The Pain™ is different from normal colon pain – the pain I deal with most days and that can be somewhat controlled with pain medication. The Pain™ arrives without much fuss or bother. Suddenly, it’s just there. I don’t always recognize when The Pain™ has made itself known as it has many aliases. But by about Day 3 of constant, unremitting, unrelenting pain that will not be tamed by any combination of pain medication I have in my arsenal, I know The Pain™ has arrived.
It arrived on May 12, one day after my cancer diagnosis. Throughout the diagnostic period – so from my mammogram/ultrasound on April 27 through to my appointment with my doctor on May 11, my colon had behaved itself. I had some pain, as I almost always do, but it was not deep and it didn’t last. I have learned to be grateful for the small mercies my colon bestows upon me. That time I had H1N1 flu – my colon took a vacation, I am thinking it went somewhere relaxing.When my mother died and I had to identify her body and help plan the funeral in addition to dealing with crazy, super cheap step-siblings, my colon went somewhere else. This was a shorter trip though as it returned before the crisis was completely over. I never count on my colon taking a vacation when I need it to but I sure do I appreciate it. I initially blamed this round of The Pain™ on Mary’s crackers that were both gluten free and vegan. Basically, they are made of ground of whole grains, bark and wood pulp all bad things for an ulcerated colon.
Yesterday evening, at around 9pm, I noticed the pain was gone. Just gone. I hadn’t taken anything.It was like a miracle.What happened certainly did not seem to account for all that pain being gone. But gone it was.Who was I to argue? I woke up at around 9 am today and it was still gone. I told Deb and we had a little mini-celebration, rolled over and went back to sleep. When I finally got up, I was greeted by long-lost friend tenesmus. This is familiar and compares to The Pain™ like a mosquito bite would to a full-on fire ant attack, that you survive.
So now with The Pain™ becoming a memory, I get to face the breast cancer diagnosis again. I wake up sad and the tears are rolling before I even get dressed. I am not used to living in emotion land. My whole life has been spent, in one way or another, avoiding my feelings and losing the map. I blame this on the fact that I am adopted and that I spent the first 4 ½ months of my life in a hospital waiting to be adopted. I am not sure why it took so long in 1965. Maybe they didn’t do the pre-planning that is done now. I really do not believe I ever attached properly to any being until I got my first dog.
I much prefer to live in my head. And it is this absence of informationthat has gotten in the way of me getting more information. I have not googled anything because I don’t want information without context; I am afraid that if I look, I won’t stop crying. Again, this is very abnormal behavior for me. I am all about the information as much as Meghan Trainor is all about the bass. I am strong when I’m in information land, I can solve all of the problems and I can make plans. I can’t do any of that now and it’s really fucking hard.
I do know that the surgeon’s office has received my referral marked ‘urgent.’ Apparently, they are waiting for a supplemental report and then they will get me in. I am also hoping that the surgeon will deal with another pressing issue I have. I have a scar, from pyoderma gangrenosum that I developed in 2008. It turned into p’eau d’orange (skin that is inflamed and resembles an orange) in 2012 and it has been getting much worse. So much worse that it seriously affects my mobility and may be contributing to my pain. I am hoping that both things can be done at the same time. After all, it’s similar surgery,and it will mean I only have to go under a general anesthetic once instead of twice. But of course, I can’t plan for this yet because I haven’t spoken to the surgeon.
I am planning for my return trip to intellectual land. I believe I have overstayed my welcome where I am now.
Which, if you know me, would not be a vacation in the sun. It was likely a short drive away, in a nice hotel or cabin where all my needs could be easily met and where I was comfortable. This is not easy to accomplish when you reside in my body that does not fit most furniture.
I remain deeply suspicious of those crackers and although they tasted ok, those of us who ate them all agreed that they could use more salt. Do those who eat gluten free and vegan have something against salt?
After a while, I stop wasting good drugs on bad pain that won’t go anyway.
Ok, well something happened, but it was minor and too much information for me to even publish on my blog.
For those of you keeping track – it was 8 days.
Those of you who have known me for a long time will remember Tippy the Tiny Terrorist. God, I loved that dog and I remain forever grateful to Gale for entrusting her care to me.
And a goddamned long weekend which normally love.
Removing unwanted bits and bobs.
Days since breast cancer diagnosis: 10