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Right Before the 3 Month Check Up

September 22, 2010

I’ve got my 3 month check-up with the oncologist this afternoon. 3 months after the final chemo.

I expect this is going to be a very emotional visit. Mostly because it’s the first of its kind. Just like that first visit I ever had with the oncologist. Where I told her that her office was a dump. 3 times. I hope she’s prepared for me.

I’m prepared for her. I’ve got a list of questions a page long.

The first one being,

What in the fuck did you do to my hair?

3 months being done with the damn chemo and this is all I have to show for it?

Do you see why I force a smile when I take pictures of myself? If I don’t, I look like Dick Cheney. It doesn’t help that I have hair like Dick Cheney.

I’m starting to see hair first, when I look into the mirror – at first glance, instead of bald first. This is progress. Unfortunately the back of my head, up on top, is the slowest growing of all so that’s definitely bald first. It’s a good thing that the only time I see the back of my head is if I’m holding a mirror up to the back of my head and contorting my body so that I can torture myself with lack of hair or trying on clothing in a dressing room, with a three-way mirror. But then, the bald back of my head is the least of my worries, what with the front of my body looking like the Frankenstein monster.

Stupid slow-growing hair.

Actually, it’s fluff. Pet me, I quack. Shave me, I make a pillow.

I’m just starting to feel real hair on the back of my head, near the occipital bone. BTW – the only reason I know about the occipital bone at all is due to the hairdressers in my life bringing it up during a hair styling. Boy, do I have smart hair stylists. Even you, Tammy (*hi!*) This reminds me, Lynn! I’m going to stop in one of these days so we can discuss a course of action, okay? Can’t wait until we’re together again!

I also want to ask my oncologist about my hematoma, arimidex vs. tamoxifen (depending on my state of menopause), drug/supplement interactions, can she fix what’s going on under my nails, and more – much more!

8 months into this crap and I still can’t believe I’m into this crap. I don’t want a new normal. I want the old normal.

Stupid cancer.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 22, 2010 12:15 pm

    Um. Dinner, wherein we pet your furry head, nod with empathy while you rant and bitch and then make you get with the gossip and maniacal laughter, is a week away…isn’t it?

  2. September 22, 2010 12:54 pm

    I hope tomorrow goes really really well for you, with positive and encouraging answers to all of your questions. I will hold your hand from here, like we did on the day that you had your first chemo whilst I was having my back sliced and spliced. I have my 6 months check up a week from today and will get to find out if all the hardware is still in it’s proper place and if the bone grafts are healing. I’m really anxious (as in, I can’t wait) and I am also scared shitless (as in…it didn’t work). I’ll be going with a list of questions too.

    So I’ll be thinking totally positive thoughts for you tomorrow and will even light a candle! How’s Cranberry Spice sound?? **smooch**

  3. September 22, 2010 12:58 pm

    I’m thinking positive, healthy thoughts for you and wishing I could just kiss the top of your downy head. I can’t say if there is a “normal” but eventually (and recently I realized) I was able to stop thinking about it for a day or two. I’m thinking the stretches will get longer as our lives fill in with other stuff and pushes alot of the cancer thoughts away.

  4. September 22, 2010 1:27 pm

    Good luck with your appointment. 5 years later I still get nervous every time I go.

    I’m trying to remember when I got my hair back. I finished A/C chemo in November but immediately started Taxol and continued on Herceptin until the next November. I had never completely lost all my hair and had some stubble in spots so it started coming back in February, which would have been about 3 months. It looked horrible as it came in, gray, wiry and squiggly. I started going to my hairdresser occasionally in March I think and she put a hot oil treatment on it and trimmed the worst of the wiry ends off. Even in July it was still really short, but the texture was better. Don’t give up and as it grows a little get those ends cut off. Five years later it is back to normal but still curlier than before chemo.

    It took my fingers and nails a year or more to get back to normal. My fingers were numb and tingled forever and my nails cracked and brittle. Now that is all normal again.

    I went on Arimidex and am still on it. The first six months I thought it would kill me. (It was possibly also the effects of the Taxol), but I ached all over and hands, wrists, and knees were the worst. I could barely get out of a car or a restaurant booth, etc. In a movie I made my husband wait till everyone was out of our row because it took me so long to get up and going. I felt 100 years old. I started taking glucosomine and don’t know if that worked or the Taxol just finally got out of my system but now I just have the same aches and pains everyone else my age has.

    I’m so sorry you are having to deal with the lymphedema. I didn’t have that and know I am very lucky. Wishing you the best.

  5. September 22, 2010 1:41 pm

    Even though you look cute all fuzzy-headed like that, you have made me remember that having droopy eyelids might be nothing to complain about. Even though they won’t spring back up (while your hair is growing back!), and the only reason I can see out my eyeballs is because my top lashes are holding my eyelids up, and getting older sucks … sigh. Who is that woman in the mirror? That’s what I want to know.
    Best of luck tomorrow kiddo.

  6. dakotagirl permalink
    September 22, 2010 2:36 pm

    I think your “look” calls for some of those new fringe earrings!!!

  7. Sue permalink
    September 22, 2010 2:53 pm

    Holy crap! Didn’t your fingernails fall off yet? I thought someone told you they would. Hope all went well this afternoon. 🙂

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