So, I'm going to divide my 3month post-chemo update in parts. I will start by saying that I am feeling MUCH better. On a weekly basis I realize that I am doing things that I wasn't able to do before. I catch myself picking up my daughter and holding her upside down (as she requests) and being grateful, because I remember not being able to even hold her in my lap just months ago. I still get tired, and nap on the days that I can. My taste buds and appetite are not back yet, although I think I am able to taste a little more each month. I initially thought that I should take advantage of the lack of taste buds and focus on healthy foods, but eating a salad is like trying to eat cardboard, so I've had to improvise. Tomato-based sauces taste good, so Mexican and Italian foods are my favorite. My latest obsession is green smoothies! The best recipe I have found so far is with spinach, pineapple, banana, and a little bit of lemon. It is sweet enough that even my daughter and husband will drink it, which is a major plus.
What else is new? Well, my daughter is now TWO years old! Every day she looks a little less like a baby and more like a little girl. She continuously tells us she is a "big gurl" and loves petting my "kitty cat hair." Oh yes, I have hair!!!! It has been growing so fast! I have to admit that I checked out my hair very often at first, I feel like I look more like myself as the hair comes in (and the prednisone swollen-ness has gone down). Inspired by a young lady from my high school who is having to deal with this stupid cancer too early, here's a compilation of the different looks I've sported in the last couple of months (latest pictures are the 2 corner ones in the bottom row).
Finally, I have started work! I am going part time for now, on a phased return to work schedule. It is close to 4 hours a day for 2 weeks, then 6 hours a day for 2 weeks, then 8 hours a day. I was VERY anxious about returning to work. The anxiety was partly fueled by the "what if it comes back" questions that I try very hard to keep at bay, but they do come up every once in a while... I am still experiencing the chemo brain haziness, which makes me forget names, say the wrong words, or take longer than I otherwise would have at easy math problems. But even that is slowly getting better. After having to deal with lots of paperwork between my general doctor, my disability insurance, and my work's medical team, my choices were either start last friday for a couple of hours or have to wait a week or 2 until the whole process was repeated. I decided to go into work for 2 hours before spending an hour driving up to UCLA. It was a 20 minute appointment to get the port flushed and say to my favorite chemo nurses, then 2 hours on the drive back home. But, it was a great day because I was starting to get back a little bit of normalcy.
Before logging off, I want to say thanks for all the good thoughts and prayers that you have made in my cousin Coral's name. She is still fighting, and we continue to celebrate the little victories until she wakes up.