A place where I can chronicle my family's journey through cancer. A place where WE can discuss our concerns. A place where WE can inspire each other. A place for hope.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


It is quite a profound experience to have to shop for scarves in preparation for chemotherapy-induced hair loss. It is inspirational. It is crippling. It is beautiful. It is tragic. And despite the months and months of treatment, the time you've had to prepare, one never actually thinks they'll see the day. And before you know it, the cold reality is right there staring in your face. Slap. The other day I went shopping with my mom for scarves to wrap around her head once she loses her hair. Let me tell you, a book should be written on how to wear those things, because it is practically an artfrom. What length do we get? How do you tie it? What materials work best? Finding a way to wrap the scarf itself, without looking like a fool, was difficult enough. Long story short... We decided to go with a hat instead :P. I have read that your scalp is actually much more sensitive than you think, that having hair makes a world of a difference when it comes to warmth and sensitivity. We decided to go for a nice, soft, and very warm rabbit fur touque. Thankfully, my mother's recovery time will be during the winter, so it will not be an odd sight to see.

Presently, I am in the waiting room of the radiology department. Today is the day that mama bear is getting her central line put in. Last night I experienced a small moment of weakness before eventually falling asleep. I think I am more scared and anxious about this procedure than my mom is. As many caregivers will discover, you will experience varying degrees of control over the course of treatment. Control is very important. It makes you feel like you are able to stand on solid ground, feet planted firmly. But sometimes, you feel like you have been picked up in a whirlwind of despair, anxiety, stress, etc. Being tossed about upside down, left, right, back, and forth, a complete loss of control. Last night's "whirlwind" stemmed from my...sadness for my mom. I try not to feel sorry for my mom, for my self, or for my family, because it does you no good. It prevents you from being able to think straight and act effectively. But sometimes, it happens. As a caregiver, all you want to do is protect. As my mother's son (or in other people's cases, as a son's mother/father), you try to protect with such a fierce passion that you are willing to do whatever it takes. If you could, you would share the burden, take the burden, in a heartbeat. But you can't... And that is the pain and the struggle of a caregiver. It is a constant tug-of-war between control and mayhem. My fear and my despair from last night stemmed not from the actual transplant procedure, but from the worry of how my mom was handling this. Everyday, no matter how bright the sun shines, my heart breaks. I worry about her. Worry, worry, worry. My heartache comes from the thought of her fear. It is like if you saw an abandoned child on the street. Your first wave of worry is not about the living conditions, the hygiene, etc. It is about how the child is coping and able to draw the strength and will to survive. Seeing my mom's strength is inspiring, but it also breaks my heart. The fact that she even HAS to draw so much strength from god knows where, makes me both sad and proud. It is a hard experience to describe. But I guess it is what it is, and all you can do is learn how to adapt and stay strong. Wish us luck.

**Update** All went well! The transplant nurse was right, a CVC (Central Venous Catheter) insertion is MUCH less painful than a bone marrow biopsy. So if you can handle the biopsy, the CVC should be a cake walk for you ;)
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

No comments:

Post a Comment