She's only 13 years old...but local teen, Abby Stuck, is hoping to put together packets to give to chemotherapy patients...anything she can do to help the friends and families she knows who have gone through these treatments. And now she wants to share these items with other chemo patients.
As a survivor of the treatments myself, when I look at her list of items she is hoping to collect, I can say everyone of these items would be greatly appreciated.
Yes my hair is growing back at a reasonable pace. Unfortunately it is not the color I would choose. And what color is it? Well, the other day my hubby and I were walking the dogs when we noticed a dead mouse on the sidewalk. Oddly enough, dead mouse gray is exactly the color of my current hair...with splashes of lighter gray on my front cowlick! My stylist, Cindi, offiered to dye my head...thus releasing my inner blond. But my kids pointed out that a bleachblond shorn head looks a lot like a high school hockey team trying to bond for the championship playoff. So, for right now I have no plans to change the color at least until it grows a bit more.
And my bigger dilemma now is how to present my current look to my Dad. We will be visiting him this weekend in Traverse City for Fathers Day. We have not told him anything about my cancer...at age 94 he doesn't really need to worry about me. During a previous visit, I wore one of my wigs. And he never said anything about it. Should I just tell him I have cut my hair very short for the summer? Should I tell him I am trying to go back to my natural color by getting rid of all the old color? Or should I just tell him I lost a bet in a radio stunt? So many possibilities!
Here is a photo of my husband, Terry, and me with Jonna Tamases. She was the keynote speaker...er, keynote performer is a better description...at the Cancer Survivor Celebration at the Hickman Center of Flower Hospital.
Her one-woman show called "Jonna's Body, Please Hold" is an absolutely hysterical, emotional and spot-on depiction of what it is like to be diagnosed with cancer and the medical treatments that follow. She was in her early 20's when she was told she had cancer...and she thought chemo therapy was kemo therapy...like kemo sabe...some Native American spiritual treatment involving wind and water. Boy, was she in for a surprise.
She tells it like it is when it comes to our bodies...everything from the overworked bowels to hair follicles that "fall out" with military precision, and all the organs in between. She survived two bouts of lymph cancer and then breast cancer as a result of the previous radiation treatments. But she never lost her sense of humor. She describes one of her nurses uncanny ability to locate a vein as "someone who could find a vegan at a NASCAR race!"
It is no surprise that she has worked in several sketch companies and then toured the U.S. as a clown with the Ringling Bros. Circus...where she met her husband, the grumpy clown. Note in the above photo...she has some pretty big shoes to fill...which she has done with grace, charm and creative juices that are remarkable in telling the story of a cancer survivor.
If you would like to visit her website:
or talk to her directly (because her hubby says she loves to chat one-on-one with folks!)