What about you? Don’t feel like doing too much singing this year? I know, it is awfully hard to feel like you do and be in a room full of fabulousity. There you are, recovering from your treatments, not looking your best, feeling tired and rung out and you are surrounded by happy, healthy, glowing people who are all so fabulous they practically stick to each other. And then they see you and they all get “that look.”
“How ARE you?” This is not an inquiry after your health, it is more of a “ you can tell me, are you going to die?” No matter what your answer, they still look at you like you are hiding something. Or you are told, “You look GREAT!” Really? As in, I look smokin hot? or I look like who-did-it-and-ran but for someone with cancer it could be worse?Then to make matters worse, enter stage left, the wise sage who has never been sick a day in their life, who offers this tidbit, “You should be very grateful you are here.” Do they mean “here” listening to their drivel or “here” as in above the grass?
In the imaginary thought bubble that floats over all our heads the following range of responses to all this chit chat is, “No, I’m not dying today, but you may be if you keep pushing me.” “At least I have cancer as an excuse for why I look this way, what’s yours?” “The only thing I will be grateful for is if you please go away.”
So how do we get through the holidays?
Don’t go anywhere that will make you feel bad
What does that mean? If you are invited to a party of vapid, uncaring idiots, don’t go. But if you are invited to a place that might be fun, that might have interesting people who don’t care if you had cancer or not, by all means go. There is no law against asking the hostess who will be there. If you don’t think you can handle the crowd, bow out.
Dress to kill
Look, everyone is expecting you to show up in a hospital gown. Wear something that makes you look absolutely stunning. Show off that recon. Follow the makeup tips below for a special holiday glow. When someone says to you, “You look great” answer, “I know.”
Avoid Children if you have to.
If your cancer was responsive to estrogen and your doctor has thrown you into chemical or surgical menopause, and you have never had children and will now not be able to, seeing little children for the first time could be heartbreaking. If you have to pass on a party because the wound is still open, it is OK. You have to protect your heart. Wait until you have had time to accept the loss and can love being around kids again without bursting into tears.
Watch what you drink
What meds are you on? If you have been abstaining from alcohol because you know drinking increases your risk of recurrence, you may not be aware of drug interactions. If you think it is safe to take a drink because you are at a party and you also popped a Xanax before you left, you may have an unforgettable time, literally.
Don’t push joy away because you were sick
Don’t punish yourself and not accept invites because you had cancer. Your life is not over by a long shot. The longer you are out of treatment, the better you will feel about public appearances. Check out Chapter 9 in Intimacy after Breast Cancer, to see what I mean.
Have fun. Avoid what you must, embrace what you want. It is OK to say no but it is also OK to give yourself permission to find Comfort and Joy.
Holiday Make-Up Tips:
Wear a shade closest to your own, then top it with a deeper shade on your forehead, noes and upper cheeks. This gives the illusion you have had some sun. Dior makes a Spray Bronzer that you can spray onto a large blush brush and sweep over your cheeks and forehead for a slight glimmer.
After you apply eyeliner, sweep a light, shimmering shade over your entire lid, and up to the brow bone. This opens up your eyes. Then take a deeper shade and go over the eyeliner with it, blending the edges for a dramatic, evening look
Red lipstick may look great on tv and in ads, but to brighten your face, choose a pink or peach tone. It will compliment your complexion rather than compete with it.
Estee Lauder Futurist Age Resisting Make-up Foundation
Creamy, medium coverage that does not settle in pores or fine lines.
Dior Bronze Sun Powder Spray
Spray on brush or makeup applicator, then apply. Lovely glow that makes you look heathy.
Nars Blush and Lip Color Stick
Great creamy blush, for lips, make sure you apply moisturizer first.
Bare Minerals Lemon Zinger Eye Shadow
Brush over entire lid to brow bone to open up eyes.
Lancome Hypnose Drama
Instant Full Body Volume Mascara