Saturday, April 3, 2010

It's not just hair.

We've been having a great Spring Break visiting with family and friends. I've sort of been trying to forget about things this week and just enjoy some time off from everything. You would think that would be an easy thing to do. I finished phase one of my treatment last week and am now getting ready to start the second phase on Wednesday. I am so happy to be able to do this second part at home and not have to go into Cancer Care every day. Maybe life will get back to being somewhat normal....

Back to my story - So now that I had decided to take the biological therapy, it took a lot of the pressure and stress away. Once I made the decision then it seemed to make things a lot easier. I have to admit, I did waiver back and forth a little bit in the next couple of weeks. One of the most difficult things for me is that I have felt fairly healthy throughout this entire time. So why make myself sick? Now I realize that sometimes we have to do things that will affect our bodies in a negative way to get better longterm. Then it hit me. I was standing in the shower washing my hair and as I brought my hands down I realized that I was holding clumps of my hair in my hands. My hair was falling out - in handfuls! This devastated me! I hadn't even started the treatment yet. Why was this happening? The drug that I would soon be taking caused thinning of your hair but not hair loss. Standing there with my hair in my hands I realized that this was really happening. I was sick. I have cancer. It was like I was pretending that it wasn't true and then the reality of it hit me like a tonne of bricks. When I was going in for surgery they made a big deal about not having to shave my head and I was thinking big deal, it's just hair. Well now I've realized that it's not actually the hair loss that is so hard but it's the feelings that come along with it. I have been fortunate enough to have lots of hair to spare and my bald spot is covered up so most people don't even notice. I now have a new appreciation for hair though. I found out that this bald spot I now have is from the Gamma Knife Surgery I had at the end of January. The radiation can cause hair loss.

I have met some amazing people during my month in Chemotherapy. You will find the most positive and inspiring people there. It gives you a new perspective on life - that's for sure. I met a man who was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer and was only given a few months to live. That was 1 1/2 years ago. He told me not to worry about what the doctors say and just trust in God. I was going to be OK he said. It's hard when you look around the room and realize that we are all there for the same reason. Why does cancer exist? I ask myself this all the time. Why are so many of us affected by this disease? It would be hard to find one person that doesn't know someone who has cancer. It's a good thing that they are coming up with new treatments all the time. I feel very fortunate and thankful now for the treatment I have been offered. It may not be a sure thing but at least it's something.

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