License To Chill

What a wild 24 hours it has been. One of my nearest, dearest, oldest, friends, Miranda, flew into town yesterday morning to see me for a few days before chemo and then accompany me there tomorrow (Tuesday the 26th).

We decided to use some connections and stay the night downtown at the Waldorf Astoria. We had lunch at a sidewalk cafe, walked around downtown, luxuriated in the ‘relaxation room’ at the hotel while we waited for our room to be ready. Honestly, both of us would have been perfectly happy stuck in an elevator as long as we didn’t have our kids with us. So to be pampered at a beautiful hotel for 24 hours… money.

Crushing the relaxation game

Even though it was 95 degrees, I decided to bring Frankie downtown for the night.

Frankie checking in. Excuse me sir, can you store my wig on a head with my luggage please?

As I think I am pretty dang impervious, I decided it was a great idea for Miranda and I to go to the hotel gym. While I was there, I started to feel pain under my arm where my second surgery (the Axillary Node Dissection) occurred. Ever the tough-guy, I kept lifting weights and doing cardio until it hurt so badly that I had to call it.

By the time we were out to dinner with friends, my armpit was killing me. This, plus Frankie (rather uncomfortable on my head), was making me a pretty lame dinner guest. I was in pain. I couldn’t really taste the delicious food. By dessert, I couldn’t stand it anymore and told the girls with tears in my eyes that I had to take Francesca off.  It took me about 10 minutes to get the courage to do it, but off she went. I was bald in a trendy restaurant.

Who wore Frankie best?

By this morning, my under arm was in raging pain. I showed Miranda and she confirmed that it was really swollen. We started emailing and calling all of my doctors- the surgeon, the oncologist, their respective nurses. I ended up with an appointment with a nurse practitioner at my surgeon’s office around lunchtime.

Note one convex armpit and one concave armpit

Turns out the giant swelling is an infected seroma, or a build-up of excess lymph fluid due to the removal of so many lymph nodes in the area. My surgeon was in the building and made a surprise appearance after the nurse practitioner diagnosed the bulbous situation in my armpit (whoa, that was so sexy). She decided it was a good idea to drain a little bit of fluid from the seroma (WHY GOD?) to make sure it wasn’t pus.  I didn’t even ask a follow-up question there.  Pus=no more words.

I was prescribed a course of antibiotics and told some pretty craptastic news.

I am not going to be able to have chemo tomorrow.

You would think this would be good news, but it is actually horrible news. I think about my last chemo date, September 6, all the time. That is the date by which I mark all future plans. I’ll be done after September 6.

Not any more. Now I have no idea when this will end. I have to get through this ridiculously painful infection before they can schedule my next chemo. Let’s just drag this out shall we? It’s SO fun.

So now the good news. I got home today to find my medicinal marijuana license in my mailbox!!! Cannabis was really the only thing that helped me through the last round so I am thrilled to have access to regulated oils, edibles, vapes, etc.

Miranda and I rounded up a babysitter real quick and headed to the dispensary. This place was impressive. Such kind and knowledgeable workers.  A lot of cash later, we walked out with a small stash to help me with everything from pain, to nausea, to adequate sleep.

Did I mention we went to Sarkis today? Coincidence?



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Joshua B says:

    Thanks for sharing the story. My wife has a beautiful whig but its so hot here right now she can’t see herself wearing it out in public. She has told me she wishes she could get over people looking at her or she would rock her beautiful bald head till it gets cooler but unfortunately it hard for her right now. Thanks again for your story. I hope your chemo isn’t put back too far, I know how looking towards that final date gives hope and endurance. – Joshua

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Iridacea says:

    I found being bald was an excellent cooling strategy for the crazy hot flashes I had during chemo- “Wow, all this, and I get to have early menopause too! Tell me I’m dreaming.” But seriously the hot flashes did somehow make it much easier to accept baldness.

    Best advice I received was focus on resiliency rather than being tough. This is totally disappointing and a drag, and you can do it. Try visualizing the sparkly robustly strong healthy happy future you that is waiting in the mysterious future, ask her to lend you a hand right now. Sending soothing armpit healing thoughts your way.


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