I have a lot of strangers in my life lately. Folks I don't know have offered me hugs, food, and money, all of which I accept with the most gratitude and humility I can reasonably express without bursting. Today seems to have been particularly filled with strangers. For breakfast we ate Bruegger's Bagels that a stranger left on our front porch. Normally the rule is not to accept food from strangers, and it seems that accepting food from a stranger you did not meet should not be an exception to that rule. It was, however, a delicious exception.
Did you leave the bagels for us? We'd love to give credit where it is due. Next time, please stick around and have a bagel with us.
Another stranger has presented itself via a thoughtful parcel from Ian's cousins. Among other fun things, they sent several different bottles of scented lotions. They are fancy lotions, too, and my skin loves to drink them up. I have been using them every day, but I am not used to scented lotions. I usually buy the unscented kinds. The first day I wore these fancy scented lotions Ian gave me a hug and said, "You smell like a stranger!" Then he watched me apply the new lotion to my chapped nose (my chemo cold has been a doozy!) and commented that I would be smelling a stranger all day. He was so right! But my nose was so moisturized that it was totally worth it. Plus, I like the smells of the lotions. They smell nice.
One reason I'm liking the lotion smell is that I don't like my own Heather smell anymore. Everyone has a non-perfumed smell, right, ranging from just-out-of-the-shower to when-was-your-last-shower. Well, my normal just-out-of-the shower state is altered. At first I wondered if my olfactory system is what has altered rather than my bodily odor, but in preparation for this blog post Ian confirmed that I have a different smell. The chemotherapy makes my sweat smell differently, I guess.
I smell like a stranger even before I apply the scented lotion, so I may as well be a moisturized stranger.
In other updates, I've worked six hours per day for three days this week. Huzzah! It has been marvelous to interact with colleagues and to engage my brain. I work with some amazing folks who, in my absence, executed a new and intimidating protocol to prepare some DNA for sequencing. Other amazing folks started a rebuttal for resubmitting a manuscript, making it easy for me to jump in and finish it off this week. They are also understanding when I get tired and need to take care of myself by heading home early.
I love my science family! I love my friend family! I love my family family! Apparently I also love my stranger family! You all are the best.