Saturday, January 10, 2009

Downhill is the wrong direction

This morning I felt great. I had a reiki treatment and I felt practically euphoric that things were going so well.

But this afternoon I got a headache, and it's horrible, and it's making it hard to think. My parents came over and were excited to tell us about their day with Tessa and all I could say was "Could youp lease speak more softly?"

Ugh. I'm back on oxycodone and trying to make the head feel less lethal. Bahhhh.

I want to be a runner. I'm in our guest room, comfortable in bed....but I'd rather be nursing sore muscles from being in the garden or going for a run or just about anything else.

My foob strap - designed to physically push down on my left foob and keep it from heading towards my chin again - dug into my skin and left red gashes. Ouch. So now it's on the outside of my clothes.....what a fashion statement.

It's hard to be up when I feel so crummy.

But I am still grateful for the help of so many people - dog walkers, meal-deliverers, and the rest.

But the headache.....ouch.

Heavy exercise

Today I did my first major workout since surgery.

I had a shower and changed my clothes, that is.

And now I'm wiped.

Friday, January 09, 2009


Healing is tiring....but I do feel that I'm healing. My chest aches in all of the obvious places, and my eye feels like I want to rub it but if (in my sleepy state) I accidently do so, I realize what a mistake that is immediately. Ouch!

Reiki is good. Caring friends are good. Mom's company is good. Our "new" sofa is good for lying on and watching HGTV.

I am still in my bathrobe and PJs and have no intention of changing any time today.

The first half of today was a breeze; the second half was harder. Tomorrow will be better, I think.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Better than expected


I had been so freaked out about this surgery, so overwhelmed by it, that I almost completely forgot that good things can come out of it.

My foobs (fake+boobs=foobs) are soft. Blissfully soft! When I hug someone, they will cushion the hug, rather than banging into me and the hug-ee. They are SO much more normal in shape, and in position, that at the moment they are far exceeding my expectations.

I am wearing a giant strap around the top of the foobs to keep the left one from migrating upwards - again. I've had it corrected several times now, and so I know not to expect that it will stay in place....but I'm hopeful. So very hopeful....I just want this to be done. The strap will be uncomfortable over time - it's a two week prescription for wearing it - but tonight, on pain meds, it's not bothering me too much.

I need to call Adrienne and get on my physical therapy schedule, because I MUST prevent more scar tissue from limiting my range of motion. I must. This is the only hope, and now is the time.

I've been awake all afternoon. As the first pain meds wore off, I was definitely aware of it, so I'm staying on top of them (next ones at 10pm). But it's much less uncomfortable/painful than previous surgeries.

My throat is sore from being dry from oxygen etc - they said that they wouldn't use a tube but it definitely feels like they did.

My eye is actually the most painful part, where they removed the keloid scar.

But I can deal with all fo this.

Because now, I'm working on healing. I want to start being good and kind to my body - I want to run, I want to eat well, and I don't have to dread surgery and the dreadful plummet any more. I think I just might be done.

I can not express enough gratitude for the support I've received. Ryan adn Susan took the day off work and spent time with me, Beth watched Tessa and fed Ryan and Tessa, Ruth delivered a meal that fed Susan and I, Sue organized meals, and Sharon gave me a reiki treatment to go in strong (I really think it made a huge difference - wow). I got flowers from Mom & Dad S., and many calls from Mum & Dad, and phone messages and Facebook messages and emails from so many. I am very lucky, and grateful. Thank you.

And yes, I'm a little drugged up here, so it is what it is. But I go to bed tonight, hopeful.

Home and okay

Hello, everyone.

The surgery went well, and I'm okay, and now I'm at home. Susan & Ryan are taking care of me, and I am SO GLAD to have this behind me.

Thank you for your continued well wishes. Now my oxycodone and I are going to take a nice nap. :-)


Almost time

It's nearly time.

Soon, I'll get a second reiki treatment, hopefully putting me in a state of relaxation. Then, I'll leave (with Ryan) to go to the hospital.

Granola is in the oven, bread is in the machine, the sheets on all three beds are changed. I have a tray with a water pitcher and a glass awaiting me. Mom has instructions on how to make Tessa's lunch and breakfast tomorrow.

I'm as ready as I'll ever be....

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


I'm a nervous wreck over here. Can I just be DONE already?

I'm being a bigger baby for surgery #10 than I was for surgery #1 (which, I shouldn't have to point out, was a mastectomy, not "merely" reconstruction and corrections).


Not me

I'm sure that there are women all over breast cancer world who prepare for their tenth surgery since diagnosis by cleaning their homes, stocking their fridges full of food, writing thoughtful notes to friends, and walking the dog even though it's raining.

It turns out that I am not one of those people.

I spent the day having the wonderful distraction of going to SAM with Laurie to relax, and having lunch there. When I got home I remembered some books that I wanted to place on hold for the library, so I did that. I will get to the grocery store soon, I'm sure.

But I'm sad, and feeling confused, and not myself. I know I would feel so much better if I got some things done - heck, I haven't even put the sheets back on the bed yet! - but I feel a little lost as I mentally prepare for this surgery. I know what to do but I'm just feeling lost and unable.

Because it's not a big deal...right? I'll be okay....right? My family will be fine, right? And I'll heal okay? And I won't have a breakdown.....please?

Sigh. So much for getting easier over time.

