Friday, October 25, 2013

Halfway there.

Beautiful morning in Boston

I don't have much to write about, which is a good thing, but I figured since I hadn't updated since I started treatment that I would do a quick check in now that I'm at the halfway point.

"How are you feeling?" Gets the award for most asked question on a daily basis. Answer: "Fine. Good. Normal. Great." No really. So far I am experiencing none of the side effects (well one but I'll get to that in a minute) that they told me I would. No fatigue, nausea, headaches (yay no steroids!), I'm knocking on wood as I type this since I still have three weeks to go and all those things are still possible, but so far so good. Even my labs are healthy person-not-taking-chemo perfect. Biggest side effect of feeling good? Boredom. I don't like to watch TV during the day (except for Ellen). I don't exactly have money to go shopping all the time...and I don't need anything anyways. My friends that are in the area have normal people 9-5 jobs (but I have been able to get lunch with some in Boston after my treatments so if anyone wants to get lunch I'm free) or they live a few hours away. So I'm left to entertain myself and I don't find myself very entertaining most days. Still getting my hour of exercise in a day, it's starting to get cold though and I hate running indoors so I might have to go get some warmer clothes since I didn't bring enough home. Also reading. A lot. I just finished the Wicked Years series and highly recommend it. The first book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West I'm sure you've all heard of (musical is based on it) but it has three additional books which I highly recommend if you don't mind a little darker (ok a lot darker) of an OZ than is portrayed in the movie. Side note, the books are long, 400-600 pages, read best if you have a lot of free time on your hands like me :-)

So on to my one side effect that has kicked in, my scalp feels like a constant mild to moderate sunburn and my hair has started falling out. Started on Tuesday of this week. For those of you who know me well you know my biggest phobia is wet hair not attached to a head. I have PTSD from a childhood spent in public pools. My showers all week have consisted of me silently screaming to myself "get it off get it off!" While simultaneously trying not to gag and actually make it out of the shower clean. And I am in the early stages of hair loss. I can guarantee it's not going to last long because I will shave it soon and solve that problem. It's a challenging situation because unlike with traditional chemo where people loose all their hair I will only loose mine where I'm getting radiation. It will be more hair though than what was shaved off for my first surgery and being that it's all in front that would make for a really awkward mullet for who knows how long. So I think I will shave it and keep the remaining hair buzzed and then once it starts growing in again (could take 3-6 months) give it a chance to all come in one length. I will probably get a wig since insurance will cover part of it but how often I will really wear it who knows, I'm not a very high maintenance person but it might be nice for holidays and going out (because I go out SO often). And there is a perk to this. I have greasy hair, I have tried countless shampoos and products to combat this and have been unsuccessful so I typically just wash it every morning. In the winter though if I shower in the morning I risk having my hair freeze while waiting for the shuttle before work, and I refuse to wake up 20 minutes earlier to blow dry it so this winter I get to shower at night and sleep in an extra 10 minutes in the morning. Win - win situation I think.

So that's the update for now. I'm hoping things stay this smooth and my next update comes when I'm done...maybe I'll throw in a post about the head shaving when that happens.

Thanks again for checking in!


  1. youve got this! im here if you need anything -emily

  2. Erin-

    I just stopped by to check on you, and while it sounds like you were breezing through just like I did when I had my brain radiation, I thought she's got to be losing hair like me too. And you are. Even though you are expecting it, the day when a big clump comes out in your hand, it's still a shock. Everyone is different, but mine came back a bit thinner than it was, but since survival is the important thing here, I haven't let it bother me much. I don't want to alarm you about that, because you will adapt either way. You're on the downhill slide of your treatments, and I'm sure you're looking forward to working again. I enjoy reading this blog, please keep doing it. My best to you, and keep kicking cancer's butt.