Fifty shades of yellow….
Surgery number two is done. The wound is 50 shades of yellow - pause to take arnica-and healing normally in-spite of its raw red reminder of what’s passed. But with surgery for breast cancer I find, it’s the recovery from the anaesthetic that challenges me. And this time it’s two anaesthetics in just six weeks and don’t I know it. I’m on day 8 of a headache, treatment for a sinus infection, nose bleeds and wabbit on a grand scale.
A fabulous Mother’s Day lunch in the garden was great fun and the family really made me ( and their Dad) feel loved. The sun and signs of spring have helped us lift our heads too. I recommend recuperating in the Spring, new life can be so uplifting and hopeful. Spring’s optimism convinced me I could go to a short concert with a theme of peace at St Giles. It was beautiful, especially the song for Ukraine and a bit too much in triggering pain and fatigue. Ah well, I’m still learning.
And I’m now rationing news as the war continues in Ukraine witnessing the human fallout is so distressing. Sadly I’ve yet to see any Ukrainians come to Scotland but Ireland where visas have been waved ( as across the rest of the EU) they already have been able to offer homes and support to a growing number of people. Our friends who have done this have spoken of the emotional demand on them too as they experience a kind of secondary trauma.
I was quick to register interest but as my health struggles remain so focal I need to be realistic in my offer. I know denial is one of my overused coping strategies! I still find my self concept hasn’t caught up with my reality. Illness can make me introspective and self care is by necessity all about me and I miss being able to do things for others.
I guess my blog is in part a contribution I can make. I write this to let friends and family know how I am, to help me process what I’m experiencing and also help share the reality of my life with cancer ( as well as disability of course) and it’s impact. Breast cancer in particular is now a common condition. We all know several people who have survived the diagnosis. We can be fooled by the “pink washing” of breast cancer into thinking it’s sorted. And so much really has improved. Even being diagnosed with secondary breast cancer does not mean the end, treatments that manage the condition can mean many years to experience birthdays, weddings, new births and all the ups and downs life offers. But counting the years and months isn’t the same as understanding the day to day life experience for people. Everyone will be different but it will be rare to be free from physical or emotional sequelae of treatments past or often ongoing. Everyone’s story is unique and needs to be acknowledged not hidden or diminished.
April 18 is the next step in my own crazy cancer experience. I’m attending the clinic to hear about whether I need any additional treatment. It transpires it’s Easter Monday…..so that is optimistic, isn’t it?