Monday, August 22, 2011

Signals from the universe

Is it a coincidence or a sign from the universe that I've misplaced my razor blades one day prior to starting Chemo?

I took a nice hot bath last night (without soaking my port) and realized that I've been a bit lacking in the personal hygiene department since my ordeal began. This is partly out of requirements (can't get any of the damn incisions wet for several days).  Another obstacle to maintaining my previous high standards is discomfort from my procedures - things that they don't tell you in any of the books they give you to manage your 'cancer journey'.

My left armpit is still numb from my sentinel node surgery, though I think the nerves are starting to come back and my range of motion for the left side is getting better - thanks to regular yoga stretches in the evenings -MY choice of physical therapy.   Envision getting a cavity filled at the dentist, and that weird rubbery feeling your lip has afterwards from the Novocaine.  Now imagine this weird numbness is in a crevice you can't quite see clearly, and that you are going to put a razor blade against the surface and shave by feel!

By circumstances though, this hasn't been too much of a problem, since I've been pretty much banned from the pool and hot tub since the end of July.  First by post-surgical rules, then by the fact that I don't have an appropriate swim top for my post-mastectomy figure.  Additionally, once Chemo starts, dangers from bacteria and micro-organisms in the water can threaten my weakened immune system.  Who knew??!  I may risk it on good days, just for the soothing effects of the hot tub that we spent all the money this past winter to get going again. Motivation to keep the tub sanitized and balanced.

Ok, I'm sidetracking myself.  There are other things I planned to write about today.  I do find it interesting the small things we take for granted prior to something like this- the simple act of shaving my armpits turns into life or death struggle.  (well, maybe not life or death, but certainly, a more risky endeavor than it had been previously.)

Sweet Fridge Pickled cukes and onions,
waiting for brine. compliments of "TASTY"
I woke up this morning definitely feeling the after-effects of my short burst of pre-Chemo nesting. Sore, achey and rumbly in the tummy.   Hubby made a fabulous Garlic Scapes pesto he found online at which brilliantly used up our surplus of scapes we've had taking up precious fridge space for a month now.  However, as Connor pointed out this morning, he can STILL taste the garlic, and I was having intestinal discomfort this morning similar to garlic gustational experiences I had when I was pregnant.

Another interesting life changing event -pregnancy -where I'm finding some parallels (albeit, I much prefer the outcome of the former). Your body goes through physical changes beyond your control and your hormones go crazy and your lose your mind (quite literally).  I ate garlic in almost everything pre-pregnancy. Then, sometime during those 9 months, my body turned against it, and I've had to cut back to virtually none.  When I do cook with it, I usually 1/2 the amount, versus doubling prior. Dinner was delicious last night: Cheese Tortellini in garlic scape pesto with caramelized onions, summer squash and smoked ham.  I woke up remembering why I need to watch my garlic and onion consumption but also with a strong desire to make some ginger syrup today in case I need it in the days to come.

A quick search online took me to a cocktails blog (must bookmark that for sometime in the FAR distant future) that contained what looks like a simple and quick ginger syrup.  I already have the soda stream, carbonated water maker, so that means home-made ginger ale!   Here is the link for the syrup if you are interested

I know that I am getting anti-nausea medications in my IV prior to starting my chemo, but even still, my girl K,  another Fighter in Maine, told me she was still nauseous several days after.  I'm starting to get concerned about my social schedule I have booked for the week - I planned it before I had my treatment schedule.
Lacinato Blue Kale growing on the
north side of the Beans

Tomorrow, my former ayurvedic nutritionist from real food wellness is coming to visit me at my home! I'm so excited to see her, it's been over a year I'm thinking since we last met, though I've talked with her via email.  I 'bribed' her out to Lowell with promises of Kale and some leftover sun-dried tomatoes from last year.  (She maintains she would have come out regardless of the booty).

Then, later tomorrow evening, I'm supposed to go to a Thirty-One party hosted by a friend of mine.  I love the products (who DOESN'T need bags?)  Plus I promised to book a party of my own off her event. and I've found some NEW items in the fall catalog I just must own - to aid me in my chemotherapy, of course!

This weekend, there is Djam at the Globe in post-40th birthday night out.  I'm so worried that I will not be up for it. I will promise myself to be extra good to myself this week to save up the energy to be able to enjoy the party.  It is a bellydance hafla and concert by Djinn, Beatbox Guitar and and the bellydance performance troupe,  Bellyqueen.  I'm so excited they are coming to MI!  They are from NYC and I feel like this is a dream come true that I get to see them right at this point in my life.

Wow, no wonder I'm exhausted, just mentally going through this week is making me tired!  And I STILL haven't gotten to the important stuff I REALLY wanted to blog about today!

I went back to my Yoga mat this morning.  This seemingly small event really is a milestone. My first REAL practice since the day before my mastectomy.  I've been feeling like it's time I started working on that list of things that I wanted to do while I was on a break from work.  The stuff in my life I deemed important when I was evaluating how my life was going to change as a result of my practice.  I've let some of that slip in the post surgical recovery, and I need to realize that it's ok for me to rest when I need to.  But it's also important to keep moving forward, when I'm ready, to enable me to come back to the land of the living, and a life post-cancer treatment.  The list was not complicated, but somehow I've managed to slip into some old habits that aren't super good for me.  Getting up to the mat today showed me that I can still do my practice, even if I have to modify yet again, to accommodate the chemo port and the hot water bottle in my chest.

I'm sure that I will need to continue to modify once my chemo starts.  I don't know at this point if I will be able to even get out of bed tomorrow, much less get out of bed and on the mat.  I will have to take that one day at a time.  Knowing that it is waiting for me needs to be a comfort and not a nagging.  It will be there for me when I am ready to take the next steps.

Right now, though, I need to go make some ginger syrup!  My chemo starts at 3, which gives me about 2.5 hours to get ready for it because who knows what will happen tomorrow?


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