Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pink Ribbons ~ Difficult times

Pink Ribbons is a feature series I have started that is posted every Thursday.  I am a Pink Ribbon Warrior, having gone through the chemo, surgery, radiation, the year of waiting and recently stage 2 reconstruction...which I find is really the first of many little surgeries.  I am at a place in my life where I am willing to open my journal from that time and share with you my anger, fears, challenges and pain of finding out you have cancer.   This is me sharing with you from the other side of breast cancer.  This entry is from early October, 2010.

Life goes on, even when you are fighting cancer and going through cancer. Babies are born, people die, friends get sick and you just cope as best as you can. But I feel like a tea cup that has been over filled. My outside is fragile...and my cup is full with my own trauma. My pain, my concerns, trying to live life with a potentially fatal ending..the cup is full. I'm okay putzing along in my own pain and my own existence while on chemo. But I find my ability to cope with anyone else's trauma is immensely diminished. They share the trauma with me and my teacup explodes from the excess. I can't hold it all inside. This what happened this week. In addition to this, my mom is drawing closer to her own surgery. I think she's hoping she will die in surgery. I feel panicky at the thought..

This week Mr. Man and I have had a few giggles as we attempt to dry my hair. lol It’s good to have a mate who is right there with me in this. One day he surprised me with a Marie Calendar’s banana cream pie...oh my! I asked him what he was going to eat. He thought I was joking. I let him have a piece, maybe two. Since he also surprises me with the occasional chunky monkey....I thought I could share.

Can't recall if I was able to share this news or not. I had been frustrated because the plastic surgeon I heard good reports about didn't do surgery at the hospital I'm having the mastectomy. Remember that? Well I called the surgeon and asked if they ONLY did surgery at the hospital. The nurse asked specifically, "are you wanting Dr. Puckett for the reconstruction?" (Kind of assured me that she knew his name).

She said my surgeon had never been asked to work with Puckett but he was willing. So she spoke to him and called me back. I will be having surgery at an outpatient center next to the hospital so I can have both surgeries. Then talking to Doctor Joe about the tentative plans, he informed me that Dr. Puckett was the plastic surgeon they chose to do his wife's reconstruction.

whoop whoop score!

When an oncologist tells you who they chose it’s a big recommendation! It's early now and no specific dates...but the mastectomy is tentatively scheduled for the first week of Dec. The other surgeries will be in Jan or after radiation.

Mr. Man’s treatment starts tonight. The house is not up to its standard. It bugs me but not much I can do. I did some dishes yesterday...took me all day. One dish and sit for a while. I know I don’t have to do them but as I told him it’s hard to sit and do nothing.

We have been challenged as well. It has been a difficult week. Last week Leia came in from playing in the backyard blinking her eye. I thought she had something stuck in it, though we couldn't see anything. She’s always getting dandelion seeds on the eye, and I rinse them off with a little sterile water. But she kept blinking. I kept watching it and then on day 2, it was gummy with discharge.

We took her to a local vet who raked us over the coals. He implied she might lose her eye from our negligence and I think I cried all night long. He went us home with 3 different kinds of eye drops and a warning to give all the meds around the clock. So we set alarms and gave her eye drops and pain meds and antibiotics around the clock. We had her checked after 5 days and he said she was recovering nicely and just finish the meds…but we could stop the around the clock doses…just do daytime.

This morning, I woke up and her little button eye was flat and grey. I called the vet and told them something was wrong. So we stopped in on the way to my blood draw at the clinic. I thought they would tell me I was over reacting. They did not.

It was the associate vet, a woman and we liked her a WHOLE lot more. But she took one look and started saying "oh no, oh no…this is bad." My poor baby’s eye is basically dead. Its near rupturing even though it’s flat and dull. The surface is sloughing off. She told us about some space age procedures that the university could do but she would most likely lose the eye anyway. So we decided to have the eye taken out. Then I totally lost it...ugly cry style when I realized the doctor meant right NOW. I had to leave Leia without preparing for it. We did, and I went to the clinic bawling my eyes out the whole time.

I waited in the hall with my ugly cry still going on….rather emotional I think. Everyone misunderstood. A dozen people stopped to hug me and tell me to be strong and courageous…that I was strong and loved and to keep fighting. I guess when a bald chick has an ugly cry in a cancer center waiting room…people don’t assume she’s crying over her puppy. Lmbo People stopped to hug me and bless me and tell me it will be fine and they are praying for me…and I nodded through my tears and thanked them and in my heart told God…use those prayers for Leia. I told K that we might have to call Leia “Lucky” now that she’s going to be one eyed and three legged.

They called not long after we got home. She came through surgery well and was perking up. We could come get here in the morning. This all the trauma I can cope with right now. I’m just having a hard time coping with the whole thing right now while I’m dealing with my own pain and concerns. I’m sick to my stomach but I know it’s emotional in nature.

Linda - I am praying that your pain eases and that you're able to be with your mom when she has her surgery, and praying that her surgery goes well.

I hope you don't think it's silly, but I also prayed that you'd be able to taste the chocolate. (((Tina)))

Rosey - No Linda, not silly. I consider chocolate an essential food group. :) I have taken a pain med already as I can feel the bones are amping up. I can groan through pain at a 5 or 6 so if it stays below I can deal with it. I’m sucking on banana pops to try and stay hydrated too.

You know the thing about the hair towels was they were pink BCA merchandise as well. I know that people without cancer buy the pink ribbon stuff in support of someone or as a donation. I thought it funny that the merchandisers or the store didn't consider how a survivor would view the towels. But I choose humor. I have a friend diagnosed the same day who is having a really hard time. October is beating her up because she feels everywhere she turns; the world is shouting she has breast cancer. :( I’m kind of enjoying all the pink. It’s like the world is supporting me in recovery! But she and I are different people and bless her....she has to work through her chemo. That just seems impossible to me.

Meeshia - We will keep praying for your lap buddy and for those antibiotics to work its wonders. I am so glad you had such affirmation on the doctor you wanted for your reconstruction surgery. And I agree with everyone else about the pain meds... keep ahead of it. Just like everyone has said, it is easier to keep ahead than to catch up once it hits. But you already know that from a nurse stand point and from experience. Since I went back to work I don't have as much time to get on the computer, but I wanted you to know I keep on praying for you.

Linda - oh Rosey, that's depressing. :( I'm sorry :( I'm praying her eye will be ok. That poor dog has been through enough.

Beth - I cannot say enough how powerful it is to read your words each day. You help us see so many of the trials that cancer patients must endure. Things that often go unnoticed and ignored. I had no idea the details of this battle personally. Thanks so much for being honest and open with us. I think all your entries should be put into a book for other families and friends who either are going through this or walking beside someone who is. The hard part is not feeling like we can do anything to help, even though I know how powerful prayer is and some of the other small acts of blessing you. What I WANT to do is take away your pain. I can't imagine how KJ must feel. Just want you to know that I appreciate the effort you give in writing down this journey. I pray for you often....even in the little details. I am praying your sweet Leia is okay, too.

3 months after she lost her eye.  She has a permanent "wink".

No comments:

Post a Comment