An explanation...

Why Foob? I had a double mastectomy, and at the time, the plastic surgeon put "expanders" under the muscles in my chest. Every 2-3 weeks, they were filled with more saline, in preparation for my reconstructive surgery. They were very full and hard. Uncomfortable. One time, one of my sons gave me a hug and then said "Your foobs are hard!" Hee, hee, hee! My kids have this endearing habit of combining words. So, "Foobs" are fake boobs. Which I will still have, even after the reconstruction.

Foob Babe - that would be me!
"The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next." ~Mignon McLaughlin


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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

As The Poison Drips...

This post will be fast, because I'm already feeling the affects of the chemo treatment I had today. My first chemo made me sick for 10 days. I won't put all of the gruesome details here, because none of you need to know that. Let's just say that today, we tried a new nausea medication - the "latest, greatest" on the market. That, in addition to the other 3 nausea medications will hopefully cut down on the amount of days that I'll be sick. The doc was concerned about a few other things (i.e. those "don't need to know" things I was talking about earlier) and so he lowered my dose of one of the chemo meds - Taxotere. That's a pretty wicked drug. I also take Carboplatin and Herceptin. Those three drugs come after the two nausea drugs. They each take about 30 minutes to 1 hour to drip - one at a time - so we are there for about 4-5 hours. My sweet mom, Barbara, is my chemo partner. She picks me up and takes me there and then stays the whole time. Today, it hit me faster - my mouth was so dry by the time I finished, that it was painful. And I'd already started getting tired by the 3rd bag of stuff. In fact, I can hardly keep my eyes open. I used the numbing creme on my skin above the spot where my port is. Oh, some of you probably don't know that I have a port. It's a small plastic triangle thingy that is under the skin of my upper chest - right below my collarbone. It has a cathether that goes into my big monster vein behind my collar bone. That's where the nurses access my vein for the drippy drugs and blood work. The needles are pretty wicked - OUCH! So, I numb the skin an hour before I go. Then, the nurse pokes a yucky needle through my skin and into the port. Today, it work really well. I didn't even feel the needle at all! Yay! The last thing I "get" to have is a shot in my stomach - can't remember what for. That one hurts. Ouch. So, all in all, the day was pretty good. Now the wait begins to see how it will affect me. I'm already started to feel nauseated, so hopefully the 4 pills I just took will start working and they'll knock me out too. ;-)

Note: if you ever have to go through this and you lose your hair, use a dog-hair remover on the stubble on your head - Alex just did this to my head and it really works! :-) Until I can get out of bed for the next post... say it with me, CANCER SUCKS! You know it!

Monday, November 17, 2008

My First Fill-Up

Ok, so this day started out with me forgetting that I have no hair. I stepped out of the shower and wrapped my head in a towel to soak up the water from my hair. Ok. Then I realized that I didn't need a whole hour to get ready - it took me less than 1/2 hour. I no longer need a blow dryer, a curling iron, mousse, hair spray, or even a hair dresser! Pretty cool, huh? I'm going to save so freakin' much money. Oh, yeah! I decided that I'd go out today with a hat instead of that hot, itchy wig. So, I picked my cute brown hat that went very nicely with my brown sweater and headed to get my nails done.

There are a few things that I didn't think about when I shaved my head. One is that hats and scarves and headbands, etc., are kind of like those brain squeezers that people put on their babies' heads! Next time I see a baby with one of those silly things, I'm going to pull it off! Because, now I know how they feel. I was very tired of the brain squeezed feeling I had by the end of the day. Another discovery that I made today is that people stare at other people who don't have hair. Even when their head is covered up by a hat. I pulled up to a stop light and glanced over at the car next to me and found that the old man who was driving had turned completely towards me and for some reason his mouth was open! Then, I stopped at another light and looked to my right and the lady in the car, who was caught staring at me, smiled. Hmmmm. For the rest of the day I caught people staring. Kris, my sister, said I was just being paranoid. Uh, NOT!

