Thursday, December 6, 2012

Well how the hell are ya?

my baby girl Lucy
I know, I know, we have been apart much too long. After the first month went by, I just kept pushing writing further and further away--which is literally taking away part of my healing process, so you can imagine the space I have been in for the past few months.  I will try to remember things that have transpired to get you up to date, and then I will tell you a story....

After the surgery that I thought was going to be the beginning of the healing process (read: boob sacks) I was doing good. I actually traveled the day after surgery (probably not my best idea) to Scott's high school reunion. My incisions didn't hurt, I had drains in on both sides so I stuck those grenades in my bra and I can't lie, my rack looked good. I did a lot of sleeping and lots of water drinking and actually the trip was great, we got to see friends and family and we weren't in a hospital!! I also attending a wonderful wedding and birthday party with my drains as boobs--if it wasn't for my swollen face and belly from all the fluid, you probably wouldn't even question what was going on in my chest. But lets tell the whole truth....I may have had a glass+ of champagne and was taking out my "boobs" to show my friends. 

me showing drains....and getting a LOT of antibiotics

In my last post I showed you a picture of how I looked. No biggie. But then things got worse, very, very, very fast. A few weeks after surgery I started to get sweaty and really tired. My right skin sack (the radiation side) was starting to look weird and get hard in spots and in one spot it sucked in a inch long hole in the middle of my boob. It started to get hot (warning! warning!) and I started to go downhill FAST. The day after I noticed the inch long hole I spiked a 103 fever and was seeing spots. I couldn't hold my head up and I felt like I had been run over by a truck...........a semi-truck.  So Scott rushed me to the ER, I called my plastic surgeon and he advised me to request a transport via ambulance to UW (where my new surgeon lives).  So we went to the ER and my fever had gotten higher and the nurses who know me so well said "you should have came in sooner" (and I this point I know my body pretty well as soon as I started to not feel so hot I should have went.....but I also panic about crazy things all the time, which then drives Scott crazy, in turn driving me crazy times I choose my "we need to go to the ER" until we can both deem it necessary and it is not because I was on Web MD all day.  By the time we got to the ER my boob was huge it was swollen and bright red and it was really painful. They pumped me will fluids and pain medication and I spent the night in the ER until they made room for me at UW. 

took them awhile to find a vein upon arrival at UW

When they finally made room in the hospital we were told that Scott couldn't ride with me in the ambulance. You have to be fucking kidding me! I am sure I yelled that through my drug induced slow, slurred speech. Scott said he would drive up, they said they weren't sure if he would be able to stay in my room, read previous fucking kidding me speech. So we decided that because I was exhausted and he was exhausted he would stay home and come early in the morning. And guess what?! When I got to the hospital the room was HUGE and they had a bed brought in for my companion.................FUCK. 

my companion began to wipe down the room as soon as he arrived

My 6 day stay at UW went something like this: wow, ewww, look at that, would mind if our interns take a look at this?, 2 biopsies on my right arm (you know, that arm that I can't even have my blood pressure taken on, sure cut the shit out of it, I bet it will go well.....) more antibiotics than once person should be on in their lifetime, they weren't sure what was causing the cellulitous and infection so they had me on everything at once, when they finally found the bacteria that was causing the infection I was switched to just one really, really strong antibiotic. My boob still needed two drains, but it was starting to hurt less and look better. When I was released they gave me more antibiotics to take, at that point I had been on some sort of antibiotics since June-no joke.

Me wandering around at UW, not sure if you are supposed to, but Scott and I took many adventures like this

So here I am at home after maybe 10 total hours of sleep after my 6 day stint in the UW joint and Scott and I were stunned. We didn't see this coming at all, another hospital stay?! WHAT?!!! It took us awhile to recuperate. Scott had taken the time off work and stayed with me in the hospital. But I am a hard patient....pain medication makes me crazy and paranoid, so I didn't sleep at all, I talked nonsense and Scott can only handle so much crazy (he went on a lot of runs).  So we were back to having hospital stays and ER trips looming over our heads again--we had just gotten rid of them....

