ok…I might as well get this right out there.
My hair is gone.
It was literally falling out in clumps and I was beginning to look like the poor dog with the mange in the movie “Steel Magnolias”
So my sweet Christine hair dresser, grabbed her clippers and came right over to my home and cut it off.
I call that defensive Chemo.
I was not shocked when I looked in the mirror and I did not cry, I was thankful to have it gone.
Ladies!!!!! Just so you know, it is liberating not to have to comb your hair AND washing it is a piece of cake. Just saying.
Further to my journey…I said I would keep you informed.
So on my second Chemo treatment….I was back in the Cancer Center and I am paying more attention to what was going on around me.
Remember I told you I have to have 4 different Chemos on the first day of each treatment.
This means the nurse changes each bag on my IV carrousel when it runs out.
I noticed when one of my bags run out of fluid (poison)…a little buzzer type thing starts to sound.
AND a little blue light flashes at the top of my IV stand.
You know where this is going don’t you?
So as the blue light is flashing and buzzing….I ask the nurses what prize, bonus or special am I getting.
You know, like the blue light special at K-Mart.
And the cancer patients sitting around me…laugh and smile….and they all chime in with… where is their prize?
I know, it is silly but if it brings a smile to anyone of these dear sweet cancer patients…then I am happy too.
Another way that makes the nurses and patients smile is when I don my red wig to get my treatment.
Each time I enter the Cancer treatment center, I receive one of those little paper bracelets with my name and birthdate.
And before a nurse will give me ANYTHING…she asks my name and my birthdate….Plus she looks at my wristband.
Of course we know why that is and it is their way of knowing who they are giving what to…. and that is a good thing.
So after giving my name and birthdate for the umpteenth time one day….I decided to say something different.
‘Name and Birthdate” says the nurse.
“Ann Margaret, age 29” says I.
The nurse looked at me and smiled.
“That is not what your bracelet says.” she replies sweetly.
“Then it says Jill St. John!” I quip.
The nurse shook her head and said…“no, it doesn’t say that either.” as she is holding my hand.
Then she surprised me by saying….“IF it doesn’t say Ann Margaret and it doesn’t say Jill St. John, what other name might be on your wristband?”
I looked at her and with a loud sigh, exaggerated my begrudged acknowledgement of my name.
I said…“Then it probably says Kari Rogers-Miller”
The nurse flashed me a great big smile and said…“you are right, but we know who you really are.”
And again more smiles and laughter around the room.
Let me just take this moment to tell you that these nurses are the most wonderful and patient people on the planet.
I adore them and when this is over, I will NEVER forget their kindness.
Today, I am exhausted, tire very easily but otherwise feeling ok….but tomorrow is the beginning of 3 days of Chemo Drip.
Those three days of Chemo really knock me around a bit.
Imagine you have the flu and are nauseous like a pregnancy nausea….And you just got off the tilt-a-whirl.
And that feeling lasts for about 8 days.
Then on about the 9th day, I begin to come out of the stupor…not completely, but enough to feel like I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
Of course the light at the end of the tunnel is not relief, but another round of Chemo.
The good news is the day before the start of the Chemo…I ALMOST feel normal.
And so it goes.
One of my readers said she wanted to know about each step of my journey so she would know how to “help” someone.
I am so fortunate because the Captain has been my “fetch and carry” and one of my twins has been helping.
Many people battle cancer by themselves and I marvel at how they manage.
I have to make myself eat…food does not interest me, nor does liquids.
I have had to have fluids administered through my port when I get dehydrated.
I have had my son hold a spoon in front of me, begging me to take one more bite…or one sip of water.
(talk about going full circle)
Little Jesse James stays close to me.
My daughter texts me daily inquiring what I had to eat and how many spoons did I eat.
I lost 9 pounds in 7 days.
Many days, I do not want to talk…but my friends know they can text me or call and leave a message and if I feel like responding I will and if I don’t…I won’t and they are okay with that.
I do love reading those texts and cards and letters and emails.
It helps me to know….my friends care and I am not forgotten.
