Support, just a ton of love and support is what I have felt for the past two weeks. So many have offered their services from kid-sitting, to meal delivery, to car-pooling. Very humbling is really the only way to describe it. And when my friend’s wonderful Aunt Connie sent pink ribbon shoelaces and hair bands for the girls, we all thought the girls would be “on top” of the laces. Turns out, I found the pink laces in Jack’s baseball cleats. When asked about this revelation he, very casually, said, “Just showing my support for you ma.” Melted my heart!
So chemo #1 was interesting. It was a different kind of “sick” than my previous chemotherapy treatments. And while round #1 was rough, I have some ideas going into round #2 that may ease the discomfort. First and foremost, I will be asking to make “getting IV fluids” as part of my treatment post chemo. The dehydration was probably the very worst part of this treatment. I was up to drinking almost 80 ounces of water a day and still was sick with dehydration. The sheer exhaustion was disappointing as well. The first time around, a few days down and I was back to myself. This time the toll seemed to linger for a bit longer. So, this time around I will make sure to take EVEN more advantage of my “roid rage” that directly follows chemo. Ha.
So, the hair, oh the hair. It turns out those “drug interaction” info sheets, well they are scary accurate in their assessment on the timing of hair loss. On our way home from the store last night, on the eve of the “ominous 14 day mark” the wind blew and we all gazed in horror as a clump of my hair blew out the window. My lovely middle child noticed first, “there it goes mom” she yelled from the back seat. Oh good grief, with tears welling up behind my sunglasses I felt horror, shame and denial all at once. Luckily, my kiddos are not “newbies” when it comes to my bald dome – they remember it, the remember it well. So, sitting there laughing with them, while a full on panic attack was building beneath my sunglasses, made things a bit more at ease for them. For me, however, not so much. I started “zoning out” trying to figure out why, why was I so panicked? I am not a hair person anyway? It is either short, with no style or long with a pony tail, again no styling happening. (It’s a good thing I have a great stylist in the lovely Miss Leah, she puts up with my lazy styling shenanigans!) But I digress, what was it that was causing so much discomfort? Then like an epiphany it hit me, it’s fitting in with society. It’s going to the stores or for a walk and being like everyone else. I was about to lose that. Being a cancer patient, well it kinda sucks. But – chemo anonymity, well that is kind of welcoming. Soon, there would be no hiding. Everywhere you go, everybody knows. I shall miss my hair, but I will miss my primary role as a mom, wife, friend, sister, etc… that will soon be replaced by cancer patient. Strangers will see me and that is what they will see first. I know I am still all those other roles but that bald dome or pretty scarf is a beacon for stares, questions, and the inevitable – “you’ll beat this”.
I realize a few months of a bald head is well, a small price to pay, and I need to find the silver linings, no shaving my legs all summer long! Boom. I’m over the panic and fear and on to deciding when I will shave my head? Yes, what day would work best for us? Should I try to hold off until after the kid’s baseball games next week? Or will that just be unsanitary? We shall see how it goes. Scarves have come a really long way since my last run! Heck, I couldn’t sleep last night and all I could do was peruse online, yes, I have ordered several. Pre-tied scarves were rare during my first run of baldness and today they are everywhere with different soothing fabrics and all. We shall wait and see…only time and literal “clumps” of hair blowing out in the wind will tell when head shaving is right. Until then, don’t mind my trail of hair, I will try to keep it sanitary…