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!

26 comments:

  1. You are a hoot! After you get this cancer thing licked (and you will), you might want to have the doc check into that hair between the toes thing!

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  2. Go buy those lotto tickets girl! I think your luck is going to surprise you when it comes to kicking this cancer crap in the ass! And I'm with David, once the C-crap is behind you, that "hair between the toe thing" REALLY needs to be looked into!

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  3. Cher, you are one hell of a woman! You have the perfect outlook...positive and humorous! You make me laugh with every post and that is quite a task these days to make me laugh. I am so glad you are my friend!

    Malisa

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  4. With a spirit like yours, you cannot lose this fight. You go, girl! And, happily, you have a beautifully shaped head. Bet you never knew that.

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  5. OK, so yes..all in "on track" from what you've told me. During chemo, my taste buds actually changed and I HATED chocolate and char-grilled anything. Also, carbonated drinks were out..so far I've only managed to keep the carbonated still off my menus..chocolate came back and even thought I don;t eat a lot of meat, I do like it char-grilled once again.

    Because my appetite went down,when in restaurants I always asked for the "to go" box as I ordered..that way, as soon as the diner arrived, I split it up and have the next day's meal :-)

    My stubbled head got to feeling like I had parted my hair wrong..you know the feeling? Sort of hurt, but it was just uncomfortable.

    The one thing n one warned me about was loosing my eyebrows and eyelashes..I think that hit me harder- I wish someone would have warned me - so I am telling you - this may not bother you but I felt that it made me "look" sicker - I could wear a wig or a scarf..but the eyebrows and lashes were important too.

    Not saying this to frighted you but just to know what may (or may not) come.

    I was soooo sure I would get very nauseated after my first chemo- I headed for the couch..bucket close by..and when I was awakened with a strange sensation in my tummy..I waited..listened..and realized I was HUNGRY! So I got up an ate and that was the end of that! So not every side effect affects us all..

    Be sure to ask the druggist (or your Doc) about a good mouthwash rinse..they have some now that are very gentle and still protect your teeth..especially for us while we take the chemo..(that's one no one told me until I saw my dentist and the chemo had done some SLIGHT damage)

    Anyway, you're attitude will carry you through..and like I said before, the money I save in bras alone is enough to keep my in my "thrifting" hobby!

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  6. Cher, I hope you win big! Sorry about the big bowl of meds...that can't be fun. At least you won't have to shave your legs for a while! Those ladies in your water aerobics class will be jealous. Glad to hear the tumor is shrinking. Keep up the good work!!
    -FringeGirl

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  7. Your tougher than I am lady! Next time the bullies are after my lunch money I'm calling you.

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  8. I have to tell you another thing that you don't find out until it happens to you...finally you are done with chemo, and you begin to wait for your hair to grow back. You wait and wait. You pray a lot (I did because I'd just received a notice that I had to get my new license remade. I wanted hair, just a little bit. I wanted eyebrows. I wanted eyelashes. Please God, I will never asked for nuthin else if you just can see fit to give me hair. And lo (low?) my prayers were answered. I got hair on my legs. Sadly, I realized that if my hair was growing in from the bottom up, my head was NOT next. This is how Uncle Fester came to appear on my license.

    Good luck in your journey, and send me an e-mail if you need to vent.

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  9. How much are you loving UtahGrammy and Debby? I tell you what. You are now a part of a family that absolutely no one asks to be in...but, the bond of those will never be broken. I hate that you are in the family, but, I'm thrilled that you have some sharing sisters. And I'm so glad you have that humorous spirit! Prayers continue, my hairless friend. ~Mindy

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  10. Hey Cher, I hopped over here from Debbie's place, Talking Trash. I love your take on the journey you are enduring. I had a head shavin party. Losing ALL your hair is definitely a strange experience. I'll be visiting again soon. Blessings, SusanD

    http://thisdaybysusand.blogspot.com/2009/10/party-in-pink.html

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  11. Have you thought about Olympic swimming? You are especially aerodynamic right now. You could give Michael Phelps a run (or swim) for his money!! :)

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  12. I don't have a Berry thing either. Should I feel old?

    I'm so glad you can feel a difference.

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  13. You are an inspiration! I love reading your blog because you have such a way with words and images. Glad to hear the tumor is shrinking! How is the pill swallowing going? Are bananas working for you? --Schoolmarm

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  14. Hey friend-
    Once again, I don't have anything clever to say.

    I am thinking of you.

    Keep a tight rein.

    laura

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  15. Way to go Cher...always a positive beat...of course with a touch of sarcasm added to sweeten the pot. Hang in there. Thanks for staying with us through your journey...Caren

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  16. That's great news Cher! You have such a great attitude!

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  17. If you search between your toes, you might find webs growing, too. Lots of rain lately, you know.

    I am proud to know you, Cher.

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  18. I know it's not fun, but your attitude is great! So, you don't even have to shave your legs? I thought for a minute when you were talking about your different meds, that you put them in a candy dish, like to nibble on. I'm always trying to keep up with you, you see!

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  19. Cher,, Only YOU can make cancer be funny. I admire your tenacity, honesty and sense of humor. Love ya from bald head to hairy toe!!

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  20. You always make me laugh! I don't have a berry thing either and if I did I wouldn't remember where I left it. Glad the tumor is shrinking! Have a great week! Angie

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  21. My,my. You do make me laugh...good to hear good news.

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  22. Lady - the two things that got me through my Renal Cancer surgery in June was my faith and my sense of humor ... oh and friends and family too... You seem to have been blessed with that humor thang! On a positive note - I was getting ready for work - a high school health room - rushing like mad at 5 am - trimming my nose hairs at the bathroom sink and suddenly realized they had fallen into my prescious mug of COFFEE!!!!!! What to do - girl it was my COFFEE! Down the hatch - off to work to deal with a student populstion of 2000 hormone, heaving,hungry, hurling kids. Oh, and I'm sending you a HUG!!!! With Love, Jennifer

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  23. Cher I must say I admire your wisdom..First time to visit and I must say you have really caught my attention.Just a beautiful person that touches everyone that stops by your blog.I hope that I can have the strength that God has given you.Know that you have touched me in such a beautiful way..I will come by daily to see about you..I need a inspiration and you are it..Thanks for sharing your beautiful story with me..
    Love and prayers
    Vikki

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  24. Hi lady - thinking of you as my new breast friend on my blog today...Jennifer

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  25. My last blog should make you laugh - I hope you feel well enough to check it out - hugs with love - Jennifer

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  26. On Monday the 26th will be 1 year that my sister passed away from cancer. You remind me a lot of her, she made jokes about it was very strong never complained, had great faith all the way to the end. Oh how I miss her she was my best friend, my rock. You take care of yourself and I will keep you in my prayers. ttyl Bonnie

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