Sunday, September 30, 2007

Chemo Finale

It's the night before my last treatment and while I should be asleep, I am doing everything but. I spent the day cleaning my house to try and reduce some of my anxiety (didn't work so well), rearranged my guest room, washed the baseboards, swept the porch, cleaned out my closet and even attempted to bake chocolate chip cookies (help Angie, I just can't make it happen!). This entire week has been rough (read full of tears) just thinking of what is to come. It is bittersweet knowing that its my last treatment and then I will have a break for 4 weeks, but still so dreadful knowing what to expect. Larry won't have to drag me from the bed, kicking and screaming in the morning but I am sure that I will not be in my grandest of moods. I will get to find out when I have my porta-cath removed and that will be a day worthy of celebration. That thing has been the source of many a tantrum and I can't wait to say good riddance to that evil little device! I am expecting next week to be much like the previous two and am prepared for little to no work and have Mom and Lar on stand-by as always.

I have seen many of you lately and continue to get the most incredible feedback about this blog. Some of you say "make it a book!" and others say "when are you going to update it?" and all I can say is how touched I am that so many of you come here to read my thoughts, rantings and overall silliness. This blog started as a way to keep my friends and family informed when I was not up to phone conversations but it has truly become something that is, in a way, healing for me. I enjoy writing and getting out what I am thinking, and I LOVE the comments from all of you. Some make me cry, others bring about giggles and all make me feel surrounded by so much love from the most incredible people. So thank you all again for coming to this crazy place in the sky to read about me, I am so thankful for your support.

Well, I think I am ready to face this last treatment with the biggest smile I can muster. I have struggled this week with the lack of control I feel I have on my life, but tomorrow I will wake up and be strong. I will eat breakfast and drink my coffee (that Larry so wonderfully makes for me), wear something cute so that I feel less like a patient and more like that vixen I was talking about ages ago, and go get my last dose of poison, I mean medicine. So wish me luck and keep me in your thoughts, cause that sure is a nice place to be.



Sunday, September 23, 2007

Wig schmig

Well, I found a wig and it was fun and wore it to Jason's party and about half way through my head was burning up and I just yanked it off. No one's eyes popped out of their head, or jaw dropped to the floor or anything. Not that I expected my friends to all freak out, but they were just fine. They were more interested in playing with my wig than my pale, bald head. I enjoyed the rest of the evening so much more without that stupid itchy thing on top of my head. It was much more fun to watch all of them running around with that contraption on their heads than mine. I think I may be getting a little more used to this bald in public thing after all. Hope you like this little picture (if you click it you can get the full effect, cause this thing would not cooperate with me) I have made for you all!

Today - I even helped Jen move some of her stuff and did not wear my scarf. I sat by the pool afterwards at her apartment complex and was shiny bald for the world to see, and it was quite liberating! Anyway, not much else to tell, so adios!



Saturday, September 22, 2007

Wig shopping

Well, its been almost a week since I updated you guys with anything so here's whats been happening with us. Work, work and more work. Larry and I have both worked our heinies (how do you spell that?) off this week and it has almost seemed like our life is back to normal. I have been exhausted by the time I get home everyday, but other than that things have gone swimmingly. I have had a few meltdowns and cry-fests, but less than last time so I am patting myself on the back for that one. If you own stock in Kleenex well, sorry, I haven't been using them quite as much!

I did go wig shopping again because I was supposed to meet some school friends for dinner last night and I wasn't feeling like a blonde and it was just miserable. I was so angry at this hair thing. Who would have thought it would be THIS STINKIN hard, i mean it's just HAIR! I imagine you all are tired of hearing about this, but it's been the hardest for me and therefore the most likely topic about which I will write.

So anyway, the wigs were just ridiculous. The one's that I did find and think I could wear and not feel like a total moron where upwards of$200!! And that is for synthetic! So nonetheless I came home sans stupid wig but with red eyes and a runny nose. Mom talked me out of my state of complete disgust, anger and frustration and I came home and ate way too much pizza. I had to skip out on my friends, much to my chagrin, cause I just could not stop the tears. So today, Jess, Jen and myself are going shopping again. Today I will not be looking for that wig which looks just like my hair. I will be looking for that wig that is fun! Funky! Crazy! Blue! So, if I find what I am looking for you'll see a picture, I promise. Cause from now on, I am gonna do my best to have fun with this bald thing and hold it in disdain no more. Now ya'll I said try, so be nice. Ok?

