Five to Eight weeks after

I saw the doctor for my follow-up at 5 weeks, and she said I was ‘healing remarkably well’ and was henceforth cleared to lift heavy things and battle monsters. She also noted that my pathology report had come back showing some abby normal uterine cell growth (focal complex hyperplasia is the technical term; a possible pre-pre-cursuror to cancer), so it was just as well I’d had it out.

And all was well and all was well, and I resumed my life of cooking for myself, and doing my own laundry, and vacuuming my own house, and freeing all my varied and wonderful friends who had helped manage my reality. Still a bit easily fatigued, but generally doing amazingly well – until a few days ago, when I decided I was quite well enough to clean out next door’s amazingly overgrown garden. I spent two days pulling out a vast intertwined network of sapling roots (and the saplings as well), digging up the remaining garden plants as needed and replanting –  I got about halfway through it and I was *done*, and overdone at that.

Apparently, I’m not quite as far along in healing as I’d thought. I’ve spent the last two days resting, and I’m still very much feeling the error of my ways. Poor swollen sore belly! I’m back on the ‘light duties’ plan until it gets better.

*sigh*

this too shall pass. And I shan’t do that again*!

 

*wellllll, not right away, at least. 

 

 

 

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Not *quite* Ready for Prime Time

Three plus weeks after, and although I feel pretty well healed in general, breaking from the cat lifestyle – even for something as simple as dinner and a movie at a friend’s – results in slight soreness and an insta-puff belly the next day. It’s really the strangest thing, a little puffy water belly that goes away in a day or so, and a gentle reminder that I’m not quite ready for prime time after all.

Other than that, and the generalized fatigue, everything is going very smoothly indeed – still dreaming, still feeling better *overall* than before surgery, despite the fatigue and residual weakness. This too shall pass – eventually, though it may take six months to a year before enough healing takes place that the swelling on “over-exertion” stops.

I’m hoping it’ll be sooner, meself, but I’m prepared to invest in more yoga pants if need be – and it’s still a good trade-off in my books.

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Scarification? You’re doing it *wrong*.

100_9639

 

Yup, that’s it. Nine days after and I’ve two tiny cat scratches on either side and the worst ever case of bellybutton scruff. There’s a bit of swelling and bruising yet, but it’s pretty damn minimal. Soreness? Well, I’m not going winter camping just yet, or lifting anything much over 8 pounds, and my belly is definitely tender, but it’s not that bad.

All other body functions are going on in their usual way; my eye still *feels* a bit wonky and twingy, but I’ll assume it’s healing as well; and my main presenting symptom is fatigue – whoever knew simply staying upright would be so much work? Even passive media exhausts me… read and sleep, wake and eat, sit at the computer, do the dishes, and back to bed to read and sleep.

Having seen the video, I know there’s a fair amount of repair work going on behind the scenes – and it all takes a fair amount of energy. Well, really, it’s not as though I had anything better to do, right?

 

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Theatre of Dreams

I’m dreaming again.

This is part of what I mean when I say I now feel like a healthy person who’s had major surgery… “normally”, as in before this whole madcap cancer journey, I dreamt frequently and vividly, often several distinct  dreams per night, each in full color and SensaSurround. Sometime over the past two years, that slipped away – I didn’t really miss it, per se; it would have been like worrying about your beautiful paint set while your house was burning down around you, a smaller loss that gets lost in the general destruction. You forget that you ever had that paint set, you forget the beauty of it, the way it fit into your hand, the shining jewelbox of colors. The way you loved it, the ways it completed you.

And, then, by some miracle, your paint set is restored to you, seemingly intact; all the precious colours, the beautiful fine tipped and familiar brushes that fit your hand just so – it’s been waiting for you all along, and you remember suddenly how much you love it, how precious it is, how wonderful and rich a thing. Ah! old friend, how I have missed you…

The Theatre of Dreams, playing nightly. It is a glorious and wonderous thing.

Estrogen promotes REMS by reducing the time to the first REMS period and increasing the amount of REMS time.

“Understanding Sleep and Dreaming” – Moorcroft

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Seven days later…

Seven days after surgery and here I am, doing remarkably well overall, if not quite ready for prime time yet. My eye was checked Monday and pronounced healed (a forty minute appointment that turned into three hours- mostly spent sitting around and waiting, and a keen reminder I’m not nearly as healed as I thought I was; it knocked the stuffing right out of me). After I recovered from that – keeping oneself upright really does take a remarkable amount of energy, and I was exhausted and cranky and sore and hunched over by the time I got home – there’s been a lot of napping, and reading of books, and dipping my toes in the waters of teh interwebs.

