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Sep 9, 2017 05:19PM
Sep 9, 2017 05:25PM
I am down to my last wisps of my chin-length original haircut, but much more of the undergrowth is appearing. I can still pull back the wisps into the tiniest of ponytails, like the kind you put on a toddler who is just starting to grow her hair. It does the trick to not look like the hair is so thin. It is a big ol' mess, but anything to maintain my privacy is worth it to me. I'm sure people have questions in their minds about why my hair is so bad/weird/strange, but without knowing my diagnosis, I haven't seen people stare, scrutinize, or make comments to ask. I can imagine people asking much more if they knew I were in cancer treatment.
Keeping my hair is not about vanity. For me, it allows me to take the lead on how I get to proceed on this journey, as opposed to having the world at large dictate that for me. It allows me to choose when to talk about my cancer. I get to be selfish. I get to bring it up on my terms, to people I choose. I don't want to put my life on pause for these treatments. Putting my Fridays on pause for 16 chemo treatments, then surgery, then recovery, then radiation, then reconstructive surgery, is enough of a disruption. I don't need any more intrusion to my life that is caused by my cancer.
My goal is to minimize the cancer's disruption on my life by the minute. If all the doctors are telling me that I have a good chance of surviving it and not to worry, then darn it, I'm not going to worry, and most importantly, I'm not going to let the world drag down my spirits by having people asking at every encounter about how I'm doing with my treatment, even if they mean well. I see it as a version of being smothered with love. Sometimes, especially on days when I'm feeling totally normal, rested, and totally free of side effects, I just want my day to proceed normally without having to talk about cancer to someone from work or from my kid's school who I hardly know! Words of encouragement are still a reminder of cancer that brings me away from the normality that I'm trying to maintain.
Every minute that I spend unnecessarily talking about cancer when I don't want to talk about cancer is a minute of my life I'll never get back. The good thing about my inner-circle knowing that I am not "out" about the diagnosis is that they don't bring it up unless we're alone. Otherwise, I can imagine every group gathering turning to a discussion about cancer. I went to a Labor Day party this weekend where only one family knew, and of course no one brought it up. It was bliss to enjoy the party and not talk about cancer.
I am down to my last 3 of Taxol weekly. After AC, I was dreading so much capping for the 12 Taxol, but it isn't so bad. My husband have a developing routine of getting take-out sushi for lunch at our favorite sushi place near the treatment center, changing a cap before we leave the treatment center, calling in our order on our way to the restaurant, changing a cap right before we pick up the sushi, getting to a friend's house who is away during the day and in the same neighborhood before the next cap change, and having our sushi date there for the remainder of the capping time (we live too far away; going to the friend's house works out better for us). By the time we do all the driving here and there, and having the meal, it eats up a good amount of the extra 4 hours after the infusion that I'm required to cap. It's a good way to find something enjoyable to do during the extra capping time.
Radmonkey - Congratulations on your final chemo! I'm glad that my posting pictures of my hair camouflage tips were helpful.
Dx at age 38; pregnancy associated (had baby boy in July 2016)
4/7/2017, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2-
5/11/2017 AC + T (Taxol)
Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left