I Don’t Wanna Do This Anymore

I hate being a whiner. I really want to be positive and upbeat and a trooper. But right now I really don’t want to do this anymore. I woke this morning with a headache and it went downhill from there. My friend Laurie took me to chemo. She is an awesome friend and would do anything for me. Laurie and I go way back to when she was an adjuster and I was her assistant. We became fast friends and have seen each other through a lot. Health scares, autism and teenagers. Her kids are in everything- volleyball, football, band, basketball, baseball. When we do get to go shopping together we end of either hiding from salesmen behind displays or singing Bob The Builder. Because she is so busy we have a date set for shopping when her youngest graduates in 2018.
Anyway– I forgot to put my numbing cream on my port so it hurt a little. My white blood cell counts were good as was my blood pressure. I had to suck on ice chips which I am really starting to hate. They’re cold and have no taste. Laurie and I watched Move Over Darling with Doris Day and James Garner which was probably the highlight of my day. When the second drug kicked in, my head and nose filled up. Since I already had a headache it made it worse. Laurie was awesome fetching ice and taking my snotty Kleenex. What a great friend!!! I had hoped to have lunch with her but all I wanted to do was go home. We picked up my prescription for Flonase that Hettinger thinks will help the congestion and Laurie took me home.
Jarl brought me a sandwich home from Back Alley Deli which was really good but I’ve been nauseous since. I took a couple naps. I am so tired of this. Yeah it hasn’t been that bad but when I’m going through the worst I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m tired of being fatigued. I’m tired of being bald. I’m tired of being nauseous. I’m tired of cancer. It sucks. I still have 13 treatments left, surgery and possibly radiation. What if the chemo doesn’t shrink the tumor? What if the surgery doesn’t get it all? What if I go through all this for nothing? I know I’m making people uncomfortable. I just made my dog Suzy uncomfortable when I cried on her. Tomorrow will be better. I’m just tired.

Hair Meltdown

Who would have thought there could be so much hair on my head? It was shaved to a half inch! It started over the weekend and it felt like I had gotten my hair cut and the cuttings were falling only they didn’t stop. By Monday morning I could just touch my head and would have hair on my hands. It sort of freaked Jarl out. LOL. It was in the shower Monday that I cracked. Hair was all over. It was on my hands, my arms, my face, in my eyes, my mouth and yes my belly button!! I couldn’t get rid of it. And the weird thing is there was still plenty on my head. I tried washing it off- no help. I tried toweling it off. Didn’t work. It was now all over the bathroom. Powder helped a little. It itched. How could I got to work like this?? Finally in a last ditch effort for results, I grabbed Jarl’s beard trimmer and set to work shearing the sheep that was my head. Somehow I was able to shave the front part of my head through the tears that were also falling. Time was ticking away and I had to decide if I was going to work. I finally jumped back in the shower to try to wash at least some of the hair off. I covered my body in powder in the hopes it would help any itching. Unfortunately I would not discover the hair in my belly button until later and it made for a long day!
When I got home after work and took off my wig Jarl said I looked like the Barbie doll from Toy Story where the kid Sid from next door shaves part of her head. I had little tufts all over the top of my head and the back looked like my 3 year old great niece Sophi shaved it. Actually, Sophi probably would have done a better job of it!!
My awesome husband finished the job for me. I now look like either Mr. Freeze or Egghead from Batman. I’m also in talks with a toy company who developed Wooly Willy the magnetic toy game where you put magnetic hair shavings on top of Willy’s bald head. We’re calling it Mohawk Marcia.

Two Down Only 14 To Go!!

