Truthfully, a Bit of Ugliness


aShirley and red hat Striving always toward the basic tenet of my writings which is truth, I certainly included that thought when I set up this blog, knowing, however,  that at times this would prove difficult, for sometimes the truth is ugly. Now I do understand I am not required to post about the unpleasant, the undesirable, the ugly, and for the most part I adhere to that thinking in all my pieces. By nature I am enthusiastic and upward looking, for it comes natural for me to see the encouraging attributes of most any situation. But this blog is about cancer and sometimes its truth is ugly. It definitely would be unfair of me to skirt these issues.

My reaction to my first chemo session was severe. I suffered intense nausea so that I could hardly eat. However, I was distinctly thankful for the two drugs I had been given to help alleviate the situation. I was instructed to take Zofran at the first inkling of a problem; if I had no relief within an hour, or if the relief lasted less than six hours, I was to take Compazine. Although I continued to have significant nausea for about two weeks, I did not vomit at all. What a blessing that was.

Four other problems hounded me:

1. I developed a severe rash, for which I had to visit a doctor. (Dr. Chan was on vacation so each time I developed a problem I had to see a different doctor, which couldn’t be helped.) Dr. Anderson prescribed an anti-bacterial cream, which worked rapidly and effectively.

2. Deep bone pain is a known affect  of chemo, and of the drug Nupogen. Within the first week I began suffering severely from this situation, and had to drive down the hill where I visited Dr. Baker, who prescribed Norco. Although one was prescribed every six hours, I had to take two of them to get relief. (When I visited Dr. Chan yesterday, he gave me a prescription for the same med, except that it is 10 mg instead of 5 mg.)

3. Extreme weakness is well-known to follow a chemo treatment, and I believe mine was complicated by my blood pressure running very low. During one of the doctor visits, it was suggested we buy a home blood pressure machine. We did that, and because of the continued low readings, I discontinued blood pressure medications, except for Atenolol which keeps my pulse rate down (without which it gets up to 100 or 110 for some reason.) I cut that dose in half. I discussed this with Dr. Chan yesterday, who agreed with my decision. The weakness is such that I would have to sit down to even brush my teeth.

4. Exactly two weeks after my chemo, I lost what is probably 3/4 of my hair. Daily I lose more, so one day last week Rebecca and I went wig and hat shopping. That was a fun day, for I tried on wigs that made me look hilarious . . . and totally unlike me. I’ll post later about the group that supplies wigs free to cancer patients.

In a few hours, I will begin my second chemo session–which means I will be half-way through the treatments. What a great thought!  I truly appreciate all your prayers and good wishes. They mean so much to me.

Cheers! Onward!



14 thoughts on “Truthfully, a Bit of Ugliness

  1. You look beautiful! I bought a wig when I lost my hair, but never wore it. 😊 It was summertime and I found the wig to be too hot and itchy. I bought hats that I wore when I went out, but most of the time I just went natural. Keep the upbeat attitude, it will help get you through this. Love you!


  2. My dear, sweet Sis. Buxton, I read this blog entry with tears in my eyes. My prayers are that God gives you strength to endure these treatments and that they are successful. I love you so much.


  3. Dearest Sis. Buxton , Continued prayers for you!
    My heart aches for you – you are a precious lady and sending love and soft hug to you! You look adorable in your hat! 😊
    Bonny Smelser


  4. Your words captivate me every time I read them… As I’m reading your posts, I feel so sad and helpless yet so encouraged and so at peace. I don’t know how you do that! Sis Buxton thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your ugly truths in such a raw manner. I know the next couple weeks will probably be so hard… But please know I pray for you every single day. I Pray for God to alleviate the symptoms and reactions. I love you so much and just know in all of this- you’re at the top of my prayer list. Every. Day.


  5. Dear Lady, I have continued to pray for you. So sorry you are facing so many hard reactions but appreciate that you are sharing the journey. Hope you are feeling stronger today. Love your picture. You make that hat look good!


  6. Sis. Buxton,
    We have many pictures of my mother with her various hats. Like kat7613 she found wigs to be too hot. But your smile remains. So sorry you are going through all of this. Praying that today’s round of chemo will not be as difficult. Praying always for you and Bro. Buxton.


  7. Thanks for sharing your journey, Shirley, including the ugly parts. Cancer is an ugly disease. However, YOU are beautiful and I like the hat and ponytail in the picture. Is that one of your new ones?

    Father God, please continue to hold Shirley in the palm of your hand; give her peace, rest, and strength as she fights this awful disease. Thank you for her willingness to share some of the hard times and things, as well as your presence in the battle. We love her, and thank you for loving her infinitely more than we do. Bless this dear servant of yours Lord Jesus, because it’s in your name we pray.


  8. Dear Sis. Buxton,
    It hurts my heart to know you are so sick. In spite of all the pain and trauma, your faith shines through your words like a bright beam of hope on a dark landscape. I pray for your healing and peace and comfort.

    Love in Him,

    Claudette Walker


  9. Dear Sis Buxton,
    As I read your beautiful writing, it brings back all my memories of chemo. I confess, it has been 8 years now, and I don’t recall having nausea, but the weakness was certainly there. And of course by the second session, I lost most of my hair. I cried, and had Sterl shave the rest off. I went shopping in Paducah (We parked in front of the shop) and I found a darling wig which I wore a lot going out, (scarves in the house). I spent many days on the couch cause I was too weak to do anything. I had the treatments every two weeks, and check ups the other weeks, of my blood cells. Toward the end, (16 weeks) I had to go to the hospital for a transfusion, which I didn’t want to take, but OH, I felt so much better after I received two units of blood. It is a journey indeed, but it is worth it. NOW I enjoy my two little great grandsons more than I could ever tell you, and life is good. YOU WILL MAKE IT TOO, JUST BE PATIENT. WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL GOOD, LAY DOWN. TRY TO EAT A GOOD DIET. FOOD DOESN’T TASTE BUT TRY! You are in my prayers.


  10. Oh, dear Sis. Buxton, I so wish you were not having to deal with all this! But again, thank you for your upbeat outlook and willingness to share. We continue to pray for healing. Love you.


  11. Sis Buxton,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You are truly beautiful inside and out! I, too, love your picture!
    We will continue in our prayers for you, knowing better the specifics to pray for.
    Your writing is truly beautiful. I believe someone else wrote as well that your natural optimism shines through even in these difficult posts.
    I love you much!

    Johanna Kern


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