I’ll be doing something and forget what I’m doing. I’ll be talking to someone and just trail off. My reflexes and reaction times suck, one of the reasons I stay home from work during hell week – no one needs to be on the road with my chemo brain behind the wheel.
I can’t concentrate enough to read, even for pleasure. Same with writing, just can’t put the thoughts together.
It was better this last cycle, and I think that had something to do with taking a lower dose of steroids. But it still wasn’t great. I was just less lightheaded and spacey, but still a bit of a spaz.
So funny story, sort of.
Background: I forget to do stuff. All. The. Time. When I was home during my last hell week, every day I told myself “do this, do that.” I never did it because I never remembered. Simple stuff, too, like checking the mail or pulling meat out to thaw. So I finally made a list so I wouldn’t forget. Worked like a charm.
Back to the sort of funny story…the other day I went to the grocery store…without a list! I was so incredibly lost. I went there with the specific purpose of getting ingredients for sliders. I spent a really long time shopping for fruit, browsing the ice cream, texting my BFF, and wandering around trying to remember what went on the sliders. Each slider had like three ingredients, and it just wouldn’t compute. I wish I’d been wearing my FitBit because I bet I logged some serious steps in there from walking back and forth across the store.
Moral of the story, make a list! Always make a list!
I had another echocardiogram and ultrasound yesterday. It was my six week follow up for each.
Echo was good. Heart was squeezing just fine and there was no extra fluid. The tech was great, as usual, and they had a new bed in there. It was comfy. Process was the same as the last. My blood pressure was randomly low, but it seemed to be a fluke.
Ultrasound was great! JP was barely detectable, and that’s just after two treatments!
I met with Dr JB’s Physician’s Assistant (PA), M. We talked a little about surgery options. I will still need to have some kind of surgery after the chemo is complete because, while the mass may shrink to nothingness, some tissue will still be left and it can grow back. So, at the very least, they need to remove the remnants through a lumpectomy.
If I have a lumpectomy, it’s still highly likely that the cancer will return, so I’ll need to be monitored through frequent mammograms and MRIs…pretty much forever.
Another option is mastectomy, which is the full removal of the breast tissue, single or double. With single, the other side will still have to be watched. Double, the chances of recurrence are drastically reduced. Also, with mastectomy comes reconstruction, which can/would be done at the same time, and can be done using belly fat rather than implant materials.
There would also be some node removal, somewhere in there. I’ll have more info on that at my next appointment in November, when I meet with Dr JB and the plastic surgeon for a consult.
Some of this will depend on what the genetic testing says, too, so I’m not in a hurry to make a decision. I need more facts. But honestly, I’m leaning towards whatever will significantly reduce my future cancer risk, because I would love to not have to go through chemo again. That would be great! That’s sort of my guiding light at this point.
Anyway, I’m still hanging out in bed. I’ve been up for a while, reducing my phone battery to 55% from all the playing I’ve been doing for the last few hours. I feel good, it’s been a great week! Of course I’ve still had some moderate diarrhea, but at least it wasn’t like the lava of last week (thank you, liquid Pepto!).
My new favorite gif, by the way…
If you haven’t seen bridesmaids, it’s worth it for Melissa McCarthy.
Anyway, I’m just getting myself hyped up to clean and make some sliders for the football game today.
I’ve been without my hair for a couple weeks now, so I wanted to follow up to see if I was right or wrong about some of these pros I listed while looking at the bright side of hair loss.
– Hair Clogs In Drain: Truth! I actually stopped to listen to the sound of water going straight down the shower drain this morning, versus the soundlessness when it has to bypass hair clumps.
– No More Shedding: Not quite there yet. I still have a buzz, and those hairs are taking their sweet time coming out. They will come out when I wash my head and when I run my hand over it, but they’re not shedding profusely. Also, they’re tiny! So aside from one hair splinter on my ear (ouch!), I can’t see them lying around the way I would have seen my long hair.
– Shorter Showers: Yes and no. I am finished in the shower pretty quickly, honestly I always have been that way, but I like to stand under the hot spray for no reason other than it feels nice. So I’m not exactly quick, but whatever.
