Friday, June 26, 2009

Morning of Tears and Laughter

Hi everyone!

What a roller coaster this day has been already! Man, oh MAN!!

I was in a total "curl up in a fetal position and cry" state this morning. Then Hannah came. We went through a lot of trauma together in a very short period of time but Hannah, being Hannah, is ever soothing, calm, gentle, pragmatic and encouraging. I feel like the child and she seems like the Mom. It's not supposed to switch like this already. She's only 21. That she's always been an old soul is such a help to me now but it shouldn't be this way.

When Hannah got here, I had a bath and then I washed my hair. I was absolutely correct when I said earlier that I thought sweat was acting like glue and was keeping my loose hairs attached to my head. I lost quite a bit during the washing phase and then Hannah combed ... and combed ... and combed. There is a lot of hair in that waste basket! Hannah gently suggested that she should round up some scissors and cut the rest. I grabbed my pole and ran to the washroom to look in the mirror first and was pretty horrified. All the mental preparation in the world doesn't really prepare you for this. Hannah hugged me as we both looked in the mirror and I cried and cried and cried. Hannah was right. Time to cut. She got some scissors and she cut my remaining hair so that it's now ready for shaving. I'm crying and laughing the whole time as Hannah gently and jovially talks me through it. I was really quite calm ... but still, I had to cry for my lost hair ... and I sure did. A lot! Hannah made a turban for me out of my blue and red pashmina and, I must say ... not too bad. I had a little make-up here so I put on some foundation and some of Hannah's lipstick and the effect was ... okay. Eye make-up will help and Hannah will bring that from home later today.

Hannah, always on the ball, phoned Sylvia who had already been on a "wig mission". Syl (who has a cold and so is avoiding me) picked up one of the wigs I had previously considered and dropped it off with Hannah at the hospital doors. Thanks so much, Sylvia!

Carol and Patio arrived at lunch time while Hannah was picking up the wig and so they were here for the big "TA-DA"! And, what do I think? Well ... not so bad. Not bad at all. One day soon I'll post a photo and you can see for yourself. Carol and Pat, of course, are a laugh a minute on any given day and today was no different, so we all laughed a lot. Pat brought a nice floral hat for my "Polish friend" who goes everywhere with me. He's wearing it right now and looks quite dashing. I took him for a spin around the ward a while ago and I could see that everyone was envious.

When I get sprung from this joint, I hope to be able to stop by Crimpers to see my friend, Van. I think he'll be a great one to shave my head and give my wig a little trim. The bangs are a little long for my particular face, so a little trim is required.

As for medical stuff ... they still don't know what's causing the fever. My blood tests aren't giving them any clues. The oncologist laughed when he finally figured out who I was referring to when I asked him if we might call in Dr. House. An infectious disease specialist is going to be looking at my blood work for clues, in the meantime. They'll run some different tests, I imagine.

My white blood cell counts are up to 1.78 and my neutrophils (I still don't remember if I'm spelling it correctly) are .6. My potassium and electrolytes were low so I've been given an IV boost of that. No fever yet today.

I have cried myself to exhaustion today ... not that I wasn't exhausted enough already. But now. Now. NOW ... I feel at peace. Calm. Today has been a very emotional day already and it's good to have this bridge crossed. I've taken a deep breath, have found a balance inside myself again, and am ready to rest a bit and get ready for whatever happens next.

I want to go home.

Thanks, everyone, for your emails and calls and for crying, grieving and laughing right along with me. That's what being a team is all about. I'm lucky to have each and every one of you and I appreciate you all so much. You make all of this bearable somehow and each in your own, special way. It means a lot to me. Know that.

Big sigh. Deep breath. Ohhhmmmmmm ...


  1. Hi Heather,
    Your blog is wonderful - both for us (your team-mates) and for yourself. You are a interesting and skillful writer - an excellent read. It allows us to experience this game so much empathetically (is that a word) and thus hopefully more helpful to you and ourselves. You are so right. . . we are in this together. I cried too when I read about your day today and your hair . There is something very precious about our hair, (pretty or not).
    You are so lucky (again - not my favorite word cause it's more than just luck) to have Hannah. She is your substitute for a sister at this time although - God bless - she is so young to be so strong for you.
    I wish we had the opportunity for something like this some ten years ago when we were living Marlo's life. This will be a wonderful record for you later in life.
    Picturing you at home very soon!

  2. Heather I read your blog daily! Your experience is one that will teach each and everyone of us what is truly important in life! You will beat this! I just know it, it has to be that way.
    To Hannah, you are a wonderful person to be with your mom doing what daughters do best....just being there!
    You are in my thoughts! And I think that you will look amazing no matter what your hair looks like....remember it is just hair and will be back before you know it. Just a great hair adventure.
    Take Care and I hope to see you soon!
    P.S. I hope Dr. House gets this figured out very soon so that you can go home! :)

  3. Hi Laurel!

    Thanks for your very kind comments and for cheering me on!

    I often think of your precious little twinkling, sparkling Marlo, Laurel. Memories of her are intact for all of us. You don't need a blog for that.

    Here's to getting home again ... SOON!

  4. Hi Lesley,

    Thanks for your kind words and encouraging thoughts! A "hair adventure". It sure is that!! Pretty freaky, I assure you! But you're so right ... "it's just hair".

    I'm very lucky to have my kids here with me for some of this time ... Luke for the summer and Hannah at the time I needed her most. I'm lucky it worked out that way. I told her that it's okay, I can be the Mom again now.

    Thanks for being on my team, Lesley! Hug those girls of yours!


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