Archive for July, 2009

Losing My Hair

July 18, 2009

A couple of days ago when I was in the shower I ran my hand through my hair, and some hair came out and clung to my hand.  It finally happened – I’ve started losing my hair.  It doesn’t come out in big clumps or anything, just strands, and it hadn’t started being noticeable yet – but it was really annoying having hairs in my face on my pillow, so today I decided to buzz my head.  I think I’ll keep losing more, but for now I’m happy with my hair – I’ve actually cut it this short before, so I just look like a high schooler again.  Here are some before, during, and after pictures:

Coleman with hair

That’s from this morning, when I still had lots of hair.  Lots of annoying, falling out hair.

Coleman gets shorn

That’s my dad shaving my head.  The picture was his idea.  I think I can safely say that no matter what else happens, my hair will not look this bad again.

Aerodynamic Coleman

And here’s how I look now – sleeker, faster, and with less hair in my mouth when I try to sleep.

Round 2 – Fight!

July 14, 2009

Well, as predicted, I haven’t been updating this blog too frequently.  In this case, no news is good news.  I had a little bit of a sore throat the week after my first treatment, and I was a little tired for a few days, but I managed to avoid any of the nastier side effects, and last week I felt better than I have in months.

I got round 2 of chemo this morning, and it went well again.  They did say that my white blood cells are lower than they should be, but I got a shot that should fix that.  This afternoon I’ve felt a tiny bit sick, but nothing to worry about.  So, everything’s going along as planned.  I still have all my hair for now, but my balding doctor told me that if I still have more hair than he does next time I see him, he’s upping my dose of chemotherapy. (He was just kidding.  Or so he claims…)

Last week I went to the lake with the family, and I had a great time.  There’s one of the blessings coming out of having cancer – more time to spend with my family before heading up to Canada.  We watched the 4th of July fireworks from out on the boat, which I missed last year due to being in Australia, and spent a lot of time just relaxing.  This week is a work week (if I still feel up to it) – I’m slowly getting settled in my parents’ house, and I’m working part time for the Office of Outreach answering emails, as well as helping Heavenly Doctrines Publishing with reviewing the Ager translation of “True Christian Religion” for republishing.  On Friday I leave for the shore, to my grandma’s house on Long Beach Island, my favorite place in the world.

One other little thing.  I haven’t seen my primary doctor since I was diagnosed about a month ago – it’s all been my oncologist (plus the surgeon for my port).  Today my doctor called just to see how I was doing and to let me know he was thinking of me.  Little things like that blow me away.  People are awesome, and the Lord is so good.

Round 1 of Chemo (plus hiccups)

July 1, 2009

I got my first round of chemo yesterday, and it went really well.  The whole process took about 3 hours, but it will be a lot shorter in the future, since for the first hour they had to inject me in my arm with one of the chemo drugs and wait an hour to see if I had an allergic reaction (I didn’t).  After that, there were no problems at all.  I was worried that it would hurt a lot when they stuck the IV needle into my port, since the area was still sore from having it put in on Monday, but it was no worse than having an IV needle stuck in my arm.  I didn’t feel it at all after that, even when they were sending the chemicals through it.

So far, there have been no side effects, other than a tiny bit of light-headedness from time to time.  I know that the side effects often don’t really start in earnest till the third or fourth day, so I’m assuming some are still coming, but it’s relieving that I’m not incapacitated by the chemo.  Also, my back barely hurts at all today, which hasn’t happened without painkillers for several weeks.  So maybe the drugs are already starting to work!

The one annoying thing is that the hiccups I woke up with after surgery keep coming back.  I’ve read a few places online that after anesthesia they can last anywhere from 3 days to a week.  The best method I know of for getting rid of them – exhaling, then drinking a whole glass of water from the opposite side of the glass – seems to work sometimes, but they always seem to come back eventually.  Oh well, I shouldn’t complain – I think there are people who would love to have recurring hiccups as the only problem the day after chemo.  And if the internet’s right, I should be fine in a day or two.