Monday, July 29, 2013

Moving On

I returned to work this morning.  I am extremely tired, but it was doable and I'm home now.  Last week sucked and I hope to never repeat those feelings again.  I was depressed, considered buying cigarettes (I haven't smoked in 15 months,) and cried a lot.  I had so many people tell me that I would handle it fine and that it was no big deal.  That made me feel like even more of a failure.

I'm climbing out of that hole, though.  I even laughed a few times today.  My coworkers are as jacked in the head as I am, and the "your mom" jokes were abundant.  That is what I needed.  I needed to take phone calls, answer emails, move orders, and laugh with coworkers.  I am still not a happy camper, but I'm feeling more and more like I can do this.

The nurse said that they'll likely remove the drain on Wednesday morning at my appointment.  I hope so, but I'm also scared to hope.  I want Kevin at the appointment when we discuss the future surgery, so I asked if that would happen this week.  It won't.  We'll just remove the drain (I hope) and assess the healing process.  I'm also cautiously hoping to ditch the sling.
I'm moving on.  I've always moved on.  What else can a person do?  I have a husband who takes incredible care of me.  I have kids who love me.  I have parents who live nearby, love me, and do their part to take care of me.  I am loved, and they'll love me through this.  It's what we do around here.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Baby Steps

I stayed vertical during my waking hours today.  THAT is a step in the right direction.  I was finally able to fall asleep around midnight, and slept until 4 this morning when Kevin was getting around for work.  He stuck around while I got up to take medicine (he made me a piece of peanut butter toast,) go to the bathroom, do my drain care, etc. before he left for work.  After that, I went to lie down in bed for a few minutes and woke up three hours later!

I felt a bit better today, only breaking down into tears when someone talks to me with pity-voice.  I had perfected handling that voice last year, but it's been a while and this hurt is still fresh.  I know there will be a lot of that voice and the puppy eyes when I go back to work, so I need to be ready.  I also know, however, that my close friends will give me shit for missing work.  That'll help.

This afternoon, I felt like maybe I could sleep just a bit more, so I told Monica I was going to take a quick nap.  Four hours later, I woke up again.  I think my sleeping problem has been resolved.  I called out from the bedroom and Natalie came in.  When I asked her what time it is, she said that it was 5:00 and I couldn't believe it.  Now I'm just hoping that I'll still be able to sleep tonight after all that sleep today.  First world problems.
I don't think I'll be ready to go back to work tomorrow, although I had hoped to.  I'm still pretty unsteady and it's a constant job to control pain.  I might try for Friday, but I'd have to make a pretty big improvement for that to happen.  Although it's taking longer than I expected, I'm just glad I'm heading in the right direction.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Who Moved The Floor?

It's been a rough couple of days.They scheduled me for surgery at 4:00 yesterday, where they removed the implant and placed a drain tube.  We won't be able to consider a different reconstruction plan for several months.  This devastated me more than you could possibly imagine.

I have cried for two days straight.  I cannot sleep, food doesn't sound appealing, and if anyone says anything encouraging to me, it makes me cry harder.  So many have told me that this would be no big deal because I'm so strong, and that makes me feel like a failure because this is getting to me more than the other stuff did.  I have had two days of a deep depression that is worse than I felt when I was diagnosed with cancer.

I had it in my mind that I was on the downhill slide.  I went through 13 months of the tissue expander to prepare for the implant.  The first one failed, but he placed another.  I wore that sling at all times, other than in the shower.  I have slept in the recliner for two solid months, trying to make this work.  And yesterday, in a 30 minute procedure, the implant was removed and I look worse than I did last April, post-mastectomy.

It's an evil leftover from an evil disease.  As I'm trying to get myself together and figure out how to return to work, I cannot sleep.  I got about an hour this morning, but that was it.  My mind races and I sink back into pity party mode.  I don't want to eat, I don't want to do anything.

Mom and Dad suggested bringing me a Subway sandwich, and that actually sounded good!  They brought it around noon and it tasted as good as it sounded.  I was still sad, but I had eaten something substantial for the first time since Sunday evening.  I thought I must be on my way to getting better.  That's when I decided to try to nap again.

I went to the bathroom, took out my contacts, emptied the infernal drain, and as I got done, I was looking into the sink and everything started swimming.  I could tell that I was going down.  I processed it and decided that the best thing to do was to get to the floor before gravity put me there.  I was about halfway down when I passed out.  I was only out for a few seconds, but I had to lie there on the floor for a while before I could move.

