Friday, May 29, 2009

Possibly out of desperation

I mentioned before that my hair is falling out pretty quickly. I thought I would have a little more time with it, but that seems not to be the case. So, after about 4 days of being afraid to touch my hair and having hand fulls of it come out when I did (some of you have witnessed this), I decided that it would be easier to manage, and less traumatic while it is still falling out, if I cut it short. I know, I know, "but Lena, your hair is so short already!" Yes, and no. I agree that my hair is short, but it was not short enough. I touch it too much.

I spent about a day thinking about this with a friend at work. Looking up pictures, discussing pros and cons to each style. Deciding if each one was really short enough to accomplish my goal. Finally we decided on a couple that looked reasonable.

My SIL Amy came over for an emergency cut and we were both a little emotional when it started coming off. In the middle of the cut we were visited by the the entire Young Women's program in our ward which includes one of my good friends. They filled up my small apartment for a little while while they watched.

When she finished, my first impression was that it was short, really short. But I was not as shocked as I thought I would be. After all, I had my hair pretty short in high school. But then it started to sink in. And I realized that I had worked pretty hard to get out of what I looked like in high school. Then I showered to get all the itchy hair off me and put in this scalp treatment that Amy gave me (which, by the way, smells like something organic is rotting and you tried to cover it up with Lysol) and it worked like a mousse to successfully style my hair like a 90's super-lesbian. Sorry if that offends anyone, but that was my first impression. And it made me sad. I looked about 10 pounds smaller, and I hated it. I was really upset for quite a while. I was freaking out about what I was going to do at work when everyone saw me. I tried to fine a hat or scarf or something to hide it. And it smelled terrible. :(

That night I wore a beanie to bed to try and keep the smell from the pillow, and when I woke up it had smashed my hair down enough that I was not so upset at how I looked. And everyone at work assured me it was cute. Even a couple of members commented. And now I am fine with it. It is still weird to not feel my hair when I move my head, to feel the wind on my actual scalp, and when I first see my reflection in something. But I am getting used to it. And who knows how long it will stick around anyway.

When I went to show my parents Dad took a couple pictures of me and they turned out better than the ones I took, so here is my new look!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Oh yeah...

Some of you will know already know that I did not have a treatment yesterday. My white blood cell count was way too low for them to feel comfortable giving me another one. They originally wanted me to come in on Friday and see if the levels were high enough to do it, but they said that once I was doing them on Friday's I would not be able to do them on Mondays again. Then, misunderstanding my reason for being upset suggested I come in next Monday then. Well, see that's not going to work because everything I have planned for the summer falls on the off weeks of the schedule I have right now. If you make me move Mondays (or to Friday's) it will screw with EVERYTHING and I will not be able to do about 90% of what was already planned before I started this stupid thing. (can you tell I was a little upset? At this point I had been crying for about 5 minutes and I couldn't even fully explain why I was getting so upset at the nice lady.) I finally asked if my doctor was in today, and she said yes. I took a deep breath and asked if she could ask him if he would allow me to just skip this treatment and let me come back in two weeks so's to not force a nervous breakdown. She obliged and came back with good news. He said that against his better judgement he was going to let me have my way. THANK YOU!!!

But, even after getting my way, I continued to cry for like a half hour. While they unhooked my port, while we drove home, while I laid on the couch watching TV. Nik was amazing. He let me cry, he got me water, he didn't complain when I wanted to watch stupid shows. And I rewarded him by falling asleep so he could play video games. I am ok now! I promise!

**A great big thank you to the wonderful ladies in my relief society that came and cleaned my house today! Including cleaning my carpet! I have not seen it yet, but Nik can't stop talking about it. My house was a gross disaster area, so I know it must have been a struggle, but I appreciate it more than you realize. You are all awesome!

Monday, May 25, 2009

If Anyone Was Curious

If I was losing my hair, here you go:

This is some of what came out just today in the shower:
And here is more in the sink as I was doing my hair after the shower:
And yes, Amy, I did use the shampoo and conditioner you gave me.  I hope it works like you said it would.  

I think it may be time to start looking for head coverings.  So if you know of a good place, or find a cool scarf or beanie, let me know.  Some of you  have given me lists of places in Utah that sell that type of stuff, but I have not made any personal visits.  Also, I think it will be more comfortable in the hot summer to have cotton beanies instead of crocheted ones, so if any sewers out there can find a good pattern for one, that would be great.  I am not anticipating having hair for much longer.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I am starting to get a little nervous for my second treatment (Tuesday May 26th) because more than one person has told me that after their second treatment they were more sick than the first one. I have kind of expected that, I am mean, this is a repeat attack on my system. I just hope that there is something about the drugs I am given or something that will make it not as bad as I think it will be. I am still hoping to make it trough with out throwing up. Anyone think I can do it?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Day 4

A little better today. Not 100% yet, but not so crappy like yesterday. My jaw hurts today. Like the pain you get in a tooth with a small cavity. Its weird. They said there can be dental problems with the chemo, but I hope they don't last. So far eating has only made me feel better, which I hope continues. Nik took me out to Astro Burger for my favorite grilled cheese and fries last night, and it was awesome. It came at a small price though, cause we took his car since mine was out of gas, and ended up stuck for a little while. Luckily Tyler was on his way to meet us anyway, and figured out a way to trip the lever that was sticking it in park. All is well. I think I am on the mend.

