshi

"This lady just got a purple mohawk, y'all!"

Do I look stronger? 'Cuz I feel stronger.

With the love of my life, who loves me unconditionally.

Feeling tougher than ever.

Seriously, SCREW CANCER.


My inspirations:  My Hudson necklace, my One Good Thing bracelet,
and my SCREW CANCER/One Good Thing bracelet. 


  1. Hi Mandy, I've never commented before but we have a few mutual friends through whom I found out about your blog. I just wanted to pop in and say you are one tough woman and I am in awe of your spirit! I know I'm just a stranger but you've touched my life.

    Arzum (in Baltimore)

  2. This. Is. Awesome.

    You rock.

    (Also. New commenter. Latent reader. Am crawling out of the woodwork cause your purple hair is awesome and badass and I'm just all kinds of in awe)

  3. You are awesome. As I did with my friend who tattooed the entire length of her arm post-chemo, I applaud you and give out a supportive battle cry as you tell cancer to take a hike.

  4. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I stand in awe of you.


  5. I've commented here before, about your strength and your gorgeous Hudson, but apologize for using the guise of anonymity to say: holy cow, that is hot.

  6. You look tough (and awesome)! Pretty sure you scared the cancer away and it knows better than to ever come back again. I'm confident your scans are going to show just that!

  7. Taking charge. I like it.

    And damn girl. It suits you. I've known for what, 22 years? And yet, somehow this suits your spirit more than any ponytail, bob, or bangs.

    Love you.

  8. I am not a cry baby, but seeing this, I had tears in my eyes for you are so incredibly brave!

    You look like a rockstar, seriously, it suits you. Your head has a great shape and the blue of your eyes is just popping with the purple. I love it!


  9. You look AMAZING! Cancer, you have messed with the wrong lady...

  10. You are too cool for words. Love it.

  11. Holy shit Mandy!

    Seriously- amazing! I LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Hello Mandy,
    I just stopping by because Leslie wrote on her blog about you and seeing those pictures i think it is really amazing what you did for you're self, keep on going and keep on going strong, hope you beat it!

    I live in the Netherlands and i'm friends with Leslie for like 16 years alreaddy and she is great to have as a friend, even though i'm to far away to stop by for a cuppa tea, i still lite a candle for Cullen everyday!!

    So that is what i'm going to do for you to if i lite the candle for Cullen, Leslie and her family. I lite that candle for you to now and hope to give you some strength.


  13. I love it!!!!! Wait till I show Ms. Cathy! You go Mandy screw Cancer!!!! Barbara...Hi from your St. Ann's Family!!

  14. Mandy!!!! You look so f-ing tough and amazing and awesome!

  15. you have a nicely shaped head. easy to tell your mom held you and 'let you lie around going all flat on one side. now that is one good thing!<3

  16. didnt let you lie around,sorry .mouse has a glitch of erasing....

  17. Love it. You rock.