Till' next time...



Sunday, September 16, 2007

Slick bald

I have kind of been slacking off with the postings lately, but that way there is more to write when I finally do. Right? Since my last post not too much has happened. I spent the last few days of the week trying to recoup and feel normal again with moderate success. Friday, I met the girls out for happy hour (where I actually drank a beer and it tasted like something!) and wore my new, sassy-girl wig. It looks a little not like me what with the blond highlights and bangs, but it was fun nonetheless. It was also HOT! Sitting outside, my head was sweating and I felt like every little piece of that acrylic hair was sticking right to the sides of my face. The girls were awesome and kept telling me how hot I looked as a blond and at least I didn't feel like a cancer patient for the first time in as many days. That was nice. I only lasted about two hours and then my cranium started trying to make bone marrow again (at least that is how it feels) so I went on home and to bed.

Saturday we went out for breakfast (and again the food tasted mostly like I thought it should) and then I played in the dirt some for its therapeutic benefits, planting some herbs and pretty flowers for the patio. Afterwards we went to meet up with Forrest and Nancy at their tailgate spot and I had my first official public experience wearing a scarf and knowing that I looked the part. It was much too warm for a wig and I just wasn't ready (still aren't) to show the newly slick bald (and white, I might add) head that I am rockin'. So, I went out with a smile and cute outfit and took the looks in stride. I sometimes forget, even as I sit here at the computer sporting my mister clean look, that my hair is gone and that people can now tell that I am sick. In the coming weeks when I am feeling well, and both anxiously awaiting and dreading that last treatment, I will still look sick. That is something that I am so glad I will not have time to get used to. I do not enjoy the looks of sadness that are accompanied with smiles. It certainly has made me more aware of how my face may betray me when I see others in a situation that I might view as unfortunate or sad, and hopefully it will increase my awareness. Who knows. Maybe I am just super sensitive or still angry at losing my hair. My head sure does get cold at night.

Anyway, enough about that. Monday is a new week and I have TONS of work to make up. Meetings, phone calls, P A P E R W O R K (all that is for emphasis and to show just how much I have awaiting me), client visits and the like. So wish me luck or say a prayer and I will keep you all posted on all things Mary. Hope that you are all enjoying the beautiful weather today, I sure am!
Love you all.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Yay all I can say

So, there was no post yesterday cause this second treatment hit me like a ton of bricks. I know that everyone is different and they can't tell you everything, but man it just seems like only a few of the things they prepared me for have actually happened, and one of them has only partly happened (stupid-non-cooperating-hair)! Tuesday, i was not all energy like I was last time. I went to work (think I told you all that), got acupuncture and that was it. Wednesday I spent the entire day either on the couch or in the bed. That was, for sure, my worst day yet. I could not get out of bed to even get myself a drink until around 10:30 in the morning. So, to my rescue came my fabulous husband and he took care of me all day. Today I feel a good amount better, but still rough. Mom came over this morning to make me breakfast (which turned into sweeping, mopping, laundry, dishes and lunch: man do have I have an awesome mom!) and then I went for some more acupuncture to help with my nausea (REALLY WORKS!), energy and my bone pain. I feel a good bit better already. It is amazing.

As for tomorrow, we shall see what happens. I have been eating a decent amount the last two days thanks to the decrease in my nausea, but nothing seems to taste like anything. Jess even made some of her delicioso broccoli-cheesey-potato soup and while I knew it was yummy (cause it smelled divine!) I could hardly taste it. Hopefully that will only last a few days (along with the brain melt-down - I had to call Larry to ask him the word "postcard"! I could describe it, but not recall the word. Weird.) and then my taste buds will be back, my brain will function at some small capacity and things will be well until October 1st which is my next and LAST treatment! YAYAYAY! Until then, if anything exciting happens, I will be sure to let you know. Love you all and again - THANKS FOR READING!


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Being Nearly bald

So I finally made it to that Yoga class on Sunday evening and boy am I sore. It left me a little emotionally sore as well. My hair was full of bald patches but would just not fall out and I wore a scarf to class and it just made my hair hurt (that is the weirdest phenomenon btw) so afterwards Larry took a very emotional me outside and shaved the rest off. I can still see all the patches, but it feels better a little and hopefully the last of it will come on out soon.

