Saturday, October 20, 2007

getting ready for Greensboro

Tomorrow morning I fly to Greensboro to do a speaking engagement for Genentech. I'm a bit nervous about it - I'm giving an inspirational speech to breast cancer survivors, and I have to deal with baggage etc. when I'm still bandaged and sore - but it's a good thing, none the less. I'm proud to be contributing a little bit of money to my family to help with expenses, and I'm proud of my work in the breast cancer field, and I enjoy working with the Genentech reps and being an adult outside of MommyLand. I'm gone for two days: my flight is at 11am tomorrow, and I return at noon on Tuesday. Tessa will go to my mom & dad's on Sunday night and Monday night so that Ryan can work.

I continue to be tired but I am healing in lots of ways. There is a lot of work to be done, but I'm doing that work.

My breasts are a disappointment to me so far. They are asymmetrical. I'm told there is swelling. We will see.

Today we'll have a good family day, and I might get a pedicure with a gift certificate I received before my surgery.

I'm actually sad that I am goign to miss the church service tomorrow; I couldn't schedule my flights around it without arriving at midnight (no way). Tomorrow's service is on forgiveness; I look forward to reading it. Ryan and Tessa will go without me, and it makes me happy to think of them there.

Off to the coffee shop with the family, including the dog. Have a good few days, everyone. (My body is too sore to carry around the laptop, so I'll be off email while in Greensboro.)

Friday, October 19, 2007


I am still bandaged.

Yesterday I went to the doctor, and she removed more sutures, cleaned the wounds, and re-bandaged me. One of the nipples is still "moist" and neither is healed; there's still fresh blood and it's a bit gross. I'm still wearing a gross medical bra and the strap that is designed to hold my left boob in place. I still have activity restrictions. I was allowed to take a brief shower yesterday, but not to let the water hit my chest directly, and then I had to dry my chest with a hair dryer on low.

It's progress, but painfully slow progress.

Today Tessa and I are going to visit the South 47 Pumpkin Patch in Woodinville, so we'll have lunch with Grammy & Grandpa, and then after the pumpkin patch we'll have dinner with G.G. Ryan will catch the bus in to join us, and it will be nice....although I'm a bit exhausted just thinking about it.

One thing at a time. One minute at a time. I'm okay, but this is how I'm living right now.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

a better day

Today seems easier for some reason. I'll take it - I'll take what I can get.

I woke up to freshly brewed coffee again - thank you so much, Ryan. The little things mean the world to me.

Today I go to the doctor and hopefully get all sutures removed and get the bandages removed, which hopefully means no more straightjacket and a return to taking showers. That would improve my mood immensely.

And the therapist called me, and I'm getting in on Nov. 6.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dare I say it?

I think...I'm afraid to say this out loud in case I curse myself...but I think that my joint pain is almost gone.

Oh. My. God.

I have been suffering so much from the stupid joint pain, really dreading movement, struggling to use my hands, dropping things, unable to open things, and wincing from the pain most of the time....and I think it's pretty much gone!

If this is true, and Aromasin works, then it's my new favorite thing.

So that is something to be happy about.

I have a lot of things to be happy about, including the fact that Ryan has been making me coffee and delivering it to me each morning in bed for the past few days. I really do understand how fortunate I am in so many ways, and I feel a lot of gratitude.

I just don't understand how to translate that gratitude into feeling so positive and upbeat. I don't understand why I feel like everything is harder than it should be, and why I'm so tired by even simple things.

The therapist left me voicemail; her first opening is in late November, but sometimes there is an opening earlier than that. Yikes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Scans, retail therapy

I went shopping this morning - obviously I haven't committed to "buy nothing." (More to come on that, I am not done with the idea, just can't deal right now.) I got a couple of cute sweaters on sale - very practical, everyday kinds of things, which I was short on, and I also got a pair of practical boots for wearing when the weather is rainy and cool...and they're cute in addition to being comfortable.

And then I laid in a machine, got another IV, etc.

