First Chemo and Shaving Party! It Was GREAT!

LadyParvati
LadyParvati Member Posts: 328
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Yesterday I had my first chemo and followed it with the greatest Shaving Party! The chemo went very smoothly, nothing hurt. I think it was more difficult for my sons than for me--they went with me but were pretty uncomfortable at first. Then as they realized that other patients had visitors keeping them company, they relaxed and wanted to play cards, but none of us had brought cards. So Erik & Rex went off to buy cards. When they returned we used a little footstool as a card table and just had fun. Erik gave the cards to the nurses to keep when we left.

Then we came back home. My DH left to put helium in balloons, my sons made guacamole, and we packed up chips & salsa, the guacamole, brownies I'd made yesterday, and plates, pretty napkins with pink cherry blossoms on them, and cups and headed for my friend and hair stylist, Walker. When we arrived, two of my friends were already there!

They helped us clear off a table and we set out the party. The woman from the bakery next door (who is also a Survivor Sister) brought a giant cookie with pink frosting. Another friend brought a selection of cake slices from another local bakery. About 30 people showed up, my DH said.

Walker started--but he didn't just shave off my hair--he styled it into several different, increasingly shorter styles as he went! I never knew my hair could look so CUTE really short! (Though my 7-year-old grandson said I looked like a boy at one point!)

He took photos, my DIL took photos, another friend videoed the whole thing. Everyone talked, and I got LOTS of wonderful hugs. Some people brought gifts, but the best gift of all was their presence--the support and encouragement and cheer they brought me was so wonderful and amazing.

It was the best party! I feel really good about my hair being gone "early," as I don't have to deal with the distress of it _falling_ out, and I'm really amazed at the sense of freedom I feel. I told Walker (and others) that I know I'll be much more adventuresome in the future, certainly with haircuts & styles, but probably also with other things. I feel like a butterfly just free of the chrysalis!

I have to thank my friend Toby Hamilton, a Sister Survivor who told me about her Shaving Party with her family, and my friend Nancy, who owns Cookies & Cards and who brought the giant pink cookie, for first inspiring me to do it this way, and I thank so many of you who reinforced that suggestion--it was GREAT!

Sandy

Edit--I almost forgot--after the party was over, some of us went out to eat at a local favorite Mexican restaurant. I got the tortilla soup with chicken & avocado, which I LOVE--and it was too spicy! But it wasn't spicy--my DH tasted it and shook his head, Walker tasted it and said, "This isn't spicy at all!" So I know that the taste changes are already occurring. After eating, we came back to our house and played cards until after 10 p.m. (Some people had to work today, so we quit early!) I had one of the leftover brownies and was glad that at least that tasted good! But who knows what today will bring?

New Adventures! S

Comments

  • Jeanne D
    Jeanne D Member Posts: 1,867
    So happy for you ♥
    Sandy, what an inspirational and happy post you wrote this morning! It made my ♥ smile! You took lemons and made lemonade! What a wonderful family and what great friends you have! You are truly blessed! I am so glad that your party and even your "after" party was such a great and happy experience. Hoping that the rest of your chemo goes just as smoothly for you!

    Love, Jeanne ♥
  • MyTurnNow
    MyTurnNow Member Posts: 2,686 Member
    Sandy, your party sounds
    Sandy, your party sounds like a huge success. It is a wonderful way to positively go through losing your hair. I didn't have the "party" and had a traumatic time of sitting in my hairdresser's chair and having my head shaved. I cried like a baby. The party, like you did, is the way to go. Maybe this will help the sisters on this site as they have to go down this road. Thanks for a very uplifting and positive story. It was very enjoyable!! I'm also glad that your chemo went as scheduled right along with the party. Wishing you minimal side effects as you continue your journey. Take care.
  • crselby
    crselby Member Posts: 441
    Everything's Yellow
    Sending you a virtual bouquet of yellow flowers, all shades of yellow and all types, that smell wonderful and look cheery. In the virtual clear glass vase you'll see slices of lemon floating against the glass. All of it is tied with a fluttery yellow bow. You are the MASTER of taking lemons and making them into lemonade! I will continue to enjoy reading your posts. My best wishes to you for smooth sailing through side effects. You're killing the cancer and that's GOOD.
    ~~Connie~~
  • DianeBC
    DianeBC Member Posts: 3,881 Member
    crselby said:

