Monday, February 16, 2009

Guinea Pigs

Life is going well for both Vic and I. Vic was the guinea pig today . . .he went for acupuncture on his elbow.

His elbow has given him pain off and on over the past 5 years. Cortisone shots and physical therapy have not cured it, only helped alleviate the pain for a little while. Next step was surgery for him. So, me in my brighter moment said, "Hey honey, why don't you try acupuncture? I have a recommendation for a acupuncturist from one of the ladies at work". What I really meant was, "Hey honey! Why don't you go have acupuncture first and tell me how bad it hurts. THEN, I'll decide if I want to go myself." I'm such a loving wife.

Actually, Vic isn't bother by needles but I am. I can get the pass-out feeling just thinking about it. The port flush this past Thursday hurt like the dickens and, yes, I had to sit afterwards because the room was turning a little white. I had the usual chest discomfort and ended up with some bruising around the port area. We figured out that during chemo, I was never bothered by the needle going into the chest because they had me so gorped up on meds that made me sleepy and calm.

It was good to see the oncology nurses and give them a big hugs. One asked me when I was going to have my port out, which I answered, "As soon as I get up the nerve to do so. Dr. W. wants to take it out in her office and I can't get over the idea that I won't be anesthetized and that I knife will be close to my ear cutting my skin." I'm so dramatic. Nurse MaryAnn told me that it was real easy . . they would numb like they do for the port flush, open up the skin at the same surgical site and do two snips to remove it. I'm assuming she meant that the two snips are to whatever is holding the port in place. Whatever, it's still opening up my skin and me being aware. Vic wonders how they close the hole in the artery that has the tubing in it. I don't want to know. . let him keep wondering.

Fatigue/tiredness is lessening, which I'm so grateful. I want to get out walking on part of my lunch hour to help with the fatigue, but the toenails and toes are saying otherwise. I am going to lose one toenail for sure and possibly 3 others.

I've tried a variety of shoes just for the office to find one that is less uncomfortable. Heels or slight heels are out, as well as any pointy shoe. What feels good is to wear my clogs to work. Then take them off and run around the office in my socks. Not very professional, for sure.

The radiated skin is giving me a little trouble. It is still pink sunburned color, itchy and has itchy bumps on the top of the breast and chest. I have a sore underneath the breast that I've put different salves and ointments on to heal, but no luck. Putting on a bra is rather uncomfortable. The skin on the side and part of the arm pit is brown. My first tan in a long time! Woo hoo!!

We had a nice dinner last night for my grandson's 15th birthday. It's hard to believe that our sweet little boy talks with a deeper voice and is one year from driving. Where has the time gone? He still smirks at my bald head, so teenager of him.

Looks like Seattle will have some sunshine this week. My goal is to get out in it for a bit on my lunch . . and even try to do some walking - burning toes and all. I so want to get on with getting healthy and consistent in diet and exercise.

Hope all is well with you and that you are finding many gratitude moments.



  1. Thanks for the update - I was wondering how you were feeling.

    Have you tried aloe on your skin? The kind from the plant? Not the bottled kind since it has perfumes in it.

    My nurses gave me some kind of "moo" cream. I haven't started radiation yet so I don't know if it works. She said I could get more at the drug store.

    Be well. Glad to read you're doing better.


  2. I was able to purchase pure aloe gel from the pharmacy next door to the clinic. It's really great . .has no perfumes or alcohol.

    I stopped using it the week after chemo ended, but I can see the need to continue use for a few weeks.

    Thanks for your help and support!

  3. I've gotten behind in reading your blog, cousin Renee. I'm so glad you are recovering, and feeling better. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of some of your bosom buddies -- they sound like such wonderful women.