The highs and lows of A/C

April 2

Today is a day I thought I was prepared for but nope. . . I sure wasn’t!!!

Surprisingly, I felt very good today.   Didn’t feel tired or nauseous.   Didn’t feel any of that weakness or drained out feeling, just had knots in my stomach.    Since I had no choice but to chop off my hair last night, today would be the day I would go to work with a new haircut and color ( my wig ).   Let’s see how that goes.  I can tell you right now, I don’t feel comfortable at all!  

Got to work, nothing was out of the ordinary.   It has been FOREVER since I have done anything different to my hair, so naturally, EVERYONE noticed the new ‘change’.   To make me feel more at ease around my co workers since they were talking about the ‘cut and new highlights’,  Penny blurted out, “you finally went and did your hair!!”   I was glad for this because I felt sooo uncomfortable 😢 and just didn’t feel like me.  It seemed like I stuck out like a sore thumb.  It probably would have been easier to tell everyone that I lost my hair to chemo but to keep my life at work as normal and low key as possible I decided to play the charade of having a new haircut.   Penny said I looked great!!  Here is a pic she took of us.  

Penny and I

 

I got a ton of compliments and even got asked out on a date, haha, but I just wasn’t comfortable and since I was new to wearing a wig it felt like it was gonna slide right off of my head.   It didn’t help matters any when one of my coworkers said it looked like a wig.   Oh the stress of the day had me worn out.   In time, I’ll get used to the new me and I’m sure I’ll be flipping my new hair in no time.  But today was horrible even though the picture says otherwise.   I need to be able to feel like me and I just didn’t.  My day felt like it was never gonna end and I couldn’t wait to leave work.   I went home and cried my eyeballs out.   I was so overwhelmed and I still have months of this ahead of me.  Penny always knows just what I need to make me feel better.   So, she sent me this. . . 

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This too shall pass and tomorrow is a new day!

 

Its almost mid week, this is when my low point hit me the last time.    Tuesday, I have training classes and they’re upstairs.   Geez, never thought it would be so hard to climb stairs!   I think my no energy level is starting to kick in.  I felt like I was floating, but in a bad way, was not a good feeling.  I left work exhausted!  

 Wednesday –  man, I just do not have energy and I have to go to work.  I didn’t sleep well at all and my scalp has been hurting, it is so dry and tender.   I don’t have the luxury of having the week off like I did the last time I felt this way.  As if on cue,  the mouth sores, dry mouth and blurry eyes are all back.  and once again, the food tastes nasty.     This is gonna be rough.   Getting ready,  I really have the shakes and can’t even get my makeup on.   I needed to sit down and rest.  Finished getting ready and managed to drive myself to work,   geez, what was I thinking?   I’m never gonna make it through today.  I’m already so tired and my day hasn’t even begun.   I can barely even stand.   Please get me through the day.    

Don’t know how I did it, but I barely made it through my 8 hour shift.    Walking out to the car, I cried from being so very tired.   I can’t believe I still need to drive myself home. I just don’t have the energy, also there is a part of me that is very stressed out.   Tomorrow I get results from the genetic test I took to see if I’m a carrier of the cancer gene.   My mind and my soul just hasn’t been able to catch a break.   I had to have a meltdown when I got home.   and all I did was lie in bed the rest of the afternoon.   It felt like I couldn’t move.  My head (scalp) has really been hurting.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the very little hair that I have left is just dead hair.   Dead hair attached to my scalp and it feels like wire, like a brillo pad.   I think this is a big part of why I can’t sleep.  It hurts to lie my head anywhere, the sofa, a pillow, it just hurts 😦    I honestly can’t wait to shave it all off.    Never thought I would ever catch myself saying that.  I’ve already lost the majority of my hair due to my hair follicles dying out because of chemo, whatever is left is just dead, stiff hair.  

Thursday – I feel even worse!   This is worse than the last time!   They did tell me that with each round, the tiredness and weakness would be accumulative.   Man, they weren’t kidding.   There is no way I can make it through an 8 hour day at work.   Thank God, MaryBeth offered to do half of my shift.    I told Ted I wasn’t feeling well.   (Ted is my lead supervisor and he has no idea what’s happening with me)  There are only 4 people at my work who know what’s going on.   I left with relief and went home and crawled into bed til it was time to go meet with Karen to get my test results.    I’m still so stressed about that.  

RESULTS!!!!   Sitting in her office had my heart going 100 mph.   I’m so on edge.   Results are negative!!  I’m so relieved, I burst into to tears.   I am not a carrier of the gene  🙏   woo hoo!!   I cried in her office, cried all the way home and cried more at home.   I needed this relief.  I needed some good news.   Now, to get through this low point.  

