Saturday, May 14, 2011

On the verge of greatness

The surgical follow-up appointment on Tuesday went well.  Dr. Surgeon said that everything is healing as it should, and she complimented my range of motion with my left arm.  The nerve pain under my left arm is still present but is no longer a constant bother.  I'm used to clothes and their constant rubbing, but the nerve still fires up if a kid grabs my arm.  My right breast is still very tender despite the needle-localized biopsy (link) taking place over a month ago.  I mentioned this ongoing soreness, in case it was a sign of trouble, but Dr. Surgeon just nodded and said that it will continue to be tender for quite some time.  Interesting. 

The best part of any surgical appointment is that Ian and I get a date in Iowa City.  That town has some fantastic restaurants, sporting some ultra-fantastic vegetarian fare for yours truly.  This time, however, Ian got to choose the dining spot because I didn’t think I could eat at any of my top choices, given the ongoing state of my throat.  So we went to a burger joint and I got a gigantic lettuce salad, sans croutons.  Then we went to Whitey’s ice cream parlor and I got my real meal:  a salted-carmel milkshake.  Oooo was it delicious.  My throat is much improved, now, so I'd better enjoy the frozen treats while I still have the excuse.    

Sitting here now it’s hard to believe that I’m already done with the four bonus radiation doses that had me all worked up on Monday.  (Yea, I was pretty depressed.  The Ms. Brightside post was as much an exercise for my morale as it was an information download to you.)  One of the radiation technicians thought that my chest looked redder on Thursday, so that’s good.  I can’t see the difference, but I think I can feel it.  I feel substantially sorer now than ever before; hopefully that’s a sign of success.  I’ll go in on Monday for Dr. Radiation Oncologist to assess again.  It’s unclear how long I’ll be on this guess-and-check schedule, or at what point he’ll give up the redness crusade.  As a result, I’ll still feel on the radiation hook until Monday.  I’m sure I can nonetheless manage to work in some mini-celebrating this weekend.  The girls and I had a dance party this morning and made our own music video to Tainted Love.  Awesome.  

I am really starting to feel great.  I have another week to be on antibiotics et al. for the sinus infection, and I have chemo next Wednesday, but then I’ll have three weeks with NO doctor’s appointments.  Wow.  I can’t even imagine it.
Between feeling good and having time on my hands, I should be able to get some things done in my life.  At home I feel about a week behind in my chores and a month behind in my correspondences.  I have fallen off the good-at-sending-packages-and-letters wagon, and I hope to get back on it.  The only thing I don’t feel like I failed at throughout this whole ordeal was spending quality time with my kids, which is as it should be.  On some days I remember wishing I could do more or participate differently, but I always made time for them.  There was always a puzzle to be put together. 

Work, on the other hand…ugh, I feel like I passed through a time warp from October 19th to now, with random dollops of productivity in between.  Most of that productivity was really great, but remembering it and synthesizing it is a chore.  Thank goodness for lab notebooks!  If I can just get my butt in the science chair for an appreciable amount of time, I’ll discover the cohesion and generate some momentum.  Next week is the beginning of some greatness, I can feel it.            


  1. The Greatness my dear is what you have completed in the treatment course. You have maintained a nearly perfect attitude that few of us could have come close to. You are the H-BOMB. We all love you and wow is the light at the end of the tunnel getting bright! I love you!

  2. Three cheers for three weeks with no appointments! Yay! Slowly but surely things will return back to normal, this is just the start of it. So happy to see things going that way for you!


  3. I would like to second Heidi's comments...echo...thinking about you when you least suspect it, Miss Heather....was just thinking about you and Kenna singing the apples & bananas song pronouncing the vowels wrong on purpose, of course...when I hear it in my head, it's with you little girl voices you had....yup, I can hear it clear as day....

  4. 3 weeks no doctor appt? Whoo-hoo! And a date in Iowa City? Fantastic! Glad things are on the upswing. Love you!

  5. Heather - the greatness has always been near you, just a bit occluded. Soon the sun moves to its summer home and, like the radiation, it will burn away all things unwanted. See ya doctor's appointments. Bye bye cold gloomy days. So long cancer. Hello wonderful science/family/nature filled life! Welcome back greatness!!!

  6. Heather- That all does sound very great!
    You impress me with your desire to get back to your beloved Science. I don't know what you are researching/testing, but i hope it has something to do with a cure for, let me just say it....Cancer :)! But, then again, maybe you've found that already! Enjoy your greatness!
    Emily H

  7. On the VERGE of greatness? What? Nonsense. That is like saying Otis Redding had "certain soulful qualities" when the man was the embodiment of soul. It's like saying Harrison Barnes "might play basketball someday." It's like saying Martha and Matt "have kids."

    Dude, you ARE, and always have been, greatness. No verge about it. In fact, you are so far beyond the line of greatness - the line is a dot to you! This week will be the mere continuation of your ever-present greatness. I can feel it.

    (Sorry if I seem worked up; I had a Diet Coke and I'm feeling pretty surly...)

  8. 3 weeks doctor free? I can't believe it. Hopefully the girls stay healthy so you don't have to go in just for them!

    And thanks... now I have "Tainted Love" stuck in my brain for the rest of the day. I wish I knew more of the lyrics because I can only stand the chorus for so long...

  9. RE what Frank said: lmao. Thank you. For those of you who don't know Matt and Martha, they have triplets. :)