Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chemo Round 2 - Day 2

Got through last night with a minimal of effort. Avoiding the big lunch after treatment prevented any illness. Eating a couple bites at a time spread over hours at a time is key. Dinner was "buffet" style. I made ginger / garlic beef strips, boiled brussel sprouts and sauteed red peppers/onion/tomato and served it on side plates with fondu forks. Have a bite, curl up in the fetal position, wait for the rocking to subside, rinse and repeat. Drinking lots of water and ginger ale.

At one point I got up to see something Paul wanted to show me. TOO FAST! Everything went black for an instant and I melted to the floor. Didn't pass out or anything but going with gravity was a wise choice. When you're sitting still you don't realize how weak you really are.

By 11:00 pm the worst was past and I was back up-right and feeling much better.
Today I feel like I have a hangover only no fever or headache, just a bit of tightness and trembling deep inside. Had one egg and two 12 grain toast (one with stem ginger marmalade)

I'm just about bald now. My hair was so easy to pull off with my finger tips I figured the easiest way to clean it up would be with wax strips. I wasn't actually "pulling out" the hair so much as removing hair that wasn't really attached -No roots.
That, and my hair was hurting. It felt like litter wires, that when rubbed against the grain (hats, scarves, pillows...), felt like a bunch of sharp little wires were being pushed back into my head. Ow! I also thought that shaving would just leave a lot of below the surface little wires and I didn't want that. Waxing didn't remove every single hair. I don't mind shaving those few off. Without the dark vs light hair/stubble my streak hardly shows up at all. I always thought that would be more obvious.

I'm hoping I'm not coming down with a cold. I sneezed a lot yesterday and twice today already. No fever. Paul keeps making me take my temperature even though I can tell there's no fever. If anything I'm a little cold today.

My throat and nasal passages have been sticky for a week or so. Is that bacterial gunk or a result of the inside of my mouth sloughing off? I don't know.

Don't think I mentioned my sensitivity to spice skyrocketing. One day I'm putting my normal chili flakes on spicy pasta and the next day I can't stand black pepper on my eggs! I think the fast growing cells being wiped out of my digestive system, including my mouth, has diminished my heat tolerance. I've always gravitated to spicy, savory foods. I thought having to switch to a bland diet would be a real bummer but bland isn't so bland with heightened senses.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chemo Round 2

Well, that was easy. And a lot faster than we were expecting. This time they started pushing meds as soon as I was hooked up. Last time I had to "hydrate" for a half hour on the saline before the attendant started the push. Or maybe she was just busy that time.

And this time I opted to have the IV go in on the top of my arm. The veins are a lot harder for them to find but it's worth it.
As she was hunting around in there I was looking away with my eyes closed, trying to think of any thing but the creepy probe wiggling around under my skin. It really doesn't hurt that much. But it does feel gross. The word I came up with as a mantra to distract myself... "cat".

Cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, why am I thinking cat? Cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, why can't I find any other word? Cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat... oh well, we're done.

No discomfort and no swelling this time. I'm hoping for no bruise. I still have some swelling and ache if I push on the previous site.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Klingon

The hair is coming out fast and furious, front to back. I have sever male pattern balding. I look like a Klingon!

Bummer. I was enjoying the "cool chick with the ultra short hair look. Gotta get my doo cleaned up. I agreed to let Paul try his hand at shaving me - 1st time shaving a girl's head. No reason why he shouldn't have the privilege of experiencing a few new things as we go through this process together.

Scarves are my friend. This is my casual Friday look.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Light Headed with Hair Loss

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Official Baldness

Last night I was thinking I should get funky shapes clipped into my hair to disguise the thinning... I didn't realize it would come out so fast.

I am REALLY glad I opted to have it shaved before the treatments began. I would have been thoroughly grossed out to see all that hair sloughing off in the shower!

My hair came out big time this morning. That stuff is really hard to get off the rest of you body. Little wiry hairs were everywhere. It's interesting that my streak came out first. My scalp is velvety soft to the touch.

