Monday, 29 March 2010

Hair today, gone tomorrow!

Since the age of 14 I have not given the condition of my locks more than a seconds thought! It has been brutally dyed within an inch of its life and has been every shade of blonde possible.

So, that all came to a screeching halt when I was diagnosed and told I would lose my hair. I have not stopped think how much my hair actually means to me, I am aware I sound slightly neurotic but it is true! You hair is such a key feature losing it is hugely traumatic.

I am really apprehensive at the prospect of spending the next year of my life resembling a human malteaser and there are two specific reason why. The first is my hair shields the world from my incredibly weird shaped head and the second is the fact my ears appear to be running away from my body.

I have taken matters into my own hands and spent a small fortune on scarves and a wigs but can not help thinking I am going to spend 2010 resembling Jack Sparrow. Definitely not a look seen on the catwalks of London Fashion Week!

Unfortunately no matter how organised I was, nothing could have prepared me for the devastation and the heart ache you feel when you hair does begin to fall out, which happened for me after the second treatment. I had been adamant that I would be leaving my hair long until there was no more hair left. A bad hair day is tough enough the prospect of a No Hair Year is ever so slightly soul destroying!

The rate at which the hair follicles have died has been astonishing, the day after treatment and my bed was covered and I looked like I was wearing a brown furry jumper. To run you hand through your hair and it still be attached made me cry for two days solid. By the third day I did not even need to touch it, I decided then I would shave it and begin the process of wearing scarves etc. My hair dresser, however suggested I go short and wait another week or so before picking up the clippers. So I am now modeling a pixie crop which is something I would never have been brave enough to have normally.

Its also has given me a preview of what I will be able to do when my hair grows back. As it was falling out I made a little promise to it that I will never, ever treat it badly again! It has my word...

x KJ x

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Let the battle commence...

On the day of my first treatment the journey to the hospital was a particularly quiet drive. One of the hardest things to deal with is your own thoughts when faced with the unknown and as much as the doctors can provide guidelines no one is certain of how I am going to react. This was completely new territory and confirms again that no day is ever the same when battling Cancer.

I was met with my Hematology Nurse who I have been dealing with since being diagnosed in February. If I'm completely honest she does not install faith in me, especially after she asked me to stand on the scales to see how tall I am! I'm pretty sure at this stage I was genuinely fearing for my life.

I have a designated space and the rest of the room is filled with other patients of all ages and backgrounds who are all at different stages of their own personal battles. I was greeted with a beaming smile from one lady but the majority keep themselves to themselves. They are now recognised only by the colour of their hat instead of names by my family. Our conversations generally go like this "No, not the rich looking one in the black and white hat. The older lady, you know in the dodgy pink hat!". For entertainment value, when I have too lost my hair I'm contemplating attending treatment in some Lady Gaga inspired head wear :)

The treatment I am receiving is known as ABVD Chemotherapy which includes four different types of drugs. You can not feel the drugs when they are being dispensed apart from one of the anti-sickness drugs which makes you feel like you have ants in you pants for 10 minutes and drugs are dispensed through a drip directly into my PICC Line. Treatment takes around three hours and then I am free to head home.

I felt fairly energetic on the evening of my first treatment, I even attended a birthday meal. Foolishly I had a little thought that maybe, just maybe my luck was in and I wouldn't be that affected as all seemed to be going so well. As I woke up on Saturday morning unable to lift my head I realised that was an incredible error. The comparison of being hit by a bus was now spot on!

x KJ x

Saturday, 13 March 2010

The calm before the storm...

The week before chemotherapy started seemed to drag. In fact the anxiety and genuine dread that coursed through my body seemed to have a pausing effect on time and if I had not been clock watching so attentively, I would even suggest the minute hand had been moving one second forward two seconds back!

In previous weeks I have filled my days with friends and family, ensuring I do something I love each and every day. The week before treatment unravelled unpredictably and could not have presented a more vast contrast to my earlier fun filled days. I now constantly had an empty, numb feeling and had little control over my life. I felt like my independence had been snatched away. Everything was different.

I couldn't help but feel like Cancer had taken over and had effectively began ruining all aspects of my life even relationships with my closest because I just wanted to be on my own.

Now, this sounds particularly dramatic and I certainly do not have the energy to be a drama queen at the moment but I can not think of any other way to describe the incredible low you feel. Initial, I was really angry and embarrassed for letting myself become so affected and as before just tried to cover the fear with a smile and a joke but this low was burdened with such heartfelt not even the biggest smile could conceal it. On Thursday night I must have fallen asleep crying because I woke up Chinese on Friday morning with red puffy eyes and dry cheeks from the tears.

Chemo day was here and I was in automatic mode. I don't recall ever getting ready faster, probably because I looked so bad there was little point. The saying "You can't polish a poo" springs to mind! Usually I am running ten minutes late for everything...not today!

x KJ x

Monday, 1 March 2010

Que Sera, Sera

There has been a few reasons why I have not published any up to date blogs recently.

The first reason is because I have been too busy to even enjoy a wee in peace over the last week!

Secondly, I have had so many appointments to attend I have barely had an opportunity to comprehend the prevailing news or recover from medical procedures before that bubble is burst and I need to turn my attention to the next appointment.

To be able to remain strong minded I have to be able to digest the latest news to attain the positives, this has resulted in being relatively disheartened this week and I have found myself dwelling on the smaller things that have been affected. This includes trading shoe shopping for wig browsing, metamorphosing into a human pin cushion and administrating suppositories; the less said about that the better!

This was until I attended the wake of a wonderful elderly lady, late last week. The beautiful service was drawn to a close with the Doris Day hit, Que Sera, Sera and it sent my thoughts into to overdrive.

What will be, will be! There really is little point in getting so worked up over the unknown as long as you have tried your best you simply have to come to terms with the finally out come without an ounce of regret!

My PICC line was fitted without a hitch, I have been doing all I can to ensure any damage the chemotherapy may cause is limited and I am in the best mindframe to tackle the treatment which starts on Friday :)

x KJ x