Wednesday, October 19, 2005

reach, really really far, to recovery (wed/th report)

my volunteer called last wed nite from reach to recovery - when i started writing this.
very sweet but not what i was hoping for.
52 - didn't have the reconstruction i want (had implant and problems with implant) - doesn't live in ny (no hospital/drs in common). overall did not inspire much confidence. maybe i didn't ask enough questions. anyway...

had my 2nd wk ckup w/PS (plastic surgeon) nurse, Pam. told her i wanted a break from everything - no saline fill up please (this is where they pump saline into the tissue expander in my chest. it stretches out the skin so that one day i can have recon done w/my own tissue (aka, fat). But since my drain was still draining out too much liquid - the deal was no saline, keep the drain. So I chose what I thought was the lesser of the 2 evils.
The saline fill up didn't hurt going in and the drain didn't hurt coming out.
But for nearly 48 hrs i felt like someone had beat me up - in just one specific area.
I will continue to enjoy this sensation every thursday for several wks as they stretch the muscle in my chest.
Otherwise, i feel pretty ok - sometimes i look in the mirror in a moment when i forget my current state and get a shock. but it is less shocking each time.

i am constantly trying to fend off nagging doubt - should i's and what if's
like that i feel bionic and totally unnatural and people should not have plastic crap stuck inside their bodies (did i already tell the story of 7th grade when i got my ears pierced and cried for hours because i felt like i'd done something wrong to my body? got over that way before my ted muehling phase)
and if i'd only done the mastectomy i'd be pretty much healed and not in pain by now and wouldn't have to do other crap the same time i'll be getting chemo
and i had a friend who lost an arm to cancer and he didn't use a prosthetic so why do i have to rebuild a useless boob when all my friends know it was cut off - why do i have to be symmetrical and pretend?
of course, the flip side is i don't think i'm ready to lead some one-boob brigade -- it's one thing in the winter for me not to put in some falsey but tank tops in the summer?
the middle ground would be no recon - special bras with a little pocket and insert. now this is sounding so sensible that i am lamenting what i've done. but i have this thing in and it can't come out now. and i can't convince myself that i definitely don't want the recon/tummy tuck operation later. there is something to be said for coming out of this and looking virtually unscathed. so i'll try to push all worries aside and continue to inflate. just in case. i can always get rid of it all in the end.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I know things are getting you down, but we know there is no point to second guessing (as much as I am constaintly doing the same). Try to bear it for a couple of weeks more: everything I've heard from the people I've talked to so far is that the firsy couple of weeks /fills are by far the worst.

Have you tried looking for a local support group rather than the Reach crew? I talked to a Lat Flap survivor (stage 2/ 6 years ago)yesterday whose a friend of a friend and she said the local support group (Wellnesss Community)she found was absolutely the best thing she did for herself. I'm going to try again to find one here. Tried last week which turned into a not-at all funny comedy of errors when I really needed support and gave up on the idea, but now I'm feeling like it's worth trying again.


10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Essential oils, roots and herbs can be used in a variety of ways to promote healthy living and cause of stress. They are used to create natural remedies for treating ailments common to both people and animals, to add flavor to food, to make perfumes and to create environmentally friendly cleaning products.

You do not have to own a garden to tap into the benefits of plants, roots and herbs. A few herb pots located by a sunny window are enough to get you started. Then, all you need are some essential oils and you are ready to go.

For therapeutic purposes, only the purest oils will do. It is possible to be fooled into thinking that you are purchasing a pure oil. Often, a lesser quality blend of several oils is used to mimic the properties of the pure oil. Blended oils are acceptable for fragrance purposes such as for perfuming a room, but pure oils are a "must" for medicinal purposes.

A reasonable guide to the purity of an essential oil is its price. Pure essential oils are generally more expensive. Common oils such as lavender and geranium are much cheaper than frankincense and carnation oil. It is advisable to become familiar with essential oil prices and then rely on this knowledge when purchasing oils from unfamiliar sources. Keep in-mind that you will generally get what you pay for. A price list from a reputable dealer is a valuable resource when purchasing essentials oils.

Usually, pure essential oils cannot be applied directly to the skin and must be mixed in a base oil to reduce their strength. Base oils such as almond oil or wheatgerm oil are commonly used for this purpose. Base oils are generally derived from seeds, nuts or vegetables and allow you to create essential oil remedies that can be massaged into the skin.

So, what do you need to get started with essential oils and natural remedies?

Without a doubt, Lavender is one of the most useful and desirable oils. Not only does it work wonders on cuts, bruises and burns, it also aids sleep and helps with relaxation.

The Tea Tree and Eucalyptus oils are useful for treating a variety of respiratory ailments. These are excellent for the treatment of colds and coughs. They can be massaged into the chest or burned in an oil burner to help clear the airways and prevent congestion. Tea Tree oil is a natural antiseptic and can be dabbed on cuts, bites and stings. It is often used to treat spots and pimples and when diluted with water, acts as a mouth gargle (keep in-mind it should never be swallowed).

Another basic antiseptic is Geranium oil. With its distinctive perfume and pain relieving properties, it is a necessary inclusion when starting out.

Peppermint oil should also be purchased as it treats digestive complaints and may be used in preparations for freshening breath.

For fragrant perfumes and establishing ambience in a room, buy some Patchouli and Ylang-ylang oils. Often combined in scented candles and air fresheners, a few drops of each in an oil burner creates a wonderfully perfumed home. Orange oil mixed with Cinnamon oil is a lovely winter alternative that evokes seasonal, holiday smells. Besides their perfume qualities, all four of these oils have other properties. Patchouli treats eczema and dandruff. Ylang-ylang is reputed to relieve stress, palpitations and high blood pressure. Orange is used in natural remedies for depression and nervous tension and Cinnamon is excellent for warts and viral infections.

The herbs, Thyme and Rosemary can be grown in pots and used when needed. To create essential oils from herbs, stew some large amounts in pure water, collect the steam and cool it. The oil will rise to the top of the drained water and can be collected with an eyedropper. Alternatively, a "flower still" can be purchased to make the job easier. Thyme and Rosemary are both antiseptics and can be used in skin care preparations. They are also delicious when used in cooking.

Lemon oil and fresh lemons will purify water and, when mixed with honey, are effective remedies for colds and flu. Lemon and white vinegar are highly efficient cleaning agents that can be used for domestic cleaning tasks without damaging the environment. Use white vinegar as a natural disinfectant or mix it with water to clean windows and wooden floors. It is also handy to keep a bottle of white vinegar in your car if you swim in the ocean. It will bring instant relief from jellyfish stings.

Citronella oil is perfect in summer to keep the insects at bay. Another natural repellent is Garlic. Fleas will not bite a dog that has been eating garlic, so a few garlic capsules in the dog food are a cheap solution to your pet's flea problem. A soft collar soaked in Citronella will also do the job.

Garlic also helps to promote a healthy immune system when the weather turns cold and viruses begin to circulate. In fact, most of the oils and herbs listed above are effective in helping to prevent many common winter illnesses.

Whether you are looking for remedies or nature friendly products to use around the house, the oils and herbs suggested above should help get you started. You will be ready to make some healthy changes in your way of life!

cause of stress

6:02 AM  

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