E-GAD! 3 of the hairs I caught on the way out were completely devoid of pigment! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! White ones!
Well, at least the itching has stopped.

As of last night I decided t start sleeping with a toque too. My head's been cold for the last week. Cold enough to wake me up at night. I really feel for bald people now. At least mine will grow back sometime soon.

Incase you're wondering... yep. All of my hair is coming loose. The arm / leg hair isn't "falling out" but it's really easy to pull out - no roots attached since those died off first.

PS: I still ache from my "run". Not everyone can or should run.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I Ran Therefore I Ache

The hips feel like they want to come out of there sockets and my shins feel all splintery. I'm a goof. Not everyone can or should run. I need to find an activity that I enjoy and that gets my cardio up without shattering the bones. Don't say swim; I don't like swimming. I hate feeling like a sputtering, drowning rat. And I hate the way I feel light headed and sick to my stomach for an hour after only a few laps. Not everyone can or should swim. Fortunately, I've very bouyant - no danger in drowning if I ever fall in. Paul panics and watches me the entire way when I opt to swim out as far as the raft at the cottage. He frets because I look like I'm struggling. And I am. That's why I have to roll over onto my back after every few stokes and lay ther until I catch my breath. Pathetic! But in no danger of going under.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Today I Cut My Hair

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I Ran

The weather was beautiful today. I put on a touque, my running shoes and a hoody over a tee ( no jacket required!) and headed out the door with the MP3 player. Took a fair bit of self talk to get myself to take the plunge. It's been a long time since I last ran and I hurt myself then. I told myself I only had to run the length of one Nickelback song. It's far easier to run for a period of time than a distance. After the song ended I could see the intersection coming up ahead so... I could do it! And I did! I ran the whole length of Bell Harbour from Castebridge to Glen Erin! I was throffing like a raggedy race horse and my mouth tasted like copper. Soooooo out of shape! I walked up Peacock to Greensboro and that's when "Burn It To the Ground" came on (AwSome!). Well, ok. I had one more song in me. JUST! Not quite to Castlebridge again. The walk the rest of the way home was significantly slower than my usual pace. I was passed like I was standing still by a teen headed for the mall. I'm going to be some kind of sore tomorrow. I should take a lunch break tomorrow and go for a walk, loosen up and wake up the creative juices. Not going to loose those 2 bra sizes sitting in front of the computer.
I ran... :-))

Sketch Book Pages

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Bra Sizes

Medium: pen and ink with digital colour

Thou shall not propogate the myth that one size fits all - 'cause it don't! Particularly when it comes to bras.
8/10 women wear the wrong size bra. Larger-breasted women tend to wear bras that are too small, and conversely, smaller-breasted women bras that are too large. Larger women are more likely to have an incorrect bra fit. Plus, most women's' breasts are asymmetrical (10% severely), with the left breast being larger in 62%, especially when the breasts are large.
Wearing the wrong bra size can lead to a number of problems, including back pain, restricted breathing, abrasions, breast pain and poor posture.

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Art Pad - Modern Art Breast

"Modern Art Breast" - digital painting by Evelyn Shifflett

Found this Art Pad via
It's amusing enough - Play time!

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

How to Eat Yogurt

Foods and drinks should not start with the letter Y.
Y is for yucky. (Sweet potatoes rock - yams, not so much).

I know it's good for me. All those probiotics And it's not that bad once I commit to tearing off the little plastic label. But I end up tossing at least 50% of the mini containers because they expire before I can bring myself to eat them.

I like Jello. Jello prepared in wine glasses is even better. Vanilla yogurt spooned over fruity Jello tastes a lot like Cool Whip.
Betcha coffee flavoured yogurt would go good with raspberry Jello.
Betcha chocolate flavoured yogurt would go good with most Jellos too.

