Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Going the Distance

OK, the little hairs on my head were driving me nuts, they were falling out rapidly all the past week, worse than any cat shedding. The little hairs were clogging the drain, getting all over the tub, and into my clothes where they itched like crazy. On Saturday, in a completely spur of the moment thought over breakfast, I went over to my regular hairdressers (Jamie was there getting a cut) and he buzzed the rest of my hair off. I have rough “peach fuzz” (although no self respecting peach should feel this way) and that will likely be out of my head in a week or so. Jamie took photos of this on her phone camera, not sure if they will download well, but we will see. First Eddie did a Mohawk so I can say I had one (for all of a minute). Just in case Sofie asks someday…by the way, she watched the whole thing. She thinks it looks funny. But that great card Brenda Laribee sent (from Trader Joe’s) helped, to prepare her for the totally naked head look.

Bald is, well, a bit of a startle, but, so this has to be better.

I actually got good feedback from some of my faithful readers who saw the photos of the first buzz and told me I looked “hot”. Hot is so not what I feel these days, but I took those compliments to heart and so now, with my totally Melissa E bald head, I am feeling pretty fine. In the house, I just go bare headed. Outside, I sometimes wear what I call “the chemo patient headscarf” but that is ok too.

Today is Tuesday, four days after treatment two. The pain is pretty harsh from Sunday through Tuesday. But otherwise, not too bad in terms of other stuff. Took the anti nausea pill the first night the next day. No nausea. I am grateful every time that happens. Still my worst fear. Saturday, went to breakfast with Jamie and Sofie. Then I took Sofie for a while so Jamie could do an appointment, I went to the Triangle Families parenting conference, and Sofie went to child care there, totally free (which was so nice). When it was lunchtime, I came upstairs to find her helping out with the setting up of the lunch tables, she was quite proud of herself. We had lunch together, and played with the babies after for a while. Then we left to go to the hair place. After that, Loco pops run and then Jamie took her to a kids concert, I went to Costco for one thing (and got a few more, of course) and then went home. I need to rest a bit. That bit of normalcy on a Saturday totally exhausted me. Wore my “cancer patient” head scarf today, leaving Dee Dee to the work days. At home, wearing a bandana, the air was on and my head was cold! I was ready for bed before 6:45 PM. B O R I N G, this life of mine.

I upped my Netflix subscription and saw three films in the past week. And I am caught up on all series (Huff, Big Love, West Wing and Desperate Housewives) that I watch sporadically.

Sunday, on the big drugs, I went to see Kate Clinton in a benefit performance for SWOOP, Strong Women Organizing Outrageous Projects. SWOOP does great work rehabbing run down properties for non profits, or assisting with painting and landscaping for older folks who cannot do it anymore. They do one big project a month.

I was more or less on the event committee. Kate was hilarious, and in top form. Laughing felt good, even if my joints and bones were achy.

Jamie and I have been swapping Sofie back and forth this weekend, we split the cost of the new sitter. I was desperate to find a new babysitter, I keep hiring excellent ones who are seniors or grad students and then before you know it, they are finished and they leave school. Becca, the new person, is great with Sofie, and most important, Sofie liked her.

Speaking of kids, it was completely blissful last Friday after chemo to be sans child and have time to myself, even if I did not do much with it! I had been pretty much with Sofie the past two weeks full time, so I was ready. I was alone at chemo this time, had rides to and from, but alone there, thanks to Tracey and Betty. I was totally fine, in fact, I wanted to try that out. I watched a movie on the portable player and started another, but then I was done. It was easy and went well, so that was good. Volunteers come around from time to time, bringing beverages or crackers…So I was able to get a diet coke when I wanted one. I brought healthy foods (apples and carrots) for snack and my own coffee, I am so spoiled now, I tote my Peets in the travel cup pretty much everywhere, even out to breakfast.

Now, I long for a massage. And I am planning one, again thanks to Tracey. And I have had wonderful messages, cards and calls from friends. As this is now “one third done” (two of six treatments down), I am feeling quite grateful and appreciative of everyone in my life. (Originally written May 9, 2006)

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