This entry was written by Jaime Rossano. Jaime, an instructor at a play and music facility, is also a college student pursuing a degree in Humanities and Social Science. Every other Friday, Jaime will share a blog entry about her breast cancer experience. This year-long blog series is in honor of LBBC’s 20th anniversary.
To read Jaime’s previous entries, enter “Jaime Rossano” in the search box on this site.
Happy New Year! Ronnie was sick and ended up with a 102-degree fever and an ear infection in both ears. What a way to kick off the New Year. But still, things are starting to settle in.
I’m going through a nesting period. I haven’t felt this way since I was pregnant with Ronnie. This time I think it is worse because Ronnie is all I keep worrying about. Are we stocked on diapers? Do we have wipes? Is there toilet paper? Do we have juice and veggies? Wow, a lot goes on in the mind of a mommy, especially when she is sick. I just want to be prepared in case mommy can’t make it to the store for a week. Yes, I know that’s what daddies are for. But in my case, it’s what I do.
Just two days before I started chemo, it was so nice of my husband’s aunt to take the time out of her busy schedule to give me a cute pixie cut. I can’t help that I hated it so much! I came home, took a shower, sat on the toilet and cried so hard – I hate breast cancer…
It took me a total of 10 minutes after my shower to tell my husband, “I need you to do something. Get your clippers. You need you to shave my head.” “You’re not serious,” he said. I bent over the tub and there went the rest of my hair. I took a deep breath and felt like the world was lifted right off of my shoulders. I know it may seem a little drastic and a little early to do it – but what is the difference between now and 14 days from now? It’s going to fall out anyway.
January 10th rolled around – my first day of chemo. I woke up, got dressed, got Ronnie ready and out the door we went. I could hardly sleep the night before, dreaming of all the things I was going to feel, imagine, experience and live through. Ronnie was safe and sound at school. I, on the other hand, was sitting in my chemo room.
The room was not very personal. While all of us who were there for chemo sat rather cozy in the chemo chairs, some of us stared at each other or at the TV, and you could even catch some people snoring. I, on the other hand, continued to stare at the bag and the liquid that was dripping away through the tubes and into my body. I am a control freak but I have no control over what the nausea meds, steroids, and chemo is going to do to me.
I started my chemo session at 1:11 p.m. I should have played the lottery that day. I may have won. Around 3:30 p.m. I was done, ready to go home and take a nap. I felt a little weird but that was nothing compared to what was to come next – a wave of nausea and, oh yes, the headache had finally arrived. I felt like a train wreck.
For the next 5 days, I literally alternated between the couch, the bed and the floor for playtime with Ronnie. He adjusted very well to mommy not feeling well. It was cute. He sat right in the middle of me while I lay on my side to play with him. He even told me, “Mommy, drink your juice.” I felt so weak, so exhausted and so useless – but he just makes my heart melt.
A couple of days later, I’m finally able to say “I feel okay.” I’m not going to lie and tell you like other people have told me, “IT’S NOT THAT BAD.” All I can say is everyone’s experience is different. This is my journey and my journey is going to have several bumps in the road.
Earlier in the week I went out for the first time since chemo and showed off my new hair-do. I caught people looking at me in a confused way – it’s kind of funny. I still find it hard to look people in the eye to say “hi.” Maybe if I avoid eye contact, I will avoid the questions. So far, it’s been working. But I know sooner than later, I will have to face it…
How would you recommend that Jaime respond to any breast cancer related questions? Tell Jaime about your experiences with opening up about your diagnosis to family and friends who expressed concern. Comment here or on our Facebook page.
Be sure to read Jaime’s previous entries, by entering “Jaime Rossano” in the search box on this site.