Wish I’d known…

A few random thoughts for today…

First, I am finally all caught up on all the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and am ready for Infinity Wars, which is out on Tuesday. I know, I’m a dork, but I don’t care. I’m excited! These movies make me giddy.

I wish I’d known before this surgery that at two and a half months post-op, my doctor could end up cutting open my incision and adding more time to my healing.

I also wish I’d known that even if my drainage output was under the recommended amount, my body might still not absorb the extra fluid and needle draining might need to be a thing.

Would I still have elected to have the flap done? Probably. I just would have been a little more mentally prepared. The six week recovery window I was told was utter bull crap, and I think that’s what frustrates me the most. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not displeased with my doctors. I think they’ve done a great job and I like them. I just don’t ask a lot of questions in general, and with an operation this big, I think I handed over too much knowledge in good faith. So, note to self, if I ever have another major surgery, I should ask ALL the questions about draining, incision sites, months post-op, etc.

In other news, I don’t think I have a lot of fluid buildup this week. Usually I can tell because I can see it/feel it. But there appears to be nothing happening, which is great. I wonder if it’s the antibiotic? It’s the first time I’ve been on one post-op.

Oh! We went to the Riverdogs’ game Friday night! Unfortunately, I was in no shape to stay out in the heat/humidity after being outside all morning for work, so I missed the fireworks, but I had a good time while I was there! Brad and I are knocking things off our Day Zero Project list, one at a time. 🙂

That’s all for now, and I’ll update on my loads of appointments tomorrow!

Day Zero Project

We did a thing! A fun thing. Ever hear of Day Zero Project? It’s a website where you can make massive, bucket list style to-do lists. I first came across it years ago, when I used to have a random blog, and made one of their 101 in 1001 lists. That’s 101 things to do in 1001 days, roughly 2.75 years, if I remember correctly. I never did finish that list, but when Brad and I were talking about having a sort of “life to-do” list, I immediately thought of DZP. What better place to host our list? And what fun to make it sort of a challenge at the same time?

So we made a list. Two, actually. Three, if you count the “done” list. One is the “101 in 1001” and the other is a “someday” list. It’s things we would like to do someday, but probably won’t get to before 1001 days is up…like different areas of Europe, tropical islands, etc. The catch is, we have to do the list items together! Things we do apart don’t count.

As I mentioned, we have some travel items, entertainment, food, classes, crafts, random date nights, and lots more.

Anyway, it’s super fun and I highly recommend it if you love a good list! Check ours out at this link.

We already worked on a few things this weekend when we had lunch at a local seafood joint and watched Ant-Man and the Wasp in the theater. It was a great Saturday afternoon date.

Post-Vacation Blues

I had a great time on vacation. Getting to spend some time with Brad without work and doctors and having to adult was wonderful.

I ate three burgers (one of the restaurants at the resort has the best burgers I’ve ever had in my life, no lie) over the course of the week. That’s about two more burgers than I’ve had so far this year. They’re so good. If you find yourself at Orange Lake Resort in Kissimmee, hit up Legacy Grill for a Smokehouse Burger. Ah-mazing.

I also ate way too much chips and salsa at Chuy’s, and let’s not forget the margaritas. Yum. I had bought Malibu rum because that’s sort of my go-to alcoholic beverage – I like it in Diet Coke or fruit juice. But I had a margarita at Chuy’s, then cheap margaritas at the resort during happy hour, and I fell in love. I think tequila does that to you. Well, I guess it’s a love/hate thing since tequila kicks some people’s butts.

I read, was totally lazy, and drove the cart while Brad golfed one day. It was a nice time.

So I’m home and this week is back to reality! I’m happy to be home with my pup, she missed us and we missed her. I think our best vacation ever was when we went to the Outer Banks and were able to take her with us. Pets deserve vacations, too.

I had an oncologist appointment this morning, got my Herceptin and Lupron. Nothing new to report there. Everything is “normal” there.

I’m returning to work today for real. I’ve got a few line therapy sessions this week, and I’m looking forward to that.

So I’m feeling good and healthy. I’ll be thankful when the rest of the soreness is gone. I’ll also be thankful when I can start exercising again and lose this ache I’ve got in my joints again. I hate that I went steps forward and then steps backward in regards to activity, but I know that extra strength I built up before surgery has helped me a lot over the last several weeks.

