Archive | July, 2010

Thursday . . .

15 Jul

Today I am feeling better, less sore from the accident. I didn’t see my surgeon yesterday because I couldn’t find a ride to my appointment. They were understanding and let me reschedule for this afternoon. I have a ride already.

I don’t think there is a problem with the implant. But, it will be good to get it checked out. I do have pain around the area where the muscle was attached, but, I think it is probably all fine. I was pretty well healed prior to the accident. So, hopefully, everything is fine and there is nothing to worry about. I think it will be fine.

I have a bit of a chopped up day today, with a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon and a meeting in the am with the singer of my blues group (he is delivering my bass to me, which he has been holding onto since our last gig this past April). I am anxious to get my bass back, now that I think I can start playing again (at least until the next surgery). So, it will be nice to have it back.

I hope to get some work done in between.

Here’s to feeling better! 🙂

Love and peace,


Crash test dummy feels a little bit better . . .

14 Jul

I am still pretty sore from the accident I had on Sunday. But, I feel more alert, so that is good. I have been working on getting sleep and that has helped. The muscle relaxant the doctor gave me has also helped me get more sleep. It hasn’t helped me get more work done, but, I have high hopes for today.

I am supposed to see my surgeon today to see if the accident caused any damage to my newly reconstructed breast. I hope not. I can feel that there is pain where the new muscle was attached . . . maybe some tearing occurred in the accident. There is bruising where my seatbelt came in on my left side . . . that is what concerns me the most. I can actually feel where something is a bit different there since the accident. I sure hope everything is okay. One of the ways an implant can get ruptured and leak is from a car accident.

I don’t think there is a rupture, but, I am concerned that the muscle that my doctor took from my back to cover the implant may have torn a bit in one or two spots as I can feel that there is something different there. Since this muscle was stitched into place internally, I am not sure that if it came apart or was torn that it would heal, fuse back up to a place where it would not normally belong in the first place.

It is frustrating and a little scary. I sure don’t want to have any complications.

I think everything will be fine. I hope, anyway.

I am most frustrated by the fact that I am once again in pain. I was just starting to feel really pretty good physically (still had limitations with my arms and mobility). But, overall, I was really feeling good. And, I was so looking forward to enjoying the time between now and the next surgery . . . a period of time without pain and with the most freedom physically that I have had in more than a year. So, I am pretty discouraged by having had the car accident. I feel horrible about my brother’s car. And, I feel pretty bad about having another physical thing to deal with.

Normally, I don’t think I would be very bothered by this kind of injury. But, right now I feel like I have been robbed (through my own carelessness and inattentiveness) of time that is pain free. I know that as soon as I have the next surgery that I will be out for some time, in pain for some time. I will be glad once it is over with and I am recovered from the next surgery. But, I am pretty disappointed that I am losing days, weeks of time between surgeries where I had expected to feel good and enjoy things and get work done.

I will still get work done, I have to. But, it has been hard this week to do much of anything given how sore I am. I shouldn’t be throwing myself this pity party I guess. I am just mad at myself and, I guess, a bit depressed by the pain. I was feeling so good and now I am so mad that I am losing days to this stupid accident.

Days are a lot more precious to me than before. I realize that now. It isn’t just time anymore, it is a gift and I feel in desperate need to not waste it . . . I hate to waste time sitting around or laying around nursing my sore, achy body. It makes me mad.

Well, enough belly aching. I will feel better soon. In the meantime, I will do what my doctor says to do, which is to get some rest, take anti-inflammatory meds and muscle relaxants. Hopefully I will feel a lot better soon!

Thank you for you continued prayers.

Much love,


Crash test dummy . . .

12 Jul

I used to call my dog Molly my beast of burden . . . not that I was out making her plow fields or anything, just thought it was funny.

I feel like I have become that . . . a beast of burden, or maybe just a burden?

Let’s see, a quick recap of the weekend . . . two emergency room trips in less than 24 hours . . . not good. First of all: I am fine. But, I did have a pretty eventful weekend.

Saturday it was Matt to the rescue (once again) . . . Matt drove me to the ER because I stupidly cut my finger while cutting into an apple. It wasn’t bad, but, it was a little deep and so I decided it was best to get it looked at. I was using a really sharp knife and just goofed. Anyway, my finger was tended to and all was good. Then the next day . . . yes, the very next day . . . it was Cypress Fire and Paramedics to the rescue . . . I had a car accident. My fault. I was driving my brother Paul’s car . . . which now does not look good. Paul was more than gracious about it. But, unfortunately, there is only liability insurance which means his car damage is not covered by any insurance. Such a bummer. I feel so badly about it. And, naturally, I am in no position right now financially to cover it. But, it will be the first thing I do once I get back on my feet and back to work.

Fortunately, I am okay, a bit beat up and bruised, but, nothing was broken. I injured my left shoulder and arm, but, I think that is it. The air bags deployed . . . but, as my brother Paul joked . . . at least my air bag didn’t deploy (my implant, that is, at least it appears to be fine).