We had to go to John Stoddard Cancer Center today since I would have had chemo here yesterday but it was a holiday. I have to say I’ll stick with Grinnell. There was ALOT of people in the oncology office. They call you back for labs and then you wait some more. It is interesting the different ages and backgrounds. Cancer isn’t choosy who it touches. It was the first time they used my port. It is awesome!!! I had put on the cream about an hour prior so It didn’t hurt at all. The lab tech (who was about as friendly as a brick) left the thingee (official word for a tube thing) so they didn’t have to prick me again. My labs were really good so Dr. Heddinger was pleased. Amy must have had the day off so I had Amber. What did I say about everyone’s name starting with A?? Amy was very sweet but looked about 16. After meeting with Heddinger, we headed up to chemo on the 5th floor. There are about a couple dozen chairs in their chemo suite along with six rooms with beds. The nurses are kept hopping. Across from me was an older gentleman who had already been there a while. Two hours later he was still there. A woman who had came in after me, left within 45 minutes. They come and they go. I was cold since I have to suck on ice chips for one of my drugs. They don’t have heaters in their chairs!! I’m glad I had my blanket. Jarl left to move the car closer (long story) leaving me to fend for myself. I had my laptop and a TV but nothing was on. I played Mah Jong. Jarl was gone for such a long time, I started to think he left me there He had stopped to eat!!! Say what? Yep! HE was hungry! I will not fault him but he could have at least brought me something!! We finally got out of there around 1:30. After a stop at Famous Footwear for shoes-Jarl found some, but I didn’t. They don’t carry many 9W- we went to pick up my cranial prosthesis– or in layman’s terms-wig, hair.
Jack and Zac are really great I’ve said it before. They make you feel like you’re the most important person and beautiful. Zac trimmed the bangs a bit, gave me a huge hug and we were on our way. If you ever need a wig for any reason, go to 409 Studio on Grand Ave in Des Moines.
Jarl said he’s gonna have to get used to it and Chris told me when we got home he liked it.
Wednesday– wasn’t able to finish this yesterday. I think I’ll try going into work. I do have to get my white blood booster shot this afternoon. Anxious to show off my new doo.

Top Ten Silver Linings To Cancer

Who knew that having cancer has silver lining? It’s true. I should know since I’m living cancer every day.

#10- Everyone is really, really nice to you. They have to be because you’ve got cancer! If they’re mean to you, people will talk and when I mean people I mean me. ;)

#9 Naps- I could probably nap at work and no one would care because— shhh she’s got cancer, let her sleep, poor thing. See #10.

#8 Weight loss. I’ve lost about 9 lbs in two weeks. Heck I can eat whatever I want (which isn’t much right after chemo) and still lose weight. Of course when I feel good I think I have to make up for lost time– let me tell you Reese’s Peanut Butter Oreo cookies are a must when on the chemo diet. YUMMMM

#7 You don’t have to cook– when you don’t feel good, you don’t feel like eating and when you don’t feel like eating, you don’t want to cook. People bring you food! And if people don’t bring you food, your husband orders take out. He’ll let you order anything you want since he wants you to eat. Side note– Dari Barn doesn’t deliver. :(

#6 Too tired to clean– this can also be a down side especially if your family is like mine. As long as there is a path way from the kitchen thru the living room to the bathroom/bedrooms Jarl thinks the house is clean. I am teaching Chris s-l-o-w-l-y how to do laundry and clean. He’s such a good boy.

#5 You get new hair and insurance pays for it!! Not that I don’t like the hair that God gave me, but lately (ok for several years) it’s had natural highlights that I really don’t like. And it never does what I want it to do. Now I can have some fun with scarves and my ‘cranial prothesis”. I can’t decided while wearing the scarves if I’m a gypsy or a pirate. I like my new hoop earrings I wear with them so I can do both. I don’t think I’d care much for a eye patch. I have hard enough time seeing as it is.

#4 You get an attitude of I don’t care what anyone thinks! At least I don’t. It’s kind of freeing. I can say whatever I want and who’s going to say anything? See #10. And I can do whatever I want and I don’t care– like karoeking (I hate that word). I didn’t care if I sucked at singing or not. I just did it. Did I suck??

#3- You get a great parking spot at work. Now usually I don’t mind walking a short distance from the car to the building, but this year we’re under construction and if you come in late you park waaaaayyy south of the building- like almost to Searsboro! Those suckers are gonna freeze this winter walking north to the building. Not me, my parking spot is right outside the door and right inside is the door to my bay and right inside that door is my cubical.

