2012: Hair in Review

Dude in a Coffee Shop

I was feeling pretty good about the length of my hair, and then…

A cutie 3-year-old in Starbucks walked by me and insisted to her Dad, “Boys don’t have earrings!”

23 down, 7 to go

Cancer didn’t hurt a bit, but treatment has given me all sorts of maladies.

My upper arm and axilla (fancy name for armpit) have mostly been numb since surgery.  Now, I feel burned.

My left shoulder, where the radiation beam exits, looks like it’s never seen sunscreen.  My chest is covered with brown spots, too, and the skin under my left breast looks charred.  I have a knot in my throat from the treatment to the lymph nodes above my clavicle, near my lower neck.

Left shoulder after 28 radiation treatmentsI’ve also lost some range of motion in my arm and the swelling is worse.

My plastic surgeon, dermatologist and physical therapist will have their work cut out for them after all of this!

Last week, we agreed with Dr. Torres to continue radiation through the full 6 weeks.   Tomorrow, I make up for Christmas Day by getting treated twice – at 9am and again at 3pm.  Next week, I get New Year’s Day off, but will have 2 treatments on New Year’s Eve.

But, Friday, January 4?  Done!

In the meantime, I practically have bangs!

Hair 4 months after last Taxol treatmentThank you for checking in,
Nicole

Merry Christmas Eve!

Delivering toys donated by friends
in honor of Sam’s birthday to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Sprinkling oatmeal in our backyard for the reindeer.

Sara’s note to her “favorite non-family member in the whole world.”
Amazing how the kids suspend their disbelief in December!

Will the photos be as cute when they’re no longer willing to wear matching pajamas?

Finally, not a creature was stirring…
Except for our cat Smoke.

‘Twas The Days Before Christmas

Friday, December 21
Not the end of the world, thankfully!  Instead, our kids hang out at Joey’s office while I go to Emory for radiation treatment #20.  I play Santa and give big tips to the valet parkers who help me get in and out of there quickly every day.  Thank you, Joey, for making it easy for us to do that!  It felt great.
Radiation Oncology at EmorySaturday, December 22
7:15 am treatment, so I don’t have to go in on Christmas Eve. Emory is dark and quiet. Thank you to my 3 techs, Debbie, Erica and Melissa (whom I’m growing quite attached to!) for working on a Saturday.
Birthday boyat Sky ZoneThen, a jumpy trampoline party for Sam’s birthday at 10:30am.  I really missed planning a party at home, but just wasn’t up to it this year!  But Sam has great taste in friends, so we loved hanging out with the kids and their parents.  Hoping the 4 children who canceled last-minute due to sickness are feeling better.
Toys to donate instead of birthday giftsSunday, December 23
Our friends were incredibly generous, giving us toys to take to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in lieu of birthday gifts. Does Sam look sad they’re not for him?!  Both kids had a great time sorting them for delivery.
Sick boy and mamaJust 4 hours later, Sam feels really hot.  I take him to the doc-in-the-box where we wait for 3 hours (and amuse ourselves with the iphone).   Finally, the nurse confirms that Sam has a 103 fever and tests him for the flu by sticking a Q-tip up his nose.  When the test comes back positive, Sam says, “My boogers have the flu?!”

I score Tamiflu for myself and a Z-pack for a nasty cough I’ve had for weeks.

Hoping we’ll feel better (and look prettier!) soon, and that we didn’t get Sam’s friends sick in return for celebrating with us!