Hello, February. Will you be good to me? I hope so because January was a total bitch!
The ailments and challenges just keep coming, one after another. If you didn't know me and I were to share my google search history for the last four weeks, you’d think I were a hypochondriac. I’m on the breast cancer boards reading about my new drugs. I’m looking at photos of the pelvis and muscles connected to the hip joint, trying to learn about anatomy. I’m watching youtube videos on sciatica. I’m googling lactose intolerance and diets for diarrhea. My God. A little bit of googling is necessary, but I need to have my phone confiscated and meditate instead.
First, it was the diarrhea side-effect from one new medication. Well, I’m thankful to say I think I’ve figured out a regime to keep things normalized. But now, just out of the blue, I’m having trouble with my hips and si joints, with referred pain to surrounding muscles in my butt, groin, and legs. I can hardly walk, getting dressed below the waist is difficult, and getting in and out of the shower/tub, bed, and the car is also a challenge.
When you live with cancer every single ache or pain is terrifying. A million thoughts run through your mind wondering what could be wrong and the situation can quickly become a catastrophe.
Is this pain a side-effect of the new drugs? Are the new drugs not working, causing cancer in my pelvis to grow? Or are the drugs working hard and kicking cancer’s ass? Is this from when I walked in the park, over uneven, snow-covered ground? Is it from wearing boots with a heel and tensing while I walked over ice? And the list of possibilities goes on, and on. It’s exhausting to think about. It’s exhausting to talk about.
Speedy action is being taken and the staff at the hospital have been wonderful. Yesterday I met with a Palliative Care Doctor and her team to discuss the pain. She’s recommended I start with a low dose of hydromorphone, which will hopefully manage things. I have a CT, x-ray, and bone scan in two days and an MRI sometime next week. Then I wait, hopefully not too long, to hear the results and next steps.
Living with cancer is exhausting. When physical pain is involved, you can expect mental and emotional pain to be holding hands not far behind. I’m resourceful and resilient, but sometimes there’s only so much one can handle. Meltdowns are necessary and therapeutic.
I hope to have this figured out soon, and like the diarrhea situation, come up with a plan that works to keep it all under control. My parents are going on a well deserved holiday in a few weeks and I’ve been stoked for independent Jen time. I’m ready to carve out a spot on the couch and binge watch my shows, to have pals over for visits, a dance party in my underwear, and listen to podcasts while cooking a new recipe. But the reality is that right now I can’t even put on pants by myself, get up from the couch without assistance, or walk downstairs to change the cat litter. Perchance to dream I get this all figured out well before they leave.
I’m glad my scans have been ordered so quickly. Hopefully I can rest a little easier now and stop consulting with Dr. Google. It’s all so heavy, but I’m hanging in there, baby.