Tag Archives: Brentuximab

Lymphoma Diaries: Chemo Friday – and the one where my hair starts falling out

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Today is day 22 of Chemo – but only my second treatment/infusion of brentuximab. My appointment was at 9:30 but I got there at 8:45 and was hooked up by 9. We blew a vein. My poor nurses – my veins are very small, rolly and Self-protecting! Anyway, she got it right in on the second try and we were off. My momma came with me and, of course – obligatory selfie with myself:

I woke up at 5:45am and knew I wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep so I just got on up and finished packing for the beach a little and took a shower. A bad bad thing happened in the shower. I was using my nice smelling Monat revitalize shampoo, and I only wash my hair 2, sometimes 3 times a week unless I run and get sweaty so this was day 3 of not washing. (I shower – I just don’t always shampoo my hair! My hair stylist approves. My color lasts longer and it’s healthier for your hair to let the natural oils build up and also for growth and for lack of heat styling damage…)

Anyway – so nice happy smelling shampoo. Let it settle in. Then rinse. My hair is just to the bottom of my bra strap (pretty long) and I have more hair than Oprah so it takes forever to wash, rinse, repeat, condition and then dry & style. (Another reason I only do it once every 2-3 days…) So I turn around to rinse and let the warm water run through then I start wide combing my fingers through and come out with handfuls of hair no longer on my head. Now, the less you wash your hair, the more will come out when you wash it and since it had been 3 days I thought – oh this is just build up of the dead hair falling out. But it kept coming. To try to convince myself it wasn’t as bad as I was imagining, rather than letting it collect in the drain, I stuck the handfuls to the wall of the shower. Ouch.

That’s quite a bit. And then I tried to just blow dry without brushing it or over taxing it but this is what I pulled out of the brush in one styling. So – since yesterday because that’s when I cleaned the brush.

Now – we are on our way to the beach. I have an appointment on April 12 to do my color and a cut – I just had it cut a week or two ago. But we didn’t do color just in case this were to happen (but it isn’t supposed to happen!!! I have the “good” chemo!!! The on that is less likely to cause hair loss and thinning…) and well, it’s happening. Boo. But this is why I needed the color:

Suddenly I have LOTS of silver/white hair. Well, less now that it’s falling out. 😩 and on the drive every time I touch my hair, a handful of strands comes out.

So I’ve thrown 3-4 handfuls of hair out the window on this road trip and my DNA is now scattered all down Interstate 65 South across the great state of Alabama.

Honestly? I cried in the shower and I cried again just now thinking I don’t want to lose my hair. I have great hair. I’m a LEO for goodness sake. What shall I do without my mane.

But for now, I’m going to rest at the beach. I’m going to rest and meditate and read and relax as much as possible with my dear ones. I am encouraged by my late Pastor Granddad’s favorite verse. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Lymphoma Diaries, Post-Chemo day 20

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Lymphoma Diaries, Post-Chemo day 20

So. I’m just gonna lay this out there.

Cancer SUCKS BIG FAT ROTTEN EGGS. I have other choice words but this is a family blog.

I was fine the first week, fine like no effects – day 7 I was tired. Days 8-11 I had nausea and tummy issues and generally felt bad – I’ve run a fever off and on, almost always at night, 3-5 days a week. Most day times are fine. But – I have a 3:30pm energy expiration. After 3:30 I still function just not on my normal level.

Tomorrow is my first post-round-1 appointment to check all my blood levels and see the oncology NP. And tonight I feel awful. Why? Why on day 20 after so many good days??? I have a fever. I was sick last night and I had a fever all night. I’ve had swelling of the hands and feet since Sunday. They are itchy and I can’t wear my wedding rings my hands are so fat. I’m not a happy camper.

Now, I’ve been upbeat and happy-go-lucky about all this and blown off any side effects. Until now. Tonight I’m having my own personal whinge-fest. Whine whine whine & bellyache. Boo. Tomorrow will be better. Friday at 9am I have round 2 infusion of Brentuximab. Friday at 11am I have a bond hearing. Friday at 2pm I am going to the beach.

The beach will soothe away my cares. But today I feel kinda crummy and I feel like maybe it’s the first time I’ve really whined publicly about it but sheesh. I’m fighting here and some days are harder than others. Like today was GREAT! All week has been. Busy at the office, doing the lawyer life thing and then momming after and enjoying the puppies and babies (teenagers are still babies, no?) and my very sweet, very handsome husband at night. But tonight I feel bad and I’m grateful for puppies and babies and my Willie. ♥️