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Take Me Out to the Ballgame and Out of my Misery, Thanks

July 21, 2010

Back in April I bought tickets for a Twins game at their new Target Field. I figured I ought to be feeling pretty danged good a month after my last chemo. And I probably would be feeling pretty danged good a month after my last chemo were it not for this fucking lymphedema.

And my fucking plantar’s fasciitis.

And my fucking bald head.

I made my family leave after 6 innings, I was so miserable. With the heat and the dewpoint forever hovering in the 60s (There has been no other summer like this since the summer I first started having troubles with high dewpoints. Of course this would be the case with the weather when I, Kathy, center of the universe, has adverse reactions in her arm and hand when the dewpoint is high. I pity those of you who think that you are the center of the universe.)

My hand was swollen (even though I’d worn my Ugly Glove the entire damned day), my foot was in horrible pain (with all the walking from the parking ramp to our seats in the ball park) and my bald head was hot from wearing a fucking (I refuse to replace this swear word with a gentler swear word today) baseball cap on my fucking bald head. After we sat in our seats and I realized we were not in the sun, I took my cap off.

As I sat and watched the game, I felt more miserable. More hot, more swollen, more throbbing footed. And, except for all of the bald men, I looked to be the only bald woman in the ballpark.

I got up to walk, hoping that would take my mind off of my swelling and my pain. Only to have to feel more pain and more swollen what with the heat and the crowds. I went back to my seat. I mentioned that we might have to leave early.

And then I started to cry.

In the ballpark.

I cried because I didn’t want to leave. I love baseball games. Especially outdoor baseball games. I cried because I’m sick of having a swollen arm and hand. I cried because I’m sick of having plantars fasciitis (which has been going on for more than a year). I cried because I’m sick of being bald. I cried because I’m mad that I got breast cancer. I’m mad because I have not breasts (but only because having no breasts makes my belly look bigger). I cried because I have a big belly and it’s incredibly difficult to eat better. I cried because i feel like a big damned freak show (I didn’t see one other person who looked under the duress of cancer, in a ballpark with over 30,000 people…and believe you me, I looked and looked and fucking looked.) I cried because I am a big damned baby who is a poster child for Babies Who Get Breast Cancer.

Today The Big Nugget is getting me a name and number of a chiropractor who is also a physiology specialist. He doesn’t want me going to see my old chiropractor, Dr. Matt. Dr. Matt is awesome and I’d be happy with Dr. Matt. But The Big Nugget wants me to see Dr. Matt Supersized. I’ll check the other guy out. Hopefully he can fix my foot and my arm. And my head. I’m not asking for much.

I’m also going to make the appointment with the plastic surgeon and get this fat removed from under my arms. The constant discomfort and annoyance is just bringing me down. The reason I haven’t made an appointment with him already is because I’m afraid that he can make my lymphedema worse. It’s not horrible now, just incredibly annoying. And the last thing I want to do is make my lymphedema worse. Which it is right now given the heat and the crowds (I blame it on the crowds!) from last night. I want to be able to go to a fucking baseball game without feeling physically worse.

When will this fucking nightmare fucking end? When can I be in my New Normal? What if this is my new normal?

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. July 21, 2010 11:01 am

    I used to love baseball games too, but my disaffection developed long before the cancer. Has your physical therapist said nothing about whether it’s a good idea to elevate your swollen arm whenever possible? Or do we not use gravity because it’s low-tech?

    Back in the days when I used to be pregnant a lot, I sometimes would forget to take off my wedding ring before I went to bed, and I would wake up with my hand throbbing and my ring stuck. Up would go the arm, eventually the swelling would go down, and I could remove the ring comfortably. Not nearly the swelling you’re suffering, but I think the theory is the same.

    I only know that plantar faciitis is painful. Do any of you know how to relieve this?

