I like to post pics of me smiling..it makes me feel good and it stops my loved ones from worrying. And I have to admit up til now I have felt pretty good. Todays pic is Nasty!!!
Round two chemo side effects came roaring like a lion. After Tuesdays treatment severe fatigue set in building as every hour passed. Friday morning I woke with a head full of tiny painful sores..hundreds of them. It took all my energy to drag myself to the Cancer clinic.(with hubby of course) The doc says I have an infection of my hair follicles and has prescribed three types of cream...plus a soak for when they leak, Its horrid! My blood pressure was also low.
We just made it back from the clinic when I was beset with severe vomiting and upset stomach. My temperature shot up to 101.2. Luckily it has fallen over the last couple of days...and I have literally slept it away...with no appetite and struggling to drink my fluids. Hubby has been a real star...looking after me..checking my temp.. and trying to get me to drink.
So this is how my Memorial weekend is going...my temperature is now normal..and although I feel a bit nauseous I may try to eat something. Date nights had to be cancelled...sorry MrD but we will have many more...and hopefully I will be able to make a drive out to Huntington Beach tomorrow...fingers crossed.
I am not giving up and Im relying on my inner strength. And I have a new phrase which I seem to be saying a lot ... "it could be worse"
During my chemo on Tuesday.. the lovely Connie and I got chatting to the chemo nurses...about this and that. We got onto the subject of weight and food. The Dr has said I can eat anything I fancy except for raw foods...so no salads, uncooked veggies and only fruit that you can peel like bananas, pineapple etc... so no strawberries... boooo! I said that in three weeks I had put on 4lbs. I said I was going to be the only person in history that would put on weight during chemo. I'm not eating much more than I normally do..but I'm having cravings for foods I don't normally eat or even think of. I'm feeling really bloated and and my face is getting rounder..much faster than than I thought 4lb would show. Connie said she was craving sugary things and was eating Popsicles all day
Well it appears that its the steroids we are taking in our premeds to help with the side effects..it increases your appetite and gives you cravings especially sugary foods. Add this to the chemo effect of low energy so you don't feel like exercise and water retention I worried that I would go to far and start gaining some of my weight back. I think Sue read my mind..and said this wasn't the time to start dieting. She said that I should continue to eat what I fancy but in moderation as things would possibly change over the next few weeks. As my treatments continue..the side effects would increase and there will be days that I will have no appetite and be too nauseous to eat. Also my taste buds may change and things will taste different, bland or even nasty, I must admit that I'm finding some things are starting to taste funny, They will keep monitoring my weight as too much weight loss is as bad as too much weight gain as if it passes a certain line my meds will have to be adjusted.
So..while I can still enjoy them I will keep eating what I fancy. I think I deserve my treats right now, I will keep drinking my daily iced coffee...light on the ice...and have my 40 calorie Popsicle... and if I want a slice of pizza or two I wont beat myself up. But please Lord...don't let me go off Ben and Jerry's
Dont get too excited as Im sharing a very rare...and not very attractive bedroom pic.. courtesy of my daughters sneaky video messenger photography.. just to show what kind of day Im having. Two days after chemo I have no nausea..no pain..no high temperature...no mouth sores... just complete and utter exhaustion.
I finally dragged myself from my pit to shower..but who knew how tiring washing your hair could be..especially when you have none!. If lying on the couch watching black and white movies all day is as bad as it gets.. I have no complaints at all. I have to get my energy levels up for this weekend as hubby and I have a couple of dates planned. Until then.. just pass me an iced coffee and the tv remote
Yesterdays chemo wasnt the best. Even though I had been drinking loads of water, my veins wernt the best. When the nurse Sue found a good one, she inserted the needle and it would begin to collapse. She would jiggle it in my arm hoping it would work and this made it very sore. She tried again...no luck,, but it was third time lucky. It wasnt her fault...it was just my veins
Then..when they started putting in the chemo...I started having a reaction..like last time. I got tingly lips and teeth and about a minute later a dull pain in the base of my back. I told the nurse Sue, who was helping someone else. By the time she came over which was less than a minute, the pain had shot up my back to my neck and the base of my skull. It was starting in my tummy and my chest was tight. It was also in my right arm and right leg. It was getting worse and I couldnt move. Also my blood pressure shot up. She immediately shut off the machine and whilst Rachel the other nurse sat with me she went to phone Dr Phan. It took about ten minutes to start easing...but was completely gone after 20..but I felt a bit drained. The premeds make you sleepy anyway. They started the machine again...but this time at a slow drip...I was ok.. so after 20 minutes they increased it to medium. And thats how it stayed
So we have three options for next times treatment. No.1 I go the day before and I get a dose of steroids and take the same the following day at home. No 2.. We change the chemo meds. But theres no guarantee the same thing wont happen and we dont know if the treatment will work as well so it will set us back. Or no3..we use the same meds but use a slower drip which means I will be there about seven hours. I think no3... well I have nothing else to do.and Sue agrees...but it will be down to what Dr Phan thinks..and he will tell me the day before my treatment
So thats where its stands.. Im not complaining..even tho this morning Im very tired and sore...and couldnt sleep last night through being dizzy and I vomited in the night.,as I didnt take the anti nausea pills in time...but they are helping.
I got talking to a lovely lady called Connie yesterday. Her cancer is in her pancreas and liver and is inoperable and giving her pain. Her treatment wont cure her.. it will just give her a few more months. So who am I to gripe
I am blessed...I will get through the dark days.. and burst out in the sunshine the other side....
