Sunday, May 30, 2010

From Beard to Bald to Blond??

OK maybe I didn't have a full beard...  but as you read last week, being pregnant or Italian and getting older, hair was growing on my chin, upper lip etc..  forcing me to pluck all the time!   Tuesday night I was anxious, tossed and turned.  I knew the day was near and I had been noticing a little more hair coming out here and there.  On Wednesday Larry and I went into Boston again.  We met with the radiation oncologist, and although I was hearing information I mostly knew, I think my nerves for what was to come got to me and I cried.  The outcome of that meeting was radiation will come after chemo and after the mastectomy, every day for 6 weeks.   Finally we left Dana Farber, went to Newbury St., walked again through the gardens, checked out the new flowers and then had lunch outside.  It was a hot beautiful day and the walk and lunch relaxed me.  Here are some pics of when my friends went wig shopping with me for the first time and some of the wigs I tried on.   It's great to have people go with you!


These were ok.  But 100% fake hair and felt funny.   Although I do like having longer  hair! 
Back to Wednesday:   After lunch we headed up to Salon 10.  Patricia at the Salon is so nice and compassionate and let me have as much fun as I wanted.  We sat in a private room and she asked me if I wanted to face the mirror or face away.  For me it was easier to face the mirror and see it come off little by little.   We put my hair in pigtails so it could be donated.  And then she began to cut them off.  That wasn't too bad.   My hair was messy and short.   Then the razor came out.  And the first strip of hair was removed. I was ok.  I didn't cry.  And it actually felt freeing and clean.  Larry was snapping pictures the entire time and sending them to Sarah.  When the sides were all trimmed but the top remained, I looked horrible; like a boy or very butch!  
(Side note: if I was going to be a lesbian, I would keep my long hair and be a femme, not butch! )
But I did have a nice, round, bump free head!   Then we had some fun!   Patricia added some gel and spiked up my hair, like a mohawk.  Probably my worst hair style that day!  I can't even believe I am posting and sharing that one! Then the shaving continued.   

And soon after I was Bald!  I kept touching my head!  Felt like the back of Larry's head when he gets it cut.   Peach fuzz.  I still keep touching my head.  It's just so different!  Oh and of course Larry noticed my gray patch! And all the grays growing everywhere.  Can you dye peach fuzz? 
When Patricia left to get my "wig" I grabbed the razor and did my best Crazy Britney Spears photo! Then we grabbed another wig to see what I may look like when I'm 75?  She came back with the "wig"  and I was finally ..............Blond!!  hahaha.   Just what Larry wanted!

Don't worry,  I didn't really go blond...  and  I don't think I look that great as a blond, maybe if I lightened my eyebrows?   My new wig, which I think was a great color match, I am still getting used to wearing.  I'll go back in a week to make any style changes.  It's like wearing a hat all day.  Hopefully that feeling will go away.  When I'm home I usually take it off and just go bald, since that feels more natural to me and more comfortable.  Plus I don't notice being bald, unless I walk by a mirror.  Larry looks at me more then I do, but I think he is adjusting really well.     So here it is!   My new wig and the new me!
Hope everyone is enjoying this great long weekend!   Yesterday was my birthday.. still celebrating.. recap will come later!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Relaxing weekend.... Busy week ahead.

I had a great relaxing weekend with Larry.  Saturday running errands and then him cooking my favorite meal on the grill; steak with blue cheese on top, grilled portobella mushrooms and zucchini and garlic bread! Summer grilling just taste so good!  Then Sunday was busy with a family graduation party and friend's baby baptism.  Being around people and especially kids is such a great distraction and makes me even more excited to be a mom soon.   Last night was special too.   last minute, I was able to see a friend's baby who was just 9 days old! She is adorable, small, soft, precious!  Another friend for my girl to play with!

Monday, May 24, 2010


OK answer to the quiz... .at least my answers! Great job everyone!

1. Hair growing in odd places, like chin - Pregnancy and just being Italian i think! Hair everywhere!

2. Constipation - Both and together makes it the worse side effect

3. So Tired - Both, early pregnancy I was very tired, then after chemo i was tired around day 8-9, and I'm sure it will get worse as I become more pregnant and chemo builds up. And then no sleep when baby is here!

4. Boobs sore - Both for me. Early pregnancy they were sore and now they are painful sometimes, I think from the surgery or the nerves coming back.

5. Going Bald - All CHEMO.. unless you count pulling out your hair as you are having contractions and pushing!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Morning Pop Quiz! May 21, 2010

OK first let me say - you girls were right.  I can NOT go without shaving my armpits daily.  I think even when I have no hair I will have to just do it, otherwise I feel dirty.    Everything else I don't care about as much.   Also- yesterday tried on my wig and learned how to wash it.  Not too bad!  Going next week to shave the head!

So the first week when I was going to doctors and filling out all my forms, questions came up like: Are you fatigue? increase urination? pain in boobs?   My response: well yes but I'm pregnant!

