Tag Archives: Top Post

Chemo Care Packages

21 Sep

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about chemo care packages.  So, over the last few weeks I’ve been pulling a list together.  When this journey is over I want to be able to provide those that I know going through chemo with their own chemo care package.  I won’t purchase everything, of course, but a small gift basket with a few items would be helpful.  Here are some things that I’ve come up with.  I thought some of you might also be interested.  Also, I will update this post if I think of any others.

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Top 10 Reasons to Like Your Bald Head

6 Aug
I’m doing great today and have been for several days.  It is amazing how well the body bounces back.  Tomorrow I will be having my 3rd chemo treatment of taxotere and cytoxan.  I am dreading it as usual.  Since I’ve been bald for several weeks I decided to do a top 10 list of the reasons why I like my bald head.  This may help some of you that have to lose your hair to like it a little more.  I have to say that I haven’t really missed my hair.  I’m strange though.  :o)  I think I just know it will grow back and this is just a part of the process.  Although, Kevan does miss my hair and I’m sure he cannot wait for it to come back.  I am also a little scared of how it might change when it grows back, but I am praying that God blesses me with straight hair since I had wavy/curly hair before and had to straighten it each day. 
Many have asked me if I have lost all of my hair (head hair, eyebrows, body hair, etc).  So, I wanted to give a little update before the top 10.  Before my chemo I was under the impression that it would all fall out at once.  That isn’t the case.  As far as my head hair…it is pretty much all gone except for the annoying patches of hair behind my ears.  See ugly pic below.  lol!

Kevan wants to shave it, but I don’t like the feeling of a razor on my head.  I have not lost my arm hair that I can tell, but have lost about 70% of my leg hair…but the remaining 30% is not growing because I haven’t needed to shave in weeks…usually I shave every couple days.  I’ve also lost about 80% of my “other” body hair.  It would be a great time for me to go to the beach if I was allowed to be in the sun.  ;o)  I am losing eyebrows and eyelashes VERY slowly.  I have most of them still.  I am SO thankful for this.  This was my biggest worry when I found out I would lose my hair.  I am hoping I get through the last 2 treatments with my eyebrows and eye lashes.

Top 10 Reasons to Like Your Bald Head
    • The obvious, you will save money on shampoo, conditioner and other hair products.  You will also save money on coloring, highlighting, haircuts, etc.
    • You save a lot of time not having to do your hair.  It used to take me about 20 minutes to do my hair because I had to blow dry it and then straight iron it.  Now, it takes me about 2 minutes to put my wig or head covering on.
    • Your bathroom counter is a lot less messy.  I don’t need a brush, hair dryer or curling iron.  So, they’ve been put away for now.
    • You have the opportunity to go to a wig store and try on all different kinds of wigs and hair colors.  I learned that red hair with black stripes does not look good on me.  But, it was fun to try it on.  I can see myself with bangs or without, black hair or blonde hair, short or long, pink or blue…..whatever you desire pretty much.  Take pictures so you can remember.  I should’ve taken pictures, but I always feel like the shop owner is too serious.  lol!
    • You can decorate your head.  Just think of the Halloween possibilities!  I will definitely be doing this if I don’t have hair at Halloween.
    • It is the only time you will let someone tape your head.  Yes, my husband decided he was tired of looking at the hairs that had not yet fallen out.  He calls it my 5 o’clock shadow.  He thought tape would work.  So, he grabbed the pet hair tape roller and used it on my head. 
    Here is what the taped look like after a good roll.  Warning – it kinda hurts, but it is pretty funny.
    • When it is raining outside and you’re leaving Wal-mart take your wig off so you don’t get it wet and shove it in your sack.  Then, look back and see the amazement on everyone’s face as they see this bald woman running to her car.  It is pretty funny.  Try it sometime. Also, you make it to the car without wet hair.  :o)
    • It may be the only time in your life that you can check the hair color of “bald” on a form.  I think that is pretty funny too.
    • When you are having a hot flash (which you will get from chemo if you haven’t reached menopause yet) you can remove your wig or head covering to cool off extra fast.  I recommend only doing this at home.  ;o)  People are just too uncomfortable with a woman’s baldness.
    The ultimate reason to like your bald head.
    • The shock on someone’s face when you take off your wig or head covering and reveal your bald head.  I think it is hilarious and it never gets old.  lol!

