Making Lemonade

Making lemonade, with real lemons.

No really, I was actually making lemonade this time, with lemons and a juicer. My father-in-law visited town this week and brought me a juicer and a bag full of lemons (along with some beautiful pink roses), so that I could make lemonade like I keep promising figuratively, but not really doing literally. So why not mix a bit of both?

This past week has been a balancing act of taking advantage of every spare moment that I have felt good and doing absolutely nothing when I haven’t. Friday and Saturday were the typical “feel fine,” we went out to a friends birthday party Friday and enjoyed some BBQ and a bonfire. It was a gorgeous day to sit outside and soak up the fresh (with a mild scent of bonfire) air. Saturday evening I started to go downhill a bit, but was feeling fairly ok. I spent the day at IKEA with my little brother so that I could get some shelves and items to organize my office/workout room/guestroom/reading room (that room has a lot of uses).  I actually started to consider the fact that maybe I wouldn’t really feel the chemo this time, haha, yeah right…

Sunday I woke up with the pains, so I took my medications and BAM! It actually worked, as in 100%, took out my pain and I felt reasonably normal (as reasonably normal as one feels on a Lortab 10). My little brother came over and spent Sunday morning with Mike and I, organizing and tidying up my room (Mike also mowed the lawn, pulled weeds, trimmed shrubs, cleaned the whole house… busy man!). I kept him company while he did all of the dirty work, although soon I will no longer have a moratorium on touching dirt, so I may have to come up with another excuse to get out of yard work. We got it finished up and spent the evening sitting on the back porch doing nothing but enjoying the weather and some relaxation time together. It was absolutely amazing.

BBQ Mandi, with extra BBQ sauce... or something. 🙂

Monday I woke up and it was the same Monday post Taxol kind of morning (I woke up, I was sore, I took a Lortab and I went back to bed). Amber was coming over to check out what books she may have wanted off of my bookshelf (I was cleaning out the books, with the fact that I rarely read a book twice, and I have a Kindle and iPad, they were just taking up space so that I could show off the fact that I like to read). She was nice enough to drive me around town because Mike’s dad was coming into town and staying with us and we promised dinner. Although I wasn’t feeling super awesome, I was feeling good enough to leave the house and walk around for a few hours, which is an amazing accomplishment on a post-chemo Monday.

Pink roses from my father-in-law.

I spent what I swear was practically the entire day on Tuesday getting a second opinion about my surgical options. I learned that I seriously don’t have any options other than the latissimus flap surgery, so I should stop kidding myself that I have an alternative choice. I also learned that maybe I do like my plastic surgeon (we have definitely had some real bonding time these last 4 months, and I am appreciative of the fact that he did everything in his power to try to keep me healthy and not take out the expander because it was important to me). I liked the other surgeon, but she definitely comes from a different world than the Huntsman crew, and for now I think I will keep my eggs in the Huntsman basket. The second surgeon did not want to do any operations on me at all for 6 months post chemo, which sort of made sense, but sort of did not. This has caused me to do some serious thinking about timing of surgeries, and strongly considered postponing my surgery scheduled for the 22nd. After some deep thought I decided to go ahead as planned, because that is still my best bet to do my final surgery in December so that I can start 2012 afresh (I have to have a minimum of two surgeries no matter how I go about it, so I would rather get one behind me while on disability with time to heal as I had planned).

The neuropathy is still about where it was before this last treatment. I am hoping that the Gabapentin will knock it out, but it can take several weeks before it really becomes effective (or they may need to increase my dose to get them there). So I am still in hold mode to find out if the tingles and the numbness goes away in my left hand and feet.

I also spent some time Wednesday and today at the office interviewing candidates for some positions that the office is hiring to add to my team while I am away (seems a bit strange, but July is a long time to wait to begin the hiring process when the team needs help now). It was nice to stop by the office, but helped me come to the realization that I still need some time to heal and get my stamina up a bit more, and that having the time to be sick when I feel sick has been good for me.

Next step: Get my radiation scheduled after my surgery on the 22nd!.

Author: Mandi

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