Nausea and Hair Loss

Nausea and Hair Loss

It’s 10:28 at night on Thursday night.  I’m the only one awake in the house right now.  I’m trying to decide if I feel nauseous or am just worried I’m feeling nauseous . . . took another nausea medicine just to be safe.

Maybe it’s because I keep thinking this is the last night I’m sleeping with hair, wondering if it will ever have a chance to grow back between treatments.

Or what will it be like for the man sleeping next to me, who has been with me as a boyfriend or husband for over half of his life, to see me without hair tomorrow?  He says it won’t matter, but I tear up just thinking about it. 🙁

Hoping the Tylenol PM kicks in soon . . .

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Attack of the Cranial Prosthesis

Attack of the Cranial Prosthesis

Well, I’ve had to leave church early for different reasons over the years.  But today, I had to leave because my cranial prosthesis (AKA wig) was making me nauseous.  (It’s not fitting correctly and I think it’s too tight.)  Haha!!  That’s a first.

As the pastor was praying that our minds would not be distracted by situations in our lives (finances, health, work, etc.) I was sitting there thinking about my wig that was making me sick.  Seriously, sick.  Unfortunately I didn’t think ahead and put a hat in my purse and I’m just not ready to go out in public with my new bald look, so we left. 🙁 As soon as we got out of the building I ripped it off and felt so much better.  Seriously never thought that would be a distraction at church. Guess I will be listening to the sermon online this week . . .

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Hair Shaving Party

Hair Shaving Party

My fabulous head shaving party on Friday has come and gone.  I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to seeing my bald head in the mirror, even if people say I don’t look as different as they thought I would.

While I’m not ready to go out in public without a hat or wig, beware . . . if you scroll down I’m posting pictures of my newly shaved head.

This cancer journey definitely seems more real with this new look I’m sporting.  I know it’s just hair.  If I stop treatment long enough, it will grow back.  I know that.  It’s just strange.  It’s a new normal that I’m not used to yet.

But back to the shaving party . . .

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Going Out Without My Hair On

Going Out Without My Hair On

My head is spinning with so much to write.  Sorry if this post is a bit random because of that.  I know I need to write thank you notes and respond to many blog comments and letters.  I will try to do that soon.  I don’t feel like I’m doing much, but yet the days go by fast.

Well, it happened.  I was in public today without a wig or hat on.  It was workout.  No makeup or a hat.  I’m living the life! 🙂

I’ve decided I hate working out with a hat on.  So there.  Off it came.  My friends are amazing and it didn’t phase them a bit (love them!!)  My friend’s sweet 4 year old told her mom, “Look, she went out without her hair on today.”  And then went back to playing.  How cute is that?  Another friend’s two little boys took a few minutes to process it, but then went on to playing.  Life continues to just go on the same as it did before, even without my hair going with it.

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How to Help a Friend or Family Member with Cancer

How to Help a Friend or Family Member with Cancer

When we find out a friend or family member has cancer, we want to help. Sometimes the needs are obvious and easy to identify. Other times, the friend or family member really doesn’t know what they need as they are slowly trying to adjust to this new “normal.” This can leave you feeling helpless!

I know I’ve struggled in the past for ways to help friends and family, especially ones that live in another state. So with the help of some friends, I’ve stared this resource page of things that I’ve found helpful for us as a family, or things that I never would have thought of as a friend, and want to remember for another time when I’m able to help someone else.

While some of these directly apply to a person with cancer, many of them could really be applied to any friend, for any reason. I hope you find them helpful as you look to help your friends and family. I’ve tried to think outside the box a bit about what might really be helpful, but obviously it will depend on the family.

(I’ll be honest. I feel a little uncomfortable writing this as I don’t want it look like a wish list for our family. That’s not it all. Some of you have amazed me at things you have thought to do for us and I’ve heard some great suggestions from others that I never would have thought of on my own. We are all in this together and if I’ve learned something that I can share to help someone else, why not share it?) (more…)

When Your Friend Tells You She Has Cancer

When Your Friend Tells You She Has Cancer

(This page contains affiliate links.)

I’ll be honest. I have no idea what many of you are going through right now. I have never had a friend call me on the phone or send me an email, telling me they have stage 4 breast cancer, or any cancer for that matter. I have heard news of cancer from my Mom, from grandparents, from a friend about her husband, but never from a friend.

I remember sitting in the car after getting the news of my mammogram from the radiologist and talking with a few of you. None of us expected to have that conversation. We were all expecting to get similar results to the previous year’s mammogram and then to mourn the fact I would have to stop drinking coffee again. Then we would have chatted about the kids and what was going on for the rest of the day. That was the conversation we were expecting.

But that was not the case.

Instead, I told you that the radiologist believed the tumor was malignant. She hoped she was wrong, but in her professional opinion, she was confident she was not.

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Stubborn Port and Oncology Appointment

Quick update from today . . .

My port was stubborn again today, but they got it working before we left.  🙂

I met with the oncologist today.  He feels the tumor has softened on the top and the bottom, but it has not shrunk in size.  He felt around for the lymph node that we know is infected and larger, but couldn’t find it.  So it’s either hiding from us or has shrunk.  We hope it’s the latter.

There is no plan to do a scan until after surgery, unless the surgeon wants it.  We’ll know more about that as time gets closer.

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Bring on the Chemo (round 3)

Bring on the Chemo (round 3)

It’s really discouraging when you wake up in the morning feeling great, but know you are headed to the infusion center to get medicine which you know will make you sick. 🙁

But I went anyways!  Bring on the poison and the date with my husband.  (Thanks Christy for that text asking me how were enjoying our date – Hahahahahahaha!)

Jayme, my sweet nurse who cracks me up the entire time we are there, makes the time pass quickly.  More on her later . . .

As the chemo is going in, things are pretty uneventful until about 20 minutes before we are done.  Then I started to get chemo head, or what feels like a fog in/around my head and I started to feel a little tired.  Right now (4 pm) my stomach is not sure what’s going on and is gurgling a lot.  So I’ll keep an eye on that with the nausea meds ready.  So tonight we sit and wait.  Fun . . .

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Day 2 – 4 Update

Not feeling well today but here’s a quick update . . .

Thursday was a better day that expected.  I was able to go to Bible Study and then got my shot.  I was up and around with the girls which enabled Tom to go out and work for a bit.

Friday morning was totally different.  I hate that shot!!  Even with Claritin, I’m achy.  🙁  So that meant a day of laying in bed for me, dozing off and on.

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When Will It Seem Real?

I’ve asked myself this question many times since September when I found out I had cancer.  When will it seem real?  Yes, I’ve been diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer.  I’ve had 3 rounds of chemo and lost my hair.  My life looks nothing like it did in August.  But yet it still didn’t seem real.

Until Sunday . . .

Sunday night as I laid in bed with our 11 year old sitting next to me and Tom standing beside the bed just holding my hand . . . it hit me.  I am fighting cancer.  Life is very different.

I think it’s a combination of things that make this disease seem real to me now.

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