"Don't spend time worrying about how you are going to die. Worry about how you are going to live today"

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve and "happy pills"

Since the lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy yesterday, I have felt OK.  I even baked my chocolate chip pound cake last night as I do every year before Christmas.  Hopefully it tastes OK since I was completely doped up on pain medication.  Does an oven qualify as heavy machinery?  You know you are not suppose to operate heavy machinery while on these medications right?   I slept OK and have a little discomfort in the area under my arm.  Now I have to get ready for a long day with family celebrating the joys of Christmas. 

I have mixed feelings right now.  It is Christmas.  I should be happy and full of good thoughts right?  Instead, I am popping vicodine every four hours and trying to act "normal" so no one will know my cancer secret.  The first mission is to find clothing to hide the enormous pressure dressing on the side of my breast so no one will see it.  I am shopping through my closet trying to find something to hide this stupid thing.  I found a sweater that I bought a year ago that I never wore.  I got it on sale - tags still on it.  It had the baggiest sleeves ever and was bulky and wrapped around me with a matching belt.  I don't know why I bought it.  It's not really my taste to much.  Now it had a purpose.  I put it on and went downstairs and had my husband take a look.  It hid the large gauze wad in my shirt well. 

Our first visit of the day was with some friends in the neighborhood.  They stopped by to have our kids exchange gifts.  It was so hard to keep my head on straight.  I felt so dizzy and confused from the medication.  Completing my thoughts and speaking correctly was even hard.  I think they looked at me a little strange at one point, but I am not sure. My husband knew I was struggling to look and act "normal".  I was so relieved when the left.  I kept praying the pain medication would wear off a little before we got to my brother in law's house.

On the drive over there I fell asleep in the car.  I am not a napper at all, but I could not stay awake or function well on the pills.  We just planned to tell everyone I was getting a sinus infection and the cold medication was making me dopey and tired.  Now I had to explain why I couldn't use my arm much....that lie was a pulled muscle from working out (which is believable since I workout all the time).  Here I was, lying to family and friends on Christmas.  I feel like a horrible person! 

I decided I would take less pain medication so I could function in a way that appeared more normal.  The pain was not too bad, but I did have discomfort.  The rest of Christmas Eve went well until after our visit at my brother's house.  When we got in the car and pulled out of the driveway to head home after a great visit, I burst into tears.  I saw everyone having so much fun and everyone looking so happy and I was just dying inside.  I feel so deceitful keeping my cancer secret, but I could not bear the thought of telling my family before Christmas.  I know since this started on December 7th, my husband and I have been a wreck.  I have had the most scary, morbid thoughts about my future and horrible fears about what is to come.  I am scared more than I have ever been scared in my life.  I know this news will change everything forever once I tell my family.  No one will ever look at me the same.  No one will ever not think about my cancer.  I know not telling them is the right thing for now, but it doesn't make it easy.  I am just dying inside.  My anxiety over telling my mom and brother is overwhelming.  I dread looking into their eyes and saying the words "I have cancer".

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