Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My hair is growing quickly, radiation is going well, and the tree is up!

I had a little fun with my hair growth pictures today.  You can see that I now have just about what I had when I got it cut just before starting chemo.  The back is coming in nicely and while I said back in June that I wouldn't color it...I've had a serious change of heart!  I'm loving the reddish brown color, thanks to L'Oreal.  And at about $7 a bottle, it's a whole lot less expensive than the $75-100 salon coloring that I had in the past.  It's nice to see the hair on the back of my neck reaching my collar!  Back in April, I couldn't imagine being finished with chemo and now I am 10 weeks beyond it.  Time certainly is flying by!

I had my first radiation treatment a week ago, so today will be #6.  So far, so good.  The traffic has been relatively cooperative and I am not having any side effects.  I meet with the radiation oncologist weekly (on Tuesdays) and he said that I shouldn't see any skin changes for two more weeks.  In the meantime, I am moisturizing twice a day with Moisturel, which was on the list of recommended products.  I think the ingredients are very similar to Aquaphor, which many patients use and was also on the list.  I've been using Moisturel on my face and dry areas like elbows for 20 years, so I had it handy. 

My appointment times have been pretty good so far.  We started with 7 p.m. treatments last week, then they quickly changed to 6 p.m.  The drive in to Boston has been good every time except last Thursday when there was a holiday tree lighting ceremony and Rte 93 and Storrow Drive were backed up for a few miles.  Even so, we made it to Dana Farber in just about 90 minutes.  Most days it's taking just over an hour.  Tonight's trip may be ugly - it's been raining all day and I heard traffic was a mess.  My only hope is that everyone is already in the city and will be trying to get out while we are coming in.  After treatment tonight we are meeting friends for dinner in Quincy, which is a bit to the south.  I am going to find us a route that keeps us off 93 and on surface roads as that may be a better option.  By the time we eat and head for home, we should be in the clear.

Many of you know that for the past few years we've ordered a Christmas tree and had it shipped from NH to MO and the trees have been beautiful.  Well, this year we took a little road trip to Colebrook on the Saturday after Thanksgiving with our friends Ann & Jack.  After spending the night at the Omni Bretton Arms across the way from the Mt. Washington Hotel, we drove to Weir Tree Farm and chose our tree.  The nice folks at the farm cut it for us and hauled it down to the barn area, where they shook all the needles out of the tree, tied it up and secured it to the roof of the car.  It was fun to see the tree farm, which was huge - Christmas trees for as far as the eye could see.  They sell about 10,000 trees each year between wholesale, mail order and choose and cut customers.  I do believe this will become an annual tradition for us.  We had a fabulous time with our friends, the food was delicious, the view was spectacular and the tree is spectacular. 

Yup, it goes all the way up to the ceiling - almost 9' of Fralsam Fir and it completely blocks the use of the  It took me about 7 hours to decorate it, and it was worth every minute of my time. 

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