Sometimes a message may say…just thinking of you today…. and that is enough for me.
But my dear readers….the up side is I have God holding my hand and I am encouraged to eat or drink knowing that in the end…His Will will be done.
I recite the 23rd Psalm almost hourly…and studying the Word of God brings me peace.
The verse, “‘yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For thou art with me”. gives me such comfort.
Thank you for your cards and your encouragement.
I love all of you.
You are in my thoughts and prayers and never more so than the end of last week when I flew to Tampa with my daughter to see her son (my oldest grandson) get his white coat and say the Hypocratic Oath as a new medical student at USF Moransi Select Medical Program. Thanks for letting us share in this journey with you.
Carol Smith says
Hi Kari, I am an avid follower of your blog and am so sorry you have to endure this chemo. Never having cancer I only can relate to your journey because my husband had stage 4 colon cancer 19 years ago and I was with him through it all. I want to encourage you and tell you, he is a CANCER SURVIVOR and with your humor and faith and support system I know you will be too. I will lift you up in my prayers and wish you sunny days ahead. GOD bless you. ~ carol
Linda Cunha says
My dear sweet friend,
The postings of your infusion center brings back so many memories. I remember my infusion center as being so
eerily quiet (so many poor souls completely overwhelmed). As strange as this might seem, I always felt a sense of calm walking into the infusion center, time to be strong and fight cancer and as you have said and as I truly believe, God is holding our hands so we need not fear. I have not had infusions since May because of concerning side effects but my last PET scan a few weeks ago was clear so my burden with this devasting disease has been eased somewhat.
Kari, I know how hard it is right now for you but it eases my mind that you have such a strong belief in God. I believe God is your anchor to hold on to, (along with your Captain and family). Each day you get through, is one more day closer to closing this chapter of your life. As God is holding both our hands, I am right there holding your hand too.
Love and thoughts always,
I love your optimism! I pray for you daily Kari and you are always in my thoughts! The good thing about wigs is that you can get different ones and be someone different all the time! Love you and am thinking of you sweet friend! Big hugs to you!!! Keep hanging in there…you are an inspiration to us all!
Gary and Beverly Jones says
I read an article this week about a high end model with a syndrome that caused her to lose all her hair. Right on the catwalk, she removed her long flowing wig! She, too, wanted to let others know that hair is not what defines us…the heart does. I thought you might like to look her up and tell those nurses you have a new name 🙂 We are so grateful to walk this journey with you, sweet Kari, and know you are loved and prayed for often! Thank you for sharing the ups and downs…you’re amazing…but, we all knew that before this began! Hugs…Beve
Dear Kari, I will have you in my prayers, so courageous of you to share your journey in real time!
I’m so sorry that your flaming red locks have temporarily been lost but they only served as a frame for your wonderful smile and your smile and cheery personality (when you feel strong enough) must be a real tonic to the others in the treatment room. I’m continually amazed by your strength and send you my love and warmest hugs from across the pond. Stay strong honey. xx
the Painted Apron says
Oh Kari, you are the bravest person!! And the fact that you have your sense of humor raising everyone’s spirit is just incredible! I know you are helping so many others with your true and honest story…I think and pray for you constantly as you endure this journey, I am so happy you have your husband and family helping and supporting you…Much love,
Linda Spencer says
Keeping you daily in prayer. Your faith is strong and I know the Lord has His arms around you. Your posts bring tears….but in the midst of what you write, the “joy you have in the Lord” comes through. Linda
P J NEWMAN says
I’m praying daily for your strength and continued courage through your faith. . I think your spiritual gift is you humor! What a blessing you must be to your chemo buddies.! We miss you.
Everyday Living says
Kari, you are one amazing grace-filled special lady. I love your humor in the midst of pain. Your grace and courage are a blessing to me. You are always in my prayers and thoughts. Love you sweet friend ❤️ To God be the glory!
Tammy in Albuquerque says
Kari, you’re in my prayers everyday. Even though we’ve never met, I still think of you as my sweet friend. You’re handling this with such grace. You’re an inspiration to everyone! HUGS~