Sunday, 29 March 2015

Playing a Beauty-blogger :-)

At the beginning of this week I saw my surgeon. I thought I will be told  when the chemo starts but I learned that I will need to see an oncologist first. The biggest news from the surgeon was that none of those lymph nodes taken out three weeks ago were effected by cancer. So that's a good news I guess but part of me couldn't help getting this nagging thought: "So did I loose my lymph nodes for nothing?" Oh well...  The proper good news is that my wound has healed well again and there is no liquid building up in my arm. Praise the Lord for that. It looks like the first stage of recovering after a surgery takes about three weeks - not 100% back to normal yet but enough to get on with life. 
Now I'm waiting for the appointment with the oncologist. It  will take two to three weeks to get it and then one to two weeks till chemo actually starts. Considering we are heading towards Easter realistically my chemo won't start for another month. Now is it just me or is it really dragging a bit? 
So I'm feeling already better and I have a whole month ahead of me.  Well the plan is:
A) not to think too much 
hether I'm stage IV already,
B) not to think too much how my body will cope with chemo,
C) to make most of this month.

Last week I rediscovered my nails. It's a funny thing about my nails. For one thing it's the only thing I can beautify in a conventional way. And not only that - for some mysterious reason I was blessed with quite a nice nails, so much so that if I let them grow wild and once they are there I put some varnish on them, people start asking whether they are artificial. Ouch....what an insult! Anyway. I usually do far too much housekeeping and washing-up for my nails to survive and grow long enough. Even if they do grow there is no way of keeping them if I work in the pottery. However now as I'm exempt from the physical work and I only do the bookkeeping my nails thrive and I have enough time to do my manicure. So why not to enjoy it - at least till the time they fall of due to chemo! Sorry, that was a bad joke and I already broke point B of my above resolution. 
To start with I added few more acquisitions into my recently neglected collection of  nail varnishes. To keep it on budget I went for end of the line ones from ebay and as much as it's difficult to shop for nail varnishes through internet I'm happy with all of them but one. This is a selection of what I got. 
Frozen Solid, Grape Sorbet, Purple Addict, Chroma Chameleon Topaz and Pink Quartz

This is yesterday's one 

And today's one 

More to come! I'm not turning into a beauty blogger though, no worries.

Four weeks since my surgery and I'm becoming more and more like my old myself - wasn't it for my paranoid worries concerning my recent digesting difficulties. I guess this sort of health-related worries might be quite common for cancer patients. 
My skin didn't seem to notice that I have cancer though, no significant changes apart from unhappy skin on my effected arm. That doesn't want to get back to normal but still it's nothing major, no pain just abnormal dryness and shedding.

Here come two more swatches. I was very happy with this combination (just didn't know how poor the quality of C2000 varnishes was).
Revlon-Varnished, Rimmel-Posh Trash, Collection 2000-Buff
Not very happy with this one. It was my first experiment with crackle overcoats but lets put it this way: It's not my thing. Maybe it was the wrong choice of varnishes. I used Sally Hansen-Forbidden Fudge which I love on it's own and L'Oreal-Ornamental Gold. Of course it was nothing like ornaments and I didn't like the texture of my nails either. 
Sally Hansen-Forbidden Fudge, L'Oreal-Ornamental Gold

OK, that's me done. I promise I won't bring any more of my temporary nail obsession into this blog.  

I had to cut my nails short as one of them broke. It is a good sign - it broke because I started doing more and more practical things.  

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Feeling "penguin-like"

Anniversary! Three months since I was diagnosed, four months since everything started. 

It's a week after my second surgery when I was cleared off the lymph nodes in my right armpit. It was done as a day surgery. Op on Wednesday at 10am and I was discharged at 5pm with the drain still in. That one could only be taken out on Saturday. I had never thought I could go without a shower for three days but I actually did it (because of the drain). Cream was enough to keep my skin happy but I'm glad to be back to normal pattern of the skin care. 
And how do I feel? Still in a bit of pain, resting a lot but managed church on Sunday, a little croissant&coffee outing on Monday and went to my office for a couple of hours today. It might have been a smaller surgery than the first one but I would say that the recovery might take longer and side effects are worst. So I keep watching my arm and hand anxiously trying to guess whether the swelling is just "normal" post-op swelling or actually starting lymphoedema. The most freaky thing is that my whole armpit, the great area of my side, my shoulder blade and back part of my arm up to the elbow is totally numb. It's been getting better but I already found out through some FB support groups that part of it will just stay like it. It's soooo weird to be putting my daily cream on those numb parts... 

Getting better slowly :-) This is me two days ago on my first "post-op recovery" walk through the village. 
Spring is coming! (...excuse Maria's finger)
Although I noticed now some swelling even in my forearm breast care nurse didn't seem to be alarmed at all when I phoned her about it so I'm trying not to be alarmed either. I'm waiting now for the next appointment on 16th to see when my next treatment starts. 
My arm and shoulder seem to come alive, at least partially, but I noticed an interesting thing. Skin in those areas that are/were numb is significantly worst than anywhere else. 
I know anxiety doesn't help at all but my question is: I was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer but how do we know it's not stage IV already? Will ask the doctor... 

Two weeks after the surgery and all I can say is that I feel penguin-like not being able to press my arm to the side of my body properly due to the swelling. 

Yet all in all I'm getting better I just need more patience.