Monday, January 11, 2010

"its complicated"

Well my sister told me that my blog yesterday was too complicated. Perhaps it was.

When I think of the maze of info I have read through over the past 3 weeks, it is hard to know where my head is at.

I have to say I have not posted in some time, I guess because I have been quite down, perhaps feeling sorry for myself.

A few nights ago Ken and I were sitting talking about what a drag these new issues are, and I remembered back to almost a year ago reeling at the recent diagnosis of an advanced cancer and

I realized this is nothing.

I guess we all just want to be normal and have no problems. Many times over the past year I have thought about all the people who have problems that start in their youth. Problems such as.... a girl I went to school who was blind from birth, those who developed diabetes as a child, those with chronic Crohns disease.......I could go on and on.

I have often thought how lucky I was to be able to be a long distance runner, how lucky to have all the parts of the body still functioning so well to be able to do that. How lucky I am to see mushrooms from a distance without glasses on, and have the ability to crawl under bushes and over stumps to get those mushrooms into my bucket.

At the turn of the century the average life expectancy was 56. (the PREVIOUS century) So very lucky to have been born at a time when we get to live longer.......

Last night I discovered I have edema in my right leg. I had really been hoping I would not get lymph edema, but now I realize there was little chance of NOT getting it. Apparently as many as 80% of people who have had lymphadenectomy (removal of all the lymph nodes), radiation AND chemo will get some degree of lymph edema.

Lymph edema is where one of your limbs swells due to lack of an adequate lymphatic system to drain it.

Women who have had mastectomy with all the lymph nodes removed and/or radiation can get it in their arm. I do not think this happens as much as it used to because they are not removing as many lymph nodes with breast cancer now that they have new ways to detect which ones are malignant. They do not always take them all anymore. With gynecological cancers they take them all.

One good thing is that I have just recently found out that in Coos Bay, (half an hour away) there is an occupational therapist who specializes in lymph edema. I am sure I will have a lot more info on that.

Like everything else I guess I will have to adjust, I am fortunate to be alive and I keep reminding myself that. Oh and I am incredibly fortunate to have Ken who is always SOO supportive. I feel sometimes that lately I must sound like a nutcase with all my complaints.....

He just takes it all in stride.

I guess I hate that my "health issues" have come to consume so much of our lives. say nutcase like it is a bad thing...... :)



jankenb @

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