We need to talk about your left arm…

Thanks to the surgery where no one saw the results coming, my left arm will never, ever, be the same again. All auxiliary lymph nodes were removed from under that arm along with the sentinel nodes. I honestly do not know how many lymph nodes were removed. Dr. H told me, but hey, chemo brain and anesthesia and hysterics aren’t a good mix for memory, so, I don’t know how many nodes I lost. Not yet. I know this, though: my left arm will never be the same. With my left arm, I am not allowed to:

  • carry a purse or bag
  • lift anything over 10 lbs (lift anything at all right now)
  • allow any sticks or medical procedures happen on it if at all avoidable
  • wear my wedding and engagement rings
  • wear a watch

…and these are only the things I remember!

Right now, I can’t easily type with it, so I’m a right hand typing wonder. Writing is hard, even with my right arm because it also had lymph node removal…just not nearly as many. I can’t easily reach for anything with either arm because they’re tight and sore, but I really can’t do anything with my left.

Since surgery, my left arm has been sore, and as I sleep, it becomes painful. I take my pain pill and wait for it to kick in so that my left arm is just uncomfortable.

At night, it’s propped up by pillows. During the day, I rest it as much as I can. But…it’s uncomfortable. Painful. Yet, I still have my range of motion in both the left and right. If it didn’t hurt or wasn’t uncomfortable, I’d have no problems moving my arms. None. They aren’t limited. Neither just stop. They move.

My left arm is going to be a problem. I told A he needs to find a jeweler who can be trusted to resize my rings. I want them sized up so they are loose. I also told him I want an eternity band and a black kitten. He thought the jewelry requests make a lot of sense and plans to talk to a family member who might know someone or some place he can take my rings. He side eyed the kitten request, but he didn’t straight out reject it tonight. He also appreciated how I slid the request into our conversation. We’re animal rescue adopters. Both our cats were rescues. It’s time. It’s been five months since our old, big, orange cat died. Our fluffy tabby is lonely. He’s never known this house without another cat. He meows, looking for our big orange.

It may seem like the worst time to bring another animal into our lives, but I told him I want a black cat we can name Lucky so when everything sucks, like it does right now, I can hold onto some luck. He side eyed my explanation, but he also knows I meant every word. This is probably the worst time, but it’s the best time, too. So, we’ll start looking through rescue groups and shelters. We’ll find our Lucky.

He (or she) will just need to steer clear of my crazy, messed up left arm.


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