wide-eyed at 4am

It’s Definitely A Journey

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It’s been almost two months now since I completed radiation. It took only a about 10 days for my skin to look really good so that pretty quickly regenerated … healed. The new skin is soft and smooth – especially the armpit. That was the part that was the most burned. It wasn’t until the very last week or so that the skin on my shoulder and breast became really burned looking and feeling. But it never blistered and cracked like the armpit, thank goodness. The Palmer’s Cocoa Butter worked fine to keep it moist and help it heal.

By the time I saw my plastic surgeon on June 3, my skin was looking pretty nice and maybe even better than before. He lifted all of my exercise restrictions. So I’m free to do what I want – what feels good – without worry.

I had a bone density test June 13 (and don’t know what the results were yet) so that my oncologist can determine whether chemo had any ill effects on my bone health.

At this point, I’m just cruising along trying to figure out how to do better than just maintain present weight. but it is a real test with these meds. Seems that the nurses were pretty accurate with the “weight fluctuations” comment. But I would be more accurate and just say “weight gain.” I will figure it out but it’s taking time. It’s tough since I’m barely getting back to my regular workout schedule. …. minus the boxing for now. My index finger and thumb joints are a little inflamed and achy from the meds (I’m assuming) and I don’t think slamming it against a bag (even though it would be in a glove) would be too smart. I also think that should be delayed a bit to make sure my Lymphedema situation is working out OK in my left arm. So far so good but it has only been 2 months since the worst inflammatory process for it (radiation) ended. I could push it, but good sense tells me to hold off.

We also MUST get back to a healthier diet. We’ve SORT OF done that but we’re still allowing too many sugars and carbs and that isn’t helping (me especially) at all.

There are still some chemo ghosts hanging around. It’s taking a while to get back into “shape” as far as getting outside in the heat goes. That’s been really tough – especially since temperatures have been around 95 and humidity has been crazy high. Hot flashes are still with me and they even cause itchy tingling in my extremities. I want to weed my herb garden and clean up our ailing yard but I’m not sure that I can withstand the heat – much less the strain on my muscles. I’ve just recently been able to comfortably pull with force – as in pulling major weeds of the sort that I see around the yard.

I will get to it. I think I will take it in small doses, drink plenty of fluids and wear plenty of sunscreen.

What I’m getting around to by talking through all of this is that the reality of my life it continues to unfold as a journey through new experiences and different versions of old experiences that keep me wondering when I will be able to identify what my future normal will be. The journey is along a pathway that isn’t always as pleasant as the one inset in the image above but is as complex and confusing as the background image.

I sort of think I won’t ever have a normal. Once diagnosed, I don’t really think there is ever “normal” again.

*Image is a National Geographic one contributed by Bob Krist, Corbis and was used in Visions of Earth, May 2009, copyright National Geographic Society, All Rights Reserved.


Author: jillpurdy

A few months ago I wasn't but now I'm a statistic. That doesn't define me. I'm a daughter, a sister, a wife, a step mom, a grandmother, a friend and a Christian. I will continue to love exercise, music, cooking and food, and my family and friends. I'm stubborn, energetic, giving and too OCD for my own good sometimes. And I'm going to stay this way - despite cancer and the treatments that it takes to give it the royal beatdown.

One thought on “It’s Definitely A Journey

  1. Hi Jill’
    SO glad you have been recovery (skin & energy ) so well. The heat is awful for all so just plan outings early when possible. Do be careful for I thought I was fine and felt well and ended up getting a herniated disk in my back after my chemo so you might take it easy and not worry about the weight or exercise etc for you have time for that … just give your body some time for you have been through so much. Carol


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