I dream of hair.

Every night, in my dreams, I have soft, pretty, just-under-shoulder-length hair. It’s my natural dark brown, without any trace of the gray that had been coming in the last couple of years. My hair is beautiful. It’s the hair of my dreams.

However, my dream self is not pleased by this. My dream self wonders where this hair came from. It seems to have magically grown in overnight. I don’t have any kind of explanation for the dream versions of my friends or family as to why I suddenly have hair again.

I’ve recently ventured out with hair, though, in a way. A man at church, whose wife passed away from breast cancer in January, gave me her wigs. I had never met him before, and I hadn’t been to church in a few weeks, which means he must have been carrying them around for a while. I feel humbled and grateful to know that he noticed me and thought of me.

June was hard. I talked about my struggle with anxiety briefly. I was prescribed Prozac, and started to see a counselor, but not before spiraling down into a big dark hole, dragging Ryan down with me. I was so overwhelmed that I stopped doing everything that I loved, opting to solve imaginary crises instead. Writing was totally out of the question.

Ryan and I have weathered some heavy stuff in our relationship, but last month was the hardest. He said last month that he used to wonder why couples seem to bust up during times of crisis when they need each other most, but he suddenly understood how it could happen. Fortunately, for us, it didn’t.

At some time a couple of weeks ago, the clouds lifted. I still have moments where it gets a little overcast. I’m relieved, because there were moments when it seemed like I’d never feel happy or relaxed again. I felt pretty desperate and afraid. I’m just happy to be able to enjoy things again.

My fingers and toes went numb this weekend. It’s a common side effect of the taxol. I’d read about this particular side effect and was hopeful I’d managed to escape it, since it reared its head so late in the game. It’s annoying, but hasn’t impacted my ability to function.

The side effects of my treatment so far have been mild. I feel pretty lucky. I feel lucky enough, in fact, to join Ryan this weekend on the Big Island. It’s just an overnight trip, but I desperately need a dose of the healing energy and magic of the island. I can’t wait.

23 thoughts on “Fonder

  1. Jen, so glad you’re back writing again. Have a wonderful, restful time on the Big Island! Prayers and hugs for you!!

  2. I am so glad you are feeling well again and well enough to write again! Prayers for you and your family!

  3. Yay! Jen is back! I’m glad your anxiety is going away; I’m sorry I couldn’t have been more help…

    1) Dreams are not often meaningful, but can represent concerns, wishes, desires, and so on. I’d say those are perfectly expectable dreams for your situation.

    b) Hey, you kids stay strong. Kudos to both of you for keeping it together. You both know how to reach me if you need to vent, though. (Because I’m a freakin’ genius in those regards… Hey, how did I get a towel stuck in my ear?)

    III) Toes going numb are oddly enough a symptom of this stupid foot thing I have now. I feel your…numbess. Enjoy the Big Island though; I know what that means to you and it’ll be good.

    Hugs and kittens!

  4. Know that we are here for you and praying for you & Ryan and the kids. I pray that Jesus’ peace and joy would fill every need. “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

  5. So glad you are back writing Jen. Please let us know if we can do some thing from the miles away we are. Love, Mike, Beth and the kids. The kids say “we love you Auntie Jen!”

  6. I’m so happy to see you here again… you have been in my thoughts and prayers. I don’t know if it was in your wedding vows, but this is truly the better or worse part. You will both get through this, I know you will.

    You have a lot of support here whether or not you write. Even if your dark times, know that you’re not alone.

    It makes me happy to know you’re gonna go to the Big Island with Ryan… you need the break; let the mana of the island sweep over you, under you, around and under you.

    much aloha,


  7. Awww…there you are! That dark hole and writing just don’t go hand in hand. Gotta wonder how much of that is related to drug side effects. So happy to see you back in blogsville. Keep on keeping on. The prayers are still a daily occurrence.
    a whole lot of extra hugs…tutu

  8. Enjoy your trip. I know what you mean about the healing magic of the Big Island. I hope that energy works its way into your soul and lifts your spirit. Cute hair, btw, although I think your hairless head is absolutely beautiful. Glad you and Ryan are ok. Best wishes to both of you!

  9. A very honest post. Best wishes to feeling better. Though its a virtual connection I do think of you and your family.

  10. There is honestly nothing for me to say that hasn’t already been said. I just want to throw my thoughts and support your way. Great to see hear you’re in better spirits!

  11. Jen,
    Truly good relationships do renew themselves even in the darkest holes…and you and Ryan have one of the best marriages I’ve seen. Enjoy your overnight getaway. Sending lots of love your way.

  12. Jen, thanks for the update. Glad you have found strength in each other. My thoughts are with you at this fragile time.
    ((hugs, hair & good dreams ahead) )

  13. Jen,

    It’s so good to hear your “voice” again and hope your skies remain bright and sunny. We’ve been thinking of you and hope you make it through stronger than ever.

    If you have a chance, check out the video for Comfortably Numb from the Roger Waters The Wall Live tour. There’s a part in it that comes to mind while I was reading your post. For most of the second half of the show, it’s all darkness and gloom, but near the end of Comfortably Numb, Roger pounds on the wall and it opens up to bright colors and sunshine for the first time. It’s my favorite part of the show and it’s worth checking out. I’m sure you can find a hundred versions on You Tube.

    I think I sent you guys a DVD bootleg of the show which also has it.

    Take care and best regards,
    Mike & Valerie
    Richmond, VA

  14. Jen,

    Welcome back! I have missed your voice. You have a talent – a true, honest way of writing that is not common. I have a blog and I know how difficult it can be to put your feelings out there, to be so raw and open, especially for someone with as big of a web presence as you and Ryan have. I am so sorry that you have had this to deal with but from what I see on this blog, you have a community of people who support and love you.

    I admire you, your strength and your vulnerability and I wish you all the best.


  15. You and Ryan will get through this and look back at this treatment plus your future recovery time with amazement (how the hell did we do it). It’s been burned in my brain but oddly enough I find comfort in it.

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