That was kind of rambly, but there you go.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Ok, so today is hard. I am really tired from the anti-nausea meds and I am still not feeling what should be the positive effects of the meds. I can't decide if today feels worse because I actually worse, or if it is just because I had to get up early and function. Really wish I could sleep. Really.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Post Chemo

Nik has been on my case to post again.  So here I am.  I am doing ok now.  The treatment was pretty easy, just lay in the chair and wait for it to be over.  I was pretty sleepy during the treatment because of the drugs they told me to take before I came.  So Nik says I slept for a good hour.  Which is good.  I like sleeping.  I was feeling pretty good (just a little unsteady from the meds still) right after the treatment, but I knew it could be getting worse as the day went on, so we hurried to the supermarket and back home.  And I was right.  I slept for another hour or so and then felt pretty crappy the rest of the night.  But I never threw up.  I was on both nausea meds but had not eaten since breakfast, which is not good.  So we made spaghetti for dinner and I had my noodles plain, like normal.  That made me feel a lot better, and I went to bed on another pill and slept great.   I woke up earlier than I wanted, so I am still pretty tired, but not enough to actually sleep.  Hopefully later.  Our house is a mess, so Nik and I are going to try and get some of if cleaned up for the rest of the week, since I go back to work tomorrow.  I am supposed to stay active, as much as I feel like it, so we are also going to go on another walk around our complex in search of the illusive ducks.

Over all, i am not 100%, but its not the end of the world.  I will let you know when it gets there.

Oh, and thanks in advance to Allison from work who volunteered to bring us dinner tonight.  Thanks!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


So, here I am.  In my last hours as a chemo-free woman.  As of 11:00am tomorrow I will never be able to say that again.  Like how I can't say I have never had stitches anymore.  But that came with my gallbladder surgery.  Wow, its been a big year so far.  I kind of hope that when the chemo is all over, we can have the rest of the year off.  And maybe next year too.  Since we have to wait a couple more years to have kids, I think it is only fair to let us have some time off.  Don't you?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Chemo Class

Or: The number one way to freak Lena out.

Yep chemo class did exactly what I thought it would. Gave me a lot of information about what I will be going through, and completely freaked me out about the upcoming days and months.

It went something like this:

*Watch late '90's chemo movie (pretty informative, and not very scary).

*Talk about what is in our individual packets: types of drugs they might use, terminology, when to call the doctor and when to go to the ER, etc.

*Nurse talks to each of us individually about all of that stuff. Cause we were all there for different reasons.

Ok, so there were three other patients there besides me (along with their support persons) and I was the last to go. The other discussions were simple, just a few minutes each. "Here are the two drugs we will give you and here are the most common side effects. You wont really have to worry about nausea or your hair falling out, those are lesser side effects. This is what you can expect from the treatment, but everyone is different." Until me. "Here are the four drugs we will give you and here are the side effects. You will definitely loose your hair (three of the four have that as a common side effect). You will be nauseated (again, three of the four)." Yay.

I am not even so worried about the hair loss (yet) but I am completely freaked out by the very real possibility of being sick for several days a month. They keep telling me that they have great meds for nausea and they give me one in the IV before they start the treatment, and I have another prescription for one that is for nausea/anxiety that I hear works really well too. But I can't help think that I will have it coming at me from three sides, how well will these actually work? Will I need to take three times the meds to make up for the different drugs? Will the side effects be too much for the meds? Will they not really be anything at all, and I am just being paranoid?

I hope it is more to that last one.

Have you guys read Rosencrantz and Guildenstren are Dead? I keep having this vague quote run through my head...something about being conflicted, or thinking conflicted thoughts. Talina has my book or I would have a better reference here. Help me out reading junkies.

I think I will need extra prayers and good thoughts on Monday and Tuesday.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bone Marrow Biopsy Part 2

It's true, the bone marrow thing was not nearly as bad as I had thought it would be. The back of my left hip is still pretty sore, but there is no lasting damage. And I slept fine. Mom can attest to coming out of the drugs just fine. She spent most of the day with me and I think she may have been questioning the necessity of that visit toward the end. Thanks for keeping me company Mom!!!

Speaking of the pain in my hip...last night, around 10pm I decided that I had not taken anything for the pain yet and it was getting close to bed time so maybe I should. I got myself two Advil, a glass of water and sat down on the couch. About 2 minutes later I was wondering what I did with my Advil. I could not remember taking it, but I had my water, and could not locate the pills. I said out loud (Nik was with me):

"Huh, I hope I actually took that Advil, cause I can't find it and I don't want to take more."

To which Nik replied "You're not supposed to take Advil!!"

"Since when?"

"Since your thing today! I told you like 5 times today. I even asked you if we had any Tylenol and you said, yes, we have a big bottle of it!"

"I don't remember this! You can't tell me important stuff while I am under anesthesia!"

"I thought you were awake! They told you not to take it for like a week cause it thins your blood and that is bad for this procedure."

"I don't remember this."

Oh well. I hope that one (potential) dose of Advil will not do too much harm.