– Saving Money on Hair Expenses: Yes! Canceled my hair cut for this Friday, actually, so that saved me a few dollars! I imagine this mega bottle of Johnson’s baby wash will last me a while, too.
– Less Laundry: True! I do have a little hair turban thing that I put on my head after the shower because my head gets cold, but I’m not using a full size towel on my hair anymore, so that’s nice!
– Wigs: Yep, glamorous. Also hot. I have 2, haven’t worn them yet because it’s honestly so warm! I can’t even wear some of the thicker hats and scarves I have because I get too hot. But I can’t really go bald either because then I get too cold!
– Other Hair: Yes! Leg hair and underarm hair are also falling out, also taking their time. What stinks is that I shaved a while back, so the hair is kind of trapped in limbo because it isn’t really long enough to fall out, but it’s just long enough for me to feel it. Ugh.
– Head Rest/Hair Knot in the Way: This has been great! I can lay down anywhere and lean against anything.
– No Hair Tie Headache: Truth! It has been great, however I still have some follicle discomfort so my scalp does occasionally ache. I imagine that’ll go away once the hair is completely gone.
– Two words: blow dryer: Nothing to add here!
– Two more words: straight iron: Nothing to add here!
– Brad Massage Feet: Haven’t had him do this yet, but he’s been a trooper with everything else, I imagine this will be no different.
– Cute Hats And Head Wraps: Heck yeah! I love them. I even wear them to bed because my head gets super cold!
– Shower Then Sleep: True story!
– It’ll grow back: To be proven.
– When it grows back, it may be cooler than before: To be determined.
So there you have it!
There are some cons, and right now that’s mainly two things:
1. Temperature. I go from hot to cold and vice versa in 0.18 seconds.
2. People stare and/or pity. I like to blend, and my cute wraps make me stick out like a sore thumb. They sometimes give sad or sympathetic smiles/looks. I get it, I’ve probably done it, but like people with disabilities, I just want to be looked at (or ignored) like everyone else.
I’ve debated talking about costs for a little while now. I may have mentioned something back when I was having the scans done, about how expensive an MRI or a CT scan were, but I didn’t want to make it seem like I was looking for sympathy or a hand-out. I’m not. I have insurance, good insurance, that is covering my medical expenses. I’ve had to pay some towards the deductible and co-pays, but it’s such a small percentage of the entire cost of my treatment.
It’s kind of funny because when I enrolled in my husband’s health insurance plan, I complained about the monthly cost. We’re basically paying the monthly premium, without a discount, for me to be added to the company plan. It’s not terrible, especially since Brad’s coverage is free as an employee. While it is still more than we’ve ever paid for the two of us to have insurance, it’s really not that bad and I know there are people out there who have it much, much worse. I just had one of those “holy crap” moments when I saw the dollar amount and griped about it for a minute. We all like our payroll deductions to be at a minimum, you know?
Anyway…I just received the EOB (explanation of benefits) from my insurance provider for my first chemo cycle. This includes the two chemo drugs, two hormones, pre-meds, doctor visit, nurse care, labs, and the immune shot that I get in a cycle. Different people, different cancers, have different cocktails, providers, protocols, etc. so the cost isn’t the same for everyone – some may be higher, some may be lower.
So the amount billed to my insurance for my first chemo cycle, the items mentioned above, was $57,000.
Let’s put that into perspective for a moment…the median annual household income in the United States in 2016 was $56,516. Yeah. I racked up that expense in one day.
I’m having six rounds of chemo. That’s around $342,000 total (future treatments may be less since the first round did include a loading dose, so I’ll update when I get the next EOB).
And that’s just the cost of the chemotherapy treatment (one of the chemo drugs alone is $21K!). That’s not including all the diagnostic scans I had done in the beginning. It does not include the port surgery. It’s not including the six week ultrasounds and echo cardiograms. It doesn’t include surgery to remove the mass, should I need it. It’s not including the hormone therapy I’ll need over the 34 weeks following the chemo. It doesn’t include the surgery to remove the port once I’m done. That’s just the chemo.