First, the DEXA, for bone density. I dropped another 4%, for a total drop of 14% in my bone density, making me osteopenic (precurser to osteoporosis).

Then, the MUGA, for my heart. It stayed stable at about 63%, so Herceptin hasn't left a mark.

So hard to go to the building, to be poked, to be nice to the nurses and technicians. I just feel so tired from it all.

Still wrapped in a straightjacket bra - I can not tell you how glad I will be to get it done with. Thursday.

The piano tuner - our neighbor, Curt - came by today, and we made an appointment to tune the piano on Thursday. I'm looking forward to having that done.

Everything just feels like hard work. Harder than it should be.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Today I attempted to be normal. Playdates. Small chores. Talking with Tessa (who painted her best piece of art ever - a ladder leading to a rainbow and a girl next to it, whom she says is herself; the ladder is so that the girl can climb to the top of the rainbow to see how bright the colors are), setting up art projects, cleaning them up.

Beth made a lovely dinner for us, totally unexpected, and we enjoyed that tonight. Ryan is cleaning up right now.

Such small tasks. And I'm sooooo tired.

Tomorrow Katie is watching Tessa so that I can go to get two scans: DEXA for bone density (checking osteoporosis) and MUGA for my heart (to see if Herceptin left any damage - hoping this is my last MUGA). I hate medical-land. I'm tired just thinking about it.

On Thursday I have an appointment to remove bandages/final sutures on my breasts. I hope to take a 30 minute shower afterwards.

I'm playing phone tag with the cancer-shrink. I hope I get to talk to her soon.

Keeping it together

Okay, so far so good. I've read to my child. I've had another child over for a playdate. We walked with Katie & Jessie to the coffee shop, and so Shep got (a tiny bit of) exercise. I've swept the floors. I've made lunch and put it away. I sorted through the junk mail. I called the Seattle Times to change our subscription (weekends only, please).

These things feel like a success.

A normal day

I am hoping for a normal day. Ryan is off to work (he wanted to stay home to take care of me but I was certain that I would be okay today, and also certain that his work responsibilities are important, too), and Tessa and I are home. There are no activities scheduled (preschool is T-Th-F), Tessa has the last of her cold but is feeling much better, and so we're having a quiet day.

I'm sick of chaos. My emotions are still in a turmoil as I deal with all this stuff, but I can get my day-to-day back under control, at least.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

trying to see

I'm still trying to figure out what my new world looks like. I'm not the me I was before. Of course I'm still me, but I'm not. See? Confusing.

I woke up with a whopping headache and grabbed an Oxycodone. The headache is a bit of a dull thing behind my eyes now, and I've been able to listen to Tessa play the piano without wincing, despite its loudness.

(The piano was a recent gift from my grandma, "G.G.," who has moved to a smaller home and didn't want to take it with her. I LOVE IT. I love it's place in my home, and I love that my daughter will grow up playing it. I love the way it looks, I love the way it sounds, and I love the way it draws children. I love that it reminds me that one day when I have a little extra time and money, I will take piano lessons for myself. And I love that when I see it, I think of my grandma, and how we understand each other, and how much I love her.)

I made a big breakfast - we used to go out for breakfast a lot but part of calorie watching and money watching means not doing that so much, so this time I made it. Bacon and eggs...not light on the calories, but still better than a resturant because no hash browns, 100% whole wheat toast, cage free eggs, hormone free meat. And sides of fruit (gifts from Katie, who did a grocery store run for us), including perfectly ripe pears. Ryan helped prep, and did the clean-up. Tessa poured the milk. It's a family morning.

And we've been listening to music (not just the piano, but CDs) and reading the paper. Tessa's been happily playing, having fun.

We didn't go to church because Tessa is too sniffly and coughing to be in a room with lots of kids; I don't appreciate it when other kids give her colds, so we're trying not to do that to others. We are going to go to the coffee shop, though, where we will keep a close eye on her.

Taking it slow.