I feel like a rookie all over again. Our family is taking a quick flight for a weekend volleyball tournament, and I have no idea if flying will have a different effect on me because of chemo. I know to be more careful about germs, but what about air pressure, dizziness, headaches? One of my most common side effects of chemo is over-analyzing! The good thing is- any little ache, pain, or mental lapse...I can blame on chemo! But then I think...realistically, most things have been pretty much the same, even while I'm being poisoned.
Chemo is geared to attack fast growing cancer cells, so it attacks fast growing healthy cells too. That's why hair comes out, and the stomach lining is affected. The medications have been working really well for my digestive system for the most part, and I'm now thinking about shaving the rest of my stubbly hair. Maybe we'll do that this weekend. I just hate the look of pity I get when people see my nearly naked head. I think that's the main reason I wear wigs! Some people don't show that they're shocked, but others, just for a second, the look of "Oh my God, she's dying!" crosses their face. I'm NOT dying! I'm just on medicine that made my hair fall out! Odds are this chemo is killing every cancer cell in my body (if there were any) and I will be okay.
I think "that look" is one of the worst parts of chemo. Some people shake right out of it and talk to me like normal, but I feel bad when people are so sad that they don't know what to say. My kids and husband are fine with me going out bald, but I still feel uncomfortable being the one to make people so uncomfortable. Does that make sense? I'm not a hat person...and even though I have some gorgeous and super comfortable hats waiting to cover my dome...I haven't worn one yet. Not scarves either. I think scarves are pretty and comfortable, but I look in the mirror and it screams, "I HAVE CANCER!" A lot of women rock the hats, scarves, and even the bald look...but I'm not brave enough just yet.
I don't know if I'll take the wig off for the airplane flight, or if they'll give us a pity discount if I check in bald at the hotel! I don't know if the wig will protect my head from sunburn, or if I'll have to take it off in a hot crowded gym. Just like normal, we'll take each moment as it comes, and make it work!
BTW- I'm feeling on the upswing after chemo #4 last Friday. SO thankful for family checking in on me, and friends who make me feel loved! Chemo #5 is April 13th, and the last one May 4th. ALMOST DONE!!!