Finding Beauty in the Ordinary
 
Barbara Burns Chemo hair growth
While wearing a Christmas Snowflake Crown, artist & teacher, Barbara Burns', hair is growing in after chemotherapy. Slow and steady...
Surgery, done! Chemo, done! Radiation, done! I still have an IV treatment every three weeks, for a year, but the majority of treatments are done! After the cancer treatment whirlwind, and it being December, I find myself cocooning at home. 

The picture above was taken last week, on Christmas Day. On Twitter I posted, along with this picture, "#Chemo head getting some hair in time for a 'Snowflake Crown Christmas' photo shoot! #hair!! #Merry Christmas #Happy Holidays"

I still wear my beanie and wigs (a.k.a. baby it's cold outside!!),  but thought I'd share with you my hair progress, visually and status-wise: it is still sparse, but has come in darker and is SO very soft. Ah...progress! 

 


Comments

MaryAnne
01/21/2016 8:30pm

Hello,

I just happened upon your site searching for Cancer information. My sister was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma in November of 2015. She had a lumpectomy in mid December. She is now getting ready for Chemo starting next Friday.
I'm in a supportive role on this journey and am looking for information on that. I want to help - not hinder. Your " Ten Things You Don't Want to Hear List" is great for starters. Thank you!

Reply
02/02/2016 9:52pm

MaryAnne,
Thank you so much for sharing with me your story; I am so grateful that I have been able to help you on this journey with your sister. This means the world to me, as sharing my story has been revealing at times, but my hope was to help another. Thank you for this confirmation!
I just posted another blog piece concerning the mental health of the survivor. I hope this will help as well.
My thoughts are with you and your sister. Take care of yourself. And let me know if I can help in any other way.

Reply
07/19/2016 9:26pm

It is very inspiring for me to see this blog, especially in my situation. My family's genes have a touch of cancer, and knowing this pushed me to live in fear. For someone who went through surgery, chemo, and radiation, I must say you are very beautiful. It must be your joy radiating from inside out. It gives me warmth inside knowing that people overcome this disease. Congratulations on your second shot at life. Make it count!

Reply
MaryAnne
02/02/2016 10:15pm

Hi there Barb,

My sister had her first chemo treatment on Friday, Jan 29th at the CCI in Edmonton. We are on day 4. Doctors had her on a steriod. She said she felt hyper and couldn't sleep. Everything was going pretty good until last night. She called me this morning to go to the hospital. She'd been vomitting with diareaha. We spent all day at the hospital. She got IV Fluids as well as IV Gravol. She was then sent home as the doctor there said she was " stable". I brought her home. She still isn't drinking fluids or eating anything. She was supposed to start Cipro today. Thats an antibotic for when her white blood cell count craters.

I'm kind of beside myself tonight. The Cross Triage desk closes at 4:30 so they tell you to call Healthlink. Healthlink has limits. The hospital Emerg we were at today seems to only be able to do so much. I think they're cautious because of the chemo and treatment plan.

I plan to call the CCI Triage desk as soon as they open in the morning. My sister is at home resting right now. She had IV Fluids and is hydrated for now. That doesn't, however, address that fact that she's still not drinking fluids. She still feels very nausiated. She's obviously not taking her medications either. 😕

Reply
02/07/2016 1:23pm

MaryAnne,
I am so sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but I had numerous medical appointments this week and haven't been on my website.

With that said, I am so sorry for what you and your sister are going through. You took all the right steps and have helped her the best way possible. I am not a big pill advocate, but I encourage your sister to take the necessary pills to help her through the chemo effects. For the first treatment, I too didn't take the pills given to me, after my chemo treatment, and I suffered. I thought I could 'tough' it out. My oncologist nurse highly encouraged me to take them for my following treatments...& I did...and it made a huge difference. Granted days 2-5 were hell, but the pills helped my nausea and helped me eat more.

Take care of yourself. I know it must be hard 'looking in' and being an observer to all that your sister is going through. Being a caregiver, you need to take care of yourself as well.

I wish I could do more, but know that you and your sister are in my thoughts. XO

Reply
MaryAnne
07/19/2016 11:02pm

Hi there.

I just wanted to drop you a line on my sister's cancer journey.

She got her first chemo Jan 29th 2016. A few weeks after the chemo she wound up in Hospital with kidney failure. The doctors think it had something to do with the chemo as well as the high blood medication she was on.

My sister recovered. We went back to Dr. Joye. My sister was very reluctant to continue the chemo. Dr. Joye suggested lowering the chemo drug dosage or trying another form of chemo.
My sister wanted more info on stats etc before making a decision.

