Friday, November 22, 2013

The Countdown to Surgery

It's been a busy couple of days for me.  Yesterday was the sleeve and glove pick up day.  No more mummy wrapping!  The sleeve is going to take some getting used to, but it's already better and SO much easier than the seven layers of wrap.  I'm glad that is behind me.

Today started with a pre-op appointment at the plastic surgeon's office.  It's pretty scary to hear how much pain I'm going to be in and that I'll be walking bent over for a while, and to not force myself to stand up straight.  How I can't lift over five pounds for six weeks and how there is no way I'll be able to climb stairs and so on and so on.  I'll have a pain pump for the first couple of days.  I know I can handle it, but it's making both me and Kevin nervous.

One good thing that came out of the appointment was what might happen as a result of the surgery.  Because the radiated tissue will be replaced with non-radiated tissue (with healthy lymphatics,) there is a possibility that my lymphedema may get better.  Wouldn't THAT be amazing?  That lifted our spirits after getting scared by the warnings.

This afternoon, the guy came to set up  my compression pump and show me how to use it.  It's not bad at all.  For 50 minutes a night, I sit in the recliner while the pump does massage to move lymph fluid up and out of my arm.  This is my new routine:

So...two more weeks.  Next week is Thanksgiving and I'm going to get to see my Georgia brother.  The next week is a full week of work.  The Monday after that, we'll head to the hospital to check in and get ready for a noon surgery.  Yup.  The time is finally almost here.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I don't post because I don't want to reveal how sad and negative I am a lot of the time.  That's not me.  It's my blog and I can do whatever I want.  However, to type the negative words is to give them power.  (in my mind, anyway.)  So I just don't blog.  Today, I have something to blog about.

My friend Michelle nominated me for a Honey Baked Ham gift card, and I won.  It was something about "foiling cancer" and I was thrilled to find out that I'd won a $75 gift card.  That will be a HUGE help on Thanksgiving.  Tonight, I stopped by the local HBH store to order a ham for next week.

There was only one more customer in the store, and it was a couple.  I'm going to guess that they were in their late 50's to early 60's.  She wore a knit hat and was obviously bald.  As I left the store, they were following.  I held the door for them and then asked:

"Did you win a $75 gift card by being nominated for fighting cancer?"  She looked shocked and answered "Yes?"  She seemed confused.  I said, "Yeah.  Me, too.  I fought breast cancer for most of 2012."  She asked when my last chemo was, and I told her that it was September 19, 2012.

This is where I teared up.  She looked at her husband and said, "See?  Look how much hair I'll have in a year!"  I told her that I, too, struggled with the hair loss, felt it would never grow back, and now have had a trim and still have this much hair.

She smiled and then I did it.  I asked if I could please give her a hug.  She nodded and I hugged her.  I hugged her hard.  And while I hugged her, I whispered, "This will be over soon.  I promise."

She nodded and we parted ways.  I'll likely never see her again.  I hope she keeps her chin up, and I promise to do the same.  I have hair.  I have hair, and she'll have hair next year.  Maybe she'll lift up someone else who is struggling at that time. 

Hair?  Wanna see mine?  OK!