On Beyond Cancer

My life with metastatic breast cancer

Options for hair loss November 27, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — onbeyondcancer @ 5:38 pm
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My sister-in-law recently asked me for information on hair loss for a friend of hers that was diagnosed with cancer.  I thought this information might be useful to others too.  There are of course many options, but I’m sharing a few of the simplest and inexpensive ones.

These are two companies that make easy and comfortable chemo caps.  No fancy tying required.  Both companies sell from their own website and Amazon.com.

Chemo Beanies
 
Turban Plus Abbey Caps
 
 
In terms of scarves, the best are 36″ square scarves of a soft material.  You can get these at any department store (or convince your sister to bring you one from Paris like I did 😉 ).  This link has some info on how to tie them: Scarf Tying Guide
 
Wigs can be a great option too and are often covered by insurance if a doctor writes a prescription for a “cranial prosthesis”.  I think the baseball cap/wig combo option is nice and is available in different lengths and hair colors:
Baseball cap with attached wig
 
Please share this with anyone who might need it.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Talking with kids about cancer November 26, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — onbeyondcancer @ 2:00 pm
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Living Beyond Breast Cancer is an organization that provides information and resources to women with breast cancer.  One of its features is a monthly “ask the expert” column.  November’s topic was talking with children about cancer.  I submitted questions to the expert and my questions were chosen to be answered.  You can check it out here: November 2013 Ask the Expert: Talking With Children About Breast Cancer.

 

Chemo today November 20, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — onbeyondcancer @ 10:56 am

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Having chemo this morning.  My mom is here with me today.  And you can see my hair in this photo.  Feeling fine.

 

Sporting a new ‘do November 13, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — onbeyondcancer @ 12:35 pm

My hair is finally long enough to be acceptable in public.  Yippee.  It has not filled in entirely yet, but the part that I didn’t lose with Halaven is covering my head fairly well.  Its been super cold here in NJ this week, so I’ve had to wear hats a lot outside.  Big thanks to my sister for getting on Facetime to give the thumbs up on my style and recommend hair products that would work best.  Don’t have a picture yet, but will post one soon.

 

2nd cycle of Gemzar today November 12, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — onbeyondcancer @ 3:38 pm
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Today is the beginning of my second cycle of Gemzar.  Counts are good and tumor markers were drawn today too. Mike is with me today keeping me company. 🙂

I have been working hard to figure out how to get my DNA testing covered by insurance, but today my casemanager called to say that the test was unlikely to be covered. I spoke with Dr. T today about it and she said that the Cancer Institute of NJ also performs this test as part of a clinical trial. This means I wouldn’t have to pay for it and the information would go towards research into the genetics of advanced breast cancer. Dr T is going to work on arranging this for me.

 

Mother’s helper November 8, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — onbeyondcancer @ 5:25 pm

My social worker is always looking for ways to make life a little easier for me. Last month she arranged for a mother’s helper to come over.  Miss J is a high school senior from a local private school where community service is one of the graduation requirements.  She has been coming over once a week for an hour after school on chemo day.  She helps Ethan with homework, reads to the boys and plays with them.  Ethan has been getting a lot of reports, tests, and projects this year so I’m hoping she can help with that.  This week she helped him study for a science test.
I’ve been using the time to spend some one on one time with Ryan, get dinner started, tidy up, or take a little break.  Miss J is very sweet and the boys seem to really enjoy her visits, so it has been great.

Otherwise, I have been feeling fine.  This is my “off” week, so I didn’t get an infusion.  Side effects of gemzar seem mild.  I have been working on finding out whether the genetic test Dr. T wants me to have will be at least partly covered by insurance.  It is looking like it might at least be covered as out of network, so better than nothing.

 

Calendars are here November 2, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — onbeyondcancer @ 10:59 am
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The Hair to Share calendars are in.  Each calendar is $20 and benefits cancer patients in NJ whose insurance does not cover the cost of a wig.  I’m Mrs. August and three of my friends from the Young Survivors support group are featured in the calendar as well.  If you have already told me you’d like a calendar, I will have one reserved for you.  Anyone else who is interested in purchasing one, let me know.