It's been 22 days since my last chemo - WOOT! Getting over that last one was a bear, cumulative effects of 8 treatments and all that rot, but I'm getting there. Because I'm actually a very shallow creature, the most exciting thing would be the FUZZ on my head. It started way sooner than I'd expected, after pouring over the discussion board posts about hair coming back on http://www.breastcancer.org/ . I also know I'm not alone in my cancer patient shallowness - the posts about hair get the most views and posts, always. Because of the wisdom of those that have gone before me, I knew that usually the first new growth shows up almost colorless and fuzzy - and that's what I've got. I first noticed it the day I would normally have had my chemo - 14 days from my last chemo. Leaning in close to the mirror and staring at my head, there was the fuzz, shining in the light. In the last week I can actually see progress, it's about 1/8th of an inch long and starting to get a wee bit o color to it. It's been hotter than hell here in Big D, humidity bringing the heat index to not fit for human highs. The fuzz has somehow released my inhibitions. I'm still technically bald, if someone were to see me they'd say "wow, look at that bald chick". But around the house, around my family and close friends and co-workers, I'm not running for a cap or scarf every time someone's around. I've been swimming capless, which has given my shiney bald head a tan - a much better look that the stark white, sickly, cancer-y look I was sporting. I'm not ready to head out to dinner topless just yet, but it's awesome to not have to have my head covered all my waking hours. I have HUGE sympathy for those women living in cultures that require a lifetime of covered heads - it's hot and a huge pain in the ass. My goal is to have enough hair by the first football game to not have to wear a hot head covering. We're talking HP high school football, my son's in the marching band and we never miss a game. The first one is an early evening game August 29 - which could easily be the hottest day of the year. So I have about 2 months for this fuzz to fill in enough to cover the skin - that's all I ask.
On Thursday I went for my prep visit for radiation. I had a 9am appt, I walked in and gave my name, was immediately taken back to the CAT scan room. Two technicians, my radiation oncologist and her intern swarmed down on me. They create a form that your upper body lays on, they use the CAT scan to make sure you are lying straight, they tape on lil pieces of wire to mark the edges of the boob area to be radiated, as well as my scar for the "boosts" I'll receive the last week of treatment. The tech then used a marker to mark where the wires had been, used a needle to create tattoo dots. I have 7 tattoo's now, small dots they use to precisely line you up each time you are radiated. That was it - and I was only there for THIRTY MINUTES. UT Southwestern - the most efficient medical facility I've ever experienced!
We leave Monday morning for the beach! One glorious week in a fabulous beach house, surrounded by the family I love (and my dopey dog) the sound of waves as the soundtrack for a week. I get to have a pedicure for the first time since February - with doctor permission. That's a big deal, since I am so inept femininity wise, my toes look terrible. I think I'll have them paint a light but solid color on my sad, sad fingernails as well. I'm done tracking the progress of them as they get more and more unattached - if they fall off, so be it. I have the most experienced pet sitter I know staying at my house the whole time we're gone so that I won't even have to consider worrying about what's going on here. About 4 years ago the drip pan for our air conditioner in our attic self destructed, water dripping thru the ceiling into our kitchen at such a rate the sheet rock started falling in chunks. Our pet sitter discovered it and already had the process for repair well under way by the time we got home. Managing an in home petsitting company I've seen every household emergency imaginable happen while people are away, so maybe I'm paranoid. Whatever, my kitty will have a full time round the clock companion while we're away, and I'm very happy about that!
Speaking of pet sitting, how about some shameless self promotion? Check out our website if you live in the Dallas area http://www.pcpsi.com/ There's even a video to explain what we do. There's a "best of Dallas" promo going on with one of the TV stations, we're up for best sitting service. Our clients have been posting the most amazing things about our company and our 25 dedicated, hard working sitters. Their kind words have our sitters in tears, very sweet. It is good to be appreciated! The comments can be seen here http://alist.wfaa.com/park-cities-pet-sitter/biz/288077
I start my 33 radiation treatments the day after we get home. My goal for this whole long marathon of treatment was to finish before the next school year begins. I'll miss that by 3 days - I have my final treatment on the 3rd day of school. Not bad, considering. I actually go for periods of time during the day now when I don't think about what I've gone thru/am going thru, don't think about cancer. Sometimes when I'm in the bathroom without a top on and I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, it stops me in my tracks. Bald. Angry scars coming out of my armpit, across my boob, the port bulging out of my chest, the scar above it - and now the tattoos. Battle scars indeed. I smack myself and say GET OVER IT. It could be so much worse.
My buddy Deb http://ddlatt.blogspot.com/ told me about this book that I immediately ordered. It's awesome, if you know someone going thru breast cancer, get it for them immediately, it's called Cancer Made Me A Shallower Person, http://www.readaboutcomics.com/2006/07/14/cancer-made-me-a-shallower-person/ So much more relatable for me than those "Cancer is such a blessing" crap books.
Someday I'll learn how to post a picture, and I'll show my fuzzy head to the world. In the mean time, I'm taking my fuzzy head to the pool for a lil more tanning before I take it to the beach. Merry Independence Day to you all!