Thursday, April 30, 2009

achieved freak status

My hair is almost gone, just patches of wispies left here and there, so I have taken to wearing hats everywhere and have a favourite - adidas cadet hat. It is comfortable and I was thinking that I looked fairly normal...apparently not so much. I was at the school yesterday for student led conferences and was waiting outside Jonathan's classroom when a young girl walked by and she was looking at me so I smiled and she smiled. When she got past me a little ways, she turned and walked by again...looking...then again...looking...and yes again...looking. Staring and straining her eyes into her periphery to absorb as much as possible. It wasn't until the third pass that I actually realised what she was doing. Surprisingly it didn't really bother me, but clearly I'm not fooling the people like I thought!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

a third is a big fraction

I had my second treatment this week (which Sue Bulmer pointed out is a third of the way through my chemos) and it went much better than the first, with less nausea and heart palpitations. I have battled an ongoing queasy feeling so just chilled for the week, but overall a big improvement - it is still chemo after all. Another patient of my doctor coined the phrase "quesea" which I think is a very accurate description!! So with another full week almost behind me I am looking forward to some good days ahead. My girlfriend Trina, who lives in Ohio, is coming to town this week and she's all mine! I can't wait to see her!!

Last night was actually a big night for me...I went to a party at Suzanne's for her birthday. I slept three hours in the afternoon so I could give it my all and it was my first big night with the wig. It was a big hit! In fact, a couple friends actually said that they like the wig hair better than my actual hair!?! I was kind of attached to my hair so I would rather just have it back, but I’ll take the compliments :-).

Monday, April 20, 2009

alternative uses

So you know how you sometimes use things for other purposes than they were originally intended? Well I have a good one for anyone losing their hair! Unfortunately the hair doesn't just fall off your head all at once. It lets go and then waits for something to dislodge it, prolonging the process. So I have found a new use for my rolling lint brush. Rolling it over my head takes off the hair that is ready to go. It makes cleaning the shower much easier! I am off to round two of chemo tomorrow and am hoping for a slightly better experience this time. They are adjusting the nausea medication and steroids to hopefully better control the side effects. Fingers crossed!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


So I think I said that I had a reality check last week, but really it came yesterday. I've had a sore throat for a few days and it was getting worse instead of better so I went to the family doctor yesterday and because I was spiking a fever, he sent to me emergency. I am supposed to go whenever I get a fever over 38F. When I started chemo, they gave me a yellow card to show the paramedics in emergency, which gets you higher on the list and into isolation instead of the waiting room, so I followed Suzanne's advice and waved it like I was dancing at Pure nightclub in Vegas :-). I went right into a room and got the process started. They ran blood tests and my baby white cell count is super low. They were talking about admitting me, but I totally lucked out because when they consulted with the on call oncologist, it was my Dr. Rayson! He prescribed mega antibiotics and is following me from home. He is the best and I am so grateful. I am sure that I will be back on my feet soon, but I think I am going to have to be more careful about where I go that second week after chemo when my counts are dipping to try to avoid another visit to the hospital.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

hair today, gone tomorrow

The week after treatment ended up being a bit of a rollercoaster, but I turned the corner on the weekend and felt pretty good this week. I’ve learned it is easy to overdo it though, so I have to pace myself. The big thing for this week is that my hair has started to fall out so last night I went for the big buzz. I could have waited a few more days, but Tammy, the lady who did the deed, is away next week and it would be too late by the time she got back. I am working hard on gaining perspective as it is just hair right? Yeah, it’s just hair! Believe me? Ok, I am still working on it. To help me get in the right frame of mind before I went last night I started writing down all the good things I could think of about not having hair. I took it with me and Suzanne, Tammy and I had some laughs (mostly Suzanne and I as I am convinced Tammy thinks we are crazy) while she buzzed. We also took pictures (this is when Tammy said that we “aren’t her typical customers”) as the cape was just too magnificent not to capture...the 80's are definately back. For the record, the smile is the best fake one I could muster. Pretty impressive I think. Anyway, the list turned out to be therapeutic and when I shared it with Sue Bulmer last night, she and her girls really got into it so I thought I would share.

Top 10 fabulous things about not having hair. #2 is all Tessa!

10. I can be showered, dressed and ready to go in 15 minutes.
9. Wind and rain won’t make me flat or frizzy.
8. I will save a ton of $$ at the hairdresser.
7. I can spend newly saved $$ on cool earrings and funky hats.
6. No more “bed head” from that stolen afternoon nap.
5. If there is a GI Jane sequel, I can stand in for Demi Moore.
4. My new hair can travel in a plastic bag – very convenient.
3. My hair won’t get wind blown when riding in a convertible (here I come Louis)
2. No hair getting stuck in my lip gloss.
1. If I find hair in my food I know for sure that it isn’t mine.