It’s an exciting life I lead, I tell you.

Peeled off the Tegaderm and gauze in the shower on Sunday morning, revealing *tiny* little incisions low on either side and a slightly larger central one; all healing beautifully with very minimal bruising. Dermabond (surgical superglue) on the two sides, and possibly on the central one. It’s a bit harder to tell on that one, since it’s in my navel, and is somewhat less beautiful than the other two, with little jaw marks on the flesh about it (presumably from forceps)  – and I don’t particularly want to be poking at it –  but, again, it will disappear in no time. Scars were certainly not my primary concern, but it is amazing how bloody miniscule the incisions are.

I’ve also watched the video of my surgery – which is gruesome and nasty and somewhat stomach turning, right up to the point where it tips over into Monty Python absurdity and suddenly becomes simply ludicrous. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen until the last of the four clips… even I had to take a number of  breaks in the viewing. Somehow you picture a ‘harmonic scalpel’ as being rather more precise and scalpel like, something out of futuristic science fiction with a X-acto type blade moving so swiftly and cleanly as to be a blur of light, cutting and cauterizing on  fastidiously accurate lines of division… well, at least I did. And wouldn’t chance be a fine thing?

The reality is rather different. The harmonic scalpel is closer to the bastard child of a miniaturized curling iron and a heat sealing device; the jaws open and either move forward onto flesh or have flesh dragged into them; the jaws close and the flesh in between them melts, thaws, and resolves itself into a dew, though rather less poetically. Smoke rises, things bubble and burn and drip and spray, strings of meat pull and stick  to the jaws as it opens and bites again – it’s not for the fainthearted.

However, it appears to have done the trick quite nicely. The initial post-operative swelling is already going down; the only major pain I’ve had has been from the scratched cornea; bruising was minimal and is already receding; post operative bleeding was extremely limited; and all other systems are doing *fine*.

I’m doing quite well getting around the house, up and down stairs and all, light housework (ie, washing dishes) – no stamina to speak of yet (as Monday proved, holding myself upright for four hours is way too long. It took the rest of the day and most of yesterday to recover), and no strength but – for a week after major abdominal surgery, I’m well pleased and then some.

The other bit is – I feel *better*.

Now, obviously, it’s all very fuzzy and squishy data as of yet; I’m hardly healed and my current lifestyle more closely resembles a cat’s* than a normal human’s, my pre-surgical stress (not to be discounted) has been relieved, but it’s as though something that was creating an imbalance on a fundamental level has been removed, and while there’s all the physical stress of that removal, the underlying systems are shifting back to equilibrium.

My theory on this is that between the endometrial buildup and what turned out to be numerous small fibroids (the sense I got was that the uterine tissue was fairly well riddled with them), having my uterus was costing me a pretty high price in terms of systemic estrogen. Now that estrogen is freed up for other, more useful, tasks – such as overall physical and mental balance.

It’s all early days yet, but it’s how it feels to me: I feel like a relatively healthy person who’s just had major abdominal surgery, and is recovering rapidly. This is a good thing.

And I didn’t even have to lose my eyesight to get here!

 

 

*Nap, eat,  nap, read, nap, eat, shiny thing, litterbox, nap… Zoe is most pleased I’ve returned to the Cat Side.

 

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One in a Thousand…

The morning after, and I was up early, taking care of the last minute chores, emptying out the garbage and the compost; running the vacuum one last time; drinking as much fluid (and a couple of cups of black coffee) as I could suck down by 8:30; washing up the dishes and putting things in order. Set up coffee so it’d be ready to go on return, set up a movie ready to roll, packed a pair of sweats in my backpack (along with the Kindle and MP3 player) in case I wasn’t quite ready for jeans after surgery – and it was time.

My most excellent tenants Hillary and Debbie brought me up to the hospital and dropped me off at the door well before 10:30; I went through the usual registration and thus into the pre-surgical waiting room (where I explained, that, no, I didn’t have anyone  with me at the moment, but someone would be coming, and here’s their phone number)  – and before my butt could even hit the chair, they whisked me back to the *real* waiting area.