Why choke this stuff back?
  1. 1 cup of yogurt contains 8 g of protein. It's low in calories while the proteins make you feel full longer.
  2. 1 cup of yogurt contains 370 mg of easily absorbed calcium which staves off osteoporosis and keep your teeth healthy.
  3. 1 cup of yogurt contains 250 mg of potassium - almost as much as a banana does. Potassium is crucial to heart function and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, making it important for normal digestive and muscular function, too.
  4. It is a good source of the B vitamins, phosphorus and potassium. 1 cup of yogurt contains 250 mg of potassium - almost as much as a banana does. Plus, yogurt chemistry sets up an efficient little factory in the intestinal tract and manufacturing B vitamins.
  5. Daily consumption of yogurt helps to improve the complexion, making it clearer and more radiant.
  6. Ladies, eating yogurt that contains natural bacteria and yeasts helps establish bacterial equilibrium in your woman parts.
  7. Increased yogurt consumption, may enhance the immune response, which would, in turn, increase resistance to immune-related diseases.
  8. Yogurt plays an important role in restoring the digestive tract to its normal condition after a course of antibiotics that indiscriminately kill off all intestinal bacteria. Dido for stomach ailments like diarrhea.
To be effective, yogurt must contain sufficient numbers of 'live' lactic cultures, which means it must be 'fresh'. Look for packing as close to the date of manufacture as possible to get maximum beneficial bacteria. Always keep it cold, as the helpful bacteria in yogurt cannot withstand high temperatures.

Forgotten Me Again

Feeling a little overwhelmed this week. Took on too much work. Well, not too much, but... well, ok, too much.

Logo design, brochure and business card for Client A
who wants to see every conceivable combination of colours and element placement for the designs... "I just want to see what it looks like if..." And then opts for the first design I come up with.
BY THE HOUR - flat rates CANNOT apply when my time is not respected.
Web design and layout for Client B
who sends me content in drips and drabs, then changes it. With every change I have to open the file, edit it, upload a new version, remind the client to refresh... The client also keeps changing the photos and animations included. This is a basic HTML 8-page website going on 3 weeks. It was supposed to go: pick a design, provide the content for each page, copy / paste, upload to host = 1 week?
BY THE HOUR - flat rates CANNOT apply when my time is not respected.
Client C, still waiting on confirmation
of format required and design 3 of 3 plastic cards.
Client D, still waiting on confirmation
of design revision #7 for a set of lighters.
Client E, updated primary website for Easter.
Designed new website based on previously designed logo... still waiting for content.

And that's on top of my full time day job! This is me taking it easy as I under go cancer treatments. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm allowed to milk that excuse even if sometimes I don't feel the need to.

I need some time for me.
YAY! "Glee" is coming back in April!

The hair on my head is starting to come out. It's weird. The follicles are dying off so when the hair comes out it's like these short straight fine wires with no roots. Can't decide whether I want to shave it smooth again or not. For now it's just 4-8 hairs at a time that are coming out. It's not like I have big bald spots or anything.

That rash that's been plaguing my elbow... now on the backs of my knees. The rash only appears when I scratch. Don't scratch!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Hair Hurts

I had a dream that I was showing someone how my hair was still not falling out. But when my fingers tip came away there were dozes on short hairs on them. Longer than what I have now... kind of like when you aggressively pet a cat in need of brushing.

I also dreamt that my upper left molars were starting to crumble. That's always disturbing. I don't like dreams about my person falling apart. Every now and then I dream about predatory fish too. Both types of dreams seem to come as warnings.

My teeth are fine. I am on day 2 of a nasty headache though. Hate that. Makes working on the computer challenging. I tucked myself into bed at 9:30 last night. But then after a while too much sleep also sets me up for body aches and a different kind of headache.

The hair on my head actually hurts. It definitely has a grain and I always seem to be going against it. I wore a cap to work yesterday and when I took it off - Wowzers! Hat head on little 1/4" stubble. A hot shower feels nice but that never lasts long enough. I've even tried hand lotion. My hair is very itchy. It's not like it can look greasy at this length.

