Thursday, December 16, 2004
It's a Joke, Right?
It seems like eons ago I was in chemotherapy. The reality is I just finished six weeks ago. I tried to prepare myself for all the side effects and for the most part I was as prepared as anyone could be. When I was nearly half way through and preparing to switch to Taxol, several other patients told me I would prefer Taxol to the A/C. I wouldn't have as much nausea, but I would have other side effects, one being that any remaining hair like eyelashes and eyebrows would be lost during the treatment. I remember waiting and watching and noticing how thin they were getting. By the last Taxol treatment, I was ecstatic that I still had most of eyebrows and eyelashes. Who knew that six weeks later as the hair on my head was growing back in, I would be losing the brows and the lashes? I'm down to about 4 lashes and probably 4 brow hairs on each side, but that could be gone at this point also. Funny thing is that there is some new growth, but it just happens to be the part that I normally pluck (that nice patch BETWEEN the brows) . It's a joke, right? Who needs to pluck when there are NO eyebrows!

On another note, I was concerned enough about the swelling and my "Pecs of Steel" yesterday that I called in to the doctor. He was nice enough to come in just to see me and he assured me it was a case of things getting worse before they get better. My body is adjusting to so much. As long it doesn't get any worse, we are still on track to begin tissue expansion on January 10th. For now, I am to wear a sports bra for gentle compression. I was right to be concerned; however, if the swelling was accompanied by redness, heat, or a fever, then I really should be concerned. Swelling alone is a common side effect. To be on the safe side we are also doing one round of an antibiotic. This will stop any infection that may be starting up in there.

Well, back to my busy day of TV, crossword puzzles, and plucking. Recovery is tough work.

Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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