I started chemotherapy one whole year ago. Can you imagine being in hospital for a year? I sat on a sticky jason recliner hour after hour waiting for a free nurse, for a blood test, for blood results, for the chemotherapy to be made up and then for the nurse to push the chemicals through my hickmans line sometimes the hickmans line didn’t even work. I had to have needles. These were the days I hated most. Then we would wait to see if I had any immediate reaction. Some drugs made me sick in the stomach, some made me lose my voice, some made me completely exhausted. Mum and I used to bring a picnic basket with food, my laptop, books, even sewing things. Each day we spent in 12a ward dreary. In the photos, I think I managed to look happy compared to the way I felt at the time.
The patients were generally aged, the windows had mirror film over them so you couldn’t see the otherwise beautiful harbour views.
Now this is a dreadful picture of me but I think it defines the way it feels everytime I have to have needles. I loved and trusted the nurses at North Shore Hospital. I formed friendships with some of them.
My hickmans drew blood on this particular day. I remember it taking so many goes. I was so relieved. Notice the outfit my nurse is wearing. She wore layer on layer with a mask and gloves. She is prepared to give me chemotherapy. It’s toxic. I can’t believe it went through my system. I was so exhausted from it.
WordPress is telling me I’m out of image space. I’ll put some more in the next blog.
A trip to the wig shop
On 8th Feb 2009 I attempted trying and buying wigs. I remember telling myself over and over “this is real, this is real. I have cancer, I can do this.” I was so nervous that I couldn’t drink my morning coffee. (That’s a big deal for me). We headed into Pitt St Sydney to a store called Wig Affair. Our appointment had been booked but when we arrived it looked like it was closed. Grant and I sat down at a close cafe and indulged in American waffles. I can’t have been too scared :). Then this gorgeous cropped haired lady walked around the corner and opened the shop. We walked in, “You must be Sam.” “Yes,” I said. She was so bubbly, so friendly. I felt safe.
I took my seat and started to pull back my limp long brown hair. I swallowed deeply telling myself that I am still beautiful. Even without hair. I can do this. I tried long, shoulder length and short hair, hair made from foreign countries- this really threw me it felt so overwhelmed and i felt like crying. The synthetic hair felt safer and I wouldn’t have to style it everyday. I left with the shoulder length one (the one I wear in a ponytail today) and Ann the sales lady was so cheery for me that she threw in a chin length one which I’ve never worn.
I remember getting in the car and calling Caley (my discipleship group leader) and being so brave. I know I just wanted to cry. But not in front of my family. I said that it was really successful and I was excited to wear them. I’m pretty sure tears were streaming down my face. I just kept swallowing.
Check out the pictures.