Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tomorrow - A Visit to the Dreaded Cancer Centre

I love this ginormous piece of art in the Arts building on campus. I walked past it today and since there weren't many people around to interrupt my view, I took a quick photo of it. I should know the artist's name, shouldn't I. My bad. I think I knew it and have since forgotten and while I think I could hazard a guess, I don't want to do that. I'll check.

While it's always nice to have a long weekend, I find I really NEED them in a way I didn't before. That extra day makes all the difference in the world to my feeling not so rushed and panic-stricken like I usually do over a weekend. Mom was with us last week and we (that would the royal "WE") made good progress on our project. We had Acton family dinner at Don and Syl's on Sunday with Uncle Reg joining all of us. It was very nice to see him. Syl put together a fabulous meal for us all with some pretty desserts.

It was great to follow Luke's 2nd season game on Saturday. They won easily against Detroit Mercy. Kevin was able to watch the game online while I was getting ready for the Norwex event.  He would tell me what was going on and every now and then I would run over to my laptop and check the live stats.  Luke had a good game and got a few points.  They play a tougher team this Sunday in Delaware.

Have you all noticed that I don't cry so much these days? I'm not nearly so close to tears as I was for what seemed like a very long time - 2 years. Two years of being afraid of crying at the most inappropriate moments. I still felt vulnerable this past December and dreaded anything that took me out of my comfort zone. It probably didn't help that I was so wiped in December and through most of January. It amazes me how strong I feel right now and how less weepy I am. What a relief to be able to better trust my emotional stability! It might seem silly but I'm quite sure that part of my feeling more stable has something to do with my having hair that could ... on a good day ... be mistaken for a style of choice. How ridiculous is that?! But it matters. It makes a difference to how confident I feel in my job and just generally being out and about in the world. Strange. Hair.

Tomorrow I go to the Cancer Centre (ICK!) for blood work and to meet with my oncologist. I have a few questions, one about the invisible bruises I seem to be getting this past week. They feel just like big bruises but there's not a mark to be seen. First the one on my head, which subsided after I started taking the antiviral but I still can't say it was for sure shingles. Maybe the soreness would have subsided anyway. And then the pain over my ribs started and it's still quite sore despite my taking antiviral drugs. Again, I can't say for sure that it's shingles because my skin looks completely normal there. And then it felt like I had a big bruise on my hip. Again - invisible but quite sore. The soreness of that one is almost entirely gone now. Strange. I doubt I'll get an answer about those pains. I've learned to accept that there are a lot of things I'll just never have answers about. At first that freaked me out but with all the research I've done, I've really learned that there's just so much that isn't known or that is set aside as being low on the totem pole of importance in the world of cancer research. For instance, they are only just now starting to really look at lympedema as being serious enough to warrant research and they're just now exploring adjustments to breast cancer treatments that might minimize the risk of getting lymphedema. It's so shocking to me that this hasn't already been taken more into account but I guess since lymphedema is more of a "quality of life" issue than "life vs death", it like so many other side effects has been largely ignored. All that to say, I don't expect satisfactory answers to some of my questions.

I do hope my blood work shows improved levels in several categories that were either below normal or at the very low end of normal. Wish me luck!
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