Sunday, May 23, 2010

State of the Union

Feliz Domingo.

I woke up this morning and felt

normal.

Wow.

Since my breast biopsy with the good Dr. Zen on April 14, I've had a little over five weeks of being poked, stuck, cut, drugged, tears in my eyes pain, feeling sick, not pooping, peeing blue, burning rock in my chest, all da good stuff. What a drama queen. Oy vey.

Speaking of queens, I once was part of a drag queen cheerleading squad. Well, I was the only real girl on the squad as we cheered through the Castro one Halloween. I had all these cute gay boys coming up and grabbing Flopsy and Mopsy and then screaming in absolute horror "OMG those are real. She's a girl!" You didn't know that about me, did ya?

I woke up this morning and I felt normal.

I never realized how much I took that for granted. I was laying in my bed, checking all systems, and all systems checked. This is how I used to feel, before I started my new cancer gig.

So I confess I really need to wash my hair. Look up "dishwater blond" in the dictionary and you will see my picture. I know I need to wash it. I'm just afraid if I do, I'll step out of the tub, look in the mirror and uh oh, bye bye. If you see me, and you're wondering why I'm walking around with dirty hair, well, that's why.

I normally shed like a sheep dog. I noticed when I combed my hair this morning, there was more on the comb. I tugged on my bangs. Still attached. I could probably use a hair cut too, not only shedding shaggy but looking shaggy. I don't mind. I think I will miss my hair more than Flopsy, if she has to go. Don't tell Flopsy.

I had the Farrah cut in high school. Big big hair and I'm very good at doing the hair flip. I wonder if when I'm bald, I'll still do the hair flip out of habit and I'll just look like a bald lady with a tic.

I had this idea that since "they" say you start losing your hair 10-12 days after your first chemo treatment, I would just beat it to the punch, take control, and have Batman shave my head. A little spiky buzz cut. Every day that goes by and I still have hair I think, well, maybe tomorrow or the day after that. I have a couple of lunch dates later this week; I don't know if I'll be going with hair or not. I have scarves at the ready. One is a lovely scarf my girlfriend let me borrow. Her mother gave it to her. It has horses on it and I think she said her mom got it in Italy. It's beautiful.

I won't be getting a wig until my hair is gone. It's better to fit the wig on my new baby butt bald head than now with all my hair. I've looked online. I think Raquel Welch has some pretty sexy stuff. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to get something that looks like my usual, or maybe change it up. I've never been anything but a blond, real or enhanced.

I remember as a teenager rubbing baby oil all over my body, spraying Sun-in into my hair and laying out in the back yard to fry. I was hot back then. You shoulda seen me. Now that I think about it, it's probably a miracle I don't have skin cancer. Ha. That's funny. In a sick way.

Maybe I'll try a short wig or a brunette wig, I don't know. It might be fun. Kind of. Maybe I'll get a Dolly Parton wig. Or an Angelina Jolie wig. Well, then I'd have to get some tattoo's.

Enough about my hair obsession.

Other than some slight nausea after breakfast that felt like morning sickness, things are feelin pretty good today folks.

My chemo port is doing much better. Still very tender to the touch, both at the port site and the incision site. Much much better though. I haven't taken a vicodin since last Thursday. That's progress. I was on that stuff over two weeks with the two surgeries back to back. That stuff helps you but it messes you up too. That was a stupid sentence.

From here on out, whenever I write something stupid, don't correct a typo, use bad grammar, or say something trite, it's cause I have chemo brain. Yeah, that's the ticket.

I really can't tell after my first week of chemo, what side effects were because of that vs. the effects of two surgeries back to back, healing from those, being on horse pills of vicodin. Blah blah blah. I am interested to see what happens on my next chemo course with the surgeries further behind me. There I go again, I am interested in seeing what happens...

Like I have an effing choice!!!!!!! Geez. Chemo brain.

One thing I've noticed? My sense of smell and taste is slightly changing. Really strong smells make me gag a little. Well, strong food smells. I still enjoy a deep breath of the roses in my garden. Certain foods are tasting better, mostly sweeter foods, like fruits. Other foods, are tasting a little weird to me. Not all of them. Just a few.

