Posts Tagged ‘cancerversary’

cancerversary

March 6, 2010

Well, today is a cancerversary of sorts.  On May 6, 2009, Dr. Butler told me, while she was inspecting the sample she removed during the biopsy, “Well if that doesn’t come back positive, I’m going to do it again.”  I had no idea what she meant.  Positive for what?  Bad juju?  Positive for negative stuff?  Oh the days of such naiveté!!

Now, exactly one year to the day later, I have an unexplained swelling under/over or in my expander implant on my right side that is getting big enough to pull the skin on my chest, including the irradiated skin which doesn’t stretch, so I can feel the pulling clear around on my back on the left side.  It is creepy, uncomfortable, and scary.  I’ve talked to the nurses from my radiation oncologist, and plastic surgeon and as long as there is no sign of infection, the best they can offer me is appointments next week.  Sigh………… That does not seem like a good enough answer.

In the mean time, I am completely exhausted……..now apparently this is from the new issue, Thyroid problems, from which Dr. E, my G.P. has prescribed Levothyroxin.  Apparently this malady makes you very tired.  Check mark that.  I’m exhausted.  I managed to assist one student early this morning with an extracurricular competition at Four County Vocational School in Archbold OH in the student organization FCCLA (Family, Career, Community Leaders of America…..the updated new millenium version of FHA, Future Homemakers of America) and lucky for both of us, he received a good enough score to move on to the next level of competition, the State competition….while I am just trying to figure out how in the hell I am going to move out of bed right now.  How am I going to grade papers this weekend?  It is officially Saturday night and I’ve only graded about a half of an inch of papers in a 3 inch pile?  How am I going to get some decent lesson plans in order for my substitute for at least the 2 -3 days I’ll be off next week for Dr. appointments? 

I’m just having a hard time thinking through all of it.  Current conditions: Exhausted.  Hard time thinking, processing cognitively.  Extremely uncomfortable expanding “expander implant”  side boob.  Skin uncomfortable. Pressure on lungs making deep breathing difficult.  Very hoarse voice.  Slurred speech when talking for any length of time.  Extremely dry skin.  Hands uncomfortable.  Yellowish skin tint in hands. Swelling in eyes.  

I sure hope I feel well enough to go hang with the Unitarians tomorrow.  I especially hope and pray that this current business clears up soon and does not interfere with my vacation plans for Spring Break.  I don’t even want to think about that……

Wish I knew what to do next.

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cancerversary month

February 15, 2010

So yesterday, Sunday morning I was listening to On the Media, an NPR program, which was doing great piece on Black History Month.  Then, they played this recording of Lucille Clifton reciting her poem, won’t you celebrate with me.  While I in no manner can relate to what it is like to grow up black in the United States, I could completely relate to this poem from a “sickness and health cancer-living” perspective.  Since this is my cancerversary month (yes, it was a month, exactly from the day when Cindy Parke, CNM, said, “Hmmnn, I don’t like the feel of this” to receiving the results of a mammogram and subsequent biopsy) I thought I’d post this.  Tell me what you think.

POEM

won’t you celebrate with me

by Lucille Clifton

won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.
 
 
I have spent a LOT of time this past year, “my one hand holding tight my other hand”.  I cautiously, and with a bit of fear of being premature, celebrate the fact that something that has tried to kill me has, so far, failed.