To be quite honest, I’ve really had mostly “normal” days since Wednesday. This has been a wonderful Christmas gift. I’ve been able to enjoy my family. I have been able to eat a lot of the foods I really like at Christmas time minus my mother-in-law’s homemade millionaires. That might be a tragedy really. 🙂
The only “problems” I have had are with fatigue, tightness in my chest, and night sweats.
Fatigue has been around for awhile now. I’m getting used to it. I’m learning to take my short power naps in order to avoid getting restless leg syndrome. Rest is just a part of my life now. My days of running around like a crazy person are over; and to be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever return to the high pace, high stress lifestyle ever again. I’m not saying I won’t heal because I believe I will. God has just opened my eyes to the beauty of a more relaxed, less stressful life. I rather enjoy it. I think I found value in many of the wrong things before. Cancer is an awful wake up call, but in the middle of its awfulness are these beautiful moments when you are forced to slow down and really enjoy what matters most in life.
Breast reconstruction with expanders hasn’t been all that fun of a process. If this was the process every woman had to go through, I’m pretty sure there would be a lot less fake boobs in the world! My pectoral muscles are constantly being pulled, stretched and I’m sure micro fiber tears occur daily. I have these exercises I do every day in an attempt to regain my range of motion in both my arms. It’s been a month now, and I’m still not to 100% which is somewhat frustrating to me. The past few days there’s been an uncomfortable tightness in the front of my chest. It reminds me of the time I made it through 8 weeks of P90X. I would do literally hundreds of boy push-ups, band chin-ups, and band pull-ups over the course of a week. My chest was painful and tight then too, but I also was the strongest and had the best upper body definition I’d ever had. Now, I wake up and it’s as though all those muscles I spent the day stretching out have shrunk back to their original size while I was sleeping. It takes time each morning just to get my pectoral muscles warmed up and stretched out so I can start my day. If you workout your chest, you know your back muscles are your counter muscles. Well, my back muscles are sore too now. I think I need a physical therapist to hook me up with some exercises because I don’t know what I’m doing.
My newest issue with cancer has been night sweats. I’m not talking about sweating a little so you turn on the fan sweating either. I’m drenched in sweat by the time I wake up. I have to change clothes and switch blankets which is a pain when you are doing this three or more times a night. At first I thought my Addison’s was acting up since night sweats is one of my symptoms of it too, but after further investigation it seems as though the lack of estrogen in my body is probably what is really causing them. I’ve also read night sweats could be an early symptom of estrogen/progesterone fed breast cancer, so if you are a woman you might want to be aware of that. I did have them a little before I was diagnosed, but I blamed my Addison’s. Since I didn’t want to go back on my medicine, I ignored them. Yes, stupid but that’s how I used to roll.
In the grand scheme of things, these are really minor issues. I’m truly feeling so much better. I almost hate bringing up these things. Then I remember this might be being read by someone else who’s going through the same thing. I’ve learned knowing someone else has the same issues makes me feel a sense of relief. It takes away the anxiety of the unknown. Cancer and chemo comes with enough unknowns. If I help one person with their battle, then I know the time spent writing this wasn’t wasted.
I’m very thankful for these great days. It’s nice to know “normal” is within reach.
Thank you for all the prayers. God has been my source of inner strength. I survive each day knowing this is all just a part of a much greater plan, and it is good.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”