Pinktober – Breast Cancer Awareness Month . . .

18 Sep
In Finland the October the 3th is the day of s...

Maybe I should wear this to the Race for the Cure 😉

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pink

It is nearly Pinktober. October is breast cancer awareness month. I will be recuperating from surgery during the month of October, so I will have less exposure to pink 🙂 You start to resent the color pink after a while . . . especially since it is virtually everywhere. Pink. How did that become the color of breast cancer? Pink flesh? Pink disease? Pink, pink, pink, pink, pink.

Well, I did wear a pink t-shirt to many chemo and Herceptin rounds. But, I wore that shirt because it had, in very bold, large, black letters the word “FIERCE”. I loved that shirt. It is faded now, having been through the wash many times and worn many times . . . to chemo, to the gym and sometimes to bed. It was as if wearing that word across my chest (and for a good part of the year . . . across no chest) could influence the battle beneath. Fierce. I could make myself fierce even if I did not feel that way, I could make my cells within my body wage the war I needed waged and conquer the cancer.

So, I wore that shirt in spite of it being pink. I will be at the race for the cure next Sunday. (I say “at” now because of recent complications that make it pretty difficult to get around – my right side is pretty messed up – I will explain infra).

There will be lots and lots of pink there. I am going with a group of girlfriends who are all going to be wearing pink. I kind of want to wear chartreuse green to the event. Seriously, from head to toe . . . chartreuse. Why not? I would get some funny stares. It is funny, women with breast cancer either love it or hate it (at least that is what I see from my view) . . . love or hate pink, that is.

So about my not being able to walk in the Race for the Cure . . . today I was told to be still for the rest of the weekend. I mentioned that I have been having some pain on my right side. I thought that maybe it was lymphedema. But, now after speaking with a nurse who specializes in lymphedema and then a surgeon up at Cedars Sinai, it seems clear that the pain is probably not from lymphedema. So, that is a good thing as I really want to get through this cancer nonsense without having to contend with lymphedema . . . at least if it is possible for me to do so.

It appears instead that the pain I am experiencing is likely due to my pectoral muscle tearing. The expander is placed underneath the pectoral muscle (ultimately an implant will replace the expander . . . in addition, I will have muscle and skin brought to the area as well). The surgeon explained to me how a tear can happen and that it would cause me to have pain using my arm since the pectoral muscle is connected to the shoulder . . . any movement of my arm then causes that torn area to hurt. Anyway, she wants to see me on Monday. My surgeon is out of town (I am scheduled to see him for my pre-op appointment on Thursday of next week). However, his associate does not want me to wait that long. She gave me instructions to be still for the rest of the weekend to see if I can get through the next couple of days until I can get into see her on Monday. She put me on an antibiotic as a precaution (said there is too much at stake to take any chances right now). I appreciate her attitude and concern. It is a little disturbing. I had no idea what was going on . . . I should have called her a few days ago, but, I just thought it would get better and instead, it got worse.

She wants me to call her if the pain increases over the weekend and if it does she will have me come into see her . . . presumably to take out more fluid from the expander so as to alleviate the pressure there. But, I am not sure really. And, there is also the possibility that they will see me on Monday and decide surgery needs to happen earlier. God, I hope not. But, that is not really something I am going to worry about. I just really, really want Dr. Sherman to do the surgery. So I need to hang in there until he returns. So, no moving around this weekend at all. Of course my plans of doing laundry this weekend are completely out of the question. Oh well.

Keep me in your prayers, I greatly appreciate it. I think things will be fine. I am glad to know that this is not likely a lymphedema issue. Although, hopefully the muscle tear is not something that will be a problem. I think it will be fine. Mostly, I think she is worried about preventing an infection. I am very glad that she is so pro-active and concerned. And, she took a lot of time with me on the phone. She asked a lot of questions and then seemed to be able to discern what was going on, explaining it in a lot of detail. I liked that very much. It is such a relief to have a great surgical team. I am so happy about the switch to Cedars Sinai.

Love and peace,

Lisa

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