Besides being my first day out and about with no hair, it was also my first day for a "fill-up". And I don't mean gas in my car! Yep, I got my expanders filled with saline today. Just so you know, I HATE needles and, I swear, if another doctor comes at me with a needle, pointed at my boobs (or rather, my man-chest), I'm going to completely lose my cool. These needles were attached to the biggest syringes I've ever seen - filled with tons of saline. And it all had to be shot into my expanders. And, boy, did they expand! Ouch! Double ouch! I don't really recommend this to anyone. There are easier ways to get a boob job!

It was a great day, though. I didn't have it so bad - my day was easy compared to my hilarious niece, Ellie. She stuck a flower up her nose and had to go to the doctor's office to have it removed. Bwahahahahahaha! I'll take needles in my boobs over flowers up my nose any day!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Head-Shaving Story Moment

I've waited for quite awhile before starting this blog. It's my Cancer Blog and to tell the truth, I just haven't wanted to write this next sentence. I have cancer. But, yesterday my head was shaved and I'm well on my way to surviving and I think I can write about the whole thing now.

I'll post parts of my cancer journal to get everyone up to date after this post. For now, though, I'd like to talk about yesterday. I had my first chemo treatment on October 29th and the nurses told me that I'd lose my hair between days 14 and 17. Whatever. Well, day 14 came and went without my hair falling out. I kind of pictured it falling out all at once. For you Harry Potter fans, I pictured it being like the Whomping Willow losing it's leaves in the movie. You know - it loses one leaf that swirls all the way down to the ground and then every single leaf hits the ground all at once! It's pretty funny in the movie. Not so much when it's your own hair. But, that's not what happened.

I had a hard time sleeping from day 14 to day 17, because I kept having nightmares about my hair falling out! I'd wake up in the middle of the night and tug on it, just to make sure it was still there. I really did hold a small hope in my heart that I'd be the only exception to the rule - the only person who wouldn't lose her hair. Yeah, right! On day 17 (no kidding) I started to lose my hair. Every time I touched it, tons would fall out. I could run my fingers through my hair and pull out gobs. It was very traumatic. I put off shaving it until Saturday, day 18. I just couldn't stand to have it falling out any more.

My sister, Kris, and I went to buy a wig. More about the wig later. She followed me home and when we got there, it was time. Have you ever been so frightened of something that you are physically ill? I have been. I thought I would throw up. I stalled as long as I could. When I was ready (as ready as you CAN be), Kris braided a small portion of the longest hair and then that was the first chunk to be cut off. You see, I wanted to keep a small bit of my hair, because I hear that hair grows in differently after chemo. I LOVE my hair. It's thick and full and with the help of my hairdresser, Aimee, just the right color - dark brown, woven with reds. When it grows back, my hair might be really curly, or super straight, or a completely different color - like gray!!!! Anyway, so now I have proof that my hair was once beautiful.

At the first cut, I started crying. I'm such a baby! My boys were way more brave than I was. I completely fell apart. Every cut made me sob. Kris was so nice. She kept saying how beautiful I was with every cut. Rick ran his hands through my hair when it was super short (about an inch all over). It was sad looking, because it looks like someone just hacked into my hair. Then Kris told me to take a deep breath, and she turned on the razor. If you've never experienced this before, it's a very scary sound. This whole thing was supposed to be my way of being in charge of at least one part of this whole cancer thing. But I didn't feel in charge. I just wanted my hair back. Kris shaved my whole head. I'll post a picture here, but it won't show how I felt. I felt like a victim. And I was mad. Way mad. I looked like one of the people in German concentration camps. We decided not to completely BIC my head - the stubble will fall out soon enough and then I'll be completely bald.

I'm getting used to it though. My boys all said it didn't look as bad as they thought it would. The big liars! Haha! They were so sweet though. I'm glad I have all boys. If I had girls, they would have just cried right along with me. But the boys all felt my head and told me how to get rid of all the loose pieces - "Trust us, when you shave our heads, we go right in and take a shower!"

Well, that's my story moment. Can you say, Cancer SUCKS?!