|Two down, six to go! Warrior style!|
The head shaving party was fun. Most of the pics are on facebook or will be posted when I can wrest them from Michael's phone. Quite a few people showed up, we chatted, shaved my head through much laughter and sarcastic remarks, ate, and watched Hairspray and laughed some more. A lock of hair is currently lying in state in a tiny coffin, next to a bouquet of flowers and a headstone that reads "Hair Today, Gone 2Morrow". I love my friends and family.
I'm still getting used to feel of my head. She used a #10 blade, which left maybe 1/8" of hair. It feels funny when I touch it, shift on the pillow, get it wet, when I wear a scarf. But, I have to say I'm enjoying it even though it's not something I would have done by choice. All the compliments I've gotten haven't hurt, so thank you!
The buzz cut makes me feel like a warrior. The kids said I look like Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road. I'll take that! I wore the red bandanna I got for free from the Look Good Feel Better class to chemo. I think that might become another ritual--get a new bandanna for each treatment. I'll wear pretty scarves and wigs other times, but for treatment I'll do the warrior thing. :) I like having all these rituals...it makes something that could be difficult more of a celebration. Same thing with having a party for my hair. If I'd done it alone, I think I would have cried. Instead, I laughed and enjoyed it.
Click here to see the video!
Chemo yesterday went well. I didn't get much sleep the night before--my pattern of waking up too early, unable to go back to sleep. I asked the doctor for a prescription for a sleep aid, plus some Ativan that helps with nausea, anxiety, and can help with sleep. They ran my blood panel and everything looked pretty good, although I was very slightly low on a couple things and very slightly high on another. Not enough to be alarmed or delay treatment. I'm going to look through the literature from the nutritionist and work on my diet some more. I think I mostly need to get more dark green veggies.
I was much less anxious this time, knowing what was going to happen. It took less time, and I slept through some of it thanks to the Ativan they started my IV with. The port didn't hurt so much since it's basically healed. Then I went home and slept some more. I had a headache, but other than that felt fine.
The first chemo cycle, I'd started feeling queasy and hit the anti-nausea drugs four hours after treatment finished. Yesterday, I felt just a little delicate at that point (not even queasy), so I decided to start with the Relief Band, which delivers a little electric pulse through my wrist. I used conductive gel and a low setting. I also put on some peppermint oil, on my navel and the back of my neck. No drugs. Felt fine, good appetite and ate well. We had tacos for dinner and they might have been too greasy, but they were good!
The relief band held me until about 11:45, when it was starting to lose conductivity. I could have applied more gel, but I didn't think I wanted to wear it all night so I took it off and took Ativan, hoping it would hold off any nausea and help me sleep (the insurance company made a stink with the sleep aid because it's in the same class as Ativan, so the pharmacy had to call the doc and it'll be a day or so). It didn't. The nausea came on, and the minor heartburn and indigestion I'd felt earlier in the evening (thank you, tacos) got worse.
I took all manner of ginger and peppermint and tums, and that kept me from throwing up, but the nausea was still there and I didn't want to go to sleep until it was under control. So I took a Compazine and more ginger and peppermint and tums. Finally, at about 1:45am I put the Relief Band back on, with conductive gel, and turned it up a notch. Nausea was gone within a minute, but not the heartburn/indigestion. More tums and propping myself up on pillows, and finally I felt like it was all under control enough to fall asleep in a normal position.
Woke up at around 7 this morning feeling OK, the Relief Band still working. I turned it back down to level 2 and it's been holding great without reapplying the gel. No meds today whatsoever, although I've had some peppermint ginger tea and applied peppermint oil just for good measure. I went back to sleep after breakfast and slept soundly for a good 3 hours or so. Now, I feel well enough to do some work and this blog. Yay!
This afternoon, I get the Neulasta shot to boost my white blood cells. Hopefully it's no worse than last time, when I just felt a little fluish for a day or two. The fatigue is really not bad so far, but we'll see how the next couple days go. My appetite is still good, which is important for healing and maintaining my strength.
I suspected this time would go a little easier because I was feeling much better going into it. I'd been highly fatigued and unwell and in pain for a good month before the first treatment, but this time I'd been feeling really good for over a week.
Onward and upward!