Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hair today-gone tomorrow

This is Naomi's senior picture. Note the hair. Last June or so, she insisted on getting it cut and they ended up taking 8 inches or so. Since it was thick healthy hair, they suggested she donate it to this group that makes wigs for cancer patients and she came back with a big bag of hair and paperwork that I never got around to dealing with. I was upset that her hair was now so short so I waited to the last possible moment this fall for the senior pictures for some of it to grow back. Anyway, when I suggested that we use that bag of hair for my wig, she became very upset as she doesn't want me walking around with her hair. It isn't apparent from the picture how bright red her hair is. I don't quite have the right complexion for red hair anyway. Also, she has beautiful blue eyes, not brown. She snuck those brown contacts past me.

I am thinking blonde. In indoor lighting, my hair appears blonde and I like to think it is as my delusions make it possible for me to live through the day, but in outside light it is clearly gray. Grave's disease people tend to get gray very early-the white hair popped out after being in labor with Shanna. I've never attempted to dye it despite numerous pleas from Naomi. Some people think I do anyway and check for roots.

I do need a haircut but since there is a good chance of losing my hair in the next month, hard to justify the time and expense.

Tonight is our 'moms' group. We were all part of a post-partum support group many years ago-the babies will turn thirty next summer. Five of us still get together. We have 4 grandbabies now between us though Brenda has contributed 3 babies to this. But the moms have been great in supporting me. We've all had difficult journeys over the past 29 years or so and try to be there for each other.

The social worker didn't call yesterday. Good thing I wasn't about to commit suicide. Still don't know what the proper response was when you are told that they will keep hacking away at your breast until every last spot is gone and you see spots all over the place. Until that time, I had been rather stoic as they told me bad news, sometimes so stoic that they assume that I didn't hear them or that I just don't understand the implications because I must be stupid. Once I was getting an ultrasound to check on a baby while I was spotting. They told me there was no heartbeat and I didn't react. They repeated it again and asked if I knew what that meant and I calmly said, yes it means my baby is dead.

Martha came over with fresh raspberries. She is a very busy person driving to Toledo every day to teach plus write her papers and visit her large circle of friends. She had 2 types of cancers at once more than 10 years ago but her treatments still come up to haunt her. She has been hospitalized three times for adhesions- the last time while I was in Italy.

It is raining. I am waiting for a break so I can get a run in.


S. F. Heron said...

Sue, your Naomi is a beautiful girl, just lovely.

I never did a "here's my deal" post on my blog. I guess I should have but then I never expected to have others want to share it with me (except family of course).

I found a lump in my right breast in late June. It turns out that lump was precancerous but there were calcifications in my right breast that were of great concern. After a biopsy of all of those, it turns out I was diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma. My husband and I did alot of research and with the help of our oncologist, decided to do an elective left mastectomy as well. We didn't want to be diagnosed with BC twice. It turns out we made an excellent choice because buried under the mass of my right breast was a 4.5 cm tumor, throwing out tentacles that was actually Stage 2 cancer.

I'm 40 and my youngest is just 3. But you know what? I've found the best medicine is my kids. 90 percent of the time, even when I was absolutely immersed in personal grief, I let them take me away into the land of daily living and mania. I look for the little things to lift me up. In the summer, it was my little Jackie's zinnias that just grew almost 7 feet tall and bloomed like crazy. Now it's the gorgeous leaves on the trees.

I do write. And I decided last November that I wasn't going back to my regular job because of my girls. So I ended up trolling the net looking for employment. I'll save that long story for another time as this post is turning into a novel. Suffice it to say, it's been a blessing in every way for me.

I love being a mother. I love being a wife. Full time. And nothing will take that away from me - not even BC.

My cancer ended up being estrogen positive, which I'm told is good. I'm currently in the throes of my second session of chemo and it's just been better than the first time. Not by much, but at least a little :) Because of my age, I'm being plagued with menopause symptoms.

My Mom is a 5 year BC survivor. She recently had markers show up in her blood. We thought it was a recurrence but it turns out that it is lung cancer in her liver and lungs. She is in chemo (1st session) and we are already seeing an improvement in her. In just 5 days. She's tired but she has stopped coughing which is a primary sign of it getting worse.

Sue, be aggressive and your own advocate throughout this nightmare. Demand answers from your Doctors - don't pick between the information and misinformation on the internet. If no one addresses things to your satisfaction, go somewhere else. The care you get now will make every bit of difference in how you feel about yourself now and later. Your medical team (surgeon, oncologist, plastic surgeon, nurses, counselors) should be the absolute best fit for you.

You'll see those cousins - I know you will. Please keep running as it's so good for your body and your head. Take care of yourself and remember that I'm here to share what I can with you. Even if it's a virtual hug :)


Anonymous said...

As you noted, but in different words, life is different than living.

We all fight the fight as best we know how, and you're doing a kick-ass job. Hang in there.



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