Saturday, October 10, 2009
Honey, does this mastectomy make my chest look flat?
Since I haven't had THE operation yet, I don't have the flat chest situation, but I can see my body changing since I started chemo.
My taste buds have gone on strike so you'd think I'd be losing weight, but I seem to be ounce-ing upwards and inching outwards. MDAnderson weighs me in stones, I think, so it's hard to tell what my actual weight is, but even with chemo brain I can tell a big stone from a little pebble! If there was ever a time to eat healthy and control portions, this is it, but so many foods are dead to me due to my compromised immune system (e.g. fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetable that don't have thick, peelable skins) and my delicate tummy (e.g. spicy foods).
On the up side the doctor recommends white bread to control nausea. Finally, I can legally eat white bread again. Just don't let all those people in my water aerobic classes whom I've told to not eat "white" know!
Then there are my arms. The chemo nurse diagnosed a Taxol rash among the freckles and liver spots. She declared that I was lucky it hadn't spread to my face yet. I declared her evil for even mentioning a face rash in the same room with me. Doesn't she know how things like that can jump out of someone's brain and become fact?
Anyway, I emailed my chemo doc about the rash (you know how those teenagers love to text and email!) and THREE minutes later (I kid you not here, Juan as my witness) she replied from her berry thing. I told you she was young!
Before chemo I took an occasional aspirin or equivalent, but now I have prescription meds for the rash, prescription meds to poop, prescription meds to not poop, prescription meds for nausea, prescription meds for...well, TMI but you get the not-so-prettty picture. I keep them all in a big bowl on the counter where they're handy to gather up because every three weeks the chemo doc calls an ally-ally-oxen-free, and I have to haul them to MDAnderson in there original containers so she can review them with me. If you're above a certain age, you know what "ally-ally-oxen-free" means. If not, look it up on the Internet with that little berry thing of yours.
We won't mention hair loss again except to say that the stubble on my shaved head down to the hair between my toes is clearing out faster than the Houston HOV Lane in rush hour traffic, which is pretty dern fast. We use it every Friday night to get clear of the big city, and it saves us almost an hour's time.
But since my main tumor (the largest and only one I can feel) has changed in texture and drastically lessened in size and shape, the news is all good. I feel so lucky, in fact, that I'm going out and buy lotto tickets today!