Once again – biopsy time :(

It just seems as if my body has to try something new every single year. And of course, 2018 is another such a year. I’ve had this ‘spot’ on my arm for a long time, there is a similar one on my foot. Just a pale, flat spot. Two weeks ago the one on my arm came alive ……….swollen, red, itchy, bigger, angry. Every night I told myself to make an appointment to see the doctor, every day I ignored it. To be honest, I was scared and worried. Decided yesterday morning it cannot continue like this and called the doctor’s rooms. Living in a small town we often have to wait more than 2 weeks to see a doctor and I was emotionally prepared for that.

Nope, not Thursday – they could fit me in the same day. So off I went, and the spot was inspected with the bright lights and magnifier (I am sure there is some medical name for this but I didn’t ask). Next minute another doctor was called, another good look at the spot and decision made……….biopsy. So yes, here we go again. Hopefully the results will come back all good and that will be the end of the 2018 adventure

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I have been smocking quite a bit and sorted out the five little unmade dresses. Made sure I had all the bits and pieces together and decided to sew one of them. Really happy with the outcome. And the first dress to be labelled 🙂 Still have to make the buttonholes, but otherwise it is all done

A pregnant friend asked me to make her a nappy/diaper bag. Fabric and pattern have been sorted and this is on my to-do list for next week

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Fatigue

Fatigue is very much like a headache or back pain – the invisible health issues people can’t see and do not always believe. But unlike a headache or back pain it can strike within seconds, changing a person from an energetic, busy human being to someone who do not have enough energy left to walk, or make a drink, or read a book. Sometimes it comes without warning, other times your body tells you to slow down or to take some time off to recover. But whichever way it makes an appearance – it is frustrating and makes you feel worthless, as if you have lived your life and the best is behind you

Fatigue is not something that is understood, it is also not something you can really describe to others. Healthy people cannot imagine how a human battery can simply discharge without a ‘low battery’ warning, and that it can sometimes take days to recharge

Fatigue means you can never accept an invitation, because you don’t know how you are going to feel at that time. It is sometimes easier to decline, instead of apologising at the time and say you can’t make it because you are too tired. Fatigue do not go away when you relax in the company of others……fatigue means you don’t have the energy to be in the company of others

Fatigue is not ‘in the head’ as some people think, it is not a ‘made-up’ excuse to get out of doing stuff. Believe me – if you struggle with fatigue you do not use it as an excuse for anything. Because, when you have the energy, you are happy to do simple things like vacuuming or cleaning…….because you can!!!!!!!

You are often told to exercise, when someone hears you struggle with fatigue. I get so tired of explaining to people that I am sometimes too tired to do anything and there is no way I can go for a walk if I am too tired to brush my teeth. And when I feel ok and exercise and go for walks and cycling……..it can sometimes take days to recover. It is really a tricky situation at times. I am NOT lazy, I am not looking for excuses – but I hesitate sometimes to do things because I know that it is going to take a long time to recharge again.

I cycle, every time a bit further than the time before. And I am very proud of those little achievements. But I am often scared to do it because it frustrates me when I have no energy afterwards

I listen to my body and if it tells me to rest I won’t push myself. Because I know if I push my body too far I am going to pay for it in future

I am thankful for an understanding husband who can read me like a book. He knows, sometimes before I do, that it is time to take a break, to sleep, to sit, to just do nothing

But I hate it, I hate feeling like this, I hate making plans and then cancel it, I hate that I can’t walk fast and shop and clean and do the stuff I used to. I hate that it takes days to clean the house instead of hours, if at all. I hate the frustration, the helpless feeling, the feeling that I am not good enough any more

I am thankful that my battery lasts longer than what it did a few months ago. But it is so frustrating that when it goes flat it takes longer to recharge than what it did a few months ago

I am thankful for needlework for which I don’t need a lot of energy; that I can at least do something sometimes when fatigue hits me