Being at the oncologist now is weird. I remember going and dreading what I knew was to follow. I don’t have that anymore, which is great – not complaining over here! It’s just weird because I’m in and out of there, and I used to see some of the same faces, but now there’s often new faces in various stages of treatment, and it’s weird. I want to say something, something motivating, because I was where they were, but I don’t know their story. I don’t know if they’ll be where I am now one day, or if their situation is more dire. So I don’t want to pull something straight off one of those top-ten-not-to-do lists for cancer patients. So I just keep to myself and smile.

But I want to do more. One day I was there and someone had put together little comfort packages and handed them out to all the chemo patients. I think I’m going to do something like that. Put together a list of things that truly gave me some comfort during my chemo and make little care packages to hand out. There are other, grander things I’d like to do, but for now this might just do. Little things mean a lot, at least they did to me. So maybe these care packages will brighten someone’s day.

Ten Years?!

Last week, on May 3rd, Brad and I celebrated our ten (10!!!) year wedding anniversary. I honestly don’t feel old enough to be married for 10 years, but I definitely am. I’m old enough to be married longer, but it just seems weird. We’ve been together for 15 years! Almost half my life. Crazy.

Each year, for our anniversary, we head to Concord, NC for Carolina Rebellion with Brad’s brother, Jeff. It’s a three day rock music festival held up at the campgrounds at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Sort of like what I imagine Woodstock would have been, complete with the dirt and the stink. We don’t camp, though. We stay in a hotel, conveniently located directly across the street from the event. Because beds and showers, duh. I can’t imagine being sore and hot from being on my feet in the heat all day long, then having to sleep on the ground. Heck no.

Anyway, this year was as much fun as years passed. We get VIP tickets so we can leave the venue and gain re-entry later on, which we took advantage of when there were bands playing that we were less interested in seeing. We love to experience as much of the festival as we can, but sometimes we need a break.

I’ve been staying on my food and exercise plan as much as I can. It’s not easy eating clean at a music festival, but I’m doing the best I can and opting for the least processed foods. Surprisingly, it’s not impossible since there are a lot of food trucks at the event and you can get things that aren’t greasy or fried. I’ve also been exercising at the hotel (thank you Beachbody® On Demand!). I did cardio and yoga, and it felt good. Just the right balance of energy and stretching. My feet and legs didn’t get nearly as sore as they usually did at the event, and I think that goes back to my increased endurance from staying active over the last few weeks.

Anyway, if you like rock music and haven’t been to one of these festivals, I highly recommend going. Carolina Rebellion is awesome, but there are others that are part of the same series, like Rock on the Range (Ohio), Welcome to Rockville (Florida), Rocklahoma (Oklahoma), and more. So much fun.

And a lot of people say, “Aren’t you too old for that?” The answer is “No.” There are all ages at these shows, and I mean that. Babies to seniors, no joke. There was a woman in her 80s crowd surfing one year…someone in a wheelchair, even. You don’t have to be in the center of a mosh pit to be at a concert, there are plenty of safer, calmer places to be and still have a good time.

Plus, I’m a firm believer that you’re only as old as you feel. Some days I feel like I’m 100 years old, other days I don’t. Bottom line: I’m going to enjoy myself.

Port Shift?

When I got the port place, it felt awkward. It was like, “Holy crap, there’s something popping out of my chest.” Not actually popping our of my chest, but it’s there and it’s foreign and it’s weird. I still sort of feel that way, but I’m used to it.

So back to the beginning. I remember being afraid that if I sneezed a really good sneeze, like one of those muscle-popping sneezes, that the port would just pop out of my chest. I can’t explain why I felt that way, or how I thought that could happen, but I totally did. I presented this concern to the doctor, even though I was fairly sure it was an irrational concern. She said not to worry, that port wasn’t going anywhere.

Challenge accepted.

Enter jump castle. Correction. Enter jump castle obstacle course.

I thought it would be wise to show how great my endurance was and how quickly I could move through the jump castle obstacle course since I’ve been getting so much exercise, building muscle, etc. So after going through it once solo, I decided to race my sister-in-law.

