Yesterday I got a short new haircut, to prepare for chemotherapy, and as a “phase 1” in order to not have bald be such a shock in 2-3 weeks.
So I took a couple of selfies, or self-portraits … I prefer that term, with my iPhone, of course. So, here you go, see them below.
Chemotherapy starts this week on Friday. I’m leaving for Victoria this morning. I’ll meet with my lovely (she really is lovely) oncologist on Wednesday (oops, that’s today!) and also with the oncology nurse, who will give me chemo education.
Apparently I will also learn how to give myself a shot in between treatments, to boost white blood cell count. That is not happening. Me giving me a shot?
Me, give myself a needle?
I’ll be calling my doctor, or a walk-in clinic, or the nursing centre near home, or even a stranger! (kidding) … poking myself with a needle between every chemotherapy treatment is part of the process, apparently.
They trash your system, kill off all the cancer cells with chemotherapy … and kill your good cells in the process, so you have to give a needle with some drug (I’ll know the right terms and drugs for the next blog post) that works to fight and boost your white blood cell count back up again before they … do it all over again, chemo.
This all sounds pretty awful to me, and I still can’t believe it’s happening to me.
But, “lymphatic space invasion” … if they got the right chart and pathology report on me (are they sure that they have the right person? (Brenda Johima has cancer, right? Not Suzie or Joanie or BooBoo or Jim?) … anyway, lymphatic space invasion with a high grade 3/3 cancer is nothing to mess with.
Lymphatic space invasion needs a systemic drug approach to tackle any possible remaining cancer cells in the body that may have traveled via bloodstream or lymphatic system.
(unless I had at least $10,000 minimum for starters, I could get treated in Mexico without chemotherapy. that’s another story, another blog post)
My buddy Teddy can’t be by my side during treatments, sadly. There’s something wrong with our medical system. Our pets are family. I’d love to have him at my side during chemo.
But … focus on gratitude, Brenda. (she talks to herself) I’m grateful! … for the BC Medical care that I DO have, and the experts who will oversee my care, recovery and cure!
I’ll miss the comfort that Teddy gives me for a few days, and the laughs and fun!
But I’m grateful! I’m grateful that I own such a lovely and smart, and entertaining and happy, joyful, silly, beautiful, handsome, gorgeous dog! Truly I am grateful for Teddy, every single day.
Next, I really hope I’m feeling well after my 1st chemo session, as it’s a 3-4 hour drive back home. I’m getting picked up to be driven home, so at least Teddy will be in the car for the car ride back home.
I’m grateful I have someone to pick me up and drive me home.
I look kind of healthy in these photos. I wonder if they’ve made a mistake and have the wrong person? I wish it were true.
There’s so much to be grateful for, even through all of this incredibly scary stuff.
I have a roof over my head, on an Island surrounded by nature and paradise. I’ve got healthy food in my belly each and every day.
I’m healthy. Yes, I AM healthy … with a little blip, a glitch of cancer thrown in my way at the moment.
I’m grateful for being loaded with creative talents and creativity that buzzes in my brain 24/7 … and … I’m super grateful! … for all the kind people, mostly strangers, and a few long time friends, who have come forward to pray, think good thoughts, and send me positive vibes, daily, to get through this.
Love can be felt through cyberspace. Never underestimate the difference you may make in somebody’s life.
Go now, spread some love, take an action that will help somebody. You’ll never regret it.
Be a love boomerang. It will come back to you. Send it out there.
Oh my goodness, all this spewing of words from a new haircut? I love the creative process.
And now I’m off, today, to chemotherapy and more, at the BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver Island Centre.