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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Body on Strike

I think that after six months of cancer treatment, my body's gone on strike.

Up until now my body's been pretty understanding. I went back to work two weeks after my mastectomy, and though I had a few set backs, it was fine. Chemo made me feel bad, but I didn't wind up in the hospital, like many do. I caught a cold from Matt, but it didn't turn into pneumonia. I recovered faster even than he did.

But now everything's in revolt. After my second surgery in December, to replace a temporary implant that became infected, my surgeon told me I'd had to have JP drains again."Just for a few days," he said. Four weeks and counting on the drain that snakes under under my skin and around my ribs, emptying lymph fluid in a Sisyphean effort. I always have more stuff to draw out.

The start of radiation last week meant instant redness, and a generally crispy feeling.

Six weeks post chemo, and little sproutlets are beginning to grow on my head. Like those first seeds you plant in spring, they are growing so painfully slowly. By contrast, the hair under my arms is coming in at warp speed. Making up for the last four months, I guess.

In honor of my new baby hairs, my scalp has started rejecting my scarves. Now anything that touches my head makes me itchy.

My nails are nearly falling out, but won't give me the relief of actually doing so, so I clamp them down with band aids, and try not to use my hands much.

Which is easier than it sounds, since my arms muscles have become about as strong as gummy worms.

I'm running on fumes here. I'm ecstatic that I'm still chugging along of course, undeniably. I want all this, all the treatment. I'd take more if they let me. I'd do chemo every day while standing on my head in one of those terrifying glass elevators in a hundred story building, if it meant that cancer was never ever coming back. I want it all.
But still, a girl gets tired.

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