Sunday, November 23, 2008

Four Updates

Well.

My plan was to write several posts each about different happenings of this past week. Now even more is happening, and if I don't get something out, it will all go the way of the mythical "Anniversary Post" and the even greater mystery, the "October Post." At least I'm recognizing these terrible habits and making some sort of a change.

Physical Therapy
I was scared to go to my first PT appointment on Friday. I thought I might be told I was totally out of whack, in terrible shape. I thought it would possibly be a scary environment, full of frustrated people trying to walk again, fighting back tears. None of these things occurred. My therapist, Dustin, put me at ease with some initial gentle heckling. I think it's the little sister in me that makes that work pretty much every time. During his evaluation, it was clear that he had a very good understanding of both my old injury (dislocated shoulder) and my new ones (mastectomy & reconstruction surgeries). He was encouraging and thorough, and pointed out a few silver linings.
1) I'm young. This was one of the main reasons I decided to have both breasts removed now. I didn't want to recover from this surgery again later in life.
2) My shoulder is actually in better shape now because of the mastectomy & radiation. The pain I have there is all due to a really loose joint. Both surgery and radiation gave it a little boost of tightening. Because of this, when I've rehabbed it this time, it will be better than ever.
3) All of the stretches he gave me to do at home are what I naturally do already when I have pain. I'll need to do them more regularly, but I shouldn't forget them.
4) My personality is helping me heal. He pointed out that because of the trauma of breast cancer, a lot of women, those that even come in for pt, will not want to be touched and will have a lot of fear related to working with that part of their bodies. Me, I'll take all the attention I can get in order to feel better.

So I'll see him a couple of times a week, stretch & exercise at home, and be good as new sooner than Dustin even thinks. I rehabbed my shoulder in 3 months last time. He's going to be impressed in the near future.

A Very Random Heads-Up
When I met my massage therapist later that afternoon, she gave me an interesting warning. It seems Dr. Ls is going to be doing a reality show with the Oxygen Network. And he wants me to take part. Now I've never seen an Oxygen show, so I have very little to infer from the information I have, other than the term "Docu-Drama" that they're using. Which produces in me a huge YIKES. Most of the decisions I make are careful though, so I'm going to do some research & take my time. I have two competing thoughts right now.
1) Being my own advocate saved my life from something a lot of young people don't think they have to worry about. Having the chance to inspire other women to stay ahead of breast cancer would be a great, great, good.
2) Ah, reality television. Wherein evil puppeteers gain bizarrely intimate levels of access to humans and then edit their every utterance to turn them into whichever character they feel makes for the best entertainment. I think. But really, I don't want to be on any kind of television.

So what do you think? Really, I want comments on this.

The Three Day
First let me share that I learned from Kelley that the Three Day walkers' fundraising pages can be donated through several weeks after the event. So if you forgot or you found $20 in your pocket, you can still help.
Saturday I had planned to meet with my Mom and go see Kelley and Jenny as they walked the Three Day. We got a late start, but that made it possible for Mark to join us and the three of us headed to the South Mission Jetty. I found out Kelley was tearing up the course, making great time after squeezing in a bloody mary with her husband that morning. That put her ahead of us by just a bit. Then we heard Jenny's team was not faring as well. Jenny had a blister under a callus, Erica had SIX blisters, and Claudia was doing the best with bad knees. We decided to wait for Jenny's group. I'd never seen the Three Day in action and it was a good thing we had a bit of a wait before the girls got to us, because there was a lot of emotion to control. We turned into the parking lot among a throng walkers and supporters, lump steadfastly in throat. Music was blaring from two touring motorcycles at the entrance that had been appropriately pinked-up. A couple of tents had been set up with refreshments, crazily themed groups of supporters, and more music. We parked and made our way over to the love-gauntlet that lined the path, and I just hung on to Mark for a bit while we took it all in. I was about gathered when Jenny and her team rounded the bend.

Jenny, Claudia, and Erica, looking fantastic with just a few miles to go on day 2.

Mom, Me, and Jenny's fiancee Shane stopped the girls for hugs, moleskin handoff, and pictures by Mark.

The girls where just a little over a mile from the next pit-stop, and they needed to keep moving, so we decided to tag along. Mark said about 12 times, "We have to do this next year." And we will. I only got a taste of the amazing support crew my ladies had helping them along the way. Even past the designated cheering zone, folks were lined up all along the boardwalk passing out candy and cheering. We even saw a well-placed keg party happening at one of the vacation rentals where the revelers had signs and pink shirts all around. From my tiny little nugget of the three day, the thing I was most touched by (aside of course from the amazing comittment & sacrifice of the walkers themselves) were the many ladies waiting along the route to say simply, "Thank You." Ugh, it gets me now. So much pain, hope, loss, and grattitude, so many stories that we'll never know behind those two words we hear most every day. I can't say it enough, so again, Thank You.

Niece #2
Last but absolutely not least we're celebrating the arrival of a new family member. I have very few deails, except that reddish-headed, blue eyed Danielle was delivered just an hour and a half after her parents got to the hospital this evening. She weighed 7 lbs, 4 oz, but might be heavier already as I ear she's nursing up a storm. Her mama is tired but well, and we're all very blessed.

1 comment:

justin said...

Oxygen? I say go for it. Really.

And the walk -- did you send Scott a link to donate? Please send him/me one if you haven't!

ps--we put a hold on and applied for a place at Portofino :-)