Chemo

It’s a marathon. 5 months of being in the doldrums, not an epic movie.

I think being scared of chemo is normal.  In the movies, the person is puking their guts out again and again.  Not me.  They had me on strong anti-nausea meds.  I didn’t feel good, but it wasn’t the stuff of movies.

You know the malaise of the flu?  You just don’t feel well.  Your body aches, you’re tired, you can’t focus, you’re sort of asleep and awake, you don’t feel hungry.  That was chemo.

During the 1st round of chemo (4 treatments every two weeks, for two months) it was like this:

  • Day 1: chemo injection, sleepy and weak
  • Day 2: injection of fluids, sleepy and weak
  • Days 3-8, sleepy and weak
  • Days 9-14 normal
  • Repeat 3 more times.

Round 2 (chemo every week) was much different:

  • Day 1-2 feel pretty good
  • Day 3 less good
  • Day 4-6 not good
  • Day 7 O.K.
  • Repeat 11 more times.

The normal thing of losing your hair happened about three weeks into my 1st round of chemo.  I have always wanted to shave my head.  Always.  GI Jane.  But in that scenario I didn’t picture my eyebrows and lashes being absent as well.

People said that I should just draw in my eyebrows.  Personally, I felt that was a lot of responsibility. So many different styles I could do: permanently surprised, super villain, the Frida Kalho, Marx brothers, a lot of options.  I chose not to mess with it at all.

Halfway through the 2nd round of chemo my hair started to grow back.  It was so soft like a little baby bird.  So did my eyebrows and that was a nice change.  As time went on my hair became thicker and thicker and curlier and curlier.  Curls are very different than my hair before chemo; surprisingly, this happens to many people who’ve gone through it.