Thursday, July 1, 2010

July Already?

Poor, neglected blog.  The last part of May and all of June were so busy that I hardly had time to catch my breath.  I have been having a fabulous time, full of great adventures and lots of visiting with family and friends.  I have lots of good to report, but also some not so good.  I guess I'll start with the bad....

I still have a lot of tightness on my right side from surgeries and radiation.  I am (finally) seeing a physical therapist to help (more on that later), but a few weeks ago, I was especially sore for a few days.  I was trying to locate the source of my pain and found a lump above my collar bone at the base of my neck.  I called the doctor immediately and went to see her two weeks ago.  She agreed that there was cause for alarm and sent me for a PET scan, which I had last Tuesday.  My oncologist called with the results last Thursday afternoon.  The lump is "highly suspicious".  The conversation is a little blurry because while I was not surprised, I was still in shock.  Apparently, areas of "suspicion" light up on the scan.  This area wasn't bright and I'm not exactly sure what it means....whether that means that it is not very concentrated or if there isn't much of it?  I don't know; I'm sure that I will be learning more about that.  It is not good that this is happening, but the scan is from the top of my head to mid-thigh and the only areas of suspicion were the lump that I found and something under my left arm; presumably a lymph node, but she said that treatment for the other would take care of it.  The next step is a biopsy and after several calls to harrass the schedulers at the doctor, who were dragging their feet, I finally have an appointment to see a surgeon on Friday morning.  I still don't know whether he will be able to biopsy the lump at the office or if I am just going to meet him to schedule the biopsy.  I am ready to move this along as quickly as possible.  I do not like the thought or idea of cancer in my body and I am ready to get it OUT.  My oncologist said that if it is positive, I will have to have more chemo.  I am prepared to fight this battle again; I want it GONE.  I am very anxious to move through the diagnosis so that I can start the treatment.  I want to move past this; the sooner the better.  In the meantime, I feel like I have been calm, but with moments of hysteria.  I have had to employ my old friend Ativan some, but not too much.  The support and encouragement of my family and friends is helping me cope during this period of waiting.  So, THANK YOU for reminding me that I can do it again! 

Part of my recovery is oncology rehab.  Part of oncology rehab is physical therapy.  I have been to the physical therapist twice so far and she says that I have a full range of motion, despite the tightness in my chest, especially on the right side where I had more extensive surgery, lymph node removal and radiation.  I went last week to learn more exercises and she massaged my arm where I have cording from radiation.  Cording is gross.  It feels like there is a piece of string under my arm that goes all the way to the tips of a few fingers.  And the string feels like it is just a tad too short, so I get a weird shooting pain sometimes when I reach too far or the wrong way.  It is much improved after just two visits to the physical therapist.  It is uncomfortable when she massages it, but I have less pain immediately afterward.  The plan is to only visit her once more for more massage and then I'll be released from her care.  The biggest part of oncology rehab is that I meet with other cancer patients at the hospital's fitness center three times a week to work out.  I really love it so far.  The trainers monitor my heart rate and activities and my stamina and flexibility have improved each time I've been.  I am trying to challenge myself to work hard so that if (WHEN) I have to start chemo, I'll be in a better place physically.  It is also a great distraction at the moment.  I told one of the trainers about my lump and let her know that I plan to finish the 10 week program despite treatment.  It makes me sad to think about missing out on that.  After just three sessions, I feel better overall, mentally and physically.  Being there makes me feel like I'm doing something to make my condition better.  I have an upcoming appointment with the registered dietition there as well. 

My hair is growing like crazy.  I still like it short, but for some reason am very hesitant to cut it.  I have weird cowlicks in the front because I have a widow's peak, but I just sort of try to smooth them over as much as possible.  It is long enough now that it sort of feathers on the side sometimes and I don't care for that at all, but again, hesitant to get a haircut.  I don't use any products or anything on it.  I never have used much on my hair (well, not in the last 20 years!) and I don't think it would do any good or make it look any different than it does.  I love that it is low maintenance!

Well, I feel like this isn't much of an update because I haven't mentioned our new (very old) motorhome or all of the trips I've taken lately and I didn't mention Annabel and Scott at all.  That will have to wait for another post very soon! 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your therapy story with us, i hope you will feel better soon, get well soon.