Monday, May 22, 2006

Lance Armstrong



So, Lance took one look at me and proposed on the spot. Since then, we've eloped, my hair and his testicle have grown back, and we're honeymooning in Biarritz. If anyone needs to reach us.

Sigh. Actually, no, I'm sorry to say, that's not how it went, but it was extremely cool to meet Mr LiveStrong himself and to hear him speak at the Tufts University graduation. Special thanks to Marcin for pulling whatever strings he did to get us tickets to the brunch with Lance. He is incredibly down to earth, passionate about what he does, and is solidly cuter in person.

I've been musing a lot about appearances lately because I don't recognize myself in the mirror anymore. It's the strangest sensation. I haven't been this pale since the womb, I can count the number of tenacious eyelashes on each eye, and I have this new spattering of big dark freckles courtesy of the radiation treatment. Add in the scrawniness and baldness and you start to believe me.

Last weekend, in addition to the Fletcher graduation, I had the privilege of attending a Lobster and Clam Bake party- very New England and very fun for those not from these parts- and of course, everyone's got their digital cameras flashing. With the instant satisfaction of checking out your pictures, came, for me, the shock every time of what I look like. I guess people around me are used to my ghastliness but every time I see a snapshot or pass a mirror, I am surprised anew. I'm not really complaining; par for the course I suppose and everything will come back to normal someday they say. People have it way worse than me. The interesting part is just that, how many people's faces really change look and dimension within their lifetime (besides aging and besides that woman in France who just had that face transplant)? How many people get to experience looking completely different for a while? Brushing my teeth and staring into a stranger's face is just one more thing my brain definitely still hasn't quite processed.

12 comments:

TheDarkerUma said...

wow. so cute.

love ums

Erik said...

awesome picture.

joyce said...

Erica...so cool! Mom just asked me today why everyone wears those yellow bracelets. I had to explain to her who Lance was and how he's a cancer survivor...and how your friends made the Erica Courage bracelets...

Lance wa suteki...! (I hope that's right!)

Love ya!
Joyce

Jon Endrikat said...

Hi there,

Erica, it's all in the smile and that has definitely not changed :)

gmonkey said...

Another perspective...
(yeah, you get to have whateeeever perspective you want... but...)

I shot this to my friend Cate. And she responded "Oh wow! She looks great bald!" and then "oh, whoops, she blogged about how she looks funny... oh..."
So... my thought for the day. Is about perspective. Yeah, it must be f-in weird not to recognize yourself. But... all the people who love you, and even our friends who don't know you... think you look beautiful. So perhaps from OUR point of view, we can still see the girl you see inside. Maybe it's only the mirror that's lying. :)
I know. I'm a dork.
-gab

miabellasmom said...

Erica...my name is Rachel and I was sent this link via friend of a friend (martin family). My daughter Mia was diagnosed with ALL in June of last year. It is always interesting for us to hear older kids talk about their treatment and side effects, mostly because Mia is 2 and can't yet tell us what she is truly feeling. At this point with her ignorance truly has been bliss, with no basis for comparison on how life is supposed to be, and only having a year under her belt of feeling "normal" before chemo. She doesn't look in the mirror and wonder were she has gone and who is there in her place. We, however often look in the mirror and don't know who we have become, or what our family has become in this past year. And we physically havent changed..(besides the lbs. we have put on from HER steroid phases!) Beyond and besides the baldness, we see a different person when we look at her now compared to what she looked like before diagnosis. It almost seems as though her facial features have changed with treatment. And as her phases of treatment fluctuate so does her appearance. "They" say that the person you saw before comes back. But maybe it's better if she doesn't. You arent the same.. you are forever changed. And even when the treatment ends, you will still look in the mirror and wonder who is looking back at you. Who says thats a bad thing.

Judy said...

My dearest one
My opinion might be somewhat biased but I am sure all those who know and love you agree that the exterior facade can never be diminished by the radiance of your inner beauty shining through. Whatever the image might reflect through a mirror or a camera lens, know that beauty such as courage, strength, hope and love are the bautiful qualities you hold deep within.
I love you.

Clif said...

Don't let it bother you Erica.

You've still got looks to spare.

Regarding not recognizing yourself in the mirror, what if you woke up in the hospital surrounded by dead surgeons and you had JOHN TRAVOLTA'S face?!

It's happened before, and it's not pretty.

You still are.

Great picture with Lance, btw. The cancer pavillion where my girlfriend works treated him early on.

christine said...

way cool erica! i'm sure despite your eyelash-less eyes, your radiating signature smile continues to capture those in your audience... yes, and that includes mr. armstrong himself!
love ya,
your pseudo-sis
christine

christine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Adam said...

Hi Erica,

Thanks so much for the card. I've got a copy of my mum's book standing by and will send it as soon as it's not a national holiday.

I am also waiting for my dad to send his photos to me: I think we have a good one together. And I agree with Gmonkey's friend: you look great bald. You and Lance definitely make the best couple at Fletcher (and now that Sheryl Crow is out of the picture...).

Big hugs,

A

artineh said...

Hey Erica,
my one day visit was just too little!! I miss you already but am so glad that I saw you, as short as it was. And yes, you ARE a different person but that's not a bad thing. We should all be changed by life and you've had so much more going on that you'll be more changed than some of the rest of us but what's important is the person you become. You are still beautiful and radiant and so fun to be around and I'm sure the new you will be stronger and better than ever before.

love,
art