Shellie’s journey with breast cancer

[Editor’s Note: On Jan. 10, 2017, Shellie Gossman found out she had breast cancer. She is sharing her journey with Times Plain Dealer  readers.]


CRESCO - I have finished chemo treatments!!! 
I am so happy to be done with those. That treatment was not fun. I felt horrible the whole week after.  I would finally start to feel better by the second weekend after the treatment, and then I would be back up for treatment. 
I have had every side effect possible with these drugs. When they give you your chemo class, they go through a list of possible side effects. Reading through it I thought for sure I would have a few but I really did not think I would have every one! 
The last couple weeks added digestive problems with horrible heartburn. 
I have also had a skin rash that won’t go away. It seems to start to disappear, then it is back again. I am sure that when I have been done with chemo for a few weeks that the rash will go away.
The waiting game starts now. When will my taste come back? When will my hair start to grow back? What color will my hair be?  
The chemo nurses said that my taste should come back within three weeks. I am not sure what the first thing I will make for supper after my taste comes back. I just miss the different tastes. I cannot wait for food to taste again. 
You would think that chemo would be a good diet plan considering nothing has a taste, but I have stayed the same weight as when I started. 
My oncologist is happy that I did not lose weight, since that is how they order the chemo drugs for you.
I was also told that my hair would start to grow soon. They said it would feel like peach fuzz at first. I wonder if it will feel like a newborn’s hair? They told me not to be surprised when it comes in a different color. I guess that is okay considering it’s been 20 years or so since I have seen the actual true color of my hair! Sort of like starting over.
They also said the texture would be different. It does not matter to me as long as it starts to grow back! I can’t wait for my eyebrows to grow back, also, although I am doing a pretty good job at applying eyebrows. I never gave it a thought that a person looks so pale without eyebrows. When I don’t “draw” some on I look pretty washed out.
The next thing that I need to do is get strong again for surgery that is coming up in July. I have about four weeks to get my strength back. I guess I better get started. They are a little worried about the fact that I am on the low side with my hemoglobin. That is the only thing that seems to have dropped way down. That would explain why I get so out of breath when walking. 
In July, I have some testing coming up to see if the chemo has shrunk the tumor. I can still feel the tumor but the nurse thinks it has shrunk. I sure hope so, I would hate to have gone through 20 weeks of chemo and not get results. 
The surgery will take care of what is left. I guess then I will have radiation.

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