Fixed Entry: Two Shocky Filled Days–Treatment and Buying Wigs!

Darn, drat, and damn. I spent nearly four hours doing this entry yesterday….In my opinion, it was so perfectly clear and linear….a total representation of how I felt. I smugly published it and it went into cyberspace and I didn’t even know I lost most of it. I called Mom and I couldn’t understand why she seemed not to acknowledge the photos etc. They weren’t there. So I have been able to more or less find the text but I will need to piddle around with this entry for more hours than I need to. I think I really am getting Munchhausen. Everything in my mind is about this mean-assed cancer. OK. I am starting over…It isn’t really sequential any more but this is how it began.

PREAMBLE: This is the email, plus more me-isms that I sent to my ’39 most intimate friends.’ The photos are sort of my photo documentary until I start looking really haggard then I will use old glamour shots!

This is an extended version of what happened starting on Thursday. I made a call to my Nurse Navigator late Wednesday and discovered there might have been a little slip up getting me in. Grrrrrrrrr. Hells-bells, I have cancer, I want in immediately. OK, already. So, the past few days have been very wild in my head, at least. Some who might actually read this will find it to be waaaay too much information so I say just do a quick scan and I won’t be in the least bit offended…..others of you loooooove details and want more….so it is really hard to get it right and maybe pretty darned egocentric to think you want to know any of it, for that matter. Yikes, a lot of pressure, huh? Mary K, who is my Queen of Analogies, says I do not have to apologize for anything as this is MY OPERA. She IS brilliant. Not only is it my opera, but I am the diva about to do one great aria! Santa Fe Opera Company here I come!IMG_1848.jpg

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Here is the scoop: Thursday was the big learn-all/decision day. I took a fast, firm choice for chemo because, Of COURSE, the expensive test which is designed to tell you exactly what to do put me right in the stinkin’ middle of the undecided zone…I had no intention of equivocating so I said, “Let’s roll!” Dr. Rudd agreed and I went for my first chemo treatment within an hour I think–before I could change my mind. Admittedly, it was an emotional roller coaster for me because of the guaranteed hair loss and just knowing I am signing up for some poison but for the greater good.

I am a tough bird and will do just fine. Len, Susan Lawson, and Nurse Navigator are in charge of listening to major stuff. I am getting my Aggie War Hymn tape ready to help me steel the way…I used it when I was working on my doctorate and I do believe it did the trick. I am so so so so glad to be doing something in terms of treatment and the right thing for me. Len is a Prince among Men.

These are the facts:
1. I have three more treatments–one every 21 days…the actual treatment is a nice cocktail of a fine, fine sedative given with the chemo drugs.

2. All sorts of things have to be considered during these 12 weeks. Mainly I have to be vigilant about fevers. If I get one of 100.5, I go straight to the hospital during week days–I call Cassandra, the oncology nurse, right away – -and straight to the office or the ER on the weekend or holidays and bump to the head of the line, so to speak, explaining I am taking chemo. I hope I never find out about that.

3. I have to drink truck loads of water because I must be kind of dehydrated and they had a bit of a time getting the teeeeeny, no-pain needles in my rolling veins. I was so internally fweaked that my blood pressure was high and that didn’t help. Fluids will puff those veins up. The nice sedative brought the blood pressure down.

4. There is some lab work done the day before each round of chemo so they can watch my white cells. I need to avoid contagions…guess Mexico is out for DOD! That breaks my heart.

5. I will need to eat by the clock to make sure I don’t lose weight; it might be necessary to eat with plastic utensils if I get a metal taste in my mouth.

6. Very nice Chemo treatment area and if I am lucky I can get a window seat that is verrrrrrrrry relaxing. They have internet and good TV; the RNs are adorable and perfectly suited to their work. There is a brass bell I get to ring when I get I my last treatment. Seems liberating.

7. They say the sicky stuff is easy to regulate…we will see. I think I will be ok. I can and will walk for exercise and rip-roar through each day. This really is just a speed bump.

Love- Suz

PS. I’m still wearing a flower for each hospital visit and carrying a pink umbrella (as an optimist for me and rain.)

PSS. OH- I forgot this part. I am going to get lessons on self-hypnosis–expect me to always be in a very zenny zone!

PSSS. Thanks you for your encouragement!!!!

PSSSS. Len and Susan Lawson, my rocks, were with me during the treatment….I don’t need a port so it was pretty straight forward. I am a pretty upfront gal when it comes to courage….I don’t know that I have any–so I asked Dr. Rudd for just a wee bit of something to take the edge off…..it worked great. Absolutely no thrashing about! It takes about an hour and a half…..no discomfort. All will be well in the end, according to Julian of Norwich, but just some inconvenience and discomfort–cognitively-chemo brain which I have probably had for years from wine; socially and emotionally–being bald or at least with funny hair with possibly no eye brows or lashes. Remember all, I am happily vain. I love girly make up and hair care.

Precious and dear Jackie went with me to see Edward, friend and stylist extraordinaire, in Austin on Friday. Although it was the regular color day, he did a cropping! I only had two minor melt downs…mainly because everyone was sooo darned good to me. There were some funny moments like Jackie reading to Edward from the Chemo Manual about how to care for my hair. He was a hero. He did a ‘Bob cut’ and will shave the rest off when it starts to come out in a couple of weeks. He said I could come to his house and he would buzz cut the rest and provide Mexican Martinis. This could work.
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DSC07244.JPGDSC07248.jpgAfter lunch we went to Steinmart for big earrings then to the wig shop. A very nice and helpful woman helped me with wigs, eye brows, scarves, chin straps, nets, turbans, you name it. I bought two synthetic wigs…both kinda trashy looking which appeal to me, of course. I am crazy for the real long one that I can braid, even with the tags hanging off like Minnie Pearl. Edward says that human hair looks much better but it has to be cleaned every week or so and probably colored so it won’t look flat. Also human hair wigs have to be styled every day. I don’t know and right now I am tired of me and tired of cancer so I am going to stick these photos in and quit!

Nice people want to tell me they reeeeeeally like my new hair cut–I will have it a week or two at the most before it is gone. I get kinda bristly because I think they (Damnit, I am 64 and I still care what they think.) are saying they like it better and I don’t care about that now. I care that my hair is about to be gone and not by choice. Carol says, “It is what it is.” I want to have a drink and go do a mean tango with a tall, dark, and handsome and swarthy devil….maybe Edward will cooperate!

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4 Responses to “Fixed Entry: Two Shocky Filled Days–Treatment and Buying Wigs!”

  1. Belinda Pustka Says:

    Great entry. I can’t imagine the post you lost was written any better!

  2. nancy baumann thurmond Says:

    WOW! What a day! I bet no one ever looked cuter for their first round of chemo! Super cute orange dress and matching daisy. Thank you for sharing what must have been pretty traumatic. Honestly, the wigs are really good…esp the braid!! You have such great support which must be comforting. My prayers continue to be with you. Love, Nancy

  3. Nicola Mundschau Says:

    Okay, the braid is fabulous! Although I do not envy the cancer, I have actually been online looking at wigs wondering why we don’t wear them on a regular basis, seriously. Bye bye bad hair days. I love you and will be touching base.

  4. Love the short bob and I love the braid too … why not do both? :))) You look amazing regardless of what you wear! 🙂

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