Discouraged today… And parts of this are quite whiney, so forgive me in advance.

I’m generally a very positive person. Even after my mastectomy last summer and dealing with those wretched, awful drains, I tried to stay positive. I was happy that overall I had very little pain from the surgery, that I wouldn’t have to go through chemotherapy (Praise God!). It seemed like we got all the cancer so now was the time to just focus on recovery.

Yes, having sarcoma of the breast changed me. No doubt about that. Now, I wanted to be very purposeful and intentional with my life. I felt God’s blessings all over this entire situation. So, let’s take those blessings and run!

But then there are days like today. I don’t want to be whiney — especially when overall I have it SO good! But today I am discouraged. I’ve been trying to exercise more, take good care of myself, really make the most of things. But it seems like nothing but roadblocks are in my way. I mean, gheez, how long does it take an immune system to build back up from surgery!!!

So, I’m finally working on an exercise program I really enjoy. I’m getting into it, really trying to focus on just feeling good. In February, I got bronchitis. Both my hubby and I were down with that one. And it was the cough that lingered and lingered. It didn’t want to go away. Okay– so we work our way through that. Then I get tendonitis in my foot. I do some more stretching and get through that. THEN — I strain a muscle in my back. That was two weeks ago, and it still hurts! Damn exercise. Is this what happens when you try to get healthy?! This morning, I wake up with a sore throat and clogged sinuses. Whaa… poor me. I suppose overall, this is just life. So, we’ll get past all of these, and I PROMISE to quit whining about it all. I hate how this sounds. Time to shut up and pray!

But along with the back and sinus issue this week, I have some swelling. Here’s where the “new normal” comes in when living after cancer. Muscle strains and coughs are part of daily life. But swelling is a different story. I have swelling in my upper arm and under my arm. After a mastectomy, swelling is not good. The kicker is the swelling is on my non-cancer side! If I was swelling on the side where my sarcoma was, then we’d think lymphedema. It’s something we watch for once they take your lymph nodes under your arm to check if the cancer has spread.

This is different being in my “healthy” arm. For now, hubby and I are treating the swelling like we would with the other side. My occupational therapist showed us massage we could do to keep fluid moving. We’ve focused on my right side (cancer side) up til now — and now we’re doing both arms. And it’s helped. I’ve increased my water intake. I’m back to at least walking, even though exercise bites my back. My left arm originally looked about 2-inches larger than the right. Now, after only a few days of intense massage and water-drinking, it’s looking better, and more even with the other arm.

We have an appointment with my doctor on Tuesday. I’m sure I’ll feel silly, because the swelling will have gone down. But, I guess we have to double-check because of the swelling under my arm, near my breast area, near the surgical site.

So, onward we go… despite feeling discouraged. Thanks for reading through this anyway. Sometimes I just want to wallow in my whininess — but I know the thing to do is shut up, pray, and get busy working on something — anything — to keep moving forward.

Overall, that’s the goal — keep moving forward. Enjoy every moment of this life I’ve been given. I wish there weren’t discouraging days… but it’s going to happen — whether you’ve had cancer or not.

Onward we go…

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