Sunday, March 22, 2009

adversity is a friend to creativity

well the photos may seem odd, but I do have a point.
Most of the past 52 years of my life, I have had long hair. I have to admit I am having some trouble with the concept of loosing all my hair in the next few weeks.  The treatments will last until about mid october and it will be another 3 years after that to regrow my hair.  With my plans to be a rock star, it will seem like forever.
I have devised an experiment I am going to try, which will, if successful, give me hair to use while mine regrows and at the end, hair to give to someone else, and perhaps a technique for others to try.
So what do Phyllis Diller and Bo Derek have in common?  CORN BRAIDS.
Tomorrow, I am going to have my hair done up in corn braids. I will recieve chemo on Wednesday and according to what usually occurs, my hair will fall out 7-14 days after my first infusion. Sondi is going to braid my hair tomorow.
I have ordered a few wig liners from  (a great company that the american cancer association suggested for hats, wigs, breast prosthesis)
Courtney at Vicki Gs is going to check frequently for when the hair is falling out at greatest rate.  We will spray hair with heavy duty hair spray and Courtney will then shave off all my hair.
We will attempt as it is being shaved, to place each piece on the cap (which will be on a mannequin), perhaps in a gel, carefully.
I will then take needle and thread and attempt to stitch the braids onto the cap.
After it is secure, I will be able to wash it.

I will then "theoretically" have a set of corn braids of my own hair, that I can wear under a hat until my hair grow out again. If this works, it might be an affordable means for women with long hair to save it and use it until their hair grows back.
PLUS this would also be a means that once these "wigs" were no longer needed, they could be given to locksforlove
It was quite exciting today to call up Courtney and go over the logistics of this with her, she has dealt with many women in this situation and seemed to think it was a viable concept. She was excited about the idea as well.

One of my other thoughts today is that whilst I may lose all my hair, I will not lose my fitness, unless I allow it.
My heart and lungs are healthy (at least I am pretty sure) and though I love being in Eugene, the hardest part of being there is to see all the people out running. I think I mourn running more than anything. I got a great letter yesterday from a doc, Ken worked with at the university in Eugene who had a friend who had SAME cancer as me and continued exercising throughout chemo and radiation. 
So I have made the decision that I am going to run another marathon at the end of my therapy.
I challenge any on this list to join me at whatever level of distance they are comfortable with. 
It will be my celebration of completing chemo and radiation.  I know it is kind of gutsy to make these kind of goals in public, but I am sure I am good for it. Rough estimate is that the Seattle Marathon is thanks giving weekend.

The other really really important tidbit I wanted to include in this blog is that vaginal bleeding after intercourse is never normal........well except for the first time....
and I doubt that there are many first timers here.
In younger women, post coital bleeding (bleeding after intercourse) is a sign of cervical cancer and NEEDS TO BE CHECKED with a pap test
In women my age and older post coital bleeding is one of many signs of endometrial cancer, and needs to be checked with an Endometrial biopsy.  PERIOD!

I am always happy to answer any questions about this or any other issues in this blog 

love and peace

Janet Bates

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