    Everything's Yellow
    Sending you a virtual bouquet of yellow flowers, all shades of yellow and all types, that smell wonderful and look cheery. In the virtual clear glass vase you'll see slices of lemon floating against the glass. All of it is tied with a fluttery yellow bow. You are the MASTER of taking lemons and making them into lemonade! I will continue to enjoy reading your posts. My best wishes to you for smooth sailing through side effects. You're killing the cancer and that's GOOD.
    ~~Connie~~

    :)
    What a great party you had Sandy! Losing one's hair because of chemo is so devastating, but, you turned it into a fun party! What Jeanne said was so true, you took lemons and made lemonade. You are amazing!

    Hugs, Diane ♥
  • survivorbc09
    survivorbc09 Member Posts: 4,374 Member
    DianeBC said:

    :)
    What a great party you had Sandy! Losing one's hair because of chemo is so devastating, but, you turned it into a fun party! What Jeanne said was so true, you took lemons and made lemonade. You are amazing!

    Hugs, Diane ♥

    Great attitude Sandy! I am
    Great attitude Sandy! I am glad that your chemo went so well for you and you had such a great time at your party!

    HUGS
  • fauxma
    fauxma Member Posts: 3,577 Member

    Great attitude Sandy! I am
    Great attitude Sandy! I am glad that your chemo went so well for you and you had such a great time at your party!

    HUGS

    Sandy,
    I think this will be

    Sandy,
    I think this will be so good for others to hear. You took what is often a trauma and something you could have had no control over and made it your own. You didn't cancer take this from you. I really like that you empowered yourself. I hope should I ever need chemo to follow this wonderful example. What to go, gal.
    Stef
  • Tinabug
    Tinabug Member Posts: 158
    THANK YOU
    Sandy,

    Thank you for sharing your party & sunshine with us. I found out today, I have to have chemo & have been so upset about losing my hair(among a lot other things.) However, I am now looking forward to my "Pink Shaving Party." I am going to start planning my party tonight.

    I love your attitude...I hope I can stay as positive thru my journey.

    Hugs,
    Tina
  • susie09
    susie09 Member Posts: 2,930
    Tinabug said:

    THANK YOU
    Sandy,

    Thank you for sharing your party & sunshine with us. I found out today, I have to have chemo & have been so upset about losing my hair(among a lot other things.) However, I am now looking forward to my "Pink Shaving Party." I am going to start planning my party tonight.

    I love your attitude...I hope I can stay as positive thru my journey.

    Hugs,
    Tina

    Go Sandy!
    WOW! What a great party Sandy! Thanks for sharing it with all of us. I know it will help many that are struggling now.

    ♠♣ Susie ♠♣
  • LadyParvati
    LadyParvati Member Posts: 328
    Tinabug said:

    THANK YOU
    Sandy,

    Thank you for sharing your party & sunshine with us. I found out today, I have to have chemo & have been so upset about losing my hair(among a lot other things.) However, I am now looking forward to my "Pink Shaving Party." I am going to start planning my party tonight.

    I love your attitude...I hope I can stay as positive thru my journey.

    Hugs,
    Tina

    Way to Go!
    Tina,

    I posted a Facebook invitation for my friends, e-mailed a few who don't do Facebook, and announced it in church. I am so glad that I also got a journal (pink in my case) for people to write inspirational or cheery thoughts in--I've really enjoyed reading their messages! I know that those loving words will help me get through some of the "down" days ahead.

    Hope your Pink Shaving Party is a huge success! Keep us posted! I'll be there in spirit!

    Sandy
  • DianeBC
    DianeBC Member Posts: 3,881 Member
    Tinabug said:

    THANK YOU
    Sandy,

    Thank you for sharing your party & sunshine with us. I found out today, I have to have chemo & have been so upset about losing my hair(among a lot other things.) However, I am now looking forward to my "Pink Shaving Party." I am going to start planning my party tonight.

    I love your attitude...I hope I can stay as positive thru my journey.

