Monday, August 06, 2012


This past week has been harder. I feel like a wimp. The nausea has been worse, the fatigue has been worse and truth is I have been a bum about it. Well, I guess not all the time...I went to the zoo, a 3 mile bike ride, have spent time with my family and managed to keep the house from being a total disaster. But all I really want to do is lay in bed. Just thinking about playdates, friends, responsibilities and my own children exhaust me. I am the queen of avoiding naps yet have found my self napping at every opportunity.

I am not dumb, I know this is more depression than the cancer. I know because when I touch my head or look in the mirror I suddenly feel more nauseated and tired. When I see the bruises on my arms I have trouble keeping my eyes open. I am not dumb, I understand that these symptoms are currently exaggerated because of my mental status. Yes the chemo makes me feel nauseated and yes it did hit worse this time...but then my brain, my emotions just made it even worse.

Don't get me wrong, I think I pull off the no hair look quiet well (better than my previous David Bowie look). But now I get lots of sympathetic smiles or worse I get the people that won't make eye contact with me at all. Now I feel kinda like a leper when I am in public. I can't effectively hide in the crowd. I stick out like the orange crayon shoved in a box of black and whites.

I guess I didn't realize how much I liked just hiding in the crowd. It makes it easier to go about my day to day activities without strangers having insight to what my current health status is. It makes me just want to stay in bed, go to sleep or just hide out. It exhausts me, because before I could smile and look at people like "what? nothing is wrong with me, I am fine'. . . except now I get that "poor girl" smile.

I have all the cards and notes I have received on the wall facing my bed, so when I am down and feeling bad for myself they are staring back at me with messages about how strong I am and how proud you are of me and how much support I have. They make me kick my ownself in the butt and stop whining. They make me feel stronger. They make me want to yell at the people who are giving me those sympathetic smiles or refusing to make eye contact with me and say "what? nothing is wrong with me, I am what I have what if today I feel like crap...and yes some times I do have moments where I feel more like chemo is killing me instead of saving me...but guess what...I am here....balancing two kids and a dozen activities/chores/errands and you don't see me whining about it"...if course I can't really yell that. So I just smile back instead.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Treatment #2- DONE

Woot Woot, this means I am halfway through with the treatments in my first series! At the end of this month I will be done with the first series and ready to start the second series.

This treatment was actually harder. Turns out I have rolling veins so it took four pokes and a lot of pain (to spare the gory details) to get a good return. They have to be very careful because the Adriamycin if it leaks into your skin will eat the muscle and skin tissue. Fun times. After that it was not as bad, I was starving and freezing so I know next time I will bring my nice fuzzy pink socks from the sweeties and a sweater...not to forget a nice healthy lunch (they just have pb crackers, nutragrain bars and cookies). But it was a nice relaxing treatment after it all got started, Mark and I laid back and watched two episodes of Breaking Bad. Good quality time. ;)

After we left things felt pretty much normal, a little nauseated and lightheaded. But the nausea was definitely hitting harder this time. I even took a zofran as soon as I got home (where last time I did not take a nausea medicine until a few hours later). Last time I was fine as long as I was moving but this time nothing really helped. The nausea just got worse and worse as the evening went on. I ate dinner to see if that would help and then spent part of the evening with my head in a trash can. I am sure that made Mark's dining experience eventful. Luckily, my doctor was is always easy to reach so I was able to text him and ask what meds were safe to take (since it had not been 8 hours since the zofran and I had taken a Lorazepam 20 minutes before I was sick. He told me to double up and take another zofran and lorazepam and got to bed. I slept like a rock (snuggled in between Maddie and Mark) and feel much better this morning. I can even eat. I don't want to but I can. Last time Mark had to force feed me for a few days after. I can handle day one being hard if the rest are easier. Seems like a small price to pay.

So do you want the good news? I noticed my lump had shrunk when I was checking myself in the shower that morning. During my exam before treatment Dr. Diab was looking for the lumc and had to ask me where it was. When I showed him, he confirmed it had decreased in size by 50% after just one treatment! WOOT WOOT! He said the goal is that by the time I go in for surgery that they will not be able to find the lump at all. Sounds good to me! Definately makes it all worth it. Who cares about nausea, fatigue, dizziness and hair loss when you are getting better.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Hair today...Gone tomorrow

Today my hair started falling out. I could shake my head and watch it cascade to the floor, I was finding hunks in my headband and was becoming obsessed with running my fingers through it (to see if I was imagining how much was coming out). So it was time to shave it off for my own sanity. Maddie disapproved of this idea, but agreed to hold my hand.

Maddie was not thrilled.

I let Mark have the honors

Maddie tried to catch my hair as it fell (this is when it started to be fun for her).

But she was still concerned

Mark started with a Buzz cut

I think Mark was having a lot of fun shaving my head into different styles

But all in all, losing my hair ended up being a fun family event
I read in another blog today a statement I liked. Losing your hair is not bad, it just means the chemo is working. I like thinking about it that way. It means we are one step closer winning the battle.

Personally, I like this haircut better than the last one.

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. -Dr. Seuss