Thursday, December 5, 2013

Port's Out, Hair's Cut, And Other Some Other Stuff

I haven't had too much to update on lately, so I'll throw a handful of updates in this post!

Port Removal
I had my port removed yesterday!  It seemed like a symbolic end to all this, so it was a great day!


My surgeon originally told me I would not be under full anesthesia - just a local anesthetic with light sedation.  I was quite nervous about this… being awake during the procedure… listening to everything that's going on.  I was worried about hearing gross slurping noises as the port was pulled from my body.  Ick.  Thankfully my surgeon changed her mind (I didn't ask why - didn't want her to change her mind back!) and I ended up under full anesthetic and was sound asleep for the removal!

Everything went very well.  It was a quick procedure and I was home in just a few hours. The only issue was getting the IV placed.  The poor nurse had to try three times (in three different locations) before finally getting a vein.  She was able to place it in the top of my right hand, which was not pleasant.  The anesthesia going into the IV in my hand burned really bad, but I was sound asleep in seconds so no big deal :)  I'm left with a pretty ugly bruise on my hand (it's actually worse than this picture shows, but I bruise really easily, so I'm not surprised!)


I was pretty sore at the incision site yesterday.  I took plenty of pain meds and slept all day yesterday - today I feel good!  It's a tiny bit sore still, but really not bad.  This is what it looks like now (I can take those steri-strips off in a few days):


They went through the same incision as when they placed the port, so I'll just have one scar on my chest.  I choose to think of it as a battle scar.

Hair Update
Today I had the big hair appointment!  If you recall this post, I unintentionally threw myself a little pity party about being partly bald.  I didn't mean to sound like a Debbie Downer, but I was frustrated!  I was super duper close to shaving my head and starting from scratch, but luckily I was talked out of doing that!  My second choice was to get a short pixie cut, but after meeting my stylist today, she said my hair was too thin for a pixie to look good.  So after all that, she did a tiny little trim to shape it up a little bit and colored it a nice dark auburn color (which I love!).  

The dark color seemed to help make my hair look a little fuller, which was promising.  My stylist also recommended this stuff:

Click here for more info and to watch a video.
I was skeptical, but decided to give it a try and it actually works pretty well!  It's like a powder you can put onto the thin spots, but it's actually little fibers that stand up and fill in with your existing hair.  It's not something I'll use every day, but for those days I don't want to wear a hat, I think it looks pretty decent - it'll do for now!  Here are some before a after pictures (the "after" pics are with Toppik in my hair:

Before
After
Before
After
(After) You can see it's still a little thin up front, but I wore a hat most of the day after my cut,
 so that made it look a little worse than it did earlier.  I'm not sure why I look so angry in this picture, haha!
(After) I'm really impressed with the back!  My stylist shaped it
up a little bit and with a touch of Toppik, it looks pretty good!

Radiation Side Effects
My last radiation treatment was 9 days ago and up until a couple of days ago I had a really sore throat as a side effect.  Radiation was given to my left side of my neck, and that side of my throat was really sore for about a week.  It felt really raw, it's hard to explain… it was painful to swallow and even to yawn and my voice was a little scratchy for awhile.  Luckily that's all gone now and I just have a tiny bit of a sore throat as a result of being intubated during yesterday's surgery.

The fatigue as a result of radiation is mostly at bay.  Sleeping all day yesterday after surgery helped I think :)  I feel a little tired today, but nothing like the fatigue I felt last week.

Mystery Ailment
So I'm dealing with a mystery ailment that my oncologists can't figure out.  About four weeks after my last chemo treatment, the outside of my right thigh began itching really bad.  I figured it was just from dry skin (chemo is horrible to your skin), so I slathered it with lotion and didn't think much of it.  A week or so went by and it only got worse.  Then it started on the left leg.  Then it started on my stomach.  I tried really, really hard not to scratch it, but I couldn't help myself.  Josh said he even caught me scratching in my sleep.  It's an itch that can't seem to be satisfied.  I've scratched so hard I've bled and given myself bruises.  Here's what my right thigh looks like today (sorry it's kind of gross):


The oncology nurses had me try Benadryl (both oral and topical), Cortizone, ice packs, and Zyrtec (allergy medicine).  Nothing helped and the nurses and my doctor are stumped.  The have just referred me to see a dermatologist to try to figure it out.  I will call them tomorrow morning to set up an appointment.  I'm on an oral steroid now to help with the itching, which is helping some, but not completely.  Will keep you updated on that!


I think that's about it for now!  We're ONE week away from our Florida vacation and we're SO excited!  Until next time!

Love,
Melissa

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