Friday,  just like before, my energy came right back up and I was back to being me.   MaryBeth and I had made plans to shave the rest of my head.   So, I met up with her to take care of that.  I thought I was gonna cry and be hurt that the rest of my hair would be gone and now I would truly be bald, but to be honest, it was such a fricken’ relief when it all came off.  I didn’t realize how much it was hurting my head til it was gone. It even hurt as it was getting shaved..    I was already getting sores on my scalp from the dead hair.   So a bit of advise to anyone going thru this. . . . don’t be dumb and wait like I did to cut your hair or shave it.   Do, it right away with the 1st rounds of chemo.   I  put myself thru pain and misery trying to hold on to my hair.   No matter what, I was gonna lose it and I did.   Now, I can actually put my head on a pillow without it hurting me.

I do have some good news!!!!  That constant pain that I was having in my right breast where the lump is at is now gone! Yes,  gone.    I’m gonna take that as a good sign that the treatment is working.   I have had pain in that right breast since like last September and now it is gone!!!!!! Can it be true?!?!   I sure hope so.  

 Round 3 – As much as it doesn’t seem like it, it’s really going fast.   I can’t believe I’m on round 3 already.  All hooked up and getting infused.   Some of the mouth sores have traveled to my lips but no matter how hard I try there is just nothing I can do about that.  They come with every cycle  😩   Here are a couple of pics while I’m getting chemo.  

 

Grapes and I do this together.    I get hooked up on the upper part of my chest.   You can see it a bit over the rim of my shirt.   One more of this intense cycle and I move on to the lighter chemo.   Even though there are points where it seems like I don’t even have the energy to crawl, I have to admit I’m fighting this like a boss.   Yes, it brings me to low as hell points but I refuse to let it take me down.  Not gonna happen.   I have one more devil infusion to go.   I was told that when I switch to the other chemo my mouth sores should go away ( I really hope so)  It makes it very difficult to eat and because of that I have already dropped 10 pounds.  That’s in 1 month.   and that big dip of little to no energy should go away.    I really hope that’s true too!!!

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I felt so good a couple of hours after chemo that my son and I decided to go out for dinner.  We met up with Penny and her husband and had a great time!!    I wish I felt this good all the time.    In a few days I’ll feel like hell.   Tonight,   I’m going to enjoy it to the fullest!  And today was the best I have felt with my wig.  I actually felt pretty.  If I wouldn’t have told you, maybe you couldn’t tell that wasn’t my real hair.   Who knows, but yes, that is my wig.  

5 days later – ugh. . . here comes my low point.  Wow, it gets worse and worse with every cycle.   If I thought I didn’t have energy before, I really don’t have any now.   I was struggling with not feeling well at work and Ted started to notice this was happening a lot.  I literally didn’t have the energy to hold my own body up and I was starting to breathe heavy just because of the effort it took.   I told Ted I wasn’t gonna make it through the day and needed someone to cover the rest of my shift.  I almost started crying right then and there because of how horrible I felt and the fact i couldn’t stand.   When I went on break I finally made the decision to tell him, so my store director, Clara Sue and I pulled him into the office and gave him my news.  He needed to understand why I was feeling this way and why I needed to go home.  But at the same time I didn’t want my news to become public throughout the store.  He was speechless and I knew he would be.   But oh how I needed to leave.   It took all the energy I had to walk out the door and get to my car.   Now, I still needed to drive home.   oh gosh,  I really hate this!!    Got home and barely made it into the house to crawl into bed.  I just need to rest.  I’m sooo tired.   My low point lasted to the end of the week.   Its getting worse and lasting longer.   I even felt a little low on Sunday which is very unusual,  I’m usually back to normal by then.    Not this time.  

Round 4 – April 27th –  today I have to visit with the doctor.    He needs to examine me and see how things are coming along.   I hope it’s good news.   He does his examination,  I feel no pain to the touch.    This is very good news for me.   Cuz that lump has been a painful asshole.   He also tells me that he feels it has gotten smaller.  YES!!!!!!   That is VERY good news.   The treatment is doing its job.   Now to keep an eye on it and hope it shrinks all the way.     I’m so happy with this news and also happy that this is my last double chemo.   These 4 rounds have been truly hard.   The doctor has a hard time believing that I’m still working.    When I leave the cancer center I can’t help but feel, I’m done, I’m done, I’m done.    Those 4 big ones are over.   Now to start 12 weeks of the next one.   My battle is not over but it should get a bit easier.   I was told with this chemo,  that my hair could start growing back mid way, in peach fuzz form.   That the mouth sores should go away and my energy be a lot better.   I wanna believe all of that.   The mouth sores have been my biggest gripe and I’ve lost a few more pounds.   I  can only hope it gets better.

 

My low point hit me so hard I didn’t think I was ever gonna recover. . . . .  

 

 

 

 

 

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