Wednesday, April 30, 2008

hair history part 1

P.S here is a blurry pic of my short hair in the 80's

A Shower a day!

I used to love that commercial! Heck I used to love that product!
(a free bath bomb to the person who can send me the lyrics-NO GOOGLING- or come into the store and sing that commercial)!

When I had hair a shower was a long production, the waist length curls were a lot of work. A labour of love that I enjoyed doing, but still a lot of work. I didn't shower everyday if I did not need to because the hair took a lot of time.
In the first 1/2 of my life ( to date) I adored the ritual of the morning shower. Once mom let us take showers ( my first shower is a blog/nightmare tale for another day) I would take one every morning the moment I woke up. As an young adult, I would light a cigarette, start the coffee maker and take my shower. The more fettered and cluttered my life became with the birth of my son, and the current incarnation of my business the morning shower became a pain that took too long, so it was put off until the last moment of each day. For you see, showers for me were loooooong. Not just since I grew my hair.. but always even in the short hair times in the 80's. Long showers of at least 20 minutes were the norm for me. My parents complained, my boyfriends complained... I did not care.
The rituals of bathing are important to me, the products to use, the exfoliations, the hair removal and the standing still in the steamy water for minutes rinsing my hair and just thinking. Thinking of nothing, thinking of my day, thinking of whatever. Crying in the shower is often a cathartic thing for me too.. it helps to hide your tears when you are a single mom doncha know!
There is no hair washing and such, no hair removal and it only takes like 3 minutes for me to wash all the other bits. I exfoliate a little, I choose another soap, I do my feet, I scrub my nails.. I wash my face and bald head etc etc... and then I stand there and after a minute I am mildly annoyed and get out.
So, now I have the time to take the long missed daily morning shower, but now I cannot make them stretch to get all the long relaxing thinking,planning, dreaming time!
... and y'all know I am not switching to boring old baths...

Monday, April 28, 2008

worst day yet

I hope tomorrow is a better day, these side effects are really getting the better of me.
I am going back to bed for the 3rd time. Staying up is pointless.

Friday, April 25, 2008

yucky day

Day 3 (Day 16) is a Yucky Day this time around.
I feel nauseous and heartburny and weak and generally just low. I am at the store, but I feel just like going back to bed.
My mood is fine, despite the fact that most of my hair fell out this morning after my shower.I avoided touching it yesterday, kind of knowing it was on it's way out, or off as it were. Today I combed so much out I no longer have a hair line at the front... just some Elmer Fudd like receding thing. I think tonight it will be the shaving party.
We had the bye bye boobie party, we had the haircutting event and the mohawk party, now... onto the shaving party.

My high school reunion is next weekend and I have been threatening to the people that don't want to come that " if I can go to my high school reunion with one boob and no hair then you can go!" I was hoping to have the mohawk for the reunion, but no such luck!
Today I am wearing the dreaded scarf on my head to cover the receding hair line... but the scarf thing really is not my scene! There may be a few hats on my head this summer, but scarves....? I don't think so!
This gig will not look like someones grandmothers cancer!
Now, to order the henna tattoos for my bald head!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Here we are back at day 1 again

And so it begins again.
Day 14, is also day 1.
Chemo is in a few hours and I am dreading it.
I can already taste the chemicals in my mouth and feel the heavy poison feeling in my bones.
My knight in shining armour will show up in about an hour to get us to the hospital waiting room where we will sit for hours waiting for a treatment that takes 45 minutes. I should be home in time for dinner.
I made soup, because that is what I craved last time and I hope this time I feel similarly. It would suck if I craved pizza, or some other thing when I went to the trouble of making homemade soup.
We shall see.
I met an old customer/ friend at the hospital yesterday. Another woman who has chosen to go wigless, which I like. Sad she has to go through chemo too, but happy to see someone I know in that horrible place.
I have been riding around town on my new bike for the last few days and went for a long nordic walk ( walking with x-country ski type poles) yesterday. I hope I can keep this active over the next few days. I am going to try.
I did have a lot of trouble sleeping last night... my 9 year old came in to sleep with me very early, and he is very restless in my bed though he thinks he sleeps well there. My mind would not relax to let me sleep, and getting kicked by my kid did not make it an easy night.
I am off to shower, and watch more of my hair fall out as I wash it(a new and annoying development this week)so I can be ready, clean and happy for camp chemo.

I know I am nervous by the rambling way I am typing.

I'll see ya when I get back!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

nothing to worry about

I have been slow to blog this week.
I have worked all week at the store which has been tiring but productive. I haven't been blogging likely because I have been talking every moment of the day to someone at the store about my condition. I kinda forgot I had a blog really, and most days I kinda wanted to forget I had breast cancer.
The press from last weekend all came out this week. 1 hit in the Hamilton Spectator
and 1 in the Dundas Star
Both well read local rags, but we got a lot of visits at the store as a result. Strangely though, a lot of people came in, wished me well and bought nothing.

