bald

Good thanks!

10347187_10152183012219506_1541027296625629266_nWhen people ask me how I am I say ‘good thanks’. That’s the standard Aussie response but what I mean by ‘good’ is… ‘all things considered… I’m good’. If I wasn’t on chemo and was asked the same question maybe I’d say ‘not so good’. I don’t usually launch into details because there are people around me suffering far more from various illnesses. Besides, I am feeling good emotionally and that’s a significant thing. In 2 months time I change chemo drugs to ‘AC’ and this could reduce my blood count dramatically. I will have 12 weeks of it, so I’m preparing my body to be fit and healthy by eating right and exercising regularly! At present, my blood count is still normal and the tumour has shrunk to the size and width of a long grain of rice so thank God for that!

Here is my pity party list for those who want to know what ‘good’ means…

  • I can’t sleep due to insomnia and night sweats which are every 30 minutes. This is due to ‘THE PAUSE’ not the chemo, now that I’m off HRT. 3 months ago I slept like a log. Here I am now, writing this blog post at 4am. Boo!

 

  • My brain is really struggling with ‘chemo fog’ as well as ‘THE PAUSE’ causing brain malfunction. It exhausts me to make every day decisions. Cooking tea is a major drain on the grey matter. I’m so glad I’ve made my life uncomplicated! Being self employed means no sick leave and my job requires lots of brain power because eLearning projects have strict deadlines and can be very complex. The threat of litigation looms over my head if projects are not completed to an agreed standard. So work is out of the question. Boo!

 

  • My sinuses are picking up allergies and causing problems due to the thinning of the skin (everywhere) and the hairless nostrils. Bleeding and congestion issues have been mostly resolved by putting vitamin E inside the nostrils each night. I know that’s TMI but some of my readers have cancer and details can be helpful!

 

  • Although I have no nausea, my food tastes weird. I have to ask people if my cooking is funky because it sure tastes that way.

So overall, that’s not too bad is it? As I say… I’m good!

 Balancing acts

10377159_789271297763330_542149322412441886_nLife is fairly self indulgent right now. I have ‘rest time’ blocked in most days so that I don’t over do it. I am not putting my hand up for things which I know will create stress. What? Not doing 1000 things at once? No study, art, work and play? Usually that’s what I thrive on. SometimesI feel listless without the challenge factor, but mostly I’m happy in my little foggy world. I’m so glad I have my art and it’s been selling quite well so that helps pay for materials. My social calendar keeps me pretty busy and I don’t have to use my brain too much for that:)

I’m managing to keep myself healthy and to maintain my fitness level. On Sunday I’m off to run the MS 5k fun run with my dear friend who has had MS for 21 years.

I’m not being a hero, I am a fighter by nature. I am also contrary, independent and stubborn, which is the flip side of being a fighter. The MOTH will verify this without thinking about it for more than 3.5 seconds.  I know that all cancer patients deal with their illness differently, there are 100s of different chemotherapy drugs which have various side effects and also different types of cancer and different types of breast cancer as well. I would hate to think people felt inadequate or compared themselves to my story. My story is my own and I recognize that we all tick differently and our bodys respond differently. My first response to anything is to fight. Not necessarily the right response!

To begin with, I was already physically fit (for a 53yo female) and ate a healthy diet. I don’t drink alcohol very often and I don’t smoke. I also boosted myself up with supplements prior to beginning chemo. So my starting point was high therefore I’ve managed to maintain good health up to now. If my starting point was low, no doubt I would be struggling a bit more than I am. I’ve found it important to know my limits and listen to my body!

Loving my 3 sisters

The sisters

Last weekend I escaped to Sorrento with my 3 sisters for our first time away together ever. It was an amazing weekend and I loved having time to just chat, laugh, soak in the hot springs, eat and shop with them.   Getting there was a challenge. Firstly one sister had an abscess which resulted in surgery to have a molar removed the day before we went away. With a mouth full of stitches and in pain, she soldiered on!  One of my other sisters had a chest cold but wasn’t infectious. As well as that, I broke a molar off on the Wednesday and had it filled the day after, which is a bit of a big deal when you’re on chemo. Hooray for them and the tough genes! It was a miracle we made it but it was definitely worth it.

Embracing the bald

Day 1 of my bald badness

Day 1 of my bald badness

I’m taking a photo a day of  my lovely bald head in different hats, wigs and so forth, of which I seem to have in abundance. Many of them are costumes I’ve scavenged from around the house. I might make a fast paced movie at some stage. Why? Because I want people to know that losing your ‘vices’ isn’t so bad. Hair loss is a fear a lot of women have and I was not looking forward it at all but it can be quite liberating or even amusing. Sometimes it can be just plain weird.

Day 2 embracing the bald

Life in the fog

ThJenny Wood artat’s 3 times in two days I’ve been asked ‘where is your blog post?’. Oops I’ve been very slack. So here are some news flashes.

Too much information?

2 weeks ago, I said to the MOTH, see if you can find the tumour. I swear it’s not big enough to feel anymore.

MOTH: “I can feel something there”

Me: “That’s my rib. There’s one just like it on the other side”.

I know that’s too much information but try not to visualise the scenario and you’ll be fine. The point is… IT’S SHRINKING!

It’s such a risk doing a clinical trial. Having chemo first and surgery 2nd means I didn’t ‘get that thing outa there’ which is the first impulse. This Tuesday will be the last of cycle two. As you know, I have 3 weekly infusions of chemo and a one week break so after this week it’s break time woo hoo! Apparently my blood count is still normal so hooray for the ridiculous amount of supplements I’m taking. They are a meal all in themselves. All I need to do is pour milk on them and eat them for breakfast.

Life in the fog

Somehow I’m still running around the athletics track (9 times non-stop last week), going to gym and pilates as well as socialising to the maximum. I have had 3 weeks without a free day and most nights out as well. I know it’s too much but I take little naps during the day so don’t start growling at me y’all.

I am not getting much sleep for the first time in my life with the HRT being brutally taken away (BOO!) and the cortisone which comes with the chemo. I suddenly fell into fog land on Thursday. My brain went to mush and now I am having to write lists for basic things such as… sending a card, phoning people etc. Yeesh. I’ve gone from ‘Mrs Organised’ to ‘Mrs Mush’. Soon I’ll need a note to remind me the dogs name.

Here lies the biggest problem. The MOTH, who has never worn a watch, doesn’t have a mobile phone and has never kept a diary, has always relied on me to do the organising. ‘Where are we going tonight?’, ‘Who with?’, ‘What time?’.

What will happen to us?

I’m afraid.

Baldness trivia

Do you know, that when you have very little hair and it’s about 1mm long, it sticks to your pillow like velcro? When I try to roll over I wrench my neck and it ends up sore the next morning. I know it’s odd but if you haven’t worked it out yet… I’m odd.

 Mothers day classic run

Tonight I’m going out for dinner and then getting up at 5am to run the Mothers day classic. Our team has raised over $2000 and almost 3 including individual amounts. I thank you all from my heart for the donations. The clinical trial I am currently on wouldn’t exist without donations such as yours. If you see me on the TV, I’ll be the one with the spotty bald head running through a cloud of fog. Our team fundraiser link