Monday, 30 January 2012

Day 18 - First Chemo Cycle

I slept really well last night.  I managed to take down some of the Christmas decorations.  There's still lots more to put away but a little at a time, I guess.  My hair is still coming out in clumps but I still look like I have a full head of hair.  It bothered my daughter today.  I thought I had picked up all the hair from combing it this morning but I guess I missed some.  Anyway, my daughter was down in the dumps and leaned on my shoulder crying because I was losing my hair.  I took this opportunity to remind her that beauty really comes from the inside.  I will lose my hair.  I will go really pale and look sick.  I will lose some weight.  But that is all on the outside.  The part that is really me is on the inside and that is not changing.  I may look different but I'm still the same person.  My hair will grow back.  My skin colouring will return.  I'll be able to put weight on after the treatment.  But all these things are "cosmetic" and not the real me.  The real me is not going anywhere throughout this process.  It seemed to make her feel a little better.

I was still able to knit today, but I'm knitting more slowly because of the clumsiness of my fingers.  I am also a little unsteady on my feet at times.  We went out to the mall to look for square scarves to cover my head once the hair is all gone.  As I was putting my shoes on, I stumbled a little.  It was the first time that Scott had seen me stumble.  At the mall, it was a bit of a challenge to get on the escalator and keep my balance.  I did find one scarf that I think I can handle putting on once I have no hair.  It will also go well with my suede coat once I no longer need it for my head.

On the way home from the mall, we had a discussion about people coming into the house and the guidelines regarding friends and colds and flus.  I'm insisting that people who come to visit must be healthy and have shown no signs of a cold for at least a week.  If people have a scratchy throat, cough or sniffles, they can come and visit me when they are totally healthy.  If I catch an infection, it will delay the chemo treatments and I want to get this done on schedule.  As a result of this discussion, I feel like I am an annoyance and an inconvenience.  I'm finding it doesn't take much to feel like I'm spirally downwards emotionally. Sometimes it is a real struggle to face each day with a "normal" demeanour.  I would much rather not have this cancer.  I would much rather say "Yes anyone can come over!"  Unfortunately, this isn't the reality and I need to be selfish and put up some boundaries to protect my health, such as it is.  The shock to my family is that I'm being selfish.  I have not been selfish all along and this is a huge adjustment for them.  I've been praying for my kids every day asking God to help them understand and adjust.  I guess I need to keep praying.  It hurts to see how this cancer affects my husband and my kids.


  1. It's okay to be selfish for a good reason, the reason in this case being a full recovery in a timely manner. I've explained to my daughter that if she is ever sick (even if it's just minor sniffles) that she must be extremely careful around Lindsay so as not to send something home to you. Everyone must contribute in a small way, and you must put your foot down when it comes to these things. I don't believe anyone would possibly take offense with that!

  2. I totally agree, no one could possibly take offence in this situation, and your children will come to understand. It's so important you stay well so your treatment can stay on schedule. I'm so sorry about your hair. I can't imagine how hard it is, and I think it's very normal that it, and the other side effects of the chemo, might make you feel down from time to time.

    Also,as much as we want to protect our children from the difficult parts of life, it's these times that refine us, that make us into better and stronger people. I can't imagine how hard it must be to see your daughter so upset, but I think you are being a great example to your children in the way that you are handling this, and I know your positive attitude is going to make a huge difference to them. Sending lots of prayers for you and your family. xx