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Don’t make me laugh . . . just kidding . . . :)

9 Aug

I saw my breast reconstruction surgeon today – she expanded my right side again – this was the third expansion.

I have felt better, that is for sure, but, I have also felt a lot worse . . . so, in the scheme of things it is okay. I am hoping I will feel better tomorrow. I have a lot of work to get done tomorrow. So we shall see how that goes.

I am really anxious to see my other surgeon, Dr. Coleman, this Thursday. I really want her input on what is happening with the right side. It is painful and I think that is normal. But, I am not so sure that everything else I am feeling is normal. There is a lot of pressure with the expansion (each one is progressively more stretching and more painful). I would imagine that is also normal. But, today there was a lot more pressure on my rib cage/chest wall. So much so that it hurts to cough, take a deep breath or laugh . . . please don’t make me laugh right now πŸ™‚ The most difficult part right now is getting up from bed. It is very hard to get up right now as the expanded expander seems to push in pretty deep into my chest. Oh well.

Ugh.

Dr. Coleman sees so many patients who go through this process. So, I am really looking forward to seeing her this week. Hopefully my appointment will go well and I will get her thoughts (and hopefully reassurance) on how the right side is coming along. I am definitely nervous about the right side.

The surgery on the right is the same as the surgery on the left (the surgery I had on May 19th). But, it is not the same in that my right side is different after the radiation . . . my pectoral muscle and skin and chest wall were radiated. How that plays out in terms of reconstruction varies from person to person. As far as I know, I got through the radiation pretty well. My skin got pretty red and burned, and it burned right through to my back. But, it also seemed to heal quite well. So, hopefully, that will mean that things will work out well. I am confident that I will ultimately be happy with the results. I think. It is just getting there that I am worried about . . . the process.

Starting to feel a little better now . . . or . . . just getting used to it more.

Love and peace,

Lisa

Looking forward, no more pity party . . .

5 Aug

I got a bit of a lecture today from a friend of mine – you know who you are . . . and, no, I am not outing you on here . . . I keep my promises πŸ™‚

So, the lecture was about how I apparently do not ask for help and do not accept help well . . . hmmm.

It was complete with examples . . .

So . . . I couldn’t really weasel my way out of that one . . . examples, dang, she’s good. πŸ™‚

And she is not the first person close to me who has commented on my apparent inability to ask for help. I almost try to talk friends and family out of helping me . . . what is up with that? πŸ™‚ Well, I am going to do my best to get over that.

I am also OVER worrying about my next surgery.

I have been feeling really anxious about this surgery for some reason. I was a bit anxious about the last one too. But, this time I know what I am getting into, so to speak. And, I guess knowing with some certainty that I will be in pain for a bit and unable to do things for myself for a bit, has really made me nervous. But, the reality is that I do know what I am getting into and that is good. I kept a log of how long I needed pain meds for the last surgery, how long I needed someone staying with me full time, round the clock and how soon I was able to do things on my own. And, really, in the scheme of things, it just isn’t that bad. Yes, there was some pretty intense pain, but, it did go away. And, now I have a better idea of how long that might take . . . except that I am planning for a quicker recovery this time.

And when I say planning, I mean that I am planning on needed as much help as before (so it will be arranged for) but, planning on feeling better and recovering sooner than before. Why not? Part of what made the last surgery hard was that I didn’t have any idea when the pain was going to stop. This time, I know that not only will the pain stop, but, that it won’t take forever for it to stop. I think that makes it so much easier. I am healthier than I have been in a long time, stronger . . . and, so, I think it is reasonable to expect that I will recover more quickly . . . that is the plan anyway.

In the past few months I have finally begun to get back to my life and it has been really good. Especially this past month. I have experienced a lot of joy in the past couple of years, a lot of that since the cancer and even during treatment. As I look back to over a year ago when I was going through chemotherapy and was in the throws of treatment and all of the side effects, I was truly happy on most days . . . I remember feeling empowered and I remembered the sense that I was really doing battle.

Somehow, though, I think I have been seeing this next surgery as something that could potentially jeopardize that joy. But, I realize that this will only happen if I let it. I obviously can not control how others will react to my convalescence. But, I can choose, as I have in the past, to see this as just one more step towards regaining the rest of my life and getting back on track.

There has been so much progress. Yet, I have . . . I hate to admit . . . been feeling a bit sorry for myself lately and a little fearful . . . thinking about this upcoming surgery as yet another “cancer hijacking” . . . when really, it is instead a new beginning.

I have friends who are still battling this disease, are still fighting with every ounce of their being to hear the words that I have already heard . . . cured. And, I have friends who are fighting, battling to get back to a state of remission. I am fortunate. And, I am blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life who love and care for me. It is difficult to have to rely on so many for so much. And, as my friend pointed out, I guess I am not especially good at it πŸ™‚ But, someone recently has helped me get a lot better at accepting help.

So . . . I am over it, over the fact that yes, I will suffer some more with this next surgery.Β  I am moving onto reconstruction junction with a smile on my face and the knowledge that it will all work out and that those who love and care for me will be there for me . . . and, yes, I will learn to be better at accepting help πŸ™‚

Thank you all for your love and support . . . it has meant, and does mean, so much.

Love and peace,

Lisa