Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"mama said there'll be days like this, there'll be days like this mama said. (mama said, mama said). come on, mama said there'll be days like this, there'll be days like this my mama said. " Mama said, by dusty springfield

first of all, HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING!! of course, if you live in the southeast, like me, we have had no winter basically, so the celebration is not quite as meaningful. i do like all four seasons, but for some reason, mother nature decided not to send us any snow this year :(    . now, i do not like driving on the ice, but i do like to see a couple of big snows each winter. oh, well, maybe next winter. and i am still very happy to see the flowers up and blooming and my cherry trees blooming, AH-CHOO! oh, goodness,  did i mention that the tree pollen is very bad this year? a small price to pay for spring's loveliness, i guess.

i am getting along very well in physical therapy. i had a bad day, or a setback as my grandma would call it, this past sunday. it was my long week( i work six out of seven days, when i work the weekend) and i guess being on my feet all that time, and the floor being concrete and without mats to stand on,it just did my knee in. sunday night i was up most of the night with my knee hurting. my physical therapist told me that i would have these bad days occasionally until my knee completely healed. this reminded me of my impatience with myself after my surgery and then again, after my I-131. i would seem to take one step forward, and two steps back. we all have our own timetable on healing, i think, and we must be patient with ourselves. i always try to do too much, think that i am able to do what i did before, and pretty much think that i am still 24 instead of, well, 50" something. "

i thought that this would be a good time to remind everyone out there who are  struggling to get well after surgery or the I-131, or those of you who are  struggling with low energy associated with being hypothyroid, to be patient with yourself. get more rest. remember not to be too hard on yourself. you will probably not be able to get EVERYTHING that you wanted to get done, done. but as my mom used to tell me, "don't worry honey, your housework will be there tomorrow." boy, was she right on that one! we all have our new normals now, which is not a bad thing. i am trying very hard to have more fun, more "me" time. i have just recently been made aware ( it was april 20th, 2010 when i got the news that i had thyroid cancer) that life is short, uncertain. you need to have fun as well as do meaningful things with your life. not that i always succeed in this noble venture, but i am trying. and if all else  fails, i  just try to  remember what my  mama said, "there'll be days like this," and this too shall pass.

Monday, March 12, 2012

"i need love, love to ease my mind. i need to find someone to call mine. but mama says, you can't hurry love. she said, you just have to wait. she said, love don't come easy, it's a game of give and take. you can't hurry love, no. you just have to wait. you got to trust, give it time. NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES!" can't hurry love, by diana ross and the supremes

 i had my first physical therapy session last wednesday. it was sort of a" getting to know" you kind  of thing. what impressed me though, was that  the physical therapist, after a few tests of her own, came to the exact same conclusion as my doctor ( and he had the MRI and x-ray to look at). she said that i have done some damage to the meniscus in my right knee, but also that i have a lot of swelling and inflammation behind my right knee cap. ( this is new information and probably explains why it still hurts so much). she said that if i were to go right back to zumba that i would probably injure my knee enough to have to have surgery. i told her that i was worried that i would embarrass myself by falling. i also was worried about taking another person with me if i fell. zumba usually is not a contact sport, per se, but i have accidentally hit someone, and i have been hit myself. when that music gets cranked up and people start moving, well, it is to be expected, i guess.

she gave me a sheet with six exercises to practice at home. i am sad to report that  i have lost a lot of muscle mass in my right knee area. i did not know this, but a person can begin to lose muscle mass/tone in only three days after an injury! i was used to doing an hour of zumba and 20 minutes of standing abs anywhere from once to three times a week. you would think that i was in pretty good shape? used to be i guess because i broke out in a sweat trying to do those simple exercises! wow, how embarrassing. i really have a long and winding road back to zumba, for sure. after a couple of weeks, i get to use the rehab exercise equipment in the wellness center. i guess that this will be a recumbent bicycle and maybe the treadmill? I WILL JUST HAVE TO WAIT. oh brother, i am not good at waiting. i am missing my zumba/endorphins but i will have to be patient. i am thankful though, that i have a very good physical therapist, who wants me to get better and back to ( her words i promise) my normal. 

here we go with the catch phrase, "the new normal", again. i can not help but think of the movie( my favorite) "young frankenstein." gene wilder sends igor into the brain depository to get a brain for his creature. igor drops the one he is supposed to get, and gets another one. when things turn out horribly wrong with the creature, gene wilder asks igor just what brain he got.. igor says, "abby something" " abby something? " gene asks. igor says  "yes, i remember now, her name was "abby normal." that cracks me up every time i see that scene. (and trust me, i have seen it a lot). i am feeling a little abby normal myself right now. oh, well, i will just have to wait. you can not hurry physical therapy or your stubborn knee.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

" Are you standing outside, looking up at the sky. cursing a wandering star? Well if i were you, i'ed throw rocks at the moon. i'ed say, damn you wherever you are" " I should have sent roses." Leon Russell and Elton John from their album, Union.

two things struck me about these lyrics. pardon the pun. first, cursing the wandering star- which i mentioned in an earlier blog. and of course, throwing rocks at the moon. i have an ultrasound at the end of this month, and some obligatory blood work, of course. i have to be tested every six months because my cancer had spread a bit, as i have mentioned previously. i have very ambiguous feelings about these every six months tests. first of all, i am thankful that i have a great doctor who cares enough to test me every six months. you do not have to tell me that the earlier you detect cancer, the better. on the other hand, testing is stressful but it is more than just  that. i get depressed( OMG what if they find something?) and surprisingly, because i am not usually like this- my pollyanna self notwithstanding, i get mad as hell. i have never said " why me" or "poor pitiful me" but it still makes me angry that i got cancer! and this anger does me about as much good as throwing rocks at the moon. ( it would certainly  not work with me, because as my husband is fond of telling me, i can not hit the broadside of a barn)

i have been able to work out some stress and i will admit, anger, by going to zumba class. well, i have not been able to go now for about two months because of my knee injury. yesterday, since i could not contact my fairy godmother and ask her to wave her magic wand over my knee and make it all better, i set up a schedule for some physical therapy. it is in a rehab center right next to the wellness center where i took, and by golly will take again, zumba. my first appointment is this coming wednesday. i always have wednesday off, in an otherwise crazy and different every week, schedule. i am not sure how i will work in more than once per week- the doctor suggested 2-3 times a week. i work long hours and one to two evenings per week. but on wednesday, i am planning to be there. they told me to wear my workout clothes. do you think that they meant my belly scarves? i guess i will have to save them for when i go back to zumba. i am not sure if the physical therapy exercises  will be in a large room with several people, or a private space. i am not even sure what they will do, but if it will help, i will do it.

as cancer patients, we have a lot of stuff to deal with. as individuals, we need to find activities that help our minds and bodies deal with our many challenges. zumba was my special activity. it helped my mind ( i am finding out) more than my body even. hopefully, after some physical therapy i will be healthy enough to dance again. for me, music and dancing are  much better ( and safer for my husband and neighbors) than me throwing rocks at the moon. i will keep everyone posted on my progress in physical therapy. and i sincerely hope that if you have not found your special coping activity, you will very,very soon.