Community Magazine

Super Freak

By Countesstt @CountessTT
In early November of 2006 I had my fourth chemo treatment.  That signified the halfway point for the chemo.  The next series of four treatments were to begin in December and would be a different cocktail of drugs than the first four.  Also it was going to take about 5 hours to administer at each visit.  I kept hoping to continue to feel fairly good but was not sure what to expect and how I might react to the next treatments.
At this point I was getting awfully tired at times but I was getting used to the whole bald thing.  There were a few advantages in that I was not in need of any hair products or styling tools, bad hair days, hat head, etc.  Plus it took me no time at all to get ready to go out anywhere.


Better Cocktails - Punta Cana 2010

I was starting to notice that my eyelashes were falling out and my eyebrows were nearly gone.  I think that was worse than losing all of the hair on my head.  It made me look even freakier.  I still used make up on the days that I would go anywhere in public or if I would be expecting anyone to come over.  I even picked up some false eyelashes in case I ever needed them.
There were other side effects that had begun as well.  Whenever I was in a place with bright fluorescent lights, like department stores, my eyes would start to water.  A lot.  I would walk through a store and it probably looked like I was crying like a complete idiot.  I wasn’t and I couldn’t stop it from happening.  It got to the point where I would always carry Kleenex with me.  I didn’t have to worry about my mascara running down my face because I had no eyelashes to put mascara on anymore anyways.  Always an upside if you care to look.


Looking Dumb - Lake Erie 2011

Here’s another weird thing that happened.  One day my big toenail fell off.  That’s right it just fell off.  I was putting on my socks and it fell off.  Well you would think that if your toenail came off it would hurt like hell.  However, it didn’t hurt at all.  It just came off and then I checked out the other big toe.  I just touched it gently and off it came.  Within a few days some of the others disappeared too.  No need for nail polish now either.
I had also developed “chemo brain”.  Although there is still much research being done in this area, chemo brain really does exist.  It is sometimes described as a “mild cognitive impairment” and might be defined as being unable to remember certain things and having trouble finishing certain tasks or learning new things.  To me I was just plain dumb.  I mean really stupid.  Sometimes I would simply blank out.  I could be in the middle of a sentence and forget what I was talking about.  I couldn’t remember common words or I just couldn’t find the right words.  It was like I was searching my word databases in my brain but I couldn’t see anything because it was so foggy.  Or I could be talking to someone and then I wasn’t sure if I was saying something out loud or if I was just thinking it in my head.


Always by my side - November 2006

The problems with my concentration and memory were somewhat frustrating.  Also, if I was speaking to someone it was like it could be slow motion.  I might pause as you normally would at the end of a sentence but then it seemed like it might be a really long time before I would continue speaking.  I never knew if it was really like that for the person I was speaking to or if it was just like that in my own head.  It may have been a matter of seconds but it seemed to me that it was forever before I could get back on track.  I often felt like the other person would be staring at me waiting for me to carry on.  That was strange and embarrassing and so not in my control that it was another reason to avoid social situations.  I didn’t let it stop me though.  I had no problem getting out there and coming across as a total dumb ass.  Now I was bald and dumb.  Oh yeah and puffy and fat.  Whatever.   It was not forever, just for now.
I was very blessed that my husband did not seem to care about my looks and my super freakiness in the least.  He just kept loving me the way I was.  So I was fat, bald and dumb as a doorknob but I was loved.  Truly loved. Super Freak - Rick James

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