Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day +4

Today was entirely uninteresting, except for the fact that I got a platelet transfusion. This is a good thing. My goal is to be a very boring patient until I go home. Boring means no fevers, infections, other injuries, other medical problems. We just want things to go nice and smoothly. I still have mouth sores and they are getting worse, but I still have my PCA, and I can push the button as often as I want. Not a huge deal. Eating is going OK. My mom is making me these high calorie, high protein milk shakes that I usually eat kind of half frozen. I'm really enjoying them because they are cold and quite soothing for my mouth and throat. And you guys know I'm happy as long as there is ice cream involved :)


WBC: 0.8 (no idea why this went up. They will probably still go down close to 0 before rebounding)
HGB: 10.9 (you can see I got a nice bump out of the transfusion yesterday)
HCT: 31%
PLT: 17 (you can see why I got a transfusion)

I'm still not totally bald. Hair usually starts falling out 2-3 weeks after chemo, so in about a week the few remaining strands of hair will start going. Well, that's an exaggeration, I have enough hair to cover my head if I put it up in a pony tail, but it is extremely thin. Now how is this for irony: at the same time, my eyebrows are still growing. Not just growing, but sprouting! I have never seen eyebrows grow this fast in my life. I was "blessed" with pretty hairy eyebrows and I've been plucking them for about ten years. On a normal day there are always a few stray hairs to take out, and if I go a few days without doing a little grooming of course they start growing back into their thick, hairy glory. I've been through the chemo bald routine before, and usually my eyebrows don't completely fall out, they just get thin and I don't have to pluck them because the hair stops growing. It's actually nice to keep some of the eyebrow because you still look relatively normal and avoid the real cancer look - you know, bald face and surprised eyes without eyelashes. Well, that didn't happen after my chemo in October. The majority of the hair on my head fell out, but I still have to spend about 20 minutes every day plucking the little eyebrow buggers that seem to come out of nowhere! How is that even possible? Do I have some kind of pharmacological haven in my eyebrows where chemo doesn't penetrate? Sure, it's nice to still have eyebrows, but seriously! What kind of cruel joke is this that I'm mostly bald but I still need to pluck my eyebrows? As if I really have the time or energy to deal with this right now!


Mary Community Farm Kitchen said...

thinking of you, lovely lady. Keep up the good work!
I'll call this week--it's been mad this weekend.

Zhu said...

Only one explanation: your eyebrows are super strong and they are.. the eyebrows of the future! People from all over the world will come and ask you how you go them.

(sorry, I'm tired :-D)

I always always pluck my eyebrow. I have thick hair, which is good on my head... no so good elsewhere....!

Be a boring patient, that's all we ask from you ;-)

Barbara said...

Hi Mira,

I'm catching up here with your news. Sending you healing thoughts and lots of good vibes.
That's weird about your eyebrows ! I would have thought that all hair would be affected the same.

Enjoy the homemade milk shakes.Homemade is always best, made with lots of TLC.

Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you are a boring patient, we don't want anything else for you :) ! Sounds like you are in a great frame of mind and recovering well which is great news.

Those pesky eyebrows eh?! I have to dye mine so you can see them but the odd stray hairs that don't grow in the nice eyebrow line are not blonde, very annoying.

Will you lose your eyelashes? I lost some of mine once in an eyelash curling incident!

Keep recovering well.

Anonymous said...

p.s - Kim = kiwi in france, I signed in with my wrong account!

Emily said...

Hi Mira,
I have an unusual fascination with eyebrows and enjoyed your story. It's interesting how the size and shape of brows can really change the look of a face and all the pain, time and expensive women (and men) go to for them.

Keep being boring!


Leesa said...

I was kinda thinking as I was reading... Well, you can save your eyebrows and glue them onto your scalp!
Is that twisted?? Sorry Mir... your humor is contagious! Soooo, you have to keep plucking, eh?!
Glad things are going ok.... I'm thinking of you... and I am sending thoughts of ice cream your way.....

Hugs, Leesa

Sevonne said...

My eyebrows are also frustrating. When I was 14 and got them plucked for the first time, the beautician made them very thin. Since then, my eyebrow hairs haven’t seemed to regain their natural fullness and are generally sparse. Nonetheless, they inherited the same waviness that my hair has, so long story short, I basically have random curly hairs framing my eyes which fall in which ever shape they want. I have to literally cut my eyebrows regularly to keep them tame, and then pencil them in so there are no random empty spots!!
Enjoy those milkshakes – sounds delish!
Sending lots of love =)

au soleil levant said...

Mary - thanks, no worries about calling, I know you haven't forgotten about me! Sometimes phone convos are a little much for me, so sorry in advance if I don't answer or can't talk for long.

Zhu - That must be it, I have some kind of mutant eyebrow gene that will take over the world! Agreed that thick hair belongs on top of the head, not on the face!

Barbara - thanks for the good vibes. You're right, homemade is always best! The general rule with chemo is that all hair falls out, but of course some chemos are less hair toxic than others, and I think it depends on the thickness of the hair on your head too

Kim/Kiwi - I knew who you were, no worries! The eyebrow hair color is definitely annoying. You lost eyelashes in a curling incident? Sounds like there's a funny story! Last time around my eyelashes thinned but didn't totally fall out, and hope that's what happens this time. They are useful for keeping dust and stuff out of your eyes.

Emily - you crack me up, an unusual fascination with eyebrows? Are you thrilled at the eyebrow stories you're seeing all over my comments? :)

Leesa - LOL! You are so right, I should have been collecting my eyebrow hairs to make a wig! Love it. Maybe I could have made them into a sweater or poncho and passed it off as super expensive alpaca hair or something?

Sevonne - how funny about your eyebrows! What a weird mix of having to trim them and pencil them in! Pretty crazy. Thanks for checking in!

Andromeda said...

I don't know why, but reading this, I pictured eyebrows all curly and long, like handlebar moustaches over your eyes! Glad to see things aren't getting you down! Stay positive! And a boring patient. Positively boring :-)