Nope, No Way, Ain't Happenin Here!


I realized yesterday as I was pouring my 4th cup of coffee that I am over 1/2 way done with my year of cancer treatment, yet still I am feeling very frustrated.  It's just taking too long!  I should be feeling as if I've accomplished something, right?  The cancer is gone- I no longer have cancer.  But, instead I'm stuck in place that's making me a little crazy.   I am so ready for all of this to be over and done with.  I'm not sure if it's the weird feeling in my chest (thank you little expanders) or the fact that I am on house arrest for another 3 weeks, but I'm experiencing some pretty high levels of attention deficit disorder and dare I say it "anxiety".  (Shh... don't tell the doctor- I'm sure there are pills for that, and I'm sure they would want me to take them!)

The ADD is why I haven't written a blog post in several days, I am completely unable to focus on anything for more than 5 minutes at a time. (And it takes me a heck of a lot longer than 5 minutes to do a blog post!)  The inability to focus on any one thing for any period of time is increasing my frustration because I am usually a very productive, goal oriented person and I can't seem to get anything done.

Nothing would make me happier than to wake up tomorrow morning and have everything be "normal"; with all of my hair back, normal boobs (the kind that don't move around or poke you when you move the wrong way), no tingling in my hands and feet, and well frankly, no more doctors appointments, tests, or infusions, and no restrictions when it comes to working out.  And, just for good measure, I would love it if I could reach the 3rd shelf of my kitchen cabinets without standing on my tippy toes and still wanting to scream!  Ooh, and wait, I'd love if I had my "normal" brain back. (I know, I want a lot right?)   But, I'm not quite there yet, and that is the source of my aggravation at this point.  Can't we speed up the process?  I am really going to have to work on having patience.

I've been told I'm being too hard on myself.  And I probably am.  I'm only 3 weeks post-op (Actually, it's exactly 3 weeks today!) and I've made great strides since surgery.  This is all going to sound funny, but I've had to really work on regaining my ability to do normal, every day activities.   For the 1st several days after surgery, I couldn't lift a cup to my mouth, straws became my best friend.  I couldn't put anything over my head,so all of my shirts had to be button-down.  (I'm not proud to admit this, but all I wanted was to sleep in one of my hubby's soft, comfy t-shirts.  So, I struggled to get it on, and nearly killed myself getting out of it the next morning.  Turns out that on was easier than off!  Thank God there were no video cameras around for that escapade.) I couldn't get dishes out of the cupboards, and I had a hard time putting on my tennis shoes.  All of this has changed- I am almost 100% back to normal in terms of mobility, I can do all of those things now.  My drains are gone, and my incisions are healing nicely.  And I get to go back for another "fill" this week.  (I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be spending my Thursday mornings having my boobs "filled".  Life is just funny like that!)

I'm struggling a bit with my left arm, I've got a ton of tightness down the back of my arm because my axillary nerve was cut to remove the lymph nodes from that arm.  The surgeon told my husband that she had a very hard time getting the nodes out of the left side, and her portion of the surgery actually took longer than expected because of it.  I was warned that my left arm might not ever be 100% and that the numbness might not ever go away. (You have got to be kidding me- are you sure you're looking at the right chart?) But, in the last several days, the tightness has eased, and some, but not all of the feeling has returned. (I still don't have full feeling in my elbow or my armpit, but I hit my elbow off of something this morning, and I definitely felt it.)  I will keep pushing that arm; stretching is the name of the game.  I am not willing to accept that my arm isn't 100%, and I know that I would never be okay with not having that arm be everything it was prior to this stupid cancer business.

So, at this point, there's no where for my frustration to go.  I can only keep myself so busy for so long when I can't really leave the house. I'm not allowed to work out, I can't lift, push, or pull anything over 10 pounds, and I've got a bad case of ADD.  I could cook and bake, but then I would have to eat it, right?   What's a girl to do? (I can tell you that there are 2 boxers that have gotten a ton of cuddles and treats in the last few days!)  If I can focus long enough, I am going to attempt to arm myself with a list of very short-term goals.  Things that I can do in 5 minutes or less, baby stepping it right though my to-do list.  Here's to baby-steps!


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