Friday, October 10, 2008
My Mother's Day in Bed and My Hair
I mentioned in my six favorite things in a previous post, that I am thankful for remission and that I'll never have to spend another Mother's Day in bed, or hopefully so anyway! I thought I'd give more insight as to what I meant by that.
My biopsy surgery was May 4th 2007. I found out the day prior that the oncologist thought it was a lymphoma. It's so hard to really through writing put you all in my shoes. I had found out at the end of April 2007 that I was pregnant. This was not a planned pregnancy just so you all know. I had three children and I had went back to college to pursue a career. I was done. It happened though and I was in shock. I was really just absorbing the idea of another child. I had been feeling tired, short of breath and this AWFUL fullness and lump in my chest and throat. I had been told since about 2004 that it was my thyroid. I do have nodules but they kept blowing my symptoms off. I saw Ear, Nose and Throat specialists, endocrinologists, my regular doctors, etc. I had MULTIPLE sonograms on my throat. I was constantly told "You have nodules but they aren't big enough to be causing you these symptoms." They would tell me to come back in 3 months for another sonogram. I want to cry sitting here thinking about it. I listened to them. At the time I wanted them so much to tell me my nodules were huge they had to come out! I wanted it because I felt this pressure. I couldn't take it. I felt awful. I was wheezing. They put me on Singular and Allegra. Ironically the Singular DID help me to breathe better for awhile. The pressure, nothing helped that. I always described it this way...it felt like someone took both thumbs and jammed them into either side of my throat and left them there. On top of that I felt like I was standing on my head all day. You know when the blood rushes to your head? I felt like that 24/7. No one listened, until I moved. I got soooo much worse right at the time I got pregnant. I always felt the pregnancy may have worsened my symptoms because of the pregnancy itself pushing my organs and further smooshing things. I still think this baby may have saved my life. I let it go for FOUR years. Who knows how long I may have let it go. I saw a new endocrincologist and I practically cried to her and she knew the second she saw me something was terribly wrong. I had a fine needle biopsy on the nodules. I'll explain THAT horrible procedure another time. She did another sonogram. She saw a mass and quietly to herself said it didn't seem connected to the thyroid. I did feel a sort of drop in my stomach when she said that. Anyway she had me get an MRI and then when those results came back I was sent immediately to the cancer center. I got so bad so fast at this point. Like I said, May 4 I had my biopsy. They sent it to pathology and it was so hard they could not cut into it. They only found scar tissue. So they sent it off to the Mayo Clinic where a definite diagnosis was made. This took about a week. During this time I felt so awful I can't describe it. Getting up to go to the bathroom was a chore. I had to lie in bed propped with about 5 pillows and when I moved to get up it sent me into a violent coughing fit that sent stabbing pains into my left shoulder. These pains are worse than anything I've ever felt. Literally like a knife jabbing into my shoulder. On top of that the coughing made me instantly nauseated. This wasn't a passing feeling either. I would get that feeling like I was going to throw up. I'd stand still trying to wait it out to no avail. My mouth would get really moist and I'd have to throw up. I did. Many times.
This gives you an idea of what I was going through. May 4 is not far from Mother's Day. I was in bed. MY first chemo was May 22nd so I had not yet been treated. I felt like I would stop breathing at any moment. I didn't like to move at all because of the pain and the coughing, and nausea. My husband took my girls to the store to get me gifts for Mother's Day. He rarely let them come upstairs because he knew how much pain and discomfort I was in. I missed them SO much though. I wanted to hold them and squeeze them but I couldn't. He brought them upstairs when they had the gifts and the girls were so proud. I had to open the cards and the gifts and show my pleasure and excitement all while thinking in my head how I needed to sit back and how I could not breathe and I just needed to close my eyes. It was such a combination of feelings. I wanted them there but at the same time needed them gone. It's horrible! You can't imagine. I couldn't take it....it hurt and made it harder to breathe. I gasped after every word I spoke. You could see it in their eyes...the worry. So I put on a brave face and smiled. I never ever want to spend another Mother's Day like that so I hug and squeeze my girls every second I get. I tell them I love them and I shriek with joy at the gifts they give. If it's a crumpled up taped and stapled piece of paper it's the best thing in the world to me. I'll never again take for granted another Mother's Day or any moment with my children.
Now, about my hair. It was very unhealthy after chemo. I somehow lucked out and didn't lose it all but it thinned at least 50% if not more. I thought I was lucky until I realized it was straw. So I cut it all off. I am used to shoulder length hair. I am enjoying curling it and trying new styles. I think I've grown back another inch on my hair. I probably need to keep trimming it so the ends aren't fried but ugh I want to grow it out. I am not positive the best way to do it. The pic is one I took yesterday with no curls....just straight hair. :) Thanks for reading all this by the way!!