You know the routine: change into attractive surgical gown, put your clothes in the handy plastic bags, climb into the adjustable bed, and let the nurse on duty wrap you in  warmed blankets. It’s just like a spa, only completely different. People come in and out of the curtained room; blood is drawn; questions asked – did you do what you were told?last food? last drink?; IV inserted – a bit more painfully than usual; you meet the anesthesiologist and sign more release forms; and in between it all you read or listen to music and the time flies by… the next thing you know, they’re making noises about how the room is ready, and it’s time to go.

Luckily, Mom showed up just before that happened. She grabbed my backpack, and I was wheeled off, down the corridors, with Dr Murray following behind, and into cooler and colder zones until we reached the operating room.

More quick introductions, two more warmed blankets provided and the old one taken away – all done very discretely so as to preserve my modesty (I always find this effort slightly ironic, considering it usually occurs just as one’s about to lose all modesty – and still, it does mean something, it is important. It’s absurd – I was in stirrups for most of the surgery, my delicate inner bits on camera, it’s not as though there was any modesty left – and yet it’s important. It’s acknowledging the humanity of the patient, before you carve into their flesh; it’s a reminder. It’s good policy, just as the introductions are even though you’ll not remember any of these people’s names; just as leaving the room while a patient changes is.), and I scrambled adroitly from the bed to the narrow operating table, scootched down into  proper position, and lay back. I was belted in, snug and low across the hips as they advise you in planes; compression devices strapped on my legs; oxygen mask lowered on; bustle about me; and

gone……..

…..the first thing I remember is swiping at my right eye as I surfaced, and someone restraining my hand, telling me not to.

…..the second time I was in the recovery room, which is connected to the presurgical waiting area, and has much the same set-up; curtained rooms with hospital beds and equipment; there was a nurse and my mom, and my eye hurt, my eye hurt… and then there are multiple jumps and cuts, as I swam up and out of the fog. I was given ice water to drink, and an oxycodone; my eye was irrigated at least twice, and the pain kept rising; I was offered an ice pack and more drugs which I refused; my mom gave me a handkerchief which I folded and held against the eye, and my eye swelled, and wept, and screamed louder at me. It was a particular intense pain, and quite took my mind off any other discomfort I might have been in – it’s really all I remember of immediate post surgery pain, the needles in my eye that I couldn’t get away from and couldn’t get out.  And this, boys and girls, is why it’s important to have an advocate with you in hospital – my mother asked for an opthamologist to come take a look. I would have never been able to manage, groggy and confused as I was from anesthesia and in unexpected pain… I remember someone asking if I would classify my pain as a 10 – which by the way, I wouldn’t have, being as I wasn’t actually screaming or passing out, and while I *wanted* to claw my eye out, I was still able to resist. However, at the time it seemed best not to demur.

The opthamologist, Dr Alexander, came, squirted a very temporary anesthesia in my eye, looked at it, pronounced the verdict “corneal abrasion”*, did a brief vision test, asked a few questions, dropped some long lasting dilating agent in, and bandaged it up tight. She was not best pleased with the anesthesiologist, and made her apologize to me (to which I responded, in stunning form ‘shit happens‘. Ah, breeding and eloquence will out! I’ll just slink away now…), as well as rebuking her in front of me. Dr Alexander was clear I was not to be charged for the attention or the antibiotic ointment she put in my hand; she was brisk and competent and certain, and I liked her very much – I’ll be seeing her again Monday for follow-up.

(ha! in a typical bout of absurdity, I got a voicemail at some point from a prospective tenant for the Grannis/Hurd consortium – I’d been taking care of their apartments whilst they were in Kenya – and I actually managed to text back while in recovery. My phone says that was 4:53, and also shows a couple of calls placed around 6:30, by which time I was at home and snug in bed , drinking the coffee down – other than that, and knowing I went in to surgery at about 12:30, I don’t have a lot of time markers after entering the hospital time zone, and can barely sequence some events)

My surgeon (the lovely and charming Dr Murray) came by at some point, gave me the DVD of the surgery, and was clear I could stay in the hospital if I wanted to – I remember her offering at least twice. However, as I still had use of one eye, and all my appendages, I really felt I should be going before any of that changed.

I wobbled to my feet on those strange rubber legs they give you to use after general anesthesia, off hand in hand with the nurse down the hall to the loo, where I got rid of the water I’d been sucking down and was given several pairs of post surgical undies* and pads suitable for camping gear; back to my cubby, dressed (all by myself!), and I was out of there.

