Saturday, January 25, 2014

Losing It

Last Thursday, I ran my fingers through my hair and a big chunk of hair came out. Each time I ran my fingers through my hair, more strands started coming off. Eventually, my kids started running their hands through my hair to see how much hair would come off. A lot did. It became interesting to watch.

It was amazing to see the strength of these chemo drugs. I had only had one dose and my hair was already falling out. Also, my arm still had a bruise on the injection site. Every time I pressed on that area, my arm hurt - even two weeks after the injection!

On Friday, I went for my second Abraxane IV. The nurse took my blood, and then my husband and I waited to see if I could do the treatment. It turned out that my white blood cell counts were still low. Ideally, it would have been above 1.5, but it was at 1.2. The nurse had to call Dr. K to see if it was ok to go ahead with the treatment. Thankfully, we were able to get the thumbs up to continue.

I took the anti-psychotic, anti-nausea drug, waited 30 minutes, and then started the chemo. It was a really busy day at the office. All the chairs seemed to be taken by other cancer patients. We went early, so Nurse S let us stay in a private room. Thankfully, no nausea came with the chemo. The nurse also took the time to flush my veins out really well after the chemo, so that there wouldn't be any residual medicine on the injection site. Hopefully, this will minimize the bruising and pain in that area. I have to get a port quickly. My veins can't take it!

Saturday came around and there was more hair loss. A lot. A lot, lot. I kept running my hands through my hair and a lot, lot, lot of hair came falling out. It was a bit sad, but also a bit addictive. I actually ended up making a beard out of all the hair that fell off and took pictures of my kids with it on. My kids, also, pointed out all the hair that I had shed on my clothes. It took a lot of time to pick all the hair off my clothes.

At night, I took a bath to relax and warm up. That is when all hair broke loose. Strands, chunks, handfuls started coming off. It was everywhere. EVERYWHERE. EvErYwHeRe.

My plan had been to shave my head on Sunday night. I didn't want to freak out our church members. My plan had been to tell them that I would be going bald this week, so that they could expect it next Sunday. But, things don't always go as planned.

After blowdrying, before the big shave.

I had to blow dry my hair, more hair loss, jump in the tub, and have my husband shave the hair off my head. I'll be honest. It wasn't easy seeing and physically feeling all my hair fall off. A woman has a special relationship with her hair. I couldn't help but shed a few tears as I said goodbye to a head full of hair. There were tears and a runny nose.

Hair loss after blowdrying my hair.

But, despite all of this: He has shown Himself faithful, constant, loving, kind, graceful, and good to me. I can't deny that fact.

And you know what? As I looked in the mirror, I had this feeling of strength rising up in me, as I looked at my shaved head for the first time. Strength of a new understanding of those in pain because of cancer. Strength that I was going to be ok even though I was bald. Strength that God was still with me in this new chapter of my life.

I know I posted this song recently, but this is the song that kept going through my mind as I sat in the tub with a runny nose as my husband shaved my head:

by meredithandrewsmusic

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