Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bald is Beautiful, Part Three: Going Bald My Way!

Well, the day finally arrived and it was Tuesday! My hair, as you know, had been gradually coming out, and Monday it started with a vengence! So, I decided it was time to do the deed!!!

Destiny and Laurie were at the house with Woody and me, so we just went out on the deck and made a party out of it! I have uploaded a picture or two, but if you either click on the link below or cut and paste it, you can see a slideshow of the whole event.

We had a great time and I have to say that it is quite liberating being bald. I know that I will have an easier time getting ready in the mornings whether I chose the itchy wig or simply a hat.

Have a wonderful day!

Love you all,


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bald is Beautiful, Part Deux

Good morning. In continuation of what is likely to be a three or four part series, I want to talk about my trip into baldness!

Monday afternoon Destiny and I went on a mission to find scarfs of some sort due to my impending baldness. We went to Kohls because we knew ours wouldn't be too crowded in the middle of the afternoon. Of course, there weren't any scarves to speak of that would work on my head, so we were drawn to the hats. (Oh, I forgot to mention that I had decided to take my wig out for a test drive yesterday!)

Imagine the scene...Destiny and I are oohhing and aahhing over the pretty hats that had a matching scarf and/or gloves. Destiny picks up the prettiest winter white hat that is sooo soft and says, "Look at this one!". My eyes got big and I think I said something like "that is so glamorous" and had to try it on. It occurred to me that I wouldn't be wearing it with my wig on, so I said to Destiny, "Here, hold my hair!"!!! I pulled my wig off and promptly handed it to her!!! It was hilarious!! I don't know what anyone might have thought had they been in earshot and we really didn't care, because it was a glamorous hat!

We went crazy and I got four awesome hats, a couple of new scarves and a pair of yummy gloves. I have also decided that it is not likely that I will wear a wig a lot over the next few months. They really itch. I have no idea how people wear them by choice!!!

I will update again once we take off the rest of the hair. We are probably going to do it this afternoon. I don't want to see a patch here and there. I would rather just join Woody in the ranks of baldness all at once!!

Have a great week.

Love you all,


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bald is Beautiful!

Let's hope that is true when my hair falls out!! It is so strange that only yesterday I noticed that my hair has been thinning for days! It was so gradual that it didn't occur to me until I took my ponytail out after the walk. There was much more hair there than should have been, so I knew what was coming next.

Woody, Destiny and I picked out a wig on Friday after my appointment at the oncologist. I was being on the safe side and really didn't realize what was happening. My thoughts were that I would donate it if I didn't lose mine, but deep down I thought I would lose it. I am so vien about my hair, that something told me that would be my side effect versus being sick.

Well, it is a coming and I am going to embrace it! Woody shaved his head today and looks totally hot!!! So, we are going to be bald together. We are going to set up a time to just shave it off and be done with it! I will embrace being bald and Woody is committed to being bald as long as I am!!

It is time to go and catch some z's. I am working for a bit tomorrow, but only for a bit and not around people!!

Have a wonderful week and let's all say a big ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!

Love you all,


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk 08

Today was a beautiful day! Woody and I were joined by many friends early this morning in our efforts to raise awareness of breast cancer as well as raise funds to help in research.

Before I talk anymore about the day, I would like to recognize two of my specials friends who walked with us today. Laurie Moudy and Pamela Olbert. Both Laurie and Pamela lost their precious Mothers to this terrible disease. The strength that each of them showed today was amazing. As far as anyone could tell, their minds were on the present and on supporting me and my fight. I know that their minds and hearts were with their Mothers, as it should be. I hope they both know their Moms are looking down from Heaven and are so proud of their girls! They are beautiful and kind hearted and are raising their children to be the same. Niether Grandmother was able to see their Grandchildren born, but I know they are both Guardian Angels to Taylor, Cayden, Sydney & Noah. So girls, I want you to know how much I appreciate your support during this time. Please know that if you ever need my shoulder to talk about your Moms, you got it! Pamela, I know there has to be even more funny stories for you to share! I won't get mad at you for making me laugh about the things you and your Mom did while she was sick!! lol lol lol Laurie, I want us to talk sometime soon over coffee and scones (baked fresh by you with chocolate chips, of course!!) and have you tell me about your Mom and her struggle. I love you both.

