Sep 18, 2006

What is normal? And HAIR!!

I have been shaving my head with a razor about twice a week. I usually do it on Sunday and Wednesday nights. Before I shaved this past Wednesday, I thought I felt a little bit of 'peach fuzz' on the top of my head where it had been hairless. Today, I can confirm that there is hair growing on the top of my head! I can feel it, but its almost invisible – very light colored thin hair. But… it is growing back in! You can’t imagine how exciting this is for me. I just can’t wait to not have to worry about shaving my head and just letting my hair grow. And having a normal head of hair will be a step toward normalcy for me. Ever since the surgery, something’s been going on. I just want to try to get back to as close to normal as possible. I don’t think I’ll ever be normal again though. In fact, I’m not even sure what normal is. I thought I was normal before the surgery, but I wasn’t – I had cancer and didn’t even know it. Kinda’ brings a whole new meaning to the word, doesn’t it? What the heck is normal?

We had a great weekend. I went to sleep very late Thursday with a headache and woke up with it again Friday morning. I was tired and decided my body needed a day off. My Oncologist, Dr. Duelge, also said I need to listen to my body. I keep wanting to just get back to a (here we go again) normal routine. But I start to notice at the end of the week that my leg starts to get a little sore and tired, and I get more fatigued each day. In fact, my Physical Therapy doctor, Dr. Milani, told me two weeks ago to listen closely to my body too. I emailed Dr. Duelge last week to ask him about my fatigue. I thought that maybe it was a side-effect of the radiation. He laid it out pretty well for me in his reply:

“…I suspect you will not be able to get by on 6-7 hours of sleep for 6-12 months after the end of treatment. You had major brain surgery (with complication of right-sided weakness) and then brain radiation for 7 weeks. … Based on what you've said, I think it may just be the getting back to work along with not enough sleep for the new Roger (i.e. the one who just had major surgery and then brain radiation).”
I have a hard time finding the fine balance between my work and my body. I feel like I have a responsibility to be productive at work. But I do that at the expense of my body. I need to find a balance, but actually act on it this time. This weekend was a great but restless weekend, in my opinion. We stayed up late Friday, stayed busy Saturday, got up super early because Holly wasn’t feeling well Sunday morning and went to church and lunch. When we got home I was exhausted and laid down for a nap. I ended up sleeping for almost four hours, getting up just before 7 pm. I was up and rested, so I took the opportunity to hang out with my good friend Matt O. We had a great time, and I’m glad we met, but now it’s almost 1:30 am and I’m still not tired. Maybe if I just lay down, I’ll fall asleep.

One last thing - The Matt I mentioned before is one of the first people that befriended me when I came out here. He has become one of the best friends I have ever had in my life. We can talk about anything… and I mean anything. He’s getting married to a wonderful gal in October. I get to be an usher at his wedding! Anyway, Matt’s mom, Sandy, has been battling breast cancer for several months now. She has undergone chemo, but it is not having much of an effect on her cancer. She is scheduled for a mastectomy Monday at 10am CDT. Also, Holly’s father, Harvey, is undergoing a procedure to find out why his tummy has been so upset lately. His is scheduled for the exact same time. Please say a prayer for Sandy and Harvey – that they fear nothing and recover quickly. I’ll have results for you on each one tomorrow.

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