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[cancer] More on the mouth; and my hair, oh my hair - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-03-01 15:51
Subject: [cancer] More on the mouth; and my hair, oh my hair
Security: Public
Tags:calendula, cancer, conventions, health, personal, shellyrae
Oh, the joys of chemo. My oncology clinic advises me that the problems in my mouth are likely persistent and may be continuous through the rest of my chemo cycle. In other words, til the end of June. They are prescribing "magic mouthwash", recommended to me by both shelly_rae and my pharmacist, which is an unlikely-sounding cocktail of Lidocaine, Benadryl and Maalox. Lidocaine numbs the pain, Bendaryl soothes the inflammation, and Maalox apparently binds it all together and coats the tissues so active ingredients can stick around inside the mouth long enough to have some effect.

I can't wait to see what this tastes like.

At any rate, I should be able to pick some up before departing for Rain Forest on Wednesday with calendula_witch. At the moment, my diet is pretty damned limited by the fact that I can't put anything besides mush in my mouth without being sorry, so I look forward to the improvement. Even if everything does taste like Maalox from now on.

In other news, brushing my hair after my shower this morning I realized I could see most of my scalp. The thinning has progressed to the point where I'm starting to look like one of those combover people. My choices are clear: to start wearing brown jumpsuits and aviator frame glasses, or cut it all off. So the hair is coming off. Because I can't freaking stand this.

If it was up to me, I'd take it off tomorrow, but calendula_witch and shelly_rae would have to take numbers and stand in line to kill me for doing it so abruptly. I'll deal with it next week after Rain Forest Writers Workshop. Probably can't go full shave, for reasons of safety (I cannot afford a nicked scalp), but I will have short hair for the first time in a decade.

And yes, I have a funny-shaped head. Why do you ask?

Stay tuned for details. I might make a party of the shaving off.

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M.K. Hobson
User: mkhobson
Date: 2010-03-01 23:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You will look totally awesome with short hair. Forgive me if this is impertinent to ask, but is your beard falling out as well? Or is that a different kind of follicle, or something?
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-03-02 00:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
So far all the short hairs are hanging in there, if you know what I mean.
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Zhaneel
User: zhaneel69
Date: 2010-03-01 23:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm so sorry Jay. I know how much you hair means to you. *hugs*
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-03-02 00:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yeah. It feels like I just ate a mouthful of very hot peppers, all the time.

Edited at 2010-03-02 12:24 am (UTC)
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aprilhenry
User: aprilhenry
Date: 2010-03-02 00:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You might want to check with the pharmacy about whether they can make magic mouthwash before you drop off the scrip. I got prescribed some for a sore throat and dropped the scrip at Freddies. When I went back in to pick it up, I waited in line forever, and then they told me they didn't have one of the ingredients and didn't know who did. It was a waste of several hours time.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-03-02 00:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
These guys are all over it. I use an independent pharmacy, and the lead pharmacist knows me pretty well. (He was the one who suggested it, actually, in parallel to shelly_rae.)
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Scott Raun
User: sraun
Date: 2010-03-02 00:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Magic Mouthwash - I've had it prescribed.

It tasted awful!

And worse than that, it was ineffective.

I got it for canker sores. It just didn't work. Now I've got a Dexamethasone 0.5mg/5ml oral solution - it's reasonably effective.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-03-02 00:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I will keep that in mind depending on how this works out. Thanks for the tip!
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scarlettina
User: scarlettina
Date: 2010-03-02 01:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
With all due respect to your loved ones, Jay, your hair belongs to you. I can't believe either one of them would object to your removing your hair tomorrow--or tonight--if it would make you more comfortable. If you can't freaking stand it, then it's time and, in this case, I think that getting forgiveness rather than permission won't be a problem in the least. Do what you need to do for yourself.

::hug::
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Shalanna: eve
User: shalanna
Date: 2010-03-02 01:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:eve
And what's wrong with brown jumpsuits and aviator glasses?!

Make a ceremony of the hair thing. It's definitely disconcerting to change one's hair even when it's entirely voluntary/by choice, and so . . . you need to make a big deal out of it. For various reasons. I think you're on the right track.

But gah. You're going to be funny-looking! ***GRIN*** For a while, until we get used to it.