    • July 21, 2010 12:48 pm

      I elevate my hand. Alot. And it works. Until I put my hand down. And then the swelling is back. So it’s not practical unless I want to walk around, lying on my back – with my right hand elevated. It is not practical to walk around while lying down. I’ve tried it. Okay, I haven’t. I just know it’s not practical.

      The Big Nugget and I were just discussing Mark McGuire and his plantars fasciitis. Even with the best of medical treatment, it takes for frickin ever to take care of this crap. Funny thing – when I was taking steroids with the chemo, my foot felt better. Hmmmm.

  2. Gretchen permalink
    July 21, 2010 11:05 am

    I hear ya on the heat and humidity this summer. It’s either too hot & humid to be able to do much outside, or it’s raining buckets. In order to provide more humidity and mosquitoes. I swear last night it got worse as the sun went down. I’m starting to believe in climate change. Hang in there!

    • July 21, 2010 12:49 pm

      Seriously, Gretchen – isn’t this the stinkiest, sweatiest summer in Minnesota in like, forever?!!!

  3. justwriteit permalink
    July 21, 2010 11:43 am

    I, too, suffered with the plantar fasciitis. Ouch! These shoes cured me: http://www.zcoil.com/

    A little wacky looking, yes. (I called them Tigger shoes.) But eventually the pain went away, and has stayed away, and now I’m back to wearing regular shoes. Mine was caused by walking on concrete floors all day, in shoes that, though not cheap, were the wrong “pitch” or something for my feet…don’t wear those anymore.

    Sending wishes for relief and a progressively better normal for you!!

    -Mary

    • July 21, 2010 12:53 pm

      Mary – You’d have to kill me before you got me to wear those shoes. I am too prideful and I know there are other, more pride-saving ways to treat this. I’ve had this before and had orthotics made from a foot doctor. I need to do this again. I’ve been dragging my feet because between my cancer and my son’s medical needs (that I won’t write about) I’m at doctor’s offices and clinics almost every day. But now I need to make the time to do this.

      Actually, those Sketcher geeky shoes make my foot feel better so I’ll be putting those back on. I would just really like to look like the normal, cute, person I used to look like. I am too young to look like I’m 85.

  4. Linda permalink
    July 21, 2010 11:43 am

    A few years back I had horrible plantar fasciitis in my right foot only, and a friend recommended a guy at a shoe store who made orthotics. I’ve gotta tell you, I swear by them. Within a few weeks of wearing them inside my tennnis shoes the pain was totally GONE. I haven’t been wearing my tennis shoes as much this summer because I got a new pair that doesn’t fit very well, and can feel a bit of a twinge again, but nothing like the pain I used to feel. I’ve got to go out at shop for a good-fitting pair of running shoes (and buy about three pairs of them because they change the design every year). I know Good Feet sells orthotics, but I think they give you one from a stock they already have, and the guy I went to actually made mine on the spot after I stood on something like playdoh that formed itself to my feet.
    I’ve got no advice on the lymphodema. I’m dealing with the stupid neuropathy numbness in my toes, which the doctor said will go on for a few months after the chemo ends (next Tuesday, YAY!).
    And are you showing any signs of hair growth yet? I am so sick of being bald. Since you’re about 5 weeks ahead of me on the chemo schedule, I’m watching you to see when I can expect some good hair news.
    Good luck with everything. I hope you find some solutions.

  5. July 21, 2010 12:40 pm

    I’m sorry you are in a crappy place and hoping you’ll get some relief.

  6. July 21, 2010 1:32 pm

    Damn. When a fabulous, witty, bald-headed, swollen arm carrying, limping woman can’t enjoy an outdoor baseball game at the world’s best ballpark…There is something wrong with the universe.

    ps–This is NOT the new normal. It’s just a point in time. Just sayin’.

