[wearing: Vince henley – similar….Rag and Bone skinnies….tieks flatsbag]

Well.  Chemo #2 is over and done and recovered from.  Mostly.  I'm fine, just exhausted.  It's crazy how tired I get doing….well…anything, really.  But I'm happy to report that round two was better than round one.  Reducing the pre-chemo steroids was sanity-saving.  And with two boys under six, any remaining shard of sanity must be preserved.  

I think I'm down to half a shard.

But this whole process has been so interesting, if I can manage to step outside myself for a minute.  I'm learning so much.  Some of it is obvious.  Like, for example, I look better with hair.  I always knew, deep down, that hair suited me, but I had never really tested the theory, you know?  And now I have.  Check the box:  Hair – Good.

In absence of hair, I've been going all sorts of crazy trying to figure something else out.  So I have also learned that if there is any warmth in the air AT ALL, like if the sun is visible, wigs will be hot.  Hot enough, in fact, to threaten my remaining half-shard of sanity.  Thus, my original plan of walking around the house wig-clad (just for personal vanity reasons) is shot all to hell.  

One option that's been working OK are these little Chemo Beanies.  


You may also recall the gray one I wore here.  

I mean…OK.  This isn't exactly high-fashion, but I like the extra little ruffle at the back and on top…it makes me feel less like a billiard ball.  And since I'm such a trendy breast cancer patient #breastcancerchic – can we make this one happen?….I just bought another one in oxblood.  (They call it plum, but I'm sticking with 5th Ave on this one. #breastcancerchic #yeswecan) 

But all fooling aside…there is one aspect of this cancer thing that really blows my mind:  LOVE

And OMG I know that's so cheesy, and I deleted the all-caps "LOVE"  several times and tried to find another word…but love, that's what it is.  Whether it's the amazing comments from you guys, or the dozens of cards from my mom's PEO sisters (some of whom I've never met), or my own amazing, in-person friends and family who call, text, send, show up and take it when I'm down…I've never felt so supported in my whole life.  And then this happened:

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 1.28.20 PM

Legion Hockey, in my little hometown of Marquette, MI played a game with pink-taped hockey sticks.  Then after the game, they got together and took this picture.  If you look closely at the pink sign, they used my #takethatbreastcancer hashtag.  

The idea?  Was Ethan's.  The little cutie whose face is right over the "S"?  Yeah, him.  And his team was happy to play along.  Rockstars, all of them.

If this doesn't restore faith in 'kids of today' I don't know what does.  

As my head was exploding with adorable-overload and love and support, a "sunshine package" came from a few of my favorite Denver Mamas.  

Well.  I sat right down and had myself an ugly cry.  It felt good.  





  1. Go Shana! Your sense of humor is still cracking me up, so that must be a good sign of your sanity, no? Plus you still look terrific. I’m thinking about you and sending a million good thoughts your way.

  2. You brought tears to my eyes with this one. People can be so, so awesome sometimes. Wow.
    I’m so happy to hear that round 2 was better, and I’m even happier to hear that it’s all almost over!

  3. Shana- I think we all just cried as we read this. You are a beautiful being (and while I adore your fashion sense- I mean that you are a gorgeous human being) and beautiful beings bring LOVE into their lives. We all LOVE you. xo

  4. Hi shana, I have no idea how I got connected to your blog but I read it often and think of you often. You are going though this with such grace and you are beautiful! I was reading your blog tonight and saw that you were from Marquette….well, small world as I am from Gwinn, mi and no alive in Illinois. All of family is stil in the yoop and I visit often. Marquette has turned into a beautiful city! Anyway, you. Are. A. Rock star. Stay strong and you will continue to be in my thoughts.

  5. I didn’t know you we’re from Marquette! I’m from near Escanaba. πŸ™‚ Yoopers unite!
    I love seeing your outfits as you fight this. You are a strong, beautiful woman, and you are in my prayers!

  6. Jumped out of my seat a little, happy to see and update. Gorgeous beanie, gorgeous love-surround. Keep up the awesome work… πŸ™‚

  7. Your humor, spirit, style and beauty inspire me. I’m in awe of the way you share your experiences in a way that is so honest and raw…and still makes us smile. You are wonderful. I used to live in Philly, another reason to love your blog. And I’ll be happy to send you something in the mail to cheer you up, just contact me.

  8. Brought tears to my eyes – what a great group of kids. You are kicking cancer’s ass with grace and style and you totally rock that chemo beanie!

  9. This post made me tear up. But in a good way! You are inspiring. Glad to hear there are so many people who are sending you love and support. That picture of the boys hockey team, oh my, so sweet! You are awesome. Half way done! You can do this!