Fatigue is horrible and I don’t wish it on anyone

Retirement

After a year of refreshment leave, lots and lots of needlework and so on, I had a meeting with the Department of Education Thursday to discuss the marking process I am currently involved in. I mark external papers from students all over New Zealand and have just over 2000 allocated to me to mark. The marking started at the beginning of November and I have until middle December to get it done. This shouldn’t be difficult to achieve as I am a fast marker

At the end of the meeting Thursday I was exhausted, although we had heaps of coffee and snacks, and talked a lot about everything but marking. Still, I was so tired. I arrived home and just blobbed in the chair, didn’t even have enough energy to cook or do anything else

Woke up Friday without any energy again and realised the meeting triggered the fatigue to set in. My battery didn’t recharge overnight and it seems as if everything in my body were tired. I dragged my sore knee instead of walking properly – always a sure sign that I am tired. I didn’t even feeling like needlework of any kind, couldn’t concentrate on anything very long – in other words, no tv or reading either

My husband came home after work and asked me how I would be able to go back to work next year and expect to survive full time work again if I was this exhausted after a long meeting on a single day. His suggested it was time to resign and RETIRE!!!!!!

So here I am………I have officially resigned and won’t be going back to school. And I am not looking for any other full time position either, I am retired now 🙂 If I can find something here and there to do next year I will certainly give it a go, or do some volunteer work. And lots and lots of needlework

Not having to go back to school next year is wonderful. I think I am officially over school now and really didn’t want to put myself back into that stressful situation again. How do I feel about retirement an being dependant on my husband again? Actually wonderful. I am grateful and thankful that he is there and want me to put my health first, and able to provide for me

Life is good. And although I hoped that I was over the fatigue and tiredness, as I have been feeling very good lately, I feel more relaxed and less scared of the fatigue now…….now that I know I can allow myself a longer healing time and there is no pressure on me. Fatigue is horrible, you have no control over it and when it strikes you cannot push yourself or the fatigue, you just have to allow it to run its course and allow the body to recover

 

Guilt

I often think back to last year and my breast cancer journey, especially when I limp more because my knee and feet still suffer from the side-effects of Letrozole (the medication which is supposed to prevent breast cancer from developing again); or when I am too tired to make myself a cup of coffee – luckily that doesn’t happen very often any more and the tiredness seems to be further and further apart. But I also think about the BC journey when I read about other cancer-survivors who are so positive and went through it smiling.

I realise those people struggled as much as I did, but they handled it so much better; or maybe they are simply people who never see a glass half empty. I am a teeny weeny bit jealous of them. And it makes me feel guilty for being such a drama queen and so negative at times. And I feel a bit upset that I didn’t handle it better, coped a bit better, maybe tried a bit harder to at least put up a positive front? Maybe if I was more positive things would have been better at school? Maybe I would have been less stressed all the time and would have healed better and faster?

For a long time, after treatment, I still felt that I had cancer and every ache and pain caused me to worry. My sore knee and feet – maybe bone cancer; my migraines – maybe brain cancer. It was very much in my ‘head’. But I am so grateful to say that I don’t feel like that anymore………..and I know it is thanks to the ovarian cancer scare I had this year. And the fact that the surgery went well. The bone scan also contributed to this because it would have shown ‘hot spots’ where there could be possible cancer spots

So even though I feel so guilty about the way I travelled this journey, it is now behind me and I am feeling good and healthy. Yes, I limp, but even that is now a reminder that I am healthy

It feels to me as if I need to find something to do – a part-time job, maybe volunteer work. And that makes me feel good! Yes, I still have a job to go back to next year, after my year’s leave, but I have so many negative memories of that environment that I definitely don’t want to go back. I am starting to look at job adverts, though this is a very small town and I am not really at an age which counts for me. In the meantime I am looking at volunteering, not sure where yet but it is a definite option for the future

Susan

Not a happy ‘chappy’