    Funny story.  When I asked Kevan to take the picture above of my bald head he kept taking them and I kept looking at the result and saying, “I can’t use that one…ewww!”, “No way”, “Haaaaaa!!”.  I didn’t like any of them.  Kevan says, “Now do you see why I don’t like to look at your bald head?”  LOL!!  I guess it doesn’t bother me because I’m not the one that has to look at it.  :o)  Oh well…at least it is temporary.  Both of Kevan’s grandfather’s are bald….so if he loses his hair….I’ll have to look at it all the time and it won’t just be temporary.  ;o)  

      Day 14 – My Bald Head

      10 Jul
      When I woke up today my hair was falling out in HUGE clumps.  I don’t know why, but I thought it would fall out little by little.  Um….no.  It falls out in handfuls.  Here is a picture of a ziploc bag of how much hair just “fell out” during the day today.  It is a GALLON size ziploc bag.  So, we decided.  Today was the day.  I didn’t want to go through this again tomorrow.
      Kevan and I decided to have fun with this.  Kevan’s dad came over with his clippers and we got to work.  I didn’t want it to be a sad time.  I knew it was going to happen, I accepted it and I prayed for God to give me the strength I needed to get through it.  He answered my prayer because we didn’t shed a single tear (Kevan or I).  We laughed all the way through it.
      Here is a before picture.  I normally straighten my hair every day….so this is a really BAD picture of me because I had to let it just dry. Also, I didn’t put any makeup on.  I guess I should’ve, but I didn’t feel like taking the time.  Plus, the shower curtain ism’t doing much for me.
      If I had taken the time to straighten it…there would not have been any hair left.  To give you an idea…..here is a picture of my clean brush.
      This is a picture of ONE brush through.  Just ONE.  CRAZY!  It is pretty gross!
      First thing we did was cut off my ponytails.  This is what we ended up with.  Short haired Jayde.  As you can see…my part is already starting to look bald.
      Here is a side view.
      Then, he shaved the sides.
      Lovely.  Can you tell I’m a girl?
      David….here is the scar in the back of my head that you gave me from the back of the hammer you threw at me….I mean dropped on me…by accident.  I know.  I know.  You knew it would come up….didn’t you?  lol!!
      Wow…I sure didn’t recognize myself in that last picture.  As you can see from below….Kevan wasn’t that great with making a mohawk.  He had to work a little harder.  He said it was my fine hair….I don’t know.
      Side view after we cut off more of the sides.
      The mohawk thing just wasn’t working for me.  My part balded earlier today…so it just didn’t look right.
      So….what did I learn?  I have a REALLY ugly bald head.  LOL!  Lots of scars, bumps, moles.  Eww!  Here is a picture of the floor when we were done.
      I wonder how many of you scrolled to the bottom first to see the “after” picture.  Well, here you go.  Here is Jayde will her ugly bald head!  LOL!!
      I had to change the background and my shirt.  I just couldn’t reveal the after picture looking all pale.  I told Kevan how happy I was that I had straight teeth (I just got my braces off in April) and he said, “Ya, because everyone’s going to be looking at your teeth.”  LOL!  Thanks Babe…what exactly are they going to be looking at?
      Also, my father-in-law said….”if you take one earring out you’d look just like Mr. Clean.”  Um….thanks.  LOL!
      I truly believe God gave me some special grace to get through this.  I’m glad it wasn’t a sad experience and that Kevan and I were able to have fun with it.  I did try on a few of my head coverings and I’m a little disappointed because they don’t look that great, but I probably need to work with them a little.  I’ll definitely have to wear makeup and earrings too.  If I don’t wear earrings people will think I’m a boy.  Anyway….I hope you enjoyed the post and got a few laughs.  :o)

