|Note that these photos are more flattering|
than the real situation
Shantinayaka kindly buzzed off most of my hair this afternoon. It was starting to look weird and seeing bits of my hair everywhere - for example, on my computer screen right now...or in my food - was driving me crazy. When I buzzed my hair 15 or so years ago, you could not see my scalp. Now I have around 20% density. It will be easier to take perhaps when it is all gone, which I imagine will be soon.
I have an appointment through the American Cancer Society with a place in West Portal to do a wig fitting tomorrow morning. Or, as it is also known in my current circles, a hair prosthesis.
I thought I might enjoy being bald. There's still plenty of time for that...
Anyway...earlier today: blood tests, Dr. Tavakoli, and restorative movement/Feldenkrais.
The nice thing about meeting Dr. T is that chemotherapy becomes run-of-the-mill. It's totally normal to him, and he's funny. You deal with the symptoms and make it work. Here are my notes from the meeting:
|Suburban babes from the |
American Cancer Society catalog
Increased appetite - unlike what you think is going to happen on chemo, I am ravenous pretty much all the time. He said it's because of the steroids (note that dexamethazone is a glucocorticosteroid, not an anabolic steroid)* in the chemo. I'm also taking dexamethazone in pill form for several days following the chemo. I understood it's main use was anti-nausea, but if you look it up on wikipedia you will see a lot more going on. I've gained at least 5 lbs in 3 weeks, and that's with getting a fair amount of exercise. If I stop the exercise...no, it's too horrible to ponder.
I could swear they tell me something different about the fever thing every time. He said a fever of 101 means go to ER immediately, will need IV antibiotics. If over 100.4, check again in 15 minutes...
We talked briefly about my emergency room visit. I mentioned that Tong ate the same eggs and didn't get sick. He did not think that meant I was more immune compromised, could be just that the bites I took had bacteria in them and his did not.
Blood counts came back and look good. For example, normal range for neutrophils is 41-81%. Mine is 62%. White blood cell count and red blood cell count are on the lower side but still in normal range. I wish I could see what they would be if I weren't taking all these bloody pills!
The Feldenkrais was great. I'll write more about that later. Want to go back to the arty support group, but don't have the energy to hang around for 2 hours after the Feldenkrais class.
* More info about the different steroid types on about.com.