Hearing those words spoken–you have cancer–would throw anybody for a loop, I guarantee you, but especially when your first call from the surgeon’s assistant jubilantly announces the lump wasn’t malignant, you don’t have cancer! and then a second call saying Oops! Turns out we were wrong, the second lab tells us that weird lump turns out to be a lymphoma. We felt that day as though we were being jerked around like a yo-yo. The nagging worries soon persisted though. If it wasn’t breast cancer, then where did that lump come from? I lay it to my woman’s intuition, but I knew there had to be more to the story. Must be because I signed the consent form to use it in cancer research I hoped. Never assume.
Yesterday I had my first chemo treatment. Since it was the first, the drip had to be very slow and monitored carefully as it’s impossible to determine how well I would be able tolerate it or be sure any adverse reactions were caught and reversed quickly. I was there for nine hours. When I started, the approximately 15 patient infusion lab was filled to capacity. When I left, there were only two left. Both Hubby and I were exhausted.
And speaking of Hubby, yesterday was his birthday. To show you the good man I chose among all the others in the world to spend my life with, he didn’t even mention it though I’m sure he remembered. It was only when I noticed the date that I realized it was the 12th. Despite his protest that we shouldn’t obsess over birthdays, Moe, who was out of town and Vim in NY were all too stressed–same as we were–and forgot as well. A first!
During the chemo, my nurse stopped often to check and cheer me on. When I mentioned near the last bag drip how much better mentally I was feeling now that I knew I could make it through treatment. I remembered all the negatives my sister went through years before, and remind myself constantly that WAS years ago, oncologists know more and have better treatments than years ago. In that way I am very lucky. She pointed out that I’d probably noticed there was no doom and gloom atmosphere about the lab that day–everybody there constantly focuses on hope. She was right, and when you see so many really young woman going through the same thing, it’s hard to feel too sorry for yourself.
She told me about the wig display set up at one end, that women who’d gone through the therapy themselves donated their wigs when their own hair grew back. I could look through them to see if there were any I liked. They’d been cleaned by the staff and I could take several home to try and keep them all if I wanted. She encouraged me to have fun when I lose my hair–a given in two weeks or less–by using sexy wigs, wearing different hairstyles and colors as I fancied. I brought home these three. I took these pictures myself in front of the mirror and that accounts for the grim facial expressions you’ll see. Each can be enlarged by clicking on the photo.
Help me decide which to keep. I kind of like the middle one, which looks nearly too like the first to keep both. The first two bring out the bluish green color of my eyes, but the one on the right may be good when I need a more mature look. My daughter and granddaughter and I still plan to visit to a good wig store as soon as we can, though, in spite of Hubby’s pained looks when I mention it (expensive). What I don’t like about these is my chipmunk cheeks are too showy. I always have my hair styled with a little more length in front and the sides and that makes the cheeks less prominent. I’ll let you know how that turns out. If you have a favorite, I’d like to know in the comments.