Broken Nails and Moving Forward

I saw a picture last night and it really spoke to me, so I saved it. Not really for any particular reason, maybe just to reinforce to myself that taking a step back this past 8 months was what I needed to do both physically and mentally.  img_0688

Yesterday was a follow up with Dr. McCormick, my radiation oncologist. All in all, she is very pleased with my response to the treatments. I mentioned that I’ve been swimming a lot and how I was developing a bit of an ache in my right shoulder area, but not a spot I’ve had trouble with before. She looked at my chart and said that it was not a surprise. – six weeks out from my last radiation treatment is when the chest muscles and tissues are most inflamed, and since everything involved in my treatments wraps around and is connected to the muscles I’m using for swimming it made perfect sense. Nice to know the cause!


Today was my follow up visit with Dr. Traina, my chemotherapy oncologist. I will see her once a month while I’m on Enzalutamide.  It’s funny how the little things sometimes upset me most.  When I put my gloves on I took a look at my finger, one of the four nails that have already fallen off.   And it’s ugly.  And it really bothered me that I have these constant reminders that will take months to go away.  It takes 6 months +/- for a new nail to grow back.   It’s one of the facts that I have to deal with, and sometimes I just I don’t want to. I want all these cosmetic issues to go away, because they are all reminders of something I’d like to pack up and put away.  And if I’m being honest, like the day my hair fell out, there was something about looking at my hand that actually brought me to tears. The new hair on my head is mostly a great silvery grey mixed with a bit of dark hair.   I’m comfortable with the close-cropped style I have at the moment.  I love my darker and fuller eyebrows and eyelashes that have grown back.  I’m not so comfortable with the excess facial hair — it’s all longer than before and a lot of it is dark!

I get to the lab at Sloan, my first stop to have blood drawn.  It’s crowded, and I notice an older couple with an infant in a carriage.  I just assumed one of them is the patient.   A few minutes later a young woman walks out from the lab area, she is obviously the patient.  And the mother of the infant.  And I’m crying about facial hair and ugly fingers?

My name is called and there you go – I’m next up for the blood draw. I chat with the guy who’s taking my blood and mention the mom with the infant and how it gave me a reality check on my complaints over my cosmetic issues. And he says yes, but you have cancer. And I say but how do you deal with this everyday. And he says I go home and sometimes I just need to not talk to anyone. I totally get it, and show him the quote I saved last night. He says that makes my day and can you please send it to me. And that I just made his day. Well, that just made my day.

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