#2 You find out how awesome your co-workers are- I have the bestest. Vera, Lois, Brandy, Shannon and LaDonna. My boss Dara is pretty great too.

And the #1 reason cancer has a silver lining– People you don’t know pray for you! That is the bestest silver lining! People have told me they have put me on their church’s prayer chain and I’m in awe.
So there’s the top ten silver linings of cancer. Oh there are some big downs to having it but you know what, I’m NEVER gonna list them because they’re not worth it!!!

Mocha Mac

Never operate heavy machinery or try to make Easy Mac while going through chemo treatment!! I went back to work yesterday thinking (or obviously not thinking) I was fine. Although I was exhausted by the end of the day I did it and went back for more today. Each day gets easier but I know that as soon as I have treatment again I’ll have to start over. I felt like I was in a fog most of the day. Things that usually come easy, needed a bit of concentration. I caught myself before I made some mistakes but I’m also wondering about the ones I didn’t catch.
The best part of the day was lunch (always has been even when I was in school!). I decided to make Easy Mac as that’s the only thing that has sounded good. I thought I’d put hot water in it first then microwave to save time. I had my bowl, the noodles and was ready for the hot water. But instead of hot water, I started to put coffee in it!! I mean, come on! The levers are marked COFFEE and HOT WATER. I didn’t get too much in before I realized my mistake. I was able to eat my mac and cheese and could barely taste the mocha. Maybe I discovered a new flavor of mac and cheese- Mocha Mac. I’m gonna have to test some others too. How about Cocoa Mac? YUMMY!! Pepsi Mac. I don’t know if I’d like hot Pepsi. Milk Mac- Oops Mom discovered that years ago. I loved (and still do) putting milk over my macoroni. Yummy. Then we could go into the alcoholic line- Bud Mac, Whiskey Mac. Hmmm maybe I better stick to Easy Mac.

Nom, Nom. Nom…

Does everything taste really good once chemo has left the body?? I felt so good today so after my haircut, I had Mary stopped by Fareway. WOW big mistake. Everything looked and sounded delicious. I had only planned to pick up a rotisserie chicken and some potato salad. Let’s just say that $53 later we finally left.
I ate supper, cookies, and sherbet. I thought I was satisfied but at 1:30am I am awake after dreaming about food! I ate chip crumbs out of Mary’s purse, I ran sacked a train exhibit to eat the food for the volunteers and found XL M&Ms in a closet. I woke up in sweat and hungry. I got up and fixed a bowl of Frosted Flakes. Do not judge me!! I am doing chemo!!!
If I keep eating this way, I’m gonna weigh more than when I started. I thought losing weight was gonna be the silver lining in chemo. Well dang it foiled again. Where’s the chips??

What Does A Girl Wear To Get Her Head Shaved?

It’s every girl’s nightmare. What am I gonna wear to… After I turned 50 I turned to more for comfort than for looks. I figured after 49 years of never hitting the latest fashion on the nose, I might as well give up and go for comfort. I’ve never been all about fashion. I’m lucky I am able to coordinate colors! Today I’m going to do something I have never done and never thought I’d have to do. Am I nervous? Oh yeah. I know I’m gonna lose my hair and I really don’t want to wake up and find it on my pillow. I know I would freak out. This is something I can control so I want to shave it before it starts falling out. Already I can feel little pin picks on my head that says things are dying (as long as it’s not my brain). It was also hot this morning which is a big sign. And the other day it felt like one of my sisters pulled my hair by one strand. Ouch. So I’m scheduled for a shave this afternoon. But what do I wear? Do I go glam and take a scarf that will say va va voom? Or do I go casual and wear one of Jarl’s sweaty mowing caps? It’s warm outside so I don’t want to do a sweatshirt or sweater (duh!) T-shirt? Hawkeyes or Cyclones? Mary’s coming to get me soon… Well that shirt is in the laundry, and that one is too tight… Ok. There’s only one thing this girl can do. Go with her signature color. RED