Wednesday, August 11, 2010

One Hot Momma!

Whew!! Yesterday was a scorcher!! Now I know that the heat has risen much higher in the mid-west, but mix it with the humidity here in the Mid-Atlantic states and you are asking for trouble. It may have only reached 98 degrees but with the heat index it felt more like 105...and with my internal heat index (adding chemo and an anti-biotic) I'm sure I reached at least 120!! Can I just say, I'm ONE HOT MOMMA!!

That being said, yesterday led to one interesting day. I have to say, my guys have been a constant source of entertainment. They are like the Key-stone Kops and if it weren't for their antics I think I would have gone round the bend long before now. Well, let me back up a bit.

I think I mentioned last week that I hit a bump in the road. When I went for my usual "fill up" at the plastic surgeons, I was presented with a temperature, pinkness and tenderness. They decided not to fill my expanders and gave me an anti-biotic instead. I was able to still have chemo, and all the lovely pills that accompany that (along with a HORRIBLE smelling and tasting anti-biotic). If you shake me, I swear I rattle!! Just getting that horse pill past my nose was a major accomplishment considering the nausea that follows a chemo treatment! I did my duty, stood my ground, gagged those monstrous pills down twice a day like a good little trooper. I had ONE MORE DAY TO GO!!! And I had an appointment yesterday with the plastic surgeon (who had been on vacation the week before). In the searing heat, hauling my buns out of bed before the break of dawn, battling rush hour traffic so I could wait for over an hour past my appointment time to hear the lovely words, "Let's extend the anti-biotic for another week". I won't go into the ghastly details of what anti-biotics do to me. Just know that I've suffered *hand over fevered brow in a dramatic pose*. LOL The thought of another week almost left me in tears. I could tell the poor doctor was trying to think of something else, however, chemo leaves you in a weakened state. He wants to make sure any chance of infection is gone. I agree, but I wish HE had to take those nasty pills instead of me!!! Well, at 10AM on a beastly hot day just wanting to drag my sorry behind somewhere and lick my wounds, that was only the beginning of my day. I still had another appointment with the physical therapist.

But first, DS decided he was hungry. So we headed over to the little cafe outside the physical therapy wing. Walking down the hall I could smell burnt toast. Oddly enough, it smelled good to me (chemo has seriously altered my taste buds and my sense of smell) and I was thinking some toast or an English muffin might taste good. When I got there the only thing that looked good was a Jimmy Dean ham, egg and cheese sandwich on a muffin. I forget they microwave these things, and it tasted like rubber. YUCK! So, on top of feeling queasy from the anti-biotic I had this hockey puck sitting in my stomach, just before I entered, *ominous sounding voice* THE PT ZONE.... *echo*

Ah...physical therapy. Should be called psychological torture. I'm telling you, I have seen three different therapists since my "therapy/torture" began and none of them have the same philosophy. One of them is into sadism I'm sure. She gives these deep tissue massages that make me ache for days. She stretches my aching arms past normal stretching limits (believe me my range of motion is nearly perfect!!!) just for the pure pleasure of watching my eyes tear up!! She fitted me for a compression sleeve which I wear as she asked. It's comfortable most of the time and I believe it is helping. Even my measurements have come down so it seems to be working for lymph edema.

The second therapist wants to wrap my arm. I've seen these wraps. They make your arm appear twice it's normal size. It's much hotter than the sleeve and seems cumbersome. Not to mention, draws quite a bit of attention to your "condition". She does lymphatic massage which really feels good!! And has a calm soothing voice, which almost puts me to sleep...not necessarily a good thing, but I don't leave in excruciating pain. The last time I saw her she misinterpreted what the third therapist had written and was excited about the prospect of wrapping my arm. I ran in terror from that appointment!!!

