I cut my hair a couple of days before I started chemo. I like to have enough knowledge when something unexpected happens in life, so I read a lot. Almost all cancer patients that gets (got) the same chemo as I do advised cutting your hair short.
No-one mentioned that your scalp will hurt when your hair starts falling out. Nobody. Not my oncologist, the nurses… I thought that maybe somehow I got sunburned at the gala without realizing. That’s how painful it is.
I turned to Google and I am not alone. In different degrees, it hurts when your hair falls out. I cannot even lie on my back because the back of my head is the worst. Not that the rest isn’t painful, it is just not as bad.
Also, it is starting to look horrible. I suppose by this weekend it will all have fallen out.
Some days are better than others though. Today might turn into a great one. Who knows.
I remember when I went for my mammogram and sonar thereafter. I was waiting in the doctor’s office. Alone. I didn’t have to be alone. My mom badly wanted to go with me but I wanted to face it alone. I remember sending my mom a message “The doctor thinks it is cancer”
I cannot image what she must have thought. She wanted to drive to the doctor’s office but I said that I was fine.
I remember going for the biopsy. Alone. I didn’t want anyone else to worry or go through that.
I went back to the doctor when he got the results. Alone.
Again, not because I had to but because I handle tough situations like that.
I was alone when the doctor said he had bad news. That it was cancer. I was calm. Listened to his thoughts and what we needed to do next.
I walked out of his office and saw my dad in the waiting room. We know that lady who works there and he phoned her to hear what the results were.
All of a sudden I wasn’t alone and I didn’t want to be. My daddy was there.
I’m a proud person and I don’t think that is such a good personality trait to have. I needed to see my dad there.
I have since learned that so many people want to be there. So many people want to love me through this.
Tommie takes time of from work to go to appointments with me. The children go way and beyond. My brothers, sisters (in-law). My friends. People who I hardly knew have fast become close friends. People want to help.
They want to love me through this.
I heard this song and cried. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer about two weeks ago.
I want to love her through this. I understand now how important it is for me to allow others to love me through this.
Mom, I can’t fix this. I can’t make it better. I can’t take it away but I can love you through this.
Honestly? I was nervous. Nervous because I couldn’t feel the chemo port and thought they wouldn’t be able to use it. Nervous of the unknown.
I handle such situations with humor. I had that oncology in giggles most of the time. Except when someone was asleep and there was this one old Oom that snored. That calm snore. I wanted to sleep with him!
First they put a plaster over the port that numbs the area. Takes 40 minutes and gave us time to visit family in hospital. I went back and felt close to zero pain when she put needle in. Felt absolutely nothing when she flused it and nothing while getting the chemo. I had my hands available and comfortable without an IV. It was great.
My body handled it like a pro. So far, so good. Little bit nauseous but I can cope with it.
I was so worried that I made a mistake by getting the port. I thankfully did not. It worked so well.
I have a sweet but also very honest oncologist. She told me exactly how I will feel during chemo and what will happen. For example that my hair will fall out. 10-14 days and my hair will start falling out. I have had long hair for ages. Last time I had short hair was in matric. The boys only know me with long hair. I always joke that “I may be fat but at least I have great hair”. Well, soon, no more. So I made the decision to cut it short and donate my hair to cancer..ironic I know. So today was the day. A day I thought would be emotional though, turned out special. Our hairdresser (aka friend aka angel) has supported and helped me non-stop throughout this while thing. Finally the day came that I was going to cut my hair. We got there and it turned into such a beautiful, emotional, special morning. My mom and I were treated with gifts, flowers, cupcakes, shampagne. The whole works. A toast to us, our path ahead. I wish I had thought of taking a photo. To all our friends there, this meant so much to us. You have no idea. Thank you for your support and prayers. You are amazing.
Everything has happened in slow motion. Too slow. More than a month after surgery, I will start chemo.
Next week Wednesday.
29 November 2017.
I feel like saying finally it will start but that feels wrong. I don’t want it to start. I also don’t want to wait any longer.
This weekend we have a family photoshoot. Will be nice to have those photos to look at as I go bald and feel sick. That sounds really negative but I’m just realistic. It is a fact.
I am thankful though that I could finish off the individual tax season without being on Chemo!
See..always a positive.
I was very unsure if this was the route I wanted to go. My cousin who has just finished her chemo advised me against it. I Googled, read up, spoke to family and friends and eventually decided to get chemo port.
Firstly when I went for one of my tests the doctor mentioned that she would have to look for a vein. Mine tends to hide. Then during a visit with my oncologist I saw a lady get chemo through her port and how quick and easy it was. So decision was made.
I feel I am doing what I can to make this road a little easier. Cancer a tough, horrible thing to go through. If a port can make it a bit easier, I am all for it.
My Aunt phoned me (for which I am very thankful) and mentioned that getting a thankful journal might be helpful. One where I just write five or ten things that were positive that day. Little things, like someone opening the door or a smile from a random person.
I have yet to buy a journal but I am thankful for some little things.
- The waiter at Rustenburg Spur last night that saw that I wasn’t feeling well and when Tommie asked for ice-cold water with lemons, she brought it immediately. Just as he ordered. When the boys came back with medicine, she saw that and brought me room temperature water for the pills.
- I’m thankful for my friend Liesl, who just continuously brings a smile to my face. From the day she brought the most delicious milktart, to the recent cushion that will help that my safety belt doesn’t irritate my chemo port.
- I could never mention all the little things my mom and dad does but please know that I see and appreciate every little and big thing.
- My children. Your patience with me and the will to help me as soon as I need something. I am blessed with amazing children.
- My brothers who cycled the 94.7 with pink hair. Now that’s showing support if I ever saw it.
- My mom, who put pink stripes in her hair. If you know my mom you would know that it is totally out of her comfort zone. Thanks Mom.
- To my daughters (both from heart) Kyla and Jeane, who puts breast cancer images as their profile pictures and status on whatsapp. I’m proud of you.
- The receptionist at one of the doctor’s I went to last week that also has breast cancer and was extra sweet and friendly.
- Melanie from The final touch, who has gone way and beyond to help me feel pretty. Also for helping with my hair after the op. You don’t know how much I appreciate it.
- Our coach family that bought me a cancer ribbon necklace and chocolates after the op.
- Our junior coach who asks and cares about how I’m doing.
- The pink valve caps Tommie bought for my bus.
- My soul mate who drove 2 hours to give me a hug.
- One of my dear friends who put pink stripes in her hair, regardless of what the school headmaster will say. The fellow teachers love it though 🙂
I could never remember everyone or everything but there are so many little things. I never thought I would have the kind of support I do.
I am thankful for everyone who has done something to show support or send a message.