Thursday, October 16, 2008

Chemo 1, Day 14

Hi ho! Hi Ho! It’s home from work Renee goes!

I am sooooo tired, but such a good tired. I had the pleasure of going to work today and being among people. While I so enjoy my two cats, and definitely appreciate the big one’s body warmth as he lays curled up on my lap, it was time to come back among the living. Not that my cats are dead, mind you.

I even went topless at work. Get your mind outta the gutter! I bought a really cute camel-colored felt Nine West hat last night and wore it to work today with a short halo wig. Having just a little bit of hair really helps to alleviate the "cancer patient" look.

After lunch, the hat was too warm, so I took off the halo and added a matching headband to cover the bald sides. Didn’t think anyone would notice, but “DH” did (not a bad thing). I felt very comfortable just to take both off and go au natural and it was well received. Now, if the little bit of hair I do have would stay, I’d be very happy. Will have to wait to see what happens when it all falls out. I hope I am still comfortable to go bare, but it is a colder time of the year, so something has to go up there.

Taste buds are still off kilter, but getting better. I can now identify sweet and salty. Throw in some starch, though, and it kills them. This body stuff fascinates me. My energy level is up (tho tired after a full work day) and most of the side effects from the neutropenia are gone. Ahhhh, the 3rd week of chemo is suppose to be good and it is. The day after the next treatment, which is Oct 23, I will receive Neulasta. This should give me a good 2nd week.

Last week, I put in a request for a privacy screen for one of the sofas in the employee break room. My hope was that when I needed a rest, I could take a 15 minute nap, thus avoiding having to go home early because of fatigue. I was surprised to see that it was approved and our facilities department actually created one out of PVC pipe and a shower curtain! Pretty ingenious of them. And it didn't require a note from the doctor or completing a form in triplicate. They just did it (at least I think that's what happened behind the scenes).

As my supervisor, DH, pointed out, tho, most people were wondering what it was and peeking behind it. Hmmm, maybe it wouldn’t be so private. I knew the noise would still be there in the break room, but I had planned on taking ear plugs or using my iPod to drown it out. Whatever it would take to get through this and maintain my job. I was so pleased to have it!

Among many great supporters at work, I am fortunate to have another breast cancer survivor, “TB”. From day one when she learned that I had breast cancer, she has been a wealth of information and a super encourager. Poor thing, every time I’m around her, I leave crying. Not because she makes me sad, but because I am blown away at her continued support. Well, she topped it today. She found an unused office in her department, moved in some padded cushioned benches and handed me the key – saying “this is your area while you are going through chemo – decorate it, bring in whatever you need to have a quiet rest area. It’s yours”. Do I need to say what I did next? Nope. You know I cried.

Also, as I was walking back to my office, another employee that I don’t know all that well stopped me to say that she has been praying for me. I am so amazed at the support of my colleagues. I am so blessed!


  1. Kathy, I'm glad you're feeling better. And I'm loving your request for a privacy screen!! TB sounds like an angel on earth! Your coworkers sound like they are wonderful!

    I got my first Neulasta shot last week. In theory, they like to give it within 1-2 days after chemo because they want it working to boost WBC during the time before your next fusion session. You will have some bone pain (mine centered at the top of the back right below my shoulders). It lasts for 4-5 days and frankly, mine came with a bad headache. But then, I always get a headache from everything so you might be different. Toes and fingers crossed that you don't get the headache!

    I'm so very glad you posted on my blog. I searched and searched on blogspot looking for folks in the same situation as me and couldn't find anyone. Could've been that medication impairment :) Anyway, many thanks to you!

    Enjoy your day!

  2. Renee,

    What awesome individuals you work with! The compassion and caring that they have all showed thus far is so wonderful to hear about. I cried too. I am so happy to hear that you are feeling better and able to go to work for some "normal" activity.

    Take care my friend and know that you are forever in my prayers.

    Love you GF!

  3. Renee,

    Sounds like you work with such a nice bunch of people. And the women that helped with giving the "office" for you to rest in, is amazing! Also, sounds like you have a lot of support from other people fighting cancer. Sure that's very encouraging!

    I'm sure glad you're feeling somewhat better and back to work. And I will be praying for your next chemo treatment!

    Love you Renee',

  4. Renee,
    You and I have had very similar experiences with work (although I'm now seven months done with chemo). I always find it amazing how many angels there are. I hope you continue feeling good and loved and hopeful.
    Take care always,