Velcro Head

I don’t know how guys with really short hair can stand it, 3 days of 1/4 inch long hair and I was ready to go crazy.  My head stuck to everything!!  It truly was velcro.
I put on a shirt and the shirt stuck to my head.  I dry my head after a shower and I had towel fuzz.  Go within 5 feet of the dog and I looked like a redhead.  Not fun.
But that’s okay, this morning it truly started falling out in chunks so Ian shaved me the rest of the way.
Now if only it was sunny so I could try and make my head not quite so deathly white!  After all my scalp has not seen the sun since some time in 1976.

The other big excitement in my life was my blood work and my visit to my oncologist on Friday.  Turns out my neutrophil (for all the non lab techs out there, that is one type of white blood cell and it is very important for fighting bacterial infections and is knocked out by chemo) count was 0.7.  For chemo I need it at 1.  So, as I am busy willing my neuts to go higher I have also broken down and invested in wheatgrass juice which supposedly can help.
Grossest. Stuff. Ever.
The things I do because I have cancer.

I also got my PET scan results.  If you have been having a good day just stop reading now as it was not the best news.  Not surprising news but not good news.

Basically I am riddled with cancer according to the PET scan.  Definitely there is some in my T5 vertebra and my left pelvis.  But then the list goes on, there’s something in my sacrum and my sternum, my 7th right rib and possibly my liver.  My abdominal ultrasound was clear but the PET scan is more sensitive to cancerous activity so probably that is not good news for the small spot on my liver. Oh, and maybe something in a vertebra in my neck.

Definitely stage 4.

There was something in the good news department as well though.  My oncologist and I both agree there has been shrinkage in the tumor in my breast.  Yay!!

Then the discussion of treatment began.  Should we switch up the drugs now so that I start Taxol and Herceptin (yes, I am HER-2 positive) on Monday?  The purpose of Herceptin is to limit the spread of the cancer to what I have now.
OR…….
should we stick with drug mix I had last time that is more toxic but also more aggressive and has done some tumor shrinkage?

Herceptin can’t be mixed with the toxic red drug and the maximum number of Taxol treatments I can have is 6 due to possible permanent nerve damage.  Such a dilemma.

Once I start the Herceptin I will be on it for life…yippee, that means that at some point down the road I have to get a port-a-cath.  Yuck.
That also means once I start the Herceptin there is no going back to the red drug.

My gut feeling……there have been signs of progress with the red drug and the side effects were manageable, stick with the red drug for at least round 2 and see what happens.
Lucky for me my oncologist agrees.  She thinks we should try and bash the crap out of the breast tumor and really with the drugs in my system one would think the cancer really shouldn’t continue to spread at the same time so the Herceptin can wait for a bit.
This is apparently an unconventional treatment plan as usually as soon as a person hits stage 4 there is an automatic switch to Taxol and Herceptin, but I am okay with being unconventional.

This afternoon it is off to Super Store again to stock up on my essential post-chemo foods.

And to finish on a cheery note, Ian and I did make out to an excellent brunch with Laura yesterday at Medina Cafe.  If you have not eaten there yet and tried there yummy waffles you really should go and try it out.  And there will be a line but it is so worth it.  They have good coffee so you can get a cup to go while you wait:)

4 thoughts on “Velcro Head

  1. here's that journal article on the wheat grass:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?orig_db=PubMed&db=PubMed&cmd=Search&TransSchema=title&term=Wheat%20grass%20juice%20may%20improve%20hematological%20toxicity%20related%20to%20chemotherapy%20in%20breast%20cancer%20patients%3A%20a%20pilot%20study.

    i remember hearing about a more mixable version such that you wouldn't even know you were eating/drinking it. will see what i can find.

    love u so very much!
    xoxoxoxox
    xoxo

    Like

  2. Yep Nig loves his 1/4″ hair. Keetah will tell you I use the dog groomer on him as his hair dulls her clippers!!!
    As to the rest … shit … go girl!!!

    We are all cheering you on.
    XOXOXOXOXOOX

    Like

  3. Hi Sheryl,
    You are one talented writer! I admire your courage, your humour, your positive attitude, your honesty, your strength. Thank you for helping us cope with your shocking diagnosis by sharing your experiences with us.

    You are amazing!

    Your blog is inspirational and such a wonderful idea.
    There are so many of us at work thinking about you, praying for you and wondering how you are doing.

    Hugs and prayers.
    Linda Smith

    Like

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