By this time tomorrow I should be on my way home, done with the cutting part.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


This morning, I had my first reiki session - a gift from a fellow UU. It was relaxing, and if it helps me to heal, then it's the best gift in the world. The "prescription" is four sessions the week of surgery, so we'll be doing it again soon.

I'm also setting up Tessa's birthday. This year, in lieu of a party, we are going to spend a day with horses. (Shhhh - don't tell her, it's a surprise!) We were sort of debating what kind of party, how many people, where, what activities....and it was all too much. So, for the first time, we're just going to keep it simple. Tessa's friend Anna will spend the night, and in the morning we are going to head to Christine's to spend the day with her....and her horses. For the first time, Tessa will get to groom a horse, and she'll also get to ride, etc. I'll pack a picnic, and I think it will be incredibly fun. It's simple, but I think it'll fulfill one of Tessa's deepest wishes - and that is the best.

I have also been blessed to have friends call and set up childcare, dinners, and the like for my recovery after surgery. I am so thankful to have these people in my life.

Still behind on my to-do list....still trying. Better get back to it! It wouldn't surprise me if we lost power today, because the wind is whipping around outside. Fingers crossed that when it starts raining (we're expecting several inches, according to the forecast) our basement doesn't flood like it did last year. I did seal the concrete, but fingers are crossed that it did the trick....

Monday, January 05, 2009

No instant results

I weighed myself this morning. Nothing had budged. If anything, it looked like things went UP a pound. GRRRR! I ate 23 points yesterday, so I'm still on track, and I'm determined to see it through.

Doing chores at home this morning, then walk the dog (and get my own exercise in the process), and then work on the book this afternoon before picking up Tessa.

By the way, it looked like a winter wonderland when I went to bed last night, but now there's just some slush all over the place. It's relatively warm out and everything is melting away.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Please don't say that

A telephone solicitor from the Democratic National Committee called. Blah blah blah please donate.

I said, "I'm sorry, but I'm a breast cancer survivor and all of our money is going to fight breast cancer right now."

The solicitor did not take the hint - subtle as a brick - and kept going.

"I'm sorry to hear that. Please know that the DNC is doing everything possible to work on legislation for terminal patients such as yourself."


I was too horrified - and stung - to spit out a retort.

Solstice Play, Snow, and Stuff

The "solstice" play "Animals in Winter" was presented at church today, and it was a roaring success. LOTS of people participated, and there was giggling, and everyone seemed to have a good time. If they learned a little about migration, adaptation, and the like, then all the better...I'm just glad it wasn't a huge flop.

I'm in a bit of a confused state as we begin the week. Tessa back to school, working on the Hunt's Point Book, finding the routine of the year and....what was that other thing?

Oh, right. Surgery. Surgery #10. I say "number ten" all the time because I am still completely in shock that this is my life - this series of surgeries.

Of course, it could be a lot worse. I could be dead. I could be in chemo again. It could be worse. But really, is it too much to ask that it gets a bit better?

I want to be out of pain, and I find it somewhat ironic that to get out of pain I must get further into it. My expanders - rocks like baseballs stitched into my chest - are painful. My back constantly aches, my chest aches, my whole body just feels out of whack as a result of these things. They interrupt my sleep (try putting some baseballs in your shirt and then sleeping with them for a small idea of what I mean) and many motions and movements pull on me. I heard someone say once that it was like wearing a lifejacket two sizes too small. Yes, it is like that. (But stitch the life jacket to your chest for the whole effect, and put baseballs in there somewhere, too. I feel tight and tense and after a while it just hurts.

Soooo, the up side is that on Thursday they will put in implants instead of expanders, and this should be a huge improvement. They should sit in a pocket instead of being stitched to my chest. They should be soft.

I should stop hurting.

But first, I have to hurt more - it's inevitable, with surgery. And hopefully it's worth it. But despite my awareness of AIDS orphans in Africa, and homeless people in Seattle, and people with no friends or family, and child abuse, and all the I'm still feeling a bit sorry for myself that this is my path. I know it could be worse, but...

I do not forget that Kristin would have loved to have my "simple" complaints, and that she isn't here any more.

It's hard to walk the line with self awareness, acknowledging pain while acknowledging one's place in the universe. I haven't got it figured out by any means. I do know that I hurt and I need to say so; I also know that it could be worse, and I need to say that, too.

In totally different notes....

Our basement "remodel" looks great, I think. The couches are comfy and non-hideous (really, the others weren't great), and I'm pleased at the arrangement that suits four adults. And we got to pass along the old couch already, without the trip to Goodwill! Yesterday, the schedule was tight and the couch was large and so we ended up putting it in our garage with the intention of listing it on Craigslist for free. Today, however, we still hadn't done so, and when we came home after church/lunch/errands we ran into a neighbor in the alley and jokingly offered it to him. He didn't need it - but he knew a couple who just bought their first house, who didn't have any furniture, and who were getting married this weekend and had out of town visitors coming. Numbers were exchanged, and fifteen minutes later, they came with a truck to pick up the couch and chair. I LOVE it when something like that works out!

And did I mention yet that it looks like a blizzard outside? Everything is white, blustery, and blowing. This, despite the fact that earlier today the Olympics and Cascades were picture-perfect. I'm told that it's a short term thing, sure to melt tonight, but it doesn't look like it at the moment. Craziness.

Over and out - off to lentil soup for dinner.