Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Beat the Summertime Heat!

I used to love summer, but CML (chronic mylogenous leukemia) has changed that. Now summertime means more days of feeling crappy! It seems that either CML, or the treatment for CML, makes the heat intolerable.

I still love gardening and the great outdoors, spending time at the local watering hole and enjoying outdoor activities with our grandchildren, but this can cause exhaustion and flu-like symptoms with minimal exposure to the heat.

Even getting into a hot car can cause a headache and nausea for me, and dancing in the summertime is always a challenge!

My number one line of defense in the summer, is to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water (sports drinks may be a good idea, too)and my number two, and favorite line of defense is my chilly pad, also known as "Nana's Rag"!

I do not go anywhere without my chilly pad; it is my constant summertime friend. I actually have several of them so that I can rotate them to avoid stinkiness; one for the garden, kinda' dirty, one for dancing, and one for "going out on the town", this year I think that I am, going to try the ball cap, too, and see if keeping my head cooler will help with the summertime blues!

It is not often that I endorse products of any kind, but I promise that you will be amazed at just how cool these clothes are, and how much they can help you beat the heat.

Keep in mind these signs of heat stroke during this time of year:

The major signs and symptoms of heat stroke include:

               1. Nausea
               2. Vomiting
                3. Fatigue
                4. Weakness
                5. Headache
                6.  Muscle Cramps
                7. Dizziness

Let us all have a great summer whether you are sheering sheep, planting and harvesting your garden, dancing, fishing, bike riding or rock climbing, please try to stay cool, and healthy!

And don't forget the sunscreen!!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Time to Ride the Silver Hair Train

A little over four years ago I was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia. I had no idea what that meant, but I did know that cancer is never a good thing. While I had a million questions and scenarios whirling around in my head, the most prevalent question running through my mind was, "Am I going to die?"

Well, we are ALL going to die "someday," so my next question was "What do I need to do to live?" The answer to that question was that I would likely have to remain on a daily dose, of a specific type of chemotherapy, for the rest of my life.  I can do that!

Simple enough, right? What I did not realize at the time,  was just how taxing a potent medication can be on your body. My life-saving drug wreaks havoc, in many ways, and today I am going to discuss one of them.

This particular side effect of Dasatinib, otherwise known as Sprycel, is not life-threatening, but can be life-altering. It is a side effect that strips the color, not only out of my body; which is apparent through my pasty white skin, but out of my hair, too!

Yup, my whole head of hair is now void of any color! I am not sure whether it is white, silver, or some strange combination of the two, but after speaking with my oncologist and my husband, not to mention my internal conflicting thoughts, I have decided to let it grown out and show its' true colors!

This is going to be a process that is easier said than done. Every single morning I wake up and look into the mirror; and what I see is a bit frightening, yet a bit fascinating, too. I have always admired men and women that rock their gorgeous white/silver/grey hair and always wondered if I would ever be able to do the same.

Be careful what you wish for, right? I now have my chance; I have made my decision and I am just going to go for it! No blending, no dying, no more harmful chemicals on my head. I am not sure how long this process will take, or exactly how this is going to work or look, but I promise to share my progress with you.

I know that many people will think that I am nuts, and I may come to that conclusion myself, somewhere down the line, but for now, I am rocking the Pepe' Le Pew look!

And that is all!

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Bricks for the Brave!!