  7. Mia permalink
    July 21, 2010 6:04 pm

    I know BigNugget is finding you the uber chiro, but just incase, the place I went is Oxboro Family Chiropractic. It’s by Walgreens on 98th & Lyndale, where the suckiest of all sucky road construction is taking place. They have 2 docs, Jason and Adam, they’re both good. The P.F. is gone and they weren’t even trying to fix that problem. They were just straightening out my spine and hips from rolling my car 3 times on 35w.

  8. July 21, 2010 6:45 pm

    I hear you on the heat and humidity — and I don’t even have the stress you’re dealing with. I’m so sick of nothing but hot hot hot hot + humid humid humid when we’re not supposed to get this kind of weather here. It’s my last summer here and I just feel like it’s been wasted due to the weather. Ugh.

    I send you all my best thoughts and love and hugs and anything else that might help.

  9. July 21, 2010 8:00 pm

    The heat and humidity are terrible in PA too. As a matter of fact, we have tickets to a Phillies game in August and I keep thinking to myself that it had better cool the fuck down before then or I’m going to be one big complaing pain in the ass. Can you try to stay in the air conditioner for a day or two to let the swelling go down? That’s the only thing that helps my swelling hands in the summer.

    • July 21, 2010 8:09 pm

      I’m in the a/c all the time. Our utility bill is going to be HUGE! My hand is better when I’m at home – and when I’m laying down. It’s just that I want to start living again, you know?

  10. not your mo permalink
    July 21, 2010 10:07 pm

    This is no where near the new normal. Your body and your mind is still working things out. Remember the humidity and heat stresses even healthy folks out. You miss all the things you used to do before your body decided to betray you in many different ways. This is just a phase. You are a strong woman who will continue to work on solutions for the lymphedema and the plantar fasciitis.
    I would feel lost if I couldn’t type and use my mouse hand. Give yourself a chance. Go easier on yourself because you know you are going to be the harshest critic during the recovery period. It’s so tough to be patient and be a patient! It’s horrible to have all these things go wrong with you on top of the regular….”Hello, I am a middle aged person”……with all kinds of things settling or shifting or causing issues. You have a wonderful sense of humor and make me laugh. Sometimes, like with this entry you make me think about the days I have that aren’t so great and how can I do things to make myself feel better without stressing myself out.
    You’re my bald headed Cancer SuperHero online and it’s okay if things fall apart sometimes. Be good and feel good tomorrow for me, okay? Thanks.

  11. Sue permalink
    July 22, 2010 7:52 am

    I went to a chiropractor for my PF several years ago. He used ultrasound on my feet and cracked each one of my toes, 3 days a week for five weeks. PF totally gone!!!! He recommended I wear New Balance or Asics Gel running shoes. He also said to go barefoot as little as possible. If it came back he would fit me with orthotics. The PF has never come back! I also wear Merrell or Keen shoes or sandals. Basically anything with a defined arch.

    You have the right to cry. You’re going through some serious shit. Cry, bitch, move on. Some days are better than others. Hang tough!

    • July 22, 2010 9:44 am

      The first time I read this I read cry “bitch” move on. And thought “did she just call me a bitch? And if so? Hysterical!” But then I reread it and danged if Sue just told me to bitch. *sad face* 😉

      • Sue permalink
        July 22, 2010 10:53 am

        Just sayin’, you have the right to be mad and out of sorts some days. Even when you write about having a bad day, you still make me laugh at the things you say. You’ve got a great sense of humor, bitch. Hahaha!

  12. Floweer permalink
    July 22, 2010 8:55 am

    Saturday – we will have a great time. Call me – and get it out. Stop over (sorry – I am chained here) and get it out. I will listen. This is not normal. A normal will return. Just a lot of stuff to get through before it becomes the normal for you. Your book – which you have to write – will help so many people. It will be real- and people truly need that. Hang in there – see you Saturday. Do your homework! Or else.

  13. July 22, 2010 10:22 am

    My heart goes out to you, it sounds like you’ve been to hell and back. I don’t have any pearls of wisdom for you, except I hope there’ll be good days for all these bad ones.

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