Sometimes it feels like nothing has happened over the last few weeks, but really everything has happened. On Monday I turned 32, I drove for the first time in two months, I went back to work and I had my first drink since surgery (naturally it was champagne, it was my birthday). I have more energy every day. I’m moving back upstairs. I haven’t had a mini-meltdown in over a week. My life is by no means what it was, but it is more normal. I’m not sure it ever will be the same again. On Wednesday I had the best doctor appoint I’ve had in I don’t know how long. My blood counts are normal! Not on the very high end of normal, but normal. I am finally gaining weight which is not something I ever thought I would be excited about, but I am. I won’t get my first post-surgical scans until 12 weeks so I get to go a whole month without going to see a doctor. I haven’t done that since any of this started. I am in a holding pattern once again, but it doesn’t seem as bad as some of the other ones. I have no idea what the scans will show. I don’t know what next steps will be, but I’m pretty sure I don’t have to do any more chemo.
Going back to work has been an adjustment. I got a little too used to doing nothing. It is really nice to use my mind and to be around people. I missed my coworkers. I went in four partial days and worked from home the rest. Once I have the energy for full days at work I might balance full days at home and at work instead of having to drive in every day. It’s definitely going to be a figure it out as I go thing. Once again I’m incredibly grateful for such a great workplace and great coworkers.
This weekend two of my DC friends came to visit. One of them I had not seen in years. I will always be grateful for friendships where it doesn’t feel like time has passed. I was able to do some things and sometimes we just sat around my house and watched mediocre movies.
One thing I never really talked about publicly was losing my hair. I didn’t lose any of my hair on the first chemo drug (the first 5 rounds), but with the second, stronger drugs, my hair began thinning. And for someone who has had thick curls her whole life, this was something new and unexpected. For a long time, I just ignored that I was shedding at an alarming rate. In early December I had a breakdown over my hair and went and met with the hair and wig specialist at the Cancer Center. By that time I had maybe a quarter of my hair left and I didn’t feel like me anymore. She helped me find something that felt like me. I know some people noticed. Some people may not have. Some just thought my hair was darker. Now that I am three months removed from chemo I have MY hair growing back. It is thick and I’m pretty sure there is curl or wave in it. I desperately want my long curls back, but that is going to take a long time and I have almost accepted this. I have stopped wearing the wig at home. A few friends got to see me with it and without a hat, but I was still uncomfortable going out in public. My wonderful friends convinced me to go out as me this weekend and I realized I am more comfortable with my short hair than I am the wig. So this is me and someday I’ll have my long curls back.