Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I had a visit with my Sacramento oncologist today, and he was able to read my Sacramento scan just fine.

Unfortunately, Sacramento cancer is definitely growing back in the ablated part of my liver.

It is already 2 centimeters, which means the herceptin is not doing much. That means babying my colon is about to end; I have to go back on chemo. Considering that I was up all night last night with mystery nausea and stomach pain, this idea does not excite me. In fact, it makes me very, very nervous. I'm not sure my tender and flighty intestines are ready to be flooded with toxic chemicals.

But, having cancer take over my liver doesn't sound appealing either, so I guess I don't have a choice.

The chemo I will be on is called Abraxane. It is almost the same as Taxol, which I've done before. The difference between Taxol and Abraxane is in how the body metabolizes it, I think - you don't require as many steroids or pre-meds with Abraxane. The plan is to shrink the tumor down for my San Francisco surgeon - I have an appointment in mid-April. Perhaps he can ablate it again, or maybe he has another trick up his sleeve for me.

The good news, and there is some, is that there is no cancer anywhere else. After all this time, that is excellent. If we can take care of this one stubborn area, I can still be in good shape to live a few more years and buy my son some sheets for his college dorm.

So, next Wednesday I will start the Abraxane and go back on the attack. Colon, I'm warning you now - you need to get on board!

Unfortunately, you lose your hair with this chemo, so I will be bald again. Since there is always a positive, that means no bikini wax for the summer. I'm so happy to not have to shave my legs for a while, what a chore that is.

Last time I lost my hair, I bought cheap, adjustable wigs - lots of them in all kinds of fun styles and colors - but couldn't wear them, they were just miserably uncomfortable. Maybe if I splurge and buy a real hair, lace cap wig, it might be more tolerable, and I can keep it on for more than five minutes without my face turning red and demonstrating the urge to rip it off and throw it across the room. I have a special wedding this summer I don't want to be bald at, and as entertaining as wig-ripping might be, I think I'll leave any histrionics to drunk Uncle Frank. It's a special moment for two special people, and it deserves hair.

I'm sure scarves will be my go-to, but I'm really not very cute bald and I've been there/done that with the bald thing. I've answered all possible questions pertaining to my head about a hundred zillion times.

Anonymous, at times, is good. And, that means a decent wig.

For my SacTown readers: Does anybody in Sacramento know where to get a reasonably-priced real hair wig? And, preferably my own hair color, which is now a silver/gray. And, remember, I'm a pin-head, nothing fits me off the rack. Thank you!


  1. So sorry the cancer is back but very glad it is isolated and can be surgically removed.

    Wishing you the best for resuming chemo.

    You are amazing and inspiring.

  2. Hang Tough. You can do it. Kaye in Oregon

  3. Good luck with more chemo. I got my wig at a local hospitals wig shop. They ordered it for me after i tried on a bunch and there were different size options. May be call the am cancer society and ask gor a local resource. One note on real hair wigs is that you have to wash amd style them like real hair, synthetic ones are much easier to care for.

  4. Real hair wigs are the best! It's worth the money. I like getting long ones so I can braid them and make pony tails if it gets hot. I never have to do anything with them but wash them, no styling needed. If you want to curl the ends just wait til it's almost dry and blowdry them. Also the American Cancer Society will give you a free one. Check with your hospital. Here in SF, CPMC gave me many resources that will hook you up with wigs and give great discounts. Good luck with your chemo! So glad all other areas are clean. I'm nervously waiting for my scan on April 4th.

  5. Oh, I am so sorry to read this news! Glad you are able to focus on just that one stubborn spot at least. I know I am just one of many who are thinking of you! Take care.

  6. I'm pissed to hear about those two centimeters in your liver, though I am _very_ glad to hear that your surgeon is going in to get them. Hopefully after those pesky cells are removed you'll be done with this madness.

    Sending good wishes to your colon for this new round of chemo!

  7. Booo, what a bummer, I am so sorry. :o( But at least it is contained in one area - it sucks, but the alternative sucks more. Glad you'll be around a long while yet!!

  8. Infusion time with Abraxane is also a lot shorter (no pre-meds and they can pump it in faster since it's easier on the body -- I tolerated it way better than Taxol), and it's supposed to have some mechanism that entices tumor cells to take in more of it. Science! I'm sorry you've got to revisit that chair, and I hope it's as quick & painless & effective as possible. And that you have great fortune in the wig hunt, another daunting undertaking.

  9. I'm so sorry you have to go thru this again.

    Remember the wig I won by posting on your blog? I'd be happy to send it to could be a red head!

    The American Cancer Society recently helped me get a wig for a teen cancer survivor. They paid for the wig and she got it at a shop in Reno(they had over 1000 to choose from!) After finding the perfect style and color, the stylist sewed the wig so it would fit her head. She is so happy and it looks so beautiful on her. (she's only 15:(

    You could call the salon and see if they have any recommendations in the Sac area...
    Bellissima Salon – 337 California Avenue - Reno
    Carrie Wolfe – Wig Consultant 775-786-8008

    I'm not sure if you have these freebies on your blog... - The Good Wishes Program

    I wore my wig for 1 day...hats and scarves were my salvation.

    Be sure to take another "look good, feel better"'s so worth it for all the expensive make-up you get for free!

    Thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers...

