Saturday, February 28, 2009
I snapped this picture yesterday, it's on of the hanging decorations on my porch awning. We had freezing rain the night before. Today it is sunny, but still cold.
I was feeling blue last night, thinking about an old friendship lost. It was someone I had been friends with for about 15 years before my first cancer diagnosis. At first she was there for me, but then I started avoiding her when instead of positive support, she was dwelling on all the negative aspects of my disease. I think what finally made me realize that the friendship wasn't health any more was the day I completed the radiation treatments to my hip in May 2007. At that time, I was very tired and worn out, so my parents were driving me to my treatments and back. On that last day, they weren't able to wait to drive me home, because my dad had a doctor appointment that was out of town, so my friend, (I won't use her real name here, I'll just call her "Sally" for the purposes of this blog,) offered to pick me up.
It was long 4-5 weeks of treatment for me, fighting fatigue and nausea most of those days. It was only a 15-20 minute drive to the treatment center, but it still felt like a struggle to me, to get myself ready to go and have to cope with carsickness at times, but I made it through to the end. After my last treatment, the nurse gave me a certificate and a really nice mug with a saying about hope on it. I felt so good walking out of there, like I had just won a battle, and felt like I was walking on clouds on my way out. But then Sally had to start talking about how the radiation is no garantee that the cancer wouldn't come back, that it could still kill me. That made me feel just like a little kid whose balloon had just been popped; I didn't say much on the ride back home, it was all I could do to hold back my tears til I was back in my house.
I already know about the uncertainties and the possibility that one day my current treatments may quit working, I don't need to be reminded of that from other people, especially if it's a day I am feeling good and full of hope. It was that day that I gradually quit calling her and finding excuses not to see her.
I still talked to her via email for awhile, and I included her in my updates I sent out to close friends and family about my health condition, and other family news. She stopped responding to those eventually, and I don't know why. I know she had internet, because she has 2 kids still living at home and they are on Facebook and other sites. The last email I sent her was in November, when I let her know of my decision to quit working and go on disability. Still no response.
I had thought I put all this behind me, and moved on, but for some reason, it started bothering me a lot last week. I don't even know what triggered it. She hurt me, but I know I am probably partly to blame too. But I decided today, that I am not going to beat myself up over it, or keep analyzing it. If her choice is no longer be part of my life, so be it. I can't control who likes me and who doesn't, but I can control how I react to it. I still have friends who I know are my true friends, through the good and bad times that I can count on. I don't hate Sally, or dislike her, just some of her actions. But it's time to accept that she is no longer in my life. If we are meant to be friends again someday, God will lead us back to each other.
It's really true what they say about having a serious disease, such as cancer; you really do find out who your friends are.
To end this on a positive note, my pain is still at a very tolerable level, not really any change from yesterday, but still much better than before I had the nerve block, and my knee is not hurting today either. I'm not healed yet, I know it will take some time, but I feel things are at last moving in the right direction for that.
I made plans to get together for lunch on Thursday with a few friends from my former workplace, looking forward to that.
I also cleaned out and organized a couple more cupboards this morning. I still have a cupboard full of plastic storage dishes to sort out and organize neatly, and I need to straighten out the cupboard under the island where I keep my pots and pans, but since they are low cupboards, they will have to wait until my hip is healed more and it's easier to bend.
Friday, February 27, 2009
We had rain all night and into very early this morning. It turned colder and then we had some freezing rain. Almost all the schools in the area were closed today. The sun is out now, but the wind is keeping it very cold. The sun is melting the ice on the pavement though.
I'm feeling my hip pain a little more than I did yesterday, but it's still much less pain than I had before the nerve block injection. I had to take a couple of pain pills, at 4pm and 7:30pm yesterday, and I took one when I got up today. I know it's going to take time for my nerve to heal. If the damage occurred during my radiation treatment, that was two years ago, so that's been quite a long time, so I am not expecting it to heal up overnight. Most of the pain is right around the hip, not through my whole leg, so that itself is a big improvement.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
It's now almost 1pm. So far today, I am feeling a lot better than I have in a long time. The pain is still there, but more like a mild ache, not nearly as intense as it was before.
It was almost 40°F when I went out for the mail. I also got my garbage ready for the pickup tomorrow, and refilled my bird feeders. All this involved walking up and down the steps of my porch, so the fact that I am not terribly sore now I think is a sign that the nerve block is starting to work. We are supposed to start getting rain around dinnertime tonight, and freezing rain tomorrow, so I'm glad I had a good day today to get feeders filled. I have the noticed that the stormiest of days seems to be when I have the most birds using them, much to the delight of my cats watching them through the windows, lol!
