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)?
I’d been doing just fine, but suddenly, I’m very upset. I can’t risk permanent lymphedema because I make my living with that arm. I may decide to quit radiation if I find that my nodes are being radiated. I had no cancer in my nodes and did not give permission to have them radiated. So today I’m skipping treatment and going to physical therapy and seeing both my radiation oncologist and my surgeon.
It turns out that the hardest thing about serious illness is not just dealing with pain, loss, or even the threat of death, but the decisions that come up, often without warning, many of which are not much different than betting on odds, or deciding between the risk of one bad thing against the risk of another. Which bad thing would I hate most? What are the odds of that happening given my present treatment?
Things can change, for better or worse, on a dime. One minute I’m not in the woods, the next I’m not out of the woods.
About the picture: Here’s “She’s So Brave” after I scrubbed off all the paint layers. I’m feeling kind of raw right now, so I’ve left it that way.