Sunday, January 1, 2012
A New Year and...??
(A coupla pix of me when I looked more like the "normal" people do. It's all I have to hold on to, so you gotta indulge me...)
Well, here it is, 2012. And I actually DID make it to midnight (unlike someone else who shall remain nameless), although I watched the ball drop @ Times Square an hour earlier than that.
Had a low-key day (New Year's Eve): Saturday night church, dinner @ a good local restaurant, and then a drink at a local establishment closer to this place. Was probably back here by 10:30.
The hair is just about gone now. But amazing, how much you can still shed, given that so much of your scalp is showing. Now have two wigs, and the first one (which I bought via the American Cancer Society because the color was similar to mine and the style was, also) will need some further trimming. I knew, based on the description, that it would be too long, but as my stylist said, she prefers to under-trim the length and let me wear it, before I decide I need more length removed. I'll try to post some photos.
I cried in the shower again yesterday. The loss, the loss... Ironically, my health appears to be just fine: good energy level, decent appetite, and so on. But it is just so hard to accept the hair loss. Wigs are truly a pain in the ass (if this offends you, you should never read my blog again), because when you are mostly hairless, it is difficult to keep that damned "dead cat" on your head. Think of it: it SLIDES, folks. And truly, I do NOT like the hats and turbans - I don't want something to scream "cancer" the minute I walk into the room, truly I do not. I want to live my life as normally as possible, although being under the medical micro-management that this requires, IS irritating, at best, and at its worst, really pisses me off when I am very down or feeling unjustly "blessed" with another thing that SOME believe is a situation that "God doesn't give you anything you can't handle". Yeah, early widowhood isn't enough, is it? So for all of you blissfully leading happy, carefree lives, you can thank me for handling something that apparently YOU cannot handle? You see how ridiculous that statement is?
Other statements: don't drown in the "pity pot" (said by someone who has NOT talked to me in person and does not read this blog and had not gone thru this, either); and countless folks who say that I am strong and I can handle it. Trust me, I would have to a friggin' brick wall to be THAT strong. Especially when the chemo gave me the heart attack symptoms. I am only 5'3" and weigh under 115. (Maybe less without hair??) How strong should I be, at this size - and at this age, too?
Oh, and I would appreciate it if you do not mention any of your family members who have died from cancer. I already am facing my own mortality in a way that I never, ever thought about before. If you can't say something positive, then don't say anything at all. People told me (following my husband's death) that they could relate, because their father, brother, in-laws died. Not. The. Same. At. All.
Anyway, I am trying to be positive as I face chemo #2 on Wednesday. We will head to the Cities Tuesday afternoon and stay at my nephew and his wife's place for the short drive to the Mpls. campus for a medical check-in plus the chemo scheduled after that. I don't know if they will try to start #2 at a slower rate or not. From what I have been told, each round of chemo can be different from the other one(s). I hope the assigned nurse noted my symptoms from round #1. Plus they do NOT know about the bleeding and lowered hemoglobin which occurred a few days after that, either.
Sorry to keep returning to the hair thing. But. Don't. Tell. Me. It. Is. Only. Hair. So far from being true that I cannot even relate to someone who says that. Just please shut up, if that's the only "supportive" thing you can say.
So (for other cancer sufferers who are also wading thru some of these same statements) what CAN you say? How about a hug, or a comment that you can appreciate what a struggle this is for you. Truly, those same movements and comments also apply to widows and widowers.
Getting off my soapbox. Hope to post some photos with this blog later tonight. I want to be as open as possible (don't worry, none of 'em will be nudes), and I am shedding my desire to hide away, so that others can see just what some of the treatment entails. Not trying to shock, but instead to share.
First photo: all the hair products and accessories that I will not be able to use for probably over a year (if I am that fortunate).
Second photo: hair loss for about a day-and-a-half, before I had most of it cut off. There's a up-ended shot glass behind the pile, just for perspective.
Third photo: hair on its way out, me with my face covered. This openness is not as easy as I had hoped.
Fourth photo: face uncovered. Again, not so easy to do.
Fifth photo: the hat (or something similar to it) that I will be wearing for months (or maybe a year -- who knows), in order to not freeze my naked head and to not look so ugly to anyone who might pop in, or to my significant other. You have no idea what a hassle it is, to wear a wig. Maybe I'll post some wig pix tomorrow.
Anyway, this has been a tough post to publish. So I'm outta here for tonight.