Me and Lucy finally sleeping after 6 days, it was amazing to be in my own bed

After I recouped from the UW business I started to see my belly swelling and having some pretty crazy GI stuff go on (I may or may not have "broke" 2 toilets at a friends house).  Things were coming out of nowhere, I would wake up and feel fine, then that afternoon I would spend on the toilet. One day my jeans would fit and I could make it to the 3rd notch on the belt, the next day there was like 2 inches between the button and the button hole (and no I didn't put them in the dryer). My stomach continued to grow and I felt swollen everywhere (still do) and the pain and bathroom crap (HA) was too much. I went to see my gastroenterologist, he said that because I had been on antibiotics for 4 months straight (and high doses) my GI track had no good bacteria.........................results in an infection of sorts that my body just doesn't know what to do. So he put me on another antibiotic that kills bad bacteria and helps good bacteria grow--I just finished it two days ago, so lets keep our fingers crossed that I don't spend Christmas on the toilet.

Whew....there were lots of great things that happened since I wrote last--I will write and show pictures in my next post. But here is a little taste of what I have been going through.....this experience happened to me just yesterday............

My first question is this: Why do stores fold their jeans and put the big sizes at the bottom (I have gained about 20lbs with the GI stuff and being immobile for awhile)? chubby ass doesn't need to try to balance on my feet, keep my purse together and teeter-totter. I don't need to rock back and forth and try not to fall backwards onto some skinny bitch looking at the size 0 on the rack behind me, the small sizes should be on the bottom, those girls can balance just fine. I want my sizes at eye level--ridiculous! So because of the weight gain my jeans don't fit every day, some days my belly isn't swollen, others it looks like if I squatted down to look at jeans I would pop out twins. So I went to buy pants at the local Target (I know, I know, big spender!) I had about 20 pairs of pants....I had no clue what size I was and if my belly was going to cooperate. The first 6 were a no go, I brought them out to the lady and exchanged them for the next 6, all 6 were once again a no go, I brought them to the lady to exchange them for my next 6 and she said, and I quote..........."you are not wearing any pants."

I will give you a minute for that to sink in.

Not wearing any pants? What is this bitch talking about..............................holy fuck, I drop the jeans and run/waddle back to the dressing room. I just walked up to the Target lady not wearing any fucking pants, how do you recover from that? What would you do? I was leaning towards crying (but I was worried that I would be arrested because I walked around in my underroos for no reason). I mean who does that? This girl. It was a complete and horrific accident. I was just so focused on trying to find jeans, off/on, off/on, off/on, exchange............. I just forgot the "change" into your own jeans part before walking out.  So I put on my jeans, went to get my next 6 and mumbled something at the lady about cancer, chemo brain,crazy day, while not making any direct eye contact. And the thing of it is, I didn't find one damn pair of jeans. 

I will blame it on a few things: 
1. clean up the dressing rooms, and people bring the clothes out (preferably wearing clothes) when you are done, my jeans must have got lost in the crowd of unwanted clothes on the floor
2. chemo brain--which I thought was getting better, for as long as I can remember after chemo I have never taken a shower and been 100% sure that I washed the conditioner out of my hair, I literally can't remember doing it. I know.....crazy! But for the past 3 days or so I could, so I thought my chemo brain was fading away................but it's not. Apparently my chemo brain wants me to be some sort of nudist. 


  1. Glad to have an update, though certainly not about another hospital stay!

  2. OMG, I am so seriously sorry that you are forced to go through such shit, but by the time I got to the end of the post I was laughing out loud. You are a fabulous writer.

  3. I just discovered your blog. I am a fellow fighter/survivor. Thanks for making me laugh with your Target story - and there has been more than one occasion that I have had to get back in the shower and rinse out the conditioner. I hope you are doing well. I think there is something to be said for those of us who can find ways to laugh in the face of stupid cancer.