I am so thankful I have insurance that’s covering this. I can’t imagine the struggle for people without insurance. I’m sure there are programs out there for those individuals, but they still have to worry about it. I don’t have to worry about it, and I’m grateful for that.
When I started this journey. I had no idea how much all this would cost. I assumed it would be expensive, but I didn’t know how expensive. I didn’t know the cost of a scan, let alone chemo. I went into it blind, knowing that I had insurance that would at least cover some of the expense, and I’d find a way to cover the rest. It was cancer for crying out loud, I’d start selling off the good body parts to pay for the damn treatment. One of the financial counselors at my oncologist’s office applied for some funding for me to help with some of the out of pocket expenses for treatment, it was for five thousand dollars, and she said that when that ran out (if granted), there were more funds to apply to. I remember asking her if the chemo was going to cost more than what the grant was for. Ha. I had no clue! No clue at all. And I never asked, because I honestly didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to have something else to be anxious about.
So yeah. There you have it. ‘And I’d thought the scans were expensive…
Things to note:
Yes, my insurance was billed for that amount, but because of the agreements insurances have with medical providers, there are allowable amounts and all that stuff I don’t understand, so the amount my insurance would pay (and what would be extended to me had I not already met all my maxes this year) is less than that.
This isn’t a complaint post. I’m not complaining. The treatment is working. JP is shrinking. I can’t wait to see how much smaller he is on the ultrasound next week!
Let me start by saying I’m using that lyric in reference to the original song, not the remake. Mmmkay?
So yeah, it’s that part of the cycle again.
I feel cruddy. My body is sore, my throat is a little sore and tight, my head hurts, I’m tired, etc. Waa waa waa. I don’t want to read or write, so I’m just laying in my bed and occasionally listening to books on tape. I’m bored, but don’t really have enough strength or brain power to do anything productive, which sucks because there’s a lot I could be doing for school and around the house. I finally reconciled my bank account yesterday after about a week, that was fun. I hate falling behind.
I’m hungry, and so far I’ve been able to eat. I get nauseated, but that’s what the Zofran is for. I learned what I could tolerate last cycle, so we stocked up this time. I had Campbell’s chicken and dumpling soup yesterday, the kind in the plastic microwaveable bowl, and it was wonderful. Today I had oatmeal, this time the fruit and cream variety, not the plain cardboard type. It was good. Then I had macaroni and cheese for lunch – a Kraft microwaveable bowl. Not all the healthiest of selections, I know, but I’m managing with what I can. I had a sandwich yesterday with meat, veggies and avocados, so my system seems to be allowing some variety, I just don’t always have the umf to make it fresh. I can also tolerate water better this time around, more so than the Crystal Light that was my saving grace last time. It’s so weird how things flip and flop like that.
Things that are particularly annoying: sounds. Phone ringing, door bell, text tones, dog barking, etc. It’s making me quite irritable, which I’m sure is just pleasant given all my charming characteristics as of late.
Brad has been a real trooper. He’s always been super tolerant of me, but he should get an award after this, even though he’d deny deserving it. “Can you get me this?” “Never mind, not this, that.” “I realize you worked all week and weekend, but I want popsicles.” “I left my puzzle book in the other room.” “Has Daisy been outside?” “I want a popsicle, but a good flavor.” His personal assistant job description does include criteria about mind reading, FYI. And he does it all without whining about it AND giving me compliments, which I’m not so sure I’d manage if the roles were reversed. I’m tired from doing nothing, so I’m sure he’s exhausted.
So kudos to the cancer spouses, caregivers, parents, children, siblings, etc. Your job is hard, too. Really hard.
What else is new? Well, the diarrhea is back. That started around 1:00am last night and continued every couple hours throughout the night. It stopped around 11:00am, I think. Then happened once again since, but it at least seems to have slowed down. I’m taking in fluids and took Pepto, so hopefully we’re on the upside of that, though after last cycle it’s anybody’s guess. I’m doing my best to stay horizontal and not jostle anything.