    Hugs,
    Tina

    Tina
    Wishing you as much fun Tina as Sandy had at her party! Post and let us know!

    Hugs, Diane ♥
  • Alexis F
    Alexis F Member Posts: 3,598
    DianeBC said:

    Tina
    Wishing you as much fun Tina as Sandy had at her party! Post and let us know!

    Hugs, Diane ♥

    Great Party Sandy!
    What a way to attack something that so many dread! Great approach to it Sandy and a great attitude!


    Lex♥
  • Mama G
    Mama G Member Posts: 762
    Alexis F said:

    Great Party Sandy!
    What a way to attack something that so many dread! Great approach to it Sandy and a great attitude!


    Lex♥

    WHAT FUN!
    I wonder how you felt the next day, though. I could NEVER have eaten that stuff after my first chemo. What chemo are you taking? I did the a/c and was soooo nauseas and dizzy.

    I had an idea that the friends of the person who is about to get chemo should give that woman a "chemo shower". Have a party before the first chemo and give presents like hats, scarves, casseroles to freeze, coupons for cleaning or washing, ect.. I would love to get something like that started in my area. Maybe run it by the ACS in my 'hood.
  • LadyParvati
    LadyParvati Member Posts: 328
    Mama G said:

    WHAT FUN!
    I wonder how you felt the next day, though. I could NEVER have eaten that stuff after my first chemo. What chemo are you taking? I did the a/c and was soooo nauseas and dizzy.

    I had an idea that the friends of the person who is about to get chemo should give that woman a "chemo shower". Have a party before the first chemo and give presents like hats, scarves, casseroles to freeze, coupons for cleaning or washing, ect.. I would love to get something like that started in my area. Maybe run it by the ACS in my 'hood.

    AC Chemo
    I'm taking the AC combo, too. They must have gotten the pre-med dosages just right, because I didn't have any nausea the first day, and very little yesterday. Today just a wave of nausea; took phenergan & feel OK but really tired. But I have to admit that I ate very little at or after the party--too much going on! Maybe that helped prevent the nausea from being bad the next day, I don't know.

    I love your idea of a Chemo Shower, Mama G! That's exactly what we need! A few people brought gifts to my Shaving Party--hats, scarves, inspirational books & plaques and a candle, and several people offered any help I need (and I know those offers were sincere). Several people also brought treats for the party.

    I just know that I'm really glad I did the Shaving Party. Now I'm having fun learning to tie scarves!

    Sandy
  • sallyf
    sallyf Member Posts: 33
    Oh My Gosh!
    Sandy, you are so awesome and helpful to the rest of us at the same time. I start my chemo... T/C, tomorrow morning,and I went and got my heair cut really short....just to start psycing myself out. I was going to have my husband shave my head in a few weeks, but now I think I'll have a party too! Now, I know I'll feel crummy somewhere about days 3-6, yes? I also hear hair starts to fall out anywhere from 2-3 weeks from 1st chemo. Should I plan my "shaving party" like the 2nd week??
    Oh, gotta ask this question. I can't be the ONLY girl who wonders! I like to have a glass of wine in the evening...........I know about the huge link betw. cancer and alcohol, but my onc. says it's not a problem. I wonder if I'll lose my taste for it. Does anyone still embibe sometimes?
    Oh, also I was given a great link to help women prep for chemo -Lots of helpful tips:
    www.community.bc.org/forum. Thanks to everyone, and today, a big THANKS to Sandy.
    Hugs to all,
    Sally
  • LadyParvati
    LadyParvati Member Posts: 328
    sallyf said:

    Oh My Gosh!
    Sandy, you are so awesome and helpful to the rest of us at the same time. I start my chemo... T/C, tomorrow morning,and I went and got my heair cut really short....just to start psycing myself out. I was going to have my husband shave my head in a few weeks, but now I think I'll have a party too! Now, I know I'll feel crummy somewhere about days 3-6, yes? I also hear hair starts to fall out anywhere from 2-3 weeks from 1st chemo. Should I plan my "shaving party" like the 2nd week??
    Oh, gotta ask this question. I can't be the ONLY girl who wonders! I like to have a glass of wine in the evening...........I know about the huge link betw. cancer and alcohol, but my onc. says it's not a problem. I wonder if I'll lose my taste for it. Does anyone still embibe sometimes?
    Oh, also I was given a great link to help women prep for chemo -Lots of helpful tips:
    www.community.bc.org/forum. Thanks to everyone, and today, a big THANKS to Sandy.
    Hugs to all,
    Sally

