Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The death of the Mullet and feeling raw

No posts for a while so an apology is in order.

In reality, it's because life has been very busy. Which is kind of a good thing. It wears me out a little from time to time but it means things are returning to normal slowly and thats all good.

The weekend passed in a blur of activity. Apart from Friday night where I vetoed the badminton plans in favour of a bit of good old fashioned sitting on the sofa. I was wiped out from a long and busy week, so we vegged out in front of comedy on Friday and played badminton on saturday afternoon instead (three solid hours of it - so hardly a restful alternative but I learnt how to serve backhand and R learnt how to smash, so our beginner status is slowly being shaken out of us).

Saturday evening brought a friend's party - a fun affair - with a few faces I haven't seen since the friend's wedding back in May. The date of the wedding was almost exactlyt three weeks after my first chemo, when I felt relatively invincible about the whole thing, and while I still had most of my hair, it was around then it started rapidly falling out. It was strange to be talking to these people about everything in the past tense, looking back at the last five-six months and all that's happened, knowing that last time we met it was all ahead of me and I was sat in the same spot, pulling out my hair to demonstrate my quirky chemo side-effects. Weird.

As for my current hair, it's getting there. Slowly. The other day I wrapped a towel around my head when I got out of the shower - more out of habit than necessity - and left it on for too long by mistake. When I removed it, I noticed that a clump of hair on the side of my head was sticking out at a rakish angle. I smoothed it down. It sprang back up. I was overjoyed. I had hair which was long enough to stick out! Okay, so it's barely a centimetre long, but it felt good. Give it another month and I'll be able to stick a little wax in there to mess it up and it will finally start looking like an intentional haircut.

Sunday brought a chilled out day at home with some chores to catch up on, followed by meeting a friend in Hoxton for some food. R and I whiled away the cafe minutes waiting for said friend to turn up by spotting what we call Shoreditch Twats. Boys in uber-skinny jeans with asymmettical fringes. White girls with afros and stripey legwarmers. At least they've confined the fashion-conscious mullet to the scrapheap - time was, you couldn't walk within a mile of Brick Lane without bumping into one of them. Now they seem noticeable in their absence.

Monday? Work like a maniac, race home to give the bike to R so he can go out and keep an appointment for something, head over to play Badminton in Battersea. The next morning, I stand in front of the bathroom mirror before taking a shower and take the daily look at how my boob is doing.

It's still very red. And the area where the rash was emerging has calmed down, but is noticeably more freckly and pigmented than it's opposite number on my left hand side. Then, under my boob I see a small streak of what looks like grey dirt. Given I'm still plastering it in smears of aqueous cream twice daily and I got very sweaty at badminton last night I assume, amazed at my grunginess, that it's just a mix of sweaty creamy residue. I drag a finger across it to remove it.

It removes it alright and I'm left with a shiny pink new patch of skin. The grey mucky streak was simply the top layer of my epidermis and I've just inadvertently skinned myself. Bugger. I jump in the shower before I can do myself any more damage but show it to the breast nurse later that day when I'm being zapped. She gives me some strange gel pads to alleviate the rawness and try and prevent it from getting any worse.

The pads are clear, made of mainly water and agar jelly, and feel wonderfully cool when you first apply them. Unfortunately, they take a bit of practice. I was struggling to place it correctly on my boob in the office loo, and just as I pulled my bra down over the top to secure it, gravity took over and the gel pad fell with a splash into the loo. Thankfully they had given me two (and if anyone from work should be reading this rest assured that I did remove the offending gel pad from the loo with the loo brush and place it in the bin- we have a history of floods due to blocked loos and I don't wish to be blamed for it).

The best bit about the pads is the fact that you can refrigerate them with a drop or two of water to refresh their cooling properties. My lucky lucky boob, it's bliss. For about 10 seconds until my body warms up the pad again.

Last night the skin in my armpit started to show the strain as well. Tiny worms of skin are dropping off to reveal another patch of raw pink skin.

I'm starting to fall apart - but there are now only two treatments to go - so I just need to hold on and get through those and then within a week or two my skin should start to slowly heal.

And then? And then?

Then beckons a two week holiday on the beaches of South West India, my friend. Hurrah.


Kim said...

Hi Anne-Marie! I loved reading about your sticking-up-hair. It would have been hard to imagine being excited about such a thing just a few months ago, but it really is exciting!!

Amanda Castleman said...

Can we look forward to a mullet?

Ideas here:

Please, please, PLEASE? Ax.

Dr Jude said...

i, on the other hand, am torn between growing my hair or cutting it short enough that within a month's time you'll beat me in length. ... not sure, not sure ... guess i'll decide on thursday when i'm at the hairdressers

Anne-Marie Weeden said...

Jude, you could go the way of the mullet - kind of grow you hair and cut it short all at the same time?

That is indeed, the beauty of it.

Love the webpage Amanda... it's been forwarded to appreciative fans of this style...