First Taxol and Herceptin
I recently had shaved the remaining hairs on my plucked chicken head. I wonder if some keep the vigilant hairs because it is all they have left (in the way of hair) or if everyone prefers smooth and bald as an alternative. I am comfortable sporting my bald head everywhere, but am really comfortable with it sitting in this infusion chair.
My kids did not react much when my hair fell out or when I had the “hold outs” shaved off by Molly at an adorable little salon near my sister’s house, Petite Mollier. Molly used a ceramic tip, taking extra care not to nick/cut my head.
A few days later we took curly headed Asher to Mike the Barber in Fairfax. It was his first big boy haircut at a barber. To be honest, I was surprised at how much Mike was cutting after I had told him to just get it out of his eyes. I looked at Asher sitting so tall, perched on that board for little kids spanning the arms of the barber chair. With a big black drape around him, he was so proud to be getting a haircut like his older cousin Max, his Uncle Ray, his daddy. Almost immediately I let go of my baby boy as a baby, and while I was mourning those curls dropping to the floor I was also thinking about how light Asher was going to feel in this hot summer sun, playing, and in the pool. He, I am certain, never knew he could feel so good, as he only knew the feeling of that full head of hair, often poking him the eyes as of late. I spent the remainder of the appointment comforting Taylor who was distraught over what was happening to her little brother. ”Mom, make him stop. That’s my brother”. Taylor has trouble with change, and a few of us wonder if she had been holding in her emotions surrounding my hair loss, and then let it pour watching her brother lose much of his. Who knows, but last night she very clearly stated that she hated that I am bald. So, we are all doing our best to get through this, and in the end we will all be stronger.
A friend asked if I was having fun at least and I must say that for the most part I am. Parenting my six year old is more challenging that the cancer right now. It is the thing that I worry about at night. Being six is tough and being six while mom has cancer, displaced from home, is even tougher. We will get through that in one piece too.
The kids and I are staying in three different homes during our stint in Marin. They are all lovely in different ways. The first week was at a home where three children live. There were books, bath tub toys, lovely cooking pots and pans, a great garden, and a swimming pool! My family swam almost daily. It was a great way to wind down the day, and both of my children have improved their water/swimming skills.
The home we are enjoying now has childrens books, lovely playrooms, beautiful wooden toys, a giant sand box, a swing set, a great kitchen, a hamster named Munchi, and a dog named Morzsi whom I love. The next house has a beautiful garden, two dogs and a swimming pool too!
Which brings me to the point of this post. All the kindness in the world. Sharing your home in such a way to a family in need seems to me an ultimate act of selflessness and generosity. A home is such a private place with all of a family’s beloved possessions. To open that space up completely to another family is a great act of kindness. Our family is honored.
Mount Tamalpais has been calling my name since my arrival. Do other people in Marin note when they catch a glimpse from various towns, peeking between oak leaves in the least suspecting neighborhood? There are so many places from which to view the “Sleeping Lady” and my kids I am sure will always remember mom saying “There is Mount Tam”. I have been doing it for years, but now that we are living here for the summer he frequency is upped. I can usually see the top from my chair in chemotherapy, but today it is covered in fog.
I enjoyed Beatles Night in San Anselmo Creekside Park a few nights back and was appreciative of the people who said hello because they recognized me from this blog. I am always most appreciative of the survivors for letting me know they there been through it. It always takes me to a higher place. I will be one of those people soon.
I am on antibiotics for the third time since this started. This time for a mysterious hard spot on my left calf…..an infection of some sort or an issue with the vein? It seems to be clearing up. I appreciate the concern and immediate attention the Marin Cancer Institute provides regarding every little thing that turns up. In Eureka they were just as diligent when I needed antibiotics due to a wasp sting.
I am in the infusion chair right now getting the first of twelve weekly taxol and herceptin treatments. It takes about four hours. Last week I had an echocardiogram to check the status of my heart and it looks great so was able to stay on schedule with my medicine. Sunday labs showed that my platelets are a little low, but not too low. Just finished taxol and am about to switch over to the bag of herceptin…..the drug I am lucky enough to receive due to the clinical trial I am part of. I cried this morning on the drive here. Missing driving Taylor to her first day of a yoga and art camp. Aunt Melinda will have the honor.
I went to a gigong class at Gathering Thyme last week, and had acupuncture with Phil Madden at the Center who also does gigong in his practice. Phil is amazing with his healing abilities.
The Benadryl is making me sleepy. I must sign off. More about taxol and herceptin and other things later. XO.