This is probably all way more than you ever wanted to know about all my bodily functions and dirty hair.

I was thinking today about my blog. There are several reasons why I'm writing it. I'll talk about that another time. Most of this, I can write about freely and openly. Most of this I still can't talk out loud about. The blog is really helping me despite feeling like the most self indulgent thing I have ever done. It takes all of this out of my brain and infects yours, like a virus. HA HA HA, she laughs maniacally. My evil plot revealed.

It's all about me. :)

I was thinking about when things get tougher or scarier, will I still have the courage to write and tell you about it? What I mean to say is, I have the courage, but there is this Mother side of me that is still wanting to protect my kids and you about what is happening to me. I am hoping I can find a way to give myself permission to tell you the truth all along the way.

I think it's important.

I don't know though. I've spent a good part of my life making choices against myself in order to protect other people. I think most women do. Especially mothers.

I got a great email from my lovely Good Witch doctor today. This is probably redundant but you know I am referring to Glinda, right? Not like a witch doctor or a Salem witch. Right? That was dumb. Of course you do. I'm going to erase that. No, I'm leaving it in. Where was I?

Oh, at my last appointment I told the Good Witch about my blog. I said I'd email her the link. She emailed back today, saying she enjoyed it. Actually she said it made her laugh and cry and it was really really good. That's what she said.

She also said that she's going to order a PET scan for me. You know, cause my lymph node is "involved." A PET scan is another nuclear medicine test. They will inject a radioactive isotope contained in a sugar like fluid into an IV and into me baby. They will put me into the scanner and the pictures that will result will show glowing spots where cancer is detected. This is a scan that from what I've seen on the internet will look for cancer from my neck down to my upper thigh.

As my good doctor explained, we expect to see the glow in Flopsy and the lymph node under my left armpit.

I am wishing on a shooting star, a turkey wishbone, and a birthday candle, that there are no other parts of my body that will glow.

I knew I'd get this test somewhere along the way. Kind of shook me a little that it's now.

It's true about the layers of acceptance of this washing over me, sometimes a little wave, other times a tsunami.

When I go to my appointment to see doctor, or surgeon, or receive chemo, I walk into a lovely building with a beautifully landscaped front entrance. It's got a stream and waterfall and rocks and plants and benches and looks very peaceful.

All this is to soften the blow for those of us members walking into a building that has the huge words "CANCER CENTER" prominently displayed over the main door.

PET scan. Checking my BODY for cancer. Not just Flopsy. Or under my arm. All the other places.

Deep breath. You know, they should have some Lamaze breathing techniques for cancer patients, you know, just to deal with all this good news. Hee hee hoo hoo. That's an inside joke for all you mamas.

She said they will call me from the PET scan center and set me up, and we'll talk about the results at my next appointment with her. I am not so good at this waiting stuff. I suppose I've already established that.

Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.

I thought about it for a minute. Not telling you about the PET scan. Not telling you I was having it. Not telling you the results. You would have never known. That's how I am. I am a Scorpio. They say we are very secretive.

See, it says right here, from an all about Scorpio website.

Traits of a Scorpio:

Intense. Yes.
Strong-willed. Like a pit bull.
Determined. That's how I roll.
Secretive. What secrets?
Meticulous. Not.
Investigative. Nancy Drew here.
Curious. meow.
Deep thinker. Way too deep bordering on obsessive. Simma downa.
Vindictive. Not sure how to answer this. Generally no. But I don't forget nuthin.
Jealous. Under certain unhealthy circumstances.
Sullen. More like Tinkerbell pouty.
Bitter. Not at all.
Sarcastic. Um, yes, but disguised as edgy humor.
Bad tempered. Of course not. Ok my husband might disagree with that. I'm only mean to him though. :)


Secretive. Since I was a kid.

I told you though about the PET. I told you.

Well, I haven't posted this yet. It's still a draft. I am still thinking about whether to include the PET scan mention.

You'll either know. Or you won't.

Ok, I'm back; took a little break.

Ok so I told you. I kept it in the blog. Deep breath.

Um, can I keep my other secrets though?

What secrets?

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