I was taken by ambulance to the ER and was checked out and released. I am supposed to follow up with my reconstructive surgeon to make sure everything is okay with the implant in my left breast. I still have stitches internally from the surgery and so that does concern me a little bit. But, it appears that everything is fine. I am sore and probably, from what I am told, will be a bit more sore tomorrow.

I had plans of finishing up a book, studying for an upcoming exam and cleaning my house . . . all of which are a bit sidetracked right now. I have an order from a bookstore for some of my books and I have yet to fulfill it (I need to get it out to the printer, but, my concentration level has not been so great lately, I am finding it difficult to focus). I believe it is simply from lack of sleep and sometimes from pain . . . but, mostly from lack of sleep. I have been going without sleep for a long time now and it is something that I felt I was used to. But, I think given the past weekend’s events, I probably am not functioning so well without sleep. Maybe I need to consider taking one of the pills I have been given over the past year . . . that I don’t take. I hate taking pills. But, I hate nearly cutting off my finger and crashing my brother’s car a lot more . . . ugh. I feel horrible about this.

Well, it will get better. I just could not be more sick of emergency rooms and hospitals and doctors and being tired.

I have a living room full of medical garbage . . . I had a visiting nurse after surgery for over three weeks administering IV antibiotics . . . well, they (the nursing agency, I guess) had all kinds of supplies shipped to me, tons of stuff, way more than would ever be needed for the care I was getting. Of course all of this is billed to my insurance and covered by my insurance. Which, I guess, is the point . . . the nursing agency makes a bunch of money off of all of these supplies and excess medicines that they ship to me. They can’t take any of it back and I can’t just throw it into the trash . . . certainly not the medicines.

Today, though, I am really going to see if there is a way I can dispose of all of this . . . it is really starting to get on my nerves to see all of it.

Well, wish me luck, no more accidents.

Much love and peace,


Fourth of July Fireworks . . .

7 Jul

What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, I was in my third month of chemo and Herceptin treatments. I was working full time, juggling the side effects of cancer treatments and work, still trying to play bass and trying not to think about the bi-lateral mastectomy that loomed ahead. Radiation – which didn’t sound all that bad (phew, was I wrong) – was to follow surgery. I was bald . . . although I didn’t mind baldness nearly as much as I currently mind my weird hair do . . . or what I call my “hair don’t” (hair doesn’t grow back at all the same after chemo – it is a completely different color(s) and very different texture – and, well, it is just not very feminine looking – something I really can’t stand). But, it seems pretty petty now to think about that.

Much more importantly, now, a year later, I have clear scans, I am told that I should consider myself “cured”. I still struggle to get my head around that word. Do I tempt fate by using it? Instead, I prefer to just live as though I am cured. That is how I feel anyway. I no longer feel trapped by cancer. The grip of it is gone. Sure, I have another surgery ahead. And, now I know just how much pain that will bring . . . but, I also know that the pain will subside. It is much easier to endure pain when you know it is going to stop. So, I think this second surgery will be better, easier. I hope so, anyway.

This past weekend I rode my bike for the first time in over a year – ten miles in one shot. I was tired, but, not so much from chemo or my recent surgery as from simply not being physically active in a long time. I actually felt kind of like I felt before all of this mess. Okay, maybe my tiredness was a little more intense than the tiredness I would have felt before all of this nonsense. But, it was something a quick nap or rest could easily overcome.

I feel good. I actually even feel great. Except that I would really like to look how I feel. It sounds petty to me, but, I want my long hair back. I want my shape back . . . something that is a work in progress at this point . . . as I am uni-boob. That is weird . . . being a one breasted woman. And that one breast is fake. But, I am getting used to it and looking forward to getting the next surgery over with, getting my second fake breast . . . or, part two of “We Can Rebuild Her”, over with.

I am not sure when this surgery will be. Hopefully, I will have a better idea today after I see my surgeon this afternoon. I am hoping to have surgery by the middle of September so that I can get back to work by the next busy season for my business. If I can not have surgery by the middle of September, then I am considering waiting to have surgery until after my busy season concludes – that would be some time in March of 2011. That seems so far away right now. I hope I don’t have to wait that long. But, I simply can not be out of work much longer, it is not good.

So back to Fourth of July weekend. It was the best Fourth of July I have ever had I think. Not just because in comparison to last year, which was spent alone sitting in my front yard watching fireworks from the military base near my home, but, because it truly was a very special Fourth of July. I can’t remember when I felt better, happier.

I still have pains, I still have limitations in my arms, I still get tired and I still have some side effects from treatment. But, all in all, it is pretty darn great. Great to be here, great to feel things and great to know that I have conquered this disease.

My family and friends have been unbelievable. I know I would not be here without you and I am humbled every time I think of what so many have done for me this past year. I am so grateful.

Love and peace,