• Another 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 264 (Radiation Treatment 20 of 30: Sometimes You Just Need Gratuitous Violence)

    Dark, revenge driven, and super violent. Perfect.

    The Crow. Dark, revenge driven, and super violent. Perfect.

    Wednesday, April 1, 2015

    Run/ Walk/ Bike/ Elliptical (Today:  3.52 miles;  Running Total: 225.56 miles)

    Day 264 of *Another* 100 Days of Good Karma.

    I’m trying to pull myself out of an emotional hole. I’m shocked at how I feel at the tail end of cancer treatment. I thought I’d be happy when it was over.

    And part of me is happy.

    But another part, a big part, is overwhelmed by the prospect of treatment ending. I tried so hard not to let cancer define my life and yet, the thought of not actively treating and killing cancer cells is nearly impossible to wrap my head around.

    So today I ran. A lot.

    And I registered for two races. One is a 5k (3.1 miles) on April 18th, the weekend after radiation ends. The other is a 10 mile race in October. It seemed important to find pieces of normal. To have something on the calendar to work toward.

    After my radiation appointment I met with the social worker who’s acted as my counselor through chemo and surgery and now radiation. She told me that my apprehension over finishing cancer treatment is very common. She also said it’s just one more part of the process.

    I was afraid that with the end of cancer treatment I’d have to find someone else to talk to. I loathed the thought of starting over with someone new. I don’t want to explain the whole story again. I’m so glad I brought it up to her. She told me her services were still available to me after treatment ended.

    In her words, “I promise. I’m not going to kick you off a cliff.”

    I felt relief so palpable I started bawling and she had to raid the Kleenex box from another room.

    In the afternoon I met with a physical therapist for a lymphedema evaluation.

    (She tried to set me straight on the difference between ‘physical’ and ‘occupational’ therapy, but if I’m being honest, I didn’t retain a lot of it so I’m probably using the wrong term.)

    She measured my right arm versus my left arm and showed me the numbers. There’s definitely some swelling in my right arm. She said it could be from radiation treatments (which, apparently, cause a lot of swelling) or it could be the beginning of lymphedema.

    She recommended getting a compression sleeve and is checking with my insurance company to see what they’ll pay for.

    Now that I don’t have lymph nodes in my right arm, I learned there’s a whole host of things I’m never supposed to do again.

    • No heating pads on that arm. It causes fluid build up.
    • No hot tubs.
    • No needle sticks or blood pressure cuffs on that arm (actually, I think I already knew that one).
    • No rings or other constricting items.
    • No riding on a plane without a compression sleeve. The change in pressure can make my arm swell horribly and send me into a full lymphedema episode.

    I’ll let you look up ‘lymphedema episode’ images on your own. I’m not posting them here because I did look them up and they scared the shit out of me.

    The physical (occupational?) therapist asked if I was taking it easy during radiation.

    “No,” I said flatly. “I’m sick of taking it easy.”

    She seemed a little taken aback. “Oh, okay.”

    Maybe I was rude, but I was emotionally drained from radiation and my counseling appointment. Also, I’m sick of answering questions like that.

    I don’t know if she’s used to a different age set or a just a different mind set in her patients. And, frankly, I don’t care.

    I’m done ‘slowing down’, and fuck a bunch of ‘taking it easy’. If she doesn’t like it, too bad.

    I came home and tried to work on a story. I couldn’t focus.

    I tried to read. I couldn’t focus on that either.

    I tried to listen to an audiobook. For a third time, nope.

    So I turned on Netflix and found a super dark, revenge driven movie full of blood and gratuitous violence.


    Today’s silver lining: Gratuitous violence in movies.

    Sometimes you just need it.

    What’s your silver lining today?  I love comments!

    Don’t want to leave a comment, but have something you want to share?  Send me an email at gettingthewordswrong(at)gmail(dot)com.


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One Responseso far.

  1. Michale Bauer says:

    Meghan, I hope you’re having a better day today. I think what you’re feeling is totally normal.

    I’ve been having an emotional week … it’s like there’s a dark cloud following me around. Which Peanuts character is that? After babysitting all day Tuesday, I was really tired and probably hungry. While taking off my Nana necklace, the sterling silver charm fell into the bathroom sink! I was heartbroken. So, Wednesday morning I called a plumber and after too much money, I got my Nana charm back. And now I have an outside faucet that’s really leaking! My Mom mentioned Full Moon is Saturday! Can we blame some of these emotions on the Full Moon?

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