Updates & Me
Posted December 29, 2009on:
A couple things have been rolling around in my head that I thought I’d toss together in today’s blog entry.
I never lost it about losing my hair. I took it I stride, even having funny photos taken of my head by my friend and wonderful photographer buddy, Jen Towner.
My hairdresser buddy, Diane, came over with our mutual buddy, Colette ,to cut my hair very short as it was falling out. We shared that experience with laughter.
I never lost all my hair, although it was pretty scanty on much of my head, which has a pretty cool shape to it.
I wear a hat outside the house because it is winter in Wisconsin. Also, I don’t want to startle anyone. Even under a hat it’s pretty obvious that there’s not a lot on my head. Hopefully, there’s worthwhile stuff inside my head.
I have gotten notes from folks who noticed my hat and figured I was on chemotherapy. They wanted to wish me well.
Another woman in a grocery store, who knew about my breast cancer, came over to see me. “I didn’t recognize you at first,” she said and then felt embarrassed. I told her not to feel bad, that I had the same response to other folks with cancer who had lost their hair. It’s awkward but we’re all human on this bus.
And speaking of hair, I think the hair on my head that did not fall out is getting a millimeter or two longer. It’s not quite ready for braiding.
It’s still scant and stands up, looking like like a flattop or crew cut. “You look like you’re ready to coach high school football,” Dick said. It’s a great line and a career possibility I had not considered.
My hair is coming in white – my natural hair color. It’s also very soft and fine, which means it’s fun to touch my head. I am thinking of charging a quarter per touch, which will go to pay for medical care. 🙂 Got a quarter?
I’m eager to have my hair back, but I know it’s on it’s way in as chemotherapy is on it’s way out.
To demonstrate my hair is growing, I decided to put a ruler on my head to measure the stuff sticking up. Now that my kids are grown, I don’t put marks on the wall for their heights. Instead, I’ll put marks on the wall for how high my hair is. Can a bouffant hairdo be far behind?
Just as I was going into the bathroom to take a photo in the mirror with a meter stick – I’m a 21st Century woman, I know it’s not called a yard stick any more – Michael came out of his bedroom. I recruited him and he took the photos you see above.
His response to these photos as he was heading back to bed was, “You’re one of a kind, Mom.” I take that as a great compliment.
Things are looking up. Two days ago on this blog, I wrote that our new insurance company as of January 1 requires referrals to be to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, two hours each way; or Appleton, Wisconsin, four hours away.
Although Franciscan Skemp where I get my care is in the network for the new insurance, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, an hour away, is not. And the radiation oncology department in La Crosse is staffed by Mayo.
So there was the potential that I would have to travel to those cities five days a week for six weeks for radiation. Or stay in these places during the week.
The good news is our new insurance company has approved a consultation Monday with the Mayo Clinic radiation oncologist who practices in La Crosse. There still are two more hoops before the treatment can begin:
- Approval by the insurance company for the radiation simulation, which uses computer modeling to plan the appropriate dose and location of the radiation.
- Approval of the actual treatments – 30 of them at this point.
I would assume that if the company has approved the meeting with the Mayo Clinic doctors in La Crosse that it will pay for the next steps as well. But who knows?
The company could still decide that I have to go to Eau Claire or Appleton instead of going down the hall from where I received my chemotherapy. That would be unbelievable madness. Hopefully, sanity will continue to prevail.
I wrote Monday that I had to believe this insurance thing would get worked out just as I have to believe that the treatment is working.
By the way, no matter what, our family has gotten its money’s worth from our health insurance between our son Matt’s bone marrow transplant, Dick’s heart procedures and now my cancer treatments. And, of course, we’ve had our treatments for athlete’s foot and toe, and many other day-to-day medical problems.
Who knew I would be such a positive person? That would be, of course, between rants about insurance. I’m only human.