It has been a busy week, and a week of learning limits. I continue recovering very nicely; muscle soreness was almost gone, and I continued to find time and motivation to walk every day about 3 – 4 miles. I continue to lose weight at a rate of 2 pounds a week and find myself this week down 17 pounds in total.
Tuesday, I taught a class; Nuts & Bolts of Money, at PAFA. I loved it, a full class of students interested in getting their financial lives in order. I had a lot of fun and got a tour of the Frank Furness building PAFA resides as well as the art galleries in the building. All very interesting and educational. I encourage you to explore PAFA, the art is interesting and diverse.
Wednesday was my post-operative appointment with the surgeon. She was thrilled with the progress I have made recovering, and yes, I surpassed her expectations. She told me to go ahead and use the arm, just do not lift any weight. So, I did. I spent the rest of the day carting light stuff around and up and down stairs. Then I went for a walk before heading home late in the afternoon. By that evening my upper arm was swelling and I was getting scared I was getting Lymphedema. The next morning, I called for guidance on what was happening and what I could do about it. The assessment was that I had over extended myself. But to make sure all is ok, and I have the information to work through recovery properly I should go to physical therapy Friday morning.
The appointment with physical therapy was productive. It turns out the last bit of muscle soreness would not have been worked out with the exercises I was doing. I was given new ones to target the specific muscles that were still an issue. In addition, I was given exercises to address fluid buildup in my body. With the lymph nodes removed my body has not yet acclimated to how to handle the fluid created with exertion. So, although I feel fine and ready for anything, my body was telling me otherwise. Hence the price one pays for trying to be “superwoman”.
The coming week is going to be busy. I have many activities scheduled, and the oncologist appointment on Wednesday. After the oncologist appointment, I will decide which oncology/radiology team I will go with for the remainder of my treatment. I have also decided that I am going to try to save my hair. There is something called a Cold Cap, which basically freezes the hair follicles before during and after treatments. This prevents the chemo from damaging the cells in the hair follicles and therefore hair is not lost. After talking to many people, the percentage of success makes it worth trying. In addition, being the accountant that I am it is also cost effective – dying my hair for the next 10 years is approximately $7K, where the cost of the cold cap is $2.5K, and the cold cap is a medical expense deductible on my taxes.
So as of right now I still do not need help. But if anyone would like to walk with me, I am tending to walk in the mornings around 8:30 or 9am, and sometimes in the late afternoons. Even if you do not walk with me, I challenge all my lions to get out there and exercise. It is always easier with a buddy.
I am anticipating I will learn my schedule for Chemo in the coming week. Based on my desire to use the Cold cap I will likely need help on treatment days when my sister is not with me. I still do not need help with meals but will keep you all posted. In the coming week, hug the ones you love, and make sure they know you care. We have all seen that life can change in an instant. Do not take it for granted.