Sunday, April 10, 2011
cancer is not pretty
I'm reminded of this every time I look down. This isn't even half of it. Sure glad I got over having gorgeous legs last time around, cause this incision just keeps on going. Up to my hip. I know my nurse friends will appreciate this photo. Note drain sticking out of nowhere sucking up blood. And large suture (there is another further up) holding the dang thing together, otherwise they say it is so long the staples would pop right open. Yuck.
I have very little pain right now, and some more nerves must have been cut as I have no feeling in the knee, and I wonder if that is why I am limping. I am not even taking Tylenol as regularly as I should be. I am just supposed to keep it elevated as much as I can to keep the swelling down.
I told my 5 year old he was going to have to wash his hair all by himself in the bathtub the other night because I couldn't bend down to help him. He looked at my legs. "Do you have cancer in your other leg?" "No." "Well, then you can just hop on that leg to the bathroom and bend down with your cancer leg strait in the air." This is something I hadn't considered. I guess I have no excuses.
Cancer survivors usually have to live with some sort of after effects from their treatments. I developed lymphedema in my leg from my last surgery. It is essentially chronic swelling caused by surgical excision of, or radiation to, lymph nodes. It is found mostly in breast cancer patients in their arms. I was so devastated when I was diagnosed. Don't google it-the pictures are terrifying. I have taken very good care of it, wearing a compression stocking every day, wrapping it with bandages occasionally, and exercising. I really had it under control. You would never know. I always wear pants and long skirts. It was a hard adjustment. But I made it.
I talked with a girl who had cancer in her leg as a teenager. She is unable to pick up her leg (like to climb a stair) from her surgeries, and walks with a slight limp. I really enjoyed our conversation. She understands what it feels like to be told "it's a small price to pay for your life!" Which is true, so true. But sometimes that price seems big. After all, it is a part of you. And it's forever. Suddenly you are different. Different than everyone else, different than you were. Even if it's just the ability to wear capris, high heels, or go around bare feet. You still grieve the loss of how things were. And for a lot of us, how things looked.
But trust me, right now I do not care how things look. My vanity burned up long ago. I just need this leg to heal!
Loved the scripture I read this week saying He shall arise "with healing in his wings." I wouldn't mind some sort of swoopage down right about now.