I'm still recovering from surgery I had four weeks ago. There are times I find that I have a pain so sharp that it is difficult to take a deep breath. The first time I experienced this, I was sure I'd somehow broken a rib. But then I came to my senses and realized that it is just pain from the muscles that are still healing. They warned me about this, that it would take longer to heal this time due to my past radiation, that it would be at least six weeks before I could resume - shall we say "strenuous" - activity. I also discovered that the pain is worse if I attempt to sleep on my left side during the night or if I pick up/carry anything too heavy. Now that I know, I seem to be managing fine.
My port has healed nicely. I still have to keep it bandaged, but it is remarkable how nicely the incisions have closed up. The big one where the port was actually inserted has an obvious cut. But the other one, the one up toward my neck where they attached the catheter to my jugular, you can't really see that I was cut there. It has completely healed. And I've learned some interesting things about my port. Last time, I had a plain ordinary port. This time, I have a Power Injectable Port. And what does that mean? That means that if I ever have to have a CT scan with contrast, they can inject the contrast dye right through my port. Which will make my follow-ups go that much smoother. And did I mention it's purple?
And speaking of purple, my tattoo is healing nicely. A few people have asked, so here's the story of how that came to be:
I've known all along that I will beat this cancer. In those words: "I will beat this." But on Tuesday Aug 3rd just after lunch, my BFF made a very angry post on the Facebook that stated I hate you cancer ... you will NOT win this time you MOFO and at that moment, my mantra changed from "I will beat this" to "I will win." And on that same Tuesday Aug 3rd at approximately 5:00 pm, I walked into Tropical Tattoo and said "I want 'I will win' on the inside of my right wrist in girlie swirly letters." The tattoo artist, covered in tough manly biker tattoos, was confused by my "girlie swirly" description until I directed him to the font Gigi (if you didn't know, I am a total font geek) and the rest is history. I chose that location so that I will be able to see it easily any time I lose focus. Because let me assure you - I WILL WIN!
And finally, I have an appointment at Dana-Farber on Sept 3rd. The clinical trial I hope to be part of is one that tests the effect of the addition of a biological agent with the standard chemo given for recurrent cervical cancer. I didn't ask my doctor too many questions about this biological agent; frankly, I was just happy to have found a study related to my brand of cancer at the cancer center I preferred to go to. If they were testing the effect of eating a Popsicle while standing on your head, I probably would have gone for it. But getting back to the biological agent... In reading over the paperwork again, I came across this statement in a long list labeled "Patient Characteristics":
And there you have it. In short, muscles healing, purple port, I will win, and I may be part hamster.
I'll keep you posted...