Bald Barren And Boobless

An honest and comical reflection of my journey through breast cancer

Month: April 2015

I’m not through the woods yet

valley of the shadowI woke early with really bad diarrhea, sorry to be blunt but it feels like pure acid it’s so painful. However, I did sleep through, which is a blessing.

I am so flat again today; flatter than a flat thing. I have acupuncture today, I am wondering how on earth I will get there when I am graced with a cancellation by my therapist. Small mercies……..

So back in my bed I am, it is humid, sticky and pouring with rain. I don’t know if you have, like me, prayed for those days when you can stay in bed in the rain instead of working.

Well here I lay, in bed, with it pouring with rain, not working, and it is not such a party guys L Funny how you wish for things, sometimes long for things but they are rarely in reality how they appear in our minds.

Apparently, there is a case review of my insurance claim in Melbourne today. I am tense about it; we really need the financial help. It is so expensive even with private health insurance; every single procedure has a big gap. The only exception is the hospital stays and chemo. The advantage of Private health is being able to access treatment faster with the Doctor of my choice.

The other addition is because I am doing medical and complimentary it is really expensive. For example, I pay $110 for acupuncture each time and get $19 back from my fund (and only for 6 sessions). I need this treatment to cope with the chemotherapy, it has made such a difference for me so far, so we are paying for it.

I feel deeply for those who aren’t able to have this choice. Although we are doing it we are going backwards financially. I still need to keep the business running even though I am not working, so there are ongoing monthly expenses with no income. It is such a hard choice, health or finances?

I am angry that I am forced into this space or deciding what is the priority. But I realise this happens to people every single day……

We fall into that typical gap, we have private insurance, we have a mortgage, our kids are in private school, we pay maximum tax. We fall into that category that does not receive help and also pays the most tax.

Yes it is our choice to send our kids to a good school and to have a mortgage. I don’t know how other families do it when they earn less, don’t have insurance and are at the mercy of government help.

This is all too much for my poor toxic brain to comprehend; I need sleep. Puppy school first. It’s hard but helpful. We have a puppy that is a handful, that was not in the brochure. Lucky for her she is too cute. Now I fall into bed, I am praying for sleep.

 

Facing exhaustion head on

arguing BCI slept better, excellent start! Although I feel so empty, the tank is not only empty but there is both dust and cobwebs in there. I have nothing in my calendar or diary today so bed seems like an awesome option.

I am really fighting with myself.  I am craving carbs, I have noticed I do this whenever I feel so low in energy, it is such a hard thing to fight. I have no fight in me for a start so pasta, bread, sugar all of those wicked quick surge, bad for me foods are all I want :(

I have decided to just go with the flow during chemo, it is hard enough getting through each day without placing some unrealistic expectation on myself to eat things my body is repelling. I am eating well when I can and supplementing each day so I will get through it.  Funny it took me 3 months to work out I should just go with the flow.

So as you can imagine, today is not a great food day. I am self-medicating so to speak but not in a good way. The pain I have in my knees and hips is simply ridiculous. I don’t know what to do with myself.  I am craving comfort food like a puppy craves a warm hug.

I’m battling those horrid thoughts of metastases in my bones with the aching. I know it’s a head game, but gosh it’s hard.  Watching my Mum go through bone cancer, knowing I have the same disease, having such aching in my bones and joints, it really does mess with me.

I got a lovely heart lifting surprise today with a soft knock at the door waking me from a deep toxic sleep.  When I open my front door, there is a beautiful bunch of flowers from my 4N family. These guys are the best. 4N is a small business networking group I have been a member of for 12 months.  If you have never heard of them before check them out here.

I remember when I was first diagnosed I was called and asked what could they do? They offered to make phone calls, any paperwork, client calls. I was blown away. Apart from a few very close friends, no one else offered this and it meant so much to me.

In my efforts to be somewhat productive, I made a list of jobs I needed to get done. Funny, when I say needed, it is to fill this weird sense of showing my value.  I have already confessed to how bad I feel and that I am going wight he flow yet I am cleaning things????  Don’t worry if you are confused too join the club with me.

So today I cleaned the plastics / storage container cupboard and also the pots and pans cupboard.  Such a small job really, but so exhausting for me. I do feel better consciously for doing so but physically I am back on the mattress, nothing to give.

So after a rest, making dinner for the family, I am back in bed, exhausted needing sleep. I pray that I can sleep tonight and I am thankful, so thankful that tomorrow is a new day.

 

Happy birthday to me!!

bday photoSo today is my birthday, happy birthday to me. I had a broken sleep, the nausea is better, to the point where I can get to church, Yay!

We came home and I fell into bed, nausea is worse. One thing I have noticed is that when I get tired all of the symptoms get worse too. A fellow warrior taught me this. She said rest often because when you are tired everything is worse. She is right.

We went to movies this afternoon, it was the best compromise of doing something but not too exhausting. I am sooo sick. Someone offered me a malteser and it tasted so bad. Love the chemo metallic taste over all you eat. Serve me right shouldn’t be eating sugar anyways.

We came home and had dinner, Risotto and a gelato cake from Messina ( if you have not heard of this place check it out here ). The most amazing cakes I have ever tried, truly inspiring. I recommend them when not on chemo, for maximum benefit.  I got the magic mushroom cake – it was amazing.  Gentle on the way back up too.

I look at this picture now and think I look pretty ok, this is just before I lost dinner and my cake. Unfortunately for me, they both went straight through. Lost it from both ends so double whammy for me, happy birthday bonus! I do think however that my idea of having no expectations was much better for me. It is so tricky I know. How can anyone live up to the expectations of a mother who is no longer with me but is forever immortalised in my memories.  I do my birthday with the ghost of birthdays past both great ad awful :(

I missed my pain meds today to so my pain is at an all time high. My bones and joints aching beyond description. I have a headache, that is fuzzy and buzzing. It is as though the toxins are raging through every cell, which I suppose they are. I have this tremendous ache in my lower back, kidney area, my hips and knees are so sore, it’s almost unbearable. I dose up and head to bed, sleep please, I pray for unconsciousness. Birthday Smirthday, bah humbug.

Talks of Reconstruction begin

reconsrtuction imageI had a pretty awful sleep again, I was awake from 1am to 430am. How is a human meant to cope on so little sleep? Marc let me sleep in and then we saw the plastic surgeon together.

He said that we should be all good for reconstructive surgery in mid to late May. So 6 weeks after I finish chemo, I can have the other mastectomy and reconstruction can begin.  I am excited, but trepidations abound about further surgery. Just the idea of going backwards physically again makes me feel anxious. But I need to do it.

I cannot leave the other breast and wait for it to turn against me too. This happened with my Mum and my sister.  After cancer in one side it returned in the other a few years later.  I just cannot rest knowing this could be my future too.  I asked the surgeon for the simplest surgery possible, he recommended the implant surgery. One scar, 2.5 hour surgery. The expanders will be in for anywhere from 6-12 months. This is to expand the chest muscle and force me to grow more skin to accommodate an implant.

He says that with a recovery on track I may be able to return to work after August. That would be before the removal of the implants but he said the implant switch over with the expanders can be a day surgery if I like.

So much to consider, I am keen to try and get back to work asap, but also keeping in mind that a full recovery now is best. Being self employed has its bonuses but its complications also. I only get paid when I work and its hard to work reduced hours and make a good income. May need to rethink a few things about how I do business.

I am so tired today and also in a lot of pain. Nausea, heat, horrible indigestion are all I experience today. I get home and go back to bed. So much to consider, so many decisions, none of which need to me made today.

Time to rest my sweet, time to rest. Rest is thy best medicine.