Wednesday, September 10, 2014

just call me sinead

This journey is still proving itself to be a bit of a cha cha. Last weekend I found myself in hospital on the Oncology ward with a drip in my arm, an excruciating headache and nausea. It came on top of a traumatic chemo round, the allergic drug reaction and lots of adjusting and adding drugs to control my nausea. It was pretty awful. As I hadn't had dinner (due to being in A&E at dinner time) they couldn't give me anything stronger than panadol. At 2am with a drip inserted for hydration and my blood test results back they finally administered a much stronger drug. Yay! At least it took the edge off. 

The next day Mikey came to sit with me in hospital and Beth went to the airport to get Holly, who was arriving from London. I was so excited to see her but disappointed that it would be in the hospital. Not the homecoming I'd planned!! The doctors did their rounds and talked about all the factors that caused me to end up in hospital. They gave me a new regime of drugs and strict instructions on what to do to manage my nausea and headaches. They also said that since I was so sensible I could do it all at home. Yay! I was out of that hospital gown before you could say "Just relax while I insert this catheter!" (That did not happen to me but it did happen to the guy in the bed next to me.) Phew! Dodged that bullet! So the reunion happened at home and it has been the best thing having Holly here. Beth and Holly relaxed quickly into their routine of teasing me, face pats and "harden up" dialogue. Fun times!  

Mere gave me these "oops sorry you're in hospital" balloons to cheer me up.
She had wanted Disney Princess balloons but I am more than happy with the hearts!

This week I also attended a Look Good Feel Better workshop. They are an amazing charity that aim to put a smile on the face of every woman with cancer. That statement is so true. I was nervous about attending as I had still been feeling quite nauseous and unsteady. But they were so warm and friendly, they really put me at ease.  Each lady has a support person to help them with skincare and applying their make up. Mine gave me a divine facial. I must have looked pretty relaxed as the lady running the workshop said, "Well, Stacy has gone to sleep!" Either that or I had started to snore. I went in feeling below average and came out feeling revitialised and dare I say it - pretty! They do fulfil their brief "that with makeup, skincare, skills and positive attitude they can transform the look and outlook of NZ women with cancer." I left with a smile on my face and a bag full of make up tailored just for me! I felt so spoiled and incredibly lucky to be a part of it. They are such a worthwhile charity to support.

Check me out!
I think I look pretty damn good!!

Later that day, my hairdresser Alice, Beth and Holly joined me for the big moment... to shave off my hair. Hair loss is a side effect of the chemo that I'm having. They say it starts round Day 14 after your first dose. Mine hadn't really been doing much except for the usual handfuls that fall out on a regular basis. It's the anticipation and waiting for it to happen that can be distressing, then the actual clumps of hair on the pillow themselves. In an attempt to gain back some power in a situation where I've been pretty powerless, I decided where and when my hair would come off. At home with my lovely hairdresser and my beautiful girls, with laughs, teasing, love and moral support. Losing my hair has been quite a big thing for me, more than I had realised. For my whole life I've said something about who I am with my hair. To not be able to have it and to have to wear a wig have been big things for me to come to terms with and grieve over. You might think it's just hair but it's part of my identity. Choosing how my hair loss would happen has made that grieving easier. It actually turned out to be fun and there were no tears!! Yay! I was also very honoured that my nephew Josiah shaved his head to support me. So now we are baldy buddies!

The girls all think I look quite like Sinead O'Connor.
 So instead of inflicting my photo on you
I'll leave you with Sinead!


  1. You are just so awesome and brave, and I'm really glad you made the decision to shave your hair yourself, such a strong and proactive choice. You're doing awesome babe!

  2. BRAVE.
    ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage, courageous, plucky, fearless, valiant, valorous, intrepid, heroic, lionhearted, bold, daring, daredevil, adventurous, audacious, undaunted, unflinching, unshrinking, unafraid, dauntless, indomitable, doughty, mettlesome, venturesome, stout-hearted, stout, spirited, gallant, stalwart, resolute, determined; rock-ribbed; gutsy, spunky, ballsy, stacy. xx

  3. Wow! I am so honoured, humbled and encouraged by this. Thank you xox

  4. I cried through this one. This is what I admire about you; when everything is out of control in your life you grab the reigns and haul it back anyway.

  5. Thanks M'que. Love having you with me through this xx



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