Saturday, April 06, 2013
Spring break at home
For the first time in five years, we found ourselves at home for spring break instead of visiting Matt's mom in Louisville. Fortunately, Grandma joined us for the week before and stayed through Easter weekend, so at least we got to spend the holiday with her like we usually do. She was here to help out for my second chemo treatment on March 25. We had a wonderful time with her. The kids loved having her at their house and especially enjoyed the trips to Target, Walmart and even Kroger that all increased their inventory of toy cars, super heroes and books.
My second treatment went about the same as my first. In some ways, it went even better because I wasn't as anxious the day of and the days following since I knew what to expect. Once again, I really didn't have trouble with nausea; the steroids and anti-nausea drugs I take are great. But about three days after my infusion, I developed a cold with a persistent cough. (It seems that at least one person in our house has been snotty for the last two months!) The cough disrupted my sleep for a few nights, which fed my fatigue. I felt really run down on Easter Sunday and spent most of Monday in bed, which was by far the worst I've felt since chemo started.
The combo of the cold and having to shave my head the same weekend was a particularly tough one. I was feeling terrible and felt like I looked sick too. Losing my hair was something I'd been dreading and I really couldn't figure out a way to make myself feel better about it. It's such a concrete, stark reminder that I have cancer. I can't hide it. Matt went with me to the hair salon where I got my head shaved, and we both cried in the car afterward. When we got home, Tobin gave me a sweet, amused smile and a hug. Lauren pointed and laughed in an endearing way. Evan grinned and said, "Hey, where'd your hair go, Mom?" It was his most positive reaction to any of my hair changes so far. While he does tell me from time to time that he doesn't like my hair being all gone, he likes to feel my head and reminds me to wear a hat when I take a nap. The kids' amusement helped me lighten up about it all too. I cover my head when we go out, but around the house I don't usually wear anything and the kids already act like it's no big deal. And I will say that while it's jarring for me to see my bald head reflected in the mirror, it's not as awful as it was watching clumps of hair fill the shower drain. So in that sense, shaving my head has allowed me to control my hair loss and try to move past it, or at least get on with the business of getting used to head scarves and hats.
Since Tuesday of this week, I've been feeling so much better. I went to the doctor that day to confirm that I just had a cold and to be sure my lungs sounded okay. My cough has gotten better and I've been getting good sleep again. This has allowed me to enjoy the rest of the week with Matt and the kids. We've taken lots of walks with the boys riding their bikes, had a fun playdate with friends and gone out to dinner. Today, I've had a Saturday full of very usual things: eating pancakes for breakfast, cooking a batch of marinara sauce for the freezer, shopping for groceries, going out for frozen yogurt, playing at the park, making homemade pizza, and watching a movie with the kids and basketball with Matt. When it feels like much of my life's been turned upside down, a normal day like today feels especially precious. It helps ground me for what lies immediately ahead: my third round of chemo on Monday.
Posted by allison at 9:56 PM