Monday, September 3, 2012

Just keep swimming...

   I couldn't decide what to title this entry.  I feel like I'm "Making a Comeback," but I don't think I was ever gone.  I thought of "Still Recovering," but in many ways I'm already recovered.  My hair is coming back, but I didn't want to focus on that, AGAIN!  I guess, as with other obstacles, you just deal with it and keep going, like Dori in "Finding Nemo."  Just keep swimming!  Just keep swimming!  What's cool now is, the swimming is getting easier.  If anything, I feel like I should be totally over all the chemo stuff, because my last treatment was four months ago!  I know it takes a few weeks for that last treatment to work in your body, then many more weeks, and months for all of the toxic effects to work their way out.
  The month after chemo, my muscles felt the lactic acid rush from doing a bunch of weight lifting reps, even though I just stretched or barely moved.  Without the numbness of chemo, I'm getting more aware of little things like that.  I worry that the strange stuff will never go away, or that it moves or changes, and I'll never be normal again.  Just a couple weeks ago, I had an overwhelming chemo feeling.  I felt like "day two" of treatment, down to the foggy head, achy muscles, and non-vomiting nausea.  Luckily, it only lasted about one minute!  What a slap in the face!
   The farther away from the chemo fog I get, the more I realize how thick the fog was.  Just like real fog, when you're in the middle of it, you see the things you need to see, but everything around you is not quite clear.  Things gradually started clearing up, and the sunshine is burning the fog away.  I feel more and more like me, but every once in a while the mist swings through, reminding me that I was poisoned, and it will be a while before I'm 100%.
   This weekend, the back of my hand was all puffy and swollen.  It's not on the side where they took two lymph nodes, but on the side where they administered chemo.  Is it a circulation thing, or a neuropathy thing?  I'll call my oncologist tomorrow.  If it hurt, I would be more worried, but at this point it's just puffy.  I might have bumped a nerve or something at our volleyball tournament this weekend.  I am coaching the sophomore team at our high school, and having a blast.  I was hoping I would be working out and in shape to do more with the girls, but I still move like an old lady.  Apparently, waiting for the muscle to come back isn't doing the trick.  I have to actually work out!
   Working with the volleyball girls a few hours a day is a pretty big time commitment, but it's also time with my daughter (even though I don't coach her team.)  I also see it as time that I'm up, busy, and interacting with other passionate people!  The hair is still a bit of a shock to some people, and a shock to me when I see myself in windows or a mirror.  I haven't been wearing the wig to practice for more than a month, and since going home (to the Pacific Northwest) for more than a week, I had been leaving the wig propped on my desk at work.  I only put it on for the newscasts, because I didn't want to scare the viewers!

  I am comfortable with my hair, because I know I can't change it.  It's still weird to get the double takes, and every once in a while, honest questions about it.  I overheard a man telling his wife that I must not be doing the news anymore because, "look at that haircut."  Another gal asked me what inspired me to cut it so short?  I don't have a problem with explaining, and I don't get upset.  Being in the public eye desensitizes you a little to the blunt honesty of others.  Yes, sometimes it hurts, but they are allowed their opinions.  I was hoping to wear the wigs until my hair looked like a cute super-short cut, and I think I jumped the gun.  It still looks like chemo grow-out, and I get a lot of compliments laced with pity.  My hair used to grow pretty fast, but, even on vitamins, it's taking forever to grow even a quarter of an inch!  I chose to color the white new hair blonde, so the grow-out line wouldn't be as obvious.  Never thought I'd be a blonde, but you do what you gotta do!
  The rest of my life is coming along smoothly.  It was great to visit with family in the Seattle and Yakima areas.  A lot of them hadn't seen me since Christmas- before my first chemo treatment.  We just got to hang out and visit, relax on the beach, and enjoy family time.  Then school started for my sophomore twins, who now have their driving permits!  My awesome husband and I will celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary next week!  And I'm pretty lucky to work at a place like KUTV where the attitude is always upbeat and fun.  It was with their help and support that I decided to ditch the wig and go on air with the new do.  Started last week, and I hope to never wear a wig again!