Sunday, December 27, 2009


Christmas is over and was a pleasant as could be expected with cancer and dysfunctional family issues and an unexpected death in the extended family. The kids seemed to have a good Christmas and that is what I will focus on. I will not dwell on the death and the cancer and the dysfunctional family issues.

Prepping for chemo hibernation, or at least I should be prepping. Round 3 of chemo is tomorrow, I don't feel as good as I did going into round two so I imagine the hibernation will be worse. The house is trashed with the Christmas cyclone but I am not going to worry about it. As long as the freezer is full of stuff the kids can cook and there is milk and toilet paper, I can rest easy.

The Wooly Willy was a big hit, I bear a striking resemblance to Osama Bin Laden when my Wolly Willy is in the wrong hands.

Onto work and to the grocery store for the aforementioned milk and toilet paper.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


My smart ass Christmas present for my friends with a sense of humor.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Spent too much time in bed yesterday. But, after reviewing my last treatment notes, I realized that my white blood cell count was probably bottomed out and that is why I was so tired.

Carrot juice may raise WBC, but you have to use caution when handling raw veggies while on chemo. Sex may raise white blood cell counts, but you have to use caution or you may rot your partners equipment with your toxic mucous membranes. Or maybe the sex thing is just something boys made up. Green tea seems safe, no caution needed there. Not as much fun, but no Hazmat suit needed.

I have to get out of the house today, finish up the Christmas shopping with the girls. Luckily, it is warmer today, my head gets cold, my body temperature is low, I hate wearing coats, bitch, moan, whine.

My eyebrows are looking funky. I had held off doing any plucking, I didn't want to start chemo with thin eyebrows. I have no idea why, it is not like I could transplant strays into the spots I needed filling. I don't guess I could pluck a unibrow and glue them in to where I needed them.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Feel good today, already dreading chemo 8 days away. But, a sensible person would enjoy the next 8 days and not get bummed about it coming to an end, again.

Worked this weekend, me and my foob. Lovin' the foob, I should name it.

For the record, I am not brave, nor strong, nor I am handling this well. I am just showing up. I show up for test, treatments, appointments, I just keep showing up. That is all I know to do.

Friday, December 18, 2009


I got my foob today, that is my actual breast prothesis. No more pillow stuffed pockets or foam thingees that shift around. I also got one grandma bra to put my foob in. They are going to order some different ones for me to come back and try on.

I have to admit, I cried on the way home from the foob store. This just feels and looks sooo much better. It conforms to my bumpy chest wall, it stays in place, it is so comfortable.

I keep having crappy things happening and trying to convince myself that it doesn't matter. I don't need a boob, I don't need hair, I don't need all this stuff that I don't have. I have worked hard to convince myself that without feeling need, without feeling robbed, I will feel less pain.

Today, I got a little something back. It feels good. I won't feel guilty for being superficial. Thanks universe, I needed a break.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Kids had fun using stencils on my head.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Back in the land of the living!!

Digestive system is back on track, no mouth sores, so far. Got out of the house yesterday for some Christmas and grocery shopping. I was craving pinto beans and pancakes, never had that happen before. So I went to Cracker Barrel and had some pinto beans and pancakes!!

Today, the two year old is here so I have to be on my game, she is crazy! Tomorrow, I will have the 2 and the 3 year old. Chemo in general sucks, but at least it is a suckiness you can schedule around. Next round will be after Christmas, so I should be able to enjoy the holiday.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Let's see, today is Thursday, correct? I had chemo on Monday, nothing new, Onc says we'll scan after the 4th treatment to see what my subpectoral lymph node is doing. I did ask him specifically where this lymph node is as I need to be doing scar tissue massage and I don't want to be massaging my cancer making it all cozy and feeling "at home". Luckily, it is still in the armpit area which makes me feel better that it has not migrated across my chest. So another PET scan in 6 weeks or so.