Oh - and I've developed a weird rash where I got it the worst from the poison ivy last summer. From my elbow (especially) to my arm pit. I can see tiny little pink dots. And if I dare scratch -whoosh!- the dots turn into angry red goose bumps and the itch is maddening. It's the kind of rash you would see from contact with disagreeable detergents, only it's persisted since last Saturday... going on 6 days.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow Pt 2

Hair is all in your head. I keep forgetting it's gone and striking up conversations while I'm out and about (the bank, the grocery...). Then it dawns on me that complete strangers don't even look twice. I'm just an extravagant chick with really, really short hair.

My hair hasn't gotten the message that it's supposed to fall out yet. I've grown at least a 1/4 inch of plushiness since having it shaved. It kind of looks exotic. Most white chicks can't carry this look off, but I'm doing ok.

It is big time itchy. Maybe that's why it's coming in so well. I'm "stimulating" growth - scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch!
My hair is so thick and short that it can't lay down and just relax for a while.

My downstairs hair has started to fall out. The hair on the top of my head can't be pulled out with pliers.
I'm going to be smooth and exotic in a few days... legs people! I long for hairless legs!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Curse

Apt timing with the "The Wolfman" (Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins) opening this week. I could have sworn today was the full moon but yesterday was actually a new moon (I just checked).

I just found myself going ape on the recycle bin wire frames and lids, cursing the manufacturers and tossing bins across the room with my super-human strength (which isn't serving me in getting the lids back onto the wire frame). So much for getting a little housework taken care of. I thought the activity would be calming and get the blood flowing. Instead my blood pressure is elevated, my nerves are twitching and I need a break.

It must be my own curse sneaking up on me. For the last couple days when Paul goes on one of his rambling tangents about the computer not working or his views about some football player or another... I find myself smiling and nodding and just wishing he would Shut Up! I'm sure he can see right through my happy face mask though. I think the facial tick may be giving me away. Be nice! At any other time I would be delighted to engage in conversation with him.
It must be hormones.

One of the things the chemo doc said is that there is a possibility that my cycles may be interrupted with chemo treatments and there is a chance that they could stop all together. I don't feel that is to be the case today. But then, this was my first of 6 treatments. Results may vary.
I am happy to report that the space under our sink is now clean and the trash has been taken out for garbage day... which is now being put off by a day since today is a holiday. Happy Family Day!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Everyone Knows Someone

I popped into the pub to say hi the other night and the owners wife grabs my hand and gushes, "Oh, I heard your news! And I have a girlfriend in Berlington who just when through the same thing! If you need someone to talk to..."

I'm surprised how many people out there know someone else effected by cancer. I think calling up a complete stranger and saying, "hey! I hear you got cancer! I got cancer! You wanna compare notes?" would just be weird.

The pub owner's wife did say her friend's support group had a club and they get free massages and stuff! I should book some time at the hospital's support group too. They have free scarf tying and make-up classes and you get goodie bags. Hey, get your perks were you can. Guess this is a lot like that exclusive "mommy" club.

Mmmm... Steak

Probably shouldn't have eaten it as it was prepared - medium rare... but it was soooooo good. And I haven't had steak in so long! The doctors said stay away from rare beef. I did manage to stay away from the sushi counter for lunch yesterday. That was a challenge but raw is pushing it.

Paul and I dined on New Your strips with sauteed mushroom, baked potatoes, nibblets and a glass of red wine this evening.
At no point have the doctors mentioned anything about not drinking alcohol with the treatments. I find that odd. They said I shouldn't even use mouthwash with alcohol in it (mouth sores, not that I have any).

Then we watched that Zombie World movie. Yuck. I'm such a goof when it comes to getting sucked into a movie. I know the boo-factor is coming. And yet there I am, peeling myself off the ceiling. Paul is amused. I stayed up to watch "Surrogates" with Bruce Willis. I enjoyed that one. Nice thoughtful sci-fi.

I think I'm the exception to the rule. This chemo thing ain't so bad. My hair still hasn't got the message that it's supposed to fall out. I don't feel ill. The only nausea was when I ate a big lunch right after the first treatment.

