Wednesday, September 19, 2018

What's Wrong and I Got This

Thought I'd put this all in one place to help me put my own situation in perspective. There's just so much.

• I tore my inner thigh muscle. No medical conformation on that, but that's what it feels like. I'm hobbled. I can barely walk. But I can get up and get moving forward with the help of a cane. It's been cut short enough for me to use. I make the cut end non-slip with Shoe Goo. Oh Shoe Go, what don't you do!

• I cannot carry and operate the cane. I need 2 hands on it and even then I'm shaking from the effort of stabilizing myself. I figured out that I can put food in Tupper with lids and then put those containers in a bag draped over my wrist so I can keep 2 hands on the cane. I don't need to plate meals. I can pretend that everything is take-out.

• When not moving forward I'm strong enough to stand. So I can do tasks at counter height including cooking and washing dishes. Heaven forbid I drop anything... I cannot reach the floor. Well, I can but it's hell so I avoid that. The deep bend is probably causing more damage.

• I have bad lymphedema. Both feet are horribly swollen. Visually it's embarrassing - as if there is anything I can do about it. Kankles! I have Kankles! I have water pills to help with the swelling (a result of the radiation) but with my torn inner thigh and being hobbled... getting back and forth to the bathroom is so hard. Do I suck it up, Buttercup? or back off the pill and deal with water retention.

• Water retention... I'm on a steroid to help with Percocet consumption, radiation pain, internal swelling, keeping things moving... steroids cause swelling too. I have a face like an orangutan. Vanity. This too will pass. So will the crazy weight gain due to the steroid and water retention. Vanity.

• I was doing so well with the recovery after radiation (to the left knee and both shoulders). The pain was incredible. It took my breath away. At times it made me bawl right out loud because I couldn't stand it any more. I had meds for that. I had gotten over the pain hump and was a couple weeks into the fatigue stage. If the worst thing in life is that you need is a nap, life isn't that bad. I probably had fatigue before, but I was too busy powering through the pain. I intentionally got up on a regular basis to do small tasks. Keep the body moving so it heals in motion - stronger - faster - bionic.

• I'm on a new chemo. This one is also a light weight maintenance medicine. It's 3 weeks on (IV on Mondays), one week off. As of Monday I'm on round 2 / injection 2. 4 more rounds and we'll have a look-see to make sure all is stable. Bone only cancer, Baby. That's a good thing. It can go on for years and years and years. Maybe they'll even find a cure in the mean time. You never know.

• I lost half my hair with this one. I have a full head of hair, but those hairs are spaced way out sooo... 75% bald. I have wigs for that. Vanity.

• I'm on blood thinners. We found a clot at the back of my right knee a while back and I was immediately put on injections. I did my 4 rounds of 30 shots to the tummy and then spent a couple weeks trying to figure out who my prescribing doctor was (so many doctors) so I could get put on oral thinners. Shit. Found out yesterday I have to be back on the needle. Had the man pick up my next set of pins (40?!!) and started them again last night. Apparently blood clots are a very serious thing for cancer / chemo patients. So not only am I puffy and swollen, I'm also black and blue. I bruise easy now.

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I keep powering through. I keep looking for the silver lining. I have a great sense of humour about all this shit. I just need to keep it in perspective. It's real. It's a great big shit-pile of reality. I can pretend it's not all that bad and do silly things like crafting, tending my indoor plants, being a web designer...

Look good, feel good! It's important to play dress up. It's important to put on make up. Sometimes I let that slide because it's a lot of effort. But I feel much better when I do make the effort. Today, hobbled or not, I'm making the effort.

I had to give up on being an art teacher this October. I just couldn't guarantee I could be there. I can't walk. I can't drive. It's not fair to them. Maybe I'll keep putting a lesson plan together anyway. Maybe next year I'll get all my shit together. There's a gent at the pub who's a teacher. He's invited me to teach locally to the kids (there are many schools in this neighbourhood). I could start small... (snickers). Teaching kids is no smaller than adults; they're just shorter... and stickier.

I'm not going to feel bad about this bucket list item either: I wanted to try stand up comedy this year. I can still work on a script... But no deadlines. A goal without a deadline is just a wish. I want it to be more than that sooooo... yeah, I'll defer that to next year. Besides, I have years and years ahead of me (knock wood).

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