Rainy Sunday

April 19, 2010

Wow. Long time. Let me get you all up to speed.

So, obviously, I survived Round 1. Took a bit of doing, but got through. The nausea passed pretty quickly (thankfully, the anti-nausea meds make actual vomiting a thing of the past) but I was then taken over by the most awful oral sensitivity and flavor failure you can imagine. Mint toothpaste is the enemy. All bread tastes a bit sour. Many textures are overwhelming. Even with all the very impressive anti-nausea meds today, this is why it is called the “chemo diet” – not that I’ve lost any weight yet, but it seems it will be inevitable – and not entirely unwelcome!

As predicted by the wig-shop woman, my hair started to fall out in earnest exactly on Day 14. My very good friend and (former – at least for now) hairdresser, Mary Alice, told me that, with the very limited number of things I could control in regard to my body right now, I could certainly take charge of when to go bald. So, with scissors, then clippers, then razor in hand, we went to town. I then spent the week at work modeling a new hairdo each day (I have four “wigs” if you include the elbow length neon pink one I picked up on Wednesday) and staying up late to put the finishing touches on three hats I made. (Two of the “wigs” aren’t wigs but bands with hair on them and velcro – thus optional – bangs. Theoretically, they would be cooler, except for the fact that you have to wear a hat or head scarf with them unless you want to look like some aging, bald, hippie dude with velcro on his head. Not the look I was going for.) Yesterday I finally gave up on the wigs and just wore my favorite La-ti-da baseball cap I picked up in Key West. I have the feeling a naked head, well soaked in spf 90, is not too far around the corner. It’s warming up a bit here in Houston.

Finally, this past week I began to feel somewhat normal again – my energy, taste buds and enthusiasm were all bouncing back. Unfortunately, just in time for Round 2 on Friday. They made a couple of adjustments – an anti-nausea given via IV that will last for 5 days (haven’t had to take a pill for it yet) as well as pre, during and post steroids that have kept my energy levels pretty on par thus far. (I say this as I have returned to finish typing this post from bed. I’m starting to believe Mooch has the right idea for a rainy, thunderstorming day like today! How much of this is because it is a lazy, rainy, thunderstorming Sunday and how much is due to chemo, I can’t say.)

I can guarantee there are loads of details I am forgetting to share, but what can you do? Before signing off I DO want to take a minute to thank you ALL for your messages of support and love, your offers of assistance, the gifts I find in my mailbox – everything. I also want to apologize for not responding to any of you personally, at least not with any reasonable predictability. My usual coping mechanisms for feelings of overwhelm have been overwhelmed and I am left with no recourse but to forgive myself for what must appear to be a complete lapse of social graces and utter lack of gratitude.

Please know that, despite the complete lapse of social graces, I am deeply, deeply appreciative and moved by each and every one of you.

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