#involkingdrala #day10 #adornment #braceletnotmeanttobe

i see it i want it

doctor’s office magazine

fetish for bracelets

photo-104

Still reeling

“You look great.”  That is what everyone says now when they see me.  “No, I mean it.  You really look great.”

My response when they repeat themselves:  “Do you want to see my boob?”  Yes that is exactly what I say followed  by something like, “Yeah, that is the funny thing about cancer.  If you do not have chemotherapy and lose your hair,  you look good, like you are not even sick.  I call it the secret disease.  If you did not know me, you would never know I was sick.”

I do not feel like a sick person.  I felt the best I have in years when they discovered my most recent tumor back in March.  Never better.  Strong, steady, happy. . .  all that.  Then boom, they dropped the C-Bomb.

“Ms. Nichols, I am sorry to tell you but we have found a mass in your right breast.  I think we need to do a biopsy.”

“Today?”

“No you will have to wait about 10 days.  Please see the nurse.  She will set you up with an appointment. “

My mind is racing.  Ten days.  How can I wait that long to find out whether I have cancer?  You just will.  And I did.  I convinced myself the results would be negative.  Well they were positive.  Surprise.  My second round of cancer and only two years after the first bout.  Two frigging years.

But I did not begin this post to tell you about my cancer.  I am trying my best to write about my experience after cancer, after surgery, and radiation.

“Now the surgery is a fairly simple procedure.  We will remove the mass and the centennial lymph nodes.”  Okay how did I miss the part about injecting dye into my breast to find that “node or nodes?”  Did the surgeon tell me I would be placed on a cold metal table only to have a plate of concrete lowered to just inches above my face?  No he did not, because I would have explained that I could not do that.  “I am extremely claustrophobic.”  Let is suffice to say that I survived this ordeal, but I did have to ask once to be pulled out so that I could close my eyes, recite my mantra and use my breath to stay calm and in the moment.

Did the surgeon tell me how painful the catheter that he placed in my boob after the surgery would be?  No.  Nor did he tell me that the radiation itself my be painful.  No.  In fact, all medical personnel stated unequivocably that the radiation would be painless.  Let me make this perfectly clear.  I am do not consider myself a wimp, but I suffered, yes suffered from extreme discomfort when anyone touch the device which I wore in my right breast for 8 days and 7 nights.  All the gauze padding in the world did not relieve the stabbing sensation in my breast.   When the doctor asked, which he did each time I came in for a treatment (twice a day), “Are you in any pain?”  I said, “Yes, all the time.”

His response, “Take another Percocet.”

“But they give me such terrible stomach cramps and constipation.”

“Get a stool softener.”

“Any suggestions.”  He blurted out a couple of words I never heard of and immediately forgot.

“Okay are you ready for the treatment?”

The radiation did not hurt, but hooking the machine up to my boob was excruciating.

“This should no hurt.”  the nice man administering the treatment said condescendingly.

Crocodile tears are rolling down the sides of my cheeks.  Every time he touches one of the limbs of my device, my body convulses.  Radiation doctor says, “We will have to give you a stronger pain medication.  I am going to write a scrip for long release morphine.  That should do it.”

“Morphine?’

“Yes you will take on every 12 hours and continue to take the percocets an hour before you come to treatment.”

And so it went for 5 days.  At one point, lying on the table, reciting my mantra, I thought, I am going to have post traumatic stress from this.  I did and I am.

My emotions are off the charts.  Giddiness moves quickly into boredom, into anger and resentment, into bitchiness, into fear and foreboding and finally into deep sadness.

When I joke about cancer, people’s expressions reveal disdain and shame.

“Look, if I can’t joke about cancer, who can?”  There is humor in every situation and I plan to look for it.  I only made a crack about all my friends buying me dinner the week of my radiation.  I guess that is one of  the cancer “perks.”

Hardest part about being well now is everyone still looking at me with deep, questioning eyes when they ask, “How are you doing?”  To most who inquire, I say, “Fine.  Really I am good.”  To my closer friends I reply, “Physically I feel great, but mentally I am off the charts.”

“Oh, but I thought you got a good report.  All clear, right?”

“Yes, all clear.  No cancer now.  But will there be more?  No one knows.  No one knows.  Each day is a gift.”

each day is a gift_life after cancer

 

 

 

#invokingdrala #day8 #beautifyyourhome #flowersfrommygarden

laksmi, goddess of

home and hearth. beauty from our

garden. gaze at the stars

star gazers