2007 Breast Cancer 3 Day

Monday, December 12, 2005

So how'd you spend your afternoon?

I'm quite sure that no one spent their afternoon engaged in the same activity as me. I sat on my back porch and pulled handfuls of hair out of my head! Well pulled isn't really the right word. I just ran my hands through my hair and it came out. I noticed this morning that my hair was everywhere. It is amazing how much hair is on the human head. I feel like I should be bald already, but you wouldn't even know it's falling out the look at me right now. My scalp is hurting due to the hairs' roots finally succumbing to the chemo. I am now trying to decide if I should go ahead and shave it off or give it another day or two. I can only imagine the mess that will occur if I wait much longer. I'm nervous about buzzing it off, but Ed will be doing that for me. That is probably not something that he thought he would ever be doing--shaving his wife's head. I will post some pictures when the task is completed. I did shed a few tears this afternoon while watching my hair blow away in the breeze from my fingertips. I wasn't sad about my hair loss (well maybe a little). It was a defining moment that brought me back into my body and made me realize this is my life. I seem to be functioning almost third person most of the time. It's like all of this is happening to someone else, but today as my hair drifted away it reminded me that I have cancer and this is for real. It was a very sobering moment. Even as I cried, my dear sweet Emma came over singing Jingle Bells oblivious to all of life's troubles. You just can't be sad with a two year old saying, "Sing Momma...Sing...Jingle Bells...Jingle Bells."


  1. I came across your blog at random. I'm glad I did. You are in my prayers this evening.

  2. My afternoon? Honestly? I made an appointment to "do something" with my frumpy 50 year-old ratty hair before my birthday on Friday. Then, I came home and read your account of wisps of hair floating off your fingertips and cried. Jingle Bells will never sound the same again.

  3. Hi there Fran, I was diagnosed October 29th, 2004. I was HER2/neu Positive. 19/26 nodes positive. Stage 2. I started on Cytoxan and Adria in November, then went to Taxotere. I also started Herceptin in Jan '04. Okay so there's my situation up to now. I'm 34 with a 3 year old daughter and when I found my lump, I had a 6 month old little baby girl. I thought it was a clogged milk duct. Oh boy, was I wrong.

    The day my hair started falling out, my family should have banned me from all food preparation. It was everywhere.

    Finally I went outside and just sat down on the stoop and began pulling it out. My scalp ached. It felt like I'd had my hair up in a really tight pony tail for about a month. I kept thinking to myself as I was pulling fistfulls of hair out and letting the wind catch it, maybe some cute little bunny will use it for a nest to keep itself warm this winter...(Next spring I found clumps of my own hair in a bird's nest in my yard).

    Fran, I feel like you are a sister to me and that I should share with you my experiences with you. This is an exerpt from my Christmas letter from this year....

    "...I finished up with Chemo in May. Then we entered the Radiation Phase. Radiation wasn't so bad. The burns were a bummer. When I finally healed from that I developed an allergic reaction to Herceptin. That's the "cure all" drug for this kind of cancer. So, I was pulled off that drug in mid november. I'm officially done with treatments. Yeah!! (It's kinda wierd. I've been in fight mode for the past year and now that it's over I'm not sure what to do.)

    I had scans and tumor markers drawn and I'm clean. Thank the Lord!!

    A lot of people have asked Daryl and I how we have managed to deal with such a major thing like cancer an treatments, especially with two small children.

    I feel compelled to share with you how we managed this whole thing, escpiclally in light of the Christmas season, and how it has taken on a whole new meaning for us.

    First of all despite the fact that most people would construe dealing with cancer and treatments , especially with children, as a catastrophe for any family, we have considered it nothing short of a blessing. I know what you are thinking, "How on earth can you see things thast way, Laura?". Well, too many good things have happened to us and to those around us. Too many wonderful things have happened to us to look at it any ther way. This has worked so positively in our lives and the lives of everyone around us as well. It has made us stonger. It has forced us to appreciate TIME. I has also forced me to accept help. which is not easy for me. We've all become fighters. Many of you were prayer warriors. Some days when I had no strength to pray for myself or my family. You guys picked up the slack and made sure there wasn't a day that God didn't hear a power prayer from you.

    The most important lesson we learned was that we totally had to give this up to GOD. Call it Lazy. But, there is a sudden peace in giving it all to the Lord. There was a sudden peace that came to Daryl and I when we finally gave it away. We realized that we have very limited control over what happened and what was going to happen in our future. One of my definitions of insanity is; obsessively thinking about something that you have no control over. Believe me I sat up many endless nights trying to find a way to control this disease and how I could find more time to spend with my two precious little girls and their amazing father. When I finally gave it to God, I found that I actually had time to enjoy life. See, it was robbing me of the opportunities that I had to create memories with my friends and family. I wasn't going to give this disease that kind of power over me or my family. God wants us to give Him our problems. It is a pretty incredible thing. I totally recommend it.

    Another thing that it has taught us is that ther is a power in being in the "now". Enjoying this very moment in time. Making it the best moment you possible can make it. We cannot change the past, so there's no sense in regret, it's wasted energy. Simply learn from your mistakes, reconcile, forgive and move on. We have limited control over our future. I used to obsess about the day when my tumor markers/scans would show a reoccurance of cancer...I really have no control over that. I realized that I would again be giving useless energy to this disease. I sould be living from one study to another, instead of really living. Ther is an incredible power in this very moment. I am the only one that can make it truly great or cruddy.

    So, when you think about how this could have been a devastating blow to us, we think of it as being a blessing and learned a great deal about love, faith, forgiveness and now.

    We are all fighting a hard battle, all in our very own ways. We either let it invade our soul and we become bitter or we overcome it and we become better more positive people. Through Christ I can do anything. This I know...Ther is just no doubt in my mind.

    So on Christmas day we celebrate the birth of Christ and the way he embraced all humankind. Died for our sins. He changed the world. Whe changes your heart, when you invite him in. I truly believe this. So for Christmas I pray for peace in your hearts, happiness, and that each one of us use their particular God given talents to glorify Him.

    Fran this is what I wish for you. I don't even know you and I feel so close to you.
    God Bless you. laurapowers1@hotmail.com