By lack of a female word rhyming with ‘happy’ I will just call myself ‘chappy’ today. This was not a good week – I developed an infection in my belly button 😦 I knew this was going to happen, I had a gut feeling and luckily (because of this gut feeling) I have been keeping a close eye on my belly button

It all happened when the nurse removed my stitches a week after surgery. She did great and it was a painless procedure. But the next day I noticed she didn’t see the second stitch in my belly button. I went back the next day and asked them to remove it. But I was seen by someone else who told me the stitch will dissolve and not to worry about it. I questioned this as the surgeon told me to get the stitches removed. Was told that permanent stitches are blue and the dissolvable ones brownish (like the one I had). I decided to take her word for it and let it go.

But of course I came home and googled ‘stitches’ and according to what I read stitches can be lots of different colours. And that is when my gut feeling told me we are going to have a potential problem. And yes, it happened. It was stressful when I noticed the infection, because I immediately worried that a bug could get in and cause the infection to spread. So back to the nurse I went two days ago

She managed to remove the stitch and clean up the infection, took a swab to be analysed just in case I needed antibiotics. But I am grateful to say the infection cleared and it seems as if it is under control. I was tempted to take photos of my belly button but decided that could be a bit creepy 🙂

I am seeing my surgeon next week for a follow-up after the surgery and I hope to have a very healthy and healed belly button by then. But this just reminded me again to trust that gut feeling we all have. Say something if you think it needs to be said, stand up for yourself, look after yourself!!!!!

Oh……….and I am knitting again. Saw this lovely little cardigan and just had to give it a try. Downloaded the pattern to my laptop, bought the wool and buttons and ribbon today and started immediately. I have said before that I really don’t like knitting. I still feel the same, but I do it again and again and again. It will be worth the effort though…….it looks so pretty on the pattern

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Recovering mode and needlework

Two weeks after my surgery and I feel so good. I am now at the stage where I have to stop myself from doing things, as I feel so well. It makes me feel guilty not to clean the house and help with the painting, but although the external wounds are healed I have to be conscious of what is going on internally and make sure I give that enough time to heal properly too. So I am still focussing on needlework and resting for the rest of this week

I haven’t work on the Neverending sampler for quite a while and were 9 bands behind. But now I am all caught up again. I didn’t embroider the full last one as designed because I didn’t enjoy doing the little flowers, so did only one row instead of two. Still looks pretty though. (and becoming very hard to photograph)

This is where I was up to ages ago:

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Before

And this is where I am now:

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Now!

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I also completed another knitted baby jacket and booties. Going to start on the little hat today. It is a lovely pattern and although it has not been blocked yet I couldn’t resist taking a photo. The little baby girl is arriving in November. It is lovely to knit for a specific baby

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And the fabric for my new project has arrived!!!!!!! Can’t wait to start. I have made a Crochet Fusion quilt before but decided to make another one in blues. I might make this one a little bigger too

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This is the one I have made already:

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Good news and on the way to recovery

This week I had the big surgery planned. Monday was the S-day and I reported at the hospital after the 3-hour drive and a visit to the gyro/oncologist’s rooms. In the afternoon I was wheeled to the theatre and felt very nervous – at that stage I was ready to get of the bed and walk home. Luckily they gave me something good to relax and I woke up some hours alter to very good news

The plan was to do keyhole surgery, send the frozen sample to be analysed while I was still sleeping, and to do open surgery immediately if the results came back positive. The surgeon removed the ovaries and growths with keyhole surgery………….and that was it. The growths were benign and he didn’t have to do open surgery

I am so grateful, so lucky, so blessed!!!!!!!!! Thank you to everyone who kept me in their prayers and thoughts

I am home and recovering quickly. With only four little cuts, after the keyhole surgery, it is easy to forget that I had quite a big operation and I have to remind myself to take things slow. Although my body is quite quick to let me know I have to sit back and relax. I am sleeping a lot and get tired quickly, but I know that is my body’s way to tell me I am recovering

What a wonerdul week with amazing news!