Saturday, March 2, 2013

The C-Bomb

Me (L) with my teeny but fierce
PT trainer, Dana. Jeeze, my
hair looks really stupid.

I finished my last physical therapy session at Apex for my left arm, which was weak because muscles had to be cut during my neck dissection. My arm is almost back to normal now & able to carry multiple shopping bags :)

'Ears to you!

I am nearing the end of lymphodema therapy at the Radnor branch of HUP. Stephanie taught me how to gently massage the lymph areas to drain the lymph fluids. I have to wear a compression bandage around my head for several hours daily, like an old-timey toothache cure. It makes me giggle every time I put it on because it reminds me of The Three Stooges and plus, it makes my cheeks puff out. I have not allowed my husband Craig to see this lovely vision, and rip it off whenever I hear him coming. I can dress it up for seasonal occasions by adding assorted animal ears, though. Easter is coming, so I made bunny ears. Too bad I don't have the boobs to go with.

Recently, I stopped at our local market to pick up some items & as I was at the self-check out register, the woman employee who stood at the main register said,

"You look great! I almost didn't know you, you've lost weigh!"

"Yes! It's the Radiation Diet!", I piped up brightly.

The poor woman! Her face fell instantly and she started stammering, "Oh! I'm so sorry!" I apologized for dropping the C-Bomb on her, explaining that I was used to the idea but I keep forgetting how jolting it can be to hear "CANCER" for the first time. I'm sure it conjures up a different & horrible picture for every single soul who hears that word. Who doesn't know of someone who died of cancer?

I felt bad for the awkward spot I put her in and I silently vowed not to do that to people anymore. I'll be hearkening back to my Mom's training of "just graciously say thank you". Let me get it out of my system here. RADIATION DIET! RADIATION DIET! RADIATION DIET!  Whew.

Dinah, making sure I cross my t's and dot my i's.
The only issue I (think I) have now is this damn thrush in my mouth. I just finished up my 3rd round of Fluconazole and it seems to be less and less effective. Eating some foods is like eating shards of glass. I'm finding that once again, I'm less & less interested in food. This is a quandary at our house because my husband & son don't want to eat because they don't want to gain weight, especially Phil, who is couch-bound from ACL surgery last week. I have to eat but don't want to eat. I even bought a box of Frosted Raspberry Pop Tarts ~ my own version of crack ~ and they are still here after three sunrises. I've had a Secret Pop Tart Addiction ever since my Mom refused to buy them, almost half a century ago. When I share this painful addiction, people look at me like I'm nuts. "POP Tarts? Yuck!" they say.
I haven't tried a glass of wine yet, but look forward to it!

I do buy healthy foods ~ honest. I bought green grapes and discovered I could barely open my mouth wide enough to fit a grape in. If you are reading this and are undergoing a similar procedure, please do your mouth exercises to keep the scar tissues from becoming wooden and immobile! I constantly have to remind myself of this.

Life is resuming a more normal pace & I am mighty grateful!

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