    Go for it!
    I'm guessing the second week would be good. My Shaving Party was *supposed* to occur the second week, but there were scheduling issues with my chemo port. The start date got rescheduled twice. Also, my sons could all participate on 1/4, but two were leaving the state 1/5. Put all together, that's why the shaving party ended up on the first day of chemo. Even so, I do not regret it at all--what's one or two weeks more of a bald head going to do to me? Nothing!

    I used to have a glass of wine in the evenings, too. I cut down to the weekends after learning about the cancer-alcohol link. I've found that since starting chemo, it doesn't sound very appealing, but I may have a glass sometime after the first effects of the treatment have worn off. Right now, mostly things don't taste badly--they just don't taste all that good. Also, even faint queasiness is enough to put me off alcohol in any form, and I have been experiencing faint queasiness much of the time.

    If that's the worst it gets, I'll consider myself very lucky!

    I hope your chemo goes smoothly with as few ill effects as possible. I'll look forward to your posts--After I do four rounds of A/C, I will be doing four rounds of T--I hear that it comes with its own challenges!

    Good luck, Sally!

    Sandy
  • newbiefromcananda
    newbiefromcananda Member Posts: 234
    good for you !!!! glad you
    good for you !!!! glad you enjoyed it !! now you can join the bald sisters you just have to say ""HAIR TODAY GONE TOMORROW,,, WILL BE BACK SOON!!! LOL XOXOXXOXO lISA
  • newbiefromcananda
    newbiefromcananda Member Posts: 234
    sallyf said:

    Oh My Gosh!
    Sandy, you are so awesome and helpful to the rest of us at the same time. I start my chemo... T/C, tomorrow morning,and I went and got my heair cut really short....just to start psycing myself out. I was going to have my husband shave my head in a few weeks, but now I think I'll have a party too! Now, I know I'll feel crummy somewhere about days 3-6, yes? I also hear hair starts to fall out anywhere from 2-3 weeks from 1st chemo. Should I plan my "shaving party" like the 2nd week??
    Oh, gotta ask this question. I can't be the ONLY girl who wonders! I like to have a glass of wine in the evening...........I know about the huge link betw. cancer and alcohol, but my onc. says it's not a problem. I wonder if I'll lose my taste for it. Does anyone still embibe sometimes?
    Oh, also I was given a great link to help women prep for chemo -Lots of helpful tips:
    www.community.bc.org/forum. Thanks to everyone, and today, a big THANKS to Sandy.
    Hugs to all,
    Sally

    HI SANDY I HAVE HAD 3 CHEMO
    HI SANDY I HAVE HAD 3 CHEMO TREATMENTS i LOST MY HAIR 11 DAYS AFTER 1ST TREATMENT (TRIED TO MAKE IT TO MY HUBBYS CHRISTMAS PARTY WITH MY LONG BLONDE HAIR (IT DIDN'T MAKE IT ) BUT I DID !!! HAD A REALLY GOOD TIME TO ... GOOD LUCK AND YOU WILL BE BEAUTIFUL NO MATTER WHAT!!! (((HUGS))) LISA
  • Megan M
    Megan M Member Posts: 3,000
    Mama G said:

    WHAT FUN!
    I wonder how you felt the next day, though. I could NEVER have eaten that stuff after my first chemo. What chemo are you taking? I did the a/c and was soooo nauseas and dizzy.

    I had an idea that the friends of the person who is about to get chemo should give that woman a "chemo shower". Have a party before the first chemo and give presents like hats, scarves, casseroles to freeze, coupons for cleaning or washing, ect.. I would love to get something like that started in my area. Maybe run it by the ACS in my 'hood.

    Your party sounds so nice
    Your party sounds so nice Sandy! And, you ate all of that food? That is so great! I hope that you just sail thru chemo with no side effects.

    Megan