After a week of feeling like doodoo, the rain cleared and I was finally able to feel the sunshine. And then, the clouds came rolling back in. I had my first full body scan since chemo started last week. This scan basically tells us if the poison is doing it’s job.
The scan was on Thursday morning, and I was told that I would get my results on Tuesday at my chemo appointment. That’s five days. Five days of worrying. Five days of thinking of the worst possible scenario. Five days of not being able to sleep. So, I found that it helps to stay occupied.
The afternoon of the day of the scan, me and my mom headed to the wig shop. Now, if you were just looking at me, you would think my hair didn’t look that thin. But to me, I know how much hair I’ve lost. My hairbrush after one comb through looks like how it would look after a week of use. My pillows are covered. I can no longer wear the color black, unless I’m going for the fur trend. The fur being my hair.
Wig shopping was a riot. Wigs were flying at me in every direction. Short, medium, long, bangs, no bangs, blonde, brown. You name it, they had it. I tried different colors and it was SO weird. I had always wanted to dye my hair blonder and I’m so glad I never did. It just looked so unnatural on me. But that could just be that I’m so used to my usual hair color that anything else just looks fugly. After a couple of wigs of all different varieties, I picked one out. The color is pretty similar to mine, even though I have been told that no bottle can replicate what I’ve got on my head. Love my short bob, but I went with a long wig so that when I start working I can pull it back into a pony. And the best part is, if I get bored of it, I can go get it cut or dyed. How fun.
So I picked up my wig yesterday, which by the way was covered by insurance. And I find that to be amazing especially since we had to fight with insurance about covering my eggs. Anyway, so I picked up the wig and was all happy about it. But when I got home, I had a mini emotional break down. No matter how good of a wig you buy, it is not your own hair. And that’s hard. It’s hard to not look like yourself. It’s hard that we associate cancer with bald heads and wigs, even though that bald head is a symbol that the chemo is working. To me, wearing a wig makes me look like a cancer patient. To me, it makes me look different, not fit in like it’s suppose to. I don’t need the wig yet, but I’m hoping this time will prepare me for it. Maybe once my hair is even thinner, I’ll like wearing it. Plus, winter’s coming, so atleast it’ll keep my head warm.
Back to waiting for my scan results. I kept myself occupied this weekend, going to a Friendsgiving on Saturday and hanging out with friends from school on Sunday. Yesterday, I did a little shopping to get out of the house and focus my mind on sweaters, not scans. I also went to the movies and saw “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and I’d give it five stars. As a Harry Potter fanatic, I approve.
And so, today was the day. I feared the worst: that the chemo wasn’t working and that there was a tumor the size of a baseball on my spleen. There was no evidence to back this up, but that’s how crazy my mind had gone. When my name was called to meet with my doctor, my heart sank into my stomach. That was it, something was wrong (again there was nothing to back this up). I walk into the room and there is my doctor and my physician assistant and I think, yup, double whammy. But before I even sit down, the doctor tells me. “Your scans are good.” The relief was so overwhelming I could cry. And I did cry after I left the room. The tumors have shrunk remarkably and their emission of whatever it is to detect cancer is low low low (again, in T-Pain voice). The pain in my stomach that I made up in my mind had vanished.
Chemo has been hell. And today is no different. I’m exhausted, I feel like crap, but I’m happy. So unbelievably happy. Because this hell is worth it. If everything goes the way it has been going, after seven more treatments, I will be a free woman, ready to start the next chapter of her life.
And in the spirit of my favorite holiday on Thursday, I am thankful. Thankful for every day, no matter bad or good. Thankful for modern medicine and my team of doctors, PAs, and my favorite nurse at New York Presbyterian. Thankful for all of the opportunities I have been given and the ones that are available in the future. Thankful for my support system: my family, my friends, and my wonderful, amazing, funny, spectacular, selfless (I could go on for days) mom. Thankful for my guardian angels, even though I wish they were all still with me. Thankful for the Gilmore Girls, online shopping, books. Thankful that I was born with a sense of humor that has gotten me through the worst of times, and the best of times. And thankful for you, for reading about my journey and thinking I’m funny. As long as this reaches one person out there, I’ll continue writing.
Here’s to hoping this week is better than the last time around. And to hoping for a Thanksgiving miracle that will stop my nausea and enable me to scarf down at least two plates of food. Ok, I’m being greedy. I’ll settle for one plate. And some apple pie.
In honor of me, eat that extra serving of mashed potatoes, drink that extra glass of wine (but don’t drive, call an uber), devour that extra piece of cake. And have an amazing Thanksgiving. 🦃
I also feel like I might be dreaming right now, so if none of this makes sense then sorry, blame the chemo.