Chemo #2 & the power of song

getting chemotherapyI cried today — not because of cancer or chemo but because a nice man with a beautiful voice sang to me while I sat in my pink lounge chair in the infusion center. I didn’t have a private room this time but that’s okay because I may have missed my serenade had I been secluded.

the power of songTwo men arrived at the infusion center today with bongo drums and string instruments. They set up shop right in front of the line-up of pink chairs and they played and sang just to brighten the day. They are both cancer survivors and wanted to share their joy. They warmed up with “You Are My Sunshine” and then made up songs on the spot. They asked for single words from the crowd. I gave one word — “baby” — since I was looking at baby Jordan at the time. Someone else offered “happiness.” So this man sang a song about babies and happiness. Then he went to each person and asked for his/her name. And he sang a song just for that person. The song he sang for me made me cry — and my mom too. He included her and Jordan in the song and it was powerful and touching and uplifting. Click on the photo to see the video clip.

This chemo session was the same as the last — except that I didn’t have the private room and I did have music. Actually, it was better this time because the stick into my port didn’t hurt. No screaming today. I used some numbing cream prior to my visit and the nurse also used some kind of freezing agent. The combination worked.

So the drugs are in, and my hair is still falling out. Today was worse than yesterday. I tried to blow dry my hair today and each time I ran the brush through my hair, clumps came out. So I stopped drying it and put on a ballcap with my ponytail coming out the back. That seems to control it for now. I guess I’m not ready to surrender and shave my head just yet. I think I’ll see how much I lose and how much it thins. When I can’t stand the mess or the trauma, I’ll give in.

I gave my new hair a haircut last night. John wore it on his head for me so I could cut it. He looks stunning with long, blond hair. Now the hair sits on a styrofoam head, waiting to be worn. Joey saw it today and said, “Why did you give your hair a face?” I told him that the face is just holding the hair until I need it.

I need to get back into my chemo frame of mind now. I have felt so good for the past two weeks that I stopped taking my nausea medication and I keep forgetting to check my temperature. But now I have to start up with both again, with the hope that this two-week period follows a similar course. My blood counts were perfect today (and I’ll take my shot of Neulasta tomorrow to keep them up) so all is well.

I just took my post-chemo walk. I did that last time and I think I’ll make it my two-week kick-off!

Jacki Donaldson