Well... Im getting used to my short hair..although I keep trying to push it behind my ears...habit! I was actually ok walking around the mall on Saturday. A couple of people did a double take but otherwise it was fine. Its still coming out so maybe by next weekend it will be totally gone. And thats ok too. Ive come to the conclusion I dont mind being bare headed. It was just another hurdle to get over. I will still have to wear a hat when Im outside tho. The California sun is so strong I cant risk a sunburnt head.I will look like a lolly pop
So...hat hunting was fun....but I have come to the conclusion that I really dont have a "hat face". Sports caps and beanies look really bad. What a shame cos I saw quite a few blingy ones. I suppose I could have gone down the Harry Potter route...
or maybe the Minion... but I dont think hubby would ever walk with me again.
So I came away with three different styles... none of which really suit me... including the one below.
They are all quite plain cos I plan to jazz them up myself with ribbons, lace, flowers...and maybe some bling to match whatever Im wearing. It will be fun to ring the changes.
So six days in to the hair loss process...Im totally alright with it. In the grand scheme of things.. its a very small hiccup
Now to look forward to seeing Dr Phan this afternoon...and tomorrows chemo...
So...when I woke up at 2.30 this morning to see hubby off to work... I could see I had lost lots of hair in the night. The plan for today was to go looking for hats...so I had a big decision to make. I couldnt possibly go shopping and leave my falling out hair in the hats I was trying on. So tearfully I decided..it had to go.
When hubby came home...I told him my decision and we set to work.
When he had finished...all we had was one handful of hair...thats all I had on my head
Im ok... its not as bad as I thought...and I had the fastest shower in history. .. and no blow drying. Next step... head coverings.
Day three of my hair loss and its extremely thin...and after a good think... Im ok about it. I knew I would be.. it is just another hurdle to get over. My mind set is the same... I cant do anything about it so just accept it and deal with it. Its just hair! It will grow back.. and by Christmas I will hopefully have a little fuzz again. If I had any other cancer I could have lost a breast...or even my life. So self pity is over and done with and time to move on.
I just had to admit to myself that my dread was just pure vanity. I have a fat face...which will look worse with no hair.. and I really dont want to look like Uncle Fester or Matt Lucas. In the 80s my curly perm made me look like Eddie Large..but thats another story!
So time to stop wallowing and get back to living...drinking loads of water for my blood tests this afternoon.. and enjoying the things I love. I have made a banana bread.. made a shepherds pie for dinner (I hope hubby enjoys it as much as the one we had in the British pub we went into when Miss C was here)..and have got my sewing machine whirring away.
Also..I got a lovely surprise in the mail from my cousin back home. So kind and thoughtful . It made me smile. People if you have never had a "cwtch" you are really missing out. They are very special.. and I am getting so many virtual ones.. its doing me the power of good
I decided to go out for a walk and take some photos while I still have hair.. and try to sort my head out. I am losing copious amounts, and I have a feeling by this time next week it will be gone. I have to admit... its upsetting me more than I thought it would. Im am finding it everywhere... in bed.. the shower .. strands of it all over the house. Every time I touch it a clump comes out. Im wearing a scarf over my head when cooking for hygiene.... and I look bloomin awful... especially as I have these dreadful sores on my mouth too.
My hair is quite thin now... no bald spots as yet thank goodness. And my scalp is quite tender.. just the top.. not the back. I washed it this morning and gently blow dried without a brush so I didnt tug at it.
I may just give up fighting it and get rid... but not before the weekend. I have my blood tests tomorrow to check my blood count for next weeks chemo.. so I want to look tidy. And this weekend hubby and I are going to go looking for some cute hats...that I hope will suit me. After that... I may get the scissors out.
For the first time Im feeling a bit down...but it wont be for long...cos I always bounce back. And I know I have to go through this to kill the evil little buggers,. And... it could be worse...I could have lost my taste buds too 😀
I ran my fingers through my hair and had a bit of a surprise!
Now...I knew this was going to happen.. but as Im stuck in 1988 and am all for the 'Big Hair' (and shoulder pads)... this is a bit unsettling. Im the kind of girl that wont leave the house without washing and blow drying my hair.. so this is a big deal.. There was a tear or two. I promised my daughter I wont cut it until it gets too ratty.. but that wont be long as Im shedding badly. So I will have to start wearing my blooming sun hat where ever I go... which Im supposed to anyway as Im a Brit not used to the Californian sun...even after 2 years!!
On the positive side though... having no hair will have advantages. I mean.. pretty soon... I can tell hubby that I wil be ready in 10 minutes...and mean it. And...just think of the money I will save on shampoo, conditioner, mousse, hairspray, hair colour....and razors! Plus I will never have to worry about looking windswept when we go to the beach or on fairground rides. And its a brilliant excuse to wear the drawerful of pretty headscarves Ive had for years....even though my head will look like a potato
One final thing... before my dad had his chemo he had a badly receding hairline and a bald spot. When it grew back he had a full head of hair!. I have decided... when mine grows back...Im going to be a natural blond...no more bottle... with a natural wave so it holds it shape. Plus my eyebrows will have a perfect arch to work with.
As tomorrow is Sunday... I'm quoting Proverbs 16:18....
Why? Well I've been bragging about not having any side effects from the chemo... except being tired after my walks... which by the way I'm loving ..especially cos I can start taking my photos again.
And then it happened... and I've had a miserable couple of days. Although I have been really careful...I have a mouth full of ulcers.. on my tongue, gums and inner cheek... and nasty cold sores on my swollen lip and my chin. I look like I went two rounds with Rocky!
As I was warned..Chemotherapy kills good cells as well as the bad... but I can live with it. I have some excellent gel that numbs my mouth... but as for the doctor saying eat what you like.. well its a bit difficult right now.
Still it wont last for ever.. and it has taught me a lesson.. Pride does come before a fall