      Top 10 List…

      21 May
      This is my attempt to do a funny top 10 list of things that will be new experiences after a bilateral (double) mastectomy.  I know that my surgery was serious….but God gave us a sense of humor for a reason.  I’m still in pain, I still can’t look at myself in the mirror just yet (Kevan says things are looking better though!), but I can still laugh at the little things.  So, if you have to have one too, just ask God for strength, ask friends for prayer and laugh as much as you can through the pain.  God is with you and that’s all that matters.
      • The doctor will give you a lovely necklace (lanyard) to hang your drain tubes on.  This will become your new jewelry.  See my pretty necklace and drain tubes below.
      • If you can’t remember something or you fall asleep when someone is talking to you…..you can blame it on the Valium.  I blame the look on my face above….on the Valium.  I think I was in “la la land”.  Wherever that is.
      • When people ask you your prognosis (I don’t know why, but this drives me nuts) you can tell them your dying.  lol!  Cuz aren’t we all?  Of course, I have a good prognosis….but I always feel like the person asking what my prognosis is is secretly hoping I’ll say “soon”.  Now, if you are reading this and you are one of the ones that asked….just know that you ‘urked’ me just a little.  lol!  
      • If you have to have a sentinel node biopsy you are fitted with pretty little arm “fashion” sleeves.  And, if you are like me…and have two biopsies…you get one for both arms.  I’m thinking about getting this one for both arms so I can look like a biker babe, but without the real tattoos.  It will go great with my do-rag on my bald head.
      • You get a doctor’s note that you get to hand to your husband with a big smile on your face that tells him you are not allowed to do household chores!  No vacuuming, no sweeping, no laundry, no emptying the dishwasher and my favorite…..no kitty litter.
      • Your new best friends will be prunes and Senokot.  Believe me!  New…..Best…..Friends!  Narcotics may make you feel real good, but they sure don’t make your intestines work well.
      • Now, after said prunes/Senokot take effect everyone in your household will ask you “how’d it go?” when you leave the restroom and when you finally have good news….you will all have a mini-celebration.  At no other time would this be okay.  Seriously. 
      • You get to use your “cancer card”.  So, if you want something really bad…like say a Kindle Fire….and your hubby isn’t falling for it.  Just say, “But, I have cancer and I just had my boobies removed.”  It will work every time.  They will probably even have it over-nighted UPS. 
      • You get to lay and contemplate your life for a REALLY long time if there is no one around to help you up.  See my previous post.
      • And my absolute favorite.  Because you can’t wear deodorant for 3 weeks, by the end of each day you will smell like a freshly mowed lawn that contains a field of wild onions (this is a quote directly from my husband.  lol!).

      You Have Cancer

      9 Apr
      “You have cancer”.  Three words I thought I would never hear.  Maybe when I am old and gray, but not while I’m in my 30’s.  I have breast cancer.  Typing the words even seems strange to me.  Hearing Kevan say, “my wife has cancer.” makes me think he is talking about someone else.  But, he isn’t.  He’s talking about me.  One of the worries when I found out was that someone might be hurt because I forgot to tell them before it came out on Facebook.  If you are one of those people please forgive me.  It wasn’t on purpose.  I have a lot in my head right now.  This blog will now serve as the tool to let everyone know how I am doing.  Kevan is going to update it when I can’t or when I don’t feel like it and he is also going to do a few posts so he can journal a bit on how he feels as well so that if someone else goes through this in the future there is a “husband” perspective.

      I do not know the extent of the cancer yet.  So, until I do I will give everyone a little background on the last few months.  In October I felt a lump in  my breast while I was taking a bath.  Of course, it freaked me out a little, but it was so tiny I had a hard time finding it each time.  I made an appointment with my gynecologist and then beat myself up about why I was even going when I couldn’t even find the lump half the time I looked for it.  I went to my appointment (10/28) and she told me that she couldn’t feel it, but that she would request an ultrasound just to ease my worry.  I had the ultrasound on 11/1 and the results came back that it was “fatty tissue” and that it was benign.  Nothing to worry about.

      Below is a picture of my ultrasound.  I always requests any films or test results for my own personal archive.  I like to see/read what they receive.  When I Google “breast cancer” my lump doesn’t look anything like what Google images showed me as malignant lumps.  So, I thought that was great.

      I still didn’t feel right about it still so she ordered a mammogram on 11/17.  I had the mammogram and it didn’t show anything abnormal.  It was my very first mammogram.  It will be fine with me if I NEVER have one again.  lol!  It was not fun.  If you are a man….thank God right now that you don’t have to have mammograms.  ;o)

      By January, I knew that the lump had increased in size.  I could find the lump easily and it also “tingled” so it wasn’t hard to locate.  In my mind I associated the “tingle” with it growing…so it freaked me out.  Of course, I don’t know if that is true.  If I pressed on it, it hurt.  Everyone (and Google) told me that cancer doesn’t hurt so that is a great sign.  I felt like I was making a big deal out of nothing so I waited until I felt like it had doubled in size before I called the doctor.  I had another ultrasound on 2/23 and it revealed again that there was nothing to worry about.  Even though the images showed a larger mass of 2.41cm the radiologist noted in her comments that it “had not changed since the last ultrasound”.

