chemo

The buzz cut

My hair was falling out in chunks because of chemotherapy. I was sleeping in chunks. It was getting very aggravating. I was wearing a black Pink Floyd shirt and all you could see was a bunch of blond hairs stuck to the front and back of the shirt. My pillow had chunks of hair on it. I would wake up to scratch my head and clumps of hair would fall out in my hand. It was 2am and I wanted a buzz cut. But, I waited until the morning. At 6 am I got the clippers out. My husband got a chair and he gave me a buzz cut. The first swipe was my bangs and my lower lip started to quiver. the second swipe over the top and my lip quivered more with little tears in my eyes. The third swipe and I couldn’t help but frown. But, my big girl voice took off and I told myself, it is not forever, don’t cry, suck it up, it is going to be okay. Losing my hair can be quite devastating. The feelings of sadness went away and I decided that it is just another part of my life to get through and it stopped bothering me. My head was buzzed. This to shall pass. I still have very short hair and blotches of no hair. My head feels like on big purple bruise in some areas.

It took Parker a looong couple of seconds to notice my head. He knew that I was going to lose my hair. I told him that the doctor is making me take medicine that is really hard to take and it would make my hair fall out. Once he noticed, he smiled and said, “your hair fell out.” I told him that I have a lot of hats to wear and he was wondering why I wasn’t going to wear a wig. Of course I wanted him to feel comfortable with me when we go out, so I actually thought getting a wig would remedy that. The truth is that he really doesn’t care. He likes the hats and I did make a compromise, I have a half wig that covers the crown of my head and leaves the top of my head uncovered. This is to wear with hats. I actually like it and it is totally my style. All the wigs seemed to perfect and I didn’t feel like myself no matter what kind of wig I tried on. But, in the back of my mind it would be really cool to have a super long blond wig. Ryne and Amanda have been through this before. I wore a scarf the whole time. They don’t care what I wear on my head either. I was so worried about making little change that I forgot my kids love me for me and not for my hair, duh. They just want me to get better.

Today, I put makeup on. It is something I barely ever do. I believe I should keep doing it though because I makes me feel good to look pretty.

Below are some pictures of the process and a small modeling show of some of my hats.

P.S. Cancer doesn’t control who I am, it controls how people treat me. I am still me.

 

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The light at the end of the tunnel

One thing I learned from basic training; when I reached muscle failure, I was able to focus and moved forward. I learned to mentally focus on the finish line. I learned that quitting is not succeeding. Whether I hated the pain or not, I never quit and new that the end is ‘somewhere down the road’ whether I could see it or not. I learned that there is a light at the end of the tunnel even in complete darkness. Somewhere there is an end and another beginning. Once you get through the trial there are many other doors opening to another adventure. All of this; is about never quitting, never giving in. The very second you quit, something takes over and you become part of the problem and you lose the ability to become part of the solution. You become the sickness and lose yourself. Don’t lose yourself. Be the warrior, the soldier, you were meant to be. Forging forward in this world, never quitting, until your mission is complete.

My last appointment with the oncologist was good and bad. The cancer is shrinking to the point that it is hardly visible to the naked eye. The Xeloda (chemo) is working. No swollen lymphnodes either. BBBUUUUTTTT, for some reason I have a mass (a mass, not a tumor, not a lesion, an unknown mass) in between my heart and my right lung and NO ONE absolutely NO ONE can figure out why since the chemo is working. They also can’t figure out what it is attached to because a catscan is in black and white. If the chemo works on the liver, it works every where. My bones are stable. No growth there either. So why the mass? I have a petscan on Wednesday. If it lights up, bad. If it doesn’t, good. But, then how do we get it out. It is in a tricky position. Mind you, I’ve had a pericardial effusion and a pleural effusion. I could have a pocket build up. I’ve also read that chemo can cause fluid build up, maybe I need to stop taking it. There are so many unanswered questions, and when this happens, it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I refuse to give in to this. I know that the end of the cancer tunnel is coming soon and I know that I will be in the light and open a door that allows me to work on my mission, I will open another door. I will stay positive and finish this blog on Thursday, when I get my results. Until then, I will keep praying and I hope you do too.

Overcoming Pain For Joy

Yesterday I realized that not only have I reprogrammed my mind to believe every ache has to be cancer but it seems that some of my friends followed in my foot steps and have reprogrammed themselves to believe any ache and pain I talk about, has to be cancer.

Then I felt bad and had to back track. Yes chemo intensifies pain but it more than likely does not mean cancer. If I am angry, my anger is intensified, if I have arthritis well that is intensified too. Chemo makes every day pain intensified.

I know the difference between cancer bone pain and intensified arthritis. There is a difference to me even though you may not know the difference. Chemo intensifies pain and it is up to the patient to decipher which is what.

I am feeling better. The second week of chemo instensifies pain and intensifies the lack of comprehension and to keep a full thought. That is where I am this week.

This is the verse that showed up in my email today and it fits how I feel and how I pray you feel about any situation.

Romans 5:3-4 NIV
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Not only does suffering produce perserverance which produces character and character hope; but hope produces belief and belief produces faith.

So my dear friends and family, I may have pain and suffering and I may talk about them. However, never forget that I also have perseverance, character, hope, faith, and belief.

I am a survivor. Don’t feel sorry for me. Feel happy that I know these things. Take these gifts for yourself and apply them to your entire life. Have Joy.

Chemotherapy: The Ultimate Oxymoron

The chemo pills make me feel wigged out. It is as if for the first 4-7 days on, I am fine. Then all of a sudden I am wigged out. Like I am withdrawn from the world, kind of like withdrawals from life.

Then I stop taking it and  I feel fine for 3-4 days.

Then I feel like I am in withdrawals from chemo and I get wigged out. Like everything hurts, my eyes feel like they are popping out of their sockets, and my hair stands on end….wigged out.

I don’t know how long I can keep this routine. I am lucky to get 6 good days out of this 21 day cycle.

Then I think this cell eating medicine is making me sick and better at the same time. Isn’t  therapy supposed to be a good thing? Yes. So putting chemo with the word therapy is really weird. Because chemo sucks and that means I am getting suckytherapy and that my friends is an oxymoron.

I guess chemotherapy is a blessing hidden under an oxymoron. At least, I am getting better and that is definitely a blessing.

I do not want to start again on Monday, but I will. Because I still have a will to survive and I have a bunch of stuff I have to do. Anyone want to bike across a state with me?

I can’t wait to take hormone therapy and that is weird to say.

Peace..out!

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