Previously posted on November 6, 2006
Yesterday, I completed my first round of chemo. Today, I'm feeling great. I'm at work, trying to stay on top of some projects. I decided that it was time to send out a note to my colleagues that I work with on a daily basis. Below is the note I sent out. Should update most on how I'm doing. I'll really try to write more. I can say, the writer in me has seen a thousand possible stories just by sitting in the waiting rooms in various treatment spaces at Duke. I know each person there has their individual stories and I'm itching to create those from my perspective.
I wanted to send out a note to everyone to make you aware of some things and ask your assistance, too. I'm not a person who keeps things close to the vest, so I'm just getting this out for those who have been afraid to ask questions. (BTW, feel free to ask many anything you want to know about what's going on!) As many of you already know, I'm currently undergoing treatment for endometrial cancer. Actually, the surgery took care of the cancer, so I'm theoretically cancer free. I'm just being treated aggressively since I'm *so* young!! ;-) The treatment is considered adjuvant, which basically means they're making sure nothing escaped the hands of the surgeon and went cursing through my veins to other locations in my body!! I've already finished 25 radiation treatments and an internal radiation procedure. Chemotherapy started yesterday.
With all of that said, I just wanted to warn you of some changes that will be occurring shortly based on the chemotherapy I started yesterday. The most noticeable change will be my big bald head that will grace the presence of the office in a few weeks. I've chosen not to go the wig route, so I'll be donning hats of different sorts. I've already purchased the hat I'll wear on casual Friday's. It's a ball cap that's emblazoned with "NO HAIR DAY" on it's front. Make all the jokes you want. I've already been asked by a few if I'm getting a tattoo on my head. My initial response was maybe I'll turn my head into a globe since it's so big!! Someone else asked if I had considered advertising on my head. Help offset the costs of all this stuff. Nah, not for me. So, with the baldness being a shocker of sorts, I just wanted to give you a heads up. (For the folks in EMEA and AP, I can always send photos so you won't miss out on this lovely experience.) Extreme fatigue, nausea and pain are often associated with chemo as well.
The other big thing that will happen is a phenomenon called "Chemo Brain". There have actually been studies done on this particular side effect. These are the cognitive side effects that go along with Chemotherapy. Big ones are forgetfulness, lack of concentration and difficulty multitasking. Who knows what will effect me. I'm letting you know this so if you ask me a question, do it in writing!! Walking over to my desk and asking me to follow-up on something w/o written back up will often result in nothing being done. (This is something I'm already experiencing from the other therapies I've had.) Don't avoid me, just remind me. I may forget words, heck I may even forget names. Just know, I'm still me and laughing will be the key to getting through all of this.
Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers( or whatever you do.) It's all appreciated very much.
That's it for now. Peace, love and wellness.