Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wrapped Around My Head

Some good stuff...some not so good. Where to begin?
Okay, the not so good. I mentioned to the doctor yesterday that I was feeling pretty tired. I was still thinking (hoping) that it was just tired like normal people--work, stress, all that. But no. He said I am definitely at the stage where I'd start to feel the effects, and that the fatigue will increase before it gets better. As he explained, much like chemo, the radiation attacks "good" tissue along with the bad. So my body is exerting a lot of energy battling that. Makes sense. But so why isn't my body burning a lot of calories???

Then this morning post-shower it was very easy to see where I'm being radiated. Exactly where. There were "tan" lines forming. But it's sort of tan lines in reverse. I'm darker in the area that is usually covered by a bathing suit. I could see the diagonal line across my upper chest wall. Then after this morning's radiation (12 down!! Lucky 13 tomorrow) the treated area was a little sore. Like some one punched me there. But also, there are little shooting pains. Nothing unbearable. And it isn't persistent. Just enough to let me know the side effects are beginning. Luckily, there is a weekend right around the corner and I'll get a couple days break from the zapping.

On the brighter side, I decided I'm not liking the wigs too much these days so I may just switch to the scarves when I can. So I wore just a scarf today--which also allowed me to conclude my scarf-tying demonstration at the radiation center with a live demonstration (hey, we're all bald; no one is shocked if I take the scarf off and tie it again...step by step.) Later I went to a luncheon at the Convention Center (Leadership Riverside graduation) and was still wearing only the scarf (no hair). Turns out a lot more people can recognize me in the scarf than can in the red wig. And there is a new standard response to chemo/cancer patient that gets added to my collection. Right there with "You're a strong person, you'll do great" and "You have a pretty face, you'll be fine when you lose your hair" we can now add "It's not a look everyone can pull off but it works on you." Which really sounds a lot like a back-handed compliment doesn't it? But three different people said a variation of that to me. I kind of like the scarf look. If it doesn't remind me too much of living in chemo-land, you may still find me doing that even when I have hair.

And speaking of hair...which I do a lot these days, I know... I had to shave my legs today!! I noticed that there actually was hair there, not just stubble. But it was mostly blonde so not totally obvious. 6 or 7 weeks post-chemo and it's growing back. Also, I bet you never knew that eyebrow stubble is itchy. Yeah, I didn't know that either. Now I know.

My head (on the other hand?) is just about at 5 o'clock shadow stage. It's fuzzy. Chris and I both tend to rub it and we are ridiculously prone to quoting various versions of "Fuzzy wuzzy was a bear...."as we do so. I consider this progress.


  1. Do you say "fuzzy wuzzy" with a wittle cute accent?

  2. I've noticed with the warmer weather here in Portland more women are wearing scarves wrapped in some form or another around their heads. So I'd run with that fashion...

    and I know you hate the standard responses but you ARE brave... and reading through the comments left here, well, inspiring. I love ya and I can't wait to give you a big hug! (should have work off approval by Monday!)

  3. You CAN pull off the scarf look -- better than anyone I've ever seen! Others try it and end up looking like they are dressed for Halloween. You make it look like a fashion statement, like it's totally a cool unique accessory. How you manage to be "blonde" even with no hair, I don't quite get but there you have it. You looked great at graduation!

  4. Okay, Okay, you've all convinced me--I'm going with the scarf look! (She says, like she has a lot of options). Thanks for your support!

    Michael-we're looking forward to seeing you! I'll give you a call on Sunday.


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