The Interferon temperament


I could never be President of the United States, at least not this year, because the Interferon for my melanoma toys with my temperament. Fortunately, there’s my daily dose of stability to keep me grounded. I know it works because while subbing I am not as easily provoked by the kids as when I first started. That’s a good thing. It’s also a

Lots of hair in 2012.
Lots of hair in 2012.

good thing that I know a lot of the students, even without the list right in front of me. Generally, my days of subbing are filled with worksheets, tests, and study time. By now the kids know that I’m all about getting it done, and when it’s done, they can chill.

Lately I’ve started wearing chemo scarfs to school. I’m not bald, but I have bald spots. My hair looks like wisps of dust bunnies. It isn’t so curly anymore, but limp, bodiless, and fuzzy. I usually put it in a bun to hide the bald spots, but, the bun slides down because there’s not much to it. When outside I wear a wide-brimmed straw hat, which makes me easy to spot. There is the promise that once the Interferon is done in December, my hair will come back.

Just a little hair in 2016. Such is life. Come on December!
Just a little hair in 2016. Difficult to post this. 

So now I’m about to begin my 10th month on this 3-times a week regimen, and I have to say, I did not get acclimated to the medicine. I’m queasy and listless. I try to plank and get on our treadmill, but I cannot do it every day. I am sewing a lot, and lately I’ve been baking cookies and granola and broccoli bites and other things for my family.

All of this has taught me patience with myself and life. I don’t believe melanoma will kill me, but it has given me a perspective that I have to let things go without my helicopter-mom involvement. I’ve probably should have been doing that for much longer than 2016. Our 15-year-old Charlotte has stepped up more than I expected. If anything, Sophie going to college has shown me how smart, strong, and wise she is — without me — and when I think about it, it’s quite a relief.

Author: lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer is my new opponent. Writer, super sub teacher, triathlete, awesome cook, ocean girl with head-to-toe sun protection.

4 thoughts on “The Interferon temperament”

  1. I think of you often, my dear. Of how strong and brave you are. Of how hard it must have been to drop off your daughter. Of how you have been facing each challenge that comes your way with courage and grace. You were and always will be one of my heroes.

  2. You’ve been through a lot in the past year or so, Paula. I’m in awe of your strength and tenacity and your willingness and courage to share it all (the good and the bad, the curls and the wisps) with us. Always in my prayers! Much love to you!

  3. Paula, you’ve handled this as well as anyone could ever hope to. You’re an inspiration. I’m anxious for the day when you don’t have to be anymore. Isn’t it amazing what we learn about ourselves when we are forced out of our own way? Know that you’re loved.

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