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Monday, August 28, 2006

This week should be eventful

I have had 16 treatments (I think) so far. I have not been counting, nor counting down, since I know that things can change. Pliny the Elder said it best: "In these matters the only certainty is that nothing is certain." For those of you eagerly waiting to hear that I am balding, yesterday was a big day for that! Pretty much the left side of my head from my ear down is hairless. Even with the shorter haircut, it is barely noticeable, though. This is permanent - this won't grow back like hair does after some chemo. While I won't need a wig, if you have hair you wish to donate for children's wigs, check out Locks of Love: before you get that next haircut.
Eating has no joy, but I know I have to do it to keep up strength. My treat these days, for some reason - an avocado. Still doing whey supplements to keep the protein level up, and drinking about 4 liters of water a day. I have given up the toothbrush - even the softest one was ripping up my gums. Now I use a gauze pad with the Biotene toothpaste. Reminds me of what I used to do for the kids when they were babies! Still gargling with salt and soda water several times a day to soothe and heal the mouth sores. Still creaming my face with Thermazene, and now have permission to use a little in the ear canal where I am experiencing the greatest burning. So far I have not lost any hearing in that ear, but it will occur later, folks. That temporal bone is getting zapped like crazy, so hearing loss of some level is inevitable.
My stamina is holding up very well - surprising even me! I get tired in the afternoon , but an hour's nap usually does the trick. I have a couple of people to thank for getting me out of my crankiness (my husband will probably send you all flowers, he is so grateful!): everyone that has sent me cards and emails, since I went over them all again when I was really down in the dumps and they lifted me up; a friend that sprung a road trip on me out of the blue, and reminded me that I could still function in society (plus had a hilarious cd that we listened to while driving); my nurse, who reminded me that I am more than just a head getting zapped, so I needed to take care of all of me; a friend that reminded me that I crochet, and got me to pick up the hook again - I am now working on afghans for my family while listening to the wonderful iPod, which gets me out of the 'cancer-think' mode; and two other friends that brought by food for my family to enjoy - that was so nice, and all has been eaten up!
The side effects should start ramping up this week. The past few weeks have just been the ride to the top of the first hill on the roller coaster. Now I get to see what the other side looks like! Hang on for a bumpy ride!


Anonymous said...

I knew the time that you would admit you are in pain was coming. Now that it is here, I feel so sad. I have to keep reminding myself that your suffering today is to help all those healthy cells in your body carry on with some hope for a cancer-free tomorrow. I hope those little guys can appreciate what you are going through for them!

Siobhan said...

Hey Teri, why don't you put up the photo of you and our most famous woman in the state of NE?

whitneydt said...

So, here's the thing. I know that you're tough as nails, and so I can estimate that what gets put in a blog post is about 1% of the horror of what's actually happening to you. I simply can't imagine it, Teri. You're often in my thoughts, lady. Hang loose.

On a lighter note, did you know that punk is back in? I think a hot pink mohawk would be just the thing for you. I'll send the stud necklace for you to wear once you've healed.

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