September 22, 2021

Well, I was right about my wrist problem. It is De Quervain’s. But I was wrong about the solution. Since it wasn’t getting better, I called my doctor who referred me to an orthopedic clinic where I went this morning. The hand and wrist specialist said that at the stage my wrist was, the splint would no longer work. He did a cortisone shot instead. All I can say is, Ouch.

The upside is that after a couple of days, the shot usually is 90% effective at relieving the symptoms and 50% effective at curing the problem. If it doesn’t cure it, the next step is surgery, so I’m really hoping for a cure. In the meantime, I’ll be thankful for pain relief.

I’m also thankful to have my first radiation appointment done. It was a little longer than it should normally be since they did a little tweaking again. Apparently I hold my breath too deeply. Go figure. At least I won’t need to worry about not being able to hold it long enough. It was fine. Plus they had to draw the radiation parameters on my skin for pictures. I never realized how often Sharpies are used in the medical field. Another go figure. One nice thing about it is that I can see where I need to apply lotion. And it’s way further under my arm than I anticipated.

So, here’s to another day of being poked and prodded but in the right direction. The countdown to Nov 4, my last treatment day, begins!

September 21, 2021

I got a call from my radiation oncologist’s office today with a last minute request to come in for X-rays this afternoon. It was the last step needed before radiation starts tomorrow. I’m scheduled from now through November 4th.

The X-rays were done in the treatment room, so I was able to get an idea of what my treatments will be like. The ceiling is designed to looks like a glass ceiling with the sky and tree branches visible. Music was playing. It was really nice. The techs and I jokes that we just needed someone to deliver margaritas.

I’m thankful I got radiation scheduled. I’m also thankful I got a glimpse of what my daily visits will look like. I think I’m ready. I have skin lotions, protein shakes, and intend to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate (my plastic surgeon’s suggestion).

September 20, 2021

I was so frustrated at work today that I’m thankful I had something crafty to do afterwards. (Crafting is mostly relaxing for me.) Tonight I got my Halloween in sign done. Yay! I’m not sure yet the birds will stay on well in the wind, but I’ll figure it out. I’m letting the glue cure overnight and will check it again tomorrow before leaving it outside. I’m hoping tomorrow will be an easier work day.

September 19, 2021

Since I got my cleaning done early today, I decided to start on outside decorations. I like to start with Fall and add in more Halloween in October, so I started with the front entrance.

Patrick saved some branches that fell off our backyard trees because I told him I had an idea for them. I made an arch over our front sidewalk. For fall/Halloween, I left on the dead leaves. I added in some black birds and pumpkins and a couple of skull planters. Later I’ll add in lights and probably cobwebs.

I also started making a Halloween Inn sign to go at the end of the sidewalk. It’s not complete, so I didn’t get a picture. But I think I got a good start on Fall. I’m thankful that Patrick was willing to help out on a couple of things, like driving the stakes into the ground that are securing the branches. I’m also thankful that I was able to tackle a project that required power tools. I felt like my old self for a bit today.

September 18, 2021

This weekend last year I was putting up my Halloween graveyard in the front yard. I was thinking about starting it today, but it was too warm. Instead I planned to get laundry done and my normal weekend cleaning. But even that didn’t happen. We drove to a nearby town to check out a large farmers market where we got apple cider donuts and cookies. And since we were already out and about, I asked to check out a Home Depot to see what different decorations I could get for my graveyard.

We ended up buying a 12 ft skeleton. Not for me, but for my sister. I couldn’t believe we found one because it’s been sold out and online and in every other Home Depot we looked. The downside was that we couldn’t fit the box in our car. We ended up taking all the pieces out and folding up the box in order for it to work. Even with that, we had no space in the car for much else.

I’m thankful we were able to get the skeleton for my sister. I love finding something that seems out of reach. I also don’t mind spending other people’s money. Haha. I’m also grateful that Patrick went along with it. He wasn’t thrilled when we realized the box wouldn’t fit. I was waiting for him to tell me to take it back inside and return it. I think he was just happy I didn’t insist on keeping it for myself.

September 16, 2021

I had my radiation planning session today. It involved a lot of laying down and being still. Not my best posture.

The hardest part of the hour and a half was keeping my arm raised. Even though I had it in an arm rest like in the picture below, my hand still fell asleep and my tight chest muscles burned.

Breast board image I found on Healthline.com.

Part of the process was getting CT scans while in this position that will be used by the radiation team to plan my upcoming procedures. A few times I needed to hold my breath, which will be part of my sessions. Holding my breath will help minimize the radiation effects to my heart as much as possible.

The final part for today was tattooing small black marks on my chest that will be used to position me in the same spot every session. That hurt more than I expected it to. I’m not sure how I feel about having permanent black spots on my chest, but it’s better than permanent cancer. So there’s that.

I’m thankful that things went well today, and I’m hopeful that I can start radiation next week.

September 15, 2021

I texted a friend on whim this morning and we were able to meet after work for a drink. We met at a restaurant nearby that had an outdoor seating area. It was a perfectly beautiful evening for catching up. It’s amazing the amount of junk we are both going through, so it was good to commiserate. Her husband arrived in town from out of town work while we were there, so he joined us for a drink and a pizza. It was good to see each other in person again since we rarely do. We decided we needed to try to do this again before the weather turns too cold. I’m thankful we were able to get together spontaneously. It was good to feel kind like our normal selves again.

September 14, 2021

I’m thankful today for a good conversation. For a cool breeze. For funny videos from friends and family. Plus I made it through another work day. Yay!

I’m also thankful that I’m able to drive again. Convincing Patrick to take me places wasn’t always fun for either of us, although I was grateful that he did. My doctor said that I needed to make sure I could move my arms and twist enough before I could get back behind the wheel. So last weekend we practiced in a parking lot, and it was ok. The only thing I was waiting for to get out on my own was the child seatbelt pillow I ordered to make the seatbelt more comfortable across my still healing muscles. It works!

September 13, 2021

It was first day back to work. I had almost 600 emails to wade through, so it was a long day…

I realized towards the end of the day that my work phone number wasn’t bouncing to my cell phone, which was probably a good thing. It gave me time to focus on emails.

Tonight I was pretty sore, which was no surprise. Typing wasn’t easy with my wrist, but the brace helped. Honestly, I wasn’t looking forward to going back to work, and not just for the uncomfortableness I expected from sitting and typing all day. Mostly it was the stress I wasn’t missing. I think taking a couple of extra weeks off was helpful for me physically and mentally. So I’m thankful that while it was a busy day, it wasn’t too stressful.