Hair, hair, hair. I still leave traces everywhere. It‘s like I mark my territories, “Carina has been here,” every time I sit or lie anywhere in the house. Snowball, my miniature poodle, can’t shed, but I can…So, my head has large bald spots. A friend asked, “Well, can you have your head shaved to the skin?” Problem is I can‘t. My scalp is too sensitive for a close shave. My hair has been clipped short with a number one clipper. I am stopping there…I should not complain too much. At least I am still hanging on to my nose hair, unlike MainlyHopeful who has an issue of nose drips now due to hair loss in her nostrils. 🙂
My oncologist noticed my long hair today. When she saw me in the hospital thirteen days ago, I just had my haircut chin-length then. So, she knew, I’ve got to be wearing a wig.
“Nice choice,” she says, “It looks so natural.”
Then she quickly did a head to toe assessment. I asked about garlic (anticancer) pills supplements and wheat grass, juice. She says I can take them. Sweet. I will start juicing tomorrow. Hopefully, myelotoxicity lessens this time compared to the last. By the way, my lab values on white blood count, hemoglobin, and hematocrit read normal. I am a healthy person again on paper. Something weird, my platelets are elevated and flagged which she has no explanation for it. Also flagged is my tad-bit low creatinine. “You are skinny, that’s why,” that’s how she explained it. It maybe because of decreased muscle mass? Because I am not working out as much? Oh, well, she is not concerned. So, I should stop worrying. Another change I noticed the last two days, the facial nerves along my jaw to lower face became prominent. I cannot feel them with my fingers but I sure can see them–long line of purple. She does not know what it’s all about and I cannot find anything in the internet on it. Any ideas?
The second round of chemo went well. Luckily, my thirteen and twelve-year olds just made the age limit of who can go in the room in a promise that they will behave. I had to warn my son once to stop the commotion as he argued with my daughter who gets to use the swiveling chair. But all in all, they behaved, enjoyed the panoramic view from the twelfth floor, and even saw the Capitol Hill from a distance.
They asked about the size of the needle, “Is that real small?” and how fast the medication is going (I held a medicine cup–thirty cc–to help them picture how much fifty cc in an hour looks like, “Just over one-and-a-half of this,” I said.
“Whoa, that’s real slow.” (That was the initial drip of Taxotere).
I heard, “Does it hurt?” and “How does it feel?” many times from my daughter.
Then they got up and picked a couple of freebie books–one humor, one religious–and another hat for me. They got me a black hat with fuzzy rim end to it that’s screaming purple. My daughter must have chosen it for me. It is her favorite color. A bulk of the time, they had their eyes on their books or Kindle they brought from home. I also brought snacks because I know their trick. They get hungry for vending machine junk food all of sudden even if we eat before we leave home. This time, we munched on granola bars, Goldfish crackers, and gummy bear vitamin c candies instead. For drink, we just had bottled water. I heard no complaints.
I did not ask for Ativan this time. Considerably, I felt more relaxed than my first chemo round. Besides, I could not take it even if I wanted to because I served as my own designated driver. When done, on our way out, I got my prescription of Levaquin for prophylaxis to avoid Neutropenic fever. We also bought soothing candies for my girl and acne soap for my boy. I usually buy more than planned when this two come along.
Soon, when we got back home, the photographer and make up artist came. It is my day for free professional photo shoot, a treat only for selected breast cancer patients. The lady put fake lashes on me, something I can never do for myself. In two weeks, I can expect my free photographs, they say. They even took shots of my whole family, yes, including Snowball, who thought the women where here for him. He stole the show and jumped on anybody’s lap where the camera was pointing.
I have no nausea, just a slight headache from Zofran and mild stomach upset, nothing intolerable. It has been a good day.