Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Alexander Day

You remember Alexander, right? You know, as in "The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" Alexander? Well I sure had myself an Alexander day this week. It started out good, then went to crap in a hurry.

My first appointment was with my plastic surgeon's office for my last tissue expander fill. I was proud of myself for getting up and out of the house early enough to beat the traffic and make it with enough time to spare for a Starbucks stop. I'd been going on Tuesdays and Fridays for the past three weeks to get all filled up before starting radiation, and even with all that filling, have done amazingly well. My oncologist warned me that fills can be very uncomfortable, and except for my first one, I really haven't had much trouble with it at all. Until the last one. It hurt while the doc was filling it. It hurt afterward. I decided to live with it thinking that the pain and tightness would subside quickly like had been the case with all the other fills.

I had a couple of hours to pass until my next appointment, and decided to stop by a French bakery in Ballard for a croissant and to pick up some of their lavender macrons for my purple-loving friend. I drove 15 minutes out of my way only to find that the bakery was closed that day. Boo. Meanwhile, my chest was starting to hurt so badly that the pain was radiating down my arm.

Speaking of next appointment that day was my radiation simulation. I had to lay on a CT scanner bed with my arms over my head with a very warm plastic-encased chemical mixture below me to make an imprint of my upper body in that position. I'm honestly not sure which was worse...the pain in my arms in that position or laying on that hot liquid while having a hot flash! The wonderful experience was topped off by me getting four pinprick tattoos on my chest for the radiation techs to use as reference points, like my scarred chest is some kind of map.

Finally I was done. I was shaking afterward because my chest and right arm hurt so badly. In fact, I could only use my left hand to back the car out of the tight spot in the parking garage. I was so busy paying attention to not hitting the car illegally parked behind me that I ran right into a concrete post with our 6-month new car! At this point, I was beyond frustrated. I even had to call the security guard to come help me get the car away from the post. It was all I could do, emotionally and physically, to drive myself home. I felt so horrible for dinging up our brand-new car. Of course, Brian handled it really well, which made me feel slightly better.

After my rough day, I really needed a good night of sleep, especially since I had an important conference at work the next day. Didn't happen. I tossed and turned with pain until Brian's alarm went off. When I realized that I'd never make it through the conference, I took some serious pain meds, emailed my boss, and crashed.

I toughed through the pain, and it finally subsided. We got the estimate for the car, and will pay our deductible to have it fixed. I can think of a lot of other things I would have rather spent that money on, but it's important to me to do the repairs, especially since it still has that new car smell.

That is the great thing about bad days...they always end, and rarely ever is the damage permanent.

Tomorrow's looking up!

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