We had some fun with the wigs of moms that I brought with me to return to her (she used to get wigs for Halloween when she worked at the bank) - my brother has a bald head, so he was our model. Oh my gosh we laughed SO hard - those wigs were hilarious, and he was a great sport for letting me keep putting them on, everyone laughing, taking pictures and then slapping a new one on his head to repeat the cycle.
I WILL get pictures from whoever was taking them and post them (sorry, bro!). They're just hilarious. And to see my brother with hair after all these years was kind of weird. Poor guy has been bald since he was about 17 or 18.
Sunday was kind of an errand day. I don't do black Friday or grey Thursday - I am really not a shopper on any normal day of the year, and I cringe at the thought of even having to leave the house when all this holiday madness starts. The fact that stores were open on Thanksgiving really bothers me - and people have to wonder why tradition, family, God, religion is lost - in my opinion, situations such as shopping on holidays that definitely contribute. It seems to make the holidays more about the great deals and how much you can buy on a shop-a-thon all day than about family, and appreciating what you have. If we didn't have that appreciation already, this year we would be getting a really big lesson in it.
I got mom some things for her "chemo bag" - candies for the metallic taste in her mouth during treatment, a heated throw blanket (infusion rooms are usually cold - not sure if they'll let her use it or not though?), some slippers and warm socks, hand warmers, water bottles to help track her water intake, some fiberous snacks... I can't remember what else at the moment.
My dad - I am so proud of him. He is being so good with all this, despite it being an absolute overload of information, quick decision making and just plain difficult to wrap your mind around. He hates seeing his family sick, or hurting, and not be able to do anything to make it go away. He's always said that it's nothing for him to go on a medical call (when he volunteered with the fire department) and handle some pretty gruesome scenes....but to see his family members hurt is something he just can't stomach.
He bought mom a Kindle - all on his own. I didn't have to suggest it or anything. I was going to get mom a tablet so that she would have internet, books, music, and games all at her fingertips instead of having to carry a big bag of things in for entertainment on her infusion days, but apparently my dad was thinking the same thing. Good job, pa :)
He and I have had a few conversations about the treatment that mom will be having. He's a bit concerned about all of the different agents in the chemo - if they are all supposed to kill the cancer, why does she need so many? I did a little reading of my binder this weekend (not nearly as much as I would have liked to) and was able to explain to him that two of the drugs, the Perjeta and the Herceptin, slow the cancer cell division/growth, and the Taxotere is the assassin for the cancer cells. He mentioned, as was also my concern when I first read it, that these drugs state they are used for metastatic cancer - which mom doesn't have. But I also read that the drugs are also used in early stage breast cancer where the tumor is larger than 2 cm. That's why mom is getting the coctail she is getting.
SIDE NOTE ON TUMOR SIZE: Dad and I were talking about the stuff above, when I told him I was guessing tumor size had something to do with all this. He thinks the tumor is still only 1.something cm, and that the 3.7 and 3.1 that was reported in the MRI results are from the positioning of the scans when taken. In a mammogram, the girls are compressed - does that squish the tumor and make it look longer or wider? And apparently when you have an MRI on your girls, they are hanging, which also might elongate the appearance of the tumor? I don't know, but wanted to let you all know that I may have been wrong about the significance of the measurements. Dad said the surgeon was not concerned about those measurements at all - which I'm taking as a good sign!
I haven't figured out (or been able to retain, yet) what the Neulasta is for certain, but I will figure it out and post what I find (I think it helps bolster mom's immune system to target the cancer cells?). I am a bit concerned about all the allergic reactions that are possible after reading all the information, aye yay yay! I guess that's pretty typical when you are basically dumping poison into your body to kill cancer.
Mom is doing really well. We had a moment on Saturday - when I told her about Alec picking the perfect moment to tell everyone Happy Thanksgiving at Mike's family's Thanksgiving. Mom just kind of took it in, and then we both got teary eyed and lost it. What a huge accomplishment for Alec - and at the same time, bittersweet with everything that is going on for mom right now. I asked if she was getting scared, and she said no, she just has an outburst every once in a while. It kind of hits, she sits with it and lets it move through her and then she just gets back to business. And, really, the only alternative is to not have treatment, and I think that is a scarier option that chemo. It's just going to suck. It's like realizing the flu has set in, and you know you're in for some pretty horrible visits to the porcelain god, and then realizing that it's might require the toilet and the garbage can. And a heating pad. You know it's temporary, but boy does it sure blow while you're going through it.
Mom's a tough cookie, and I am hopeful that she will not have a lot of the nasty side effects (water, water, water madre!!!). But there's still knowing it's a possibility. And that your typical routine is going to be completely different for a while, you're going to be restricted on what your family lets you do (sorry, madre!), the exposures and interactions you can have, the physical side effects of the treatment. And just feeling yucky. Who likes to feel yucky? BUT, what I keep telling myself and mom - it is all TEMPORARY. We will get you through this, mom.
********************* Out of time for now - will post more later....IF I can wrestle the computer from the kid later!