So I have an oncologist.  He is going to be the guy that figures out how much poison to run through my veins.  I have spent my entire adult life trying to keep poisons out of my body.  I think about pesticides, aluminum in my deodorant, flame retardants in my kids pajamas, and hormones in my milk.

But now that I have cancer, I need chemicals.  Potent, powerful chemicals that will make my hair fall out and most likely destroy my fertility.  I feel grateful that Joel and I had already decided that we were done having kids.  He is a pretty cool guy.  (For some reason he reminds me of Jon Stewart.)  Like my surgeon, he is smart and confident, and wants to help me get through this.  He is my friend’s Lisa’s oncologist too.  She just beat breast cancer and has been my trail blazer making my path easier.

In order to get chemo you need to get a port.  A tiny tube will be implanted in my chest, close to my neck, to make hooking me up to the IVs easier.  I get that fun device on Monday.  On Tuesday I will have an echo & a full body cat scan.  Chemo can damage your heart, so they need to get a baseline.  I told my oncologist I was worried that they would find more cancer during the cat scan.  He said, “we won’t.”  He better be right.  And then, on Wednesday I get my first round of chemo.

Most likely I will be bald by Christmas.  I don’t know if I want to wear a wig.  I don’t know if I want to wear scarves.  I don’t know if I want to wear hats.  I don’t know if I want to just be bald.  I do know I wish my boys didn’t have to see me lose my hair. I think it will scare them. I like “hippie” looking things and big earrings.  I am sure I will figure out some way to pull this off.

I’ve lost 12 pound since the ultrasound that identified “spots of concern”.  I need to gain weight before Wednesday.  This is extremely hard for me because when I am stressed- food is impossible to get down.  Yesterday I had a break through and craved cheese fries (which I never eat).  I downed them and then had red curry for dinner.  Pray that I can pack on some pounds before the chemo steals my appetite.

Two different doctors have prescribed me anti-anxiety/depression meds.  I have not picked up those prescriptions.  I do feel scared, and I do feel sad.  But isn’t that normal? We discussed a quote the other day with my students- it was something like- “Don’t fight the wave.  Ride the wave.”  I’m trying to ride this wave, and I am pretty sure that involves feelings of anxiety and sadness. But I know that if I embrace this, I will find peace.


8 thoughts on “Oncolologybobology.

  1. God Bless and a thousand prayers your way Melissa. I admire your courage and serenity. May the force be with you! Contact me if you need any advice or help finding natural cures, anything to help would be my honor. I’d be happy to show you how to extract the oils for cooking, a healthy alternative to smoking.


  2. You are a superhero and I will be your sidekick. When you get weak just remember I’m here and so are three magic meds (legal and not…yet legal). Also get the anti anxiety script filed and picked up. You don’t have to take it , but you need to have it on hand in car you do.

    As for the hair thing. I never wore big earrings, but I love them with my bald head. Try different things. You’ve got 6+ months to embrace “this temporary” you.



  3. You have a plan….. yea!!! Even though there may be a little detour somewhere along the line, or a hill you weren’t expecting to be so high to climb, know you are not alone. It’s a journey in which new friends will be made who are going through exactly the same thing. Use them, use the support, and it’s important that you spend time alone too, gathering thoughts. Get some new pj’s and cute slippers. Every woman loves new pj’s, even 3 or 4 new ones 🙂


  4. Hello, Melissa, I know that you seem to have a long road, but once you start ticking off the days,weeks,months, you will soon be on the other side of it. I am here for you – and Joel – and to support your mom and dad – they need support too! You’re on my prayer list.
    Hugs to you. We’re all walking with you – you’ll never “walk alone.”


  5. So as I think about all this and read all this, I am hardly surprised to see such support and love and light for such an amazing gal! And really the love and support from friends and family is priceless – and you’ve got that!!!. But so is a fighting spirit – and you’ve got that!!!. So is a therapeutic framework of healthy expression – and, well, I think you’ve got that in this blog, for one. But you also have the expertise and experience of phenomenal doctors paired with the latest medicinal treatment. So while you ride into this storm to fight, remember that you are wearing all these layers of armor and there is nothing but victory in your veins!!! Love and Light to YOU, to Joel, to the boys, to your family!!!


  6. Melissa, you are beautiful, with or without hair! And funky earrings will show up and be even more striking! You are Strong AND Beautiful!


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