Thursday, March 28, 2013

I Am Drain Free!

Yesterday was a big day! It started out with Chemo class. Since I am such a big googler and reader, most of what I had heard was review. But I did learn some new things. When they say chemo causes hair loss, they mean chemo causes hair loss. That even mean nose hairs! I'm a little tickled by that one. And without those filtering nose hairs, my nose will run. So if you see me with Kleenex shoved up my nose, there will be no need to wonder why! We got a better feel for exactly when I can expect clumps of hair to start falling and I feel better knowing the when and being able to prepare for it. Healtheast Cancer Care, the clinic I will be going to, has so many resources available to help with the side effects and over all comfort while going through chemo. I'm especially looking forward to acupuncture.

I met with Dr. Kadkhodayan next. She is pleased with how I am healing and promptly took out the drains. I am drain free! So far, those drains have been the worst part of the journey. I'm slathering the drain holes with Neosporin and praying they close up before Monday. When I go in on Monday and Dr. Shanks feels I've healed enough as well, we will start chemo! Yay! Bummer. I'm not sure how I feel about that. The quicker we start, the sooner we finish. The quicker my hair falls out, the sooner it grows back. Before she left the exam room, Dr. Kadkhodayan made it a point to remind me to just live my life. Not to worry about the side effects, don't expect them or wait for them. Great advice. I'm informed and educated and prepared, but I'm also praying for no side effects! I'm not looking forward to starting chemo. I've been through enough. My family has been through enough. Chemo makes it so official. So public.

After that appointment we stopped for lunch at DQ. I love the toast that comes with the chicken tender basket. I don't eat chicken tenders at any other restaurant. Something about that toast screams comfort food. It's like courage in the form of carbohydrates. Just what I needed for our last stop of the day. A wig shop. Yes, I remember a month ago I said I would not wear a wig. But then I remembered that I have a precious six-year old daughter and that kids can be cruel. I don't want her to be "that kid with the bald mom." So, after three hours of trying on wigs and doing the math for exactly how long I'll need to wear a wig. We bought a wig. I wanted to go red, but opted for something more in line with my natural color. Jan, the owner of the wig shop is a breast cancer survivor. She understands how I can be completely fine with a bilateral mastectomy, but scared to death to lose my hair. She understands that I'm not scared for what people will think of me or the prolonged glances. It's the pity that's not wanted. The "aww, poor thing" is not wanted. I really like my hair, but it holds no part of my identity. I will be sad to see it go. I'm not worried though. My cousin, Laura, has been praying that I will have a pretty bald head. See, my friends and family have got my back!
Ella was brushing my hair and practicing her braiding last night. I have always loved having my hair played with. In college, going to Bible study was one of the highlights of my week, those girls liked to play with my hair! Ella had no idea what a gift that 20 minutes was to me! She knows that the little bald headed kids on the St. Jude hospital commercials have cancer, but we haven't told her yet that mommy has cancer. No mom should have to tell her child that. She knows that mommy is sick and the symbol for that sickness is a pink ribbon. After Easter we will fill her in and I'll let her play with my wig. She's smart and resilient and will handle it far better than I will. She's probably already put it all together, I did see her reading a breast cancer book the other night. She is Rick's daughter so I'm sure there will be a witty comment or two. Maybe she won't mind having a bald mom. Looking on the bright side, I won't have to shave my legs all summer! I'll save money on cut and color appointments and shampoo and conditioner. It won't take long to get ready in the morning. I'm starting to think that the good outweighs the bad. It might not be so bad after all!


  1. Melissa, you are just so precious. Thanks for this post. Thanks for the grace with which you are living your life. As you know, I have two daughters and a granddaughter and each comment you make about Ella pulls at my heart strings. I know she is the one you want to protect. Bunches of blessings to you!

  2. I love your attitude and honesty. You are very blessed with a great team of family, friends, drs and other support around you. I so miss seeing your mom and dad! We are praying for you often -

    Judi and Bob

  3. Praying for Ella to handle the information well. I like red hair, too, but you made a wise choice :) Oh, and now you convinced me to try DQ chicken strips. Never ever had them before, but now I'll have to try it once. Dr. K sounds phenomenal. PG for a wise, wise Dr. Love you, Melissa.