Halloween is truly the best holiday ever! The true start of cooler weather (in SoCal, at least), scary movies all month long, twerps dressed up like their favorite heroes and villains, and let’s not forget the candy. Ahh the glorious chocolate!! But this year, a true horror is lurking in front of me. Yesterday, I had testing done to check for metastasis (mets) to my bones, specially my hip. The pain has been there for months, I just attributed it to a lingering complication from intrathecal treatment, and it very well could be! One treatment resulted in a “wet tap” (the spinal fluid leaked out of the infusion site). I don’t get the results until Friday.
I don’t even know how to truly react other than to lay here in the dark, staring into nothing and cry. I’m numb with the exception of a cold, sweaty panic running over me every so often.
On top of this issue, I have had a “barking seal” type of raspy, wheezing cough for about the same amount of time…2 months or so. They are bad enough that I require an inhaler and an anesthetic cough drop. I see my doctor on a regular basis, but I never had the bad coughing episode that, as one of my friends asked, “Is that real or are you fucking with me?” I don’t have them everyday so it’s easy to put on the back burner.
Let’s add to the fun. I’ve had an IV in for 34 days for hydration and ondansetron infusions for 20 hours a day. Thank goodness the insurance allows me to be at home. Let me tell you, pushing around an IV pole or carrying around a pump and 2 liter bag of fluids is not as glamorous as it seems.
Bonus issue…I have intrathecal treatment on Friday, then my friends funeral is less than 3 hours later.
Suck it, cancer.
*the images are not my own.
I had my bilateral mastectomy almost 10 months ago and I’m still finding out nifty things my surgeon should have told me back then. I’m fairly certain I knew I shouldn’t shave while my underarms are still numb after surgery…
…but also I learned that I shouldn’t shave on the side lymph nodes were removed. I had 11 nodes removed on the right and 14 removed on the left.
As my daughter said, “Rock it! Dye it!” I guess a little Manic Panic fixes everything…
Probably a hundred years ago, I used to alter my clothes. No shirt was safe from my scissors and most skirts and pants were bound (see what I did there??) to be adorned with bondage straps, zippers, and patches. I haven’t had the desire to pick up the shears in about 15 years. I have been severely depressed for years due to a bad marriage, health problems, family drama etc etc… Now, after a year and a half of dealing with breast and endometrial cancer, I have finally found a way to bring a bit of the old me back when it comes to my style.
All it took was a mastectomy and a friend. We clicked immediately. The first time we met, she brought a custom bag full of clothes and jewelry for me and I had a stack of clothes for her. She brought back that old spark to create. To take the boring and make it badass. This time I’m customizing clothes for my new body. It’s turning out better than it ever has! I’ve climbed and mastered another mountain in this cancer terrain.
For a while, I lost myself. Subconsciously, I started to get older in my mind, which reflected on the outside. It may seem incredibly vain of me, but I’m no different from anyone else. Most people take pride in themselves and how they look. They don’t want to go out of the house if their hair isn’t done or if they don’t have makeup on. I feel the same way, but I gave up that part of myself. I guess I fit myself into the “cancer patient look” box. It has taken lone enough for me to notice this “look”, but it has to stop. Laying here, looking at my IV beside my bed at home, it’s hard to find anything creative about this situation, but I’m doing me best to find it.
It’s still a work in progress.
I’ve never been like everyone else when it comes to style and I need to remind myself I don’t have to give it up because of life changes. These changes are an opportunity to have internal growth. To stand up and say, “I’m still me. Nothing is going to take that away!” I’m still working on loving my new body and accepting my “new normal”. It’s difficult right now, but I have pulled myself through worse things. It has only been 8 months since my mastectomy. Wow. It feels like it has been years! I just have to remind myself that it’ll get easier. I’ve never been good at waiting or being patient. I guess there’s not much that is going to change that little flaw.
One step at a time.