(Really Sour Lemons)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Faux-hawk, mohawk, NOhawk.

Another update from me, you can all rejoice now. Okay you can stop now.

It's been exactly 7 weeks since my last update. Shame on me. What's new? Some parts of me are thrilled, some parts are very frustrated. Like my head parts. I want to rip my hair out. If I had any to rip out, ha! Seriously, my hair is growing SO slow it's maddening and frustrating. And it's not just my hair, but my fingernails and toenails too. My fingernails are so short I can't grab stuff. They keep breaking off shorter and shorter. My hair doesn't look a whole lot different either, maybe a bit thicker but not in length. Oh sure, but the hair on my LEGS is growing. How fair is that?? 
Here it looks a little blonde. But not in real life.
That's all there is! 
It's been FIVE months since my last chemotherapy session and this is all I have to show for it. Harumph. I can't even get a decent faux-hawk going. I still look like a chemo patient - because nobody in their right mind would cut their hair this short of purpose! I seriously thought I'd have some styling options by now. I know, I know, it could be worse. But I haven't done a whole lot of complaining throughout my ordeal so I'm making up for it now :-) 

Other than that, I'm feeling... just OK. The surge of energy I had a few months ago has left me again. I am exhausted more often than not. Some days I just can't make it without having to close my eyes for a bit of a cat nap. I hate that I rely on caffeine to get me through the day. Because soon I may have to give it up. (At least some of it.) I don't think the fatigue is the result of the chemotherapy anymore. I think it's the result of the crappy nights of sleep I'm getting. Or I should say crappy sleep at night. I feel like I have a newborn again. It's called a broken hypothalamus and screwed up temperature regulator. Or maybe it's called Tamoxifin? Tam for short... my newborn baby. Wakes me up about 4-5 times a night. 

Here's the routine. I go to sleep, usually shivering cold. *I cover up in a thin cotton blanket and a fleece blanket. It takes about 3 minutes to warm up and stop shaking. Then I start sweating. I throw all the blankets off of me and sometimes lift my tank top to expose my midriff, and fan myself cool. After about 5 minutes it passes and I can cover myself with the thin cotton blanket and fall asleep. About an hour later I wake up shivering all over. Repeat from * about 5 times a night. Is it any wonder I'm exhausted? 

I also saw an endocrinologist about my chronic vitamin D deficiency. Actually I saw the Nurse Practitioner because the doctor is booked 4 months in advance. After sitting for an hour answering tons of medical and history questions (which, interestingly enough, were the SAME questions I spent hours filling out at home before the appointment!) she came up empty handed. She talked it over with the Dr. the next day and they decided to increase my Vitamin D intake to 50,000 IU twice a week. I'll have to go back and get retested mid November and another appointment with the Dr. in December. They did ask me if I had any history in my family of Celiac disease. Thinking maybe a malabsorption issue? They are going to test me for it in November. Which is frustrating as heck, because if there's something I can be doing about it, like going gluten-free, I don't want to wait till December to find out about it. I am feeling incredibly out of balance in terms of nutrition and diet.

I had to have another MUGA scan of my heart last week. To see if the Herceptin is damaging it at all. I always thought my baseline number was 66 but it turns out it was 56. After three months of Herceptin it was 68. And this last test it was 61. I know no one is worried about it because anything over 50 is normal, so the nice tech tells me. He couldn't actually tell me the number but he told me anyway without actually telling me. He was so cute. Except when he gasped while injecting radioactive material into my vein. I hate it when that happens.

Anyway, I'm shivering now so I need to bundle up and get some sleep. I shouldn't have had that 10 minute cat nap at 9:30 tonight....  I'll let you know when my hair actually starts growing and something interesting happens.