I Can’t Stop Touching Myself

My head, that is – and my new baby hair to be precise!

About 3 days ago my head started growing hair, real hair. I’ve had this weird stubble for weeks that has just been static, no growth, no change and only in a few spots on my head. Now I have this soft, baby hair all over my head! Progress! Real honest to goodness progress – most excellent. And I do find myself rubbing my own head all the time!

My red and white blood cell counts and platelets are all still trending in the right direction. I don’t have to have them checked again until August 17th. I am not sure when they will actually look at my “cancer numbers”. I am thinking maybe when I go back to Dana Farber on September 3rd.

I’d have to say I have reached a plateau in terms of how I am feeling. I am still easily fatigued and remain queasy most of the day. I did just read that the fatigue often lifts 3-4 months after the treatment, so I may have a ways to go. I continue to try and improve my fitness, but with baby steps. The queasiness seems to be something I just need to get used to for a while.

I have started to have an occasional quarter glass of wine with company (just don’t want more than a taste) and I had my first cup of coffee this morning, which feels more normal.

This Saturday is a big milestone for me as nearly all of my food restrictions (save raw meat and fish, salad bars and soft serve ice cream) will be lifted and I will be allowed to eat restaurant food – just in time for my annual Hampton Bays vacation. I can’t wait. I have been tempted to cheat as the date gets closer, but I am holding strong. After all, I have waited this long, what’s a few more days.

I have to admit to some anxiety about the long walk off the beach, up the dunes in the broiling sun, because of my fatigue, but I’ll just take it slowly, nothing is going to keep me off that beach, which is truly my “happy place”.

Thanks to everyone who sent books, cards, visited, walked with me, called, texted, etc. It has meant a lot to stay connected to the outside world during my “confinement”.

Published by

Heather

I never thought I’d be writing a blog, and certainly not one that is all about me, and yet, here I am. For me life has always been interesting, not mundane, not always exciting per se, but hardly ever the norm. When I say “It’s always something…” I don’t hear it as my life is a mess, it;s always something. It’s more of life is challenging and evolving and messy and inspiring and wondrous, it’s always something. I grew up in suburbia, buy my grandfather was the head of the Communist Party in the U.S. I was raised keeping that a secret, so that was something. I am tall, always have been, really tall (6’1″), I was taller than every human being in my elementary school when I was in 6th grade, that is still something. My parents divorced in my teens. I got a full basketball scholarship to Duke University. I married my high school basketball coach, 18 years my senior. I raised a stepson. I had two amazing kids of my own. We had a multicultural household, secular christian (I guess that’s what I would call it, you know Santa and the Easter Bunny) and Judaism, I used to say if it was a holiday – we celebrated it! We were uber involved in our community, mostly through youth athletics, coaching, managing and spectating. Our kids grew up, I started a photography business on the side (I hope to share some photos here) and we planned to travel a bit together, went to Portugal for our 25th anniversary and then my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer, initially they gave him 5 years, but he only survived for a little over two. I was going to say lived, but really, it was more like surviving. That, indeed, was something. I became a widow at 49. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. But, then it was something in another way. I relearned who I was. You don’t realize how much of you becomes a combination of you and another person in a relationship. And not in a bad way, it is essential, and you don’t lose yourself, you just evolve. And I found myself suddenly alone, and learning about myself and who I had become over the years, what was just me, and what was part of who we were together. Which in retrospect, was probably hardest on those around me who had gotten used to the old me, or never even knew the original me. A year later I found love again. Sold my home of 31 years and moved closer to work. I became more fit, ate more healthfully and was amazed that I could be happy, truly happy, in the wake, no not wake, but the shadow of such profound grief. And that is truly something, something amazing and unexpected. And then, through some routine blood work in April 2014, and a visit to a hematologist and bone marrow biopsy in May, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. And so, yes, for me right now it’s multiple myeloma, but that is not all, there are still highs and joys, and the mundane and the rest, but something like cancer does cast a pretty long shadow.

6 thoughts on “I Can’t Stop Touching Myself”

  1. Hi Heather! Glad that you are happy with your hair progress and congratulations on good bloodwork, that is awesome! Miss seeing you at work. It is very frustrating to be tired all of the time, sorry. But just think you get to go on your vacation- YEAH! And eat lots of food. I hope you have a fabulous time. Denise

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Heather really glad about your hair. Should be interesting as to what color and curls or no curls will soon be showing. My happy place is also the beach so I know how much you are counting down the days. Maybe if you get to tired they can find you a dune buggy to get you back and forth and that would be another fun thing to do. Don’t forget the sun screen! Have a great and relaxing time and wish you lots of lobster and other seafood, Yum! Peace, love and faith, Carol

    Liked by 1 person

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