Yesterday was a bad day for me. It started the first week of April when the kids were on Spring Break from school. I was off of work that week and I decided that I would work on my spring cleaning. I made a plan of completing 2 rooms each day and would end the week with a huge yardsale/bake sale for our Relay for Life team “Bosom Buddies” on Friday and Saturday. Everything was going according to schedule although by Thursday I was starting to feel pretty weak and more tired than usual. Thursday evening my sister, Amanda, and our friend Sarah and I started setting everything up for the sale the following morning. We sorted through donations and carried boxes after boxes outside. Friday was an extremely busy day. My sister, Nick, and my mom repeatedly told me to slow down and not to over do it. I didn’t listen very well. I hate feeling like everyone else around me is doing all of the work and I feel like I can’t help.
By Friday evening I was hurting. I am still on a 15 pound weight limit since my surgery in September. I did not follow my limit at all that whole week. I slept at Amanda’s house Friday night because we had to be back up bright and early Saturday morning for day 2 of the sale. I ended up having MAJOR muscle spasms in my chest all night. By morning the spasms were going all the way around to my back and I couldn’t hardly move. I felt so bad because I was of no help with the sale on Saturday. Nick had to come and pick me up because I couldn’t even drive myself home.
On Monday the spasms stopped but I was having a lot of burning pain on the side of my right breast (well…fake breast!) The burning sensation was there even if I were sitting still. On Tuesday I called my plastic surgeon’s office to let them know about the pain and see if there was anything that I needed to worry about or if I needed to be seen. I did not manage to call until after they were closed for the day. My call was returned first thing Wed. morning and Dr. L asked me about my activities that led to the pain and then reminded me of my restrictions. He said that when he placed the tissue expanders behind my chest wall/muscle that the only way to hold them in place is to suture them to the rib cage. He said that my expanders were sutured to my ribs in 3 places (each expander). He said that my symptoms make him believe that I tore one of the sutures. He will not know for sure until I have my surgery on May 6th. I was fussed at and reminded about my 15 pound weight limit and also told that I am not to be pulling or pushing anything that causes a strain either. I was advised to take ibuprofen since I declined a prescription for muscle relaxers and pain medication.
Today is Friday and I am still in pain a full week after the pain started. I am frustrated with myself. I look around my house and see so many things that I want to do and feel like I need to be doing and I can’t do it all. Nick is more than willing to help me with any and everything that needs to be done. My problem is that I feel that since I am wife and mom that the house stuff is for me. So I do things when Nick isn’t home and I end up getting fussed at by him when he gets home. This time I learned my lesson. I hurt. I hurt badly. It is all my fault.
On top of the physical pain, I have been so frustrated with myself. I will copy my Facebook status from yesterday:
The thought of a recurrence hangs over me like a black cloud sometimes. Some days I feel like the worry is constantly on my mind, and yet other days are “sunny and happy” without a dark cloud in sight. I thought I would feel so much better after treatment was complete but I am still so physically weak and tired 2 months after my last chemo treatment. I am having difficulty because I am constantly comparing myself to others and even to my “old self or pre-cancer” Deb. I am so frustrated with myself today and just feel like crying.
The following are Facebook comments from the wonderful friends that I have:
Tia: Just keep swimming… Healing takes time. it’s not gonna happen overnight your body has been through hell… Keep your head up!! Love love love you.
Christie: Debbie, you are amazing. You are entitled to cry sometimes…you earned it. You just remember on days like this, God is ready to listen and comfort you. He is always, as are your family and friends. We do not know what tomorrow brings, however you have inspired me to live life to the fullest, everyday. You have so much strength and courage and love….I am everso proud to call you family and friend. Big Hug and Stay Strong and Keep God Close! Love.
Shannon: You are a wonderful person who was dealt a crappy hand. I believe in you. You will beat this and you will be better for it. I love you and am praying for you❤
Jackie: Oh Debbie, you are doing great with everything you have been through and raising a family. The hardest part is over now just enjoy living. If anytime you need to talk just call me, I’m a good listener.
April: We all have those feelings!!!! Give yourself a good cry and then remind yourself what a strong woman you are!!!!! Chemo wipes us all out!!!! DO NOT let the Devil get you down!!!!! You’ve got this!!!! Now, go cry!!!!!
Christine: You are amazing and you are strong. Keep smiling and hang in there. I love you!
Mary Ann: Some days are crying days. Don’t be so tough on yourself. I am living the recurrence nightmare and neither road is easy. I find rainy days are worse. I hope tomorrow is a sunny day for you. Also each of us are different. My radiation onc was great. She said it would be a year of recovery and two years to feel normal again after my first treatment. Two months…you have every right to feel physically drained. Remember you just fought a war.
Mary Jane: Debbie Turner Folino.. Stop right there! This is only Satan whispering in your ear about this. (this is what I have to tell myself as well). Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone runs at a different pace. So, we both have been dealt a crappy hand. And we BEAT it!! And bless your heart you did have a rougher time than I did so it will take you longer to recuperate. Dr. Riley says it could take a year to be back back”normal” but only you know your body.
Please call me when your feeling down and we can talk and get our minds off this. Cancer is such a scary word to even think about. Doubts can run wild if you let them. You, my friend, are one strong lady!
Jayne: Aww cheer up sweetie! I’m sure it will get better. I would think some depression is part of it. You’ve done so well and you are amazing. See you on Saturday!!
What amazing, supportive friends I have. I love them all.
I have to work on keeping the negative thoughts our of my head. I ended up having several good cries yesterday and a couple more today. I am feeling better right now. I am looking forward to an evening with friends tomorrow for monthly poker/game night and then going to see another friend for a cookout on Sunday afternoon. I am so thankful for such good friends and family.