|I have been bald for a week now. It sucks.|
|Getting ready for the Pink Arrow Pride Game.|
Hair is falling out bigtime!
|At the game with my family|
I thought I was going to be ok with it, I really did. I thought that all the work I had done before, cutting off my hair, bleaching it platinum, dying it hot pink- would give me control over being bald, but it didn't prepare me for this.
Despite what people may think or how I act, I'm actually a rather shy, insecure person. Going really crazy with my hair was way out of my comfort zone, and gave me some confidence and bravada that I was really the one in control of this whole experience. And while I had my hair, I felt that feeling would last through the whole journey. I didn't anticipate the sucker punch to my ego of feeling physically shitty, then looking in the mirror and seeing myself bald. I look sick, I look old, I look....bad.
My darling son told me the other day: "I don't think you look bad Mom, you just look like...you". This of course warms my heart; he has been so cool through this whole thing. Then he tells me he can't remember what I look like with 'normal' hair.
In the week between today and last Saturday, between being hairy, and being bald, I have had another round of chemotherapy, and I know this is contributing to my feeling crappy. I have a slew of 'little' issues that just niggle away at my well-being and drive me crazy. There is saying that I love, from the show "Jon and Kate plus 8" (before they went really nuts); Jon says "It's like being pecked to death by ducks". Annoying and slow. All the little things that add up to one big annoying pool of suck. Things that don't count as serious 'side effects' of chemo, yet nevertheless must be dealt with in addition to everything else.
1. Once again, I have hives after chemo. A lovely rash on my neck and arms and a little on my face. I made sure that I didn't use anything new or weird right after chemo, and made a point to shower right after I got home. They are less severe this time than last, but still there, giving me one more thing to be uncomfortable about. One more chemical to put on my body to try and get relief. I told my oncologist and nurse, and they just shrug and say.."hmmm, weird".
2. My port 'suture' incision is irritated. I have two scars on the right side of my chest (just to make sure that I have NO comfortable sides). The large one is right above my chemo port and in addition to having this huge 'goiter' thing sticking out, there is a nasty scar right above. At the end of all this, I get to be cut open again and have it removed. Leading from that is my catheter, which is then sutured into the vena cava, right about where my collarbone is. It doesn't feel good, even after more than a month - I have a big tube sticking in my neck and I can feel it! On top of that, since the weather turned colder, I have been wearing less tanks and low neck tees, and the scar over the catheter is getting rubbed raw by the higher necks of my t-shirts. There isn't much I can do about it, other than stick a band-aid on top to keep it protected. My chemo nurse offered to call the radiology department to see if they can or can't do anything about it, but to tell the truth, I'm really not up for more surgery, and even less up to someone telling me there is nothing they can do about it.
3. I have acne. My immune system is jacked up, and my hormones are going crazy- on top of everything else to deal with, I have bad skin. I go from bumpy to extra dry and scaly back to bumpy. ugh. I don't even know what to put on my skin right now- does the wrinkle cream go on top or under the zit medicine?
I know this first 10 days are the downhill slope of chemo and then, I'm hoping, like last time, to slowly start to return to feeling 'normal', which has, in and of itself, taken on a whole new meaning. I don't feel normal, I feel a bit like Frankenstein right now. I can't imagine how I will ever feel normal again.
|Getting ready for 'the shave'|
|A brief break to appreciate a real mohawk|