Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Hair

(After an age of trying to upload/download the images I want, you'll have to google the images yourself!)

'Your hair WILL fall out'

and dammit they are right. Unlike my dear twin brother who managed to keep a full head of hair with his chemo, mine is falling out by the handful. Well not exactly by the handful but certainly if you touch it, it comes away in dozens, every time.

But nobody said that it hurt while it was doing it! It's fine normally because I don't touch my head much but my scalp feels very bruised. As a teenager I had long hair and if I wore it up for any length of time and then let it down there was a real ache to my scalp and it feels like that now.

Of course I had been warned about my hair falling, and I am becoming accustomed to it, but I didn't realise that I actually think my bald head is a bit creepy. My husband's, my son's are not a problem at all, I can gaze fondly at them, but mine ................................

Then I saw an article about Henna Crowns (Google opportunity). Now that looks like a plan. Then people would look curiously at my head instead of that, head on the side, poor you, look.

Caroline is sending the henna, now I just need to convince Jackie that she can do this.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

I wish things were less vague

Every single question about the side effects of chemo is met with a 'maybe', 'sometimes', 'not always' occasionally a 'probably'.

All the medical contacts to do with my cancer and chemo have changed the hair advice to 'it WILL fall out' with direct eye contact. Back to the 'maybe' for when that might be though.

Today is day 8 of this three week cycle and no sign of fallout yet although 'maybe' more floppy........

Everyone is examining my head to see if I still have any.

So today I have made an appointment at the hairdressers.

Him Outdoors is incredulous but I feel very happy.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Kindness

Some of the lovely things to come out of all this cancer malarkey are the kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity shown by people.

It is heartwarming, uplifting and I thank you deeply.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Balinese sunset

Glorious day today. Sat out on the balcony in the sun enjoying the lovely view, the birds singing, bees buzzing.
 
Trouble with being on the side of a valley is that sound rises. Man with strimmer starts in the bottom of the valley. Soon to be joined by leaf blower man in one of the houses on the other side. And then another strimmer man joins his friend. Then bonfire man starts his fire........... Can't really complain because HO did a lot of destruction followed by burning  of cut stuff yesterday afternoon but it reminded me of something.
 
Years ago we had a holiday in Bali and one of the things to do was to go to see the sunsets which were a feature of the place. We got ourselves to a bar on the beach, cold beer in hand we settled back to watch this view.
 

What the picture doesn't reveal is that the sun actually sinks into a layer of smog before it hits the sea. The world and his wife was also having the same idea so we were surrounded. There was the sort of music playing reminiscent of a car passing with thumping beat and nothing else. And then the salesmen started.

Would madame like a copy watch? How about today's newspaper? Sunglasses? Icecream? Snacks? Cigarette lighter? Massage? Hat? endless people that went down the beach and then, ever hopeful, back again to try again.

It was hilarious but not quite what we had in mind.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Had me in stitches

The two nurses have between them been every day to give an injection and rebandage as required but as it comes nearer the time to take out the stitches they became a bit doubtful. Each hoping that the other one would do it. "Very good surgery but I think the doctor should take out the stitches."

OK today I go to the doctor. Lovely young woman. Very kind chat and then gets down to the job.

"Hmmmm............................. hmmmm ........................ let's try the other one. Hmmmm ................"

"I know it's a long time since I did my surgery rotation but this should be easier than this, there don't seem to be any ends............................"

"It's no good, I shall have to ring the surgeon." I can appreciate her reluctance to ring with what seems like such a basic stupid question.

Eventually gets past the dragon on the gate and talks to the great man.....................

Turns out that they are soluble stitches. The prescription for removal of stitches is his mistake.

Smiles all round.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Mirror, mirror on the wall


I've never been one for gazing admiringly at myself in the mirror. The sort of hotels that have walls of mirrors in the bathroom have me scuttling for towels. But having made such a good job of hiding the orange pine on this one I thought it was only fair to have a good look at what me at 60 looked like.

After a moment of 'hmm, not too shabby' I noticed that one of my boobs was catching the light oddly. Feels a bit squidgy lumpy underneath but not what you'd call a lump, just not quite the same as the other one. Well since I'm already seeing nice doctor tomorrow, I'll just mention it.

So 8 weeks later it turns out I have breast cancer that is going to need every sort of therapy. The joys of that are not defined as yet but it looks like it might be ruling the roost for the next few months.

Well, you'll be pleased to know this isn't going to be a breast cancer blog. The wonders and weirdnesses of the French health system may well get a mention but no gory details.

But what I want to say is that I really want you all to go to the doctor's with your lumps and bumps. This has all come about from a clear mammogram in April. Four months later I'm on the breast cancer roller coaster.

If in doubt GO TO THE DOCTOR..................................................and avoid some of this.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Do you rinse?

At dinner on Saturday with French, American, Scot and us English the question of  'Do you rinse' came up.

Coming in on the tail end of the conversation, my first reaction was 'rinse what?'. Last I noticed they had been talking about dentists and the conversation had come, via flossing, to 'do you rinse'? Surely everyone rinses and spits after brushing??

Turns out they had moved on to washing up. Did we rinse our plates after washing them in Fairy Liquid?

Ummmm no. Never have, don't know anyone that does, never even thought about it except the good glasses in really hot water to drain sparkly.

Every other nationality was appalled. Horror crossed their faces. Complete disbelief that anyone could leave the residue of Fairy on their crockery/cutlery.

'Well you've eaten/drunk at ours, have you ever noticed anything soapy?' 'No but you've got a dishwasher.' Well now we have but that is a relatively recent innovation.

I do remember Mum complaining about Aunt Alice (an elderly Aunt when I was young) who always washed up in half an inch of cold greasy water which was a relic of the days when every drop of hot water had to be boiled on the stove. But Mum never rinsed, my mother-in-law never rinsed............................

How about you guys?