Thursday, January 30, 2014

News Flash!!

My hair is growing!  Film at 11. 

Well, no film at 11 or any other time, but hair is returning to my head.  I use a magnifying mirror to put on my eyebrows; and this morning I noticed teeny tiny fuzz beginning to show on my scalp.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Taking my life baby steps...maybe


My current chemo drug, Taxol, is much easier than the previous drug cocktail.  Easier side effects.  And even though I’m still coughing, I’m pretty much over the awful cold I had starting the new year. So I was feeling pretty good and decided that it’s time to start getting back to normal. 

First step was attending the January meeting of the Indian River Genealogy Society.  We don’t meet over the summer because so many members are snow birds; and many of the permanent residents travel to escape the Florida summer. But I’d missed every meeting since they resumed in September. It felt good to be back seeing familiar faces and a bunch of new ones, too.  The speaker gave an excellent presentation and I was inspired to get back to digging up dead relatives. 

Then I had my weekly chemo a couple of days later and my new reality came back.  There’s a new normal that has replaced the old normal.  It will definitely be baby steps taking my life back. 

I hadn’t been on for a long time so I went back to check on al the hints that have accumulated over the past several months. (Those little leaves they show you in their TV ads)  That was on Friday – day after chemo.  I couldn’t do it.  My brain was just too fuzzy and I couldn’t concentrate at all. Very frustrating. I tried again on Saturday but made little progress.  Finally on Sunday, I was able to review many of the hints and add a few facts to some people on my trees. But I stuck to the simple ones and left the more complex ones for later. 

My new normal is that I’m pretty much ok on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday is chemo day so that’s a complete loss. Friday and Saturday are days for not trying to think too much, reading light stuff, and playing easy computer games. Sunday is not bad.   I’m not taking two naps a day anymore and some days don’t take a nap at all.  

This is progress. 

Only 7 more weeks of chemo.




Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy New Year

2013 wasn’t the best year for me so I’m happy to be in 2014.  At least I will be finished with treatments sometime this Spring.   

The holidays sucked.  Neal came down with a terribly bad cold just before Christmas and of course I got it too.  It’s really a nasty one and knocked both of us on our tails. We mostly just sat around coughing and blowing our noses. On New Year’s Eve we had a bottle of champagne and were in bed by 9 p.m. 

Other than being sick, things are still going pretty well.   

One of the oncology nurses told me that my hair might begin coming back while on Taxol, but the opposite has happened.  I have even less stubble on my scalp and now my eyebrows and eyelashes are gone.  I miss my eyebrows.  Now that this cold is starting to clear up, maybe I’ll feel like practicing with an eyebrow pencil. My brows have always been so dark that I never needed one before. 

I’ve also started having some nail issues.  One of my fingernails is starting to come off.  It’s a common side effect of Taxol so it is not a surprise. I’ve had only 3 treatments so far with 9 yet to come so who knows what will happen to my nails.  “Chemo nails” are as common as “Chemo brain”. 

As always the net is a huge source of support and information. The best site so far is  The discussion groups there are populated by women from all over and with about every variation of the breast cancer experience there is.  There are women who don’t have cancer but are fearful of it; and at the other end of the spectrum are those with Stage 4 cancer and multiple metastases; and everything in between.  It’s a great place for learning, for getting advice, and the cancer humor (yes, humor) is priceless. They are my new BFFs.

I wish you all a happy and healthy new year.