Worst dressed list

No one can accuse me of having fashion sense, particularly when I still – almost thirty – insist on wearing different coloured socks. But you can’t say I’m a clothing monster, either.

Like most people, I have a few favourite pieces, a favourite season and a time to shine (summer dresses, summer tops, summer shoes = yay!) and alternatively I have outdated tops, bottoms that deserve the garbage and sweaters that do not flatter my shape.

Whatever. Winter and fall have never been my good seasons. It’s my philosophy to simply keep my head down from the wind, wrap that scarf tighter, and for goodness sakes put on a toque. And for this reason, and this reason alone, I’ll never win best dressed actress of the year.

However Zsolt has another award he’d like to bestow upon me: worst dressed chemo patient ever.

Do I deserve this? Hmmm . . .

Today we arrived for the TENTH treatment. ¡Ay, caramba! Time has granted my request and started to fly. Only six more sessions and that green chair will be history.

You know what, I’m incredibly lucky. There are people in that ward who don’t know when their chemo ends . . . chemo ends when it ends; things either work or stop responding. Who’s brave? They are brave. This lovely women was chatting to me today and she was giving such a positive front despite this being her second round to clear cancer. “We don’t know how long I’ll be here” she said, then quickly mentioned this was her second attempt. And all the while she smiled – now there is bravery.

Things are coming along. It’s funny because the nurses still expect me to get sick. This one lady was changing my picc line and talking about how AC chemo was difficult. “I just hated giving you that red stuff,” she said, which was surprising. The nurses know what’s coming, yet they do their best to chat about the weather, wear that ‘this is normal’ face, and make the experience pleasant . . . as pleasant as possible . . . I had never realized they might just hate what they’re inflicting.

That was an insight.

So was my husband’s response to my ‘Going to Chemotherapy to Kick Breast Cancer Ass’ outfit. It’s not the first time I’ve worn these cloths, but it is the first time he’s noticed.

Going to Chemotherapy to Kick Breast Cancer Ass Outfit (worn every Friday since the second dose of Paxlitaxol):

Really thick socks.

Shoes – preferably with shoe laces undone, if remembered.

Sweatpants. (the more loose, the better)

Tank top.

Giant husband-sized hoodie (sweater) discarded by Zsolt due to faulty zipper. (Zsolt’s main cause for protest)

My wolly toque.

Oranges in the mouth.

Frankly, the only people dressed more causally are the C5 patients in their robes. But this outfit has purpose! The socks keep my ankles warm; the sweatpants don’t restrict movement so I can lift my legs while sleeping; the tank top gives me a choice between warm & cold (hot flash protection); the SWEATER keeps me warm with its excessive size, and also the arms are so big that I can wear it and my picc line remains available for the drip; the toque blocks out light so that I can nap happily.

It’s a thoughtful outfit, despite looking terrible. Zsolt doesn’t understand, and I guess none of the other chemotherapy patients do either – many of them actually show up looking GOOD. Fashion as defiance in the face of adversity. Well, I tried that and couldn’t sleep properly in the chair.

So award for the sloppiest fashion in the chemo ward goes to me. It’s an honour.

Who doesn’t love a great outfit? But there’s a time and place – and when I feel tired, well frankly, I don’t give a damn.

It was a good session. 🙂

P.S. I’m waiting on my oncologist to send a letter to the doctor in Ottawa. It seems my file was misplaced, so they didn’t have the needed information. Enough of that – I called the secretary on Thursday and gave her the missing contact details. On Monday I’ll call again to confirm that the letter has been sent.

One thought on “Worst dressed list

  1. Hi Catherine,

    I think you have great fashion sense! Whenever I think of you, the picture that comes to mind dates back to a Success Workshop many years ago. You were wearing a dark blue, tailored, denim jacket that went down to your knees. Your look was casual, yet classic and elegant. It reminded me of the Beatles in the 1960s, but with a modern edge.

    As for your chemo fashion sense, I like it… warm, comfortable, flexible, practical. And when you’re done with it, you can discard it without second thoughts.

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