In case you were wondering, I turn 56.
|(And I live in California)|
Now, you might think that would make me happy. (Not the California part - the 56 part.) And you are so right, it does. Often over the past few years, I didn't think I'd make it to this age. I can't be more grateful I'm here.
Wisely, I've looked in the mirror, seen a sagging face and more wrinkles than in days past, yet I've just smiled and thought, "Now that I know what it is to touch the edge of life, I don't care about aging."
|(No real woman would do this because she'd have to clean the lipstick off the mirror)|
True, I don't mind my age.
Also, a lie.
I'm super, super happy at being 56. I'm also a tad distressed at being 56.
How complicated we human beings are! How bewildering are our emotions!
|(All in ten minutes!)|
When I was bald, I couldn't wait for my hair to grow back.
When it grew back grey, I was less than excited. But I had hair, that's what counts, right?
|(At least it wasn't green)|
Unfortunately, because I'm metastatic, I am not always healthy enough to upkeep with color, and by God, I am not going to die with roots.
|(Why add more work for the funeral director?)|
So grey it stays.
But grey hair makes me look.....56. Washed out. Old. Sort of grandmother-ish. I want color again.
But I won't. I am a grandmother.
|(Although not this one)|
Also not always the most traditional one.
|(Pick your reason)|
My face.....I'd always thought I might do a little "touch-up" around this age. (A full facelift costs $9,000, or at least it did five years ago when I'd asked.) I don't want to look like Joan Rivers or Meg Ryan or any of those legions of sad Hollywood women trying to hold onto their youth forever.
|(At this point she's just using superglue trying to hold onto her eyelids forever)|
I was never beautiful so I don't have to hang on to lost beauty.
I just don't want to look mad, as I do these days even when I'm feeling perfectly serene. People will look at me and say, "What's wrong?" when I was thinking about kittens and rainbows.
|(Inside I'm smiling)|
So, it was going to be one and done - just look refreshed, bring things up so I don't look sad, maybe add the chin that I'd been born without, and that was it. That was the plan.
But 3 years of Stage IV cancer has taught me that your face is not important, your life is.
Oddly, unimportant or not, I am still not thrilled at seeing my jowls drooping and the line between my eyebrows deepening. That space under my eyebrows is hanging so low I can hardly open my eyes. Why bother to put shadow on the lids since they can't be seen?
|(She's pointing to a swollen eye that looks more open than mine naturally)|
Truth: I've been through too much. I would never do another surgery and submit myself to those risks on purpose.
....Or, would I?
No, because there is a cost/benefit factor, even if the health factor played no role. Is it worth it to get a facelift when your life expectancy could be as low as 6 months?
I guess not. Even if I could hear, "Wow, you don't look a day over 40" one last time, or even, "You look so happy, did you see a rainbow or get a puppy?" the worth wouldn't be there. But it would be nice to hear that one last time.
|(Well, maybe not the puppy thing)|
Of course, I have to also consider how often other people see me. Which is almost never. Even the UPS guy drops off packages and runs from my barking dogs, and although he knocks, he doesn't wait for me to open the door. Which is a good thing as I'm usually in ratty pajamas being chased by dust bunnies. Aside from the UPS guy and the folks at my cancer center, I don't really go many places so nobody sees my face to think I'm mad.
|("I'll protect my mom from anybody seeing her in PJs! Just come here and let me lick you!")|
As an aside, my 66 year old husband got carded when we went out to eat recently. I know I said I don't go out and it's mostly true - we only ate out because we were visiting the grandbaby. Since I don't drink I didn't have the opportunity to pretend somebody thought I was under 21. Next time, I'll order a beer, if only to prevent the gloating I dealt with for
Actually, no it isn't.
Perhaps.....just a little botox? That only lasts 3 months. That might be worthwhile. The line between my eyes will go away and instead of looking mad, I might just look slightly annoyed.
|(Nancy Pelosi's botox has left her with a good mix of annoyed and surprised - as has her job.)|
Injecting botulism toxin into your face when you don't have much of an immune system - good idea, ya think?
I've done botox before cancer because I have migraines. The migraines had mostly disappeared while sick, one of those wonderful blessings in disguise - because honest to goodness, the pain of a migraine is right up there with childbirth as well as the cancer pain I've had so far. It would not be fair to have to deal with both at the same time. But now that I'm in remission, the migraines are back, and my Imitrex use is back to weekly if not more.
Thank you life, for never letting me have any time without pain. (Maybe I look mad for a real reason.....hmmmm....)
|(Yeah, but look at all her glorious hair.)|
So, botox ..... I could kill two birds with one stone, right? Wrinkles and head pain?
Thing is.... I don't want to kill three birds. Tweet tweet.
|(Only pigs should die. Maybe they are angry because they have cancer too?)|
Whatevs. None of that helps the wrinkly neck thing. Ick. My cameras are now mounted on the ceiling in case I need to take a selphie.
I guess the point is that now that I'm not spending all my waking hours sleeping, feeling sick, or trying to survive, I am returning to normal. Which is a beautiful thing.
Normal means planning beyond next week, thinking about the future - and not being thrilled about the side effects from aging.
|(Fuck you aging. Wait, no, that's not right...I love you, aging....I'm so confused!!!)|
Truly, all jokes aside, I'm thrilled about every extra minute I get, whether those minutes show on my skin or not.
Contradiction anyone? I'll have two.
|(Cosmos and Appletinis - as a former bartender we used to call them pussy drinks.... only they are mostly straight booze - another contradiction)|
I'm human. A glorious human with contradictions, weird emotions and not always perfect.
Happy Birthday to me.
At least I don't want a boob job.
|(Nope, I'm not showing you boobs)|