Monday, February 14, 2011

Protein, music, new hair

Round Two of chemo was last week. This time it was outpatient, which meant one full day at the hospital being pumped with drugs, then a half-day of hydration (being pumped with saline), and then two more days at home, toting a fetching shoulder bag that held a battery-operated pump hooked to a smaller bag of drugs hooked into a vein in my chest.

The upside of home chemo is obvious: rather than spending days in a hospital environment, with its ongoing chorus of beeping machines and people monitoring your pee (how much and how often), you get to veg out in your own bed, eating your own food, watching whatever awful movies you feel like.

On the other hand, the nice thing about being in the hospital is the wealth of resource specialists that come to visit. (I admit that I've pretty much thrown open the doors and said I'd be happy to meet with anyone who's around. It's as much professional interest as personal need.)

So Tuesday was auricular acupuncture (that's needles in yer ears), which was interesting, though I don't know whether I was supposed to feel different; an insanely good massage from a guy with big, warm hands; and art therapy (we made Valentine's Day cards with stickers, which was delightfully like being in daycare).

On Wednesday I had a great chat with nutritionist Carol Sullivan. One of the most important things she pointed out was that I should be getting at least 75g of protein a day, or 130 percent of the RDA.

She broke it down into portions: an ounce of chicken; 2 ounces of feta; a cup of ice cream; a half-cup of black beans each count as about 8g of protein. But that still seemed like a tough task — I don't eat huge portions at the best of time, and certainly not when I'm under the weather. How was I going to get through four and a half cups of beans a day???

As it turned out, it was easy. A cheese omelette for breakfast, plus a fruit smoothie with Greek yogurt, took care of around 24g. Baked beans and cheese on toast for lunch (or an Anna's Taqueria chicken taco with beans and sour-cream-filled guacamole) knocked out a few more. With an afternoon nibble on cottage cheese, poached fish for dinner, and a late-nite ice cream snacky, I was doing well.

And once I realized that Odwalla does shakes with double-digit protein counts, that made things even easier.

Wednesday was also my second music therapy class, which I continue to love.

And today I had my remaining hair shaved off and got a kinda kicky '60s wig.

Those last two sentences come together in the following video, my first attempt in iMovie. Enjoy!

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Blogger rsaltus said...

Love the hair! Next stop, white go-go boots, and put on some Austin Powers movies.....
You're rockin' on the keyboards, too!
all best from DFCI Comm.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Love, love, love the hair!

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Alison said...

Hi Carolyn, love the hair, it so suits you, it looks fab :-) Got to say ive just shed a few tears while reading your updates and watching your little video, you seem to be coping with all of this amazingly, so proud of you :-) Keep your chin up hun, thinking about you lots. Take care Alison xxxx

PS Shame Mr Lester wasnt able to give some music lessons lol !!

5:41 PM  
Blogger Chez Terez said...

Love, love, love this. You look amazing. Your strength and grace and attitude is phenomenal. XO!! Terez

7:58 PM  
Blogger jess said...

I want to preface by saying I don't feel sorry for this, because I'm kind of a wuss: your video made me teary. I'm so proud to be your colleague. The wig is super awesome. I should go to Haight St. and buy you an appropriately tie-dyed handbag :)

12:09 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

Okay, so first, you looked AWESOME without hair! Some people have the face and head shape for it and you definitely do. The wig is fabulous -- suits your style and your looks to a T! And I'd like to second my profound admiration at your strength, grace and willingness to share this experience with us. Love! Meredith

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Bill said...

You are rocking it, both the music and the hair. If I may be so forward to make a suggestion, for your next concert would you consider breaking out some old school Replacements? Loud and fast, sister. Loud and fast.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Welcome to the smooth look!

As 80% of the body's heat escapes through the head, be sure to never point your head at anyone. You could burn them severely.

The uke and cool doo established - you're ready to gig with Amanda P. Now, for some eyebrow henna! ;>

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anne Doerr said...

You're my hero! Have to say I cried too. I'm going to try and not complain about anything today. Love ya!

10:40 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Looking great!

I've been collecting wigs from here: and they are so much fun. I wore a pink one to the Highland Kitchen the other night.

I'm so sorry this hard thing has happened to you but you guys are dealing with it so beautifully. Thank you for sharing with us.

9:49 AM  

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