Labor Day came at the perfect time during my treatment. My poor skin needed the break. I did, too.
I’m pretty sure that my standard answer when people ask how I’m doing is, “Good. Grumpy, but good.”
And, I am. I’m just worn out.
I guess it is the radiation. They said it would cause fatigue, but I kind of rolled my eyes at that. I mean, nothing can compare to chemo, right?
Well, I still believe that, but the difference between chemo and radiation is that you plan to feel terrible during chemo. You make accommodations in preparation for that. We did nothing during my chemo treatments. We just hunkered down and tried to plow through it.
With radiation, you don’t have that sick piece, so life and expectations go back to normal — kids’ activities, gatherings, work, back-to-school stuff. Life resumes. But, even though I’m not popping nausea meds every few hours, I’m dog tired. It is hard to remember that I’m not supposed to be running at 100 percent.
All of that said, I am so close to being done! I have completed 25 of 35 treatments. Even better, my last six treatments are only focused on the mastectomy scar. That means I only have three more treatments to my entire breast area. Woo hoo!
My poor skin looks pretty gross. The day after my last post, I started to see the irritation. Now, here is what it looks like:
Another thing I’ve noticed is that my muscles seem to be weak and sore in that area. I tried to lift a chair tonight and didn’t have the strength in my arm.
My poor body has a lot of work ahead to get my strength back.
But, chemo is becoming more and more of a distant memory. And my body is moving on. Know how I know? See the white line of my fingernail below?
That’s the line where I started chemo. All of the nail below that is healthy nail. It is kind of like my tree ring.
Unfortunately, my nails are still a mess since the damaged part hasn’t grown out yet. They are breaking all the time. Or doing this:
That uneven white part is where the nail is detaching. Gross, huh?
Hard to tell in the pic, but I’ve also got some decent hair growth going on. I’m not sure I’m ready to be sans scarves though. I hate wearing them. They are pain to match with clothes. They are hot. And, I’m just ready to have hair again.
Alan swears it is long enough to stop wearing the scarves. I kind of agree with him until I see pictures where it looks like it is barely there. Then, I think that he and I are just so used to seeing me bald (I never wear scarves or a wig at home) that any little bit of hair seems Rapunzel-length to us.
So I went to the grocery store without a scarf today — just to test it out. There were a LOT of second and third takes.
Now, I’m used to getting second or third looks since I’ve been wearing a scarf on my head for the last 6+ months. But, that second or third look is generally followed by a look of recognition that “she must have cancer.”
When your hair looks like Sinead O’Connor, people don’t follow the second/third look with a look of understanding. It’s more of a “what-in-the-world?!” kind of look.
I haven’t made up my mind about whether I care about the second/third looks. It wasn’t comfortable.
Then again, what about cancer is comfortable?