I mentioned nausea…that’s been pretty persistent, and I wonder if it’s because I’m eating more and trying to be a little more active? The medicine helps, so I can’t complain, but it’s definitely more present this cycle than last.
My tastes haven’t completely become shot just yet, and I’ve been able to taste what I eat, but I do have that horrible taste in my mouth. Yuck. I need some peppermints, the red and white ones, you know? Those seem to help. (*cough*Brad*cough*) The blue and green ones are too close to mouthwash right now, and my gag reflex is ready!
Daisy has had enough of my boring self. She keeps looking at me and sighing these big huffy sighs. Like, “Come on, ma. Get up. Watch me roll on the floor. Watch me chew my foot. Watch me scratch.” She’s just not used to me being home and doesn’t know what to do with herself, or me.
Whoa is her.
But anyway, I’m on the flip side! I should be feeling pretty good by the weekend, so I’m looking forward.
Tomorrow I have labs, so we’ll see how I’m doing, and maybe if I’m feeling like garbage I’ll get some fluids while I’m there. Next Friday, the 27th, I have my six week echocardiogram to see how my heart is doing with all the poison. Then, after that, I’ll have an ultrasound of JP to see what’s happening there.
I think I’m going to crawl out of bed and get a popsicle. 🙃
I can’t remember if I mentioned that when I met with Dr YB before my chemo, we talked about my symptoms and side effects, and he recommended only taking half the prescription steroid I take the three days following chemo. The reason for this was because a) it seemed like several of my symptoms could be a direct result of the steroid, and b) not all people need the steroid.
So the question is, have I noticed much of a difference with that change? I’m less foggy, lightheaded, and fatigued. That’s been wonderful, because it has allowed me to be more active. I made dinner twice this week! Last cycle, I was horizontal.
As far as my digestive tract, it’s nearly identical to last cycle. I warded off potential nausea the night of/morning after chemo with the Zofran. I had one BM Tuesday night after chemo, nothing since. I have Mirolax to take tomorrow if things don’t happen in that department. We all know how I appreciate regularity in my life. Ha! I also have a lot of heartburn, Thursday in particular. I took some pepto, and later an over-the-counter heartburn medicine, with some relief, but not a lot. Tried to sleep in a reclined position to ward off discomfort. Worked a little, not a ton, especially when I was woken up by some jackass in a pickup truck with no muffler, messing around on the road behind my house. Thanks, dude. Appreciate it at midnight.
What else? Ah! After chemo on Tuesday, I napped for about two hours. After the first cycle, when I woke up every couple hours throughout the night, I decided I would allow myself a nap, damn Benadryl, but wouldn’t go to bed for the night until later, like 11:00pm. So that’s what I did. Or tried to do. But I never slept!!! I was up ALL. Night. Long. And Wednesday, I was functional on no sleep. I worked two sessions. Then I went for the Neulasta shot and the MA (same sweet gal I had last cycle for labs who got me fluids!!) told me it was the steroid drip I had the day before. That can disrupt your sleep. Yay…not. If there’s anything I like more than food, it’s sleep.
I slept fine Wednesday night. Woohoo!
Appetite has been fine, and I’ve been able to continue to drink water. By the end of the first week of my first chemo cycle, I was already having trouble drinking water because the taste was salty. I loaded up on juices and stuff this time around because I wanted to have an alternative to water in case that aversion comes back, and so far I prefer the water, which is great! I hope it lasts.
Dry skin on my hands. Annoying. The top layer of skin is cracking a little bit on the sides and knuckles and it just peels and peels and peels. I’m using lotion, but it doesn’t really seem preventable at this point since it’s already peeling. It’s annoying, but not causing discomfort or pain.
Less tingling this time around. I think the tingling was the hair follicles dying everywhere, so I’m guessing since they’re already dead, that’s not going to happen in the same way. Taxotere is no joke! That’s the chemo drug that generates all the excitement. It’s a pain in the butt, but it’s killing my cancer, so it’s a small price to pay!
