What Doesn't Kill You.... Only Makes You Blonder....

My girl Miranda Lambert said it best... What doesn't kill you, only makes you blonder.  And I found this out this past week.  It may seem silly, but for me, returning to my favorite salon for cut and color was just what this little pixie needed.  I haven't stepped foot into that salon since January of this year when I decided that cancer and chemo weren't going to take my treasured long, blonde locks.  I was.   Maybe it was the stunning "platinum blonde" that found it's way onto my head, or maybe it was the fact that as I walked out of that salon, I realized how far I had come, but I certainly felt stronger and most definitely blonder.  When I got into the car, Miranda Lambert's "Platinum" was blaring from the speakers.  It most definitely was fate.  I was fated to return to my platinum locks, and even though they aren't the "locks" that I started with, I certainly felt more like my old self.

This week has felt like a celebration of how far I have come in this journey.  On Friday, after receiving my 4th to last Herceptin treatment, I returned to the place where it all started.  As I climbed the stairs (I always take the stairs, not because it's convenient, but because I can!) to the 3rd floor where my breast surgeons office is located, I became overwhelmed with anxiety.  You can't really blame a girl.  It was the place where I heard those dreaded words for the 2nd time in a few short weeks, "You have cancer".  I really had to talk myself out of a tizzy, and I chose the landing between the 2nd and the 3rd floor to attempt to rationalize with my overactive imagination.

Me:  You're being silly.
Brain:  I don't think I am.
Me: I'm only here to have my picture taken.
Brain: Yeah, but think about all of the bad stuff that's happened here.
Me: But, nothing bad is gonna happen today.  I really hate how you're always so pessimistic.  I don't think we belong together.  I might need to end this relationship.
Brain: Oh come on, you know I'm right. 
Me:  No, I don't think you are.  How about you shut up and go find somebody else to bother.  You never work when I need you to work anyway.  I've gotta go, I'm gonna be late.  Go away!

Thank goodness I was the only person on those stairs.

By the time I reached Dr. Kemp's door, I had managed to squelch the anxiety and the little voice in my head that calls itself a brain.  Granted, that office had been the place that I had heard bad news on more than one occasion.  But, inside of that office, was one of the doctors who saved my life.  Her positive, assertive, and brash attitude had given me confidence and peace of mind at a time when I was truly fearing for my life.  It was the way that she took control of the situation and told me "I've got this."  And for that, I can always be grateful. If you have to have breast cancer, this is certainly the woman that you want on your team.   While I had many painful experiences in that office (4 biopsies, 2 of which made me utter words worthy of a bar room brawl), I needed to also remember that Dr. Kemp and her staff always did a phenomenal job of putting my mind at ease.  And even on the day that I was tortured in that torture chamber, her nurse Jo managed to make me laugh.  And if I was able to laugh, it must not have been that bad.

And besides, I've never been photographed by a magazine before... so there's that.  Granted, I had to live through breast cancer treatment...

Dr. Kemp is the woman in the middle sporting the Superwoman t-shirt.  And I guess we all kinda do think of her as superwoman.  Here's a woman who spends 90% of her time telling women the worse possible news that they could ever expect to hear, and still manages to maintain a good sense of humor, and always a smile.

After the shoot, I hugged Dr. Kemp and thanked her for the beautiful work that she did removing the cancer and my breasts.  My results are nothing shy of phenomenal.  She just laughed and made me promise her that I wouldn't be running around topless on a nude beach somewhere!  I don't really think she needs to worry about that one!


  1. I love your hair! You are so beautiful.

    1. Thank you Carrie!! That made my day!

  2. What a beautiful group of ladies! But one blonde pixie stands out as the star!!!

    1. Thank you Kristin! I've been thinking about you and wondering how you are. Hugs!

  3. Love your hair ... I wish I could wear mine that short and look that good! :)

    1. Thank you Maryann! Honestly, I can't wait for it to grow.. but I'm really enjoying how easy it is to take care of. And it's really an experience that I never would have had if it weren't for cancer and chemo.


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