Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Sorry it’s been a little while, gang. I’ve been SUPER tired! But, I’m still plugging along. Here’s all the latest.

Post-surgery chemo resumed in mid-July. It was the first round of the new drug combo, but round 5 overall. That one seemed like a breeze. Colin went to the hospital with me, and when we left, I didn’t even feel sick (yet). Our TV had broken a few days before and he was about to leave for a business trip the next day, so I insisted that I must have a TV for my lying around pleasure. We went straight to Circuit City and bought the only non-HD one they carry. Wow, TVs are fancy nowadays. While there, the nausea began to kick in (due to the sales tactics or the drugs, we’ll never know). Fortunately they had a faux living room set up that I could sit in while Colin got the TV in the car. I felt kind of crappy that night, but no other nausea for that round. Just the old, familiar fatigue that lasted a week. Plus I’ve started experiencing neuropathy, which is a tingling / numb feeling in my toes. Very annoying as it is present 24 hours a day, and is likely to last until a few months after I finish all my chemo. Thanks to the multiple friends and neighbors who helped out in shifts while Colin was away!

Chemo 6 was on July 29. Both my parents visited that week, so not only did I get great helping around the house a la mom, we also got the handyman services of my dad, who installed 3 ceiling fans, fixed a lopsided floor, and moved heavy furniture. The weekend prior to the chemo we took a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard, my first time there. It seemed only fitting, as we had 3 Marthas (me, my daughter, and my mom) all traveling together. As for chemo effects, this one was much worse. The nausea was off and on for a week, and the fatigue has not yet abated. I think it will probably be a constant effect for months as well. As I keep saying, thank God for Fidelity’s wonderful disability leave policy, as I don’t know how I could possibly work and go through this at the same time.

The big side effect has finally kicked in as well. I had been warned over and over that hair loss begins 15-17 days after starting this new chemo type. I’m an overachiever, so I made it to 18 days. I would run my fingers through my hair and get dozens of strands in my hand. It began falling out all around the house. Not in clumps, but just enough to be a real nuisance. When I found it in the kids food, I knew it was time. Two days ago, Colin set up our electric shaver in our driveway, and he and the kids took turns cutting my hair. I had a short-lived Mohawk, but am now bald! I’m not as shocked or horrified as I thought I would be. Probably because I knew it was coming for a long time. I’m actually kind of enjoying my baldness. I ordered a wig yesterday, and the wig lady said I had a nice shaped occipital. So I've got that going for me.

For all of you who read this via email, go to my blog now and check out my newly posted photos. I finally posted my short haircut (bit late now), there’s one of the Mohawk, and one bald-o. There is also a link to the You Tube video of the family shaving my head.


Sarah B said...

Wow, Martha, you look about 18 with no hair. Who knew having hair was so aging! Anyway, you look great, well-shaped occipital and all.

mbrhode said...

Mom here - you are beautiful with or without hair. It will be fun to see pictures with your wig, but it cannot possibly compare with your glorious auburn tresses. The good thing is that the hair will grow back post-chemo and you should have a couple inches by Christmas.

Anonymous said...

You do have a Jordan-esque occipital (that's a compliment ;-)

Don't worry - the hair will be back, unlike for true chrome domers like me!

-- RP

Rachel said...

Wait, I'm confused. I thought your *granny* was bald-headed! Or was she just greasy, greasy, with a hole in her panty? Oh, well.

The short cut was super cute. I wonder if you would ever have tried that out otherwise. Awesome. And the no hair looks surprisingly good. I agree that you look very young! I bet Ethan is excited.

Sorry about the fatigue and everything. I hope it goes quickly for you.

much love,

Elaine said...

You look great, like a Buddhist nun.

Sparky said...

Hey sis,

You look awesome with a mohawk! Don't ever grow your hair back. :-D