So that pretty much sums it up so far. I feel like it’s been less eventful, but I haven’t hit that 7-10 day mark yet, and that will be the true test. That’s when the appetite left the building last cycle and I was probably less than pleasant to live with. Here’s hoping that water and me continue to get along, at the very least, and that some of the easy foods I purchased in anticipation of that part of the cycle work out!
One of the greatest things to have when you’re going through hell, a.k.a. cancer, is support. And man, I’m one of the luckiest people in the world because I’ve got a ton of it.
It comes in different forms. A like, reaction, or comment on a Facebook or blog post. A phone call or a text, email or a Facebook message. A homemade dinner, snacks, or take-out from a favorite restaurant. A ride. Company. Flowers. Coloring books. A port pillow. Things to make me more comfortable. Things to make me laugh. Things to occupy my time. Things to keep me informed. The basic understanding that I may need to throw it all across the room at some point.
I’ve received so much, both tangible things and intangible things, from people I’ve known my entire life, people I’ve known twenty years, ten years, one or two years, a few weeks, a few months, and people I don’t even know at all. It’s amazing how various communities of people will come together to lift your spirits, whether it’s family, friends, co-workers (old and new), classmates, teachers, or just people with similar likes and interests as me.
Just know, if you’re one of the above, you rock! And hey, if you’re reading this post, you’re one of the above! So rock on!! You have absolutely no idea how much something as simple as a “like” makes me smile. It means you’re there, and that means you’re cool. Keep doing what you’re doing!
On the flip side, it also makes me miss the hell out of some of you people! So if you want to make a quick trip to SC, do it!! I have space, a comfy futon, air mattress, and couch. Also, there are hotels everywhere around here! I am definitely planning some travel when this is all over, too, and I just might be coming to a town near you! Haha. 😉
So this was a tad bit different than the first. Of course, I had the port, so it was easy access. It was much cooler having everything go through my chest than my arm, I could flail all I wanted and no tubes were disrupted…not that I flailed. Who me??
Started with vitals and blood. Everything was good. Everything is doing its job. Score! I talked with the doc and he was pleased with everything. Asked me about the mass, and I admitted it was less apparent than it had been in the beginning. He said, “Yeah! And that’s only after one round.”
So yeah, JP is less apparent. He’s still there. But he’s not as firm and close to the surface as he was, at least he doesn’t feel that way. It’s so hard to tell through all the fluffy tissue, but there’s absolutely a change.
Also, there was a lady there getting chemo today. She was across the room so we didn’t chat, but I overheard her saying that this was her last round, and on her last ultrasound the doctor couldn’t even find the mass! I don’t know what type of cancer she has (or had?!), but how awesome is that? That’s exactly what I want to happen. It would be an epically awesome Christmas present. My next ultrasound is scheduled for October 27th, the same day as my next echocardiogram. Then my next chemo cycle will be that following Monday.
Back to today. I was there from about 8:30 until 2:00. It was much shorter since there wasn’t a loading dose and they shorten the administration of some of the drugs since I showed tolerance to them the last time. Maybe tolerance isn’t the right word, maybe it’s durability? Ha! I don’t know, but basically I didn’t have any reactions or immediate side effects, so instead of administering the dose over an hour, they did thirty minutes or forty-five. That was nice!
To access the port, they clean the area with alcohol, then there’s a little scrub brush with some cleaner, it kind of looks like one or those sponges on the end of a tube that you fill with soap to clean inside glasses? Anyway, they do that. Now, approximately thirty minutes before my appointment, I put some lidocaine cream on the site to numb it a little bit. Yeah…I still felt the initial prick. I mean, it’s a needle going through some decently thick skin, into the port. It stung a teensy bit. I have a decent pain tolerance though, I think it comes from having a nurse mother who wouldn’t cut us any slack unless we were severely bleeding or broken, like, say…we swing into a table and break our collar bone, fall off a ladder, slam a finger shutting a window, or slice the tip of a finger off in a meat slicer. Not that any of those things have ever happened before, they’re just very specific examples. *ahem* Growing up, just about everything could be treated with ice, bacitracin, or gargling salt water. However, if I watch the insertion of a needle into my skin, it’s probably game over. I’ll probably face plant. Same with a tube filling with my blood. Yep, I’d rather not!!
