04 January 2008

Perfect Crunch

I'm just back from physical therapy, feeling like screaming. It happens every time. Massaging scars and pushing my muscular/flexibility limits is very painful.

The up side? My PT says I can cut back to once a week because I consistently work every day at home. She says I'm making progress and I try be content with the small gains I've made so far.

The other wonderful news is that she thinks I have good posture, something I've been trying to mindful of as I go through my day. I got accustomed to slumping a bit after the reconstruction surgery. Time to stand up straight, which helps with energy and stretches out those internal scars where the tubes ran vertically inside my body from both sides of my groin to new breast.

The very best news (and I know this sounds a little silly) is that PT says I have perfect crunch form. The former fitness addict (and perfectionist) in me rejoices at that news. Muscle memory. It's an amazing thing.

It's been a good Friday so far. Well, except for that need to scream.

Next week, I'll report on the saga of the latest injured employee who's driving me crazy.

03 January 2008

The Festive Sausage Returneth

The pie making season is officially over and what a blessing that is. The first (Thanksgiving) pie was fabulous, but the Christmas pie disappointed. I haven't been interested in baking in many years, so I'm a little puzzled by my enthusiasm for it this year. The oven can now take a well-deserved rest until Easter.

Nipple reconstruction is scheduled for January 10. It's an out patient procedure, using a local anesthetic. I know they will tattoo the aureole to match the other girl. When I first read about that technique, after I had tattoos for radiation, I was anxious about having it done. I didn't know then that the new girl would be completely numb.

As for the nipple itself, that tissue sometimes comes from the inner thigh area, sometimes from the labia. Either way, it doesn't sound like much fun to me. On the other hand, there's nothing they could do to me that would hurt worse than the things they've already done to me. I try not to think about it. Ignorance is bliss.

My physical therapist is impressed with the progress I've made in muscle strength and flexibility. I've been doing the exercises she gave me as homework and I changed my yoga routine to include more stretching in the tummy area. The goal is to tear the scar tissue under my skin. Yes, as a matter of fact, that does hurt. It all hurts.

My mom convinced me to stop riding my bike because of my constant fatigue. That's a typical problem for someone who's had chemo, radiation and multiple surgeries. Fatigue plagues many people for years after their treatment. I go to bed exhausted and I wake up exhausted. As a matter of fact, I started falling asleep on the sofa at 3:00 p.m. yesterday and kept drifting off all evening. Once I fell asleep in the middle of one of Hubby's sentences. I tried to pretend that I hadn't, but I failed to respond appropriately to his comment, so I'd be surprised if he didn't notice.

My physical therapist encouraged me to get back into my bike routine and to integrate some other types of cardio exercise into my daily workouts. I have many dance aerobic dvd's and the thought of being able to do them again makes me happy. I may try one of them today and see how it goes. I'm certain I won't be able to make it all the way through the workout the first time, but maybe soon.

Meanwhile, my weight is still an issue. I've been on an eating rampage during the holidays, but I still haven't gained any weight. That's good and bad, you know. It's bad because all of my clothes hang on me. It's good because I'm always balancing precariously on the edge of an eating disorder and thinner always means better to me. Even when it isn't better. My (psychological) therapist suggested that I think of gaining weight as a means to building strength. I'm good with that and heaven knows I've been the festal sausage for over a month now. When I weigh myself (infrequently), the numbers never change.

I hope the coming year is a lot less painful than the past two. I hope I regain some of my lost stamina. I hope I find sources of greater joy. I hope the next pie I make is better than the last.