viernes, junio 09, 2006

Follow-Up Visit

Yesterday L* (El) had her follow-up visit at the breast care center. Fabulous Nurse D. was great with L*, getting her to talk about the pain (for which she is under-medicating) and teaching her the new exercises to work on for this week (At which L* already excels).

I had my head in my notebook during most of the visit, but Nurse D. said L*’s wounds were healing great. She removed L*’s drains, which is a dreadful experience--Read Bint Alshamsa to hear how awful it is. (pretty awful.) Nurse D. sprayed the pain med on, but still EL described it as like the scene from Alien when the monster (baby) thrusts its way through the hosts chest in a bloody explosion.

Dr. H. stopped in to go over the pathology report with us. We still don’t have all the information (whether the cancer was postive or negative for estrogen and progesterone, whether it is her2nu). They finally gave L* the full staging, and the cancer was Stage 1, which is very good news. In another ten days or so, we’ll see the oncologist about the next phase of treatment.

For now, L* is focusing on rest and recovery. You see (below) the collage that L* worked on during the week. She loves her garden--which was nothing but dirt when we first moved in--and she has filled it with geranium, bougainvillea, clematis, passion flower, cactus, our lemon tree, chard, zucchini, La Virgen, nasturtiums, and many many different succulents. (my contribution has been scavenging clippings, especially of geraniums, cactii, and succulents.

She’s spent a lot of time on the deck lately enjoying her garden, and by Tuesday she was already watering. Wednesday she started taking the pictures and then spent the last two evenings photoshopping.

Oh, that reminds me--one funny thing during L*’s hospital stay was that all the nurses and doctor’s kept commenting on how tanned she was--“were you on vacation?”. Somewhat indignantly, L*’s dad said “Tell them you’re Mexican!” Now, mind you, three Junes ago, L*’s parents came to visit us in Ohio, and everyone there kept commenting on their tans, and L*’s dad was giving us a hard time because of our pallor. “Look,” he said, taking of his wristwatch and and showing us the pale skin underneath, “this is the color I’d be if I lived in Ohio.”

It made us appreciate again living in the East Bay, where there's sunshine. All these pale San Franciscans, forget about the sun. (Of course, they're also working 8+ hours a day inside, and don't have the leisure that we do).

L*’s legs also got positive attention for both their brown and their muscle definition. But her feet were the pièce de résistance. Because they were doing a sentinel node biopsy on both sides, Dr. H. was initially planning to have the IV in L*’s foot. Because of the risk of lymphedema, L* will have to take care of her arms, not constricting them, not allowing dr.s to take blood, take her blood pressure or any of that from her arm. But this was right before the surgery. And Dr. H. pulled up the bottom of the sheet to look at L*’s feet. “What perfect little feet!” she declared. And so, ultimately, Dr. H. decided that L*’s IV should be in her right arm.

L* and I were declaring ourselves the best shod couple around, as we walked from the cancer center to the local library to return my library books. L* was wearing what she described as “my cancer present.” When she found out about the cancer, one of the things she did was order a pair of Nike Air Rifts (online) because she had a pair three years ago, and they’re still her favorite even though they’re no longer presentable for wear in public. They’re really comfortable and they make her happy, so they were a present she got for herself as part of taking care of herself during this period. They arrived on Wednesday, and L* declared “Happy cancer L*” as she opened the box, “this is your cancer present.” (I was wearing my red camper mary janes.) There was pretty stiff shoe competition, in fact Nurse D. was wearing some beautiful black spanish shoes that were not campers, something with an E.

Today I helped L* in the garden, seeking out and clipping off those dreaded blackberry bushes. I think I finally understood that Abbey Lincoln song, which is prob’ly not saying “without blossoms there would be no berries here at all,” but rather “without brambles there would be no berries here at all”

L* is still pushing herself in the exercise area, and did the first four poses of the Bikram series.

Bikram Poses 1-4

1 comentario:

brownfemipower dijo...

Grrrl, this post totally made me dad and my brother are always lightly tanned color--except on their feet/legs...they have the whitest ass feet you're ever going to hurts your damn eyes to look at them. But they are both very conservative mexicans and don't believe in wearing shorts or sandles (real men don't wear fag clothes like shorts or sandles), and so they never get any sun there.