Saturday, 28 January 2012

Day 16 - First Chemo Cycle - "Hair Loss"

I have had really good energy today and feel "normal".  We decided to go downtown and take a walk up and down Princess Street and go window shopping.  This morning was a little disconcerting as I washed my hair.  My eyes were closed so I wouldn't get shampoo in them, but I could feel hair throughout my fingers.  I cracked open an eye and was somewhat shocked to see a fist full of hair in each of my hands.  I finished rinsing the shampoo out of my hair and looked down and noticed the drain was plugged...with my hair.  It was the most that has come out yet.  All week long, it's been a number of strands together to look like a piece of yarn.  Today Scott said it looked like a tumbleweed.  I still look like I have a full head of hair.  I guess I'm fortunate to have very thick hair because right now, it still looks like I just had a hair cut.  The doctor did say on Wednesday that there would be a big change between then and Tuesday coming up.  I just have to remind myself that my hair will grow back.  I read today that it may come back grey at first until the pigment has had time to rejuvenate itself.  So, I guess, if it grows back in grey, it won't be grey permanently.

Anyway, we went downtown and I made sure I had a touque to keep my head warm.  I enjoyed our hour long leisurely walk throughout the downtown.  We stopped to watch people skate at Market Square and it was a beautiful day.  While we were walking, I couldn't help but think of the number of people we passed who were exhaling their cigarette smoke into the air.  All I could think was I hope they are not also exhaling flu/cold germs.  Whenever we walked into any of the stores, I kept my mitts on because I didn't want to touch any public surface and contract any germs.  I mentioned to Scott my anxiety about germs and hope that I am not becoming a germaphobe.

This  led us into a discussion regarding our fears.  I had a dream last night which made me realize I have a subconscious fear of another more severe allergic reaction to the Rituximab at my next chemo treatment this coming week.  In my dream, I suffered anaphylactic shock instead of just hives and that I pressed the help button to summon the nurse and it didn't work.  In my dream, Scott had gone for a walk and the nurse wasn't around.  I told Scott about my unconscious fear and he assured me he would be right by my side.  He also said we would tell the chemo nurse my fear and why.  This may give her the heads up to start the process slowly again like last time.

Our daughter approached us about having a sleepover tonight.  When we said "no", she let us know in specific terms that this is totally unfair and it's her house too and she should be able to have friends over and have sleepovers.  You know, she's right in a way.  Scott was very good to remind her that we all have to make sacrifices for the next several months.  This did not placate her at all.  I didn't let on I felt guilty, but boy do I ever feel some guilt.  It isn't fair to the kids.  It's not fair to Scott.  They all are having to carry more responsibility and find creative ways to get to places.  This is when I wish I could just magically make all this go away and continue to pull my weight around the house and in the parenting arena.  I know that right now with exams and being teenagers, the kids are under more pressure.  This is when they need their friends and distractions.  My illness is putting an obstacle in their way.  It's hard for Lindsay to understand the necessity of keeping our house as germ free as possible.  The problem is I don't look sick.  I still have pink cheeks, I haven't lost much weight, I still look like I have all my hair and I've only once gone to bed really early because of not feeling well.  Basically, I look as normal as ever and it is easy to think I'm healthy to look at me.

It's a very confusing time for all of us.

1 comment:

  1. Don't be too hard on yourself. It is definitely a confusing time for all of you. And you're doing the best you can under the circumstances. I'm sure Lindsay understands that deep down; she's just young.