I am starting to understand what the doctors meant by a “Two Month” “Recovery. ” At first, I thought they meant that in two months I would be recovered. That’s not it at all. They meant I wouldn’t be able to do anything but recover for at least two months. After that, I would slowly get back to my new self… (I hope. )
When preparing myself mentally for the surgery, I referred to my post-surgery self as “Frankenstein’s Bride. ” When Judi saw me for the first time in the doctor’s office, she said I looked like a zombie. I refused that label because I still had a brain (most days), and insisted that I was more like Frankenstein’s Bride. She consented to my logic.
What I could never conceive was how much healing a body needs to do after it’s been taken apart and put together again, how much of a toll 11 hours of anesthesia takes on a body, how much work it is to recover from all that blood loss, and how long a body can continue to swell. Although I never read the books or watched the movies, I am pretty sure Frankenstein’s Bride got right up and did whatever she wanted the moment she woke up.
Tomorrow is my two month anniversary and I am still not up to doing whatever I want. I am definitely not my old self that could walk 5 miles in a day. I have to plan out my day so that I can do the bare minimum and not wear myself out. I still have to rest up between breakfast and shower… etc. I am letting the puppy in and out more for myself (she only wants out 50 times a day). 🙂
Last week, just warming up my meals in the microwave was challenging. This week I am stir frying my meals from scratch again (Yay!), but I have to sit on a stool while I sir and it’s still a challenge to do all the walking it takes to gather up all the stuff I need from around the kitchen. Last week, making in and out of the store was a huge challenge. This week it’s a little easier. I can unload the basket onto the conveyer belt now. Last week, one of the baggers offered to do it and I was happy to let him do that and carry my groceries out to the car. I am still doing only a little shopping at a time. Some things on the higher shelves are a challenge to reach and I am still not up to pushing the basket or carrying the heavy groceries or putting them all away.
I started driving again a couple of weeks ago. At first, I hated seat belts and right turns really hurt (I guess more than left, because they are tighter). This week, I still don’t like seat belts, but I don’t mind driving as much. Honestly, just riding in the car tires me. My top half doesn’t do well at following my bottom half around the curves. Maybe when I am driving, holding the steering wheel helps? Now that Joel and Judi both have jobs, and Joel is preparing to get his license and start school, driving instructor/chauffeur is my job. I am doing the best I can.
A couple of weeks ago, I was REALLY struggling with the pain by the end of the day. I can block most of it out during the day, but when I am trying to rest at the end of the day, it still bothers me some; muscle soreness, twinges… I don’t know what to call them all… ouchies? Truthfully, it’s 9 am now, and they are bothering me now… it’s just by the end of the day, I am so worn out that I can’t deal with the pain as well.
I haven’t taken anything for the pain since my day of vomiting except the daily aspirin I have to take as a blood thinner and some Arnica which does seem to help a little. I try to reserve taking other stuff for emergencies because of their side effects. I figure my liver has plenty to deal with as it is. I am glad I have a high tolerance for pain and don’t need more.
Although, all last week my body kept asking me, “Why did you let those mean doctors do this to me?” and my only answer was, “I don’t know??” I don’t regret doing the surgery. If I had chosen the other main stream, American option, I might doing radiation now and have radiation fatigue for the next 4 plus years, and who knows how I would have done on the tamoxifen.
If some brave soul is ever able to get the American Cancer money making machine to concede that there is a better way to cure cancer, I’ll be happy for the patients that follow and don’t have to choose between the two very destructive options I had.
I am glad I studied up and chose not to let them take my lymph nodes even though “Expert doctors, like me, think it’s the best thing to do. ” After a logical discussion of all I understood about the non-existent benefits of taking a few lymph nodes, that’s all my breast surgeon could come up with. She did get part of one during surgery, but warned me that sometimes it just couldn’t be helped.
They try to make your lymph nodes out to be such small things… no big deal… Your eyes are small, too! Your lymph nodes are an important part of your immune system. And even though the doctors don’t have to be concerned with your lifetime struggle with lymphedema afterwards, you do.
I am still dealing with swelling daily. May still be a long time before it subsides. Went for a dental cleaning last week, and my arms and hands swelled up while the hygienist had my head lower than the rest of me. Most of the time it’s only my core that’s swollen. I am hoping that it’s still too early to be worried about lymphedema.
I still have a lot of healing left to go… and prayerfully with that the swelling will improve.
When I first had to tell people about my diagnosis, just getting the words out was difficult. I know how hard news like that is to take, and no one ever knows what to say. Most said, “I am so sorry. ” or “I am so happy we caught it early. ” I loved it when “they were so happy” because I could rejoice with them and it made it easier for me to have shared the news. I wasn’t up to comforting the ones who were sorry… and couldn’t afford to be sorry with them… it would have been a long, slippery slope into a deep pit.
If someone had told me last week, that they had just been diagnosed with breast cancer all that I would have been able to do is cry and say, “I am so sorry. ” This week I am feeling a little stronger and think I could be a bit more of a support. 🙂
I am still positive that cancer is from the devil and it baffles me how he curses anyone who believes on Jesus.
We are free from the curse… free from sin… free to love Him freely. He became sin for us, taking the curse on Himself. It is finished. All we have to do is believe. And I am so thankful for my for my Healer and for the season of healing He is allowing me to walk though, however long it may be.