The Stacey Report

Friday, August 25: Chemo Treatment #8

Posted in Uncategorized by ohthatdeb on August 25, 2006

The eigth and final scheduled visit to the Chemo Cafe this week was long and, you guessed it, boooooring. Stacey was there with one other woman who was also having her last Taxol treatment, much celebrating all around. Because of her vacation next week, Stacey also had a double shot of Herceptin this week, which took extra long, so she was there all day. I’ll have to check again on the actual time count, but let’s just say that it was too dang long. I’ll have a detailed report of medications and other technical stuff in the coming days.
This week was ok until yesterday when the aches and pains set in with a vengeance… well, ok, maybe just with crankiness. Stacey’s legs and feet hurt a lot and she felt just generally crappy. I stopped by yesterday and she wanted to show me something strange that was going on with her fingernails. She had said that the woman at work told her that the skin around her fingernails turned dark and it felt as if her nails were going to come out, so I was expecting something pretty gross, I’ll admit.

OK, I’d just like to point out here that in Stacey’s own words, she is “a bad girl.” Not that she is bad, but that she is bad at being a girl. You know that song “I Enjoy Being a Girl”? Well, not so much. All that hair and makeup and schmantzy clothing stuff, no interest in any of that since early college. This is not incredibly surprising, given that the fashion industry (on which I have many and negative opinions, I’ll try not to get started) has informed her consistently and in no uncertain terms that no matter what she does, a person of her body type is unacceptable. No wonder she finally said “screw ’em!”

So, along comes this cancer thing, patently unfair, but here’s the funny part:

(yeah, cancer, twitter twitter, that’s real funny, Deb)

The funny part is that the side effects that make other people look worse make her look gorgeous. OK, can’t really get around the hair thing, although the “Can’t Fail” Scarf by Mary Ann Weiss at CJ Hats makes a medical necessity into a fashion opportunity! But I digress.

I’ve already mentioned how great her skin looks. I mean, great. Frankly, I can tell that she looks a little pale (not that she’s generally the swarthy type: I got all of the Henri genes, she’s got the rosier Gibbs thing going on.) But to all the world she looks like a smooth-skinned, rosy-cheeked maid. With an endearing scowl. And a hand raised to… hey, wait a minute… OW!

Geez. Try to give a girl a compliment.

Anyway, she showed me her nails:”So, it’s weird, the skin here… is that called the cuticle?”

(Pause.) “Yes, Stacey. That’s a cuticle.”

“So the skin here is all, I don’t know, gone. It used to be all sort of up on my nails and raggedy, and now it’s all smooth like this.”

I swear to Durga, it looked exactly like a ‘spensive manicure. Even the fact that her nails are not growing at all now, combined with the long-standing nail-biting thing, has left her with slightly short but perfectly smooth, rounded tops, and her cuticles look just perfectly perfect. Again, we know that they are not perfect, that they are in fact stunted, but they look marvelous!

If this were someone else, I might be inclined to growl at sudden perfect skin and nails. But given the givens, I am more inclined to say Ha! And, Ha ha HA! And take THAT, stupid Fashion Industry! And, most emphatically, Screw ‘Em!

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