on the upside of cycle 1

Easter and the days leading up to it coincided with the end of the first chemotherapy cycle and thus, with some semblance of feeling normal.

I can tell this because coffee. And because wine! And because lunch out in a public place with a hat made from a travel buff – a tube of fabric used when traveling, particularly in hot and dusty parts of the world.  By turning it inside out and giving it a few twists in the middle, it takes a fold over to become a perfectly functional cover.

Apart from the fact that a few heads turned, then turned away as I walked into the cafe, it was a successful first outing, so to speak.

The rounds of visitors continued on Good Friday with guests bearing prawns and flowers. The sunflower in that bouquet is spectacular. On Saturday we had a family gathering at our house to greet a visitor from Sydney – a certain newly appointed primary school teacher. We ate pasties and portuguese tarts and hot cross buns and tiny eggs.

The teacher’s grandmother stayed for a sleepover too so we could go to see the delightfully human film The Grand Budapest Hotel on Sunday. Then we had lunch at an Italian restaurant with arancini balls, zucchini flowers stuffed with goats cheese, eggplant parmigiana and calamari. And a glass of a dry Italian wine called Soave. A few very good days all lined up together.

On the hair front, the last bits are taking their time to dislodge. For the first few times after the clippers did their thing, I neglected to remember that the quantity of shampoo needed to wash a thick head of hair is much larger than the skerrick actually required. Just saying.

sunflower 1 - yellow

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autumn fashion parade

Here’s what’s rocking for women without eyebrows this Easter. As it’s autumn, I commissioned the services of a butternut pumpkin to model this headgear for me*.

I’m thinking the dragon may be the cover of choice this season what with it being fierce and fire-breathing and all.

* not to scale

Easter parade - grunge

gratitude

Five days out from my next dose of goodness, and I’m feeling pretty good. If fatigue is the only thing that needs dealing with up until Tuesday morning, then I’m happy about that.

Yesterday was a big day. Not one, but two sets of visitors, for morning and afternoon tea. I celebrated by choosing to drink real coffee, as in from the espresso machine. With a little bit of close attention, I actually detected a coffee aroma. And the caffeine kick didn’t hurt either.flowers 16 April 2014

These beautiful flowers are adding to the colour and relative warmth of autumn.  And how great is this top? Now I have the opportunity to wear my gratitude splashed across where it matters most right now. 😉

gratitude

snoozes are important

sleep recover

Note to self.

Even though you may feel like you can stay up all day, do a few chores, go visiting and generally act like everything’s normal, don’t!

Sunday was such a good day. I didn’t need to lie down once! That was my mistake.  On Monday morning I woke up late with a dull head that felt almost bruised, although there were no external signs that this was the case.

Fatigue has hit hard again. I have assigned a story to this fuzzy headed lethargy. As the remnants hanging around in my hair follicles actively disengage, other well-intentioned elements are going into battle to stop it from happening, defending the indefensible.

Imagining such a scenario is far more interesting than accepting that I overstepped the mark by thinking I could get away with not resting with my eyes closed a few times a day. No prizes for guessing what’s next on my list of things to do today.

on the up

I’m happy to report that the past few days have been pretty good all things considered.

On Thursday afternoon, our 80 year old neighbour dropped by with this warm dinner bundle courtesy of his wife. “I’ve been told to drop this off to you and ask no questions,” he chortled. Ray loves a chat.

casserole

It was a tasty beef and vegetable casserole. Himself was very appreciative as it meant he was relieved of serious meal duties that evening.  Happily, I was able to enjoy some of it too.

Breakfast seems to be the best meal of the day and the joy of oats and banana is holding.

Some of the more obvious chemo symptoms are diminishing including the neck rash and the mouth ulcers which put in a brief appearance. The ulcers seem to be being managed by frequent bicarb soda and Biotene mouthwashes. (I love my soft baby toothbrush).

The need for daytime naps has also lessened and this morning I woke up and actually felt like a cup of coffee. Not that it was the best coffee sensation ever, but it was recognisable and indicative of the fact that the impact of the chemicals is lessening.

Onwards and upwards for this first cycle!

the day of the clippers

“Today’s the day”.

That was yesterday’s pronouncement to Himself as I showed him a handful of my hair.

By mid-morning he was suggesting that we go for a walk around the block so I could feel the wind in my hair for the last time. He’s funny like that. It was a good idea, although the Saturday morning joggers and serious walkers thought we must have been joking, given our cracking pace.

It took me until late in the afternoon to present the clippers to the officially designated barber. He declared we needed scissors first, and thus it was until the clippers came into play and the last vestiges of my locks were decorating the backyard sitting area.

How did it go?

It actually feels quite light. I’m relieved that my skull hasn’t revealed any previously unknown bumps and lumps. I’m also pleasantly surprised there are still patches of what might be called colour.

Within a few days, the spiky feel will disappear.  In the meantime, sans headgear I’m seriously starting to channel Sinead O’Connor.

 

head - Worn Pop 20 - FX Monterey

love comes in many forms

In the past week or so, some beautiful and thoughtful wishes have arrived at our house in the form of telephone calls; Facebook messages; cards from Michigan and Florida; an amazing care package all the way from Colorado which included the most beautiful dried rose, candles and edible treats; and flowers from someone special who did not include their name on the card. The guessing game is keeping me occupied. 🙂

It didn’t take this episode to convince me that I have me some amazing friends. It did confirm that they’re really good at showing up when you need them.

gift collage