  10. I hardly wore mine, I think I only wore it twice but not bcoz I was uncomfortable in it, it was just too much for me. Anyway, I know it's not in your area but these women are sooo wonderful. Maybe just take a peek. If you don't find one, consider a beautiful large brimmed hat (tie a silk scarf underneath so the hat won't fall off your small head) and make sure to do your eyebrows OR buy fancy sunglasses with fancy temples. Yeah, I know, I'm reachin'. Anyway, Ann I'm always keeping you in my prayers. XO Annabelle

  11. hi Ann,
    sorry to hear the the liver mets are regrowing - I've just started Abraxane for liver mets myself - I think the biggest side-effect so far is increased acid reflusx so if you are not already on medication for that may pay to keep some antiacids handy.
    I'm a hat girl myself purely for the comfort factor but i know what you mean about the more anonymity the wigs afford you - hope you find one you like
    Long distance wishes heading you way
    Jenny (New Zealand)

  12. I am sorry the Cancer is back..keeping you in my prayers.

    I love my Racheal Welch wigs...but I always have to take them to my hair dresser to cut while on my head because I have a pin head to....good luck finding one you like..

  13. Those Godiva wigs are cute, but they don't show the cap, or maybe I'm missing it. They don't say whey they are any different than any other synthetic wig. I really need comfort this time!

    I'm really too tiny to buy online, unfortunately.

  14. I'm very sorry to hear that your liver mets have grown. I really hope Abraxane works well for you and is easy to tolerate.

    You're ER+ too, right - are you still on tamoxifen or an AI? I am HER+ and ER+ and am on herceptin + faslodex - my onc says they act synergistically and have shown great results together. It's also very easy to tolerate, altho is a literal pain in the ass. See what your onc thinks of it.

    On another note - how is work going?

    Good luck with your new treatment plan!

  15. Ann, I'm sorry to read that you're dealing again with cancer in your liver, but very glad to hear it is contained there. Sucks you have to re-do chemo.

    I hope you find a small but sassy wig that suits you and your marvelous sense of humor! Sending healing thoughts.

  16. What can I say?, it sucks!!!. I really hope that treatment is easy on you and that intestines hold strong and you can soon have that hair back!.

  17. I am so sorry to hear you have to do this, but I pray that it WORKS and most of all I pray you won't FEEL sick. I may have told you about them before, but Cricketts Answer For Cancer dot com supplies wigs to breast cancer patients free. You may just check with them and see what they can do for you. You pick the wig. I picked out one at wigs dot com and they paid for it. Very little paperwork involved and they are the kindest more generous organization I have met in this journey. Tell Carole or Bonnie I sent you and how we met. If they can't help they may know somewhere that can. A good fitting/feeling wig can make all the difference in how you feel day in and day out, so I hope that you can get supplied soon. I have some really nice wigs from Toni Brattin at but they are not your color, though you are welcome to try them out! They are shortish styles. I can send photos if you like. A "gripper" is a MUST have and Cricketts had wigs dot come send one of those along to me and I never would have known I neeeded it but it was a life saver. They are about $30 and worth every penny if you are wearing a wig. Hugs to you!! (And prayers too!!)

  18. No shaving? That's great! ;-) One moment at a time.
    In my prayers.

  19. I have a very nice Raquel Welch wig with a lace cap. It does have artificial hair but it actually makes it easier to care for and you cannot tell. My head is tiny too and this one is adjustable. So, please let me know if you want to be a blond as I am happy to send it to you.

  20. "If we can take care of this one stubborn area, I can still be in good shape to live a few more years and buy my son some sheets for his college dorm." -- That sentence broke my heart. :( I want to hear that you've kicked this cancer's butt SO BADLY.

    I'm not sure if you're religious or not, but I continue to pray for you (even though I don't know you. I hope that's not creepy! heehee!)

    As always, I just love your optimism and humor.

    Can't wait to see what kind of wig you rock. :)

  21. Gosh, now I wish I did have a drunk uncle Frank so we could invite him. He sounds like fun.

    Always thinking of you - let me know if you want to get together the next time you're in San Francisco.

  22. Cancer--damn you to hell.

  23. Hey gorgeous. Tweet RuPaul @RuPaul He knows EVERYTHING there is to know about wigs. Sending you cozy vibes. ~Diana

  24. Sending all positive thoughts in your direction, Ann. DAMN DAMN Cancer. I'm here..... reading and thinking of you...


  25. Ann - wishing you success with Abraxane! Are you familiar with Noreen Fraser & her foundation? She just started Abraxane, you two have a lot in common.

  26. wishing you well this week as you start the abraxane :) xo nicola

  27. I just found your blog getting ready to go in tomorrow for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. I am scared to death but your humor is definitely something I enjoy because I have the same sarcastic side of me...I wish you well and will continue to dig around your blog. Thank you for sharing...

  28. Ann, I wish I had helpful words or advice like so many of your wonderful posters but all I can do is tell you that I'm here and I'm praying hard and sending healing and strength vibes to you. We WILL go sheet shopping, dear friend. Big hugs and lots and lots of love!

  29. I am so sorry about the return of your cancer, Ann. But I am glad that they found no cancer anywhere else. I wish I knew a wig place in Sacramento (I live about 100 miles north of there). I guess you can't really buy any online because you don't know how they will look, feel and fit. Have you asked the American Cancer Society unit in Sacramento if they know of such a wig place? It might be a start. XOX Jan

  30. I have purchased all of my wigs from Wigs R U in Sacramento. The owner Cindy is so compassionate and kind as well as all of her staff. I highly recommend this shop.


Thank you for commenting. If the post is over 14 days old, the comment will be moderated and will approved later. This is a spam prevention technique - but I love to hear from you!