Wednesday, May 7, 2008

So how am I doing these days anyway?

Well, lets see. I am mostly getting back to normal. My energy is returning but not completely. I am wiped out at the end of the day usually. Still. Blah! I want to get my energy back.

On the other hand, my surgical incisions (3 including the one they cut into TWICE just to make sure I really have a scar there) are all healed up. But the one where the original tumor was and they crisped up so well, still hurts from time to time. I mean its not bad but then it feels like someone is grabbing it and pinching. What fun!

The chemo side effects are going away. I had some tingling in my hands and feet that is mostly gone but not quite completely. My fingernails have recovered completely but my big toe nails are still growing out. My chemo brain has memory lapses but they are better. I now have a good excuse for being a spaceshot. Here's a weird chemo side effect. I used to love capers and put them on everything. During chemo, I couldn't eat them. Now I don't want to eat them. Bummer. They used to be yummy.

My skin has recovered from radiation but I have been outside more in the sun recently and noticed that even though I am covered up, the radiated area turns red, like a mild sunburn. Something to ask the doctor about. (I keep a running list of questions to ask doctors because I am incapable of remembering anything.)

Where my port was is healing up. There are two little parallel scars but a big lump of scar tissue under the skin that is slowly going away. The scar on my neck where they put in the catheter into the artery doesn't look like it will ever fade away.

I still am concerned about potential lymphedema in my arm (remember that's when your lymph system is compromised due to the node removal surgery and I can develop and problem with drainage in my arm at any time for the rest of my life???). Anyhow, I slept on my arm funny last week or maybe I carried something I shouldn't have, and my arm felt weird and bloated for a few days but it went away. I also have this on my list to ask the doctor.

Otherwise my rash has returned and is worse than it ever was. My gallstone keeps making me eat right and causes moderate pain. I now get regular heartburn from my hiatal hernia - even though I take Prilosec every day. Is there anything else? I can't remember at this point (see chemo brain in action). I am sure you all wanted o be filled in on such great detail as to how I am doing.

Then I am taking Tamoxifen, which I will take for another 4 years and 8 months (but who is counting). This seems to be okay but I have developed some achy joints - not much just my shoulders, right knee, ankles sometimes, and other places that seem to move around - which is kind of a standard side effect from it. After all the other side effects from the other medication I had, this seems to be reasonable.

It has almost been a year. Actually, the mammogram that went bad and started this whole thing I think was on May 10 of last year. What a fun year its been (NOT)! Am I going to have a big party and celebrate a year? I don't think so. I really just want the rolllercoaster ride to stop so I can get on with my life.

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