Beating Breast Cancer – Weekly Update #17

Beating Breast Cancer as a Thirty Something - Update 17

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.

I had another really great week. Last week’s chemo was number 2 of 12 weekly doses of Taxol.  The nurse told me that they were going to try to speed up the infusion a little bit in the hopes of getting me down to an hour-long infusion by my third or fourth treatment.  About halfway through the infusion, my hands started feeling weird – slightly tingly, not really numb.  It was hard to explain, but they were definitely feeling weird.  I was told to let the nurses know if I felt anything out of the ordinary because Taxol has a risk of causing various reactions.

Since my hands were acting weird, they paused my infusion for a little bit, then bumped the speed back down.  As you can probably guess, this turned out to be a very LONG appointment; I arrived for my labs at 7:45 and didn’t leave until after 2:00.  The good news was that, since my appointment and pre-meds were so early, the Benadryl wooziness had worn off by the time the kids were home from school.

Before I left, my nurse for the day informed me that the pharmacist hadn’t heard of someone having a reaction in their hands DURING the infusion, only AFTER.  Needless to say, I felt like a hypochondriac at that point.  Luckily, the nurses are wonderful and reassured me that I did the right thing to mention my hands and that they didn’t think I was imagining things (or maybe they did and were just sparing my feelings).  Either way, I love the nurses at the cancer center.  I felt great for the rest of the day on Monday and all day Tuesday.  I went for walks, played outside with the kids, ran errands, etc.

On Wednesday, I couldn’t put my finger on it for most of the day, but I just didn’t have the energy that I had gotten used to having for the past week and a half. It was hard to get up off the couch.  I felt a tad nauseous. Keeping up with Ladybug felt like SUCH an impossible task.  In the late afternoon I finally figured it out; I looked at my parents and said “I am feeling chemo crummy today!” Although it was a bummer, it really was just that one day.

The rest of the week went smoothly with few other issues.  I woke up with a migraine one morning because I had cheated on my food restrictions a little too much lately.  Plus, my dry fingertips drew quite a reaction from The Professor (“Mom, your fingers look GROSS!”).  However, my fingertips must not have been embarrassingly gross, because The Professor and Mini-Me still let me join them on the track for their school’s jog-a-thon on Friday.  Get this:  I jogged my out-of-shape, convalescent self around that track FOUR times (twice with each kid).  Plus, I lived to tell the tale!

As if my brief return to jogging wasn’t enough, I saved the best for last:  My wig arrived!  Actually, three wigs arrived, so for Family Home Evening on Monday we had a wig fashion show and voted on the best hairstyle.  And the winner was………..

This style felt the most like “me.”  So I carefully put it back in the box and didn’t really think much about it again until the day I actually planned to wear it (for church on Sunday).  In hindsight, I probably should have mentally prepared myself a little more before the big public reveal, because this was a much more emotional milestone than I had been expecting.  As I stood in front of the mirror, combing my fake hair to try and make it look more natural, I had tears streaming down my face at yet another reminder that “yes, this really is your life”.  I was feeling humbled and a little demoralized.  I hate to say it, but this exciting milestone was mixed with a healthy dose of self-consciousness.

The wig and I were met with wonderful feedback at church – the men and women in my congregation were so thoughtful to take the time to acknowledge my new hairstyle.  Unfortunately I couldn’t fully express my gratitude in the moment because I was so close to tears due to my self-consciousness in the whole situation.  I’m telling you, this was one of the more emotional days I’ve had since my diagnosis and it was over HAIR, of all things.  If you know me personally, you know that I am normally so unattached to my hair;  I really wasn’t expecting so much emotion over a wig.  But I’m sure I will get used to it over time and I am truly grateful to have the option to wear a wig.

So there’s my week in a nutshell.  I’m looking forward to another week of feeling more like myself.  I’ve been filling a notebook with fun, non-cancer-related ideas for the blog, so don’t give up on Mommy Standard Time just yet; it’s going to get back on track soon!

Keep Reading – – – > Weekly Update #18 (May 15, 2017) {Taxol 3 of 12, Mother’s Day, Independence}

1 thought on “Beating Breast Cancer – Weekly Update #17”

  1. Please dont cry…..i love your hair 🙂 It is so beautiful.
    I couldn’t tell you Sunday..I’ve been really sick.
    And you jogger….Look at you 🙂
    Way to go!
    You are so amazing!!!

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