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cathshaffer
User: cathshaffer
Date: 2010-03-02 01:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That mouth thing sounds horrible. I hope you're at least getting your fluids. I got dehydrated last time I had a sore throat, even though I thought I was drinking enough, because the pain made me avoid putting stuff in my mouth. :-( So sorry, you have to deal with this.
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ebonypearl
User: ebonypearl
Date: 2010-03-02 01:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The "magic mouthwash" will taste awful but the taste is fleeting compared to the relief. Sadly, it will also make your food taste awful if you eat too soon after rinsing. It may also kill your sense of smell (which does have the blessing of making the mouthwash taste a bit better) or alter it. Mylanta does the same as Maalox and tastes a bit better, so if the flavor is really bad for you, ask if you can switch to a Mylanta mix.

The texture is also - interesting. There's a joke about it I may share with you if you're up to it.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-03-02 01:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Do share the joke!
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madrobins
User: madrobins
Date: 2010-03-02 02:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Alas for your mostly-golden locks! But you will be around to grow them out again. And in the meantime you have a huge wardrobe of hats with which to amuse your friends and neighbors, and keep your scalp toasty.
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calendula_witch: arms
User: calendula_witch
Date: 2010-03-02 02:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:arms
Take the hair off at once--nobody, NOBODY is going to give you grief for that. I know I speak for SR as well.

Love you. And I am sorry I begged you to not take it off before chemo started. :-(
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shelly_rae
User: shelly_rae
Date: 2010-03-02 07:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yes, Ms. Calendula is right. If I'd known I could have cut your hair when I trimmed your beard--uhm--well maybe not. I know now that john will be cutting your hair tomorrow. He'll treat you right. I wish I could be there. Perhaps you can save your hair and add it to the bottles and glass? Another casualty of chemo and cancer?
It'll be ok Jay. We love you. So take it all off baby.

Your head can't be anymore funny shaped than mine. And you're certain to look better than I did without hair.
Anon
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jeffsoesbe: yeff yahoo avatar
User: jeffsoesbe
Date: 2010-03-02 03:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:yeff yahoo avatar
When I decided to go super short, I bought a pair of clippers at Walgreens and it was a piece of cake to then maintain the hair. It's also an opportunity to get and wear some nifty knit caps (especially if you get cold easily).

As someone who suffers from chronic canker sores (I apparently have a sensitive mouth and tongue), I did find Magic Mouthwash helpful. And didn't mind the taste. I also found rising with Listerine each night helpful as well.

Good luck, man. These are surely just temporary issues. Keep on keeping on!

- yeff
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2010-03-02 04:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
In the interim, you can make a substitute for the magic mouthwash by using a mixture of Benadryl and Mylanta (or Maalox), applied with a Q-tip, to relieve the sores. BTDT with a massive oral herpes outbreak years ago during a crazy weird period of stress (and, now, probably related to some lousy dental work involving a crappy filling). Nothing like what you're experiencing--but it really does help, if what you have is anything like what I went through.
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barbarienne
User: barbarienne
Date: 2010-03-02 04:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm sorry you have to cut your hair, but I suppose you knew that would happen eventually.

Eight years ago I had hair down to my knees, and I cut it to my shoulders. It was entirely my decision, based on nothing more than a sense that "it was time," but I still burst into tears when I did it. I feel your pain, brother.
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Elizabeth Coleman
User: criada
Date: 2010-03-02 15:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I feel ya on the hair thing. (Mine's almost to my knees right now.) We store a lot of emotions and energy in our hair. I don't even remember why I chopped mine off last time. Possibly because I wanted to pre-empt excessive storage. It's too late for me on that account this time around. I've got a minor, "will not cut my hair until I'm published" vow going on. Next time I take scissors to it, it's going to be impressive.

Anyway, that's why I agree with Shelly Rae that you, Jay, should do something with the leftover hair. Turn a theft into a sacrifice.
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CatJuggling
User: catjuggling
Date: 2010-03-02 06:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Somebody get this many a Jayne Cobb hat STAT!

A friend of mine who was one of those combover people with a rather funny shaped head started shaving at the start of this year. He really actually pulls it off, in a mad scientist sort of way, which is what he really is, so hopefully your dome comes out as well as his did for him.

Also, I think I can no longer avoid the writer's con in my own back yard this year.
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Kate Mulligan Wolfe: ImSoCrafty
User: corasmama
Date: 2010-03-02 08:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:ImSoCrafty
Wait, with all his many hats, he doesn't have a Jayne hat??? *rummages through yarn stash* any fiber preferences? Wool vs cotton vs soft acrylic vs blend of any of the above?
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