Monday, May 25, 2009
While I was lying on the hateful sofa, waiting to feel better, I told myself that I would be grateful when I could move again. In fact, I think I committed myself to that gratitude, in writing, right here on this blog. I remember reading a posting on http://www.breastcancer.org/ by a woman who had a mastectomy a few weeks before I did. She wrote, "I go for hours without even thinking about the tissue expander, now." At the time, I thought, "No way! I will never be where she is!" (with accompanying tears and tiresome snuffling). Now, I go for hours without even thinking about it, either.
Sometimes it aches. Sometimes it prickles. Sometimes it stabs me so hard I see spots before my eyes and have to stop in my tracks until it stops. However, I haven't needed even an Ibuprofen in weeks. It is numb. It is ugly as hell. In the mornings when I dress, the kids watch with horrified fascination. "Sorry, Mom," Sara giggles, "but it just SO FREAKY!" "And good morning to you too, my little darlings." I still don't have full range of motion. If I lie flat on my back, I can't spread-eagle my arms for some reason. There are still a few surprising little things I can't do. You know that movement you make when you open a child-proof cap, ream a lemon, uncap a beer? BUT I CAN... weed my garden, make a bed, fasten my seat belt (which took a while), lift weights (with some kind of bizarre modifications), run 3.5 miles, take a short hike.
I went on a first little hike with the kids and my friend Robert the other day. I didn't even think about what I was doing until Sara asked me if I was feeling all right. I was. And today was kind of a big deal, because Simon and the kids and I went for a hike together for the first time since Si blew his knee last year. Just a short hike on the super-easy Pipeline Trail, but enough for Si to see that his quad could generally handle uphill and downhill. A good day, considering I thought for a while in January that they were going to amputate his foot. Rejoicing in the house of Diggins.
It is so easy when you are flat on your back to say, "When I am better, I will be grateful for simple things, like health, activity, whatever." The trick is to stay grateful. Right now, it's still pretty easy. I run along thinking, "I'm tired! Whew, am I tired! Oh, but grateful! I LOVE being out of breath! I LOVE sweat!" This will not last. Two of my better traits, adaptability and resilience, will work against me. With these qualities, I take things in, assimilate them and move on. So I'll be whining at suburban minutiae again shortly.
I still have some things to figure out. When will I have my next surgery and what will it be like? Will it depress me to be sent back to the sofa? Or will I handle it better now that I have seen that there really is a recovery out there somewhere? What do I think of the word "cured"? What about "survivor"? Both of those words make me pause these days. If I'm so resilient, where do I put this whole experience? Do I click on "close", so to speak? Or on "minimize?" What do I do about my occasional bouts of self pity and absorption, given the fact that my good friend E. is dealing with a far more difficult breast cancer diagnosis and treatment regimen?
Ooooh. Sounds boring. That kind of navel-gazing had better be interspersed with plenty of social gaffes, rants, kitchen failures and dicey parenting, yes? No unicorns, I swear.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
I figured it was one of the usual bits of kid-jetsam: a bead, a Lego, a ball bearing, a Runt. Whatever. I let it go and figured I'd find it later when I was sweeping. Or it's under the bookcase, which means it's just gone forever.
It did not occur to me that it could be something VALUABLE until I looked down at myself while changing and noticed that the twist-top had come off my piercing.
I was getting tired of the little barbell I wear in my navel. It has been the same one since I got the piercing back in the mid-life crisis of '03. I was thinking that I would buy something new...blue maybe. Or green. It has held on tight all these years, but I had to take it out multiple times in the last few weeks: MRI, both surgeries... Si has to put it back in for me, and maybe he didn't tighten it quite enough. I am bummed because:
- I'm a cheapskate. It was just a fake sparkly stone in it, but the barbell cost me about $40.
- Koi, the piercing place, doesn't open until 10:00 and it isn't near work. Waiting around for it to open tomorrow will suck - I have a lot of work waiting for me.
- Yeah, I wanted a new one; but it would have been nice to have two, you know...to have a choice...
I hunted for the little thingy, without luck. I offered $5 to the child who could find it. Nope. I don't really have time to go to Koi tomorrow, but if the barbell drops out entirely, I will have to be quick before the hole closes. I spent the day trying to keep the barbell in. Maybe my waistband would be enough... No, it started hurting and when I checked on the piercing, it had almost fallen out. You know when you lose an earring-back and you put a little piece of eraser back there? That doesn't work on your navel. Neither does tape. Then I tried chewing a little gum and sticking some gum on the end. In order to deal with the stickiness of that, I put a Band-aid over the whole thing. It dropped out while I was washing dishes tonight. Booger. Now I will have to go to Koi tomorrow. I suppose, too, that I have a gum-filled and Band-Aid-covered navel to deal with.