So all in all, that part was pretty easy. I thought I’d feel differently during the chemo since the port goes to my jugular, which goes directly to my heart, but nada. I might have felt tired from the Benadryl quicker, like almost instantly, but that’s about it. Oh, and the metallic taste from the saline flush, that was pretty instant, too. But nothing adverse, nothing strong.
I was solo today. My dad dropped me off in the AM and both ‘rents picked me up in the afternoon because Brad had to work. My sister-in-law, Michele, brought me lunch! She was seriously the hero of the day…because food…and my dad did give me a mini bag of Chips Ahoy and peanut M&Ms. I ate the cookies for a morning snack. Yummy. I occupied myself well and the time seriously flew by! I read for a little bit, a fun book by R.S. Grey, The Foxe and the Hound. I did some crossword puzzles, and decided I need more puzzle books! Chemo really effs with your head, so I’ve read that games and stuff that engage your mind and keep you thinking are good for you. I play the heck out of Sporcle trivia on my phone, too. I tried to write a little, but by the time I started, I had about twenty minutes before the Benadryl drip started and it was pretty much game over for my attention span. So I shut down my computer, and resumed my crossword puzzles. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it was enough to occupy me from beginning to end! I probably spaced out a bit, too. Not gonna lie. Ha.
So here’s an interesting side effect/reaction I had. It goes to show just how toxic the chemo can be. It popped up right before my port surgery last week. If you remember from an earlier image, a little to the upper right of the scab on my arm in that image is where my first chemo went in. That stuff is rough on veins, kind of makes more sense why they want to use stronger veins to administer it. So the reaction doesn’t hurt and there’s no numbness or bad feelings. It itched a little, but I’m not sure if it actually itched or if I was psychosomatically inclined to itch it because it was there. I don’t even know if that makes sense on paper, but it does in my head. And the scab was a little blister. So they checked it today and it’ll heal and fade, and I obviously shouldn’t use that vein for anything in the meantime to give it time to recover.
And because I couldn’t not share this pic. Why is my dog so weird? It’s like she can’t gather the strength to hold her head up, so she’s resting on her nose. Either that or something smells really good inside the couch. Somehow, I think it’s the former and not the latter.
So that was my day! Missed two sessions today, and fortunately class was canceled so I didn’t have to miss that, too. But I’ll be working tomorrow, and I’ll do my Neulasta shot at 3:30, missing only one session.
Oh! And if anyone knows of any good, reputable, work from home gigs that are on the freelance side, let me know! Due to treatment and getting sick, I am missing some work (I’m an independent contractor all around, no work = no money!), so I’d love to pick something up to try to make up some of the difference in income, but I’d need to have some flexibility. I have signed up with UpWork, just haven’t checked in routinely enough to snag any good gigs, but I will.
Until next time! Maybe I’ll show off my wigs and more hats. 😉😘
The first indication that my hair was falling out was a tingling sensation in my scalp. I read somewhere that it was the hair follicles dying or whatever. That started happening a few days after chemo.
My hair didn’t start falling out right away, but I explained it in the previous post how it fell out the way hair sort of falls out when you shower or brush, just in a manner that was amplified. So I wasn’t doing any hardcore washing, brushing, or styling of my hair in an effort to make it last.
On Friday, and maybe even a few days before – I can’t quite remember, my scalp hurt. You know that feeling when you’ve had your hair up for a really long time and you let it down and your scalp just sort of hurts from the new position/direction of the hair? It was like that, and it was awful. I read that it was the follicles being irritated, like they want the hair to get lost, but there’s nothing really there to push the hair out. So Friday night, I brushed my hair A LOT!! And I pretty much shed enough hair to make a wig out of, or a small animal. By the time I was through brushing Friday night, I had the tiniest little ponytail left of hair. But my scalp still hurt. 😕
So Saturday was the day. The day I deemed no more hair day, or something like that. Really, it wasn’t a ceremonious occasion at all. I patiently waited for Brad to get home from work, and pretty much made him attack my head with the clippers once he arrived. I had had enough!
