May 18, 2011

Getting There

Good day/Bad day?: not so hot

I should have known when my commute started out with 2 trains and an accident...

Anyway, let me back up. I forgot to thank some meal people from last week--Mia, Sue, and Kate--thanks for the yumminess! I've skipped a few days, mostly because of being tired and not getting to wind down early enough. Monday was okay, had a second ultrasound of my ovaries. They called me back after last month, assured me right away they weren't worried it was cancer or anything but wanted to see if there was a cyst that stayed or something. Didn't realize it was bothering me at all until I had it done and all was normal again--not that it would have been a big health issue, but I'd like a part of my body to not remodel anytime soon! It's also very weird, after having a lot of ultrasounds when pregnant , to not have the heartbeat, pictures, etc. to look forward to.

Tuesday was very full but okay, and then Olive came home like a wet noodle, exhausted, had a fever. But she slept pretty well considering, and no temp this AM. Then it came back tonight. But we'll work it out.

So I've had some discussions with people about tomorrow being the last radiation treatment and whether it feels like a milestone. I'm sad to report that, even though some things will be "over"--mostly daily or weekly appts, though I'll still have quite a few for a while--it's still not "the end". It would be so nice, wouldn't it, to just have a day to wake up and say "Time to get back to normal!" Well, I can say it, but it will have limited power...

A few nuts & bolts of the short-term recovery: the radiation MD today said the pain/discomfort at the radiation site usually goes away in 7-10 days, the skin will be mostly healed but not lighter in 3-4 weeks and the fatigue usually coincides with that, and the site will be darker noticeably for a few years, very possibly to some degree for the rest of my life. With all of the inflammation in the region right now, my R arm swelling is increased and will be for a while, more prone to it for the next year or 2.

A lovely friend said to me that she's looking forward to the day (knowing it will be a ways off) that I wake up and just feel good. As she said it, I kind of teared up because there is a part of me that can't get too attached to that right now. I've been in survival mode for almost a year, was already tired from pregnancy and nursing before that--it's just been a long time! It's hard to balance being optimistic and guarded at the same time.

When I had a massage a couple of weeks ago, she remarked on how supremely tense my shoulders were and how that equates to carrying a lot of responsibility (i.e. where you carry your tension equates to how you handle stress in your life). I've "shouldered" a lot with this, and as she said that I literally saw myself crouched on the ground and hunkered down. That's how I've been. Afraid to stick my head up for fear of what I'll have to take on next, afraid of what it'll feel like to stand up straight and be vulnerable to anything. And feeling responsible--from day one, even though it's not rational and it's not necessarily about blame. To whatever degree I think I brought this on, bad choices I may have inadvertently made, blah , blah, it's not about that. It's about feeling responsible for putting everyone else through this, too. Yes, there have been some lovely things that have evolved out of receiving support from others, and I know people get genuine gratification from helping. There's the other side of that, though--I do not like feeling like the catalyst of anyone else's turmoil.

Okay, enough of that but I had a little purging to do. Probably necessary so tomorrow DOES feel like a positive day. And what else is good? Well, it's a little weird but gave me a good laugh--Olive got a hold of her thermometer and went around trying to take rectal temps of her stuffed animals, then tried to approach me with it... Goodnight!


merry said...

How lovely to end the day with a chuckle!! Being purseued by a rectal thermometer is not a pretty picture!
OK, my experience says celebrate today! Another chapter in this book of cancer is over! Yes, you'll feel the effects of the radiation for a while - mine was mainly my memory! Conversations I didn't remember having, responsibilities I hadn't carried through on, etc. Even though I knew I'd miss my radiation techs, I wouldn't/didn't miss the daily treatments. Close the book and start healing.
As for holding yourself responsible for other peoples' "turmoil", stop that RIGHT NOW!! They are all capable of deciding how to respond to what you've asked of them. They have been with you on this journey through love and wanting to walk with you. So, brush off your heavy shoulders, straighten your back and know that's one thing you can unload! WE LOVE YOU!!

Kathy said...

Here, here and special thanks to Merry for her insights. If you have an opportunity for a little happiness, grab on to it with both hands. Tonight, you, Ben and Olive can all take a deep breath knowing another phase is completed--hug each other tight and let that really sink in. Completing a phase, all on its own is, is reason for the deep breath and a moment of emotion. The great thing is that you don't have to decide right now how you'll feel, how you'll view life FOREVER. I know for sure that Bruce and I will be joining you all in that deep breath tonight and I'm going to let a little joy and hope creep in too.