Thursday, April 28, 2011

Let's have a glass of wine

It's been 15 whole days since I wined whined about something, so clearly, I am neglecting this blog. I shall get out the corkscrew and remedy that immediately.   Grab a glass.

My shoulder pain is  right back to being a level 7 or 8 again.  Not only does the shoulder hurt - a lot - but it is spasming and I can feel it in my elbow, up my neck and down my wrist.  It throbs if I move it, too.  The worst part is it is getting painful to type, which makes it hard to work.  I can't move it more than a couple of inches, and I feel desperate to comb my hair and can't.  I haven't been this unkempt in years.

Not sleeping is, of course, a given.

Let me pour a little a more wine whine as I tell you that there is a burning pain in the chest wall underneath the implant.  The phantom itching has not gone away.  Plus, one area of skin on the scar about the size of  a quarter feels like it's severely bruised if I touch it, even very lightly.  I am starting to suspect that instead of a garden variety frozen shoulder, I may have Post-Mastectomy Pain Syndrome, which is caused by nerve damage during the mastectomy.

Hold out your glass, because I want to tell you that isn't the only fun I get to have.   For about a month, I have experienced abdominal bloating, from what I thought was the steroids I took to try to control the shoulder pain.  However, it's been more than a month since I swallowed the last one and the bloating is getting worse.  I honestly look like I'm seven months pregnant now, and I had to go out and purchase some pants a size up.  With my bad shoulder, there was no way I could strain myself to close my regular pants.  Although with a two inch gap, even with a good shoulder I'm not sure I could have managed.

That would have created the muffin top to beat all muffin tops.

Then I had to go up one more size!  No really, in one month I've gone up two sizes.  It seems to be bloat, not fat, (although to be truthful, and please don't hate me, I have never gained weight in my life so I'm not sure how to tell the difference.)  Now I have seriously baggy jeans around my butt and thighs that fit around the waist.

I'm a sexy, sexy woman.  Elastic's next, just you wait and see.

Take another sip.  That lower left back pain that I have had for months?  It has not gone away.  It does get down to unnoticeable levels and then it pops up again, like the cork on the newest bottle I just opened.

Want some more whine wine?

You are going to need it when you read this;  I also have some intermittent bowel  problems.  Oh, just take a small sip, I won't go into it.  Google tenesmus if you really want to know.

Fortunately, that problem comes and goes.  (har har)

Maybe the whine wine will help with that, at least.

My goodness, the fun never ends, does it?

You know, if I'd had any idea that cancer was going to do this to me, and make me feel discomfort 2 years down the road, not to mention having  to learn a word like tenesmus,  I might not have done it.

Oh, I know.  I've googled abdominal bloating, lower back, pain and tenesmus,  and I get what you get.  All I have to say to that is:


Let's have another drink.



  1. Oh crudballs. I did it, I googled the symptoms and I am now having a BIG virtual drink. I am right there with you: that's a big, captial N for NO. Take care. I am sending good vibes your way...

  2. you are a cancer ass kicker......!!!!! it is just post chemo stuff.....dont u worry !!

  3. Ugh, sorry to hear about that. It is very interesting (though maybe that is not the exact word you would choose!) to hear about post-treatment issues. One hears/reads a lot about the lead up to and the cancer treatment itself, but not the aftereffects.


  4. Ann, No wonder we can never "get over" cancer. All the crap it leaves behind just never ends. I hear you. I have a left arm that is now acting up post bilateral. And good sleep, what's that? So go ahead and whine and wine.

  5. Oh, Ann! I feel your need for a BIG drink. Make it two. Or three.

    I've been following your experience for some time. Your attitude alone should earn you a reprieve from effing breast cancer worries.

    I, too, am just now 2 years post surgery and just over a year post chemo and radiation. I thought my life would return to "normal" after a little while. At least that's what everyone, including Doctors, assured me. Sometimes I wonder if it's just me who has continued issues. Cancer is an effing bitch. Eff it. Eff it to hell.

    I think I need my wine glass refilled.

  6. Odds are it's nothing. I'm really not too concerned. But, I would have ignored it before and now I won't. I have an oncology appointment in two weeks, with labs next week, so I asked for the CA-125, just in case.

    I am going to really hate it when he just tells me I'm getting fat.

  7. I'm curious what your oncologist thinks the bloating might be from? From your treatments or from the cancer itself, or just another crappy side effect of everything thrown in the pile? I've noticed "bloatiness" lately too and someone mentioned to me that it's a reaction to the chemo from a few months ago. I find it strange it didn't happen then! Good luck with things - you've got the strength and sense of humour to kick this thing! Wishing you the absolute best!

  8. I'm a year out from chemo and this just started so I am sure it's not related. Maybe it's just middle aged spread that happened all at once, I don't know. I've been in meno/chemo pause 18 months now - maybe this is what happens. Maybe my inability to use my right arm has caused sudden weight gain. I just don't know! I've always been so thin, people always thought I was anorexic. Even after two kids my stomach was flat. So, maybe this is normal and I don't know it. Seems like it wouldn't come on that sudden though, and I look pregnant. I even thoght about buying some panel pants. But how do I know? I don't.

    I'll see him in mid-May and that's when I'll ask him. The CA-125 will come back negative and he'll just say I'm fat, is my guess. I am unbelievably frustrated though. I thought this would be all over and this blog would be long dead by now. It never occurred to me, not one time, that I would have any lingering side effects.

    I did buy an exercise bike. I'll post about that later.

  9. I am with you sister. A part of me really believed I would be the woman happily racing for the cure, telling inspirational storied of my recovery, and enjoying a new zest and devil-may-care attitude towards life.

    Instead I am trying to figure out how to dress for spring so people don't notice my lymphedema gear.

    One note of hope. My new rehab doctor says lots of breast cancer frozen shoulders resolve between year one and two. So we are right on schedule for things to get better.

  10. I was just explaining to someone how cancer treatment can affect a person for the rest of their life. I never knew that before all this, and I don't think most other people realize it either.
    That shoulder sounds so painful. Mine is nothing in comparison. I keep saying I'm going to get physical therapy, but I still haven't. I plan on asking my onc. about it when I see him in a few weeks.
    Sorry you have to go through more tests. It seems it never ends! Every ache and pain we have, the docs need to rule out cancer. As a colon cancer survivor as well as bc suvivor, I have to ask if you've had a colonoscopy? If not, I would recommend that as well as your other tests.
    Take care!

  11. You wrote:

    I'm a sexy, sexy woman. Elastic's next, just you wait and see.

    I really did laugh out loud when I read this. :O)

    I love your writing and I've been reading you for a while.

    Your ability to write about a completely un-fun situation and make it humorous is inspiring.

    I'll keep checking back in and hoping you're recovered soon.


  12. Have you looked at The Lebed Method - they have different sets of mild exercises (mostly upper body) for various issues faced by women who have been treated for breast cancer, including pain & flexibility, plus various meditations. They also offer classes in selected cities, & certification for instructors. (I am a survivor, not a spokesperson or seller - I just discovered them through LBBC's newsletter and got the book & DVDs last week). Their website is gohealthysteps dot com, and apparently they have youtube videos (I haven't checked them out). valleycat1


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