Then I will do 12 weekly infusions of some other posion depending on what study arm I am put in. I am a cancer guinea pig and will participate in a study to check a stage 4 drug to see if it protects the brains of stage 3s. I like my brain, so if I can protect it from cancer, that would be nice. Boobless, bald and brain tumored would really stink.

Tuesday was an OK day, felt alright and then Wednesday, like clockwork, the bottom feel out. The bottom of my energy level, that is. The bottom of MY bottom, that is another sad story all together. Sadly, my morning cardio routine now consists of straining for 1/2 an hour to push out little gravel poops. I am not happy.

Today is Thursday, I was worse than last post chemo Thursday. Luckily, my big sister came over and stayed with me to pick up my slack. I had the three year old I babysit here, she saw the bald head for the first time. She said "Nina, you have NO hairs on your head", she changed my hat and then she was cool with it.

My sister and kids put up the tree. I made a conscience effort to NOT do the "This might be my last Christmas tree so I must make good memories". I figured if I didn't make good memories, then it wouldn't be my last Christmas, see how that logic works?

I just watched the Muppets sing with Andrea Bocelli, that was a good memory. Making memories and making goals.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Spent the last several days with prickly scalp that I have been using a lint roller on. Today, I had a friend shave it with shaving cream and a razor so now I am all smooth and prickle free. I did scarves to work, didn't want to scare the patients our seem disrepectful by walking around with my big, bad-ass, baldness.

Tomorrow, I do another round of chemo. I know why they want someone else to drive you. If I drive myself, I may pass it right by and play hooky. I don't want to go. I feel good, don't want to screw it up.

So I try to be responsible, get all the laundry done, stock the freezer, prepare for a few days hibernation.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Went shopping BALD! I asked the kids if they were OK with it, I would wear a hat if they wanted me to. But they were OK with it so off we went. There were a few stares and one poor employee saw us and crashed a pallet of DVD into something which caused a small avalanche of DVDs in the aisle.

I think about the boob and bald thing, and accomodating people's discomfort by covering up my reality. My theory at this point is, if my kids can deal with this reality, than so can you. I do wear a foob out of the house, I guess in my mind, boobless must be worse than bald. I find that interesting, both are obvious cancer flags. So why I wear a foob but not a hat, who knows, maybe I will conduct a poll on the cancer support board, Bald or Boobless.

My 10yo DD thinks my bald head is fun, she rubs it, lint rolls it, lotions it. She is an odd child. One nice thing, I have never been ticklish, armpits, feet...nothing. This has always dissapointed the kids, I can tickle them but they have never been able to tickle me. Well, I have a ticklish spot on my scalp, 10yo thinks that is a hoot. 12yo is not as affectionate with my bald head, she has no problem looking at it, but thinks all the rubbing stuff is a little creepy.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Well, I did the shower and the pulling out clumps of hair, so I decided today was the day. But, of course, I had to do the mandatory mohawk pics!


Wake up, check the scalp, still have hair, lint roll the pillow and contemplate shaving my head. I think I am waiting for clumps to fall out, when I have a visible bald spot, then I will shave. That is my thought for this morning.

Someone posted on the breast cancer support board "Cancer has taken everything that made me a woman". Hmmm, what makes one a woman, surely it is not hair or boobs. It can't be ovaries or a uterus, I might lose those if my genetic test comes back positive. I guess it is the XX chromosome. But then I think about Chaz Bono (Cher's child) who has been in the news recently while undergoing gender reassignment. Chaz is XX (I assume) but does not consider himself to be a woman.

So again, we are back to that creating your own reality thing. Facts, truth and reality...even with the facts of XX chromosome, some people do not consider themselves female. Their truth is that they are male, despite the fact of being gentically female.

I guess it is just interesting to me how people view their femininity. Do I feel less of a woman since I have a uniboob and am about to be bald. Will I feel less of a woman if they remove my reproductive organs?

I guess I would have to examine my views on being a man. If I am not a woman, that would make me a man right? And since I am not on the couch, playing Xbox, farting and scratching and swilling beer, I am not a man. I jest...a little.

So my sense of femininity is intact.