Friday, April 10, 2009

Waiting for braids to fall

Hello everyone
Well I am caught up in a bit of a conundrum with regards to my hair. My hair is tied up in corn braids with elastics at the top and at the bottom.  I am of the thought my hair will more than likely all fall out, however am clinging to a tiny strand of hope, because I wore a tight bathing cap during my first chemo. The purpose of this was to decrease the blood flow to the scalp, thus decreasing the amount of the drug that gets "delivered" to those hair follicle cells.  In some ways if this worked at all, it may just complicate matters.
Right now my hair is falling out in clumps, but since they are tied into braids, my hair is all well contained ...on my head.  Somehow this process is reminiscent of my teeth falling out as a child.
First they would be loose, then we would wiggle them then they would be hanging by a thread....then all the stories by my parents about tying my tooth to a car and driving away....
I wonder if perhaps I leave a braid under my pillow if the hair fairy might come and pay our taxes.
Well in some ways I am ready for it all to go, but then clinging to the hope perhaps that SOME of it might be saved, and I might have SOME long hair....
Each braid is hanging on by ..... less hairs that they began holding on with.   My forehead is looking more and more like Ken's.  The braids are hard to sleep on with the elastics up at the tops.  Oh dear abby what shall I DOOO?

I have lost about 10 lbs since all this began, likely the first 5 were the stress of the initial diagnosis, then a few with surgery and a few with chemo.
 Since this is an Estrogen receptor positive cancer, it means that it is grow by estrogen.  The reason for this is that it is an "Endometrial cancer" and endometrial tissue grows during the normal menstrual cycle when the estrogen is the highest. So when endometrial tissue becomes cancerous, as in my case, it grows, and the thing that makes cancer cells different from normal cells is cancer cells do not know when to stop. Normal cells will continue to divide until there are cells next to them, when they come up against other cells, they know to stop reproducing. Cancer cells lack this "knowledge".  Since my cancer is from the endometrium it will grow in the presence of estrogen. The pathologists test the cancer for estrogen receptors, and mine was quite positive for estrogen receptors. So for me it is extremely important to stay away from estrogen. Estrogen is normally produced in the ovaries and I had them removed, so....where else does estrogen come from?
Well that is an important issue here, it is formed in fat cells, which is why this form of cancer is much more common in obese people. It is also much more likely to recur in obese people. 
In the studies I have followed, the BMI (body mass index) of 25 seems to be the cutoff, that they compared.  You can calculate your bmi here.

So for my sake it is going to be incredibly important to maintain as lean a body as possible, to prevent recurrences.
I continue to be flattered by the number of people reading this, and the number of people searching for more info alternative approaches to treating/preventing cancer.  I will try to eat more garlic, more green tea, asparagus, turmuric, tomatoes. I am getting more and more conscious of all the foods that might help. I wonder perhaps if someone can find an article to say that pizza every night not only prevents cancer but it also kills cancer cells better than chemo.
Love and peace to all
Janet Bates

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