Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Who Sank The Boat?

In the warmth of my bathroom, I take off my beanie. It's a sorry sight, I'm afraid. For the first time I look bald. There are a few patches around the back. But if I look straight into the mirror, I am bald. My theory is that I will be hairless, apart from the fine hair that insists on hanging about, by the next treatment. The hair loss has really been a slow process. Not as dramatic as I had imagined. My eyebrows and eyelashes are still there. I can be thankful for that.

Day One in the cycle has been ok. I was so excited to have bowel movement today (remember I said that I would include it all). I resist the notion of breast cancer taking over my life but it's so hard not to get caught up in it all. I recall having two newborns and my monitoring of their wet and soiled nappies. Someone's got to do it, right? Well, the aforementioned occurrence meant that I wouldn't need any assistance. Good news.

I had two naps today; one in the morning and another in the afternoon. Again, I wasn't falling asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. It's just that I get the need for my body to rest. Despite my rest, by the end of the day I was so on edge. Nothing anyone did was good enough, quiet enough or quick enough. This is not me. I'm usually more patient. I will blame the chemo or the hormones. It's just not me. So, I hear this is pretty normal. While it's great to hear I'm not alone, when I'm in the moment of being totally annoyed beyond belief it's hard. It will pass though. A couple of days of that perhaps? Sorry mi familia.

My elbows have been sore. I am not sure whether it's the aches and pains that come with chemo or if it's more to do with the workouts I had been doing in the week before chemo. Either way, it will be something that I will keep an eye on.

In my crazy obsession to stay away from germy humans I have had to knock back a few outings this round. That's a downer. On the upside, a few months ago my surgeon had commented that in the scheme of things this short amount of time given to the treatment of breast cancer is such a small percentage of my life. So, I often quote that. It's true. I suppose it can be said of most of the things that we experience in life. Things are all consuming when we walk through them but once we get to the other side it never seems as bad. Or at least, we are able to see the good that can actually come out of terrible situations. I've been fortunate enough to hear a number of speakers share some tragedies in their life and they have become stronger. When I think of them, my challenge is small. And, even now, I think I am able to say that this cancer has brought more good than bad. I have learnt much, grown a lot and had a few of my own little ideas turned on their head. How else would I have got all that in a few months? No regrets here.

Having said that, I wouldn't mind a remote control to fast-forward through the next week. Tomorrow marks the day in the last cycle when I began my three day stint in bed. If I wake up feeling ok, that would be amazing. It would mean that I may skip that. Oh please let it be! We'll see.

What I have been seeing in myself though are definitely signs of menopause. What? I'm thirty and I am going through menopause? Weird. During the night I have been waking feeling all sweaty. Yes, on these cold winter nights. I just found out that they are called, night sweats. I have to admit I don't get the whole menopause thing. Will I be experiencing this for ages? Do I get these side effects for a bit and then do they pass? Am I now officially infertile? So many questions? Why don't women talk about these things? Have they been talking and was I just not listening? That, my friends, is more than likely.

And, as for the question, "Who sank the boat?" The needle nearly had me tonight. Neulasta is it's name. It reduces the risk of infection caused by the rapid decline of white blood cells. It enabled my oncologist to site my blood results as being "perfect" when I went in for my chemo yesterday. Before my personal nurse arrived (mother-in-love), I held the husband and confessed that I was upset about the needle. He matter-of-factly- reminded me that I had been through far worse. I didn't cry (although I really wanted to). It was enough. I (start playing the violins) have always been so fearful of doctors, nurses, hospitals and here I was appendix-less, I'd had two emergency caesarean sections, a lumpectomy, an auxiliary clearance and chemo and still so pathetically weak. One would really think that you would get used to all this medical attention. Well, I haven't. And, as things roll on it's clear that I never will. I allowed the needle to be given. It was sore. I whinged. I cringed. It was over. Thank you (not really).

No plans for tomorrow. Will see what it brings.

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