breast cancer, life, Uncategorized

Helping Heart

My left arm hurts today. I saw Dr. B, my obgyn, yesterday, and she commented that my surgical sites are still swollen and healing. Then, she reminded me that just because I feel mostly normal, albeit fatigued, and healed on the outside, it doesn’t mean my left side is 100% normal or that I’m completely healed on the inside. She told me she feels like I’m overdoing and overusing my left side. This afternoon, I believe her.

Right now, my saving grace is the purple, soft, and fuzzy heart pillow a friend gave me after surgery. imageI used it for weeks after surgery, and I’m using it again. Not only does it help and support my arm on a day like today when it’s sore, but it helps keep my skin from touching.

I’ve had 10 radiation treatments as of today. The skin under my left arm and along my left side and underneath the left tissue expander has started darkening and burning. I have a small blister in already. I douse myself in pure aloe vera after treatment. I use Aquaphor on the treatment areas. Sometimes, I use coconut oil on the treatment areas at night before I go to bed. I’m not completely miserable yet, but I feel like it’s coming.

I’m trying to wear very comfortable shirts to work. If it isn’t soft or easy to wear, it’s not happening. Today, I wore a cotton tshirt with a cardigan. I couldn’t imagine trying to wear anything else today. Tomorrow is a spirit day, so I can wear a school shirt and jeans. Most of my school shirts are cotton tshirts. I can handle that!

I’m looking at more surgery. Soon-ish. Yay.  😦   When I saw Dr. B yesterday, we talked about the ER+ cancer and the need to do an oophorectomy. She’s recommending I do a hysterectomy with an oophorectomy, and I’m leaning towards taking her recommendation. I’m going to talk it over with Dr. O when I see her again in May. I’m seeing her every nine week now instead of every three. It’s a little disconcerting to not have her checking me over every three weeks. No matter what I do, an oophorectomy or a hysterectomy with oophorectomy, it’s going to be when school is out. I also need to talk to Dr. L about it to see if it affects his ability to do the DIEP reconstruction, which is also scheduled for this summer. Dr. L’s goal is for the surgery to happen before August. I don’t want to delay the reconstruction. The recovery is more extensive. I don’t want to miss school next school year because of surgery. I know my health comes first, but I love my job and my administration. I want to be at work.

I wish none of this was a part of my life. I told Dr. B I feel like I’m never going to be done with treatment, and I feel like the fact it was in my lymph nodes makes it a death sentence. Then, I told her how tired I’ve been, and she told me if I’d get a good night’s sleep, I might feel differently, and my diagnosis is not a death sentence. I know she’s right, but sleeping doesn’t come easy lately, and my brain goes into overdrive.

I’m working on things. Maybe tonight will be restful. Maybe I won’t toss and turn tonight. Maybe my arm will stop aching.

That would be nice.


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