Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hair, Ouches, Drugs, Flowers

Our backyard looks like crap for the most part. It hasn't been a good summer for our backyard and for most of our flowers. But our window boxes look the best they've ever looked! They don't get much light and so it's been hard to find big, showy blooms that thrive in them. They're also under a bit of an overhang so I don't think they got so much rain, which obviously suited them well.

With Field Lacrosse Nationals over, Kevin and I are now able to relax a bit. I started back on my Ultram (pain medication) to see again how I respond to it. It does make a bit of a difference in the pain and stiffness department. At some times more than others ... it's not consistent. The unpleasant side effects include occasional dizziness, swelling in my feet and ankles, and general sleepiness. I don't think the slight relief in pain and stiffness is worth it. I'll take it up with a doctor. I need to make an appointment.

Speaking of appointments, I already got a letter from the Champion Centre telling me I have an appointment with my oncologist (and bloodwork) again in November! What a difference it makes when one is actually assigned to a doctor! I have an appointment in a couple of weeks with my radiation oncologist. I think I'm healing quite nicely in that department. I'm still pretty tender in that whole chestal area but if the radiation can still be radiating for up to 18 months, I guess that would be expected? I'm very tender over my ribs and under my arm on my left side. I only notice it when I put some pressure it like, for example, when leaning to reach something and my upper ribs press into the back of a chair. And then it hurts. It hurts really bad and lingers for quite a while before subsiding. I don't understand why it would hurt that much and in that particular spot. I had that same experience once before while I was going through chemo and my doctor said that that kind of acute pain in that area is often an indication of a shingles breakout. And yet that pain has been back for quite some time now with no shingles. I'll be asking about it again.

My hair. My hair is growing ever so slowly. It's mighty curly. Clown hair curly. I've experimented lately with slicking it down firmly against my head when it's wet. When it dries, it's less clown curly and more spikey-wavy. I prefer it, though I won't go so far as to say I've had any good hair days yet. Of course, many people might say that, in my position, every day with any hair at all must be a good hair day. But that's not true. While I'm grateful for hair ... growing hair ... I'll be much happier when there's at least some hope for a good hair day. Knowing it's impossible makes mornings unpleasant. Especially work mornings because I'm not able to put off the mirror. Just like some people can't stomach eating as soon as they wake up, I can't stomach looking in a mirror. It's especially hard on the first work morning of the week. ICK!! I'll post a new hair photo soon so you can see the progress. Interesting, though, that there's still no hair under my arms! I'm not complaining about that at all, but it does make me wonder. Hair on my legs is sketchier than it ever was before and ... this next bit comes under possible "too much information" so consider yourself warned ... my "nether hairs" are also VERY shy about resurfacing. I wonder why some hairs come back and others don't? I wonder if the hair on my head will ever come back as thick as it used to be. My eyebrows, too, are even thinner than they were before chemo. I never ever used eyebrow pencil before (though I probably should have) but now I look positively ridiculous if I don't draw my eyebrows in. Tamoxifen can cause thinning hair and a small percentage of women taking the drug lose lots of hair while taking it. I wonder if it's effecting my hair regrowth? All I can do is wonder.

And that's my little recovery update. It's a positive sign I think that I maintain the notion that there's hope for further recovery.

Now enjoy some flowers!

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