Today is day 8. Day 5-12 is when my white cell count is supposed to be bottoming out. Washing my hands a lot. Got the hand sanitizer in my purse. Just gotta be weary of where my hands have been.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chemo Round 1 - Day 5

My hair grows so freaking fast! It's been 10 days since I had it buzzed off and I have a 1/4" of plush on top. I don't think my hair got the message that it was supposed to start falling out.

It feels nice. Except I keep assuming that I've still got a lot of it and I'm surprised at night when I reach up to "take out my pony tail". It's surprising how much tension you carry in your scalp. I was joking with Paul about that and he said "I know! When you're mad at me I can see your hair start to stand on end!" Just call me Medusa!

Today is day 5 of this course of chemo drugs. From about day 5 - 12 they said my white cell count drops and I may feel run down. We'll see. Might be a little tired. Might feel a little shaky. Might not notice much cause Im stubborn that way. Good excuse for frequent napping. :-)

This really isn't so bad. With every visit to the hospital I think, "But for the Grace of God there go I!" I'm not sickly at all. Not like those poor suckers - clutching their stomaches, wilting on beds, moaning and groaning and carrying on the way sick people do.

There was the scare factor but that's come and gone. The biggest emotional toll I've had to endure was how my illness stresses everyone else out. Cancer is such a big dirty word. This too shall pass.

Oops! Almost 9:00! Gotta go get dressed for work!

My bruise is just now starting to fade. I don't think I like IVs.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

End of My First Weekend on Chemo

Though I had more energy yesterday. After I went grocery shopping in the afternoon I came home completely wiped out. Of course, that could have been because everyone in the store was a complete idiot! Everyone was blocking the isles that are wide enough to let 3 carts pass easily. Or hanging out and chit-chatting, like we don't all have something better to do than hang out in a grocery store. Or they would be pushing their cart along like they were doing a slow pain-staking funeral march... come on! This ain't no church! At one point someone took my shopping cart by mistake (I was more than half way done filling it) and it took me about 15 minutes just to track it down 3 isles over... Paul would have gone ballistic.

Maybe it was just the experience that wiped me out and not the chemo. 3 hours in a grocery store could take the wind out of any ones sails.

I napped on the couch for a couple hours. I let Paul make me a light dinner with a bit of chicken breast in a whole wheat wrap with Havarti, spinach and a little red onion. Then I was up until almost midnight doing a little design work. Got a website set up for Nanny Robina and re-did some logos for Raj. It's taking a long time to do design work. Brain doesn't feel like it's going in slow motion but obviously it is! I'm not supposed to take my fish oil supplements with these chemo drugs because they can cause blood thinning or something. But that's my brain lube. Bummer.

Breakfast: Small serving of Special K with blue berries and 1% milk.
Snack: 1 slice of 12-grain toast with 1 hard boiled egg and 1 slice of bacon and 1/4 plum.
Snack: 1/3 cup frozen yogurt (coffee flavored with chocolate chunks)
Lunch: Spinach salad with mushroom, strawberry, red onion, 2 slices of bacon, garlic herb feta and ranch dressing.
Snack: 1/4 cup hummis with low sodium, trans-fat free tortia chips
Snack: 3 sesame seed ball snacks
Dinner: Had a 1/2 chicken breast with Havarti for dinner... then, 1/2 hour later, a banana with natural peanut butter.

I'm thirsty but I'm getting kind of sick of water.

Gotta work tomorrow. :-(

Saturday, February 6, 2010


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Medium: gouache paint and graphite over red wallpaper.

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This Isn't So Bad

All the professionals have been asking "have you read all the literature yet?" And I've been, like, "No."

Paul has read and re-read every scrap of paper that's come our way. I'm thinking they'll be full of worst case scenarios and fear mongering and I don't want those kinds of images going around my head. Seeings as everyone has a different response to these kinds of treatments I thought it would be best to just go through the motions and find out first hand what the effects are. It's not like I have a choice in that matter. Should the worst case scenario come up Paul will know what to do.

