We begin the week with a half-day of tests that include a cat scan, bone scan, and an ECG. The mammogram already revealed that it’s recurrent cancer, and it’s obviously malignant. But we don’t know if it’s spread beyond the one lymph node into other parts of her body.
Trish starts drinking the quart of nasty barium liquid at 7am and doesn’t eat anything until around noon. The constrast they inject her with itches from the inside and makes her skin burn.
Wigs Wigs Wigs and good news
Tuesday is a fun day at least. We drive to Bravadas wig shop in Fairfax. It’s the place Trish selected last time after several failed attempts to find a good wig retailer.
Many of the wig shops she went to discourage trying on the wigs, allowing only 3 try-ons before a purchase. Some were aimed at the tranny community, and one was so high end that they would only custom design your single wig for $10,000.
Bravadas has a good selection, albeit conventional, and they will patiently allow you to try on as many wigs as you want before purchasing. And we try on a lot. Trish gets a broad smile on her face as she starts to go through the wigs.
Real hair has some advantages, but we go with synthetic because she likes the styles better. In the end she gets two short cuts (both below), one red and one blond. And she gets the Edgar Winter (left), which looks smahing on her.
Wig wearing kinda sucks. That’s why you see so many women with the headscarfs that instantly identify someone as a cancer/chemotherapy patient. They are comfortable, but Trish is determined to find head wraps with style.sells biker headwraps, and she loves them. She gets some with skulls, surf prints and camouflage. Together with the wigs, she should be able to survive the summer.
Later in the week, we get some great news! The cancer has not spread into her other organs. And the Oncologist thinks she can get an advanced Chemotherapy that is very efective, but is in limited clinical trial. It’s as good as we could hope and we are excited for the weekend. Trish begins the treatment next week with minor surgery to get a power port, then chemotherapy.
Lessons we’ve learned about dealing with cancer:
I reflect a lot on our first experience with cancer. Our girls were younger and needed more minute-by-minute care. Trish was in the middle of a few freelance jobs that she felt obligated to fulfill. My job was supportive, but not as much as my current one.
Trish did a lot more for herself last time. She went to some of the Dr’s stuff by herself. She got her own prescriptions. We totally took care of her when she was going through the chemo treatment. But if she felt good, she tried to just be ‘normal.’ She didn’t want to be a ‘burden’.
So we’ve taken a different approach this time. Trish is taking more support – allowing me to handle everything. She needs all her energy to grapple with cancer. Anything I can take off her plate, from doing the dishes to negotiating with the doctors helps her adapt.
Happy Cancer! 101 surprises this summer
Cancer is dehumanizing. Your own body turns against you and incubates a microscopic alien invasion that wants you dead. And it’s in your breast, the symbol of the feminine figure and a source of sexuality. It’s hard to feel human, much less a powerful, sexy woman.
What we need is a counter-attack to make Trish feel human, womanly, and sexy. So I have begun to plan the greatest summer ever. Trish is going to get wined and dined, splurged and spoiled. We are going to celebrate the killing of that cancer with a summer of rock-n-roll, fine food and stunning fashion. You are going to be so jealous, you’ll wish you had cancer too.
So I have 101 surprises planned, 5 every week for the next 20 weeks (plus one more.) Of course, it’s not a celebration of cancer, it’s a celebration of Trish. This isn’t just for her, it’s for everyone that has expressed their love and support. You guys want to know she is ok, and being taken care of. Follow along each week and be assured, she is. With every gift I tell her Happy Cancer! She laughs.
5 surprises for the week:
2) A Chauffeur: Every queen deserves a chauffeur, yes? Well, I didn’t hire a driver, but I’m doing all the driving all summer. Trish isn’t going to get behind the wheel, unless it’s an emergency, until Fall.
3) A case of Prosecco: Trish discovered Prosecco, the Italian champagne on our trip to Italy and enjoys it a lot. But it’s hard to open a bottle of bubbly for one glass. I found these little 375 ml bottles of good Prosecco at a local store.
4) A pool membership: We were going to cancel our pool membership. last year we only used it a few times. But this summer, we’ll use it more. And Trish can take off for a few hours to cool off when the chemo gives her hot flashes.