  10. HALFWAY DONE. You’re doing it, Shana. I’m sorry you feel like crap but–small things–you are rocking that beanie and I can’t wait for you to show it to us in oxblood.
    Those hockey sticks made me cry. That Ethan. Whoa.
    Wishing and praying and hoping for you and your family and the second half of chemo.

  11. I know it’s hard for you to see it, but you look beautiful in the head scarf!
    And not beautiful in a,”ohh, her spirit is beautiful” (though it is) kind of way, just plain beautiful. How is it possible you even wear cancer well?
    Sending love and wishes. Those hockey kids made my day. πŸ™‚

  12. Shana,
    I’m so glad to hear that your spirit is still unbreakable. And you are right – it DOES restore faith to read such things as what you wrote. As an aside – years ago – probably 15 – 20 years now (!!!) a friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer (she is alive and well today, thankuverymuch), and I recall her saying that the wigs she wore were UNBEARABLY hot, and if memory serves, I think she ended up wearing scarves mostly at some point because the wigs were just too much. Like everyone else said, you are gorgeous and amazing, wig or no wig, so just decide what makes YOU feel best. We all know you will rock it.
    Love and hugs,

  13. You are truly an inspiration to all mamas that may be finding themself in the same situation. You look gorgeous! and you know what, have yourself an ugly cry whenever you need it….ugly cries are incredibly therapeutic!

  14. Love you and your blog! You have touched so many of us with your story and your grace in handling this. You are an inspiration. Hang tough– with love in DC

  15. I Love your humor! It is so rare to find smart-a$$ funny, which i greatly appreciate. i imagine you are helping people you don’t even know about! you wont even know the impact you are having. we’ve got your back mama – we love you because you help us not look like hot messes, so you must love us, too :0)

  16. I love Ostwald women …. the toughest ladies on earth … and one of them makes me cry every time I read her blog … confirming that I am not tough at all.

  17. Shana- it does not surprise me that so many people(even strangers) are keeping you in their thoughts. I’ve been reading your posts for the past few years and you just give off this warm, friendly vibe that people are drawn to. Keep doing what you are doing and blogging through this. You are continuing to reach people even despite the exhaustion that comes with what you are dealing with.
    Plus, you still look fabulous.

  18. hi shana, a friend directed me to your blog because I have breast cancer and 4 young-ish kids-I love your writing. I’d love to buy a chemo beanie but wondering if there’s a particular fabric you like best? I see they have several. I haven’t lost my hair yet but I will soon so I’d love to be prepared. thanks if you have a chance to respond-If not, I get it, sister. thanks!

  19. I love your honesty and admire your bravery. As a fellow scary illness survivor, I know you have no other choice but to be brave. But to be brave, honest, and hilarious? Well, that takes a special individual. Xoxo

  20. YES – “no other choice but to be brave”. That’s IT. I feel like a fraud sometimes when people call me brave or strong. What else can you do, right? But thank you for this lovely comment. xoxo

  21. Shea – Welcome to the club, Chick. I’m so sorry you are here. In terms of chemo beanies…my gray one is the softest, but they no longer have it. The ruffled ones (like the ruby) are nice and lightweight, and soft, considering that they are mostly polyester. Wait! This one is the same fabric as my gray one: https://chemobeanies.com/store/products/robin/
    The hat I wear mostly around the house (or to sleep because it gets COLD) is actually a little plain patagonia hat: http://www.zappos.com/patagonia-capilene-4-expedition-weight-beanie-black-1
    Feel free to email me offline if you have questions about anything. Good luck. xoxoxoxo

  22. I hope those chemo beanie ladies are paying you to wear their product because you are making it look good. Seriously good. Rock on mama.

  23. Well done! We’re about to embark on our own chemo journey for our 8-month-old daughter, who was just diagnosed with a (treatable, high-survival-rate) brain tumour. Cue lots of Etsy shopping for cute baby girl hats. As you say, it’s interesting and amazing to see how supportive everyone – EVERYONE – is when something like this happens.
    You look *fantastic* in your beanie.

  24. Shana
    Someone sent me your blog because I am now going thru what you did! Thank you for your sense of humor. It’s inspiring.
    I love the chemo beanie you are wearing in the picture. Do you know the style/color? The blue/green tie-dyeish one? I cannot for the life of me find it on their website.
    Thanks so much for any info. I’m glad you are past this and now on to the other side!

  25. Olivia, I happen to have another (I somehow received two) and one of them is still in the packaging somewhere.  Send me an email with your address and I'll ship mine to you.  (aintnomomjeans at gmail.com)  I'm so sorry to hear you are also going through this sh*t.  Hang in there.  xoxox

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