Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ins and outs of retail therapy

Wednesday at the clinic was a breeze. Because my "tank" was so full from Monday, I didn't need anything. Melissa and Dr. Alyea seemed very pleased that I had 25 platelets. I'll have to see what the results are tomorrow before I get too excited.

I think I'll change the subject for this post so that everyone doesn't get too bored with platelet counts. I'll turn to something a little more "exciting," if that's the right word: shopping.

Earlier I wrote about the Internet shopping I did while in the hospital. I ordered a white button-down shirt and a mint/mist long-sleeved T-shirt from J. Jill, among other things. I liked the white shirt, with its bit of detailing, but the T-shirt (medium) was too big. Thus began shopping spree II.

My J. Jill wad of receipts, returns and exchanges is probably now almost as long as my medical record. Last week, I put on a mask and gloves and went with Diane to the J. Jill at the Chestnut Hill Mall to exchange the shirt. We picked a quiet time when the mall was pretty empty, so I wasn't too worried about going in. Diane had bought a pretty purple sweater from their new collection, which happens to feature my color, purple. So while the saleswoman investigated the availability of the shirt, I sat in a chair and Diane brought me piles of clothes in case I wanted a little something extra -- like her sweater. Also, I've lost so much weight that I figured I could use a couple of pairs of pants.

Over came the sweater, plus a lavendar T-shirt for underneath and a purple tank for warmer weather.

"I'll take them," I said.

The pants were more problematic. At 5'9", I usually weigh around 140 (I know, we're not supposed to tell our weight, but so many people have seen mine in the past three months that I don't care). In the hospital, when I was having kidney trouble and retaining water, I gained about 40 pounds. My legs were so heavy I could barely move them. Anyway, now I'm 125, hardly have an appetite, and have to fasten my belt extra tight to hold my baggy pants up.

So I took home two sizes, 8 and 10, of a pair of beige linen pants and chocolate brown capris.
Both were too large. Meanwhile, the saleswomon said to come back for the mint/mist shirt, so I couple of days ago we returned to pick up the shirt and exchange the pants.

Of course I saw something new this time: A pair of chocolate-brown pants made of silk and linen, and a tan sweater (love those display artists) shown next to it, over a white shirt just like mine! Got the tan sweater and brown pants (size 6) and exchanged the other pants for 6 also.

I know I've lost a lot of weight, but still, I don't think those sixes were really sixes...more like eights. I've heard that manufacturers have changed their sizing so that so that women will feel thinner and more likely to buy more clothes in "smaller" sizes that are really just the larger sizes remarked. The capris and the new brown pants fit, but the light linen ones practically fell to me knees, so I had to take the linen pants back.

Actually, Diane took them back, and since I had become obsessed with new socks to wear with my new clothes (no excuses, my feet didn't shrink), she stopped at the Gap and bought me a black pair and three cool striped pairs, all with motifs including purple to match some of my new stuff.

I assume that after chemotherapy, many people find themselves with a wardrobe of clothes that are too large. Of course you can just make do, but it's nice if your pants aren't falling off. You don't want to buy too much; some people probably show more restraint than others. But you feel like you deserve a treat, and it's a great distraction from check-up anxiety and all those things.

Problem is, when you regain your appetite and your weight and go back to your regular size, you'll be stuck with those small clothes and the temptation to say, "I used to be so thin!"


Tammy said...

Thanks so much for sharing your fight with us. I will think of you on Saturday as I coach a marathon for Team in Training - that is why we are doing this. I started reading your blog a while back but have just been lurking.

Yeah, I wonder about clothing sizes, too. But I think you are right on to need a 6 or even smaller these days. I am about 145-150 and wear an 8 most of the time - I know 20 yrs ago that would have been a 10 or 12 probably.

susiegb said...

I was always happy to lose weight (having been through WeightWatchers a year or two earlier and lost a lot then). But my problem was when I had to eat fattening things to put weight back on, I found it really hard to stop! And I've never found it easy to keep my weight down to what it should be (I think!) since then!

But I bet you don't have those sort of problems anyway ... :)

Ann said...

I know what you mean about the retail therapy. My drug of choice is Ann Taylor. Sadly, I am the only transplant patient that I know who puts weight on, instead of losing it. The only time I got "skinny" was during an episode of PTLD.

Susan C said...

As soon as I read that you were buying size sixes, I thought "Those are going to be like wearing a feed sack."

I'm still not sure what weight I'm going to end up being, so I'm still reluctant to buy a lot. I wonder if people notice that I wear the same Abercrombie jeans 75% of the time? I finally broke down and brought several too-big, expensive, classic pieces to the tailor.

Your purple outfits sound really fun. Enjoy!

Wendy S. Harpham, MD said...

When possible and if you don't mind, have someone take a digital picture of your new outfit to post on your blog!

You know from my blog on Healthy Survivorship that I am a firm believer in the benefits of retail therapy:

As for the weight loss, whatever happens down the line with your weight, you need some fun clothes NOW. So, good job!

With continued hope, Wendy

Nelle said...

I have clothes in several sizes as my weight fluctuates. With the diabetes diagnosis and my reduced carb diet I am in smaller slacks and hope to go smaller still. I have never had a problem gaining weight...I have lost when sick but unfortunately my appetite rebounds quickly. New clothes do wonders for cheering me up. Hope you enjoy wearing some of your new items.

Jim said...

Love the direction of your platelets. The weight will come with time. Eat, sleep and be merry. Jim