I had a lovely day yesterday. I had breakfast with you.
I had a wonderful working session with a group of avid collaborators
around the piece I will be producing for the One Mississippi Event
on the EADS Bridge on Saturday, June 24.
I was out in the heat briefly to go to both of these activities. When
I got home around 6:30, my arm started to swell and my hand hurt.
This is the arm that has lymphedema from the removal of lymph nodes
to see if my breast cancer had spread.
I am used to having problems with this arm. I experience swelling
every time it gets hot or I strain my arm carrying things that are
too heavy for me these days.
Sometimes, it is just uncomfortable. Sometimes, it is painful and
I wind up with a headache.
Usually, I just try to be better about wearing my compression sleeve
or ice my arm and hand. I take a Tylenol, call a time out for myself
and try to rest in a darkened room.
Not yesterday. Yesterday, I had a melt down.
I tried to reason with myself.
I thought, how lucky I am to be lying on this blue couch, in my beautiful
cool apartment, How much more I have than some many people.
So my arm hurts. Art least I can tend to it. I have the time and resources
to care for myself.
My reasoning did not work. I felt inconsolable.
Tears and sorrow welled up and spilled out of me like a tsunami. Nothing
could stop the tide.
This happens every once in a while. And it is at times like this that
I think the emotional pain of my lymphedema feels bigger than the
actual physical pain. Although the physical pain is not inconsequential.
It is a concrete reminder that I have had breast cancer and that I
will be at risk for the rest of my life. It is a reminder of that
difficult, difficult time that felt like a dark night of the soul
that stretched on for months with little relief in sight.
Much of the time, I forget this or perhaps manage to tuck this reality
into a another corner so I can concentrate on the immediacy of living
and on the joy I so often feel.
And then there are the times, when I cannot.
I am an emotional girl, Kim. There is no question
of that. But my feelings have been in the stratosphere since my hysterectomy.
The extent of my emotionality is baffling and a little scary to me
right now. It doesn't take much for me to cry at the moment.
I've been crying a lot lately because something is wrong with my
tear duct. It still feels very sad. I'm reading Memoirs of a
Geisha and she just found out that her parents had died and
that she must learn to look at her future, not her past. And then
tomorrow she turns 60.)
I don't quite know how
to get a handle on it besides going on drugs, which my doc suggests
because I have been under such stress with the surgery, etc
I would rather not put yet more stuff into my system. I already take
a bunch of meds for this and that.
Maybe I should just meltdown when I meltdown and let the tears fall
where they may.
Sunday, May 28, 2006