February 16, 2011

Laundry List

Good day/Bad day?: Pretty good

Okay, I'm going to be a little more self-indulgent today (maybe take a drive through Pity City?). I can say a lot of the time that I'm doing well, but that doesn't mean the same today as it did pre-cancer. It's really all relative, isn't it? Again, you adapt, you become okay with it, but it's still not what I want it to be.

So here's my laundry list of what it feels like to be "fine" these days (kind of head-to-toe):
  • well, there's the hair loss. I'm not super-concerned about that, but it's weird to have to moisturize my head (it is winter in WI, after all...)
  • occasional nosebleeds
  • my skin goes from great to a mess in one day
  • only really had the mouth sores for one round, but dry mouth is common
  • ugh, my teeth! So I was a little delinquent in going to the dentist anyway, but now there are likely multiple problem ones, and even within the last few weeks they've started hurting. Everything's accelerated, and I have to wait 'til chemo's done to go and deal with it. BTW, anyone have recommendations for Delta Dentists in Madison?
  • shoulders and chest--the surgical area feels like a rubber band about 2-3in wide is tight around it (like the wide kind that comes on broccoli :)). It kind of pulls my chest and shoulders forward, which throws off my upper and mid-back. Makes me feel old.
  • well, obviously I have no boobs. Overall not the biggest deal, but it makes clothes look different. Most dresses, too, are cut for having boobs, so I have to wear the fake ones and they hurt my chest after a while (if I wear a dress, which I only have once so far).
  • L arm with the PICC line--PIA of having to wrap my upper arm in plastic for every shower, flush every night, hunt down a coworker every other week to change my dressing. My wound from the port removal is finally healing but I'll have a decent scar.
  • fingertip numbness and decreased hand strength, and my wrists have a weird ache
  • Menopause! Hot flashes, night sweats (esp around 3am), and in general makes it like Ben is married to a 60 year-old.
  • oh yeah, low back hurts, too. Esp after the post-chemo shot (base of the skull, jaw, too)
  • leg fatigue, and shooting pain down them. And despite being bald, I haven't lost my leg hair...
  • the feet. They have the numbness, and as the day goes on they feel hot and swollen and very uncomfortabe.

I think I got it off my chest. Just had to say it once. Not looking for anything in particular from it, just putting it out there that this whole process still sucks, even though my days can be okay. Some problems will go away and some won't.

Okay, I'm done bitching. Time to get excited for my surprise evening with Ben tomorrow! Just over a day 'til the last chemo...


Kathy said...

60 is the new 40; however, even for the real 60-year olds among us, the characteristics are unnerving and definitely unwanted. When you're 35, I'm guessing they are downright annoying. Yesterday, though, I saw Marnie literally running down the hall...she stopped and chatted a while and when we finished, she resumed her quick pace, long curly hair bouncing. She was where you are not that long ago. I met her when her hair was out about an inch. She had been through surgery, reconstruction, chemo and radiation--even at the 1-inch mark, she was amazingly energetic and humbled me with her calm outlook. Of course, she's in Exercise Science and tends to think about mobility and how to assure it more than the average person would. We've talked enough for me to know she has felt as you're feeling now. Courage, Jenny, you will get yourself back. Have fun tonight!

Monika said...

Have a wonderful time tonight and good luck tomorrow! You're on my mind, lady!

Valerie said...

I can't wait to hear about your surprise outing! I do have a dentist that I have used for a long time! I can share the info w/ you. Also, you just let me know when I can help change your PICC drsg....I am never ever too busy to help! And I could probably use some feedback about my technique :)

ee said...

I like McKinney Dental and they're on your side of town just across from Warner Park
I've been going there for years.

KateB said...

Almost done, Jenny!

Our dentist is really great. I believe he is a Delta provider. He is on the west side which is kind of a drag...but near Cilantro (a plus!)

Brian Hopp
Dental Health Assoc.
7017 Old Sauk Rd
(608) 833-1889

Anonymous said...

Finally I can respond! Learning how to use this crazy macbook and wanted to post for days especially here. I see you probably 3 or 4 days a week and never heard a peep out of you with all of these things you have experienced in recent weeks and months. Seriously, I think you need to take some lessons on whining. You make the rest of look bad...