january 8, 2013

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, Melissa, the nurse practitioner that I see, gave me a prescription of Xanax (only 0.5 mg) to help me sleep since I was having issues.  It has not been helping as much lately and my depression and anxiety have gotten worse..as I am sure you could tell from my last post.  I went back to see Melissa yesterday and talked to her for a while about how I have been feeling.  She upped my Xanax to 1 mg and said that I can take it up to 3 times a day.  She also prescribed an antidepressant for me.   She told me that these feelings are completely normal for someone who is going through everything that I am going through right now.  She said that these medications can help me get through this time.  She assured me that they are just for right now and this doesn’t mean that I will need to be on them forever.  It was very nice to be able to sleep last night without the tossing and turning that I have had for months.

I also started rehab yesterday.  My therapist, Beth, was very nice and helpful. She is a physical therapist who specializes in lymphedema and rehabilitation following mastectomy.  This first visit was mainly to evaluate where I am right now and for her to see what I may need.  She said that my range of motion was excellent and she could really tell that I followed the directions that my surgeon gave me before leaving the hospital.  However, the issue that I am having isn’t something that I had any control over.  I have a couple of areas of muscle contracture and scar tissue which is a common occurrence.  I have been blaming the pain that I have on my muscle expanders that are making room for the implants.  Although they are the cause of some of my discomfort, the muscle contracture is the main culprit. Thankfully she can help me with this through physical therapy.  She will also be teaching me what I need to know to prevent lymphedema in my right arm.  I was at a low risk for this following surgery because they only removed two lymph nodes, however, the radiation that I will have will increase my risk since it will target the lymph nodes under my arm. I return to see Beth tomorrow to start actual treatment and will be going every Wednesday morning for the next few months.

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