So quiz time..  here are a list of side effects -  Tell me what you think: Chemo or Pregnancy or Both?
  1. Hair growing in odd places, like chin
  2. Constipation
  3. So Tired
  4. Boobs sore
  5. Going Bald
  6. Nausea
  7. Bloody Nose
  8. Increased Appetite
  9. Crave Ice Cream every night
  10. Mouth Sores
  11. Weight gain
  12. Memory Loss
  13. Weird feelings in the lower abdomen
Good Luck! 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

To shave or not to shave! May 18th, 2010

Chemo started a week ago and within 17 days from the first chemo I am supposed to start losing hair.   So as I shower each morning I have been wondering, do I even need to shave anymore?  When I found out I would be undergoing chemo,and then soon ran out of my favorite shampoo, I stopped buying my expensive stuff, rather I just search through cabinets for old bottles in the way back of the closet or looked for samples I had taken from hotels.   I haven't had a hair cut or color since then as well.   Yes my head is full of grays!  And I haven't even waxed my eyebrows for fear that I will lose some of them so why not keep what I can!  (Ok I do take care of the hair in between the eyebrows because I am not a fan of the uni brow.)  Look at the money I am saving!   No haircuts, dye jobs, waxing, no razors, shampoos or shaving cream! 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bruised Placenta?? May 15th, 2010

(Warning post is kind of gross, esp for "men!")

One thing I think I have learned and "almost" mastered over the last couple of years is to try not to freak out and worry until you actually know something is wrong.   Easier said then done but if you can do it, it makes things so much easier.  So all through the early pregnancy I tried not to worry about losing the baby.  I think going through IVF in general made me worry more because of the initial struggle and not wanting to deal with it again.   So I would tell myself, if you are not cramping and bleeding then you and your baby are ok.   And I have continued to think that.   So Saturday morning I woke to my biggest fear, bleeding.   

I had slept so good Friday night.  When I woke up I felt a little wet but thought maybe I just couldn't control my bladder in my sleep (pregnancy thing i think?) So I went to the bathroom and there it was, blood everywhere, my underwear, pants and thighs.  My initial reaction was WTF is this? Like when you get your period when you don't expect it.   Didn't even think it was the baby.  Maybe I was still half asleep.  Then I went into freak out mode; remembering I was pregnant and this isn't good. It's the one thing I told myself I could worry about!   And then I screamed for Larry.  Within 2 minutes Larry was on the phone with the hospital and all dressed.   I was still sitting there.  Crying and trying to breathe.   Then I stopped and took a few deep breaths and thought, ok think this through,  I am not cramping.  No pain, there isn't blood gushing out.  And for some reason I stopped crying and just knew in my heart the baby was ok. I guess I just think i would know if something was wrong.  I just kept saying,  you are going to be ok,  I know it.   And then kept breathing so we could relax. 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

10 years with Larry! May 15th, 2010

In April 2000, despite what my mom had warned me about boys and bars,  I met the most amazing guy in a bar in Worcester!  After talking for a couple weeks and a few meet ups at the bar we finally went on our first real date! May 15th, 2000 Willy's Steakhouse in Shrewsbury.  I remember it was the first time a guy ordered a bottle of wine for me, a decent one too! I was so impressed by him and loved listening to him talk about rocket scientist stuff (pulsed plasma thrusters?) and he was just such a gentleman.  We had a great dinner and evening together.   What was going to be just a summer fling of fun dates and crazy club nights turned into a lifetime of love.  What was he thinking???  We definitely didn't know 10 years later we would be spending time in hospitals, struggling with life's obstacles, and making each other laugh everyday! 
I am so lucky and blessed to have him in my life-  He is my everything!

Michael Buble
You're a falling star, you're the get away car.
You're the line in the sand when I go too far.
You're the swimming pool, on an August day.
And you're the perfect thing to say.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thank you all so much...

Thank you thank you thank you!   Thank you all for the cards and comments on here!  Just knowing I am so loved and supported is what keeps me positive and going!   In 2 years I hope I can throw a huge thank you, done with cancer party for all of you!! 
I am doing pretty well I think from this first round of chemo.  First round: Becky - 1 Cancer B*tch -0.  I keep up with the nausea pills which really have helped!  No nausea at all, and I am even hungry and eating normally.   The pills have some steroids in them so I still have these bursts of energy, yup sometimes I clean or organize.  Tuesday night however I was awake from 2 am til 5 am.  Finally after listening to some meditation music I slept for a few hours.   I have been at work both days and plan to be the rest of this week and next week, which definitely keeps me busy and the days go by!   Last night I finally took a low dose sedative they prescribed ( I hate taking drugs when pregnant but it's safe!)  and I slept great!  From about 10pm til 7am, only getting up twice to go to bathroom.   I feel much more rested today and because of that I'm glad I took the sedative.  I didn't want to get run down.    I wonder tho, couldn't a glass of red wine before bed work just as well?   It used to knock me out!  And you would think red wine with all its fruits is better for the baby then a sedative!  lol.   Oh well.  Don't want to start her out this young I guess.

