Monday, August 1, 2011

Quietude (except for the jays)

Here I sit, in my oasis, the backyard, and the only sounds of humanity are air conditioners humming and an occasionally loud motorcycle from Woodbine. ALthough, I admit, I fully expect Neighbour #1 to yank out some manner of noise making tool. It is almost too much to enjoy, this quietude.

The mulberry tree next door is awash in squirrels, birds, and coons - even at this hour. The clouds behind me are black, the sky in front of me is blue. It is 28 degrees, in the shade. I have wee tiny ants running through the keyboard, between letters, exiting at space bar.

I look around and see plants I need to move for better sun / shade, and I am enjoying the cool breezes across the yard. I hear the wind in the trees, and a painted lady flits by. I can hear a bird I am not familiar with, fighting for sound wave space with those crazy jays,and the less frantic robins. I wish I had better eyesight, or binoculars.

Two weeks till the cottage. The slow preparations begin - recipes to pore over, things to pack.

I had a visit with my Registered Massage Therapist, lst week and the news was tough. I admit. As alluded to, lymphedema has arrived - it is the swelling of an area where there are faulty / no lymph nodes present. I have 12 out from my armpit - aka axilla - and only 1 had cancer.This is good. However, that I now have no nodes there is proving tricky.

I would describe it as constantly having a half-inflated kiddy-float under your arm. Your arm does not quite touch your body. The thing is, it never goes away. The best we hope for is that it does not get worse. Here is part of the list of things I need to do / or not do in order to remain sttus quo:


do repetitive work with your left hand - ie lots of typing(ack!), vacuuming, exercises that repeat...
don't go out in extreme heat
do't go out in extreme cold
don't shave your arm pit
avoid trauma - which includes blood withdrawals, blood pressure taking, injections, scrapes, cuts, nicks, bug bites
avoid sharp instruments with left hand - ie knives
do not cut cuticles
avoid prolonged sitting or standing


moisturize arm daily
manually drain nodes daily
wear gloves and long sleeve shirts to garden, wash dishes
carry an emergency First aid kit - with antibacterial, polysporin and bandaids at all times.
elevate arm whenever you can.

So.....we shall see how this all pans out. But right now I think it is getting too hot for me out here!!! and my arm hurts from typing...haha

I guess the next hour will be enjoying the great indoors.
xo KO


Holly said...

Kevin's mom is having her breast and cancer removed and is fearful of this happening to her. Does it happen in most women?

Auntie Cake's Shop said...

Hi Hols. I am SO sorry to hear this. VERY VERY sorry for Kevin's mom, and all of you around her. please know I am thinking of you all.

Re lymphedema - no hard and fasts, it depends. I did not have it until after the radiation therapy- which does a lot of tissue damage, which ironically, is a large part of the therapy. Kill anything left. Basically, after chemo, and surgery, there are still some wild cards. Who knew!? Not me. Is it a complete mastectomy or a lumpectomy? It can make a difference. But in the good news dept. my aunt is 20 years out and NEVER had it. She had BC twice. So, it depends very much on the individual, and their particular cancer, and course of treatment. Please please tell your MIL that I am willing and able to go with her if she is here in TO, talk to her about it, whatever she needs. It is a scary sad time, and the more you know the better off you are. But this is not not not the end - only the beginning of a tough journey.

With love and perseverance she will conquer it too. I know it.

thinking of you with love, Kate