Beating Breast Cancer – Weekly Update #10

Beating Breast Cancer as a Thirty Something - Weekly Update 10

I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and have decided to blog about my journey.  If you need to catch up on my story, please check out this page for the chronological list of posts.

Shortly after I posted last week’s update, I noticed that my hair was starting to come out.  It wasn’t yet falling out in the huge clumps like they had warned me about at the cancer center, but about 5 to 10 at a time.  So I felt like it was decision time.  I could get a couple of more days out of my current hairstyle and wait for my hair to really start falling out before shaving my head.  OR…I could just go ahead and shave it, knowing that I had chemo the next day and would be feeling crummy the rest of the week.

Knowing that I probably wouldn’t feel up to dealing with the head-shaving mess later in the week, I opted to gather the troops and have them shave my head for me on Sunday evening.

It was important to me that the kids took part in the head shaving, because this is one of the most concrete parts of the cancer journey and is what my kids were most worried about from the beginning.


So I took my newly-buzzed head and my main squeeze to the cancer center on Monday for my second round of AC chemotherapy.  This time around, I had my bloodwork prior to my appointment with the oncology nurse practitioner, which is all before my chemo, so this appointment went from 10:00 to about 2:30.  There isn’t a whole lot to add about my chemo experience this time around.  My body definitely recognized what was going on a little faster than last time.  I had Mr. Blue Eyes look at the IV machine to tell me how far into the infusion I was when I started feeling weird and it was only 13 minutes into the hour-long infusion (much faster than last time).

On Tuesday I went back up to the cancer center for my Neulasta shot.  Nothing new to share on that front, either.

Wednesday was my appointment with the plastic surgeon for my second round of saline injection into my tissue expanders.  I took my muscle relaxer about an hour before the appointment and I was ready to get pumped up!  The plastic surgeon said that he had planned on injecting about 100 cc into each side, but he noticed that I still had more space and my skin was in good shape so he kept going.  I don’t know what the final volume was, but I had more than 100 cc on each side (woot!).  My profile is noticeably different now, but I still have a long way to go.  Between the muscle relaxer, chemo, and nausea meds, I was a bit of a mess by Wednesday afternoon.  I spent the remainder of the day resting in the recliner.


I would say that Wednesday was my first big day of noticeable hair loss.  The picture above is how much hair would stick to my hand after just touching my head. I had to start wearing a cap all the time to keep the whiskers confined until I was ready to deal with them.

And how, pray tell, do you deal with your whiskers that fall like rain, Stephanie?” 

Well, as it turns out, a lint roller makes for a very nice comb when you have showers of hair falling off your head.  And it also turns out that my mother is a talented balding-head-lint-roll-comber.

So we spend a few gentle lint-rolling sessions every day trying to get some of the loose fuzz taken care of so that it’s not a totally constant stream of hair falling off my head.

The rest of the week has gone by at a snail’s pace, just like my last chemo week.  I try so many things to pass the time, but for some reason these days are like an ETERNITY!  I’m just holding on to my hope for next week, when I’m feeling better and life moves at a more normal pace.

So that is my week in a nutshell.  Here is the difference that a week made in my hairstyle (last Sunday vs. this Sunday):

I will say that it has been a weird experience losing my hair.  I’m not sad about it, because it will grow back. I’m not super emotional about the process, either.  I guess for me the main emotion has been this realization that I now look the part of a cancer patient.  There’s definitely no fooling anyone!

Keep Reading – – > Weekly Update #11 (March 28, 2017) {Chemo Side Effects}

3 thoughts on “Beating Breast Cancer – Weekly Update #10”

  1. You are so beautiful. Inside and out!
    I have a friend who had the must beautiful auburn háit almost to her waist!
    Shé shaved her head!
    She posted ón fb. SHE was always refferred to as the girl with the hair.
    She wanted people to identity her, for who she was, without the hair.
    She looks gorgeous!
    And so do you!!
    You have the strength of a million people, within your SOUL.
    Thank you,FOR WHO you are, with or without háir! You are beautiful.

  2. You are so beautiful. Inside and out!
    I have a friend who had the most beautiful auburn HAIR almost to her waist!
    Shé shaved her head!
    She posted ón fb. SHE was always refferred to as the girl with the hair.
    She wanted people to identity her, for who she was, without the hair.
    She looks gorgeous!
    And so do you!!
    You have the strength of a million people, within your SOUL.
    Thank you,FOR WHO you are, with or without háir! You are beautiful.

  3. I loved your hat on Sunday. 🙂 How did the kiddoes respond to your new look?

    I am inspired by your bravery.

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