Friday, January 5, 2018

Some days you just need to lie on the floor

The after effects of breast cancer can be overwhelming. It's been 1276 days since the cancer was removed from my body. That's 3 years, 5 months, and 27 days. You'd think, by now, I'd be really feeling great - that my body would have completely healed and I'd be living the good life. Surely, after this length of time, all the scars have mended and my body has learned to adapt to the physical changes, right? But that's not necessarily the case.

I'm normally not one to complain. Most days, even if I'm in pain, I keep it to myself. Why bother involving anyone else in my agony? They can't do a thing to fix it. Oh yes, the "I'm sorrys" help and those sweet empathetic pats on the back offer a little comfort but the suffering is mine and mine alone.

Some days are worse than others. Between the Lymphedema and the Fibromyalgia, I struggle. Neither of these two conditions will ever go away and that's frustrating.

The Lymphedema can be helped by wearing compression sleeves and using a programmable compression pump. The Fibromyalgia is helped by medication and by exercise, but I just long for the days when I used to feel normal. I haven't felt normal in a long time.

Before being diagnosed with breast cancer, my physical body was in fairly good shape. I did what I wanted to do despite the little aches and pains that came from daily exertion and growing older. I never really felt bad. Those days of good health were taken for granted.

So now I learn to temper my days and plan activities around how I feel. It's difficult to acquiesce to my body's needs, but I must. For some reason, I've always felt that I should be calling the shots, not my body but now, it's the other way around. My body dictates what I can and cannot do. Of course, I can always override the decision but it works out best if I listen and obey.

To be quite blunt, cancer sucks but even more than that, the after-effects suck. When I was told I had cancer, I was naive enough to think surgery would take care of the problem. For the most part, it did. The side effects didn't start showing up until several months later. Other than the physical and emotional scars, I never dreamed I'd have constant reminders of the trauma of breast cancer. Boy, was I dumb.

If you haven't been able to gather from my rant, today has been a difficult day. Last week, I decided to go off of the medication for the Fibromyalgia. I'd been experiencing some nasty side effects like blurry vision, loss of coordination, dizziness, and brain fog. There really isn't a specific medication that works for Fibro in case you didn't know. Doctors use various anti-depressants, anti-convulsants, or pain medications in an effort to alleviate the symptoms. While these medications help with serotonin uptake, overactive nerve endings, and sleep problems, they also bring with them their own parcel of side effects. It seems I'm always having to choose the lesser of two evils.

Lying on the floor seems to be helping. At least my body is prone and not moving. Tomorrow I think I'll start taking the medication my doctor prescribed for the Fibro again. It did help some with the physical pain and it did me have a more positive outlook.

If I could turn back the hands of time, I would have paid more attention to any and everything that could have potentially caused cancer to form in my body. But since I can't, I'll just have to learn to make the most of each day and be thankful I'm still alive.

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