Back home, where there was coffee (which I could drink) and a movie (which  I couldn’t watch) waiting, and my wonderful bed and a handy bottle of oxycodone… peeled off all the sticky nippled pads I could find stuck on my back and chest*, and went to bed.

this is what I looked like immediately after; the obvious victim of a brawl.

this is what I looked like immediately after; the obvious victim of a brawl. I think I was trying to smile for the camera, trying and failing miserably

And the evening went like that – I’d wake up with my eye stabbing at me, pop  an oxycodone and wait for it to kick in, go back to sleep. I kept the bandage on until morning, to prevent me from rubbing at my eye during sleep and further damaging it.

The day after, I peeled it off, and started the 4X daily regime of antibiotic ointment, the taste of erythromycin dripping down my throat. My right eye was still dilated for several days, which made focusing hard, and I kept it patched (thanks, Debbie!) for much of the first day. Then I googled ‘corneal abrasions’ and found that patching was no longer recommended, as abrasions tend to heal faster without it… so once my pupil wasn’t quite so expanded and light sensitive, I went back to binocular vision.

Check out the David Bowie eyes!

Check out the David Bowie eyes!

Aside from that, the pain wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared – nothing that OTC medications couldn’t handle, and I stopped even those after the first day. Stiff and sore, no doubt – like having eaten a kilo of apricots, done a host of sit-ups, and gotten a good kicking – but nothing outrageous. I’ve been pretty much able to do everything I need to do, as long as I’m slow and gentle and careful. Three little lumps of gauze on my belly, neatly covered in tegaderm.

Still very easily tired, lots of little meals – and thanks to all who’ve provided, Martha & Michael; Nellie & Wes; Davis & Stephanie; Beverly;  and my always wonderful housemates;  not venturing outside yet, but walking about my house is quite enough; lots of  naptimes – and it’s about time for another.

‘Night, all….

* “Ocular injuries:
The frequency of eye injury during anaesthesia and surgery is very low (<0.1% of anaesthetics), but the spectrum of injury ranges from mild discomfort to permanent loss of vision. Corneal abrasions are reported most commonly. They are caused by direct trauma to the cornea by foreign objects (face masks, surgical drapes, etc) combined with decreased basal tear production secondary to general anaesthesia.”  Yah, I’m lucky. Well, it is a teaching hospital, and I figure I provided the perfect teaching moment. Again.

*Ah, those postsurgical mesh granny panties! It’s hard to know where to start… no pressure points, utterly breathable, feels like you’ve got *nothing* on, and the sexiness  – well, that’s just a bonus. Willing to bet they’d wash and dry in a *snap* as well.

meshL

*missed one, found it clinging on in the morning.

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Adieu Utero!

It was a great party.

Thanks to all of you who made it out, for the food and the company and the hand knitted uterus, for being *you*. You are the *bestest*.

 

100_9599Surgery scheduled for 12:30, rides secured, and Colace waiting – and the coffee’s set up.

I’ll catch you on the flip side.

 

 

 

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Fifteen months after

It was supposed to be done by now.

That’s the myth I was operating under, at any rate – you have the surgery, you undergo chemotherapy, and radiation treatment; you’re tagged and released back in to the wild. Your hair grows back, your scars fade slowly, there are a few changes but nothing much to write home about, you continue to get checkups, and as long as they remain NED, the whole thing fades slowly into the background – a very bad year, and it’s over.

Would it were so.

In some ways I’m lucky – I don’t have the overwhelming fear that many do during the inevitable check-ups; I found the cancer the first time, not the doctor, not mammograms, and that tilts my emotional understanding of the process. And so far – knock on wood – it’s been NED all the way. May it continue that way.

My hair’s grown back – sparser by far and all in gray and white, but much warmer than none. And there’s always Manic Panic.

The scar has faded considerably, though the shadow of radiation (mostly the ‘boost’ treatment) still lingers faintly, and the breast itself dimples around the missing flesh – still utterly presentable and utterly livable.

My left arm remains weaker and stiffer, I’ve lost some range of motion and occasionally tweak the nerve there in a way that can bring me to my knees; there’s a trace of lymphedema yet, though it’s gotten better and I’m careful – but again: all very livable.

The other stuff though, the stuff no one warned me about – that’s been the killer. It’s possible I would have gone through it all anyway, in another five years, more or less; I tend to doubt it would have been this severe, but it might have been – it’s impossible to know. I didn’t get the chance to find out.

