Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Is There Life on Mars? (David Bowie style)

I might be the world's worst blogger.

Or maybe not - maybe, just maybe, someone else out there is even more incapable of creating a routine and staying on top of it.

But I doubt it.  I wish I could say that blogging is the only area of my life that's like that, but it seems to be a systemic flaw.

Good thing I've got other attributes worthy of sharing. :)

See?  I told you have other attributes.  One is the ability to wear silly hats and laugh at myself.

Today was the last day of my part-time, seasonal job, and I have to say, it felt good to turn in my equipment.  Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy what I do most of the time.  Still, it's nice to have some breathing room to finish all that stuff on the never-ending to-do list.

The only problem?

I'm terrible at life when there is no structure to guide me through the days.  And nights.  You don't really want to know how off my sleep schedule gets with pretty alarming regularity.  Sometimes it's demoralizing.

That's not what I wanted to write about today, though.

Do you suppose this practice finger is for picking your nose?  Or scratching your bum?  We had quite a laugh at this when  we saw it!

Today, I wanted to focus on where I am health-wise.  It's been a few months since my last health post, and I've had a lot to happen since then.  My heart's in great shape, my skin is doing well, and I finally feel like I can get out and do pretty much whatever I want, including gardening.

My "foobs" are doing quite well.  Yep, my fake boobs out of stomach fat are holding up quite nicely, thank you very much.  Even have new fake nips.  I never thought I'd opt for such a thing, but all things considered, I'm glad I did.  They make the foobs look astonishingly real, if you can get past all the scars.
My older niece.  I took this photo when I went to visit my sister a while back.  I do love hats.

Speaking of the scars, though, brings me to the only thing that I feel like I'm still working on.  I have areas where my scars did a bit of over healing, and it's my job to rub rub rub those areas so that they learn to lie flat.  Or release.  Or whatever.  I measure my success in inches (as in, how many inches of the scar across my stomach do I still need to work on?), and I don't think this work-in-progress is going to be finished any time soon. Luckily, though, I saw the dermatologist last week (BRCA2 folks are more susceptible to skin cancer), and she told me that for a reasonable fee, they could do light pulsing and make the scars fade quite a bit - I think this also works for softening them up.  If anyone knows, drop me a line.  :)

Oh, and I have one area in my right foob where the fat has necrotized.  Nothing unusual, and not dangerous or painful (anymore) in any way, but I have to massage it to get it to soften up, too.

My younger niece.  She's a bit squeamish, but was pretty intrigued by all my scars ... until she saw the one around my belly button.  The plastic surgeon had to cut around it, and then pull it back up and stitch it back in place after he completed my DIEP flap reconstruction.  To her, that ring of stitches was more than she could bear.  

Before you get too excited and start humming I Touch Myself by the DiVinyls, though, you should probably consider that this is sort of high up on my chest.  Remember back in school how that one annoying kid could make farting noises by putting his hand in his armpit and working that arm up and down?  That's kind of what I look like when I'm working on getting that fat to soften back up.

Did I mention that this hard ball of fat is a direct result of the radiation I had in that area?  I try to remind myself that radiation may eventually save my life, and that I'll never even know it if it does its job.  But it's easy for me to have buyer's regret about opting for that particular treatment.  Not like I haven't mentioned this before, so I'll just leave it at that.

Basically, I'm mostly back to normal.  Still have a weak stomach.  Most of the tightness in my right arm/chest area is gone, but at least one tendon in that area is still pretty wound up.  Good thing I've got a glob of dead fat in that area to rub - rubbing helps that tendon, too.  I may never need to wear a bra again, except when doing stuff that can get the lymphedema going.  All things considered, I'm in a good place physically.

Mentally ... there are so many things I could say about my mental health.  I could opt for humor and say that my sanity is every bit as good as its ever been (which I happen to believe is true).  Or I could give you one of about fifty slices of truth.  I had cancer and I survived.  Not everyone gets to say those two things in the same sentence, and I am very aware of that.  Of course, I still fill conflicted about my vocational life and it stresses me out occasionally.  Despite that, I know I've got it pretty good.
My older niece, who is going to stay with us for the summer.  She came down for spring break and we visited one of the local parks here ... Centennial Park, which is the home of the Parthenon.  Not THE Parthenon, but a replica.  It's a fun way to spend the day.

On the other hand, I'll never be the same me that I was before my diagnosis.  I suppose there is both good and bad in that.  Most days, I focus on the good - in fact, most days, being positive is just a routine.  Every now and again, something happens to knock me back a bit, but those days are rare.

I'll stop here for today because I've got stuff to do.  Tomorrow I'm going to the AQS quilt show in Paducah with some friends (YAY!) and I'm meeting up with an old friend from school.  Or maybe I should say a young friend from way back - he and I are the same age, after all.

The Loveless Cafe is a tourist destination for visitors to Nashville.  Last week I had the chance to go - for the first time - because a friend was in from Pennsylvania.  The biscuits were just like the ones my Granny used to make!

Enjoy the rest of your week.  I know I plan to!


Lanesue said...

Thank you for your post! Bless you and your ability to be so honest. Best wishes sent your way...

Rachael Dorr said...

I love the 'Professional' underneath the practice finger!!!

Shoshi said...

I'm enjoying my virtual trip around your blog, Beezus - congratulations on being a cancer survivor and for your feisty attitude! Way to go!!! I hope I can remain as positive as this through the coming months.