Days go by

The seroma came promptly back, little knot under my left arm, though the absolute pain levels seem to be going down, along with much of the generalized swelling and edema. Still tender to touch all along my left arm, flank, and breast, particularly the upper underside of my arm, my armpit, and the left side of my breast;  still sensitive to the point where water from the shower stings and the skin doesn’t like touching itself, but far more bearable than before. I’ve discovered the joys of copious amounts of cornstarch, poured into a bowl and applied with a large soft cosmetic brush, reapplied throughout the day as needed – the brush stings a bit (the skin feels flayed, though there’s nothing visible), and there are showers of cornstarch all down my front and across the floor, but the relief is worth it. 

Back to the bra 24/7 and sleeping on my right side, well propped with pillows and hugging an ice pack – my back’s not best pleased, but it does seem to help.

That and daily doses of Advil. Apparently this is NOT experienced by most people- I just got lucky.  There are prickly sharp semi random healing pains, which are pretty common and pretty bearable; there’s tightness and weakness in the left arm, a reluctance to do certain motions – and that’s all fairly typical. The pain on seroma drainage and the continued nerve pain – they’re *special*.

Other than that, I’m healing well, pretty much able to do most tasks for myself (as long as they don’t involve any lifting or carrying or pushing of anything over a very low weight). Still easily tired, taking a lot of naps and ‘rest’ times (lying down with a book, and finding myself dozing off) – I potter about, doing a little work, and then I’m tired.

It’s frustrating, when there’s still so much to be done – repairs to the house (endless paperwork!), tenants moving in and out, all the little things I’d normally be on top of – I don’t have the focus or the energy. Still and yet, it’s getting better.

And having cancer is a bit like Christmas – everyone, near and far, is sending presents and well wishes, bringing food and helping out, and, I have to say, that bit’s very nice indeed… I feel most supported and loved, and consider myself most fortunate in this unfortunate time.

This week’s somewhat delayed shout-out to everyone who has helped me:

Jed- who brought food and books and company (btw, need more books, Jedlet!)

Emily – who brought all sorts of interesting things, including edibles, and did my laundry

Cheryl, all the way from Texas – I just used her gift to buy some ‘ScarAway’, in hopes it will help with healing.

Suzanne, from Philadelphia – chocolates and consolation, among other things

Glee, in Florida – a little something for later… *L*

Alison and Matt – lovely housemates, croissants and lawnmowing and wonderful people

Becky – who not only provided a *stack* of books, and foodstuffs, but also put up with me for most of a day when I was in a fairly miserable cranky mood

Karl – the book! *L* So very appropo.

Debbie – juicer extraordinaire and good mealtime company, and always loaner of vehicle.

Matt -who will never be quiet!

Dot – who sold me her old car at a reduced price and with rather a bit of bother to her, so I have reliable transport again.

Nellie & Wes – laundry and food and cheer, always lovely, you two.

Ron – provider of juicer, and signs for greenbelt and much else in my life

Tessa – who got me out of the house and to Spielpalast! among other kindnesses.

Roman – who helped make the ‘new’ car possible. Awwww, baby brother!

VHAP and all who made it possible – o, roll on, socialist medicine!

Everyone else who I’ve skipped over, cards and flowers and company and messages and calls and comments and everything everything everything… without you this would be so very much harder, it couldn’t be borne.

It all makes a difference in my life, it all makes this bearable. I can’t tell you how much it means to me… it’s just like being loved.

and that changes everything.

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6 Responses to Days go by

  1. dropjohn says:

    For example, after the arduous work of drafting this deathless prose – I had a nice lie down.

  2. mspachy says:

    Wow you are strong. Reading your story is helping me even though I’m not exactly sure why yet. Your friends and family sound fantastic and your zest for life is magnetic. I’m sending every bit of positive energy I can your way. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your journey by telling your story. It makes a difference.

  3. dropjohn says:

    “It makes a difference”

    *That* is about the highest praise you could give me. Thank *you*.

    I don’t *feel* strong, I feel weak and whingy and irritated by my limitations and by myself – however, my friends and family? They *are* pretty damn terrific.

  4. Therem says:

    Sorry to hear that you’re still in pain, but glad to hear that it’s getting slowly better. I have *plenty* more books to distract you as the healing continues (including the sequel to The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms if you liked it enough to want more). I’ll prepare another batch!

    *careful hug*

    — Jed

  5. dropjohn says:

    Well, it is kinda interesting, how the pain moves around – right now, there’s a new incredibly tender area on my left shoulderblade, with no discernible cause. Damn, before the seroma appeared, I was doing so well on the healing thing.

    Yes to sequel, by all means. And I still have your tupperware. 🙂

  6. I’ve been remiss in not yet telling you exactly how amazed and impressed I am at your bravery, strength, discipine, honesty, and the forthright accounts of your experiences in this crisis. I do not believe I would be handling this in any such admirable manner, were the shoe on my foot. In fact, of those I’ve known while fighting a potentially deadly disease, you, my dear, are handling it better than any.

    Best wishes for a complete and speedy recovery – you deserve that at the very least.


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