Saturday, July 25, 2009


You only make a decision once;
thereafter you just manage it daily.

Happy to report that the fractured left radial head is improving!

I had serious doubts on the orthopedist wisdom when he said that it was in my best interest to keep moving my arm and hand – increase the range of motion (ROM). It hurt! Stinking hurt, 24/7. Pain pills just took the edge off in order to go to sleep.

Another frustrating point with this whole thing is dealing with work and HR. Sorry to those peeps who may be in the HR field and reading this. Look at it from my eyes. I have an arm that is in a sling. I have a hand that can barely hold 2 pieces of paper. Yet you want me to have my very expensive orthopedist spell out what exactly is “light typing”. Let ME tell you what light typing means. Heck, I’m the expert in this area - been in the this field since 1972 - and it’s my frigging arm/hand that’s hurting! I’ll tell you what I can do.

There were meetings that needed minutes taken and transcribed. There were letters and other documents that needed to be keyboarded or formatted. Wouldn’t you think that someone other than me needed to have their hands on the keyboard? Bless my supervisors heart for being between a rock and a hard place having lost three of seven positions during the recent layoffs. She has been trying to take over the extra projects while doing her own. I realize this. I appreciate this. And I didn’t fall off my bike on purpose. It’s just been a frustrating two weeks for me. Once again, I am impaired because of something beyond my control, and it is impacting every facet of my life. Impacting Vic’s life again. You try putting on socks or underwear with one hand. :-)

I have to wait another 4 weeks to allow the arm/bone to heal. If the pain in the wrist and the numb fingers continue, the orthopedist will then do a nerve damage study. But I’m glad that I can keyboard without too much pain, hold things with my left hand and drive (almost) safely.

I truly didn’t mean for this post to be whiney and cranky. Just wanted to report on how life our life is improving after breast cancer treatment and fractured radials. Oh well.

I am continuing to take 2,000 units of Wisconsin Ginseng that I took as part of the medical research study. It is truly helping with the energy! I take 1,000 units with breakfast and another 1,000 units at lunch. I was told not to take it after 1 p.m. as it may give me too much energy and may impact my sleep. This hasn’t really been the case.

I had a very minute hair trim on Wednesday. Some sections of the hair were too long and cork-screwing . . .sort of like Princess Leia from Star Wars. The hairdresser wanted to have some fun trying to straighten out the curls into a “style”. I let her. Figured if I didn’t like it, I could always put a little water on the hair and watch it curl back into place. It was a cute style. While the hair wasn’t exactly straight, it wasn’t poodle dog-like. The hair measures about 2.5” now. It seems the growth has slowed down and I’m thinking it may be due to not using Nioxin every day and not taking the mega-doses of vitamins and supplements. I had stopped the supplements, believing they were the cause of increased facial hair. But they helped the eyebrows grow!!

Other chemo/radiation related issues that continue are funky toe nails and dry eyes. I’m blaming the dry skin and heat waves on menopause, though I thought I was post-menopausal when I started treatment, so really not sure what this is all about! I spoke with the oncology nurse on Friday about taking a low dose estrogen (my internist suggested it IF the oncologist approved). The nurse thought the Oncologist wouldn’t approve, but would get back with me on Monday. Since my cancer was not fueled by hormones, I thought it would be semi-safe. But again, it could increase my risk of having hormone-fueled cancer. Will let you know what the answer is.

Finger nails are doing great, no bone pain and cognitive/memory issues are almost back to normal. The radiated skin still looks “suntanned” – in my case sunburned since I don’t tan.

One thing I do need to let go is my disappointment and hurt that local people who knew about Vic and I didn’t come through with physical support for the things that we couldn’t do. My mother lives 5 hours away and has never visited us during this past year. She is able to travel, in fact, has made one or two trips to California.

It’s so easy to see the negatives and not the positives, isn’t it? The energy spent on the negatives is wasted energy.

I am so thankful for my mom's prayers, the physical support and love from our daughters (including adopted daughter Laura from Eastern Washington), the support and prayers from my California family and friends, co-workers support and donated hours, and those here in cyber land. So I’ll take that wasted energy and turn it into thankfulness for you that did support!

Despite the above crankiness, I’m pleased that things are going so well after chemo and radiation. It’s still hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since the surgeries for Vic and me.




  1. Dear Renee,
    I am sorry that you are in pain with your arm. These HR people are so politically correct, sometimes I think that the whole world has gone mad.

    As for friends who haven't helped... I think they are scared of cancer and their way of dealing with it is to hide their heads and pretend it isnt happening and they are to be pitied.

    Loved hearing about your hair though!!!!

    Love & Life, Sara x

  2. So glad that you are back on Renee to see what you are up to. Keep that arm moving!!!! As said before, my broken arm took 3 months to heal but the frozen shoulder took almost 8 months more with heavy duty PT. Somehow find a way to keep your shoulder moving.

    So at work they don't seem to very accommodating to your temporary disorder. Shame on them for not being more helpful.
    Yep I know about people who desert you in your time of need. A woman who I thought was one of my best friends found she just can't deal with me anymore.I am just guessing this as she lacks the balls to actually admit this-just doesn't return calls or e-mails or look at me when we are in a group situation. Unfortunately we have mutual friends and I don't know how that will change things.

    Glad that someone's hair is growing! Mine is just so slow.

  3. i feel ya sister! i get cranky and whiny frequently too and it's so good to vent..and you can always count on THIS sisterhood to hear you out and hold you up....i did get a good chuckle about the visual of Vic helping you on with your undies...what a guy!!

  4. Renee!!!!! Please forgive me! I'm laughing here! You just made my day! NOT because anything was funny about what you said, but rather because I can SOOOOOOOO relate and felt that crankiness all the way through. It's great just to admit it, isn't it????? I used to feel like every time I opened my mouth I was whining about something. I'm so sorry about your arm! My sister broke her leg in the middle of her cancer treatments, and she hobbled around in a cast for 2 years. The hair thing???? Mine started coming in right away, then slowed way down, too. Don't know what that is, but it is finally coming back in good. And it's 7 months since my last chemo. I hear you about people not being there for you, etc. I, too, think the word "cancer" scares people away. Everyone thinks you are dying, don't know what to say, etc.

    You need one of those "grabber" sticks. They are awesome when you can't pick stuff up (like when your undies fall to the floor!) I learned all about that after my mastectomy!

    Here's hoping this coming week will be a better one for you!