Friday, March 29, 2013

6 Down, 2 to Go

Sorry for the time in between posts, I've been tired/lazy lately.  The treatments are really starting to catch up with me from a fatigue standpoint but...THERE ARE ONLY 2 LEFT!!!! Pretty excited about that. The 6th treatment session was last Friday and it pretty much took me down for 5 straight days. While Julie was pushing the pedals around the White Mountain 100 course (She did Great!), I was just pushing the covers around the bed.

Still I'm thankful and can't help feeling a little guilty. At almost exactly the same time that I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's, my aunt was diagnosed with colon cancer. While I've been limited to just chemo as treatment, she has been subject to the full suite: chemo, radiation, and multiple surgeries. Compared to what I've been going through, she has had a much rougher time of it but the last news I heard was that her situation was greatly improved and had reached the same point as me as far as her PET scan: no more observable cancer cells, end of chemo in sight. Awesome news!

It got a little more "interesting" for me last week as my blood counts came back to low to treat the day before chemo. They gave me a shot to try to boost them before the next day's chemo and thankfully that worked. I mean, I wasn't too thankful because yeah, it "allowed" me to get chemo but I don't want to delay this crap anymore than I need to.

Physically it hasn't really affected me too much. I've lost about 10 pounds but that actually seems really low given all the beer I haven't been drinking. I've probably lost some muscle mass and put on some flab though because really I've just been sitting around reading when not working. Between the fatigue and then the heart arrhythmia that follows, it hasn't been real conducive to physical activity except for the few days leading into the next chemo session.

I've still got hair but as Julie says, "it's getting fuzzy". Really thinned out which I've been able to cover up by continuing to grow it long but it's starting to blow around in the wind.  If it does grow all the way back, I've had a good preview of how far I'd have to go before being bald and it seems I'm much farther off than I thought.

My eyebrows have thinned out and look kind of weird and I've also lost my armpit hair and the ability to grow a mustache.  The fact that the rest of my facial hair continues to grow at a normal pace inspired me to attempt the immortal "Chinstrap Beard". Classic example:

Unfortunately, being new to this style, I struggled a bit. This is tough to achieve!

The first attempt looked something like this. I left a little too much on there, although as seen in this image, it does have some distinctly simian characteristics:

The second attempt looked something like this:

While this was slightly better, it was still atrocious and Julie feared it. I also found that it requires a lot of effort to properly maintain a chinstrap. All further efforts were abandoned.