There's a test called Oncotype DX. Results can give a cancer patient an idea of the reoccurence rate if chemo was not continued.

It was like a miracle. Even Dr. Joye said he'd never seen results like it. There was only a 2% chance of reoccurance in my sisters case.

My sister when on to have RT treatments at CCI. She finished her 16 treatments April 29th, 2016.

Today she's doing fantastic. She feels great. She sporting a short pixie cut for summer.

She has a followup with Dr. Joye on August 22, 2016.

We are so blessed. This has been a long hard journey. Its been life altering on so many levels.

Thank you for this blog. You're an inspiration. You've shone a light on a path for others to follow. And for that, I'm very grateful.

MaryAnne.

MaryAnne
07/19/2016 11:02pm

Hi there.

I just wanted to drop you a line on my sister's cancer journey.

She got her first chemo Jan 29th 2016. A few weeks after the chemo she wound up in Hospital with kidney failure. The doctors think it had something to do with the chemo as well as the high blood medication she was on.

My sister recovered. We went back to Dr. Joye. My sister was very reluctant to continue the chemo. Dr. Joye suggested lowering the chemo drug dosage or trying another form of chemo.
My sister wanted more info on stats etc before making a decision.

There's a test called Oncotype DX. Results can give a cancer patient an idea of the reoccurence rate if chemo was not continued.

It was like a miracle. Even Dr. Joye said he'd never seen results like it. There was only a 2% chance of reoccurance in my sisters case.

My sister when on to have RT treatments at CCI. She finished her 16 treatments April 29th, 2016.

Today she's doing fantastic. She feels great. She sporting a short pixie cut for summer.

She has a followup with Dr. Joye on August 22, 2016.

We are so blessed. This has been a long hard journey. Its been life altering on so many levels.

Thank you for this blog. You're an inspiration. You've shone a light on a path for others to follow. And for that, I'm very grateful.

MaryAnne.

MaryAnne
07/19/2016 11:02pm

Hi there.

I just wanted to drop you a line on my sister's cancer journey.

She got her first chemo Jan 29th 2016. A few weeks after the chemo she wound up in Hospital with kidney failure. The doctors think it had something to do with the chemo as well as the high blood medication she was on.

My sister recovered. We went back to Dr. Joye. My sister was very reluctant to continue the chemo. Dr. Joye suggested lowering the chemo drug dosage or trying another form of chemo.
My sister wanted more info on stats etc before making a decision.

There's a test called Oncotype DX. Results can give a cancer patient an idea of the reoccurence rate if chemo was not continued.

It was like a miracle. Even Dr. Joye said he'd never seen results like it. There was only a 2% chance of reoccurance in my sisters case.

My sister when on to have RT treatments at CCI. She finished her 16 treatments April 29th, 2016.

Today she's doing fantastic. She feels great. She sporting a short pixie cut for summer.

She has a followup with Dr. Joye on August 22, 2016.

We are so blessed. This has been a long hard journey. Its been life altering on so many levels.

Thank you for this blog. You're an inspiration. You've shone a light on a path for others to follow. And for that, I'm very grateful.

MaryAnne.

MaryAnne
07/19/2016 11:03pm

Hi there.

I just wanted to drop you a line on my sister's cancer journey.

She got her first chemo Jan 29th 2016. A few weeks after the chemo she wound up in Hospital with kidney failure. The doctors think it had something to do with the chemo as well as the high blood medication she was on.

My sister recovered. We went back to Dr. Joye. My sister was very reluctant to continue the chemo. Dr. Joye suggested lowering the chemo drug dosage or trying another form of chemo.
My sister wanted more info on stats etc before making a decision.

There's a test called Oncotype DX. Results can give a cancer patient an idea of the reoccurence rate if chemo was not continued.

It was like a miracle. Even Dr. Joye said he'd never seen results like it. There was only a 2% chance of reoccurance in my sisters case.

My sister when on to have RT treatments at CCI. She finished her 16 treatments April 29th, 2016.

Today she's doing fantastic. She feels great. She sporting a short pixie cut for summer.

She has a followup with Dr. Joye on August 22, 2016.

We are so blessed. This has been a long hard journey. Its been life altering on so many levels.

Thank you for this blog. You're an inspiration. You've shone a light on a path for others to follow. And for that, I'm very grateful.

MaryAnne.

03/27/2016 4:38pm

I am sure that you are really a very much strong and brave person! You can get rid of such problem and be happy. My best wishes to you! If you need any help with editing the writing I will give it to you

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