Finally, I crawled slowly into the living room, got into my chair, and sent Kevin a "don't freak out, but..." text.  He said he was leaving work immediately.  He wasn't happy that I pushed him to go in the first place, but I honestly felt I'd be OK.  I was wrong.  Various parts of me, including my head, hit the doorway on the way down, but not really hard.  I don't have a knot or anything.  I do have a headache from the lack of sleep, crying, the fall, and probably medication.

The nurse called in some Valium for me, and Kevin is gone to pick it up now.  He has me surrounded by anything I could possibly need so I won't get up until he gets home.  If I don't sleep tonight, I'm going to take an elephant tranquilizer.  Eventually, exhaustion will have to take over.  I hope.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Here We Go Again

It started Friday night.  Natalie noticed some blood on my shirt.  The incision wasn't open, but it has a soft spot about an inch long and it's seeping.  It's looking exactly like it did the last time, right before it opened.  I put some butterfly closures on it and wrapped myself in an Ace bandage.  I didn't say anything to Kevin because I didn't want him to cancel his trip to Carthage for our youngest grand-baby's first birthday party.

Yesterday it looked the same, but was seeping even more.  I called Kevin to tell him.  He offered to come home, but there's really no reason. Nothing can be done on the weekend, unless the need arises to go to the ER, which hasn't happened.  I told him I'd call the Dr. today.

The butterfly bandages are keeping it from getting worse, I think.  I was scared to unwrap today to shower, but it looks about the same.  I showered and then called the number for the on-call Dr.  He called back immediately and asked if I could see the implant.  "Not this time."  LOL  He advised me to bandage and wrap exactly as I had.

He said that, as long as it's not open, I'm not at risk for infection so there is no need to go to the ER.  I'm supposed to lay low and stay wrapped and call in to get seen tomorrow.  I'll definitely have to have at least one more surgery.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pants on Fire

I know, I know.  I said I'd update more.  I kind of got absorbed by a Candy Crush habit.  I'll be over it soon, though.  I never stick with a game for very long on Facebook.  I get really obsessed, play all the time, drive everyone crazy with it, and then get bored and block the app.  It's how I roll.

I had a couple of downer days over the weekend, so I didn't want to post then.  I honestly can't even stand myself when I complain, so I try really hard not to subject others to it.  I'm better now that I'm at work and can stay busy.  There is so little I can do at home with my arm in a sling.  At work, all I do is answer calls and work on the computer. I can do that with no problem!

Kevin's been working a lot of overtime lately, so we don't see each other Monday through Thursday.  I see him Friday evening through Sunday.  It's not an ideal situation, but it's helping pay the bills and giving me Fridays off to make up for no vacation days.

The night shift is hit and miss as far as being busy.  Last night I had three calls after 5:00, and the last one was at 5:39.  I have to be here until 7:30.  It was torture.  I finally found some work to keep my busy so I didn't pull my hair out.  Sometimes a production employee walks by the customer service area and catches me acting silly or singing to myself and I'm alone in the room.  They look at me like I'm crazy.

They're right.

Monday, July 1, 2013

What Died?

Last Monday, as I headed home from work, something smelled a little bit "off" in my car.  I couldn't quite place it.  I looked around to see if a kid had left something in there (food, etc) and couldn't find anything.  Once on the road, I could no longer smell it, so I forgot all about it.

Tuesday morning, I was a bit stronger, but I didn't have time to investigate, so I came on to work, forgetting about it along the way, again.  After work, I went out to my car and the smell hit me before I got to the door.  Getting in the car proved nauseating.  It smelled like a dead body.

When I got home, I looked all around in there again and couldn't find anything.  I went back and popped the trunk and was almost flattened as the smell hit me in the face in the 95° heat.  There, in the back, was the milk that I had purchased on Monday morning.  It apparently never got taken into the house.

Except that it was no longer milk.  It was 1/3 full of a chunky substance with a brown color.  The entire carpet in my trunk was moist with the wretched nastiness.  I drove to work and back on Wednesday wishing that my sense of smell didn't work.  A coworker and I started some online research for ideas to help.

That night, I sprinkled a full 1 pound can of coffee back there.  The next day, it smelled like coffee grounds and death.  Slightly more like coffee, but the hint of death was still there.  Yesterday, Natalie vacuumed the coffee out and found an area that had allowed the liquid to pool.  Kevin got rid of that, and today I put an air freshener in the front of my car.  As of tonight, the death smell is gone.

Let's just hope it doesn't come back.  ::shudder::