Now, for the lighter side of today! This was our team "Save the Boobies" today: Woody & Me; Destiny, Amie (Des' granddaughter); Laurie and her twins, Sydney & Noah; Joseph; Micheal; Melissa & Estefan; Verisa, Michelle, Daniel & Mimi; Beth, Timothy, Jacob & Kaley; Pamela & Pat, Sumitra & Lindsey; and the Kenwood High School Cheerleaders and their Coach, Kim. WOW!!! How awesome is that?! It meant so much to me to have you all there. Next year we are going to take over!!! There will have to be a BIG tailgate party aftwards. We won't get stuck in parking lot traffic because we will be grilling burgers and dogs waiting on everyone else to leave!!

The day was gorgeous and it was wonderful to see so many different people walking & running. There were young and old and those that didn't have the strength to walk still enjoyed the day with a loved one pushing them in a wheelchair! It was very humbling for me. I know that I have (or in my mind, had) breast cancer, but I also know that I am one of the lucky ones. Mine was caught very early and I will have a full recovery! There are so many others that didn't or won't win the fight, and those that will have a much harder time beating it than me. I admire their will to fight and promise that mine will NEVER break!

I will soon have all of the pictures from everyone elses cameras (I forgot mine!) and will put together a photo album and post it soon. The pics are great!

Have a great rest of the weekend and might I say, "ROLL TIDE ROLL / BEAT TENNESSEE!"

Love you all,


Friday, October 24, 2008

Neutropenia in Cancer

Well, I didn't get the super report I had hoped when I had my blood checked today! Everything checked out well except for my white count. It took a nose dive! So, I was given strict instructions for the next week and will pretty much stay in unless it is to venture out where there aren't a lot of crowds or sick people.

I was given the go ahead to attend the Making Strides for Breast Cancer since it is an outdoor event. I can't hug or kiss anyone, so you know how hard it is going to be for me not to touch people when I talk!!

Woody, Destiny and I picked out a pretty wig today just to be on the safe side. I don't want to wake up one morning with clumps of hair falling out and nothing pretty to put on my head!! If I am lucky enough not to lose my hair, then I will donate it to ACS.

Okay, I won't bore you all tonight with any more thoughts of mine! I am attaching information regarding my problem with the white cell count. So, I guess you will be bored with medical mumbo jumbo!!

Have a great weekend and look for pictures from the walk soon!


Neutropenia refers to a low level of white blood cells. Cancer patients are at higher risk of developing neutropenia because commonly used treatments for cancer such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy destroy cells that grow at a fast rate - such as white blood cells. Since white blood cells play an important role in preventing infection, any time your white blood cell count drops, you are at higher risk of getting an infection. Throughout the course of cancer treatment it is normal practice for doctors to monitor the levels of red and white blood cells and to take action if these become too low.

Neutropenia in Cancer
Since white blood cells are destroyed as a side effect of chemotherapy, there is nothing specifically that you can do to prevent neutropenia from occurring.

Nonetheless, there are several things that you can do to reduce your risk of getting an infection when your white blood cells are low:

Take action at the first signs of infection and seek medical advice to help prevent it from spreading and getting worse. Signs and symptoms of infection include: fever, chills or sweats, shortness of breath, soreness or swelling in your mouth, ulcers or white patches in your mouth, pain or burning with urination, redness, pain or swelling of any area of your skin, pus or drainage from any open cut or sore, a general feeling of being unwell, even if you don't have a temperature or any other sign of an infection.

Perform excellent daily personal hygiene: with attention to hand-washing, sanitary hygiene eg. using pads rather than tampons.

