05 November 2009

Oh yes, it was really difficult!

I had my second chemotherapy treatment on Monday. Patti took me to my appointment. My blood work looked excellent and Dr. Singh was delighted. He examined me, but I could have told you myself that the large tumor had shrunk considerably just with the first treatment. It's working! Good thing, because it would be really tough to go through all the yucky symptoms if it wasn't.

The treatment time was to be about 2 plus hours. There has to be something to kill the time, so Patti brought a book to read to me. She selected the delightful Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

I have to say, if you are a fan of the Jane Austen classic, and you have a good sense of humor and great imagination, this is a great read. I can't wait to hear the next chapters at my next treatment. Did I really say that I was looking forward to my next treatment?

The anti-nausea meds that they give make me kind of sleepy, so we had to stop after a while. I had a side effect with the Cytoxan that I didn't experience the first time. If delivered through the infusion pump too quickly, it can make your sinuses burn like crazy, and burn they did. It was like the worst sinus attack I have ever had.

Then, when Jan started pushing the Adriamycin, I started feeling really light headed. I have felt this way before, so I knew that my blood pressure was dropping. Jan, my nurse came to my rescue and took my BP and confirmed it. She stopped delivering the Adriamycin and stabilized me. The rest of the time went by fairly quickly.

I had the worst headache the rest of the day and I was exhausted.

On Tuesday morning, my hair started coming out in large handfuls. If I had stayed in the shower long enough, rinsing my hair, I am quite certain that I could have washed every hair off of my scalp. I grew weary of the process and just towel dried my hair. There was a lot of hair in that towel.

I decided to be proactive and called Claire, my stylist for over 12 years, and she had me come to her shop at 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday evening so she could take the clippers to my hair and just finish the job.

Doug and Benjamin and I drove up to Cary. Catherine met us there, as did Christian and Mary. This was my support group.

First she scissor cut my hair to about an inch or so. I dealt with that all right. She began shaving the back first, while I looked in the mirror. I was doing pretty well, until she made the first stroke across the front of my scalp. I put my teared up eyes in my hands. I saw an old man sitting in my chair. It didn't help when my daughter, Catherine said that I looked like my father.

This was hard. Much harder than I thought it would be.

After I wiped away my few tears, Doug planted a big kiss on the top of my head, and then I put on a scarf and a hat. It was pretty chilly that night. We all went to Dairy Queen and enjoyed ice cream to cap off the adventurous evening.

The deed was done, and there is no turning back now.

The shaving of the locks
(warning, it is 4 minutes long)

It is finished.....sigh

It was nice to have my family with me. They kept me laughing, and that is always good. Feel the love. It's all around.


Anonymous said...

Oh Sally, you are still beautiful as ever! You are practically glowing in that last picture!
Hugs, Janine

Catherine said...

I'm sorry I said that about you, mom! No hard feelings, okay? I love you still the same. You are the most beautiful lady ever and don't even think anything else!!! We were all glad to be there and support this big step.

Heather McKeon said...

You look so adorable in that last picture!! And when you finish Pride and Prejudice and Zombies you can move on to Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

Anonymous said...


With those adorable glasses and hat you look very hip! PS: Nordstrom has some really amazing hats right now! Keep smiling, you are still gorgeous, inside and out.

Much love,


Anonymous said...

Mrs. Plautz, You are a brave & beutiful lady. I am glad that you had your family with you for this adventure. Sending prayers & hugs your way...
Dawn Pope

Brenda said...

So glad the tumor is getting smaller. You are very brave, I cried when you did. I agree with Janine: You are still as beautiful as ever, practically glowing in the last picture!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Sally that did look like a hard thing to do. But you look absolutely beautiful in that last picture, and your glasses do look tres chic with the scarf and hat. We are so very glad the treatment is working. Love, Katie

Jo Ann B. Pennock said...

Oh Alice, you've really gone down the rabbit hole now. For the record, as someone who shares your dad, you do NOT look like Dad. Mom, yes--and that's not a bad thing. I just got some similar-looking cat-eye glasses for my astigmatism. Weird, huh--we hated them as kids (and all things referent of "Laura Petrie"--capri-pants, glasses, pointy-toes Keds, etc.)--now we can't get enough. You look great and I can tell you I would not be smiling as you are after an ordeal like that. I love seeing Christian's reflection in the beauty shop mirror. You are so lucky to have all that support!!!
love, Jo Ann

Anonymous said...

Hi Mrs. Plautz,
They say beauty comes from within and there is much truth to that than we realize. I can only imagine what you must be thinking and feeling but after watching the process, my assessment is that your "after" looks better than the "before"(take a second look). As this is a love journey, I encourage you to look again through eyes of love and you will see yourself glowing.

Hadija Horne
(Cat's co-worker and big fan of your cakes)

Heidi said...

You are beautiful. Sending lots of love and prayers. Thank you for your blog...your spirit and testimony are wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mrs. Plautz,

Catherine gives us regular updates, and I'm so glad to hear that the treatment is working! You are such an amazing and strong woman!

chris said...

you don't need my comment because everyone else said it all. BUT recently someone said to me, it's time you made friends with your face. there is your face, sticking out with nothing to distract anyone (including you) from it. you can work on being friends with that beautiful face that has been with you all these years. i am working on that myself. love you.

Sue Mikkelsen said...

Sweet, brave, adorable Sally....
You never fail to amaze me with your courage and strength! Watching this video made my heart swell with love and admiration for you. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mrs. Sally,
First, I just want to say you remain in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks for allowing us to share in your journey. In addition to reading your blog, Cat gives me updates at work. You are such a strong, courageous woman and an inspiration. There are so many people praying for you and supporting you...definitely the power is love!! I think you look great in your pic above as you take one more step to show Genevieve that YOU will have the victory. Best wishes and hugs, Jada R.

Joyce said...

How amazing you are, Sally! I'm so glad to hear the the chemo is working. Hearing your daughter encourage you was so touching. And she's right, you are beautiful.

Brianna said...

You look beautiful. I think about you and your family often. Lots of love and prayers from my neck of the woods.

Dave said...


A quick note to say I'm thinking about you and will see you soon. Take care!

Dave Carroll

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