ERT doesn’t change it back to what it was – I still experience  the permanent long term effects from chemotherapy and chemopause. They affect almost every aspect of my life –  the latest little lovely is chilblains red and rising on my fingers and toes, despite all the warm socks and mittens in the world. They don’t look that bad, but they are exquisitely painful – and the greasy ointment to remedy them  is awkward and, well, *greasy*. Vaseline* is all very well on the lens; less so when it’s coating the fingers and you’re trying to type. Or clean your glasses, or address cards, or read books, or pretty much *anything*.

It’s basically aging, on the express plan. Changes I would have probably had to deal with in five to fifteen years, spread gradually over that five to fifteen year time period – all delivered to me in one fell swoop. Here’s your dry eyes, your dry mouth, your chilblains, your dry skin, and the thinning hair, your sudden sentimental tears, and what’s *this*, in the bottom? O, yes, that’s yours, too – have it all. Had I known, you know I would have refused delivery.

ERT doesn’t make any of that go away. It just makes it livable – it cuts the worst of the physical effects to a manageable level, it gives me enough of my *self* back so that I can function. I don’t like it, I don’t like any part of it – the plastic patches on my skin, my reliance on medication, the schedule, the lingering effects even with the patches, the upcoming surgery because of the patches- but it’s what makes my life possible at this point.

I never thought I’d be here. I never thought I’d be looking at this sort of decision. To counteract the effects of one treatment regime, start another; to counteract the effects of that medication, have major surgery, and pray like hell there aren’t any effects from *that* that you can’t live with.  It sounds beyond ridiculous; how far down that particular rabbit hole do you want to go?

But. Here I am.  It’s  been made abundantly clear to me that I can’t live without ERT, not any sort of life that constitutes life as I recognize it. It’s been made abundantly clear to me that I don’t tolerate progesterone. This isn’t a decision that I like, there’s nothing here that I like – but this is the best decision I can make, from the place where I am now.

So, the 27th. Barring any unpleasant prep procedures, “Adieu Utero” gathering the night before, 6ish to midnight – you’re invited! Poor thing, it’s done well by me, but either I or it must go, and you know I’m choosing *me*.

Onwards! And this *best* be the last of it.

*No, not actually Vaseline, but the feel is disturbingly similar.

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Not the droid I was looking for…

As it turned out, the Mirena was not the droid I was looking for and, as the weeks went on, this became abundantly clear. Besides the various unpleasant physical effects, the effects on mood and brain function were overwhelming – and rather than getting better over time, they continued to worsen and deepen. Apparently my body really doesn’t like progesterone, and is not shy about letting me know.

The five year plan shortened rather to just over four weeks – I called this morning, and they were able to squeeze me in (could have been that magic phrase ‘suicidal ideation‘ or could have been just lucky; at any rate, I’m supremely grateful), and yank my bionic buddy out. A short sharp pain, and then it was done.

I’m still feeling a bit raw in places I’d really rather not be, but mood-wise, there’s already a noticeable difference, and I’m expecting that to continue to improve and for the physical symptoms to diminish fairly rapidly as well. It is about the lowest systemic dose, so I have every hope of the effects dissipating more rapidly than the oral dose of progesterone.

Alas, the Mirena was my last great hope – if I can’t tolerate that low level dose of progesterone, and I can’t tolerate life without ERT (both of which seem to be true), then I’m left with the surgical option, which is major surgery, and is final (no backsies!), and has its whole other set of risks and benefits to consider.

I’m scheduled for February 27th.

 

 

 

 

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Mirena – is this the droid you were looking for?

I had a fabulous time in Armenia. Despite giardia, and a twisted ankle, and all the hassle of trying to return right in the middle of the hurricane – it was wonderful beyond whooping to see my family and friends again; it was delightful to be back, and so it was. I ate many many persimmons (it being the season), I had a lovely time, I saw people I loved and it was  good.

And so it was.

Then I returned – just after Sandy, once the airports re-opened – and TSA rifled through my bag and broke all my mouraba (Armenian preserves – and very tasty they would have been, too), and that was Friday, and Monday I went in to have the Mirena placed, hoping it would be the droid I was looking for.

