A lot has happened since my last blog post. First, let me start with some fabulous news. We found a house right on the beach in the Fort Morgan area of Gulf Shores, Alabama and we have a contract on it. We close in two weeks and I am beside myself silly with excitement! It is the perfect house for us with plenty of space and a perfect art studio for me. It’s a second tier beach house perched on top of some dunes and has amazing views! We are so grateful that the other houses we made offers on did not work out and that this one was made available to us as soon as it went on the market. As a matter of fact, we were the first ones to see it and I knew right away when I walked in the front door that it was the one! When Kevin saw it his only question to me was “is this a place where you can heal?” and of course I answered with a resounding "YES!” He then said he would buy it for me because my healing was the most important thing for him. He is a really good guy, my best friend and I am so thrilled that we have found our dream home! It was meant to be.
Now the latest about how I am doing. Let me start by saying this cancer stuff is a full time job and I have no idea how someone could be going through treatment and be working at the same time. I especially have great respect for those women who have little children to take care of while going through this.
It is a lot of work taking care of yourself while on chemo. Eating all the right foods, keeping everything extra clean, staying active and healthy dominates your life. From the time I wake up until the time I go to bed, I am busy doing something to help aid in my recovery. Mind you, some of this includes making ample time to just sit and meditate on how awesome life is, which I have found to be probably the most important thing that I can do to aid in my healing.
So how am I doing? I feel great! I'm full of energy and I feel so alive! The unfortunate thing is I'm having to deal with the side effects of the chemo. If it weren't for those nasty things I would have a hard time believing that I was going through treatment.
Last Friday I woke up with a really sore throat and it felt even worse the following day. It hurt and looked like strep throat does. When you're on chemo your immune system breaks down so you have to be extra careful and try to avoid at all costs being around people who may be sick. I thought I had done that but to be sure I wasn’t coming down with something we canceled our dinner plans that evening (it is highly recommended that chemo patients avoid going out to eat, and if they do to absolutely avoid uncooked foods). My body felt great, I was full of energy and didn't feel at all as if I was getting sick. So I went back through all of my many piles of info and found out that sore throats are a common side effect. I gargled diligently with raw apple cider vinegar and by Sunday morning the sore throat was gone.
“OK”, I thought, I can deal with the dry mouth and the sore throat; so far these things are all manageable. Then I was blessed with another side effect, this one not fun at all! My taste buds vanished! Everything I put in my mouth tasted like vinegar. It was awful! That started on Sunday and lasted through yesterday (Wednesday). Magically they came back and I can now taste food again (yay!).
But, as I was blessed with my the return of my taste buds, the inevitable showed up…hair loss!! Yesterday my hair started falling out, not in big clumps (which is why I'm so glad I cut my hair), but in little strands, a few at a time, pretty consistently throughout the day. I was so afraid to shower and wash my hair this morning not knowing what to expect, but I did it anyway and thankfully it is still coming out only a few pieces at a time. It’s an easier transition this way, a little bit here and a little there isn't as drastic as huge clumps. (Shoot...I was really liking my new hairdo!)
Of course I have spent some ample time preparing for this “inevitable” side effect and I’m going to share with you some of my potentially new looks. I plan to make the most out of my upcoming baldness and become a master of disguise! Got to have fun with it, right?
I am learning a lot about nutrition and how our gut plays a huge role in our health. I will share some of this info with you in future posts. It is estimated that about 10% of cancers could be avoided through nutrition alone and that estimation goes up when you include lifestyle changes as well. I intend to do my research, experiment with my findings and share my thoughts with you.
I want to let you all know how much I appreciate all of the prayers and amazing words of kindness and encouragement that have been extended me. I am so fortunate to know so many incredible people!
Love you all!