Thursday, June 27, 2013

Chemo and Vanity Update

In the interest of full disclosure: I had chemo yesterday and when I got home I thought it would be a great idea to write an update post.  But that post would have been a close cousin to drunk texting so...lucky for you I passed out before that could happen.  You're welcome.  There would be no hope of focusing my thoughts because I was a loopedy fruit loop.  The post would have been something like this (The role of fruit loop Nella will be played by italics, the role of regular Nella will be played by bold.):

 Hey, hey guys!  I keep going like this "PHHPPTTPHHPPHHHTTT (audibly makes raspberry noise instead of typing it)" . You basically get the gist. So once again, you're welcome.  Had I written a post yesterday it would have required the title "Wildly Inadvisable".

Anyhoo, vanity first:

Fun Stuff: Hair Watch 2013
I still have my hair, like, ALL OF IT. Except for the normal shedding that drives Michael up a wall.  It's not just still there, it's hangin' tough.  I yank on it all the time to see what will happen and nothing happens.  The Nurse Practitioner at the Oncologist's office said a few of the pregnant women she's seen over her career kept their hair until delivery and then lost it.  I decided to be done caring.  When it happens it happens.  I know it's nuts, but part of me feels like everything is going so well so far that the least I can do is lose my hair.  And hey, postpartum is not exactly the zenith of a girl's looks so I might as well lose it then.

Skin Update
My skin.  YOU ALL.  My skin is completely healed.  I CAN. NOT. express how life changing this has been.  Severely, bizarrely, horrifically itching skin was my only symptom for 2 YEARS.  Now it's gone.  They were cheering at the Oncologist's office.  We went to a friend's surprise party this past Saturday and the same night we also went to a fancy fundraiser for Michael's work.  I just put on a dress and went.  I didn't have to find a way to hide all my skin in a way that was casual enough that I wouldn't appear to be a fundamentalist of some ilk.  I can get dressed everyday without crying.  I even forget I'm wearing regular clothes instead of counting the minutes until I can change into something that doesn't hurt.  It is amazing.  The other night Julia said, "Mama! You have no more boo boos!".  No I don't little girl.  No I don't.

Health stuff:

So how is chemo going?
5 treatments down, 7 to go!  Technically we don't know if it's doing anything yet because I haven't had any re-staging, but the itching being gone is a great sign.  The palpable nodes in my neck that weren't removed in surgery are definitely smaller.  I'll have a chest X-ray in about 2 weeks to see if there's any progress.  They're not bothering with the MRI because the stuff it showed in the first place was small and I might not fit in the machine in 2 weeks.  YES.  I hate that dumb machine and I can pretty much guarantee I couldn't lay flat on my back in a drinking straw for that long at this point in my pregnancy.  How am I actually handling the chemo?  I'm just so blessed you guys!  So blessed.  No nausea.  At all.  I'm not bouncing back the same way I did in the beginning but DUH NELLA, you've had a bunch of CHEMO and you're getting bigger and more pregnant everyday.  So I'm tired.  Very tired.  I have to lay down a whole lot. But who am I kidding?  Like I told my doctor, I'd be lying if I didn't fess up to the fact that I've spent the last 9 years fantasizing about laying down and resting.  I miss my family and being normal, but for cancer, could it be more easy?  I seriously doubt it.  Plus, you won't believe this:  The timing between my treatments and reaching 36 weeks pregnant is perfect.  Not a single day wasted.  I have a treatment at 34 weeks pregnant and get the 2 full weeks to recover as best I can. Then, as long as baby girl continues to crush it in the growth and development department I can deliver her at exactly 36 weeks and as long as I crush it in the recovery department I can start treatment again 15 days after she's born like nothing ever happened.  Not one day wasted.  It's just perfect timing.  The nurse practitioners and doctor were practically dancing a jig in the office.  Praise God we are so blessed.  I'll be properly staged after baby girl is born and if everything looks good THEN I'll only have 2 more cycles of chemo and I'll BE DONE BEFORE HALLOWEEN!!!!  AAAAHHHHH!!!!!!  There is a lot that could happen between now and then but so far so good!

Baby Girl
No name, don't ask.  She is doing awesome.  I actually had an ultrasound today and was wondering if we would see anything different as far as heart rate or circulation or anything since I just had chemo yesterday and she looked totally normal.  Totally.  Oh how my heart sings!  I could see her eyelashes and I think she looks like Julia.  We are all very anxious to meet her.

So, that's an update.  I've been working on my mourning home birth post and I've had to delete it at least 4 or 5 times because it tends to devolve into all caps diatribes about misogyny and nobody needs that.  It's also a tad counter to the spirit of trying to mourn and release things.  I guess you didn't need to know that. But it's my bloggy and I'll share if I want to.  <------Fruit loop Nella is back.  I'm going to sleep.


  1. So happy that you're healing!! Thank you, God! And you're right, postpartum hair/chemo hair...might as well do it at the same time.

  2. So much good news, Nella! Thanks for sharing! We're still praying for you.

  3. HOORAY for healing! And for no nausea. And for hair. And for a healthy baby girl! :) Wonderful updates.

  4. About releasing things: The more we release things, the more we allow God to do His thing.

  5. So happy For you Nella! God is good:)

  6. Keep up the high spirits that you have and you will do fine

  7. Nella, congrats on the birth of your little miracle. God truly takes care of His own! I'm new to your site (thanks to Mary) and have yet to read thru everything....however I'm already hooked. As a lymphoma survivor myself i can relate in some ways. I was diagnosed just after the birth of my son. I chose the turban look for ease of use-the wigs never looked right. I never lost my eyebrows but definitely my hair! I'm now 2 years remission. Faith pulled me thru. The prayers and support of family and friends was an ever peaceful presence during treatment. I had to laugh at your comment about talking to people and dropping the C! So true! Sometimes there just no way around it! It still happens even today. Cancer will in many ways always be a part of your life. I had to encourage my husband that's its okay to tell others so awkward situations don't happen as much. In fact, I look forward to clearing the air ASAP. May God continue to bless you with His love. Peace!

    1. Hi TM! Our girl isn't here yet, but she will be before we know it! Thank you for your kind words and YAY FOR REMISSION!!!!! Welcome and please keep me updated on how you're doing!

  8. Nella I am so so super happy that your skin is better. Also (this is just how I am) you can do some really awesome halloween costumes if you happen to lose your hair.. cone heads, uncle fester.. maybe you can do your family as the adams family? I'm so glad that things are going well for you and am so glad you are sharing you story!

  9. I don't know how I missed this post along the way but it is one of the best yet! So many reasons to praise God!


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