This week just gone I achieved a huge milestone - the half way mark of my chemotherapy treatment and what a relief! I can ever so slightly see that light at the end of the tunnel now. Unfortunately I have felt quite poorly the last few days with fatigue, aches and pains, headaches and some nausea so I have been resting where I can as I find the more physical activities I do, the more unwell I feel. Once again our wonderful parents had the girls for us over the "chemo" weekend so I could rest - we are very very lucky. My sister joined me for my last chemo session and it was really nice to share the experience with her. We had a great time chatting together without the kids interrupting us!
Well it has been exactly 27 days since I shaved my head and I am really missing my hair (sorry, I know I must sound like a broken down record!) To get me through this period of baldness, I keep having to remind myself about the pros of having no hair (can be ready to go out in 5 mins!, don't need to spend hours at the hairdressers, save money on hair products, save time on washing my hair, etc) but I wish so much I still had my hair. Although the girls are used to my 'new' look, Jasmine still says every day that she wishes I had long hair again and at times she becomes quite upset about it. When I am at home I don't wear my head scarves but as soon as I leave the house, I pop one on. I already find that people tend to stare when I wear a scarf so I can imagine it would be 100 times worse if I went out with nothing on my head! Not to mention, it can get bloody cold on top and I find I am freezing at night! I am already dreaming of the day my hair starts to grow back..... it can't come quick enough! Thankfully, I haven't lost my eyebrows or eyelashes yet, however I have been advised that I will likely lose them towards the very end of my chemo treatment which honestly feels like rubbing salt into the wound if you ask me :(
A few days prior to my 3rd chemo session I was able to attend my first support group through Breast Cancer Care WA (The Young and the Breastless) and I found it very helpful. I met some lovely ladies who have already travelled this same journey and they were able to answer my many questions regarding gene testing, reconstructive surgery, diets, radiation, etc. I was the youngest there (most in their early 40's) and they had all finished their treatment but I am looking forward to returning next month to chat with my new friends. I just found it very reassuring to speak with these ladies as they know how I am feeling and what I am going through. Of course it is one group that I wish I never had to join.
In early September Ryan's company sponsored the Youth Focus Gala Ball (supporting youth suicide prevention) held at Burswood. In return he was given a table for 10 guests to attend the evening. He decided to ask friends to join us and we had a lovely time! As I am sure you can imagine, I was very nervous about what I was going to wear (especially as the dress code was black tie) but I was able to find a suitable bra (!), ball gown and head scarf for the event - you will see the pic attached below. In fact I was approached early in the evening by a woman mistakingly asking if I was the model at the photo shoot for the Leukaemia Foundation the previous day...... my scarf really is a give away!
Gosh it has been a busy few weeks! I also attended the Look Good, Feel Better workshop at St John of God Hospital, Subiaco. It is a program run through the Cancer Council of WA and helps women manage the appearance related side effects from chemotherapy and radiotherapy. They showed us make up techniques and there was a brief opportunity to experiment with wigs and scarves, etc. It was pretty fun and I was chosen as the make up model which was kind of nice (and I walked away with a bag full of beauty products!) My lovely friend Mel came to support me and we enjoyed a nice lunch in the sun afterwards.
I had a sad night a couple of weeks ago - I think everything just hit me again! To cheer me up, Ryan thought it would be nice if we started to plan a family holiday for when my treatment is all finished. I think this was a great idea as it gives me something to look forward to and we are calling it our "cancer free holiday". After much deliberation we have decided to travel back to one of our favourite holiday spots - Bali, in June next year and I am so excited! We have experienced some wonderful holidays over there and what makes it more exciting and special is that my parents, my sister Lizzy and her family and Ryan's family are all going to come with us. Bring on 2012!!!
Youth Focus Gala Ball 2011 - Pre Dinner Drinks
Burswood Entertainment Complex
Burswood Entertainment Complex