AC Chemo #2 - Week 2
The second week after chemo #2 has been mostly focused around hair (or lack of) & head coverings.
After shaving my head to a really tight buzz cut with the clippers, my hair continued to fall out and thin over the next two weeks. The little hairs would come out everywhere, and kind of hurt to touch or wear hats or lay on. I had kind of expected it all to fall out and be completely smooth faster than that, but when it just got patchy and weird, I asked Ben to shave it with the razor last night down to smooth. SO MUCH BETTER. It feels awesome, and while it's still not exactly a hairstyle I'd choose, I like it better than the thinning patchiness I had been sporting.
I've spent a lot of time getting used to my new look, trying to figure out what I like, what feels comfortable, what feels silly, and how to navigate this new "normal." Which is all kind of weird to do when you hardly leave the house. I change my head coverings at least 3-4 times a day, trying things out. You truly never know what you might see when I walk into a room. It's a bit of a comedy routine, actually....
While chemo #2 definitely hit harder and took longer to recover from, by Thursday morning last week (one week after treatment), I felt back to 100% normal. Since then I've been up and at 'em, doing regular workouts, eating well, sleeping well, and feeling completely fine.
It's like a switch goes off and suddenly I feel normal again. Which feels AWESOME.
In my "good week", while I feel great, I've been able to hang out with Ben and the kids, visit with friends, run a few errands and do stuff around the house. I even decided I was able to get back to painting signs and making a little money again. I managed to find a good rhythm that will allow me to keep fulfilling orders without too much of a change in my turnaround time. Since I have a long way to go ahead of me (surgery + recovery + 12 more weeks of chemo), and I don't know what my capabilities will be for each of those stages, it's felt good to get back to some normal work routine in the meantime while I am able.
Definitely what makes me most happy though is that once I've recovered each time (so far), I've been able to jump (literally) back into my workouts. I don't know that that will be the case all the way through, so I'm enjoying and thankful for each one!
Otherwise, the only other side effects I'm dealing with seems to be a runny nose--no nose hairs will do that to you--and trying to figure out what I want to look like each day! When you've looked mostly the same for your whole adult life, all these options are pretty overwhelming -- even for an accessories junkie like me.
I think *no* to the Chiquita Banana Lady look, but some of those scarves will be fun (even if I do look a little like a pirate). And I've started a wig collection...blue, red, long & curly so far. If only I had somewhere to go...
I did ventured out in public in my curly wig the other day. It felt both odd and completely normal. It looked totally unremarkable to anyone who saw me, but I wonder if I would have felt funny (or phony) if I had run into someone I know? Haven't experienced that yet...thanks to COVID.
Today, though, I headed to my 3rd "Red Devil" chemo appointment with a totally bald head. I figure if that's normal anywhere...a cancer center is it. The feel good weeks make it so much easier to walk back into that building. Knowing I can get back to feeling normal makes the yucky feeling not as daunting. I still know it's coming, but at least I've gotten to enjoy feeling good for several days first.
Look for another update in a few days. Hoping and praying that #3 goes smoothly...