They say the first 48 hours are the hardest, and that’s true. I’m finally feeling like I am turning a corner. I’m off the pain meds and have enjoyed a quiet day at home catching up with things here.

Tuesday I had a lymph node biopsy and the placement of a chemo port, and Thursday they installed a marker in the starfish so that they can find it once it’s been fried by chemo. It would have been much kinder to group those invasive procedures in the same visit, but when they say it has to be that way for the convenience of the radiologist (who was already there in the room and did his part for the sentinel lymph node test) well… I didn’t even know what to say to that. Still don’t.

#donoharm #thesystemsucks #lordhavemercy #whatdoyouevensay

I am amazed at the body’s ability to, in the words of an old advertisement: “take a licking and keep on ticking”. These earth suits are amazing!

The incision for the lymph node removal really hasn’t been difficult, I have not had much pain with that but it did sometimes remind me not to reach too high. What felt good was to keep clothing away from it, so don’t go trying to put a bra or cami on – it will annoy the incision! No bra!! (I’m pretty hard core anti-bra anyway, but this is especially a no-bra kind of moment!)

The placement of the chemo port hasn’t been all that painful in the sense of sharp stabbing pain. However, it rests on my collar bone, and coils around into a vein going into the heart. That unexpected weight feels very bothersome. There has been some deep aches and soreness in the neck and shoulder. What felt good was to hug a hot blanket close to my chest for the first few days. I found myself often with a hand on the port, trying to steady it and keep it from being jostled or shaken – as if it were something on the surface hanging on. It is a very strange sensation! Of course the transition isn’t fun, but I think my body will get used to having it there.

The first thing I noticed coming out of surgery was intense pain in my upper back muscles. Ibuprofen didn’t budge that, which has been pretty frustrating. What actually helped was a small portion of a Delta9 gummie, thanks be to God! Another thing that helped was having my Austrian use the massager on my back (one similar to what the chiropractor uses) followed by rubbing some nice lotion into those sore muscles while I worked at stretching out the kinks. What also helps with muscle pain is Formula 303, an herbal muscle relaxant. It’s good to have tools in your toolbox when it comes to pain!

Sleeping when aching is pretty tricky. I have been up multiple times each night getting myself a little pain management and trying to eat a few bites of something with the pills so they wouldn’t hit an empty stomach. What helped was to have a little area in the kitchen with the pills already laid out in little bowls so I didn’t really have to think – or wrestle with bottle caps – but could just grab them and head back to bed. We don’t have a cat, so that works fine for us. Your results may vary.

I am determined to leave a few bread crumbs behind for others who walk this journey. As I find things that actually work and help, I will certainly pass those along. The body is an amazing organism designed to heal itself, and so it is really quite interesting to learn about the various systems God has designed. #grateful

It’s amazing how much a health journey can take over life. This was a rare day without medical appointments, however – I did see my shrink. And then I tidied up some of the medical paperwork. I printed out the various reports and filed them in the right spots.

This afternoon I got the official results from pathology on those lymph nodes. They found metastatic ductal carcinoma cells in there. I know that sounds like a bad thing, but I’m still sore from the last surgery, and I am super glad they aren’t going back in there to rip out more of the lymph node wiring. If I had gotten a positive test while I was on the table, they would have taken a bunch more out, so I am glad it worked out this way and I only lost 2. Lymph nodes are awesome and we definitely need them working properly taking toxins out of the body! This news changes the chemo drug cocktail a bit, but chemo is system-wide and will find and fry the ugly little starfish cells wherever they want to hide.

So to reiterate, finding starfish cells in the lymph nodes sounds bad, but it doesn’t make that much difference on the ground because chemo is still the next step in treatment.

In the mean time, I will be working at other modes of healing. Spending time with those I love who also love me is powerful medicine, I got to hang out with my peeps last evening and that did the soul good. Tapping has proved to be helpful, more on that later. Looking around my inner landscape for God awareness has been helpful. How many times have I known Jesus was right there in the space with me? That’s amazing. Counseling is helpful. Writing a blog post is helpful… I will keep doing my part in this healing journey as I heal from the inside out.

What else felt good? A musical reminder that we are not alone. Have you heard this song? It moves me.

We are all on a healing journey, body, soul, and spirit. And I am sending love and solidarity your way!


2 responses to “Recovery”

  1. Dina Van Lear Avatar
    Dina Van Lear

    Thank you for sharing this journey with us. Sending love from Mark and me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cindy Avatar

    Love and healing thoughts to you as you begin your recovery journey. I so appreciate your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

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