I did get sick last night. But now that I have a greater respect for portion size that shouldn't be an issue. Every now and then I catch myself eating too quickly and I have to remind myself to PUT DOWN THE FORK AND CHEW! I know... that's bad habit that I've been meaning to work on for some time. And now I have a good reason to actually be conscious of my eating habits.

The chemo doc said the steroids will make me hungry and I will bulk up. This is another reason to be very aware of my eating habits. A fridge full of pre-portioned healthy snacks: cut up veggies, diced cheese, nuts, hard boiled eggs, bean salad, pickles and sauerkraut... 7 or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

I also want to get a bunch of small glass juice bottles (dish washer safe) so that I can refill them on the cheep and have juice or water within reach. I don't get nearly enough fluids in me on a daily basis. And I don't really care for cold drinks - except for maybe beer!

You know, it's funny. I haven't been told anything about alcohol consumption since all this began. I've cut back on my own just because of 1) the weight gain factor and 2) making room for more hydrating fluids. And a distant 3) the evidence that alcohol could be a contributing factor to breast cancer in women... A little late for that, don't cha think!

Feeling good enough to get back to work today.
Want to do a little catch up for Amusing Facts, do a little brochure / business card / website design for Raj, set up Nanny Robina's website, follow up on a few invoices...

But me first! I wan to do a little laundry and grocery shopping. And Art Play. Time to post some breast art!

I Lost My Cookies

Feeling much better today. Yesterday was a little rocky but if that's as bad as it gets...

I was hungry after the first chemo treatment so I came home and made what I thought was a tame lunch: a grilled cheese on 12 grain with a bowl of Healthy Harvest Roasted Chicken and Noodle soup. Apparently my normal portion size for lunch is too much.

I hadn't been feeling all that ill - maybe a little tired with a tightness in my tummy. Nothing that shouldn't pass with a nap. That sat in my stomach and percolated from about 1:30 until 8:00 when I figured it would be safe to take my anti-nauseant med.

At 8:20 I got up to go to the bathroom. A moment later I was back on the couch and then.... OH OH! There went lunch! After that I felt MUCH better.

Out with the bad, in with the good. I had a couple of ginger ales and another glass of water. By then I figured it was safe to take another anti-nauseant med. They're expensive and I didn't want to risk loosing another.

Dinner was around 11:00: a half cup of frozen yogurt and, a little while later, 1/4 cup of Quick Oats with a dab of butter and a pinch of white sugar. Mush is my comfort food.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Thanks for the Blanky, Stevie!

Chemo Day 1 pt 2

We were checked in at 8:45. Picked up the anti nausea drugs from the hospital pharmacy. My appointment was for 9:30. I think I was hooked up by 10:00 and we were leaving the hospital at 1:00. Our future visits will be a bit longer because we'll have to go for blood testing before the chemo and check in with Dr Higgins before the treatment begins. (I always think of the Carol Brunette show and that skit with the secretary and "Mr. H-wiggins!")

Piece of cake, man! The IV is irritating but that's just because it's jammed in through my skin and into a vein. They gave me 3 meds. One red one was injected into the IV tube. It made my pee pink. The next one was a small clear substance injected into the IV tube and the last came in it's own cute little IV bag. The main IV was just saline to get everything flushing right away.

So far, no side effects but I have several anti-nausea meds that I'm supposed to take on a regular basis to prevent that. And I have to take in a lot of fluid. I've had 1.5 glasses of water, 2 servings of soup, 1 coffee at home and another big Timmies at the hospital.

The IV left a golf ball sized bruise on my forearm. Ok, so I wasn't really being a suck. It really was achy.

Due to the lumpectomy and the lymph nodes being removed on the left side they told me to always have procedures done on the right for now on, including needles, giving blood and blood pressure testing. I don't have optimal drainage to get things moving on the left side.

It's now been about 3.5 hours since... I think I'm starting to go down hill. It might just be bloating. I had a grilled cheese and a bowl of soup... no, wait... thinking about what I ate just turned my stomach. I feel warm. I'm going to go lay down for a while. Maybe it's psychosomatic.