That is NOT including the small animal I accumulated the night before. I seriously had a LOT of hair. It was always super thick, and I’m kind of curious to see how it will grow back.
Anyway, Brad was more emotional about this moment than I was. I was just over it and wanted it gone. It hurt, it was messy, I was done. Buh-bye!
So buzzing my head was neat. It felt funny, and the back of my scalp where it was super sore was very tender when he ran over it with the buzzer. I did not like that, and was leaning away from it with every swipe. But it was over before I knew it and oh, sweet relief.
I’ve got some serious dry skin on my head, and I’m using Johnson’s baby wash due to the sensitivity. My head gets hot and cold quickly, so I end up going back and forth from wearing something on it to not. The thinner head covers seem to be the best, temperature-wise, at least for now. I’m sure the thicker ones will be nice once winter hits.
I’ve got lots of little scarves, hats, and headwraps, as well as a couple wigs! So I’m all set. I even ventured out Saturday and Sunday with no hair, just my caps, and it was no big deal. I’m adapted. I think I’ll actually prefer the hats and stuff to wigs, but we’ll see. I want a pink wig, and I will have one before this is over. Mark my words!
So my head looks totally crazy right now, and I tried to get a good picture of bald me, while still capturing the craziness that it my head. You can kind of see the light and dark patches, where I have already shed some hair and where my hair was still pretty thick. It’s like that all over.
And I’m still shedding!!! The image below is a pinch of the fuzz on my head. And no, it doesn’t hurt at all, it just comes right out. I read online where some people got their remaining hair out with duct tape (ouch) or a lint roller (hehe).
So, ta-da! No hair, don’t care. It was pretty anti-climactic for me – the whole head shaving thing. I guess I properly hyped myself up for it.
It also helps that my super awesome hubby tells me I’m gorgeous every 90 minutes. 😁
Round two of chemo is on Tuesday! I’ll slip in some more side effect issues I’ve had, too, somewhere…
So I touched on it the other day in the pros post, that my hair has begun to fall out, and I suppose I’ll elaborate as much as I can at this point since it’ll all be gone real soon!
A misconception I had was that I’d wake up in the morning or wash my hair in the shower and chunks upon chunks of hair would be on my pillow or in my hands. Not the case. At least not yet.
If you’re female, and maybe even some males, then you know that when you wash your hair, brush it, or run your hands through it, strands fall out. That’s what it’s like, only there’s more than what’s “normal.”
One of the side effects I had the week of chemo that I think I mentioned in another post was the tingling scalp. This was my hair follicles dying. Honestly, there was tingling everywhere, so maybe that was hair follicles dying every where, but I’m not sure. Tingling was a listed side effect of the chemo. So I knew this was coming. The follicles would die and the hair will eventually break free.
It was gradual, a little here, a little more there, a clump, etc. But it hasn’t just fallen out to fall out…yet. It’s always when I run my hand through it or wash it. I stopped brushing it. After showers, I dry it with a towel, work out any kinks with my hand, put in some anti-snap, scrunch it, and pull it back. I do as little as I can to avoid agitating it right out of my head.
Not quite ready for that!
My chemo nurse told me there would be significant hair loss in about three weeks, in time for my next chemo (Tuesday!). So there’s a deadline, if we want to call it that.
If I pull on a hair, it’ll painlessly fall out. I learned this when there was a hair in my face and I went to move it out of the way and it popped out. I felt it escape, it just didn’t hurt. If I tug in a little batch of hair, same thing. I learned this by experimenting, I was curious.
So yeah, I could probably pull out every last strand of hair with no pain, but who the heck wants to do that?! I may change my tune, or decide to shave it once it thins out a whole lot, but right now I’m good with the natural progression of things. It’ll happen when it happens, and I’ll be Baldy McBalderson for at least a few months I’m guessing, no need to rush things today.
So that’s all I’ve got to say right now about hair. I’m looking into wigs, scarves, hats, etc. I’ll post about those later on.