I had a nice week “off” of chemo. I didn’t do much in the world of the sick–just made a few appointments and went for one blood draw, and didn’t end up doing any cancer research. I have felt pretty good this whole cycle (the first with the reduced dose of chemo); no queasiness after the first evening, good appetite, more energy than the last few months. I finished a big written project for my Philadelphia University class, putting in a lot more time on it in the couple days before it was due than I thought I would, but it was kind of fun. Geeky fun. I have been managing two walks a day, plus various supplements, drinking green tea and more water, etc. (I made myself a daily chart to help keep track). I did a little teaching about labor and birth for a small group of teenagers last week, which was really fun, though I felt out of practice.
This afternoon I start my 6th cycle of chemo. Meanwhile many people at QIVC (my intentional community) have a stomach bug, including my 15-year-old. It seems like a 24-hour one, though. Cross your fingers. My WBC counts are still in the normal range so I am not any more worried than I would usually be when QIVCers are dropping like flies…
Thursday morning I get a port “installed” (can’t find a better word) below my clavicle. This will allow chemo to be delivered without putting an IV in my arm (that’s getting harder as my arm veins get scarred up by the chemo). I am seriously hoping it will not be as annoying and irritating as my 2006 port, which stuck out way more than some do, and physically bothered me all the time. (The woman from Interventional Radiology*, the dept. at Albany Med that is putting in the port, assured me that since 2006 ports have gotten smaller, and at AMC they actually use pediatric-sized ports for many adults anyway.)
Next week I start another try at weekly acupuncture, with the integrative practice, where the acupuncturists are experienced with cancer/chemo. (Last time, 2006, it was with a general Chinese Traditional Medicine practitioner and I didn’t think it did much for me.) Though I had so few side effects this last cycle that maybe it’s not necessary–as I understand it, acupuncture is for side effects. And I’m working my way towards starting IV Vitamin C as well, which is supposed to do two things–decrease side effects (thus theoretically enabling higher doses of medication) and potentiate the chemotherapy.
*a medical sub-specialty of radiology which utilizes minimally-invasive image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat diseases (thanks, Wikipedia)
But what is really important? Hair.
I have ended up with a smattering of hairs still hangin’ in on my head, and growing. This sounds good but actually looked really awful and depressing. So last week Eric buzzed my head. Now that the weather is getting warmer, it is more comfortable to go hat/scarf/wrap-less a bit. We decided to create a new hair look: chemo punk. Here is a picture. (Which I have now spent 8 minutes trying to center..forget it)
I think the few hairs left may eventually go, or I may get tired of the silly look before that, but for now it’s the fun I can find to have with it.
Really not sure what to do about the thinning eyebrows, though. No makeup skills.