Sunday, October 19, 2008

One More Dip into the O.R. Pool

All is well in post-surgery land. I've learned my lesson and will not take any body-altering procedure lightly in the future. Maybe now I care because for the first time since knowing I would lose my breasts I feel that I've reclaimed me. Yeah, I have those funny scars, numbness here and there, scar tissue too. But I am soft and it is all me. Everything, scars included, is me. I would like to make them look "real" because they are very real to me.

Onward we march to the next oncology visit... in six months. I visited Dr. A last week, without crying, and graduated to the new six month regimen. Doc did not give me grief about my having stopped Arimidex and all endocrine therapies. I asked if he thought I was being foolish and he said no, he thought I recognized and accepted the risk just as any ball player accepts the risks of the game. (Not sure I quite got the analogy there but hey, beats being dismissed as a whacko.) He did say he had never seen me look better and that I was obviously at peace with my decision. Dr. A even apologized for the tough time I had working with the doctors there and he hoped they would do a better job of supporting me in the future. Although, when I discussed the changes I had been making in place of the Arimidex, aka "my program" he didn't really add anything. This occurred to me this morning as I was taking a shower. I do some of my best "ohmygod" thinking under warm water sprays. Dr. S in San Francisco, a previous consult, mentioned that if I couldn't tolerate the AIs he'd recommend a program to replace endocrine therapy. Adding "phone Dr. S for that plan" to my weekly call list.

What am I missing? That's been my private nag since childhood when I spent more time in the world of the book I was holding than in the world I was living in. Of course these days it feels like the stakes are pretty high. Instead of having to take some unnecessary science classes in college because I didn't realize I had "clepped" out of the requirement I might actually die a little sooner because I'm not pursuing the right treatment, or seeing the best docs.

One day very soon this blog will be cancer-free, all the time. Really. Most of my life is lived beyond the diagnosis. This little corner of cyberspace is the last place where I can dump the cancer crap and walk away.

Next post, see Hedgie laugh.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Back to Bed, Hedgie

Tuesday was Drain Removal Day. At least, I wanted it so much that I maybe fudged the truth a bit about my output in order to squeak under the "removal maximum" number. Children, never lie to your plastic surgeon. No one suffers but you.

Seromas happen when fluid fills a vacuum inside the body. It is a serious side effect of surgical procedures. Drains prevent seromas by letting the natural draining of blood and really gross liquid and not-so-liquid matter take the fast track outta Dodge. Taking out drains too early means all that fluid pools up somewhere. See where I'm going with this? Even my lovely, biker-type Spanx, the 24-hour-designer-wear prescribed by plastic surgeons following tummy surgeries, couldn't squash the buildup. A solid mass starting poofing out my belly yesterday. Remedy? More NOTHING! Check-in with PS tomorrow, then a real visit on Monday to make sure I haven't done more damage to his work I suppose. Meanwhile I'm trying to get in to the acupuncturist for her help on getting things flowing.

I do believe that the name "Spanx" should be changed to something more descriptive of the product's effect on one's body. So far I've come up with "Sausagettes" and "Poof-a-Roos."

Test Your BC Knowledge and Donate a Buck to Komen
Here's a simple way to contribute a dollar to the cause. You can even do so in honor of someone you love. Mine went to my mom, who lost her life to breast cancer but not her spirit on December 12, 1996. See Purina Cat Chow Pink and do some good.

And last, but not least, that photo way up there is of Roscoe, our crazy Puppy Brain. At last count he's eaten or nibbled on a pair of scissors, the antennae to our cordless phone, rocks, homework folders, a slow-moving squirrel, library books, the back seat of the minivan, pencils and pens galore, several tennis balls, Lego pieces and Finn, a recently deceased goldfish buried under a potted plant. (Please don't tell the kids about Finn.) I'm sure there's more. We should have his stomach x-rayed but really, what's the point?

P.S. See the little "Followers of..." box on the left hand side of this page? I have a follower! You, too, can have your name listed there. Yes, all you devoted Hedgie readers. Oh, you're shy, are you? Well, just send me a note then. It'd be nice to hear from those of you who stop by, read my nattering and run off without a word.

Love to you,