Wednesday, September 29, 2010

brief update:

In a few hours I go in to take my radioactive pill. I'll be quarentined for 48 hours.

I've been extremely hypo-thyroid since the surgery but have only felt its effects within the last week or so. At this point, it's a battle just to get my ass up to take a shower.

fatigue, random depression, foggy brain. thinking only in pieces, which are promptly forgotten anyways. can't really write or read. i wonder if this is what the onset of dementia feels like.

oh, and I CAN'T BURP. It is sooo painful, to the point that I don't even eat unless I have to. Built up gas that can't escape, constantly throughout the day, constant nausea.

all of this feels familiar.

hang in there, it'll be all better soon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

is this my daily dose of happiness?

My doctors hope so.

The ubiquitous Prozac pill- do you recognise it? I have graduated from the green-and-white 20mg to the more formidable orange-and-blue 40mg. I like the new color; it reminds me of Karl's s/s 2007 pill dresses for Chanel. No doubt he designed the collection with "afflicted" society darlings in mind, but it would be equally fitting for any cancer-afflicted fashionista.

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(feel free to gift this charm bracelet to me any time ^_^)

My history with antidepressants is a long one- I started having intense bouts of depression in my late teens/early 20's, presumably when hormones kicked in with a steel toe and sent my body and mind awry. I call these bouts "The Black Hole"-- it is exactly what it sounds like-- being sucked into an enormous vacuous hole of anxiety and self-worthlessness, drowning in it, feeling the weight of entire universes collapsing on top of you... the usual. Whilst in the hole I lose all of the grounding perspective I'd normally have in day-to-day life. I want to die at that moment, things are so painful. I'm well aware that it's all in my head. Over time I've learned to bear it, let it run its course like a fever, and in a few days I am usually feeling better.

These little pills are my daily bread. They help patch up the holes.

Friday, September 17, 2010

give a neurotransmitter a BREAK, mannn.

I can't remember what it feels like to not be in physical pain.

Of course I took it for granted; it wasn't even there until I hit age 23. Now... I wake up feeling like something has hit me, an invisible moving vehicle that I happened to step in front of. The accident can't be reversed, no matter how tightly I shut my eyes and reminisce about past-me.

The only time I don't feel pain is while sleeping. This is ironic, because I have chronic nightmares- every night is an increasingly ultra-violent scenario, usually involving me being captive and trying to outrun my captors, and of course, a tortured death. The end is usually grim-- I am on the ground about to have my skull kicked in, or I am shrouded and noosed and pushed off of a parking high-rise. I mean, seriously, seriously grim. But I feel no pain, and right before the final blow, I awake.

I wake up safe and warm in my bed, in pain.

I honestly can't decide which state I prefer, awake or dreaming?

what would you prefer?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Situation

I let myself cry, and then I write. This is usually how it goes. If I hadn't been diagnosed with a second cancer, I'd be doing neither of these things- presumably, I'd be tying up loose ends and embarking on my very first cross-country-moving-adventure. But, let's not presume. Let's not think of the what ifs and perhaps maybe might have beens. Here are the facts:

1. I have papillary thyroid cancer that has spread to most of the lymph nodes on my neck.
2. Said nodes have been scraped out, along with my thyroid, parathyroid glands, and a bit of my trachea, which shows cancer involvement.
3. In 3 weeks or so, I will receive radioactive iodine treatment to take care of any cancer cells the surgeon left behind. My pee will glow in the dark. I will be dangerously radioactive. If you touch my skin, yours will burn. Seriously!
4. I am definitely staying here for awhile. I need to be monitored closely.

The surgery was supposed to be 3 hours but turned into a 9 hour affair due to the many surprises my neck provided. When I awoke and saw that it was 1:45 am, I was convinced the clocks were broken. Nope. Just me.

Recovery has been painful, but I am now able to eat soft foods and turn my head slightly. I have been taking advantage of this and eating heaps of ice cream. Here's a picture during my hospital stay, with the drains still in:

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haaah, wait, here it is:

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and here is a picture of how it's healing:

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One of the first things I noticed about the incision was how beautiful and even my surgeon's stitches were- seamstresses would call this a blanket stitch. In this photo I'm still very swollen and unable to turn my neck or sleep on my side. lameness. Literally!