Don't worry - I'll be fine. Positive vibes!

Fitness Plan Faltering

Not doing a very good job of "getting fit". On the other hand, I've been massively busy work wise. Besides my day job I've done a few plastic cards, 3 websites, logo / business card / brochure, 2 caricatures, web ads... I'm sure there's more.

I find myself sitting in front of the computer ALL THE TIME. And that's not good.

The stupid thing is that I KNOW that if I get up and get moving and get some exercise my brain would work so much more efficiently and I'd feel and look better. Not that I feel bad. I just know I could feel better.

Chemo Day 1

I need to massively up the fluid intake to FLUSH FLUSH FLUSH the toxins away that they are about to pump into me. I'm not good at getting enough water. But if I don't I imagine it'll feel a lot like a really bad hangover with all those poisons floating around my body.

Don't know what to expect, Paul will be with me in case I react badly. I don't think that'll be the case. Didn't do any reading as far as what to expect either. The effects are so varied that I would just be absorbing the worst case scenarios and making myself all scared before hand. Best to just go and see how it is first hand - not like I get a choice in that matter.

I think the poison ivy experience is actually a two fold blessing. Not only did I find the lump faster because of the steroid exposure, that was God's way of saying "This is what real pain feels like. Everything else is easy from here on in."

What the doctor did say was that one of the side effects of the drugs is that I WILL gain weight! Crap! Just when you think "I might feel like garbage but at least I'll loose some weight..." they go and pull that out from under ya!

Gotta go... leaving the house in 45 minutes.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Follow Up with Surgeon

I like this photo.

Everything is slowly getting back to normal. There's still a little inflammation around the incision but it's all but stopped leaking. And still very swollen. I'm almost getting used to it but I'd rather not have to. Dr. Niaz said that the swelling is a good thing. I'm full of healing materials and when I'm done mending my body should reabsorb the extra fluids.

Drainage has been an issue. The surgeon had put a drain in under my arm to handle the accumulation of fluids after having a bunch of lymph nodes removed. After that slowed down the home care nurse removed the hardware and the opening healed in about 24 hours.

But then the pressure elsewhere began to build. And build. And build. Then I literally burst at the seams! 150ml (1/4cup) came pouring out of a couple pin sized holes near the bottom of the incision on my breast. That was scary!

The home nurse said she had never heard anything like that before but as long as I wasn't in pain and there didn't appear to be any signs of infection I shouldn't panic and that I should go see a walk-in clinic doctor the next day (it was the weekend). The clinic doctor didn't seem to alarmed either. She said that was nature's way of saying "we need to let some of this pressure off." It was freaky though. I was sounding like a big, sloshy, half full hot water bottle.

Over the next week I continued to drain about 50-30 ml per day. The following week I was soaking through dressings twice a day. The next week Dr Niaz tried gluing me shut and pulling me closed with steri strips. The week after that I was still leaking a few drops per day... and finally! As of yesterday - not enough moisture to merit a band-aid. My next follow up with Dr Niaz will be in mid March.

Look! I Match the Cat!

I've been using a little self tanner so there wouldn't be so much contrast between dark hair and pale scalp. It's funny. My face is a little tan, where my hair grows dark hardly any melolin has shown up but where my hair grows light it has turned very tan. Other than the tabby stripes I'm starting to look a lot like Ty the cat. She's so pretty!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Back Work

First day to work with the new doo. I keep forgetting that I have no hair and then I pass a mirror... Ack! Or I go to scratch my head... Hey! what's missing!

I was a bit worried about silk scarves slipping throughout the day but that doesn't seem to be an issue. My head is now covered in very efficient velcro. At night I have to position a pillow against my head and then lay down. Can't slide around. Where I land is where I stick.

Thought I'd where a lot of make-up today. Look pretty, feel pretty. I may have worn too much. I look stern. But then again, don't I always?

Getting a tone of work done. In the past few days I've designed a website, gift cards, a logo, done a couple caricatures, a business card... Still want to do a little drawing for myself some time.