"Abandon anything about your life and habits that might be holding you back. Learn to create your own opportunities. Know that there is no finish line; fortune favors action. Race balls-out toward the extraordinary life that you've always dreamed of, or still haven't had time to dream up. And prepare to have a hell of a lot of fun along the way." - Sophia Amoruso author of #GIRLBOSS.
Yesterday marked the end of day 1 of treatment week 5. Only 2.5 more weeks to go! This is the time they say you may begin feeling more tired and/or fatigued. I have definitely noticed this, but I have been trying to power through my days and allow for a nap in the afternoon before dinner rather than at the beginning of my day. Naps and I have a strange relationship. I love them, but honestly if I sleep for one extra minute past the power nap threshold, I will be out for the count for the rest of the day/night. I saw a shirt at Target that says "Nap Queen" on it...they must have made it with me in mind. Why don't I have it? That might change this week.
Another side effect I am noticing is this dreaded short-term memory loss or inability to think quickly on my feet. I have always had a pretty decent memory so I am noticing it probably more than I should and feeling quite discouraged. It really hit me last week at a step aerobics class I went to. My aunt teaches the class in a 'routine' style type of way where she builds on steps and you keep starting from the top and running through the moves like a dance. It got to the point where I just kept marching in place because I kept forgetting what steps were coming next which is not like me. In the words of my sister, I don't like to toot my own horn but I'm usually good at those types of exercise classes; Zumba, Step..any where you need to pick up quickly and memorize the moves. Now that I am struggling it's frustrating me. I've been making a lot of lists and constantly use the "I may have already told you this.." disclaimer when talking because quite frankly I can't keep things straight right now. I really hope this is all temporary and I will return to how I was shortly after treatment ends. This is why they allow an extra week or two before they want you to return back to work - to provide the time for you to come out of this 'fog' or 'hangover' feeling as my surgeon put it. I am excited on one hand but scared as hell on the other to return back to work. I know I have a strong support system there so that doesn't worry me but the feeling of not knowing what is going on while entering the busiest time of the year for anyone who works in Medicare is slightly terrifying! I can't say how thankful I am for a great team that has continued to grow the department and keep it alive while I have been out.
The last side effect is hitting hard is my hair. I know I posted some pictures of the chunks that have been falling out but I now want to post pictures of what it looks like in the area the chunks are coming from. Currently, I am only noticing the loss on the right side which is expected because my surgery occurred on right side, that's where my tumor has always been, so that's where the majority of the radiation is being administered. However, I am not writing off the left side just yet. I still am not sure if I am going to shave it all, just one side, leave it be, etc. I think as the weeks go by and I understand exactly what the end result will look like I can make that decision. If I'm not going to lose it on the left side, why jump the gun and shave it all off? I do have a hair appointment to discuss options next week so we will see what we decide at that point. That probably won't be the end-all be-all style either. I know people that continued to lose their hair for 2-3 weeks post-radiation so if that's my case, I may not know the end result for a little while. I am still practicing with scarves, I do need to get some thin ones though. A friend also sent me these awesome pre-made turbans with beautiful appliques on them. I can't wait to wear them! I haven't found a way to wear them just yet but possibly this weekend for a wedding. They are nice! I feel like I need to dress up to wear them, not just rock them in my sweat pants which is my usual choice of attire nowadays. Lazy, I know.
My current situation:
My hair pulled over to the left to show the right side:
My hair pulled over to cover the right side. Luckily, my part is in my favor. It hides the baldness pretty well, you can only see it if I move my hair around and really..only if you know what you're looking for. What I don't like it how thin it is and it makes me uncomfortable that you can see skin through the hair even if others don't notice.
My fancy scarf tying skills!
As of right now, I am just taking things day by day. Lollapalooza was two weeks ago, and this past weekend was filled of love for my sister and her baby while we threw her a beautiful baby shower. This weekend I get to spend time with my best friend while she is in town for a wedding, and will also hopefully see some faces I haven't seen in 5 years or so! I love posting pictures for everyone to see, but I won't bombard you with non-Tumor Talk spam (I need to post pictures on FB is really what needs to happen). I will post a picture to highlight each one of those events from the past two weekends, though :)
Lolla, day 4! My <3 & I!
My sister, shimmering in her pregnancy glow!
I don't think I wrote about everything that I wanted to so HOPEFULLY I will come back in and update within the next couple days.
One last thing, I can't stress enough how thankful, grateful, appreciative I am for all of the constant out-pour of love & support. I am trying to keep up on 'thank you's' but I have fallen slightly behind at the moment. I am not forgetting about anyone at all, I don't even know if I have the words to describe my feelings so please know that every single one of you have touched my heart in a way that I never knew existed.