Vacation and Indignities

This isn’t a real post…just a quick update because I haven’t posted for a while. To be honest, I haven’t had much that’s terribly interesting to write about. The last two weeks have been a series of naps punctuated by lake time, inappropriate shopping, work, and surgery (in that order). I took an excellent socially distant vacation at the cabin and spent a week on no particular timetable. The naps were serious. My radiation burns healed JUST in time, so the swimming was also serious. The company was fabulous. I wish we’d taken more than a week…I think there’s some truth to the idea that you don’t really leave work behind and fully recharge in a single week. Maybe next year.

All of the active breast cancer treatments ended in June with my last radiation session. Remember when I went to the ER in February (of course you don’t…I totally do, though) and the lovely paramedics warned me the radiation burns sucked the worst because one of them had gone through the same treatment a year before? They were not joking. Burns showed up a few days after my last treatment and made life hell for a good week or so. It’s such fun to cry in the shower and wish you could just take the skin off entirely because that MUST hurt less than the blisters and peeling. Gross AND stingy. Do not recommend.

But much like a bad sunburn, it healed eventually, and vacation happened, and last week I had surgery to take out my Chemo port. It was easy: in hospital at 0830, surgery at 1030, out of recovery and home about 1230. And now the weird triangle lump under the skin on my chest is gone. He even used the same incision so there’s no new scar, just the itchy dermabond he used instead of stitches.

FYI, my hot breast cancer surgeon is still hot. Even behind the mask. It’s only mildly awkward at this point: I mean, cancer is so woefully undignified all the way through…this is just another item on the list. It’s actually easier to assume I said something stupid while coming out of sedation, since I don’t remember and no one would ever tell me.

NOW it feels like things are really over: the hormone blocking pills are just another daily pill I take. I have a survivorship appointment after my birthday next month, and I likely will freak the hell out when it’s time for my first follow up mammogram. For now things are better. I suppose that means I need to process some of the psychological changes…but not today. I may have spent more money than usual on frivolous things to celebrate. I think the best is the giant 2 person hammock and stand I got for the back yard, which isn’t quite as awesome as a lake vacation but is still an excellent place to nap. I spent most of last Thursday and Friday doing exactly that.

Tomorrow is back to a regular week…and figuring out what the hell “normal” for me in this “cancer survivor” state actually means. So far I can say I have way less patience for selfish bullshit, and I feel time pressing with some urgency. A lot of urgency, honestly. Dear universe: I need to make up some time working after the last 9 months of cancer, I have a book to finish, and I have a class to learn Ancient Greek coming up this fall.

No more embarrassing pokes, prods, or hot uninterested surgeons for a while…ok?

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