Thursday, January 31, 2019

Recovery Update

I have a new normal, now.  Cancer sucks in many, many ways, and I'm introduced to more of them each day.  Living with cancer, going through treatment, and recovering from treatment all come with their own challenges, and it's really an entire world that a lot of people will, God willing, never have to learn anything about.

Emotionally, life after cancer treatment is difficult.  I've never been a hypochondriac, but am almost encouraged to be one now.  My white blood cells are still low (possibly as a result of the medication I'm on, though my MedOnc isn't quite sure of the cause), so I need to stay away from anyone sick, and call my team immediately if I develop a fever.  If I have any swelling in my right arm or trunk, I need to contact my team right away (signs of lymphedema).  If I have any acute bone aches, headaches, lumps, nausea, breathing issues, fatigue... basically, I should contact my medical team if I feel anything out of the "ordinary."  The problem is, my "ordinary" now is not what it used to be.

One good thing has come out of treatment - I have a higher tolerance for pain than I ever had before.  My monthly Lupron shots (to put me into/keep me in menopause) are supposedly painful, but I take them without flinching.  I'm living with daily pain, so what's a little bit more?  The medication I'm on - exemestane/Aromasin - has given me arthritis and incredibly achy joints all over my body, so my MedOnc is switching me to a different AI (aromatase inhibitor) to see if that will be more tolerable.  We'll see if it helps.  In the meantime, I'm trying to take no more than 1 Aleve a day, and I hobble like an 80 year old woman every time I get up.   But I'll live with it because I'll LIVE.  I'll take it over the alternative.

I burned the fingers of my right (cancer side) hand on the stove - just mildly - the other day, and the very next morning felt the beginnings of cording in my arm.  It's been 5 days now, and no amount of stretching or massage on my part has made it any better, so I've sent a message to my physical therapy team, and they're getting an order so I can get an appointment set up.  I love them, but I'm not looking forward to having the cording worked out.  My pain tolerance may be higher, but that will push it to the limit.

My 12 week LiveStrong program at the Y ends at the end of next week, and I highly recommend it to anyone recovering from cancer treatment.  I have 60-70% of my energy back, and I feel so much stronger than I did before I started the program.  It's free, and really has helped me to feel "normal" again.  

My hair is coming back in nicely, though with more grey than before.  It's curly, though still short enough that it looks wavy instead.  It's nice to have hair again!

Trish signature for blog


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...