August 30, 2011

Xina, Warrior Juice Princess...

Today is 14 days post Warrior Juice and I am sporting the new anti-hairdo!  In typical overachiever style, my hair began to fall-out on day 13; the usual hair loss time frame for this type of Warrior Juice is 14 – 17 days.  Monday (August 29, 2011), I was speaking with my husband and I ran my fingers through my hair only to discover a handful of hair cupped in my hand.  I thought huh, that is strange.  I ran my fingers through my hair again…out came more hair.  I started to tear-up and said well, I guess it is that time.  As the family sat around the dinner table, I made an announcement to the boys that my hair was falling-out.  I then removed my bandanna and ran my fingers through my hair; not quite sure, what prompted the demonstrative evidence.  The boys looked mortified!  They kept saying, “Mom, stop pulling your hair out!”  I laughed and continued adding to the pile of hair on the floor exclaiming, “boy’s, I am not pulling it out, it is falling out!”  I next declared that it was time to get out the clippers.  Carlos pleaded with me to wait, “mom you have a lot of hair.”  My response, “yes, I know and this is why I must shave it now or I will be leaving a trail of hair everywhere I travel.”  Carlos remarked, “We will always be able to find you.”  I excused myself from the dinner table and went into the bathroom, set the clippers on the counter, and looked at myself in the mirror; I began to tear-up.  I said aloud, “no, it is time and I will decide when my hair comes off – I choose.”  I turned the clippers on and stated shaving my head.  Curtis and Carlos stood silent and watched.  They had both offered to shave my head; I refused.  It was empowering to shave my head.  Carlos, my apprentice haircutter in the house, made sure I did not miss any spots.  Taking a shower and not having any hair was an odd feeling.  Now, I am sporting the GI Jane look and lov’n it!

Update on my last post – I am pleased to report that after five days of being completely locked-up I successfully evacuated my bowels!  Seriously, I expressed an enormous amount of joy post evacuation through verbal expressions and dance.  LOL~

My mind is quietly returning to some type of normal, either that or I am unknowingly embracing my newfound chemo-brain syndrome.  My memory is not intact fully and, at times, I find it challenging to form a coherent sentence or complete an entire thought.  Nevertheless, I keep on going!  Let me give a shout out to my new visitors for at least the next six months – fatigue, and hot flashes (forced into early menopause).  How awesome is this?  Awe yes, cancer treatments, the gift that keeps on giving.  I have not lost my sense of humor and I remain positive and hopeful.  I continue finding humor as I encounter many unique scenarios.  I drafted the following, in response to one such scenario:

Dear well- intended lady with the pink shoes,

            It was thoughtful and kind that you accompanied your elderly mother to the oncologist office for her warrior juice treatment.  The uninvited interruption into my conversation with a fellow warrior juice recipient (Angela) was interesting.  Apparently, it was overlooked that Angela barely had her footing and was gently swaying back and forth, as she stood in the waiting room.  Her cell counts were low, fatigue was marked, she did not have a companion accompanying her, and chemo-brain was large and in-charge.  Similarly, my fatigue was in full swing and chemo-brain was large and in-charge.
            Your rapid fire verbal rattling of fun facts, with a twist of warnings, rendered the minds of two warrior juice recipients, nearly useless.  You noted that Dr. Oz proclaims, a sweet potato a day keeps the cancer away – if he says something, we need to listen, using morphine to control pain will really mess with your brain, sugar feeds cancer, eat a daily dose of fiber, and eating fresh fruit – not a good choice!  I am quite confident the list is not complete – to that end, I declare chemo-brain.  If my brain could have processed your words at my typical rate of speed, I would have shared the following fun facts, with a twist of warnings with you.
            Shut Up!  For the love of everything holy, shut up!  It is wise to know your audience, warrior juice recipients + oncologist waiting room = Chemo-Brain.  Slow your speech pattern down, way down…you talk entirely too rapid.  Chemotherapy really messes with your brain – a morphine pill, post chemotherapy is not going to further mess it up.  Dial down the fun facts – keep your sweet potato remedy to yourself.  Senekot S, Colace, Miralax, stool softener, liquid poop juice, in addition to one’s daily fiber intake, was necessary to finally take a shit after five days!  Lastly, God gave you two ears and one mouth, take heed.  Enough said.

You really rocked the pink shoes,

Xina, Warrior Juice Princess

            Looking beyond cancer, I observe the beauty that continues to blossom; it is a delightful site.  Vanessa Raanes is an astonishing woman!  She made the most delicious dinner of lasagna, salad, and bread for my husband and children.  She is one of my biggest cheerleaders who naturally will incite smiles and belly laughs.  Vanessa, I love you sista’.  Leslie Brittell is an authentic and loving woman.  She sends me packages filled with handcrafted jewelry – my good-luck earring supplier.  We share a friendship that will forever remain a cornerstone of my foundation.  I love ya sista’ from another mister.  I am a fortunate woman!  To everyone, please know that each word of support on the phone, text message, blog comment, email, voice message, and note is appreciated; your words lift me up and allow me to remain hopeful.  Many thanks for loving and caring about me.  Today, I am hopeful.