(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.


  1. Welcome to the world of estrogen positive! you have described my life perfectly. The night power surges and freezes are less intense now but they persist. I try not to get out of bed. you may ask for a sleep aid and take once every 7 days or so. yes I have the hair on legs issue, never had that in my life before. Do have a good head of hair. From being around post treatment friends the "crowning glory" does take a long time to get growing. try rinsing it with Kool Aid for an instant and short lived splash of color.

  2. I empathize with you about your (almost) sleepless nights.. I am so sorry for you that you have to go through that and all the other post cancer treatment side effects. Wish I could take all your pain and discomfort away. Hey - I am so glad you are still here to complain about all of it, though! HUGS!!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

  3. No wonder you are tired with all the testing, poking and prodding and then not sleeping!! I can certainly understand the no sleeping-sleeping-no sleeping-hot-cold-covers on and off all night--UGH!

  4. Aww Lisa, I hear you, hang in there and hopefully this will get taken care of in no time, Thinking of you and sending love your way! Hugs Marilou xoxo

  5. Frankly, I*LOVE* your hair~~I think it rocks! (from the chick who has the front inch or so of her's dyed BRIGHT RED...LOL! but it will all be leaving me in, oh, probably three weeks again)
    I'm still fighting the chemo-war~~changed my meds so I am back at the beginning. Cycle 1 is done and 5 to go. >:-(
    I have two fans going in the bedroom so that when I go from freezing to steel-melting blast furnace, I can throw the covers and wait 5 seconds. Oh joy. (said in sarcastic tone)
    Try a benadryl @ bedtime to see if it helps with the sleep. I do that and am awake only once or twice now.
    Hang tough!!!


  6. I love your hair, too. If I were a little younger and braver, I'd shave one side of my head, like a side part, and leave the other down. Coolness! I'm Vit D deficient (take 2000 mg daily), and after having my ovaries removed recently went into hot flash hell. (They thought I was through menopause and that it was safe to remove them but HELLO...) My husband bought me a fan from Sharper Image that goes under the bed sheets on my side. I love it. Did the endocrinologist test your TSH t3/t4? I'm hypothyroid in addition to not having enough estrogen, and the symptoms are kinda the same for both.

  7. You are beautiful as always, inside and out. Find one woman who is always happy with her hair, short, long, blonde, red...we always strive for the next better look. I think it is in our genes!
    I don't know who you are allowed to see at this stage of healing, but maybe a nature path would be good to fill in the blanks of what your body may need help with. Just another approach. I do hope your body finds peace and rest soon...good rest and good sleep.

  8. Love and hugs to you Lisa - I'm with the froup - glad you are here and you can complain as much as you want!