Jenster's Musings

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Little Housekeeping

In my Marsha, Marsha, Marsha post on August 31st I listed some topics I was going to be addressing in the near future. Near has gotten away from me and now it's just the future, but I'm going to make good on my word:

Todd's blog

Not much to say here. His last post was on September 11th. I don't see it going anywhere. Too bad for you, really good for me.

Hot flashes/Night Sweats

I'm guessing in August I was going to complain about the hot flashes and night sweats. Most likely I'd whine about how unfair it was to go through menopause twice, as if once isn't enough. The hot flashes I went through during chemo were different, though. Then it was like I was like going from a cool room into a burning furnace. The hot flashes since my hysterectomy have been more gradual and not as intense.

Now that it's cold, however, I've not been dealing with them quite so much and that makes me happy. And Todd's happy because I like the house cold at night so I don't have night sweats. So I suppose you could say menopause has been good for my marriage.


If you don't know what I'm talking about here or if you just want a refresher you can read Still Under Construction (One of my better posts).

The unveiling was, um, what's the word I'm looking for... OH! I know! Lame. I knew things weren't going to look like me, but I still wasn't prepared for how unlike me they looked. And this just succeeded in dredging up all those crappy emotions associated with having breast cancer. Anger at the stupid disease, sadness at how it's changed so much, unrealistic guilt because I shouldn't have these emotions when I'm so healthy now, and acceptance that I'll probably have these feelings to some degree for the rest of my life.

After the unveiling I got an infection on the right side. Antibiotics cleared it up and I thought all was well. I was scheduled for tattooing in October and further work to smooth out the rough incisions on the left side in December, but I cancelled the tattooing because the left side is nearly non-existent. So when I go in for the procedure in December he'll fix the left side to hopefully look like the right side. THEN I'll get the tattooing done a couple months after that.


You can catch up by reading Fungal Petri Dish.

The last biopsy my regular dermatologist performed suggested bug bites. Apparently the fluid had chemical properties indicative of an allergic reaction to bug spit or something like that. So it was decided I had scabies. Except for the fact the bites didn't spread anywhere other than that one specific region. Still, we all did the scabies treatment, washing everything that could be washed and spraying everything that couldn't. It seemed to slow things down for a little bit, but then it all flared up again with a vengeance.

Not only did I have those horrible blisters or bug bites or whatever, but I also broke out in another horrible rash from my neck to my feet. It looks like I have developed an allergic reaction to high dose steroids. Thank goodness this is a fairly new development because I was given a massive dose of steroids with each chemotherapy treatment.

I finally got in to see the specialist. He did another biopsy and the results came back as indicative of bug bites again. Like he said, however, indicative doesn't mean definitive. He completely dismissed the idea of scabies and wasn't convinced at all these were bug bites.

So as of today I still don't have a diagnosis. I'm a medical mystery. If only I could run over to South Jersey and see Dr. House. I'd put up with his snarky attitude. I'd probably snark right back. But it doesn't so much matter anymore anyway. At one time I had upwards of 80 of these annoying blisters/bites, but now I only get a couple at a time and sometimes (like this very moment) I don't have any flared up.

40+ models on Rachel Ray

What was I going to say about this subject?? I think just that it depressed me because I'm 41 and I feel like cancer treatment made me much older. When I was much younger I always looked young for my age. I thought that would be a great thing when I got older, though I think by the time I was in my late 30's I looked like I was in my late 30's. I know the extra weight makes me look older, but maybe it's just that I feel older. Though I have to say I'm finally, FINALLY after two-and-a-half years, starting to feel closer to my age. And we have so many young friends that sometimes I forget I'm actually middle-aged.

Sunburn stripe on leg

I first posted about this at Summer Fun. This particular sunburn lasted probably a month. Before chemotherapy if I'd burned like that - which I wouldn't have - it would have turned into a tan. But because my chemical make up has been completely altered my skin does funky things. Like look like a burn for more than a month. Weird.


And that's the end of my list! Now I can move on.

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