Back to Work

This morning some people are taking a deep breath or sighing in relief that this four days of craziness has ended. I could quite happily exist in that unending pandemonium for a few more days. Instead, I’m heading to Boston at noon for my second Taxol treatment. I took five Decadron last night and will take five more this morning to help prepare my body. It's a double duty med as I used it to keep nausea at bay after the first four treatments, now it will help my body accept Taxol. I’m expecting another seven-hour day and truthfully I’m not too excited about it.

Perhaps it was Christmas coming, but I felt great after the last round of aches through Day 5. It was hard to keep a short leash. I kept thinking of things to do and places to go to celebrate the approaching holiday. All involved crowds of strange grown-ups and children. The Nutcracker Ballet. The Polar Express train ride. Taking the boys to Boston. Running to the mall. I was talking to a friend about this and she suggested just picking one thing and doing it. That was Bill’s work party. All grown-ups. Bill served up my food so I wouldn’t have to touch buffet spoon handles. It worked, and it was nice to dress up and get out. Actually, it worked so well, I decided to go to our neighbors' holiday party a week later -- again all grown-ups and Bill helped me with serving utensils. Another bubbly fun night out.

I went to Bill’s party the eve after my first Taxol treatment. That day at MGH, we had a little extra time between appointments. Bill and I popped into a little boutique for breast cancer patients to see if I could find a festive hat to wear to the party instead of the wig. Several hats were enormous, way too big for my head. Then I saw an adorable black derby-like hat with a small rhinestone pattern on the side and a very thin brim. It looked great on! I turned to Bill to see what he thought. When I looked up at him, the little brim hit the back of my neck and the hat rolled off my head, took a couple bounces, and landed on the floor four or five feet away from me. We cracked up. I thought it was a fluke, but it happened again on the second try.
The saleswoman, who was watching this unfold, suggested wearing a scarf underneath. That seemed to make sense: the hat wouldn’t be against my smooth scalp – the scarf might act like an adhesive. So we tried that. It was a little more stable, but then I threw my head back faking a big laugh and POP! Off it went with a little more force, landing further away. “Guess I’m not wearing a hat tonight!” I told Bill. We thanked the saleswoman. She gave us a rather pitiful “you-have-cancer-AND-the-hat-won’t-stay-on-your-head look.” Later I thought I should have told her I probably could have done the same trick with a full head of hair.

Given I’m 5’4” and a good portion of the Bill’s colleagues are over 6’, I’m glad we discovered the magic in the hat at the store rather than at the party. Although, with a different set of guests, it would have been a very funny party trick. ;)

Staying strong and going back to work,