The third is by far my most favorite therapist. I made up my mind when I saw her yesterday that I'm only going to schedule appointments with her. She is willing to work with me with the sleeve, she mentioned that she wants to start exercises to help with increasing the amount of weight I can lift so I can go back to work. The previous two therapists have told me they didn't think I should go back to work in the frame shop because of the danger of possible lymph edema issues if I damage the tissue in my left arm because of all the sharp objects. However, that is my job, that is what I like to do, and if I want to and take the necessary precautions, why shouldn't I return to the job I love? I'm tired of them all contradicting one another and telling me I can't do what I want to do. Maybe I'm deluding myself, but this is what I want, so I'm going to do as this one says and get back to my life before cancer the best way I know how. HOWEVER, I think I scared her yesterday. LOL Remember the chemo/anti-biotic/heat issue? Well I think I didn't drink enough water yesterday either. And after my little round on the hand bike, I felt a little dizzy. She decided she wanted me to do some wall finger walks (using your fingers you walk your arm up a wall, and hold it for 30 seconds). I staggered over to the wall and started doing them, and suddenly these lights started clouding my vision. I headed for the nearest chair and sat, asking for a glass of water. And that is where my PT ended for the day. Let's just say, the heat got me I think. Or maybe it was the anti-biotics...or the Jimmy Dean rubber hockey puck...who knows. I couldn't wait to get home and get into bed. But that wasn't the end of my day!!

I leave the exercise room and return to the waiting room to find DH and DS trying to untangle DH's legs. I don't know what possessed these two to try this....but DH has always been limber and thin. He tried to sit in the lotus position (legs crossed, each ankle on top of the opposite knee). Well, not only did he succeed in getting into the lotus position, but, he got stuck there. And THEN his legs started to cramp. I walked into the waiting room, full of people with physical ailments that left many of them in pain and barely able to walk, seeing DS trying to pry DH's ankle off one of his knees so he could remove himself from the "pretzel" position. I swear, you can dress them up but you CAN'T take them out!!! If I had had any presence of mind I would have walked back out ignoring the fact that I knew either one of them!! Oh well, the comic relief was needed at that particular point in time. Hopefully they'll have both learned a valuable lesson. But I fear not!!

Finally headed home I thought my day was over, only to get to the pharmacy and learn that they were out of the particular anti-biotic that my doctor had ordered. Now, instead of taking one gigantic horse pill twice a day for 10 days, I was going to have to take three stinking smelly pills twice a day for 10 days. The dose was for 750 mg twice a day, but they only had 250 mg pills left. *Sigh* I tried to beg with the pharmacist, but she very kindly asked how I was feeling (they must teach this in pharmacy school when a patient appears to be having a melt down) and told me she hoped I would feel better soon.

Thinking I would be funny, I came home and wrote on my Facebook wall.... "I'm melting" *whined in my most convincing Wicked Witch of the West impersonation* to which my sister replied "Yep, that sounds about right". You would think that with all I have to endure that my family would have a sympathetic ear. What is it they say about family? You can pick your friends but you can't pick your relatives. Yep, that sounds about right!


Terry said...

I'm so glad you have kept your sense of humor throughout this whole ordeal. I have to admit, I'm sitting here laughing my butt off at all the things you just described in your day. Need to get a tissue now. lol Thanks for a good laugh, I needed one today. ;)

Edy said...

And what good friends you have managed to pick!



Kathy said...

You are one amazing woman. All that agony, all that torture and you can still smile. Your attitude alone will bring you through this.

Know that even though I can't keep up with all the blogs and leave comments all the time that I am thinking of you and your ordeal. And keeping you in my prayers.

Carol's Stitching said...

Keep your chin up and we'll be here cheering you on DJ! Would love to catch up with you and spend some time stitching whenever it would work for you. Please contact me via email mdfiregalyahoocom privately and we can figure out a place and time. Since I'm right in Severn, Maryland and you are closeby I'm sure we can catch up and it sounds like we could both enjoy the company. Beth H (Crossed Purposes) is hoping to be able to join us so we can have a stitching trio! :)

Jo said...

Keep at it hun and remember one day you can go back to what you enjoy doing not what they want to box you in doing.We're all there for you xx