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.
I’m glad you had a positive experience. And you seem to have a good attitude. With the medical catastrophes I’ve weathered, the biggest thing I’ve learned is that attitude is everything! (I just wish I could achieve that in my day-to-day life.)
As to the wigs, I like the bottom one best, the others seem a bit harsh and it gives your face a softer look. That said, I think you will be happier and more comfortable with one close to your regular style. A good shop will have just what you need.
I hope all this is successful and that we will be celebrating you being cancer free asap.
Love and Hugs and prayers!!!!!!! Kay
Hey, you like you feel alright in these pictures…i think i like the middle and leftside one best so far.
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I give up – why would you need a “more mature look?”
I think I like the left one best but – I think it’s because of your facial expression. You look great in all three!
I am seeing the photos left to right and my choice would be for No 3 (blonde) it softens you face and adds light. Then the middle one. The first hairstyle on the left is shortest and rather severe to my eye.
Have you thought of scarves for wearing at home? They are often softer and lighter for the days when you do not need the wig. Remember your head might feel colder in bed at night without the natural hat.
http://www.feelgoodscarves.com/ is an Irish company, but I am sure you will find somewhere like it in the US. Hope it helps.
I like the middle one best, but all look OK. I also can’t figure out why you would want to look more mature. It’s an interesting thought.
I’m glad it went well. Hope you continue to sail through.
The middle one definitely! I’m partial to red hair. Forget about the more mature look on the far right. Also how about also having a longer one for evening wear?
I think #3 looks great on you. It seems most natural with your skin tones and eyes. Keep smiling on this journey; it takes fewer muscles than frowning and you’ll need all the extra energy you can muster. You’re in my thoughts.
Hey there—glad the treatment went ok. I am sure the waiting to see if there
were adverse effects must have been so difficult! I like the middle wig–it makes
you look younger (who wouldn’t like that, –forget trying to look mature) and fun to be a redhead!! Happy B-day to your hubby!! Hugs to you both
The long day sounds exhausting but good to hear how nice the staff there is and that it went well for you. My vote would be the middle one … prob because I wear that style myself a lot and partly because I love that color. I hope your chemo therapy treatments all go well. The big “C” word has always been a scary monster out there but with all the progress they’ve made in research and treatments there is so much hope and success. You are in my thoughts often. I am enjoying the book you sent but with Lynn’s surgery and therapy etc I’m not getting much writing in. It will happen … I’m sure it will happen!
I send you love!
Now, I like the one on the right because it appears to have highlights. Stop by the cancer society, they give away wigs free. Have fun with it. Scarves and hats too. This summer you won’t want anything. My friend Delpha left her hair short forever after her treatment. REally short. Who knows what you will do.
God Bless you! Hope you are feeling okay still following your first treatment! I am so honored that you read and commented on my blog http://MothersPreciousGems.wordpress.com
I hope you will stay in touch and let me know how you are doing! I want to tell you about a great service I used called http://Cricketts AnswerForCancer.com
They provide free wigs. It may be that they only service breast cancer patients, but you have a unique situation so it couldn’t hurt to ask and they provided me with my first wig FREE. Tell Carole there that you found them through me. They are the most wonderful family. Wigs can get expensive. I did find that HSN dot com has wonderful Tony Brattin wigs which are so real looking and most of all comfortable. Check them out! The middle wig gets my vote, the blond one my second vote. I am glad to see you are having fun with it. What else can you do? Losing my hair was devastating to me. It was harder than losing my breast. Honestly. That said, I am getting use to this new length since it has begun growing back in. It sure is easy, I CAN say that much! It actually looks a lot like your wig! Which, I must say, looks very attractive on you!!
I will be 47 years old later this year. I guess I did get great skin genes from my mom but another tip is that chemo gives you the greatest chemical peel you will ever have! I have a better complexion now than my whole life. So maybe that can account for looking younger than I really am (?) I will also say that working out helps too.
I send good get well wishes to you and look forward to hearing more of your story! I have bookmarked your blog. Best wishes! Sincerely, Koryn
You can feel free to e-mail me at TheTaffyBOx@comcast.net
Hi Alice, you look good in all the wigs but my favorite is the red one. Do you still have that red miata? Today I had my annual physical and all the while the doctor was checking my breasts, I was thinking of you. Hang in, Old Friend; this too shall pass. Sending much love and energy.
Nice post! I really like your posting.
i will come back to read more of your posts.
specially about wig fun during cancer treatment
Okay, Alice! YOU are a wonder……….when most women would be moaning about the hair loss to come……..what are YOU doing? Having fun with wigs! You are MY kind of woman!
Okay…..which do I like best? That’s hard to say! God, they ALL look great! Amazing! You look really good as a brunette, even though I’ve only known you as a blond.