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

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Still recovering

Surgery was 6 days ago and I continue to feel better.  I got up this morning and my husband stripped my drains.  They are hardly draining anything so I will get them out tomorrow.  I could get them out today, but the blizzard has put a stop to that!  Oh well, it's OK though.  They really don't bother me much.  Quite honestly the hardest part for me is having my husband clean them and see me without my clothes on.  I just feel so uncomfortable with my temporary body.  I feel so sad every time he has to do this.  I keep finding myself telling him how sorry I am that he has to do this and deal with me.  The first time he did my drains was yesterday as my friend (a nurse) has been here doing it.  I was so nervous he was going to hurt me and do it wrong.  I feel bad about that....he did great and was so gentle and careful.  Why can't I give him more credit than I do???

Yesterday was hard when my best friend left. She has been at my side since I came home from the hospital.  She has taken care of my every need not matter how embarrassing it could be.  Somehow with her here it seemed like a break from my reality of cancer.  Even though I was recovering from surgery, she kept my mind occupied.  She made me laugh.  For the first time in weeks, I didn't feel so lonely and sad.  Oddly it was the first time since my diagnosis that I didn't spend every minute thinking about my cancer.  When I woke up yesterday, I began to cry because knew she had to go home (several hours away).  I just felt so much better with her here.  It was the most touching thing anyone has done for me since this started.  I can't even put into words the value of my friendship with Lori.  We've been best friends since 1990 and even though we have lived in different states the past 11 years, nothing has changed except I miss her more.   I am so incredibly blessed to have such a friend.

Yesterday I tried to take less pain pills and it was a bit hard.  I did take a few and took only one before bed.  I slept only for a few hours even with a sleeping pill on board.  I woke up in the middle of the night and just couldn't sleep well.  By 5am my husband offered another pain pill and I took it.  I quickly ate 2 crackers so I wouldn't upset my stomach and swallowed my pill.  I think I dosed off for a while, but not much more sleep.  I really have not been sleeping much.  The first few nights while loaded up on pain meds, I slept pretty good.  Now my sleep is less and I just can't even fall asleep for a nap during the day.  I am tired.  I wish I could just get one good night of sleep - like 8 straight hours.  That would really help.

Today it is almost 3pm and I did not take any pain pills since 5am.  I don't hurt too much.  Definitely a little more sore than when I take the pills, but I hate the way I feel on them and just hate feeling loopy all the time and queasy.  My poor bottom is so sore from sitting and laying down all the time.  I am actually standing up right now in he kitchen with my laptop on the counter typing this so I can get off my dang sore butt! 

Tomorrow I go to the medical oncologist appointment to discuss chemo.  It just makes me sick to have to face that.  The surgery seems like nothing compared to how chemo makes me feel.  I am petrified.  I just hate thinking that the next 3 months of my life will be consumed with chemo, side effects and dragging out my obsession with having cancer.  I feel panicked at the thought of it.  I just don't want to face it.  Last night I just sobbed over it.  The reality is that is the next step for me and I just don't feel ready to face it.

I talked to a breast cancer survivor last night (my angel, Kathy) and she did not have chemo, but it was helpful to speak to her about my fears.  I guess in talking to her I realized that I just am not accepting that I have cancer.  She kept saying "It's OK to have cancer.  No one goes out and wants to get it.  It just happens, even to healthy, young people like you.  You have to let yourself say it's OK to have cancer".  Why is this so hard for me?  I guess it's because this is something that happens to other people.  It wasn't suppose to happen to me.  I still can't accept it all.  It's been almost 2 months since this started and I still feel like I can't accept it.  I keep searching for the word to describe what I feel about it and I can't find the right word.  It's a combination of pathetic, embarrassed, weak, sick and like a bit of a freak all rolled up into one thing.  I hate this.  I really hate this. This IS my life and I did have cancer!  Why can't I say that out loud?  Why do I want to keep it private and feel so strange about people knowing?  I need some serious counseling.....really.  That is on my agenda as soon as I can drive my car again.  I need to heal my mind too so I can help my body deal with this physically.  I think the mind is the harder part to heal.  That mountain seems ginormous and scary to me right now.

For now I can honestly say each day my body feels a little better.  I am able to take a bath, wash my hair, get dressed and get something to eat (as long as things are within reaching zone) by myself.  I guess this is way more than I thought I would be able to do at this point.  I am going to get my drains out tomorrow and have my friend take me to the mall for a while on Friday to walk around a bit and just get out.  I am even going to put on some make up tomorrow when I go out....maybe it will make me feel normal again....whatever normal is.

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