brca bullshit

Nine Week “Boobie”Versary

Last week my physical therapist hurt me so badly (on Friday) that she wanted me to go to the ER. She saw the spasms, she saw the pain and for ONCE someone with any power could advocate for me.

She called my Dr. C & Dr. Ch and forced them to talk to one another. She described the pain and the scene and the crying — and Dr. C immediately took that to mean that the problem was psychological.

SO, after a very nice visit with Dr. M to assure everyone that I’m perfectly happy and doing better than ever before, everyone now believes that I am in pain. Hallelujah.

Dr. Ch has started trigger point injections using lidocaine and toridol (my old friend the liquid ibuprofen) and at first I was skeptical and didn’t feel any different… but then I did. My right side I just a little less… sore? achey? Dr. M increased my dosage of Gabapenten, so that could be helping too, but I can’t seem to induce a spasm in my right breast. Even if this is all I get out of it, I’m in. He won’t touch my left side until I’ve had it looked at by another plastic surgeon and gave me a referral. I’m really hoping he’s “in network”!

Also, J and I heard about the house and I’m really hoping my terrible credit score doesn’t hold us back. That would be really sad. Apparently J didn’t show up on the credit report, so we gave him our copies of the ones we got off line (free credit is NOT FREE!), so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. We would be doing this guy a FAVOR taking over a shitty place like this, but he’s insisting on being an asshole. Ugh. I’m stressed about it, and stress is not good for me!

brca bullshit

Eight Week “Boobie” Versary

Today was my first *real* physical therapy session, and it was amazing. Like…the most painful massage in the world, but I felt looser and I learned a lot, which are two good goals.

That is… until I woke up the next morning and couldn’t move. Everything was right back to the way that it was while on the patch and I was MISERABLE. Plus, the physical therapy place keeps screwing up my appointments, and I’m having what leave I have earned slowly dripping away.

I hate this. I hate 100% of this, and sometimes I question whether I doing this to myself was a mistake. Everyone who’s been through chemo and radiation and much worse pain would scoff at my selfishness… but in some ways, I imagine my pain compares some to their own.

Work is, however, getting better and while my boss and I are at odds over leave and hours, she’s trying to be flexible with me and has noticed the EXTREME improvement in my work – both ethic and productivity. This is a pace I’m not sure I can keep up, but at least I’m not staring at the wall anymore.

brca bullshit

Seven Week “Boobie” Versary

Finally getting my way!

After 4 weeks of my breast care navigator (A) “trying” to get me an appointment, my BS had her main nurse (C) get me one for the very next day. A’s response: “I wish I could be as tenacious as C”. What the fuck does she think her job is?

Also, Dr. Ch has finally relented and let me go back to vicodin and valium (and gabapentin at night – yay!), and I can manage the pain much better this way (although I have to take lower doses at work…).

In an attempt to be social, on Saturday we went to visit J’s friends (originally from OH) that live in Reston (about 25-30min from my house). The saddest part was realizing that I couldn’t hold the baby because he was too heavy and I was afraid I’d drop him! Still the older boy (just about 2) was very gentle with me and kept pointing to me and saying “Mommy?” and I’d have to repeat “Not yet, little one, but sometime soon I hope!” making J all blush-y and cute.

A nice surprise was that when we got home, the whole house was cleaned from top to bottom by my awesome Mom and Dad. What a wonderful gift, and one that really helped me feel a little bit better about still feeling bad. We all went out to Rockland’s BBQ afterwards and it was a really great time.

The next day J had his softball game at a new field (Potomac Park) and we had to walk 1/2 a mile just from where we parked… then on the way back we had to stop and walk through the MLK memorial (which is beautiful, but c’mon, ladies, asking me to walk that far with the girls just a-bouncin’ away is asking just a little too much)!

[EDIT: At least the Orioles are playing awesomely!]

brca bullshit

Six Week “Boobie” Versary

Pain is all there is. I go to work like a zombie and just pray I can make it home … at which point I don’t eat and I just lay in bed and hug my brookstone nap pillow (to which I was going to link but apparently they don’t make them anymore?) I’m really glad I have my Mom’s larger one and the smaller one that my “family away from family” bought for me… I’d be sad to hear they discontinued the line, because they bring so much comfort and conformity.

Week 3 on the Butrans patch and I am miserable. I’m taking Vicodin on top of it, have constant muscle spasms and still have not been able to get approval from insurance for PT. In general, I’m feeling tired and weak and work is getting harder and harder to drag myself to…but since I have no leave, I have no choice.

Now if I could just rev up my hormones enough to keep J happy once and a while… How do you ladies handle sex when you’re so tired and sore?


brca bullshit

Five Week “Boobie”versary

I can’t believe it’s been five weeks already.

More importantly, I can’t believe I still feel this awful after 5 weeks.

I know everyone was hoping I’d be feeling better, but apparently most people were expecting that I would be feeling better by now…and thus, they are frustrated with me, and I am frustrated with myself and around and around it goes.

I started week 2 of the Butrans pain patch last night after spending most of day 7 with the week 1 patch in complete agony. My back was on fire an both breasts felt heavy and sore and, well, damaged…it was like week 2 and 3 all over again! I put the new patch on (and promptly was covered in a rash all over the arm where patch 1 was…) and took Vicodin and Valium and went to bed.

I’m supposed to smile and pretend that I’m recovering and moving on with my life and that things are getting better, but really, I’m in constant pain, and my brain feels like Swiss Cheese. I can’t blame chemo…I can’t blame old age…but my memory is just…gone. Slowly I’m accomplishing tasks and checking off items on my list, but it’s taking forever-way too long, and thus, the frustration.

Also, as a side note,…who the fuck can get themselves and their necessary items to work and back without carrying more than 5lbs?! My CATS weigh more than 5lbs! I really have tried, but that is not a realistic expectation for patients who have to go back to work. Especially if that patient works in IT.


Bright Side:
My pain management doctor (Dr Ch) responds to emails on Saturdays and is constantly on top of things, offering suggestions to lessen the pain, unlike any of the doctors who were involved in the actual surgery. I would recommend him to anyone…when I see his emails checking in with me, I instantly feel heard and not ignored. Other than him, I’m done with all doctors associated with this surgery…although I’m not looking forward to finding new ones.

AND, my poor wonderful boyfriend (and wonderful parents!) continues to be supportive, and I believe with all my heart that he is the man I want to marry and spend the rest of my life with — even a few days apart from him make me so sad, and after that initial 3-month “honeymoon” period (which was so rushed because of the surgery, the poor man), he’s settled into a less physical and more loving, supporting role. I’m so grateful that a) he came back into my life b) he wasn’t scared away by the intense pace of all the crazy pre-surgery nonsense (family meet-and-greets, etc.) and c) that he is a “doer” – he just can’t sit and be lazy like I do, so he encourages me to be a tiny bit more productive and a tiny bit less “I’ll get to it tomorrow”. I’m sorry for the mush, but he’s just so amazingly wonderful that he balances out my complete and utter miserableness regarding the pain and the lack of energy.

[EDIT: I won my court case against my former employer for *ahem* a lot of money]