Sometimes I think people really don't get it. This week when someone says "What can I do?" I am teaching myself to say, "Shop at my store" ... why? because your spending leads directly to my grocery bill, your spending leads directly to my kids next pair of shoes, your spending leads directly to the $300 of heartburn meds and dental bills I had from this weeks side effects from chemo.

I had a mouth sore in the back of my mouth (mouth sores are common in chemo patients) that started early in the week, by Wednesday I could barely get a fork in my mouth because my jaw felt so bruised. I assumed at this point that it must be an absessed tooth because it was so painful. Some expensive mouthwash and a dental X-ray later said that it was just a huge sore very deep behind my very last tooth.
Now, I have 3 other meds to take to get rid of it, and have been on a mostly liquid diet for 3 days. Don't even get me started on the heartburn issues!
I am sure lots of you have had heartburn. Those of you who have been pregnant may have had killer heartburn that lasted for months... this is of that variety.When I carried Luke I had many months of heartburn that was brought on by his foot being jammed too high up. I ate bottles and bottles of Tums that autumn. Sadly, so far none of the $100 worth of over the counter remedies have worked to calm this version.
Happily, since day 6 my energy levels are much higher. Everyday it seems to get easier. Today is day 12, and from here until Wednesday I am med free for the most part. The yucky injecttions are done until Friday and Chemo is not 'til Wednesday.
I am going to try and go for a long walk tomorrow after I work for a few hours.

I am really not looking forward to chemo, but this time there is no mystery and I am prepared.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hair.... and feeeling yucky

Today is Day 6. Day 4 was a whirlwind tour of press and photographers at the store from 11am. Interviews and Demos and then my haircut and lots of friends, family and customers in attendance. I rested and we headed to TO to get my hair properly shorn.
A few months ago Tim asked if I would get a Mohawk, as you know.
So, I did.
I got it bleached for an hour and then the hairdresser spent another hour colouring and making it stand up on end!
I was so tired by the end I could barely get home.
Day 5 was simply awful.
I was the most tired I have been since the chemo and the surgery and felt too ghastly to even get to work. If you know me, you know it takes a lot to keep me from working!
I got up and dressed, but the thought of trying to keep upright to serve customers made me cry. I felt guilty sending Tim to cancel the staff and put a sign in the window, but I simply would not have made it through even an hour. I spent all day, all night and most of today in bed.
I was told it might be this way, but now I believe.
The new injection I must take is not helping either. It comes with it's own long list of S/E's( side effects) which are also yucky.
I am praying that days 11-14 when I have no chemo and no injection I will feel almost normal.
Who knows!?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stumbled through day #2

I am off to bed verrry early 2 nite.
Day 2 was ok, but heavy.
I am weary after being on my feet most of the day. I lay down at 6 and cooked dinner with Luke and now I feel like I need to crash. Very odd for the 1 am bedtime girl. But I am glad my steroid regimen had not prevented me from sleeping.
Tomorrow I start my white blood cell count booster shot, and Day 3 may be a beastly hurdle or some some people say.
I can only wake up and see.

Home and up on day 2

I am home, and 15 hours after chemo I feel less crappy than expected. Tired, a little sore in the back and legs but not too bad
Some people crash on day 3 -5 ( Chemo day being day 1) so I am not too optimistic that this will remain. My steroid set up is diff from my moms, so I only get it for a few days and that is where the crash comes in. Yesterday was tough, but mostly just tiredness and very stoned ( there is no other way to describe it). There was a point where my sinuses felt like I was injected with champagne. All bubbly and uncomfortable. In my mind, it was Veuve Clicquot though!
Apparently I was pretty bitchy because I had almost no censor before I spoke. I have a very light filter for my words in general, hence my rep for being outspoken.

I slept well, and have had my normal breakfast so all in all- so far.
More later!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

To Mohawk, or not to Mohawk

So, at least half of you will hate this idea, or so I believe.

I am planning to cut off all my hair on the 12th as you have read.

After the public hair cut I have to have it styled. The original plan was to shave my head anyway, but for fun get a mohawk. My high school reunion for the classes of the 1980's here in Dundas is less than a month after chemo starts so theoretically I will have some hair left by then. What better way to rebel against cancer than an aggressive haircut? What better way to rebel against any good girl image anyone may still have of me?
But truly, I have always wanted to be 'Storm' from the Uncanny Xmen in the 80's-NO not the heinous Halle Berry version (yes she is hot, but Storm she is not!) I had a Storm costume for the 'Chateau' Halloween party at Middlebury College in 1986( maybe '85) and I stood in the girls dorm washroom shaving the sides of my head much to the chagrin of the preppy white girls. I left the top of my Robert Smith like hair sticking up as high as I could hairspray it.

This is how I hope it will be next week.

Where the heck is Wolverine when you need him anyway?

I figure his admantium claws could remove cancer cells.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008