Thanks again everyone!  Time for my prune juice, lots of water, and off to work!  xoxo 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Live from Boston, it's Chemo Monday! May 10, 2010

Hi, reporting live from the Dana Farber 10th floor infusion room! Time to fight this B*tch!!! Long day so far and still no chemo...yet.  We got here at 10:45 and I had blood drawn, IV in place for the day.  Then met with doctor at 11:30.  She said i look good and scars are healing well.  Then up to 10th floor on time - 12:30 - for my scheduled chemo.   But, they were way off!  Luckily they give you a pager so we went for lunch and a little walk.  At 2 we got paged to come up... but just 10 more minutes turned to 1.5 hours.  And at 3:30 I am in my chair!  Just got a dose of fluids and nausea meds.  And soon the chemo will start.  I think.  

So far I am doing well. No breakdowns yet but people keep asking me if i am ok, makes me wonder if i should be crying or something.  Maybe cause I have Larry making me laugh? Everyone needs a Larry.  I am  the youngest person in treatment and in waiting rooms.  Many people wear hats or scarves.  The people are nice and there are plenty of snacks, fruit and water.  My chair is near a window with a view of another Boston building but I also have Larry to stare at! 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day - Promise to Me... May 9th, 2010

Happy Mother's Day to everyone who is a Mom!  Today I spent my day with my favorite moms; my Mom, my Grandma, and my sister, mommy to be, Sarah.  To think last year I didn't know when or if I would be a mom, and this Mother's Day I am 22 weeks pregnant with a little, precious, healthy girl!   Next year will be even better, I will be watching my little girl crawl around and play with her new cousin!  I cannot wait!

So how can I promise to be there for my little girl?  I must stay strong and take care of myself, mentally and physically!  I made a Promise to Me to do so.   Many of you know ironically I work for Hologic, a women's health company which, among other things, specializes in breast cancer detection instruments and radiation treatment options.  Hologic has started the Promise to Me project and I feel strongly about this simple goal, to have every strong woman make the promise to take care of their health!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Oak Tree

Today has been a great lazy rainy day. Yesterday I woke up at 5 am, which for me is very early, and I was at Newton Wellesley hospital at 6:45 am! I had failed my glucose screening test for gestational diabetes and had to take the 3 hour tolerance test. Fast after midnight, blood drawn at 7 am, drink the glucose orange stuff at 7 am, blood drawn at 8 am, 9 am and 10 am. Then finally I could eat. It was a long morning but i was able to get some things done while waiting. Then I ran some errands, and then headed to Boston to pick Larry up. We spent about two hours walking around Boston Common, Gardens and Newbury St. Then we went and ordered my wig at Salon 10 on Newbury St. The woman was so nice. As much as I wanted the long full wavy hair, and as much as Larry wanted me to look like Kate Beckinsale, ( I need more than a wig to look like her!) we went with a style and color that is similar to my current hair. It's half synthetic and half real hair, so it feels soft but I won’t have to style it. Next week they will have me back to cut and style the hair and make it look even more like me and then when ready, I can go there and have my head shaved and start wearing the wig. Finally, Larry and I enjoyed a great dinner at a fun Tapas place on Newbury St.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Strong Women's weekend!

So today I am starting a Strong Women's weekend in honor of  our mothers, ourselves as moms, soon to be moms, and future moms!

"Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That's what women are made of; the HECK with sugar and spice." ~ Bethany Hamilton

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Results came in.. May 4th, 2010

Finally today my surgery results came in.  There were still cancer cells found in the ducts and the lymph vessels,  but not in the tissue.   Also 6 out of 10 nodes removed had cancer in it.   I dont know what all of this means yet... it was a quick conversation.  But I do know I will be starting chemo on monday.  Tomorrow I am taking my glucose screening test for gestational diabetes.  Other than that my arm is half numb and half tingly.. and I do my arm exercises each day!  xoxo

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Last day of R&R... May 02, 2010

Friday I was able to have my drainage tube removed!! Larry and i took another quick trip into Boston, and soon after the nurse pulled out my drainage tube and said I was healing very well. I finally got to put on my real bra! Larry and I laughed tho, my left boob is so swollen that the bra makes me look like I have one huge D cup boob and one small B cup boob! When we got home Sarah was here to take me out for a little while! And of course, started spoiling her soon to be niece with the cutest outfits. She really is the BEST sister!

Still no results back from my pathology and no date for when chemo will start. Not sure why this one takes longer but I have called a few times and still nothing. So instead I am just enjoying this wonderful weather and my weekend with Larry, relaxing around the house and yard. Larry leaves tomorrow for a work trip and I get to go back to work!