(Really Sour Lemons)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

50 Shades of Grey Hair.

I've been getting some subtle (and not so subtle-you know who you are) hints that I need to update my blog. Well, I guess they're right. I see it's been awhile.

Life has been slowly getting back to normal. Whatever that means. I have a feeling that nothing is every really going to be normal again, but I'm finding my "new normal".  It has been 13 weeks and two days since the last chemo session. My body is thankful that it's over. I am thankful that my body handled it as well as it did. Every cycle I could feel it rebounding and healing on a daily basis. I have a much greater appreciation for the physical body, what an amazing machine it is! 

So, 13 weeks out... how goes it? Very well I think. I had a checkup last Monday with the oncologist and he mentioned 4 times how well I'm doing. Of all the side effects I was experiencing, I have very few remaining. The neuropathy remains in my toes on my right foot. They are just slightly numb. My feet get a bit numb when I walk for more than two miles. (Yes, did you hear that? When I was on vacation last month, I took some long walks. I had the energy to go for 2+ mile walks several times a week.) The surgery site (ground zero) is still pretty tender inside. And I still have night sweats and day sweats. Okay. Hot flashes. I just hate that word. The neuropathy should go away. The tenderness in the breast should subside. The hot flashes are here to stay. 

I started on Tamoxifen on Wednesday. I wasn't looking forward to this at all. I've heard horror stories about this drug in the past. And I don't want to hear any more. So if you're inclined to tell me how you reacted so badly, please don't. I need to take this medicine. Statistics show that women who partake in hormone treatment in addition to chemo/radiation double their chances for the cancer NOT coming back. I bet that could have been said a better way... but my brain function is probably the other thing that is still effected by the chemo. 

Focus Lisa. I feel like I have developed some sort of ADD. I have a hard time focusing on the task at hand. My brain is always going and going but it's hard to settle down and get something done from start to finish. I started making lists. Sometimes my brain gets so overwhelmed by all I have to do that it just wants to shut down and sleep. At times it's hard to get a thought out. Other times it feels manic and just wants to make friends.

Does anyone want a hair update? I haz hair! It's about 1/4" to 1/2" long. The front/hairline is growing a lot slower than the back and sides. It's not coming in curly but that's okay. I can't seem to get a decent picture of my head though. Most pictures you can't really see my hair, or there's a glaring bright reflection on my head which looks funny. I'll have to ask hubby to try to get a picture of my head. Wait, I just stuck my head in front of my laptop's photobooth camera. You can see me in all my unmade-up glory, lacking eyebrows and eye makeup and all. I look a little like my brother.  (It's weird. During chemo I started wearing makeup again and now I feel nekkid without it. Especially my eyebrows.)
I fear that I've seen the last of my blond tresses. Unless it comes from a bottle. Somebody described my hair as "salt and pepper" the other day. Yes, the only thing 50 shades of grey in my house is my hair! It's still in that awkward stage... too short to actually look like it was meant to be that short. But not quite that "bald-chemo" look either. I am highly recognizable for sure! 

It's funny, I was at the CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) Tradeshow last week. I took three workshops on Monday, walked the floor with my husband on Tuesday and went back Wednesday by myself to study the "make and takes", meet some vendors, and attend a few conferences. A lot of people recognized me from day to day. (I've always been a wallflower and blended into the woodwork.) I just smiled a lot. I met a fellow breast cancer survivor who approached me and we traded war stories. It was quite an experience. 

I'm glad to have my hair back though. It's hotter than Hades here in Chicago this summer. I haven't worn a scarf since vacation mid June. Hats are for shading from the sun. I'm not embarrassed the least bit. I even feel a little bad-ass. And I've only had positive reactions from people, bless them all. I've developed the habit of "petting my head" when I'm nervous and need calming down. You know how they say that stroking a dog or cat reduce blood pressure? So does petting my head. My blood pressure is excellent!

I'll talk to you all soon!