Monthly Archives: April 2013

Already Made

Already Made

Well, the wig fooled my students for about four minutes.  After complimenting the color, a girl pointed out that I never usually style my hair, and it looks good styled.  Another girl then asked me if it was real.  The wig apparently looks TOO good.

I’ll let you be the judge:


So, I was very surprisingly made; I really did think I’d fool them.  Or, at the very least, I thought they wouldn’t say anything about it if they suspected something.  BUT these are seventeen-year-olds who stare at me four days a week every week, so I suppose I shouldn’t be that surprised.

Looking back, I’m pretty sure I could have played it off as just being “fresh out of the salon styled”, but I sort of froze, and that gave me away.  When I told the class that yes, this is a wig because I have breast cancer, they were dead silent.  That was incredibly uncomfortable and slightly amusing.  Another girl broke the silence by exclaiming that I was joking because I was smiling, and I couldn’t possibly have cancer and smile about it.  That kicked me back into teacher mode, and I was able to actually facilitate a brief but  good explanation of what exactly I have going on and why I chose to keep it from them until today.  They loosened up and asked some questions, and then we moved on.

After a chance to process the day, I am glad that my students know, and I look forward to the wig jokes.  They asked me to “rock the bald”, but I let them know that I would prefer to keep the distractions to a minimum and that the wig helps me feel more like myself.  Plus, bald is cold, and it’d be unprofessional to teach in a hat.

Speaking of rocking the bald, my stylist was able to give me a fun transition cut so that I wouldn’t have to experience the shock of the shave quite yet:


I didn’t have quite enough hair for cut #7, the most popular cut from my short haircut post, but I think she did a great job.  You should see the faux hawk.  But, you won’t.

April 22nd :: I’ve Always Wanted to be a Redhead

April 22nd :: I’ve Always Wanted to be a Redhead

NOTE:  I meant to post this a couple of days ago and spaced it.  So, here’s what was happening a couple of days ago.  I’ll whip up a nice little post to fill you in on what’s happening today very soon. 


Well, it’s official: I have a receding hairline.  Perhaps one might even call it a frontal bald spot. I’m sorry to announce that the combover is no longer effective.

I can get away with a cute hippy headband tomorrow, and then it’s off with the hair.  I bet it could last maybe another week, but I don’t want to fuss over it anymore.

The wig will have a dress rehearsal tomorrow afternoon around town and my house, and then her official debut will commence at school Wednesday.  We’ll know that she’s a keeper when my students compliment my “new color”.  My stylist is going to cut it like my hair; she’s been cutting my hair for over a year now, so I trust that she’ll make it look really, really freaking synthetic red hair good.

For inspiration, here are three unforgettable redheads:


Ariel is a Disney princess. Obviously, her hair is beautiful. Look how full it is under the sea.




What? You don’t remember Dr. Beverly Crusher???

A Week Off

A Week Off

After last Friday’s second dose of Halaven, I am enjoying a week off.  This officially completes my first round of chemotherapy.  So far, it’s not nearly as horrible as I’d imagined.  (I’ve held off on posting that because I’m afraid my tune may too quickly change, and I don’t want to create some sort of jinx on my easier-than-expected battle.)

As far as long-term side effects go, I am pretty much in the week of truth; it seems like most of the longer-lasting side effects kick in around week three.  Although my nails have so far remained a normal color, and I can still feel my fingers and my toes, I did start losing a little hair last night and more today.  It’s nothing major (knock on wood), and it’s coming out evenly (knock, knock), and I have plenty of hair to lose (knock), but I will need to invest in a sticky roller sort of thing if my locks survive the weekend.

I am grateful to everyone who’s reached out.  I typically forget about the boob when I’m at work, but I am usually reminded the minute I get home and am able to rest.  Not having to worry about dinner has already been a blessing.  Mornings sometimes feel like I had a lot of fun the night before minus the “a lot of fun”.  Not having to worry about a lunch is a huge help.  When I feel a little out  in the unknown on my own, someone sends a card or kind message to remind me that I’m not alone.  Thank you.

(Another longer-lasting side effect of chemo is an incredibly soft heart and a particularly gushy vocabulary.)

Hemoglobin Help

Hemoglobin Help

The only side effects I faced after my first chemo treatment were a headache, fatigue, and a dry throat.  The headache only lasted a couple of days after the treatment, and the fatigue was more than manageable.  When I mentioned these to my nurse, she revealed to me that the headache most likely came not from the chemo but from the anti-nausea medicine.  Yesterday, she gave me a different anti-nausea medicine with my second round of chemo, and I am happy to report that I do not have a headache.  I am tired and a little nauseous, but it’s nothing major.  I can’t remember the last Saturday I spent reading and napping on the couch, so I really can’t complain.

I discovered that my fatigue is due to my low hemoglobin levels or anemia.  An average woman ranges from 12 – 16 g/dL, and I was at 11.8 yesterday.  That doesn’t seem like much, and it’s not at all something to worry about, but it is enough to make me tired.

Hemoglobin is the iron-containing protein in my red blood cells that transfers oxygen from my lungs to other parts of my body.

Here’s an illustration of red blood cells with red Volkswagen Beetles; you can see the hemoglobin because it’s what  makes the red blood cells red.  It’s not what makes the red Beetles red.



Here’s a picture of a bunch of red Power Rangers in a New York City subway.  They all have hemoglobin.  Given their obvious exuberance for red power, we can only assume their hemoglobin levels are just fine.


Power-Rangers Subway

I learned that I need to increase my iron, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin C, and folic acid intake to raise my levels.

CLICK HERE and HERE to see what I plan to eat to help my hemoglobin.

I enjoyed a kale and strawberry smoothie this morning, I had lentil soup for lunch, and I have beef stew on the stove.

Go Team Hemoglobin!