Amazingly enough, I’m going on six months since chemotherapy, so I thought I would post an update on my status.
I am fine.
Oh, more detail? Ok. Cancer-wise, everything seems to be just as it should – blood tests are all good, no swollen lymph nodes, no pains anywhere suspicious. I have a PET scan in November so I will get another official all-clear then.
My hair is coming back. Not nearly as quickly as I would like, but I don’t look like a
cancer patient anymore. I just look like one of those women who, for reasons that have never made sense to me in my whole life, decide that they want to chop their hair to an inch long. It’s too curly to lie flat and too short to really curl, so it kind of sticks up and out and does whatever the heck it wants.
In related news, my eyelashes have also come back, which is a huge relief. Not having eyelashes was much worse in a way than not having hair. It made me look like a mutant of some sort. The hair was something that people “get” right away – “oh, chemo, poor thing”. The eyelashes were hard to even put your finger on – I just looked strange for some non-specific reason. And the fake lashes were a pain. They’re hard enough to put on when you have real lashes to help attach them, but without, they are quite the challenge. So all in all, the return of eyelashes is a blessing that I am quite grateful to see.
The big toe that had the awful staph infection back in May never really healed. It got better enough for me to ignore it throughout the summer because of sandals, but as closed-toed-shoe season approached, I realized I really couldn’t wear shoes without pain and I needed to have it taken care of. My worst fears were realized when the podiatrist said that the nail had to come off and took out what she called a “clipper”. It was at least 12 inches long, stainless steel, looked very much like what one would use to crack a lobster, except for the razor-sharp implements on the end that was coming at my toe. I closed my eyes and proceeded to come close to breaking Sam’s hand. I heard lots of snipping noise and kept waiting for the pain, but other than one short moment, it just didn’t hurt. So much for my greatest fears. (It is a little tender now, but it’s healing nicely.)
I’ve been on Weight Watchers and have lost the weight that I put on from the steroids. I’m back in my old clothes and that feels great. I’m also working five days a week now, although still part-time. However, I was part-time before cancer, due to the fibromyalgia and the exhaustion that can cause.
All in all, I think I’m doing pretty well. The joint pain that seems to be a side-effect of the chemo is not going away and from what I’ve been able to research, may last for months or years or never go away, so I’m just working on learning to control the worst symptoms. But otherwise, cancer doesn’t seem to have affected me long-term. Physically, anyway. It changed me a lot. Hopefully if you’ve been reading this blog, you’ve noticed that.