As you may already know, I’m still home recovering from my first of two breast reconstruction surgeries as a result of last year’s breast cancer and resulting bilateral mastectomy. On February 6, my incredible plastic surgeon did a latissmus dorsi flap surgery where she transferred muscle, fat and skin from my back under my left shoulder blade to the left front side of my chest to cover a silicone implant which needed the muscle and fat for a good blood supply in order to form a breast “mound,” as it is properly called!
So the last two weeks have been spent being fuzzy on drugs, Sissy Joanie flying from Oregon to make sure my drains are cleaned regularly and generally caring for her needy sister! Both Philip and I have loved every minute of her being here. She’s the best caregiver God ever made — truely.
Okay, so in addition to the drugs and drains, there have been a few crazy and yes, funny moments. Ready for a funny? Sissy Joanie took me to my hairstylist on Wednesday to lighten my growing head of slowly-growing post-chemo hair from its kinda’ homely dark brown to a lighter brown and eventually, over time, to a blondish color which is more like the Rev. Cathie folks know and recognize. Unfortunately, my new post-chemo hair is very “virginal”, shall we say — and the color applied to it turned it to a shocking, BRIGHT, carrot-orange color that would only have been appropriate for a bad Halloween party or a fanatical fan’s mohawk at a Denver Bronco’s football game.
ACH! I watched my sissy’s eyes as she surveyed my orange top and she said in her calm and inimitable style, “It’s going to be just fine, Sissy.” Yah, sure! And doggone! I’d hope to scrap the wig before returning to work after this surgery, but it appears the wig has more on-duty hours yet to fulfill. My hair gal used a toner that took it from carrot-orange to sort of yellow-auburn — still not something worth displaying. So we’ve got more work to do — more toners and colors and time hidden away under my wig.
Ah well, there is gold in the road and along the way, there is orange in the road. God has all kinds of ways of keeping me humble and needy and aware of my glaring humanity. Thank you, Jesus, for all of it!
So, friends, if your hair isn’t orange today, say a prayer of thanks, will you? And Sissy, I’m so glad we shared the orange moment together — it will always be part of our shared history!
Lots of love and blessings,
After more than 25 years in parish ministry, Rev. Cathie retired in early 2018 to pursue a quieter life with her husband Philip in the mountains of Central Oregon. Although no longer a leader in congregational life, she continues to follow her calling and passion to minister to those who suffer, especially those with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.