Saturday, January 30, 2010

Before and After

The Angel Hair Network is one wig richer today.... Find Angel Hair for Kinds on Facebook.

I'm almost disappointed. I was expecting a big purple splotch. All these years I assumed I had a wine stain that caused my red streak. Nope. It's lighter. There are bleached spots where my gold streaks grow from. I do have on purple spot but it's on the other side. It's perfectly round and about the diameter of a AAA battery.

Embrace the Baldness

Yep, that's me in the jammies. Haven't got my hair cut yet. Still working on positive imagery so I don't find myself weeping in the salon chair.

Suppose I had the opportunity of a life time and all I had to do was cut my hair off... maybe it's a trip into space... maybe it's a stay at a monastery where all I had to do was paint... maybe it's a chance to hang out with Richard Gere and he has a thing for bald women (doubt that it's so, but if it were)... would I shave my head? Ya!

Well, this is an opportunity of a life time. An opportunity to prevent a recurrence of the cancer. I don't HAVE to shave my head. But the hair is going one way or another, so I would rather it go on my own terms.

Need to go pick out a scarf and pick up some self tanner. And remember to bring my camera. Should I invite Paul? He might make me cry.

Passage From an Email:
>> I So wish I could be there for you tomorrow....

Re: Yep, that's just what I need. You standing behind me laughing so hard that no sound comes out, point at my head and flailing. After a while you'd catch your breath and be able to gasp out, "Do you have any idea how stupid your head looks?!" followed by more laughter leading to "I HAVE TO PEE!!!!!"

Thats what best friends are for!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Gag - I'm So Weepy

I'm not even sad. It's so weird. Not so much right now because it's after dinner and I've got MAD MAX playing in the back ground. But in general, so many things cause that tightening in my throat, a flush to my cheeks and my eyes to well up. It could be a happy moment, a sad moment, a romantic story or a baby story, a rescued animal or human... about the only thing that doesn't choke me up is in-your-face comedy and cooking shows.

I think it might be a result of the fact that I'm holding everything in about having to have the cancer treatment. I'm not scared. I don't even feel sick... Yet. I hope I don't get too sick.

Series finally of Dollhouse - bet there will be at least one seen that makes me cry.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Loss of My Locks

I have to get my hair cut this weekend. I wasn't expecting it to be so fast!
I got weepy at the hospital. I'm usually really good about holding myself together but the hair thing... The nurse was describing how it all off a sudden start to come out in clumps in your hands... I'm such a visual person. It's like it already happened to me.

I'm a little worried about having a hair dresser shave my head. I don't really want to bum out some stranger 'cause I'm getting chemo. think I'll have it cut Saturday.

I'm donating it to charity. I probably have a good 15" - 18". Long, strong, gorgeous, healthy brown and gold hair. Someone is going to get a beautiful wig. I don't want to see my hair poisoned and withering away. Chemo can't have it. The hair is coming off on my terms.

Hey... I finally get to see my own birthmark.

Met with Chemo Doc

I like the way he described my case. I had cancer, I had a lumpectomy, I no longer have cancer. The chemo and radiation treatments are preventative maintenance to ensure I don't have a repeat episode.

The bone scan and liver ultrasound both came back negative for cancer. I didn't know that's what they were looking for. I could have sword Dr Niaz had said the scans were to check wether I was healthy enough to handle the chemo drugs. I've found a lot of information is provided on a "need-to-know" basis only.

Good news! The chemo isn't going to be 1 week straight - 3 weeks off... It'll only be 1 day every 3 weeks. I'll be done that phase of treatment in 18 weeks - just over 4 months instead of 7-8.
My first treatment is next Friday.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Art Project Intentions

I'm planning on doing some artwork partly for therapy and partly as a fundraiser. I'll be doing miscellaneous breast-inspired illustrations and paintings that I'll post as images and apply to products like cards and such. Feel free to use my images on your web pages but don't edit them. A donation would be greatly appreciated. Contact me via email If you would like to purchase and original or commission some work...

Nothing is currently available. I need to hook up my PayPal account first.


I went for a walk on Saturday afternoon. Down to Sugar Maple Park, through the wood, around the gas station and straight home around the grocery store. (20 min 2.68 km) Walked hard and fast enough to make me breath hard. My butt's a little soar.

I went for a walk on Sunday evening. It was nice - foggy and dark out. I decided to keep to well lit, busy streets. Up Glen Erin to Britania, 1 block right twice dumped me onto Bell Harbour and back down Glen Erin. (25 min 2.91 km) Walked hard and fast enough to make me breath hard. My butt's still a little soar.

Monday - I suck... no walk.
Tuesday...think I'll go for a walk in a bit. It's already 5 and I have work to do and emails to check first.

Ultrasound / Bone Density Scan Day

Had to fast for the ultrasound. I'm always confused about hospital gowns - front wards / backwards. It seems to change every other visit. And doesn't always seem logical considering the procedure.

Getting an ultrasound is generally easy. Except this time the technician was all over my lower ribs and that just hurts! I'm not ticklish but even a small amount of pressure on the lowest ribs always feels like I'm being crushed. The hard plastic of the ultrasound wand may as well have been a metal golf club head. But that's just me. And she went all the way around from the back of my left ribs across the front and around to the back of my right ribs. Thats a lot of imaging goop. Could that stuff be nastier?

After that I went down the hall to Nuclear Imaging where I was injected with some kind of dye and had 3 hours to kill before my appointment with the bone camera. Time to eat and drink.

Everyone said it was similar to an MRI... not really. An MRI is kind of like being crammed into a skinny metal barrel while Japanese Taiko Drummers hammer on the sides. Nuclear imaging is quite relaxing in comparison.

My face started close to an imaging panel but over the course of 25 minutes that panel moved all the way down to my toes. I wasn't even really aware of the passage of time, for the most part. Thanks to the meditation portion of yoga classes I'm really good at slipping into a relaxed state and separating body and mind. In other words I slept through the first scan! That was followed by two 3 minute scans of my elbows.

I requested a copy of the scans just for curiosity sake... no problem. Didn't even have to buy the copy. Cool. It's not every day you get to take home a picture of your skeleton.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

How Poison Ivy Saved My Life

This past summer I had a part time job at Lionhead golf course as the gardener. This past July I also learned to identify poison ivy, but not before getting myself into a mess of it and winding up with a real bad case. Burning blisters consumed most of my left arm and a bit of my right arm. Having poison ivy was the most painful experience of my life! - I kid you not!
The cortisone cream they gave me had no effect so I was prescribed prednisone. That helped. I'm thinking it may have even saved my life.

[I was right there, just off a bridge, rustling through the reeds, hunting down the perfect flowering plant to add to a pet-project garden. This is a good example why you should not go exploring out of bounds on a golf course if you are not familiar with the wildlife and fauna in your area!]

I had most likely developed the cancer early in 2009. Prednisone is a steroid. A steroid stimulates / accelerates growth. And the mass grew fast! By mid september there was a hard mass, which I'm sure wasn't there the month before, that I could feel easily. The cancer was an aggressive one that could have easily spread all over the place, but instead became mostly encapsulated in scar tissue.

If it hadn't been for that mass I may not have found the cancer as early as I had!