Minimise chances of getting an infection: avoid contact with people who are unwell, has been recently given a live vaccine (such as the oral polio vaccine), try to avoid crowds eg. take public transport at off-peak times, wear shoes to prevent cuts on feet, wear sunscreen, before receiving any vaccine, make sure it is approved by your oncologist.

Neutropenic precautions: regular monitoring of temperature (contact doctor if fever), avoid uncooked foods (such as salads of raw vegetables or fruits, raw meats or fish salads, natural cheeses, uncooked eggs), speak to doctor before undergoing any dental work.

Blood Work Today!

Good morning everyone. Today is the day for my first round of blood work to see what is going on since my first chemo treatment on the 13th of October (my OLDER brother's birthday...Rob will always be older and grayer than us, Richard!!). Of course, I can't necessarily say he will be balder than us, because I could end up balder than him!! ha ha ha ha ha

I digress...Today is a big day because I don't know what to expect. Of course, I am sure it will all be good so I'm not really worried about it. I will make another post with the results tonight.

I did learn a lesson this week. I was reminded by my body that I did have surgery four weeks ago and, that although I might "think" I feel normal, I am still healing. So, I have to admit that I can't go wide open just yet! Wow, was that a hard pill to swallow! As I lay in bed Wednesday afternoon in my comfy pjs, Destiny called and gave me the what for!! I had to take it like a man and agree that I should admit when I'm really too tired to be out and about! There is so much work I can do sitting on my behind in my livingroom on my comfy chaise lounge!! Seriously, there is and I did a lot of it yesterday!

Well, my morning headache has subsided after an extra strength Tylenol so I will close and get up and move about some. Woody is at the gym and I know he wants grits and eggs for breakfast so I will get the grits going!

Have a great day and a wonderful weekend.

Love you all!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bottomless Pit...

Yep, that's me! Right now it seems as though I can't get enough to eat, which is definitely better than being I'm not really complaining! Of course, I am getting up in the morning and going to the gym to walk on the treadmill. I made the mistake of saying someone needs to smack me in the head and tell me I'm full, so Destiny has stepped up to the plate on that one!!

I appreciate the great response to my blog. It makes it so much easier to share with everyone what is going on with me. You know that I do love email and the phone, but lately I just haven't been able to keep up as much as I would like to. Ain't technology great?!!

Having so much support from my family and friends means everything to me. I truly could not do this without you all! Woody is so great and has done everything I need him to do. Thankfully for both of us it has been pretty smooth so far. I am praying it continues this way!

I am so excited that my grandmother, Da Sims, is coming to stay with us for over a week! My cousin, Nona, is bringing her up on the 30th. I don't have to share her with any other cousin after Nona leaves!! Yea me!!!! For those of you who don't know her, she is the most amazing woman! She was my inspiration for turning into a redhead before my chemo started. I will find a great picture of her and post it soon.

Well, I am worn out so it is soon to be lights out...of course not before I find out who is getting voted off of Dancing with the Stars and The Biggest Loser!!! lol lol

Love you all!

Monday, October 20, 2008

First Post!

Today is my first try at posting something for you to view! I had a great day today and am feeling really good! I was back at work pretty much full swing and am very hopeful I will have many more through the winter months!

My first chemo treatment was a week ago, so I have two more weeks until #2. I go on Friday to have my bloodwork done, so I am also expecting those numbers to be good!! The medicine they give me prior to the chemo has made me feel as though I am never full!!!!! That is so not good. I am going to have to come up with something to trigger me into thinking that I am so that I don't eat too much. Of course, I am much happier having an appetite than being sick all of the time!

I am preparing myself just in case I lose my hair. I ordered a couple of caps today just in case. If I don't need them, then I will donate them to someone. Before my treatment I had my hair cut and colored red (pic to be posted soon!) and then as we are sitting in the chemo party room Destiny found an article that said you shouldn't color your hair at all before beginning treatment, so I may have set myself up...we will see!! Wish me luck.

Well, that is pretty much it. Have a great week!


Going Bald My Way!