Thursday, December 3, 2009

Watch Out for the Albino Cactus

An albino cactus. That's what my head looks like, doesn't it? As you can see, whispy hairs are emerging. Some dark, some silver. There is still a lot of bare scalp here, though. It's hard to imagine it will ever fill in enough to look like a full head of hair. Right at the front, it's hardly coming in at all. Me without bangs? I might have to consider the comb over. Sinead and Natalie Portman, I'm NOT!

There's an especially long hair on the right. It's my favourite.

Radiation Treatment Status: 14 done. 16 to go! All in all, still not too bad. Last night my back felt more burnt than it has before. After today's treatment, my breast feels its most tender, too. I've been cupping it gently with my hand this morning. Not that doing so helps, but it just feels like the right thing to do.

This is my first day off Arimidex. I was so glad not to take that pill this morning since learning that it's the culprit! Last night was my worst time to date. Even my back ached. My heels hurt the most they ever have. Standing even for a short time was out of the question. I haven't seen improvements yet, but hopefully soon. If the oncologist hadn't instructed me to stop taking the Arimidex, I think I would have stopped on my own. Enough.

Last night brought some special pleasures, though. I munched a few of my favourite shortbread cookies, had a nice conversation with Mom and then a nice, long one with Hannah, too. Hannah was in especially fine spirits and having great, disciplined progress with some papers that are due right away. It was a beautiful day to be cozied up in her apartment, working on papers with the sun pouring in her huge windows. She keeps reminding herself that even though she's under some time pressures, to enjoy the paper writing process because, in fact, this is what she loves. Doing research, writing papers and time management --- even helping her friends manage their time. She loves those things. Her friend, Dani, is home from New York for a week and she's on cloud nine about that. Hannah can be so fun to talk to. She has perspectives on things that never occur to me. It has never struck me that pomegranite seeds are each like little "pick-me-ups" just like each piece of popcorn, which I hadn't noticed either. She's been thinking about how successful Luke will be some day and how she might choose to live above his garage. Maybe she'll write papers there. Money isn't such a motivating factor for Hannah, so she's decided to leave it to Luke to take me to Paris. She has also developed a new appreciation for the value of team sports on the individual. Oh, the conversations we have. She kills me. Mom and Hannah certainly took my mind of my little zone of misery here. Thanks, you two!



  1. Hi Heather,
    Glad you have had some reprieve from an upsetting set of new symptoms; and also an attentive ear (albeit delayed) from the medical team.
    As you say. . it is so disconcerting when you have to diagnose your latest problems, after hearing comments (from the professional with whom you place your trust)somewhat reminiscent of your first experience with your family doctor regarding your level of activity (or inactivity).
    I'm convinced that your albino cactus will soon become the unmanageable hairy monster - kinda like those little (not sure if I can recall the name correctly - was it) chi chi plants.
    Enjoy to hoar frost and sun (in spite of the cold).

  2. Hi Laurel!

    I hope you're feeling increasingly stronger, too. Take advantage of having all those boys around to take care of all the heavy work. Call them "cabana boys" or "garcons". They'll like that.

    In regards to my cactus head, I think you mean "chia pet"! That's funny! And yes, my head is a bit like a chia pet. I hope it grows quickly but maybe less green. You never really appreciate unmanageable hair until you don't have any to unmanage.


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