As you may have guessed by the headline, yep, I have cancer - breast cancer, to be precise. And yep, I've decided to purposely misspell it in my headlines and related hashtags. If you follow me on twitter (@Lori_writes), the hashtag is #kancerkronicles for the sake of brevity, and for the sake of avoiding the racist-looking triple-k.
I've been reading Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips - which I highly recommend to women living with cancer, particularly young women - and she talks about misspelling cancer as a middle digit to the disease. I figure that's as good a reason as any to misspell something. Normally, I'm a spelling nazi so this is rather liberating too.
Why I'm blogging about kancer
Anyway, I've gone back and forth on the whole idea of publicly blogging about this. Ultimately, I decided that I'm going crazy without writing. All the books tell me to journal, and I figure if my writing can help someone else who is living with breast cancer, then I'd be a jerk not to make my writing accessible. So here goes.
Adios, armpit drain
Today is a rather big day for me. After two weeks and three days, I'm finally having the drain removed.
The drain consists of a tube that is running from an incision in my armpit to the lovely bottle pictured. I had lymph nodes removed, so the drain helps to get rid of fluid that would otherwise build up in my pit, along with some tissue.
You can see some of the aforementioned tissue floating in the bottle. It's been there for a while, as it's too big to fit through the exit when I empty the bottle. Charming, eh?
If I had needed more of my breast removed, I likely would have two drains. So I guess I should consider myself lucky with my only-child drain.
Words open to interpretation
Because I'm an overachiever, I completely believed I would be rid of the drain a maximum of one week post surgery. After all, another book I have been reading said most women have them for "a few days" post surgery.
As a writer who strives to use clear, plain language, I should have known better. My "few days" means three, max. Apparently my body disagrees and thinks it's two weeks and three days. Damn.
Everyone's a snowflake
And that's likely the most difficult part of dealing with this whole breast cancer thing right now. Everyone is different, so there are no definitive answers when it comes to healing.
I might be able to do chemo on my lunch breaks, then merrily skip back to work afterwards. Or I might feel like puking my guts out for a "few" days after each treatment. I might lose my hair. Or I might keep my hair, but get diarrhea or constipated.
Frankly, all this uncertainty is a pain in the ass.