Funky Week

by Sarah

I’ve been in a funk this week.  Lots of things contributed and I felt all of them.  I had another herceptin infusion on Monday and it ramped my back pain up, fatigued me and made me feel poorly overall in a subtle way.  It wasn’t as bad as the first infusion, probably since it was a smaller dose.  My doctors are guessing that this will continue to diminish.  Fingers crossed they’re right.  One also stated that he thinks that it will back the cancer way off, my bones will grow back in and the pain will all but go away.  I was incredibly relieved to hear this and I’m going to believe him.  I have to.  Living with this pain and thinking that it’s indefinite is bit a soul crusher.

My medical oncologist wants to prescribe a drug that will speed the bone growth but it’s expensive and my insurance won’t pay for it.  I got some good advice from Dr. K on how to deal with them but I still don’t know that we’ll make it happen.  We’ll see if they think the cost of a potential bone fracture overrides the cost of paying for a drug to prevent it.  I’ve had to do battle with insurance companies before and it is not my idea of fun.  It can be a full time job and it’s already sucking up a lot of my time, not to mention what’s left of my lightly crushed soul.  I went through my medical bills for the week and figured out which ones have over-billed me and incorrectly billed me which was two out of five.  I’m debating writing a post on the financial cost of being diagnosed with cancer.  JUST diagnosed, not treated.  It is big business.

I finished radiation on my leg this week.  To me, it wasn’t a big deal in the scheme of things.  It’s relatively painless and the people that administer it make it a pleasant experience.  The thought of intentionally shooting radiation into my body doesn’t thrill me but I guess neither does having cancer eating away at my bones.  And lungs.

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They swore that they tie everyone’s feet together, not just mine!

I started aqua therapy this week and it’s been great.  I enjoy it and I feel like it’s really doing me some good.  The Healthy Living Center has a PT Clinic and a therapy pool.  The pool has an underwater treadmill, a set of stairs, a deep corner and something that creates resistance like one of those small lap pools.  Since I have so many back issues, many created from limping and using a crutch, we’re working on that as much as my leg.  Walking without a limp for the first time in at least four months almost brought me to tears.  Being able to use my leg in ways that I couldn’t and to also start strengthening it feels like a step in getting myself back.  Do you know what it’s like to take a step in getting your self back when it’s been yanked from you and you have no idea where it’s gone or how to recover it?  I don’t know to what extent my leg and back will recover but I will work at it and knowing that I have a method to help me improve gives me hope that I CAN improve.  Having a gimpy leg and a back with pain that never completely goes away and limits my movements is as hard on my psyche as it as my body.

I’ve decided to go on disability at work and Friday was my last day.  I’ve been working from home but it just drains me.  I get stuck sitting and laying for hours at a time and the more I do that, the worse I feel and the pain increases.  The more I’m able to walk, ride my bike and just be active in general makes me feel better.  It’s always a spiral, upwards or downwards.  If I’m relatively immobile, I feel worse the next day.  If I’m able to ride my bike or be active in general, I feel better the next day.  It’s time to focus on taking care of myself.  It was a decision that made itself but it took a while to come to terms with it.  I’m relieved that I have the time to go to therapy, take naps, see people I love and enjoy, and spend my time doing whatever I need to do for myself.  I’m sad that it’s come to this.  I’m grateful I have this benefit to use.

Last night Kapler was in town from Denver and a group of us got together.  I almost didn’t go because my back pain was as bad as it’s ever been and I was cranky in general.  But, I took a shower and shaved my legs before I talked myself out of it so that meant I was going somewhere and seeing people, regardless.  Showering, shaving AND putting on makeup is going past the point of no return.  I will be seen!  I told myself I didn’t have to stay long and of course if I wanted to leave early, I had an excuse.  Because, cancer!  I was really glad I went.  These are friends that rarely get together anymore and they are wrong in all of the right ways.  My ribs hurt to laugh and they paid for it in a good way.  They hurt even worse this morning but it was worth it.  They are medicine for my soul and I know how precious that is.

Trish even wore the shirt her mom bought her at the state fair!  I guess I’ve been spelling genius wrong all of these years.

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It’s looking like today will be a day of solitude.  If I can wrangle my bike by myself, I’m going to ride and purge some demons.  They have been increasingly crowding my space and it’s time for them to go.  Fingers crossed they don’t put a stick in my spokes on their way out.