Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Part 17: Weeping Willows

A noticeable increase of golden brown strands collected in her brush daily during that first week of chemo. They draped over her fingers like weeping willow branches as she pulled away her hands when washing her hair. While sitting in meetings at work she would notice strays laying on the table and brushed them away hoping no one noticed. The doctor had said the drug would not cause hair loss. She, however, noticed a contradiction to that expectation, which began almost immediately after starting treatment.

After discussing with her friends, she concluded that hormones instead were most likely the cause. Many gals mentioned losing large amounts of hair after delivering their babies—a time when HCG levels would be dropping. It made sense to the woman because, in a way, she had "delivered" something during her surgery and assumingly her hormone levels were dropping drastically now that she was on the chemo. To the woman, having a similar experience to a post-pregnant woman, yet being so far from that place, felt odd.

Her bleeding, while lessened, still continued. One of the many things she had looked forward to in getting pregnant was the lack of monthly cycles. Life had certainly dealt her an ironic hand. Two and a half months, she thought. When is this going to stop? After her last injection that week she noticed her flow likened to a medium period—less than what she experienced the week of her scare, but heavier than "normal." It bothered her.

Friday night rolled around. The woman and her husband decided to stay in for a movie night. As the evening progressed she experienced something she hadn't felt for awhile. The muscles in her lower abdomen contracted, similar to cramps during a heavy period. This, combined with the "abnormal" flow and the fact she had passed a few more small clots over the past few days, heightened her state of alarm. Taking precautionary measures, the woman folded up a towel and placed it beneath her just in case.

The intensity of the cramps increased during the movie, but she made it through crisis free. Crawling into bed that night she prayed for protection, fearing the worst: another trip to the hospital. She laid her burdens down, rested her head gently on the pillow, and quickly drifted off to sleep.

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