Sunday, August 28, 2011

Toe Talk

Try to wiggle your fourth toe and ONLY your fourth toe. Can't do it?

I think I can pinpoint the problem - your right calf muscles haven't been twitching for the last several days, and the involuntary spasms aren't somehow causing your fourth toe to curl.

It hurts, but not a lot. Very annoying, though, especially around bedtime. Typical lymphoma stuff. I guess?

(Incidentally, if anyone CAN wiggle their fourth toe by itself, I am VERY impressed.)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hair Ye Hair Ye

Almost everyone loses their hair due to chemotherapy. Uh, of those people who receive chemotherapy. Good first sentence. Great start. All-Star form right off the bat.

So, duh. You've seen a movie before, and you know that people lose their hair when they are given drugs that disrupt rapidly growing cells. You might be surprised about what order your hair disappears - why is my ear hair holding on strong, but my nose hair not so much? Why do I even have ear hair? Is that the grossest hair I have, or is it the little strands the grow up through the two moles on my right shoulder? Do you love reading my blog?

When the lady at the hospital went over our "Welcome to Cancer" booklet or whatever, the subject of hair came up and she asked if I was concerned about losing every bit of hair on my body. It was an easy "No". I've got bigger things to worry about, yeah? But I'll admit some disappointment when it started to leave my scalp, primarily because of the WAY it fell off. It lost its will to stay anchored. When watch yourself in the mirror, easily removing chunks of your hair from your head, you feel pretty strange, because that's not what hair is supposed to do. I wondered if it was a Samson-type thing, a virility thing, but I think I figured out why it makes you feel so weak. It's because you look like Steve Guttenberg's character in "The Day After"

(Watch the scene - filmed in Allen Fieldhouse!)

Of course you're going to feel discouraged if you remind yourself of Steve Guttenberg! I mean, the man is a star and a legend, but his Icarus-like journey can be too much to contemplate. You've got to re-frame the situation. The Mom approach is to show you've been here before.

After a brief flirtation with Captain Jean Luc Picard, I decided to adopt a more modern and real role model for this hair phase. With thanks to Shawn's photoshop skills, I fear that I am ordinary, JUST LIKE EVERYONE:

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Very Chairy

Remember how new and classy my new office looked?

Well, when you need a very cushioned surface before you can comfortable sit in a typing posture, your room looks a bit less classy.

The chair of unknown age and origin is on loan from my next-door coworker. "Please take it so people will stop hanging out in my office," she said. She's fun. (She really is.) I brought the beige pillow in from home, and yes, I was daring anyone I passed on the way to the second floor to make fun of the guy carrying the large cushion to his office.

This isn't really new to me, but now that I have such an excellent excuse to walk slowly in the hallway or take use the elevator to move one floor, I'm on edge about possible challenges from strangers.

"Feelin' lazy today, huh?"
"Yeah, I took the stairs earlier today but the chemotherapy makes me tired."

You know. My mind is cluttered with possible retorts. Let's hope I get to use a few.