Lately I’ve felt as if I want to punch my surgeon. No, not Dr. McHottie, but my regular surgeon. I have all sorts of issues right now because of lymphedema in my left arm since my surgeon removed all of the lymph nodes in my arm pit. One of the nodes had cancer. When you first get a diagnosis and they tell you, “this needs to be removed” you just think, “yeah, do it.” You don’t think much about the potential side-effects down the road because you just want there to be a down the road. Of course, I don’t blame my surgeon for any of this – I’m quite grateful to him for my life, really. And he’s a good guy. It’s just that I have a desire to punch something that I can’t strike out at.
My past year has really brought home to me the relativity of our experiences. When Mom complained about having a head cold to me over the phone in the midst of my chemo treatment, I just pursed my lips and kept my mouth shut. I got a ton of emails from “friends” who didn’t really keep in touch with me asking, “So are you all better now?” It doesn’t quite work that way. I have scars and burns and tattoos on my body. The smell of certain liquid soaps brings me back to the sick feeling of my treatments. When I began to correspond with dear Barbara about her cancer, she mentioned a numbness in her feet that she still has three years after her chemo. I have that same problem with my feet, and it has only been 5 months.