Playing dress ups and losing eyelashes


Another long silence…
And where have I been?
I’ve been to London to visit the Queen.

No, not quite true.

I went to the “Great Lakes” (remember, this is Australia, people, so our “Great Lakes” perhaps aren’t quite so Great… They don’t have their own tides, anyway…) for a wedding. More on that soon.

Round three of chemo was mostly uneventful. The main thing I can gather is that every time you think you’ve got its measure, chemo trips you up and laughs in your face.

In this case, over the first weekend (days 3 and 4) I felt all very jolly and ate my way through the nausea. “Ho ho!” says I… “Ha ha!” says the chemo and socks me for days 5, 6 and 7. I believe I lived on white beans, grapefruit and peanut butter. Yummo. And then my eyelashes and eyebrows started to fall.

I wish I was the type to wish on eyelashes. I would’ve had so many wishes that I could’ve wished myself clear into May next year.

It wasn’t until I was putting on mascara before the wedding that I realised just how many of my eyelashes had jumped to their death. I’m used to having quite thick lashes and needing to treat mascara with respect and caution so that my lashes don’t turn into hairy spiders crouching on my face, but that is definitely not an issue right now.

The wedding was on the very lovely Boomerang Beach, which sits between Smiths Lake and Forster. Despite the fact that we were well into November, the wind sprung up and it was quite cold and so I decided to premiere my wig.

If our neighbours caught sight of my preparations (a very bogan family with a son named Tyson!) they would have been perturbed indeed… And possibly lynched us.

First my fake breasts went on… Then my wig… Then my contact lenses… Then I pencilled my eyebrows back in… And outlined my thinning lashes… And bronzered my cheeks to bring back a little colour… And popped a hat on my head for good measure (wouldn’t want the wig skittering off down the beach!)… And then the woman within was released.

I should really hunt down photos.

What was quite gratifying was that one ex-workmate who I hadn’t seen for a few years was entirely fooled by my charade! He was quite shocked when I told him I was entirely bald and undergoing chemo.

We had a wonderful night. Thanks so much to the talented and lovely bride and groom for putting on such a gorgeous wedding. I even danced a bit (Gangnam Style!!! My HOAC friends would’ve been impressed I think).

For a day or two I was entirely released from cancer world, and it was blissful.

But all good things must come to an end, and as our trip wound up I felt an all too familiar pain in my breast. My cellulitis had returned.

I’ve been doing a lot of “reading” recently. I say “reading” in inverted commas because it’s actually “listening”. I have a subscription to which I can’t recommend highly enough. The big advantage of audiobooks is that when you’re in pain and unable to sleep in the wee small hours, you can “read” for hours without disturbing your other half.

Well, I can’t help but notice an alarming trend in what I’m reading. First Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 (epic) and now the Hunger Games trilogy (please don’t judge?). It seems that I’m drawn to books where people find themselves, or exist within, alternate worlds where they are trapped and must find their way out… with or without violence.

I feel the same way about the cancer, the chemo, and the cellulitis. I’m stuck in a world that I never wished to be a part of, and all I can do is slowly grope my way out as best I can. I’m out of breasts to operate on. I just have to hope that the oral antibiotics will work at long last, and that I can kick the cellulitis into next week (no… further!) without having to go back to hospital.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.




  1. chemobrainandmore

    Keeping you in my thaughts. I also went to a wedding during chemo. It was 107degres and wore my wig! Huge mistake, between the hot flashes and the heat I was sweating like a pig lol. Good choice on the hat, the eyelash thing was weird I didnt know the where gone till I had dry eyes. But dont fear they come back like they where before!

    • Niccola

      Wow, I hadn’t connected the dry eyes to the lost eyelashes until you pointed it out! Good thing it’s only temporary!

  2. susan

    fingers crossed. kick into oblivion i hope! (?)
    btw may i recommend kafkas shore, another murakami novel. its one of my favourite books of all time. (and he’s one reason to overlook your hungers games debacle…hahaha kidding)

    • Niccola

      Kafka’s Shore is a favourite of mine too! You can always depend on Murakami for a great read. Hoping all’s well with you… x

  3. Clair Cisterne

    Hi Nicci, I’m so excited because I too am an fanatic! In fact, so much so that I can’t sleep or travel without it, and it’s costing a small fortune. ..So for economy’s sake I took on War and Peace for its 60 hours for $30, which is now finished and I’ve moved on to a history of Russia. I just find it so much more luxurious than reading in book form. Maybe it was Jo’s years of reading to us..
    …Maybe I’ll get over Russia after this and do Kafka’s Shore. Always love a recommendation.


    • Quinn Holland

      Hey Nichi, just catching up on your blog after my own radio silence on it. You and Claire and any other Audible tragics might want to consider Librivox as well, all their ‘recordings are in the public domain’ which means you arent paying royalties to the next JK Rowling, that’s right Suzanne Collins I’m looking at you, but I will confirm that your Hunger Games trilogy was mine and Xav’s Audible companion on the road to Arimidale last year, so you know thanks! In fact Claire War and Peace is public domain and yep it’s on Librivox……sorry! Otherwise Xav says consider a subscription as that works out much cheaper!

  4. Pingback: Hair and now « Kit and Kabooble

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