Ive said here before how much of an education this process has been for Jason and myself. And while every person who gets cancer has a completely different story, here are some interesting things Ive learned so far:

-Women my age (30-39) have .43% chance of getting breast cancer. Which means 1 out of 232 women will get breast cancer in that age range (according to the American Cancer Society research in 2005-2007 and so much has changed in the world of breast cancer since then). So ladies! Do your monthly check! It doesn’t start when your 40 like we all think.

make-up.

-My make-up routine has completely changed. I have to use everything disposable. So my make up brushes are cleaned and put away until after chemo is over. Instead I have make up sponges I use once then throw away. Mascara wands, use once, throw away. Fancy eyeshadow brushes shaped Q-tips, use once, throw away. If I use eye liner (which I dont currently) every time I use it I have to spray it with alcohol. I am not a germ person, so being more away of where germs are is very new to me. I got all new make-up, thanks to a class the American Cancer Society gave at the cancer center called ‘Look Good, Feel Good’. It was hard for me to throw out my old one, hate wasting things but apparently its crawling with germs. Mom and I bought some fake eyelashes just in case I loose my eyelashes (my PA has high hopes to them holding in there but the rest of my body hair, yep probably going to loose it) but nope! The glue from them isnt good for my eyelid skin – good to know!

-In keeping with the germ theme, which is still hard for me to really grasp, I wash my hands a lot more often than I did before. Of course after going to the bathroom, but after touching pretty much anything. Thankfully, I have lotion on every level of my house so I can keep my hands from drying out. Just part of my routine, wash and lotion. They keep saying my skin will get really dry, so far its been nicer than ever rather than dry. Maybe the more drugs I get this will become true. I also have to stay away from people who have colds or young children. I love holding babies, but none for me till after chemo is after. But my doctor is fine with me being around them, just wash my hands afterwards. And not that I regular get pedis, but Im not allowed to get one during chemo. Knowing this, Kari and I got pedis on Good Friday before everything started. You know, to the theme of washing and feet.

-Oliver’s litter box – I cant clean it (darn). My mom has kindly taken care of this chore, but Jason has to take this on now that she is gone for a month. This is the only chore I get of doing though so I dont feel too bad Jason has to do it now. Maybe Oliver will like him more.

-Getting my chemo drugs – I really feel nothing at all. I thought I would feel something going through my body, but really, after the plug the IV into my port, nothing! I just sit back in my comfy chemo chair with my warm socks and blankets and settle in with music or something on Netflix or a book. Chemo was something I was pretty fearful at the start of all this, but the actual getting chemo has been pretty painless. They even offer me food and drink when I am there. Its nice they make you want to enjoy your time there as much as possible (cause the aftermath is terrible).

sweet cap

-There is amazing organization called Good Wishes that gives cancer patients free, beautiful scarves. They mailed me this super cute scarve and everyone there signed a very kind cared telling me they are rooting for me. These people never once asked for money or know me. Its the kindest of strangers that make this journey so much easier.

-Everyone’s side effects are different, but I have have a few I didnt know about might happen. First one is that I broken out like crazy. Its mostly on my cheat and back and a little more than usual on my face. At first Jason worried my break out on my chest was a rash but thankfully it was not. Excellent excuse to wear my many scarves sweet friends have given me. Another one is I have to remember to eat and go to the bathroom. Meaning, I dont have the usually urge to go the bathroom, its just been a few hours Im like, well I better go before I start leaking (not really) or something. And eating, once I start eating I can eat, but I dont feel that hungry feeling or even a overly full feeling. But sometimes there is a sight feeling of those, I take the cue – to ether eat or stop eating. And I go with whatever sounds good, which Im not sure how long I can keep that diet up and keep from gaining weight (which they did say would probably happen).

-Food wise, I need to eat things hot that are to be hot and cold foods cold. So really in my regular diet the only thing I had to cut that I ate with any frequency was over easy eggs. So far so good on craving one of those, but once chemo is over, that will be the first thing I will be getting at celebration brunch for sure. No real strike diets just for chemo like a lot of people thing. There are some books out there that talk about eating healthier, but they are mandatory. My biggest hurdle is simply just wanting to eat. During the bad week last week, I ate very tiny meals. It will probably work out that I eat smaller meals 4-6 times a day rather than 3 large meals. Again, as chemo goes on this will change, taste buds have changed but nothing crazy yet. I have hot sauce ready for when they do!

Those are just some things I didnt know about cancer before this, so I thought I would share with you all. Oh and update from yesterday: My biggest worried was having to take a Benadryl induced nap. The chemo nurse yesterday said I didnt have to take it if I didnt want to. I of course then opted not to take it and I felt good for the rest of the day. Such a great time seeing all the students and volunteers, who gave me such sweet hugs. Love feeling so great and being able to catch up with people. And so many of you have told me you are praying for me and Jason, which means so much to us. We couldnt keep moving forward without such support.

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