The jury’s still out on that, but here’s my experience so far, for whatever it’s worth. I didn’t have much choice in choosing the Mirena – as long as I’m on estrogen replacement and have an intact uterus, I’ll need to have some form of progesterone to keep my endometrial tissue from building up (and potentially causing Very Bad Things). The original plan was to cycle oral progesterone every three to four months, but:

a) I don’t tolerate oral progesterone well, as we found out – severe ‘side’ effects. It took me just over a month to recover from the last cycled dose.

b) I would need to cycle far more frequently than originally planned, as my endometrial tissue is very healthy and responds strongly to estrogen. Myself, I tend to think this is connected with going through chemopause, rather than natural menopause – but I’d need to be on oral progesterone pretty much every month. NOT an option.

c) Because I’m a breast cancer patient, I should limit my exposure to progesterone as much as possible as the current thinking is that progesterone increases the risks of recurrence.

So, since oral progesterone isn’t a viable option for me, the Mirena IUD is the next choice – it’s a progesterone bearing IUD, delivering progesterone directly to the tissues that need it, while limiting systemic exposure. At least that’s the theory – and for many women, it works perfectly well.

Insertion – really fucking painful while it lasted. Bear in mind, I’ve not had children, and since I don’t have periods anymore I couldn’t go ‘during my cycle’ as is often advised (the os tends to be more relaxed and open during the bleeding part of the cycle). It was a strange and nasty pain, both during the sounding of the uterus and during the actual insertion and there was enough swearing so that I sounded like someone with Tourette’s. Once it was over, though, it was pretty much over – still, I’d recommend a local (which can be used) or a drug to dilate the cervix. Between the tenaculum (the clamp used to hold the cervix – ouch!), and the speculum opened a bit wider than usual, and the actual Stuff Going Where No Man Has Gone Before – not a fun experience.

Still, that part was over relatively quickly and, once done, was done.

The first few days afterwards I was immensely tired, and I almost immediately developed what my friend Ron calls ‘man-zits’ – nice big juicy pimples coming up fast out of nowhere. Perversely enough, I also experienced dry eye, dry mouth, and dry skin – and I felt pretty much as though I’d been kicked hard in the crotch. I also bled fairly constantly – which is expected and is still ongoing, two weeks later. Eventually, that should stop altogether – most fertile women find that their cycles stop once their bodies adjust to the Mirena and, being that I’m decidedly infertile, I’d expect that sooner than later.

The thing I’m most worried about, however, is the emotional and physical effects from the systemic uptake of progesterone – it is supposed to be relatively slight, but it’s definitely there. The last few days I’ve been experiencing more hormonal effects, which I had thought were dying down, once I got through the first few days of incredible fatigue and acne – the muscles in my legs ache, my joints are stiffer, and I’m verging on depression again – though it’s a different depression than before. Before, I was hopeless – now I’m constantly angry, impatient, resentful, and pissed off. I want to hit things. Hard. Still not a lot of joy in things, which I truly miss, and my creativity index has dropped; my will to do things is missing. All of which pisses me off further, of course.

The good thing is that I have a clear ‘compare and contrast’ from my recent trip to Armenia, where I picked up giardia, sprained my ankle, and generally had a splendid time. Came home bursting with energy and inspired with projects, and got the Mirena put in… and everything went out the window again. Dammit.

I had just gotten over the oral progesterone dose (before I left) and now this? It seems a bit rough – much of the past year has been spent in varying states of artificially induced insanity: from chemopause and its complications, to finding the right estrogen dose and playing with patch placement, to the oral progesterone havoc, and now *this*? Could it stop already?

I did call the doctor’s office yesterday, just to check in, and the feeling is to give it another four weeks or so – it normally can take up to six months to settle and adjust.

I’m hoping this works for me, and that everything evens out in time (sooner would better, btw), since the only other option I can see is having a hysterectomy – which, while not the end of the world, is something to be avoided if possible. You’d think it would be easy-peasy, take the cause of the problem out and not worry about progesterone anymore, and I could be me again  – but since the uterus isn’t just free floating in the abdomen but has a lot of stuff attached to it (such as the bladder), a hysterectomy is something I’d rather avoid, if possible. Not to mention the fact that it’s still a major medical procedure, involving general anesthesia and abdominal incisions and potential months of recovery and it all sounds like way too much fun for me. Still, I’m looking at it as a possible option, if the Mirena doesn’t pan out for me. How much quality of life do I need to sacrifice, and where?

And I am so sick of the medical world. I want this part of my life over.

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