January 25, 2020 - Mirror Mirror on the Wall
It's been almost 2 weeks since my last surgery. We took advantage of the long MLK weekend and brought Mason with us to ATL. Monday proved to be a busy but productive day with all of my docs.
The first visit provided the most relief. The dreaded drain was removed! I don’t know who was happier, me or Jamie. The incision is healing nicely. I was given the all clear for radiation. My second visit was a check-in with my oncologist. She wanted to analyze my bloodwork, since it has been 4 weeks since chemo ended. She gave me the all clear for radiation. I do know that she will put me on a ten year oral medication regiment, but she said we would wait until radiation is complete.
My third visit was to my radiation oncologist. With all of the “all clears”, she had her team re-scan and re-mark me for radiation. I officially begin radiation on Tuesday, January 28th. If everything goes according to plan.........HA! I have to pause and laugh on that one....as if anything goes according to plan! Sigh....as I was saying, if everything goes according to plan, I will complete radiation on March 5th.
March 5th. That made me curious as to what other spectacular events made March 5th so special. As it turns out, my last day of radiation joins the ranks of:
National Absinthe Day
National Cheese Doodle Day
National Hospitalist Day
National Multiple Personality Day
National Poutine Day
I don’t know what is more exciting Absinthe or Poutine? We will see if March 5th sticks for me. I kind of like sharing my last rad day with that eclectic list. I have read a lot on what to expect from radiation, but everyone reacts differently. I suppose it is like going to a very high powered tanning bed with the laser targeted at the same area each day. That makes me think of Dr. Evil when he says, “Fire the Laser”.
Only time will tell how my skin will react. We are hoping for minimal damage and burns. I certainly have armed myself with an arsenal of creams and lotions. The other expected side effect of radiation is fatigue. I’ve been living with fatigue, so I’m not sure I will even notice it. You can count on me sharing the details.
I am happy to share that I am feeling better each day. My neuropathy is still lingering, but I have noticed a marked improvement. I am hoping that time will continue to lessen the effects. I am positive that it will.
On a confessional note, I have become the wicked queen, Queen Grimhilde. You know, the evil queen from Snow White. I am spending way too much time staring into mirrors. “Mirror mirror on the wall...”. My eyelashes are finally gone. I have a few stubborn eyebrow hairs hanging on. I’m in the lull of time before regrowth happens. BUT, my bald head is showing signs of life. You need a magnifying glass, but my head has peach fuzz! It is very exciting! It will be many months before I have a head full of hair, but at least it is showing signs of life. And, in the meantime, I have my girls to wear until then. I’m wearing Kendall today, but tomorrow may be Marion....who knows!
Side note: Many people have asked me about giving my wigs names. Ya’ll, I am not that creative! The wig designer names them, and boy does it help! It is so easy to think of them with names, rather than wig T564DT or wig R672JQ. Plus, they really do have their own personality. Kendall is playful. She is my curly wig that works well with hats. Miranda is my big hair (like Texas) sexy wig. Marion is my straight bob (good for a work meeting wig).....and so on. Unfortunately for Jamie, I guiltily have become the Imelda Marcos of wigs.
Today, a sweetheart of a lady made my day. I’ve known her for many years through business She ran in the Race For the Cure event today in South Florida. She sent me a note saying, “Keep fighting sweet Renee! This year I’m running in Celebration of you!!! Love you!!!!” Thank you, Luz! My heart is filled with gratitude! I am honored to know you.
This upcoming Monday, I will board my first flight since May 21st. It has been 251 days since Delta has seen me flying their friendly skies. I wonder if they have missed me? I will be traveling to Atlanta weekly to receive radiation and will be working in the SAP office. It will be good to see my colleagues again. It will be good to feel normal and energized. I am looking forward to focusing on work and customers rather than infusions and scans.
Since It will be my first time alone at night since May, I may be a little lost at first. I know that I will miss Jamie and Mason terribly during the week. I can take comfort in the hospitality of the Whitley. And when I’m in my hotel room at night, I’m sure I will gaze at the mirror on the wall.