Monday, March 24, 2008

quick update on the doc's appointment

Well, I forgot my paper with my questions, so I didn't remember to ask them all.

I wear sunscreen on all uncovered parts whenever I leave the house. Today, I am wearing short sleeves, so I put sunscreen on my arms before leaving work. By the time I got to the doc's, my right arm was sunburned. That kinda answered the sun question. I asked anyway, and he said that it would be best if I wore long sleeves. "Indefinitely?" "For a while." I'm not sure how long that is, and I didn't inquire. So I'm going now to look for one or two long-sleeved shirts (one definitely in white) that I can wear over my short sleeves when I'm outside.

I've been having the weird skin sensitivity lately, like I had during chemo. It's not nearly as bad, but it is noticeable. I asked about that, and he said that he wasn't concerned about it. (The doc's answers aren't great for those of us who like to know "why" -- he's just answering from a "should I be concerned" perspective.)

He listened to my lungs without my request, and he said nothing about them, so I assume they are fine. If I continue to have the same problem with exercising, I'll call.

The swollen node is about the same - everyone agrees - so no action necessary at this time. I should call right away if I notice a change for the worse (no kidding!!).

And I'll have another PET scan 3 months from the previous, so that will be mid-to-late May, the year-mark of when this all started. The end of the school year approaching is raising a bit of anxiety in me. Funny, since the point in the school year had nothing to do with everything that happened. Ahhh, associations.

So that's where it's at right now.

every now and then, it taps me on the shoulder...

It’s all kind of surreal.

It’s different than denial.

I mean, I know I had cancer.

I remember a lot of it more clearly than I would like to.

Yet it still doesn’t feel real, somehow.

I had an appointment at the radiologist’s this morning, to check on my swollen node. It’s still swollen, but it’s about the same as its been all along. (It was kind of annoying, actually. From the time I got out of my car to the time I got back in was 15 minutes. I could have just called and said, “Yep, I’ve been checking it every day, and it’s still the same.”)

I noticed on my way in and out that the paintings we did at the Day of Art are framed and hanging in the hallway. I could see mine. Mine was a tribute to all of the people who carried me through the journey: medical staff, husband, friends, family. It is not a fabulous painting, but it says what I wanted it to say.

Seeing it made me want to cry. Writing about it makes me want to cry. I can’t entirely pinpoint why, either.

I went running Saturday late afternoon. It was easily the hottest it’s been for an outdoor run for me since before diagnosis, and the sun, while low, was still up. I did my usual 2-mile (my house up to Baseline and back), which I’ve been able to run without walking for quite some time now.

I couldn’t run it.

I ran all the way to Baseline and did a combination walk/run the whole way back. The whole second mile. I was completely out of breath and tired. (Legs felt OK.)

This funky incident (which was most likely a result of me not being used to the weather), had me in tears by the time I cooled down. I was out of breath, which is a problem I haven’t had, which *must* mean there’s something wrong, which *must* mean that the long-dead cancer is causing problems.


I wonder if this paranoia ever goes away. I don’t like it.

Well, in any case, I have an appointment with the oncologist this afternoon. Questions I have:

- when do the side effects of the chemo wear off once and for good?
- I love being outside in the sun. As long as I wear sunscreen vigilantly, is the sun something I need to avoid? Are clothes sufficient barriers, or do I need more sunscreen than I thought?
- is the restriction on hot tubs, hot showers, massages, etc. permanent, or was that just during treatment?
- the funky blue veins in my chest are still visible, and the area inside my left collar bone is still slightly swollen. Shouldn’t that have gone away by now?
- please listen to my lungs – I had some issues when I was running over the weekend.


Yeah, if you have the opportunity to miss sharing this adventure, that would be a good thing.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

update on the node

the swollen lymph node (from however long ago) is still swollen but barely. i can still find it 'cause i know where to look, but i wouldn't find it by accident like i did before. i am assuming this is a good sign and that we needn't worry about it any more :)

docs' appointments on the 24th (one in the a.m., one in the p.m.), so i'll have confirmation by then.

Monday, March 3, 2008

the hair project 3-3-08

Well ... I took my digital camera to school last week and left it there over the weekend, so this month's picture is a couple of days late... Anyway, this is what it's looking like these days. The style is gel-free, though sometimes it needs gel. Don't know why.