I could not believe the difference not being super tired and sick can make in the enjoyment of a major holiday.
An extra fun thing this year has been the Christmas cards, letters, and presents we have gotten after the holiday as well.
So my kids loved Camp Kesem! After watching these videos it is not surprising. It was humbling to see them so relaxed and happy. They also made friends that they have kept in contact with. It was hard for me to drop them off and drive away. Luckily I had Baby to take care of. She helped me out by getting sick the week her siblings were gone to help keep my mind occupied.
The counselors were great, they even took extra time to talk to us, because we were new camper parents. The activities were super fun according to L and C.
Instead the rehabilitation therapist was glad my arm was a regular size and could fit me one off the shelf. It was the ever popular Jobst.
He told me to wash it in baby shampoo which I already have of course for Baby. Then he showed me how to put it on. There are special things to use or ways to put it on, but I found it easy to do and so did not bother with anything else.
He took measurements of my hand and fingers for the glove. This therapist reiterated what the other therapist said which is that it easier to fit a compression on an arm that is close in size to what you want it to be.
I found both to be sweaty in my active lifestyle and took the glove off several times a day to change diapers, and other baby care activities. L and C asked why I did not just wear Under Armour. C even tried to let him wear it, telling me he was too cold and needed my sleeve. That just amazed me. Baby would rub her hands on it, and sometimes put them under the edge of the sleeve and grab it like a blanket.
Another aspect that I did not expect in wearing the compression garments is how often I shared information about them. There are many, many people who put off going to the doctor and just live with the swelling they have, due to money constraints, lack of insurance and so on. I ended telling people some online places, what brand I had, the amount of compression I used (20-30) as opposed to the other types of compression, and let them feel the fabric of the sleeve.
I went to the doctor for a check up. He asked if I wanted to do my blood work before I came in so he could discuss the results with him. I said it would be no problem, I could do it. Thirty minutes into my drive to his office I remembered I about the blood work. When I got there, they asked about it, and then took a blood sample. I did remember to use the numbing cream so when the nurse flushed my port it would not hurt. When the doctor came in he gently asked if I wanted to try to do my blood work before, or just wait and have them do it at the office. I would have to wait longer for some of the results, since they only can do some tests at his office. I opted to just have them take the blood sample there.
My doctor said everything looks great. I showed him the lymphedema, and he wrote me a referral to the specialist. He seems pretty optimistic about my recovery and long term survival rate. I did follow up visits last time I had cancer, and everything always looked great until it came back. It is hard to think about the future or plan too far ahead. Luckily I have lots of good things to think about right now – my dear family and friends, energy to play, enjoying the warm weather, doing my hair, listening to others, tasting food, painting my fingernails, and so on.
With L, C, and Baby we celebrate Sisters' Day the 2nd Monday after Mothers' Day. Brothers' Day is the 2nd Monday after Father's Day. L asked about Sisters' Day and I told her I was too stressed out to think about it, and we could celebrate it in the summer. Then my sister called and asked if L was excited about Sisters' Day because this would be the first year Baby and L would share it. After that I decided I could do the celebration this year. We marked Sisters' Day on May 16, and then began the preparations.
On Sunday we instituted the Worry Bucket. L and C decorated an small old Easter bucket, and I put a pencil and small pieces of paper by it. I told them they could write whatever they wanted. So all day they did. That night we went through them. Some were directed at each other, C writing about something he did not want L to do, but others were deeper.
After number 3 chemo, my mother-in-law accidentally took home the extra keys we have for the grandmas to use. I told my husband about it and after I was done he wondered what else had happened to her. I told him she was fine and would send the keys back soon. He explained he expected much more to have occurred, and went through a few scenarios.
Thinking about the items in the Worry Bucket, the discussion with my husband, and other comments my kids have made, I realized we just expect everything to be catastrophic. I guess going to the doctor with a hopefully clogged milk duct and coming home with breast cancer will do that to a family.
I remember last time I had cancer and it seemed like the stream of bad news would not stop. This time though, while their certainly has been awful news, there have been really hopeful things too. Of course living with Baby is a big part of this. She is a ray of hope everyday. Plus some of my cousins are getting married. While I probably will not be able to attend their weddings it is fun to see their preparations from afar. In addition, it reminds me of the exciting time when the cousins close to my age and I got married. Luckily I am still somewhat close to those cousins and can witness the miracles in their lives too.
Winter has brutal for many people I know, with record snow, but here it was sunny every time I had to go to chemo or the shot the next day. It has been cold occasionally, but a relatively mild winter. I was worried about not only my husband or I driving up to the doctor, but also the non snow driving grandmas. The lack of bad weather was beyond me. I was just hoping the weather would not be too bad for too long.