Yes, I now look like a cancer patient. I didn't want to wear either of my wigs while I was getting my chemo. I deserve to be as comfortable as possible, right? The wigs are comfortable, but not as much as a soft scarf. I had to YouTube how to rock a cancer scarf.
I had a conversation with Ella the other day. She is nervous kids are going to make fun of me because I don't have hair. Poor darling. I have been as honest as I can about what is happening to me. I know it is still a shock for her to see me with my hair in a crew cut. She still wants me to wear a wig or cap infront of her. I told her I don't care if anyone knows about my hair then reassured her it will grow start to back for my Christmas present. I think she is trying to prepare herself in case any of her friends find out. I armed her with a couple of things to say and hopefully she feels confident if it ever comes up.
Still feeling good. Headache every morning, but once I get up and drink my tea, it goes away.
Averaging around 11,000 steps per day.
So John and the kids shaved my head last night. I have to be honest, I do not look anything like the beautiful ladies in the previous post, nor do I feel sexy in any way, but it did feel good coming off. I guess it is one more step I have now gone through in this whole process. Hair loss... done! I am showing you a photo of us mid-shave, but am not ready to post a photo of me with my new crew cut. Maybe some day down the road I will feel strong enough to do that, but not today. I was worried about the kids. Ella looked a little scared when she saw it all off and has asked me to always wear a hat or wig. Hey, I get it. I don't want to see me bald either. Layne was nervous for me to wear my wig to school this morning, but once he saw me in it, he said he wasn't nervous about it anymore.
Thank you to all the moms and dads that encouraged me this morning at school drop off. I really needed that encouragement this morning and it was much appreciated. Here is a photo of my first morning drop off with my wig.
Layne sensed I was a bit nervous about last night and gave me this right before we started shaving. I can't say enough how blessed I am to have the sweetest husband and kids. They made this traumatic experience fun and not so scary for me.
Now for my full-head wig... I can't say enough nice things about Newport Hair Loss Clinic. Nazy, the owner, is my hero. She made this very scary process as seamless as it could be. She not only has first-hand knowledge of hair loss, but also is incredibly gifted in making human hair wigs. I truly felt like a million bucks when I left her this morning. I felt like I got my mojo back! Check it out...
So, as I suspected, I am starting to lose my hair. Every time I brush it, a ton of it comes out. I can run my fingers through it at any time and pull a chunck out. YUCK! OK, so now the hard part... crew cut. I have booked an appointment this friday to have my hair cut very short to prepare for the total loss. I have also purchased the blonde wig in my previous post to cover up my bald noggin afterwards. Honestly, I am petrified for friday and know some tears will be shed. John is going with me and get his cut super short too. SO, I have to focus on the positives here! I don't need to worry about shampooing anymore, my time to get ready in the morning will be cut short, although I'm sure I will be packing on the make-up now, and I will not need to shave my legs, etc. soon. The bad part: Taxol usually means TOTAL hair loss including eyebrows and eyelashes, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. I can't even think about that right now.
I have made an inspiration board to gear up for my haircut on Friday. Not saying I'm going to look as amazing as these strong women, but it's nice to have some bald eye-candy before I get the chop.
New side effects: hungover in the mornings. I have cotton mouth, headache and restless sleep. I think it is mostly due to dehydration. Trying to stay on top of that is hard. I am drinking liquids all day to keep up. Luckily, once I wake up and drink my tea in the morning, I usually feel a lot better.
On a more positive note, I am still getting my Fitbit steps in. I am averaging around 10,000 per day. Before chemo I averaged 14,000.
OK, so above is a picture of my cancer. It has grown. My oncologist says it will typically "swell" with this investigational drug before it starts getting smaller. He is encouraged because it looks like even though it is larger, it is starting to break up and not be so dense.
Potential new steps: I will be re-evaluated in three weeks. If it has grown any larger, I will stop my current treatment with the Taxol and go into the "heavy chemo (referred to as AC). Pros: If I start the AC beginning of September, I will be done before Thanksgiving. Cons: I still have another two treatments of Taxol before the three week mark. My oncologist doesn't think the Taxol is doing anything for me, but thinks the investigational drug is working. Because I am in the ISPY 2 clinical trial, I need to continue the Taxol. So it's like I am poisoning myself for no reason. Also I will not know until my appointment right before my infusion in three weeks if I am going to continue the Taxol or go straight to the AC. When I start the AC is when I'm going to be REALLY tired. So it won't give me much time to prepare.
Chemo #3 went well today. I must be honest though, I was nervous about this one. I know my hair is going to start falling out and based off my research, it will start happening after this treatment. I am religiously cleaning my brush out each night so I know what is coming out each day. So far, I haven't had any hair loss, but I know it is inevitable. Who knew I would go bald before John!I suppose nothing a little shopping therapy can't fix :)
I also took a picture of the what the nurses have to put on just to give me my Taxol. It's like a hazmat suit!
Ella joined me in trying on more wigs yesterday. I think I found my wig! Can you tell??
Afterwards, Ella wanted us to get matching wigs for the weekends. She chose mermaid pink wigs! We made quite a scene at the grocery store. I fear Layne will want to go out next. He has already told me he wants me to get a clown wig... eek!
It is apparent everyone likes the long blonde wig. Secretly I'm hoping to make myself look younger during this whole process. It's like my friend, Caitlin, says, "This is the only time you are going to have a chance to wear wigs, so have fun with it!"
So that we did... I think Layne had the most fun.
I had my second chemo treatment yesterday. It went well, but still took 5.5 hours from start to finish.
This is why it takes so long...
Arrive 9:40 for Fast Track blood draw (this is where the nurse plugs into my port and takes 4 tubes of blood for review. The lab has to test my blood before every chemo treatment to make sure I can handle it. That process takes close to two hours, so I just sit and wait around and read emails.
11:30am infusion begins. They first have to take vitals, then start me off with benedryl and a steroid. They have to do this in case I have an allergic reaction. The steroid also helps with nausea. Once that drip finishes, I have to wait another 30 minutes before I can get my poison.
Poison (Taxol) takes another hour or so on the drip. Once that is finished, more vitals then I have to sit and wait another 30 minutes in observation to make sure I don't have any reactions before they send me home.
Luckily my hubby is there to keep me company :)
Hi! I'm Amy. I was diagnosed at 44 with