Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Skin changes starting

It's inevitable, I guess. But I'm not happy about it.

Add a swollen right quasi-boob to the mix of discomforts. It's swelling and pressing outward from the tightening of my skin. I can feel the upper ridge of my expander. Great fun. I noticed redness around the lymph node area below my collarbone and the skin is changing texture on my chest. Almost like the pores are widening. Oh Joy!

I'm not supposed to use any creams. Even under my armpit which is really quite uncomfortable. Resting my arm yesterday consisted of not typing but I decided to clean the living room carpet. For exercise, of course.

I sometimes wish I could just sleep through this whole thing.

I spoke to a woman at radiation today who heard me muttering about not wanting to wear a pink gown. I like the blue gowns. Anyway, we started talking and she mentioned that a few of her friends said she was basically being a drama while on chemo and that she should have recovered by now (she finished Jan 14th).

Chemo and our reactions to it are very individual. I guess what has pissed me off the most through this whole thing is simply being labeled as a "breast cancer patient" - slap a pink ribbon on me and call me done. No one has an identical treatment course, no one's reactions are the same, everything about this is individual. And I think women short change themselves when they settle for less.

I felt bad for this lady and asked her to give these chicks my phone number if they ever say anything so dumb again. I became more reasonable and finally asked her to please tell them that she'll have more compassion when they get cancer themselves. She was a sweetheart and seemed a little overwhelmed by the whole thing. I'm going to suggest she contact the health coordinator at the Hospital and take the "Look Good, Feel Better" course. I did clue her in to the Nioxin hair serum to help keep her scalp healthy until her hair grows back.

What a day.

Radiation happened after a whole day's worth of stuff and there was still more in the afternoon. I'll give you all the breakdown, just because you're my captive audience :)

My day started at 7:45 with a door bell ringing...

Mom arrives for babysitting (chemo was yesterday)
Make coffee, Bill's lunch, visit with Mom and Bill, Jackie awake
Feed screaming young and old kitty cats
Shower, get Jackie ready and take her to school
Home, coax Mom into nap
Write for a hour
Feed screaming old kitty cat
11 a.m. frantic phone call from Steffie at school (dropped water bottle all over herself - soaking wet - needs change of clothes)
Drive to school with clothes
Return home
Write for 45 minutes
Feed me and Mom awesome Velveeta Mac and Cheese shells for lunch
Write for another hour
Drive to radiation
Get X-rays and radiaton treatment
Drive to Dunkin Donuts for celebratory coffee (we don't need a reason to get coffee)
Drive to get Steffie from school
Return home
Feed screaming old kitty and young kitties
Mom naps and I write
Drive to get Jackie from school
Return home
Feed old kitty again
Bill comes home.
Dad comes to get Mom
Eat dinner
Feed old kitty again (she only gets a tablespoon at a time to help her keep it down)

I did no laundry today. I did no dishes (mom did them). I didn't make dinner. I wrote 6 articles. And I cleaned up cat poop from Clyde sticking his butt out of the kitty box during his morning constitutional. He's a complete failure as a cat, except for when he wants to scratch something. Imagine your highest maintenance friend and you've got Clyde in a nutshell.

That was it. And I'm exhausted.

Off to bed.


Renee said...

Okay, I'm taking you with me next time I visit the surgeon. You know, the one who wants to take my port out in her office? Ha!

I'm glad you helped this poor woman. With friends like that, who needs enemies? It IS amazing how some think we should just be normal and fine now that chemo treatment has ended.

How many more radiations do you have?

I ended up having to use cornstarch several times a day on the armpit instead of the pure aloe. Possibly this could help??

You are doing great and it's almost over!!

S. F. Heron said...

I'm halfway through my 30 this friday :)

Dr. A won't let me put anything on my skin other than Dove soap and a cold washcloth. I used an ice pack last night and it helped enough for me to fall asleep. I'm pretty sore but I do know that it's mostly from the implant (and the skin tightening around it).

Thanks for the props, Renee :)