      All is well, right?  No.  I wasn’t happy.  I wanted this “thing” out of my body.  Kevan wanted it out too just so I would quit making him feel it and so I would stop talking about it.  lol!  I waited another month while I tried to decide if I was crazy and should let it go or if I really should have it removed.  I spoke with my mother-in-law and she recommended I talk to her surgeon.  She has survived cancer twice and is an inspiration to me.  I love my mother-in-law!  She is such a blessing to me.  I saw the surgeon on 3/29.  He is one of the top oncological surgeons in Tennessee.  My mother-in-law went with me because Kevan wasn’t able to due to his work schedule.  The doctor did his own ultrasound and confirmed it was “fatty tissue” (or lipoma) and said he was 99% sure it was benign.  Nothing to worry about.  But, he did want to remove it and do a biopsy.  I had my lumpectomy/biopsy on 4/3.  2 days after my 36th birthday.  Kevan and I went back on 4/6 for my follow-up.  On the way there Kevan asked me if I was worried.  I told him I wasn’t worried AT ALL.  Everyone that saw the ultrasound told me it was nothing to be concerned about.  I believed them.  Kevan told me later that day that he WAS worried.  He said he just didn’t feel right about it.

      As soon as the doctor walked into the room I knew something was wrong.  He had tears in his eyes.  This actually meant a lot to me.  He does this every day.  He has to tell women (and sometimes men) that they have breast cancer and he isn’t immune to it.  It still makes him sad to have to reveal the news.  He said that he couldn’t believe it when he read the biopsy results.  He called the lab to make sure it wasn’t a mistake and even met with some other medical professionals to go over the findings.  He said it was a very “unique” case.  Yes, well….God made me very unique.  lol!

      The doctor wasn’t in a hurry.  He sat down and answered all of our questions and even gave me his cell number in case I forgot to ask something or I wanted to talk to him.  What doctor would give his patient his cell number??

      We are waiting on several tests to find out what type of cancer, what stage, etc.  I will update this blog as I find out.  I know with all of my heart that God is with me.  I’m not alone in this.  He is my comforter and my healer.  I am not sorry this is happening.  God has given me this as a plan for my life.  He orchestrates all things, including cancer.  If I believed that God was not in this I wouldn’t have the strength to get through it.  But, I know He is here with me.  He is the Creator of ALL THINGS.  I love Him.

      I also know that I have the best husband.  He has been so supportive.  He stops to give me hugs and tell me he is sorry.  He helped me take a bath and wash my hair last week when I had the lumpectomy and couldn’t get my incision wet or raise my arm.  I love him so much and he is such a blessing to me.  I wouldn’t want to go through this without him.  I love you Kev.  You are my best friend.

      I have an awesome family and in-laws who I know will also be supporting me through this.  It seems that they are taking it harder than I am, but that is probably normal…I don’t know.  I also have TWO wonderful church families who have loved on me the last few days.  I’ve had several friends ask me what they can do.  Right now, instead of telling me you are sorry just tell me that you will pray for me.  Don’t just say it, but DO IT.  Even if you only remember to pray once.  Pray at the time you tell me you will pray.  If you put it off you might forget.  Also, if you are a friend that jokes with me and laughs with me (or even pokes fun at me) please don’t stop.  That is why I love you.  I know that cancer is serious, but please don’t look at me and pity me.  Just continue to laugh with me and make me smile.  I will need lots of laughter.

      My prayer right now is that the cancer has not spread.  Please pray that I do not have lymph node involvement and that it is no where else except the breast.  Also, I will be having surgery in 3-4 weeks.  Most likely it will be a double mastectomy, but Kevan and I are thinking about my options still and will be meeting with the plastic surgeon next week to discuss everything.  So, please pray that we make the right decision regarding my surgery and treatment.  It is a huge decision and a little scary.  I HATE going under anesthesia.  Ugh!  Not again.

      Lastly, I am so thankful that God chose Good Friday to reveal this to me.  It is a reminder of how much He loves me!  He died for me and suffered for me so that I may have eternal life with Him.  He has forgiven me for my sins and through his blood I am restored.  Praise God!