June 02, 2004
comments from the wife, version 3.6
It's here! Kris made it! One hundred days of treatment for leukemia. This was the biggest goal for her and she did it!
I am so happy to be able to write this with such a happy ending. It's been a very tough road for Kris, but I think a big part of staying so strong and focused on getting this far was all of the support she got from everyone who sent "mojo" her way and encouragement with all the donations (by the way, final score . . . $27,535.) Kris is feeling great and is going to be waiting at the finish line when we do the marathon in San Diego this Sunday.
Last week Kris called me and said she was really over not having any hair. She was going to go to a concert with her husband and just wanted to look "normal." I know of this great wig shop in North Hollywood that also has a full beauty supply upstairs so we could test out some new make-up after getting new hair. With all the radiation and chemo, Kris lost all but about five eyelashes and three hairs in her eyebrows. Her skin tone is very gray and her entire body is very dry and flaky. Time for a change! I picked her up and we headed down for a makeover.
The girl in the wig shop was very nice and helpful, and we had a great time picking out wigs. Before Kris lost her hair, she had fairly long, slightly curly, light brown hair. We decided that jumping back into that might look a bit strange since all of her family, friends and neighbors have seen her with no hair and a chenille cap on for the past few months, so we looked for something a little more believable.
She thought maybe her husband might like a red head. We both started laughing because she tried on a wig that looked like Ann Margaret. I think the sales girl was a little uncomfortable at how silly we were being because Kris obviously looks like she has been very sick. But this whole experience has been so strange for both of us. We always talk about it like it's this separate thing we're watching happen to someone else. It has been an incredible learning experience though.
So we continue to pick out ridiculous wigs and Kris says "I can't believe we forgot a camera!" I thought the sales girl was going to pass out. She seemed shocked that we were having so much fun with this. She tried on several others. One looked like "Mama's Family", another like a hooker. We finally decided on a shoulder length one with a cute flippy style. The bangs were kind of long, but I could trim that later. (By the way, she got a Raquel Welch wig. It's synthetic hair, but very light and natural. And very reasonably priced. Around $90 versus the human hair wigs that average $400 and up.) She even ordered another one in a slightly lighter color and a little shorter for variety in summer!
Next, we went upstairs to find some make-up. She really wanted eyebrows and some color back in her face.
There were several girls working at this place, a few actually at the make-up counter. We looked around at all the different choices. I looked for someone to help us. It was then that I noticed that every counter we stopped at, the sales girl seemed to disappear. I became very aware of the people working there avoiding us. I didn't point this out to Kris. Maybe she didn't notice. I couldn't believe this was happening. Didn't they know what an awesome person Kris is? Didn't they know she doesn't always look like this? Why were they avoiding her? I felt sick to my stomach at the thought of anyone going out of their way to avoid helping someone just because of the way they look. But then again, we were in Hollywood.
I decided to take matters into my own hands. First, eyebrows. We found a good color so I drew them on. I didn't realize what a difference eyebrows and lashes make. Just giving her eyebrows seemed to put life back into her face. Next, I lined her eyes with a light brown powder liner. That made an even bigger difference. Laura Mercier makes a great tinted moisturizer. You can choose from several different colors and it's great because it's not thick and cakey like foundation can be. A little blush and lip gloss (her lips are way too flaky for lipstick) and she looked like her old self again. She was so excited she whipped her new hair out of the box and put it on in the middle of the store. Of course, there was no reason to feel self- conscious because there were still no sales girls anywhere near us.
She was very excited and wanted to buy everything I used on her. I went across the store to a girl and asked her for help at the counter we'd been at for the past twenty minutes. She said she'd be right with us. We waited another five minutes before I asked someone else for help. The very unfriendly girl gave Kris the items we asked for and we were on our way.
Kris was so happy that she kept looking in the mirror on the way home. She said she has been avoiding mirrors for months because she gets depressed when she sees how she looks. But now she couldn't wait for everyone to see her. I'm so glad I got to be a part of that.
Kris came into the salon where I work the next day for me to trim the bangs on her wig. Her lack of eyelashes make her eyes very sensitive to anything around them. The bangs kept rubbing on her eyes. I had just finished Wil's mom's hair when Kris came in. Again, we forgot the camera. Wil's dad was on his way down to the salon, so we asked him to bring his camera. So we were able to capture this moment thanks to Rick (thanks Rick!).
Kris is now looking great and feeling great. And so are we. We've been walking like crazy preparing for this Sunday. My final post will be next week. I'll tell you all about the marathon and will include a ton of pictures from the whole experience.
Thank you so much for all of your support. We never could have done this without you!
Posted by anne at June 2, 2004 02:01 PM