I had my second (and second to last, yay!) treatment yesterday and it went by much (well one hour less) quicker and with zero problems. I was walking out the door by 4. I, later last night, went to a "Look Good, Feel Better" program which is sponsored by the American Cancer Society, ACFTA (can't remember but Cosmetics and Toiletries something i think) and by Palmetto Richland I believe. They gather groups of women going through treatment (either radiation, chemo, or both) and give us a two hour presentation on putting on our make-up without using our hands (to lower the risk of infection), baldness care, nail care, scarf tying and also gave us about $250 worth of really nice makeup! I have something from Chanel for the first time in my life! I feel spoiled rotten. They also had wigs to choose from and i finally got one that is fantastic. It is short and cute and VERY sassy. and I left there feeling just that - better. It is a wonderful program and I so enjoyed talking with the other women who were facing very similar side effects and emotions as I have been. They ranged from young to old and the volunteers were fantastic as well. I can't wait to offer my volunteer services when i am feeling better!

As for today - many of you remember that the day after last chemo i was going 900 mph all day and eating everything in sight and feeling fabulous. Well i wish I could give the same report today, but no such luck. Feeling mostly nauseous all day and a little like I have a bad cold minus the sinus junk. I got my Nulasta shot (bone marrow growth) and got some acupuncture to see if that helps with the nausea. We shall see. I did make it in to work today as the new interns were coming in and I very much wanted to meet all of them. So I worked about 4 hours and then called it a day and went on the my doctors appointments. So - not too much else to update you about. I will be sure to let you all know when all the hair is gone and how the rest of the week goes. I am hoping for another yoga class this week, but we will see. Love you all!


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I always wanted a mohawk!!

So, first things first, my hair started falling out on Monday morning (at least that is when I noticed it first) so Tuesday night, we had a shave your head party! It was great fun and the boys came and shaved their heads too. They helped me make it into something that was fun and not so sad or freaky. I watched Larry shave his, then Dave Ly-dell took his off, then my turn and later that evening Pete came and did his too. Larry was so nervous and I think more emotional about it than me! He must have kissed my head 10 times before he finished. We left the mohawk for a few minutes and then took off the rest. I thought you all would appreciate seeing this picture first!! I went to work today with my new do and got great feedback - actually nothing but compliments really! I have actually felt quite fabulous all day. I almost forget that it is as short as it is until I see a mirror or walk by a window. But I am actually liking it a lot! Tomorrow I will see all my kid clients and get the true feedback, cause you know kids do not hold back! But so far, the transitions from long to short to shaved have been nice and I am happy that I have been able to be PROactive instead of REactive, finally!

Now to tell you all about my WONDERFUL weekend in Florida. We made great time getting there Friday, and the drive was fun. We saw a sign in Georgianna, Alabama that read "Hank Williams, Sr. Museum" so we stopped and it turns out that his boyhood home (only from ages 7 to 11) was in Georgianna! So we took a little tour and bought some souvenirs and then got on our way. It was an ideal way to make a road trip. The morning after we arrived, George and Larry went to pick up the CONVERTIBLE that George and Trisha rented for us! It was an awesome surprise!! We drove all around in that little hot rod and I felt like I was on some reality show or was a princess or something. It was just wonderful. George, Trisha, Chloe and Sofia treated us like we were royalty and spoiled us rotten. Saturday we spent the day at the beach (which by the way really does have white sand and clear blue water - standing neck deep, i could still see my toes!) and then went for a double date. The next day Larry and I drove down to the beach and found a great little spot to take some pictures (like this one) and just enjoyed our wonderful day, driving around in a convertible. We left Geo and Trish's Monday morning and made great time getting back to town. It truly was what I needed, the sand that looked like sugar and beautiful sun and warm wind in my hair (thank goodness I still had some) and good friends. We are SOOOOO thankful for our friends and family and all your continued support and thoughtfulness and prayers. We are two of the luckiest people around.

I will continue to keep you guys posted on the hair deal and how it goes (haa haa, what a pun!). Monday (the 10th) is my next treatment, so I will let you know about that, too. Until then- we love you all and THANKS FOR READING!