Ugh. MY SKIN IS SO SENSITIVE!!
My skin is driving me crazy. My chest is sore. My shoulder blade is sore. My armpit is so painful I can hardly brush my teeth or lift my arm up. My armpit skin is SO tight. The skin is SO sore. I’m doing everything they tell me. Saline soaks, burn cream, Tylenol, resting.
I don’t have one single item of clothing I can wear that doesn’t make me want to scream. I’m laying around topless feeling useless. I do EVERYTHING with my right hand. Can’t make dinner. Can’t walk the dog. Can’t even play the ukulele.
This last week of radiation has been really hard. Poor Gerry is wiped out and frustrated that he can’t do anything to help me feel better. I’m not sleeping well because I’m in constantly uncomfortable.
Do you want to see my burned armpit?? Click HERE if you do. If not … read on.
I went in to talk to the nurses to make sure that everything was ok and I saw one of my favourite nurses from the chemo ward. She’s a old-school nurse. She’s been doing her job for a while and because of her wisdom she made me feel a lot better about what I’m going through. She assured me that my armpit wasn’t infected and that the burn actually looked good!
I was like “GOOD?” She laughed and said “I swear. You’re doing really well. I’ve seen much worse and yours is doing really well.”
She gave me some more tips about how to keep my arm from chafing the sore in my armpit and the best tip she had was to do a MacGyver and cut up a pair of hospital underwear into a tank top for me. Not only does it hold my bandage in place (to protect the sore) but it keeps my arm from rubbing up against it.
I’m still uncomfortable and feeling shitty but not like I was before. I love nurses.
We are so close to the end of this treatment that this week has been torture. And it’s not like it when I finish radiation everything suddenly gets better once I’m done. The after effects of radiation last a couple of weeks or more and the nurse told me the pain/soreness in my armpit could get WORSE!
The chemo is still messing with my body too. My skin is all weird and bumpy as I process the chemicals. Two of my fingernails are hanging on for dear life. My big toe nail looks like it’s a zombie toe and I know one day I’m going to take off my shoe and it will have fallen off.
I’m just so over it.
One positive thing this week is that I looked in the mirror and saw a Sarah I recognize. She has eyebrows and eyelashes and doesn’t look like a sick alien creature from a far off planet but boy-howdy she sure does look tired.
I did my last radiation yesterday. It was weird to say good-bye to everyone on the radiation ward. I’ve been going there every single day for the last month and a half. I feel like I work there.
It’s going to be weird to have some free time … although it’s not like I can do anything because my skin is still SO sensitive that it makes wearing clothing torture. I’m hoping my vegan superpowers kick-in and my skin starts healing up quickly. I have a Go-Go’s show on New Years to attend damn it!
I hope my armpit heals up enough so I can clap my hands during Head over Heels. Ha ha. I need to get my dance on!! Everyone needs a goal right?
The biggest bummer was that I woke up with a sore throat. This entire year through all the surgeries, chemo and radiation I managed to avoid getting any bugs … and here I am on my last day of treatment and I catch a wicked sore throat.
Dang it!! So I’ve been sleeping and drinking juice hoping it will go away and not turn into something.
Everyone keeps asking me if I’m excited that it’s all over and truth be told … I don’t know what I feel. Right now I don’t feel much of anything because I’m just trying to deal with this armpit burn.
I also know that it’s not over. I have to heal from radiation (and that’s going to take a while). I have to heal from what the chemo did to my body. I have to have surgery to remove my Power-Port. Mentally I have to heal from all the trauma. Plus we still don’t know if I have the breast cancer gene and will need surgery on the other side – so we’re waiting for those results.
So it’s not really over … lots left to do. Still focused on now. Gotta focus on healing and that’s going to take some time.
This time of year I usually like to do a 2013 YEAR IN REVIEW but I can look back. I can’t. 2013 has been as raw as the skin under my arm. It’s too sensitive to touch…
But even though I’m not feeling 100% yet and I am literally uncomfortable in my own skin – I know it’s only temporary.
All year. Through the surgery, the chemo, the radiation … Gerry would rub my head and say “It will be better tomorrow…” and sometimes it was and sometimes it wasn’t but whenever he said that to me it gave me hope.
I am hopeFULL that 2014 is going to be better.
I am also so thankFULL for all the love that was showered on me this year. I have so much love from my family, my friends who are like family and all of you out there in internetland.
Thank you for all your encouragement. At any time day or night I could hop onto social media and ask for support and you were there to provide solace for me. I never once felt like I was alone during this … I am so blessed to have all of you in my corner cheering me on.
I love you guys.