I also cleaned out two kitchen drawers; my cutlery drawer and kitchen gadget drawer. It was getting hard to find what I needed in both of them, so I took everything out, and only put back in the things I use at least a few times per month. The rest I'll sort out later, the things I want to keep, I'll put in a plastic tote and store them in a closet. I have a few duplicates of things too, for some reason I have 3 corkscrews, and I am not even a wine drinker! I have probably used a corkscrew just 1 time in the past 10 years. I'll keep one and store it away, and give the other two to Goodwill. I also put a small plastic basket in one drawer for all my measuring stuff; the measuring cups and spoons, so that will make it much easier when I'm cooking or baking to have all those things together in one spot and not have to dig around for what I need.
I think it's a little too soon yet to try exercising again, but I am going to try to find more things to do around my house that aren't "sit down" jobs. I think part of the soreness I'm feeling now is just from not using those muscles much in the last few months. I know when I do start my walking and workouts again, I'm going to have to start out slowly and carefully.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I took one of my Darvocet, so my pain level was tolerable when I went to bed last night. My hot flashes were more intense than usual though, I kind of wonder if they were aggravated by the nerve block or the numbing agent used. I had to get up around 3:30am to use the bathroom, by then most of the numbness was gone from my knee and I didn't have any problems with walking.
I slept til almost 10am, felt pretty good despite waking up a few times during the night. My hip is still hurting, but a little less intensely than before, and most of the pain is where I had the injection. My knee hurts, but I can walk normally with it. I think most of my pain today is the flare up of pain I was told to expect for 2-5 days after the injection. I'm still taking it easy today. I did a couple of loads of laundry, but my house is all one floor, so it didn't involve going up and down stairs to do it, otherwise, I wouldn't have tried that today.
I know it's too soon to know for sure that the nerve block is going to work, but I am trying to maintain a positive attitude that it will.
I got the new mattress pad today that I ordered online. My old one was filled with feathers and had become quite flattened out. This one has more like a poly stuffing, and it's very cushy and soft! I put it on the bed, and while I am not wishing the day away, I am looking forward to sleeping on it tonight. Right now my cat Kallie is enjoying a nap on the bed, lol.
I have my chicken for my dinner tonight marinating in the refrigerator. I'll have some frozen veggies with it and a salad. After just eating a frozen Healthy Choice dinner last night, I'm looking forward to a "real meal".
It is snowing out now, big fluffy flakes. I am so tired of winter, but it's hard to hate the snow when it is looking so pretty coming down. We also have another winter storm coming for Friday, freezing rain is expected with this one.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Today was my first appointment with Dr. Basch, my pain specialist, since I had the EMG done two weeks ago by Dr. Lado.
Dr. Basch believes my pain is probably coming from scar tissue on the femoral nerve, and that scar tissue is a result of the radiation I had on my hip in 2007. He tried a nerve block on it today, and he may have Dr. Lado do another EMG to pinpoint the exact spot in the nerve where the pain is coming from. And even though I didn't want to resort to using pain pills, I asked about them today, so he gave me a prescription for Darvocet.
The nerve block really numbed my knee, which is a good sign, it means the injection went where it was supposed to go. However, it takes 12-24 hours for the numbness to go away. I had no feeling in my knee and it took the nurse and my mom to help me out to the car. My mom had to help me up the steps into my house too. I got to the bathroom by myself, but I nearly fell when I tried to sit down on the toilet. I caught myself though; if I ever have to make that call for "Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!" I don't want it to be with my pants around my ankles, lol!
I still had my appointment later in the afternoon to get my blood drawn for my oncologist, so Mom stayed and had lunch at my house, then she helped down the steps again and into the car, out of the car and into the doctors office, then did the whole thing over again to get me back home.
I can walk ok now if I take it slow, I am ok if I have to bend as long as I don't have to bend the left knee. Bless my mom, I'm so thankful for her; she cleaned out the kitty litter box, and put their food and water bowls up so I can feed them tonight without having to bend over.
The injection in the front of the leg, about where the leg bends when sitting; that is starting to hurt a bit more now, and it looks like I'll have a pretty good bruise there. I was told I could use ice on it though, which I will get out of the freezer next time I'm out of my chair.
It really made me stop and think though, how thankful I am to have to have two good legs despite the pain I've had lately; even on the days with the worst pain, I could still walk and know my legs would hold me up, and not give a second thought to getting up and down.
I am going to take it easy the rest of the night, and stay off my feet as much as I can. I had planned on baking chicken for dinner, but that will wait another day. With my leg still being wobbly I don't think it would be wise to try to get a hot dish out of the oven. Thankfully, I have a few Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice dinners in the freezer for times like this. I did get the marinade made for my chicken though, it was only a few ingredients, and all I have to do tomorrow is stick it in the oven. It's a recipe I've used before and liked, the marinade is made out of yogurt, lemon juice, coriander and curry powder.
My next appointment at the pain clinic is March 17th; St. Patrick's Day, so maybe I'll have the luck of the Irish on my side!
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