I’m up to six cards so far, and need to paint two more for a total of eight. I’ve shown them to a few people, who seem to like them just fine. I think of them as Encouragement Cards, fun colorful real art to give a little encouragement to someone going through a hard time.
Yes, I was on yet another fish painting, this one a school of Blue Stripe Snappers. How soothing it is to paint fish. I may begin an entire personal aquarium of fish. I may even venture into designing picine wardrobes.
I didn’t mind at all being lopsided all this time as long as my right breast, the “treatment area”, was bigger than the left. I thought both were pretty damn gorgeous and it really never bothered me. I didn’t mind the scars. I didn’t even mind the blue nipple or the almost purple color much of the skin has turned. But suddenly, in a matter of four days, the right breast has shrunk so that it’s noticeably smaller and I find this incredibly upsetting.
I knew I’d have to write about this experience, but I didn’t know quite how to do it. I didn’t think a collection of my blog entries would work and I certainly am in no position to write a guide. I haven’t done chemo, nor have I had a mastectomy, so I can’t cover all the breast cancer bases. But I can write about the ways a person can use to cope with the many aspects of this experience, including the assaults on one’s sense of humor.
A is for Arms. Yes, strong arms and hot sex work best, especially when one’s sexuality is part of the “treatment area,” and lucky are they who have them on call. Being called “Wonder Woman” and regarded as newly invested with Special Powers can go a long way to staving off any feelings of sexual insecurity. Not everyone is so lucky, however. Some of us have partners, all right, but often partners are so afraid of the C word that they flee, even if they appear to be present. When this happens, try one of these simple solutions:
I’m getting sore at last, and I get sharp stabbing pains which I’m told is fluid looking for a new path to the nodes. None of it is bad enough yet for a pain pill. Today I did the second simulation…about 45 minutes during which I was propped up on pillows and wasn’t allowed to move while new angles were calculated for the scar area. The last five treatments will concentrate there only.
So far, I feel really good. What is euphemistically refered to as “the treatment area” is also doing just fine: “pinking up” a little but nothing hurts. According to my weekly checkups, my right arm continues to measure the same as the left and my weight fluctuates only half a pound. I still have quite an appetite, which may prove my biggest problem–I overstocked my staples and freezer lest I get too wiped out to shop, but so far, that hasn’t happened–my radiation diet plan may just backfire.
I was told that there’s only a one chance in ten that I’d get lymphedema, but here again, I’m not doing so well with the odds. I wonder what the odds are that I’d get invasive breast cancer (one in seven) AND suffer lymphedema (one in ten after surgery plus radiation)?