We head back to NIH this afternoon for my last day of chemo treatment for this first cycle (out of six). It's going to be another long day, but not as long as last Friday. They'll wait for my current bag of chemo to finish and then hook me up to another drug that I don't remember the name of right now. After that, they'll "clean out" my system with saline and then unhook me.
I'm most nervous about them removing my semi-permanent IJ line. The nurses say they don't sedate patients at all for this procedure and "even children" can handle it just fine without medication. Unfortunately, telling me that kids don't have a problem doesn't really make me feel any better. I will eagerly admit that I'm squeamish about this stuff and telling me that I'm a "big girl" doesn't make me feel any more grown-up! But I said I'd trust her, especially after my mom confirmed that it's not that bad. I plan to take my glasses off and look away so I don't see anything. My dad's offered to come with me today, but he may pass out on the floor since he's about as bad as I am!
I finally caught up with my hairdresser and I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow night. I am a little sad about cutting my hair because I like my curls and I don't know if I'll see them again. However, I'm trying to mitigate the drama of seeing a whole bunch of hair hit the floor after washing it one day. I'd much rather do this first. My friend Robert says that his mom cut her hair really short because it was the last thing she had absolute control over before she started her chemo and I'm going to try to be as brave as she was when she went through this nine years ago.
Mike took me to JcPenney yesterday for a photo shoot of me "before" and I hope to document my story over the next six or so months so that years from now I can look back and really see that I fought this and won. I am an avid scrapbooker and while I may not feel up to it now, I know I will want to scrapbook this journey someday.
Everyone keeps asking what they can do for me and today I can't answer that question. Steve and Sue brought lasagna, Nancy and Ron brought brownies and a casserole, Sophie and Frank brought up some soup, and I have lots of munchies that people have sent or brought over. We thank you so much for all the food and please feel free to keep that coming in the months ahead. I won't be able to eat any raw fruits or vegetables and I can't honestly tell you what my appetite will be from one day to the next, but Mike appreciates a good meal too. I've stocked up on applesauce, pudding, and Boost supplement drinks for those bad days when I can't eat anything.
Mike has a very difficult job of being my primary caretaker and as much fun as he has giving me my daily injection, he needs to get out of the house and do normal stuff or have a conversation not about me. Please feel free to golf with him or ask him to take you out on his boat. He needs you guys as much as I do, so please kidnap him and make him get out of the house. Our dog Riley could also use a little attention, so feel free to take him out for walks. He really enjoyed his time with Blair and his dog Wiley at "Camp Barkalot" while we were in the hospital.
Keep the good thoughts coming!