Monday, March 30, 2009

Update: Chemo Canceled and I'm Losing My Hair

I was scheduled for my next session of chemo on Friday, but the blood test on Thursday revealed my white blood cell count was too low.

"Come in on Monday," the nurse advised. "That's 21 days from your previous treatment."

Hubs has Fridays off and while his boss is very understanding about this, Hubs & I would like to inconvenience his fellow employees as little as possible. The nurse grumbled, but pushed my appointment back a week.

I'm a bit annoyed at her attitude because Hubs and I told the clinic that we would prefer my appointments to be on Fridays and they assured us there would be no problem once we saw how I tolerated chemo. And it was one of the staff who moved my appointment up four days.

Okay, so that means I have to rework my personal calendar to determine how I'm going to be feeling at different events and try and schedule around when I think I'm going to be wiped out.

The nurse (who is really very nice) warned my about avoiding "large crowds," so I decided it probably wasn't a good idea for me to be a Eucharistic Minister at Mass. But I did go to that and to my poetry group.

But I feel fine. I've been going to my aqua aerobics and aqua running classes for the last two weeks; working, riding BART, going to my favorite warehouse store to stock up on yogurt and string cheese so I'd have quick, high-protein snacks. I feel strong. So how can my white cell count be so low?

And then there's my hair.

My hair felt really dry. Then the roots started hurting, not a lot, but whenever I brushed it or the wind riffled through it. This past weekend, it's started coming out en masse, whether I brush my hair or not. I'm trying not to play with my hair (a habit of mine while reading) because I'd need a garbage bag or wastebasket nearby to dispose of the remnants. I am in a shedding competition with our dog.

Beauticians have commented on the amount of hair I have; my hair is fine, but there's a lot of it. I am now amazed myself. The "blonde" seems to be falling out; the silver-white gray is hanging in there, though for how much longer is a mystery. I bought some very nice hats on Saturday--DD#2 helped me pick them out; DD#1 critiqued them and approved of two, thought one was "very much you, Mom," and we agreed the fourth one needs some jazzing up. (It's white and a very soft cotton, which is why I bought it.) I took out some of my other hats and tried them on as well. My hat size is noticeably smaller and I can only attribute it to hair loss. At Mass last night, DD#2 kept brushing stray hair from my shoulders.

Hubs has slowing been losing his hair on top and the kids were teasing us about really looking alike as long-married couples often do (we've been married 30 years as of the middle of March).

"Yeah, but mine will grow back," I retorted. Hubs groaned.

Usually I pick my hat to match my outfit. Now I'm picking my outfit to match my hat!