So, with my second treatment I had almost a full week’s worth of sickness. 😦 To put it simply, it really sucked and I am grateful to be on this side of it. At least until my next treatment on Wednesday
In the meantime, I am rocked by God’s humor. Do you want to know when the most of my hair started coming out in handfuls? You guessed it, right when I felt the most nauseous and sick. I finally reached a point where I could move a little without being absolutely miserable and Tim and I went to the haircut place. The lady there convinced me not to fully shave my head, but instead to clip it very short. I’m glad I did. But with it shorter, I realized that most of the hair that had grown in the last three weeks since I’d started chemo was gray. And when you clip your hair very short, guess what is left? Only the most recent hair growth. Yes, God has a sense of humor, for sure.
My hair is now so thin that you can see my (very untanned) scalp show through. It’s quite an ugly sight. I call it my Gollum look (Lord of the Rings anyone?), but at least mine is clipped short to my head, so not quite as creepy. But when I wear my scarf, I still have the slightest hint of hair around my ears to help me feel a little more normal. Gray or not, I’m glad it’s still there for now.
So what is it like to be a chemo patient? That first week after a treatment- it is sad, scary, sickening. I walk around knowing that the smallest things I used to do, I no longer have the strength for. And I do mean smallest- like even reaching for a kleenex…
Where I used to enjoy eating, now I do my best to choke down a few small bites without gagging because I know an empty stomach is even worse for nausea. I sit on the couch as still as I can possibly be to keep from making my head dizzier or making my eyes hurt worse, or the gagging to start again. I struggle to find the strength to pay attention to my beautiful children as they ask how I am with their worried little faces. To reassure them that I’m okay, that I just need some rest.
Now – I feel pretty good. I’m on the backside of the treatment. Life is funny again, and joyful. I’m tired, but I can eat. I feel the love and support from my family and friends and coworkers. Without all of them propping me up, I don’t know how I’d make it through. I have great sympathy for those people who are sick or sad and have no one to support them this way. Everyone should feel that someone cares, it’s what makes life bearable when you are in such bad shape. 😦
Over the past week, as I stood in the shower, gobs of hair fell out around me and clogged the drain. It was a bit horrifying. On Monday, I stood there, trembling from weakness, using a heavy duty razor to shave the friggin’ industrial strength hair off my armpits and legs so I could wear shorts to my daughter’s baseball game with at least a little bit of dignity, while the hair off my head surrounded me on the shower floor. Why? Because God has a sense of humor.
Two days later, I looked at my legs and realized that my hair hadn’t grown back. Hallelujah! Two days after that, I realized it still hadn’t grown back. No more shaving! Finally, a break for me. Something good out of all the badness I’ve been dealing with so far. 🙂
Yesterday was the first day that I felt pretty decent. We went to my son’s baseball game last night, and as we sat there, I put my leg up and realized ALL the hair that hadn’t grown in 4 days, had suddenly popped out as long as if it had been growing all that time. Since my shower that morning! For crying out loud! So much for dignity. God truly has a sense of humor.