A Work in Progress

The days after surgery are a bit of a blur, by the time you get home, get settled into your own bed, and start taking pain medication, you start to feel pretty decent. I decided to wean off the Percocet a couple of days ago and may have experienced some withdrawal symptoms (nausea mostly). Also because you aren’t sleeping as much without the Percocet, you have more time to think and reflect on what happened.

I have never liked change much, but I always forced myself to make changes that I think will bring about positive outcomes (there is nothing worse than stagnation, I have never stood for that). This change to my body is harder than I thought it would be to accept. While, of course having the cancer removed is a major positive outcome, I don’t really feel like I had cancer (that denial thing again?), so what I am left with is a chest that feels foreign and so wrong, and it makes it hard to see the positive outcomes. Honestly, it’s really scary. I know it’s work in progress, but right now I don’t want to look at it. Showering used to be one of my favorite things to do (I know showering before bed and in the morning is excessive, but it is a nice ritual that I enjoyed). Showering now is a little traumatic, I can’t really feel the water hitting my chest and I am really not comfortatable looking at, or touching that area of my body. I still have drains hanging off the edges of my armpits that really disgust me. I went to the Dr. today hoping the drains could be removed, but have to keep them in until Monday, when she will check them again. Fingers crossed Monday will be the day they come out.

I also got a call from my surgeon this week. The full pathology came back and because of the lymph node involvement she suggested the possibility of radiation and chemotherapy. I was pretty bummed out to hear about the radiation. I was scared about the chemo but thought I was probably not going to get away from this thing without getting chemo. I didn’t think radiation was in the mix, and I know radiation delays reconstruction and makes it harder to work with the skin to put the implants in. The extenders that are in place under the skin feel a lot more foreign than the permanent implants, so I was hoping to get those swapped out as soon as possible.

My spirits are pretty low (actually lower yesterday, but a little better today). I knew this wasn’t going to be easy, and as my friend Andrea reminded me last night, none of this is permanent, so just remember that these things will pass. This was about the best advice I could have heard. Thanks AZ.

Well my body, my mind, my journey, it’s a work in progress. Still wishing love, peace, happiness and health to all my friends and family. Thanks to everyone for all the positive notes, cards and gifts.

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3 Responses to A Work in Progress

  1. Hobbs says:

    Alison –

    Change is something I’ve always had a hard time with too, and I always remind myself of a quote I heard years ago when I was going through the sour patch… I actually don’t remember it word for word, but the meaning is there. There are countless quotes that start the same way – it’s the ending that resonated with me.

    “Change is inevitable. We must find the positive in the change, and embrace it.”

    I know you are going to have a tough time finding something positive right now, but it’s there. Something that is important, positive, and embraceable. When you know what it is – I think it will provide some reassurance and bring a smile.

    Keep fighting and remember – the rollercoaster goes back up 😉


  2. Alison Q. says:

    Thanks Hobbs. This means a lot to me and really helps!

  3. Kathy Osborne says:

    Good words of wisdom. I’m sorry you are going through this… But if anyone can do it, and do it positively, you can.

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