I’ve always thought of this journey of dealing with cancer as a roller coaster ride. One minute you’re up, the next you’re down. One minute, you’re strong and you can beat this thing, and the next you’re shouting at God saying “Why me?” One day there’s a doctor sharing grim news, and the next there’s a doctor providing hope.
Living after cancer is not much different than living a “normal” life (whatever normal is). We’re all on the roller coaster of life. There are good days and bad days, calm seas, and rough ones. I guess life would be pretty boring if it wasn’t a bit of a roller coaster ride. It reminds me of that scene in the movie “Parenthood” from 1989 with Steve Martin, where Martin’s grandmother is talking about how exhilirating, frightening and sickening the roller coaster was as compared to the merry-go-round, where it just goes around. She preferred the roller coaster. Well, the roller coaster is life. I’ve always thougth you can’t appreciate the good times without going through the bad times.
So, the point of this is that I’m back on a small roller coaster ride. I went to see my cancer doc yesterday because of the swelling in my arm. Again, it’s not the side where the cancer was and where they removed lymph nodes. That’s where you’d expect some swelling, but that side looks great. It’s my other arm that is swelling. To quote my doctor, “Well, that’s weird!” Yep, it’s weird and unusual. I had the rare, unusual cancer, now I’m having a weird, unusual swelling in the wrong arm.
I’m having a chest CT in two weeks (the cancer I had is one that likes to go to the lungs, so although we believe we got all of it during surgery, we are watching things closely). My chest CT has now been modified to include my left arm. We all think I’m just retaining fluid. My hubby and I have determined that the massage therapy we learned during my Physical and Occupational Therapy already helps. So it may come down to where I have to wear a compression sleeve on that side.
That’s not the greatest news, but not the worst news. I hate my compression sleeve that I have to wear when I fly. Now, it looks like I’ll have to wear one on both arms. But if that’s the worst of this, then it’s okay. It’s annoying but not life-threatening. Just another twist and turn on this roller coaster of life after cancer.
Keeping a positive attitude is difficult somedays. But, in thinking about my attitude in recent weeks, I realized I was forgetting to pray. I was so wrapped up in my discouragement, I didn’t seek the right kind of help by being prayerful. So, as I’m getting dressed after my appointment, I thanked God for my husband, my wonderful doctor, and for the blessings of good medical care. Compression sleeves aside, life is still okay.
On another positive note, as I said, the massage we learned seems to help keep the fluid moving. So that means my hubby must massage me every day. It’s a very particular kind of massage, but hey — he’s touching me daily. And it’s become a sweet one-on-one time for us. See — there are always good things along the way!
Keep on truckin’ everyone!