OK, let’s talk about lymphedema.
You know, I’ve been through quite a bit this past year. Too many biopsies, radical surgery, port placement, heavy duty chemo, intense radiation, then more big surgery.
My cancer was bigger, faster growing and more widespread than most breast cancers found in the US. The five year mortality rate for cancers just like mine is high. Since my family needs me around far longer than the numbers predicted, we decided to pursue the most aggressive treatment plan. Nobody promised anything, but the team of doctors reviewed the medical literature and we all agreed, and I went through it. All of it.
Through it all, I’ve had my ups and downs. I’ve been scared, anxious, had pain management issues, been anxious, battled with weakness and fatigue, and have I told you about being anxious? But I never really got angry about the whole thing until now.
Lymphedema is the LAST STRAW. I really thought I was done with medical stuff for the summer. I was supposed to have this time to heal and get my strength back. And speaking of time, I was supposed to have some, rather than spending hours and hours every week (sometimes every day) interacting with the medical world.
If you want to learn more about what lymphedema is all about, you can look it up, but basically it’s high-protein swelling and tissue damage that comes from lymph nodes and vessels being removed in surgery and damaged by radiation. The treatment is very time intensive.
I thought I was done with all this pain, hassle, incapacitation, and all these interactions with the medical world. I did EVERYTHING I was supposed to do and now I was supposed to have a little break. I am truly BURNED OUT on having stuff done to me. And besides, how in the world can I resume my role in my household with all this #$%^& on my arm??? You know what else? It’s HOT.
I thought I’d avoided the anger stage of cancer grief. Guess not. Thanks for listening. I wonder who’s the patron saint of lymphedema???