Progress Report

Aloha Team!

Round 4 in phase one is done on the chemo front!  Ah, that means that I am done with the toughest drugs and in a few weeks I will start a new pair of drugs, which should have less side effects.  Phew.

First and foremost, thank you to those of you that donated to the Ocean Institute.  It means a lot to me that you took the initiative to do it.  If anyone met any obstacles along the way–couldn’t get through, phone calls not returned, busy with life–I am providing the simple click, super easy method website link:

Just make sure that in the “comments,” “name recognition,” and “name opportunity” you make it abundantly clear that this donation is noted for Serena Neff and/or The Instructor Fund.

Back to all the side effects and chemo life…

The first dose was the hardest because I didn’t know what to expect but this last one seems to be going pretty well; I’m mainly just tired.

My hair, even in it’s shaved down buzzer level one mode (I imagine the gentlemen readers understand what this means; ladies, 1/4 inch long hair), is still hanging in there in many places but I shed more every day.  I’m not really into the shave down to bald thing; my hair can abandon ship as it chooses.  Though, I must say, at times I miss having hair.  Luckily, it’s summer and it’s hot and in about three months it should start growing back in!  Plus, I have a sweet collection of hats, scarves and head wear to work through over the next few months!  Mahalo to those that contributed 🙂

Hair part 2: Yes, you are correct, I do not have to shave my legs or arm pits because hair does not grow.  I’m saving money on razors and haircuts!  And my eyebrows and eyelashes are still in tact!

I have had a few mouth sores which is gross but they don’t last long.  Mostly the immune system crash out translates to me sleeping like a teenager.  In bed by 9pm and up at 8am.  I can work with that.

The first few days after an injection, I’m typically not hungry.  I haven’t thrown up which is wonderful!  And when I feel nauseous, I try to eat something.  Maintaining weight for the time being.

One thing I am ready to be all done with is my steroid shots.  Tonight I start the last of my final seven and then I shouldn’t have any more to worry about.  Did you know that you can actually change the texture of your skin to prevent a needle from passing just by thinking about it?  Yup, I have to psych myself out to give my own shots.  My juvenile diabetes friends with pumps, you two have earned extra kudos than I already give you!

Usually, by day 7-10 after an injection, I feel back to normal and can eat and play and sleep just like I should.

It looks like as I head into phase two, I should be able to ease back into work.  While I have enjoyed semi-retirement and focusing on not vomiting and sleeping lots, I think I’m ready to get my brain back to active and in the game, back towards working with more purpose and goals.

I think the chemo drugs have worked to sweep out all the cobwebs in my brain; many things seem clearer and easier (knocking on wood now).  Over the last year, I imagine this cancer crap has wrecked not just my boob but my whole well-being.  That selfish punk!  It made me tired and cloudy and out of it and simply not myself.  Now it’s gone–mostly gone?  Whatever–and I feel much more capable of tackling life.

Now, go click that website above, save some whales and teachers, and we’ll chat soon!