Every time I look in the mirror, I am caught off guard by the person looking back at me. I don't think I will ever get accustomed to the bald-headed me. I used painter's tape to remove some of the stubbles, but found that rubbing a washcloth against my scalp in the shower worked well to remove the remaining signs of hair. My head is not shiny bald like Uncle Fester, which I think would be kind of cool. It is a flat white with a few remaining stubbles clinging for their existence. The freshly exposed skin is very white, and I wonder if this is the color I was as a baby. My face is a different color than my scalp, making me look as if I am wearing a mask.
I no longer walk around my yard or the neighborhood without my head covered. I am afraid that I will scare one of the eighteen children who live in my neighborhood. Stubble was just weird. Bald is scary.
Next Tuesday, August 24, I go in for my last chemotherapy infusion. It will be a family affair with all four of us going to my final treatment. Tonight Riley was already freaking out about the needles, which is precisely why I want her to go. She needs to see that chemotherapy isn't as scary as it sounds. I feel very lucky that I was prescribed only four cycles of chemotherapy. If my cancer would have travelled to more than one lymph node, I might have needed three more months of chemotherapy. Note: Early detection allowed me to have only two months ,and not five months of chemotherapy - Have you had a mammogram this year?
The past two weeks between cycles presented a shorter laundry list of side effects, but much more lethargy. I had very little nausea, and didn't need to take a single compazine. I had some strange joint pain in my wrist, hip and ankle. For four days I had a very sharp pain in my heal that shot up my leg to my hamstring. But my biggest battle was against exhaustion. I spent most of today in bed again. If I have a high or regular energy day and do something physical, like working in the yard, I pay for it the next day. I am very fortunate that I am able spend the day in bed. However, I'm tired of being tired.
Before chemotherapy menopause was knocking on my door. Once chemotherapy began, menopause walked right in and made itself at home. I was warned that this would happen. The hot flashes are a strange sensation; first my face gets very warm as if I have a sunburn, and then the rest of my body gets hot, like someone turned up the heat. Alcohol seems to exacerbate the situation. I am not sure if alcohol is a good thing during chemotherapy. As one ob-gyn said to me during pregancy, if you need a drink, go for it - the stress is worse than the alcohol on your body; just don't overdo it. I've had only about 5-6 drinks over the past 6 weeks. I know, I'm a real boozer.
I noticed my first staring incident this week. While shopping at our local grocery store with a scarf on my head and my pink ribbon earrings, I noticed a woman in her mid-30's with a young daughter couldn't keep her eyes off of me. We kept passing each other in the aisles, and later were in view of each other while paying for our groceries. Each time we were in sight of one another, she kept looking at me. It didn't bother me at all. As a matter of fact, at the time I was thinking that I hope my "look" makes her think about getting a mammogram.
Whacky thought for the day...
Who came up with the term "laundry list?" If I made a list of items in the laundry, it would take pages. And...How does laundry pile up overnight with only two kids in this house? Is there a dirty laundry fairy that comes at night when we're all asleep?
Aug 19 - Happy Birthday Meg!