Have I ever told you cancer is inconvenient? Well, if for some reason you were wondering...it is. You never plan on getting cancer and if you do you are forced to reorganize your life around it. It's inconvenient and it sucks. Fortunately, I never thought "if I don't do this I'm going to die" or "cancer's going to kill me if I'm not careful." I never thought of it on those terms. What I did think about was "how am I going to manage to get everything done and still make it to radiation?" "How am I going to make my right boob look the same as my left in this shirt?" "Why do I have to have blood tests, again?" or, a big one, "will I ever be able to touch my right breast again?"
Isn't that a crazy thought? When I started having all these issues with my right arm, I went to see the lymphodemiologist. Her physical therapist immediately began working with me, showing me exercises I should do to help with the nerve pain and self massage I should do in case there was swelling. When she told me I needed to start massaging over the scar in my breast, I was terrified. I explained to her I haven't been able to touch anything but my drain scar on that side of my body. I can't even lie on my right side! "Well," she said, "it's time for you to start touching yourself. You need to massage it to soften things up and maybe you'll start to get sensation back. You've already got quite a bit, so by rubbing it, you may generate more!"
All it does is make me nauseous. Imagine having to set aside part of your day to massage your implant and fight back nausea at the same time. Wow. Inconvenient. I'm to the point now where I can do the massage as required, but I can't watch. I can't look at myself while I do it. I can't explain why. I'm not ashamed of the way I look by any means, but I know it's not my body. It's hard to explain the feeling you have when you touch your breast and expect a particular sensation, but then feel nothing. There is no sensation whatsoever over my breast and it's the weirdest most disconcerting sensation you can imagine. Fortunately, I have all my feeling in my armpit and arm and there's quite a lot of feeling above and below my breast. That's lots more feeling than many women have after a modified radical mastectomy. There's a possibility I'll get more feeling over the entire area if I do the physical therapy and work on it. Regardless, it's so weird.
Cancer continues to be inconvenient. It's never over. Amy taught me that. I called her bawling my eyes out the day I learned I was going back on chemo. She very bluntly stated "it's never over, we're never done. Have you cried for ten minutes yet?" "yes" I said. "Then stop. You're allowed ten minutes a day and that's it. After that, it's time to get back to work."
That's where I'm at, constantly fighting the battle in my brain. At the moment, I'm free from disease. In my brain, it's coming back. My guard is up and prepared for whatever The Inconvenient "C" has in store. Do all survivors feel the way I do? I wonder? It's exhausting.