Friday, April 20, 2007


Bringing you up to date...

The second chemo treatment was not quite as exhausting as the first, and I have had the side effects under better control. It still made me tired, but not for quite as many days. Also, so far the bone pain from the Neulasta has been much less bothersome, unless it hasn't kicked in yet, which is of course possible.

That's the up side. On the down side, I got the news today that the lymph nodes on my right side are malignant. The biopsy was done over there because the PET scan showed evidence of cancer. My oncologist thought it was an anomoly. Unfortunately she was wrong. This will change my course of treatment. No longer are we looking for a cure. Now the operative phrase is "managing a chronic medical condition." There are no longer plans for a mastectomy. Instead the chemo sessions will double, changing to Taxol for the second set of four. After that radiation may or may not be recommended. Finally I will be on an estrogen suppressant indefinitely, which means a
greater potential for osteoporosis and the side effect of increased arthritis, a condition with which I have been dealing since I was in my 20s. It's not exactly good news.

Since my original diagnosis, and since Justin sent me the miraculous oil from St. John Maximovich's lamp, I had been saying this prayer when using the oil: "Jesus Christ, Son of God, by the prayers of Saint Archbishop John, heal the cancer in my body and save my hair if it be in accordance with God the Father's will." Apparently it was not in accordance, because I am now bald for all practical purposes.

Wigs are hot. When hair is about to fall out, the scalp gets irritated. Think pin cushion. Consequently my husband gets to see my chrome dome on a regular basis. I do still cover it up when outside, but that just may change one of these days. You know that commercial where the young, georgeous, hairless girl says "Bald is beautiful"? Well, I'm not beautiful, but I just might tell you: "Yeah. I don't have any hair. So deal with it!" Especially since chemotherapy looks to become a lifestyle change.

Tomorrow I have a Red Hat luncheon. I've got the hat figured out. It's knitted out of that new fuzzy yarn--red, of course. It covers up all the bald parts and looks a little bit like a Raggedy Ann doll wig. Around that goes a purple ribbon with a purple pin and a large purple feather. Now if I just had a purple flapper dress, the outfit would be complete.

Oddly enough, I have bought three skirts very recently. It seems that if I must become less feminine by losing my hair, I must also become more feminine by wearing dresses. Go figure.

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