Still Healing and Improving My Range of Motion.
Saturday, May 8th, was one-month since my surgery.
My wounds are healing. The swelling is continuing to diminish. And my range of
motion is improving. Now that my physical condition is improving, I’m beginning
to think about the future. More on that later.
Physical therapy started last Tuesday. I was nervous that
I’d be stretched and pulled until the point of tears, but it wasn’t that bad. I
was measured to see where I was post-surgery. That was compared to my pre-op
measurements. Again, I’m doing well. Then, I was gently stretched and not
My physical therapy homework is to gently pull my shoulder
blades together. It has helped ease the tension in my chest muscles. It’s like
yoga in that the smallest movements can have great effect.
Last week I also had my first consult for radiology. It will
be a few weeks before I can begin radiation treatments. My arms need to go over
my head and they aren’t there yet. I will keep doing my physical therapy homework
and inch my way towards radiation therapy. One day at a time. One step at a
Wounds and Wiggles.
I don’t think I’ve described my surgical wounds. It took me
a while to look and even longer to figure them out. On my right side, the cancer
side, the incision runs diagonally across my chest and deep into my under arm.
This allowed for eight lymph nodes to be removed and tested for cancer
(negative woot woot!). My left incision was also diagonal, but it stops short
of my under arm and allows a better range of motion.
Prior to my mastectomy I’ve had two surgeries on the right
side of my chest, a lumpectomy and a thoracotomy. The multiple surgeries,
scarring, and nerve damage resulted in more swelling and has slowed my healing.
My right side will take more time to heal.
My left side had only one prior surgery, a lumpectomy, no
lymph nodes removed during the mastectomy, and a smaller incision so it is healing more quickly. That
said, I’ve used it more and pulled the muscle a little. It’s healing well.
My limited range of motion means that when I change my
clothes, I look like a snake that is either trying to shed their skin or trying
to get back into a skin they’ve already shed. I laugh at myself as I wiggle in
and out of clothes. So far, I haven’t gotten stuck in any of my clothing
changes, but I may have just jinxed myself.
This whole process is a little easier when I can laugh at myself.
Like how when something falls on the floor, I have to giraffe it a little with
my legs spread wide and a big slow stretch downward. Sometimes, I just leave
things where they fall and let my husband pick them up. It’s not always worth
the stretch. Often times I use my kitchen tongs to help me reach things on a
higher shelf or on the floor. Those tongs have always been my favorite kitchen
Saturday Errands Feel so Good.
Saturday morning, my husband and I did errands in the
neighborhood. We walked a few blocks to the post office, another few blocks to
the natural grocers, across the street to the grocery store and then a couple
of blocks to home. We walked slowly and steadily allowing people to pass us by.
The slow pace allowed me to enjoy it all the more. It was a
beautiful, cool, spring morning. My favorite flowers are tulips and I got lucky
to get out before they were all gone. I also saw some daffodils and hyacinth. Recent
rain has made the grass that beautiful shade of spring green. There are pink
trees, white trees, green trees, and still-bare trees.
That walk gave me life. I soaked in the spring flowers,
blooming trees, and sunshine. It fed my soul. Getting out for a long walk also helped
stir my stagnant energy and push out more of the fluid built up in my body.
When I got home, I cried and released all of the unhelpful
energy that was ready to move out. And then, in class later that day, I feel
asleep during meditation. Not just once, but three times. I was tired and
Meditation Teacher Training.
I haven’t written about it much, but since January I have
been in meditation teacher training. I’m hoping to become a certified
meditation teacher by the end of the year. I’m learning a style of meditation
called “instinctive mediation”. It’s such free and easy way to meditate. I look
forward to teaching others this simple and beautiful way of meditating.
So far, I’ve been able to keep up with my teacher training, well
mostly. I’m a little behind on my homework for last week. I’m also behind on my
practice sessions. Each week we receive a new meditation script that we are supposed
to be guiding people through, but I haven’t been. I’ve been in hermit mode for
since before my surgery. Now, it’s time for me to break out of my hermit mode.
I’m looking for one meditation practice client. If you, dear
reader, would like to learn about instinctive meditation and get free meditation
guidance from me, message me on my social media this week. It just may be of
benefit to both of us.
For the next couple of weeks, I will continue to heal and get
stretched and pulled physical therapy. When I’m able to get into the position
needed for radiation treatments, they will begin too. My mediation teacher
training classes continue, and I look forward to finding a meditation practice
client. Maybe that will be you.
Lessons for This Week.
Healing takes as long as it takes. I can’t rush it
and I don’t want to push it. I just have to allow it. This isn’t a new lesson,
but a reminder for me to be patient.
When we are called to go inward, we should go. Whether
it’s for emotional or physical reasons, sometimes we need to rest and take time
to go inward. It’s important that we honor our needs. Hermit mode is
a natural instinct and I’ve needed it. I hope that you honor that need for
yourself when it arises.
Being brave and having no more fucks to give feels like
freedom. When we no longer care about what people think of us, we are free to
be who we are supposed to be. This is how I feel when I go out to appointments
and errands without giving a single fuck what people think when they see me. I
feel brave when I go out how I am, without breasts and without prosthetics.
I do have a new bra and breast forms, but I’m not healed
enough yet to wear them. That’s okay, I’m enjoying having no more fucks to give
about what people think of how I look. I’m still me and I love this version of
I’m grateful you’re here.