You can imagine how this went. Long story short, we collided somewhere in the middle. She sprained her wrist, I overstretched my left arm, and I’m pretty sure I popped a stitch on my port because there’s a little wobbliness that wasn’t there before.

Shrugs.

I’ll see my surgeon this week and she can check it out, but everyone at the oncologist said it looked okay. It is attached to my jugular, so if there was an issue, I’d know about it by now. It’s been over a week and I’ve had an infusion through it, and nada.

So yeah…if you have a port…maybe jump castles aren’t the best place to be…or at least a jump castle race might not be the best decision.

Oh! I did win the race against my sister-in-law, but I then challenged my brother-in-law and lost miserably.

Second moral of the story – when you’ve got something crazy going on with your toenail, jump castles might not be the place to be.

Endurance

Brad and I went with his brother, Jeff, to an all day concert last Sunday. Typically after being on my feet all day, I am sooooore. So sore I’m whining about it. This year, I wasn’t. Which is great, because we’ve got a three day concert coming up next weekend and I’ll be on my feet for three days straight.

Tomorrow I’m doing the Walk for Autism at Hampton Park in Charleston. The company I do ABA therapy with is going to have a booth, but me and my nephew are going to do the walk, then help out with clean up at the company’s booth. (He doesn’t know that yet, ha.)

Anyway, I’m enjoying being more physically active and having the endurance to do all this stuff. After having no endurance whatsoever during chemo, it’s a welcomed change. I mean, I remember struggling to find the strength to walk across the house, and then getting winded. The other day at my nephew’s baseball game, I ran around the playground with my niece and didn’t get tired. It was awesome.

State Park, Geocaching, Pokemon, and More!

This is a bit different from my usual posts, but Brad and I had a super fun day today and I thought I’d share about something other than that lousy six letter word to let everyone see that there is fun to be had, even when dealing with the big C.

Anywhoo, I was on a field trip Friday to a local historical site and it reminded me of how Brad and I used to do a lot of stuff like that when we first started dating. We used to get those Entertainment books that schools or charities would use as a fundraiser, the ones with all the discounts for local food and entertainment and whatnot. We would go to the forts and do other touristy things in downtown Charleston. It was one of my most favorite things…playing tourist in my own town.

We had a lot of stuff on our agenda for today. So much to do since we are moving and trying to close down the old house. Well, we decided to take a little detour to Colonial Dorchester State Park on our way, since it’s maybe 10 minutes from home, if that. It’s a nice little park with a very cheap entry fee, and you can bring your dog! Which we didn’t do since we had different errands to run that weren’t all Daisy friendly.

We did the walking tour with the park map, there are posts scattered throughout with “A,” “B,” “C,” etc. that corresponded to a different talking point for the self-guided tour. It was mainly ruins, but it was a pretty landscape.

So what started our random, left turn adventure were a few Summerville Rocks. For those who don’t know, these are small, painted rocks that people leave laying around. The rules are generally that you can take them, but you have to leave them somewhere else. If you want to keep one, you have to make one and leave it somewhere to replace the one you kept. So I was talking to my mom on the phone, trying to figure out the rules because I didn’t want to do something wrong. She mentioned geocaching in our conversation, which reminded me that I had a geocaching app!

I opened the app and voila! There was something at the park! So of course we had to find it. It was fun trying to figure it out. Then we found it and swapped an item in the box for something we had – which is what you’re supposed to do. You can take an item out of the box, but you’ve got to put something back in. This particular cache was in an ammo can, so it had lots of room for stuff.

We decided to leave after that, and as we were walking to the car, we noticed some people were playing Pokemon Go! Brad and I have the app, we like to catch Pokemon when we remember we have the app. We forgot we had the app while we were at the park. Big bummer, because when we realized it, we found that there were like 6 Pokestops at the park. Pokestops are where you can get free things, so that’s super neat because we’re super cheap. Ha. Anyway, turns out there was some Pokemon community event happening at the park and as we were leaving, the parking lot was filling up with Poke-hunters.

Then we did our errands, and on the way home we had to stop at Harris Teeter for some stuff and guess what??? Another geocache!

Anyway, it’s a super fun little thing to do. There are some that are quick park and grabs like Harris Teeter, then there are others where a little more work is required. The app I downloaded is called Geocaching and has a green logo/icon. It uses your GPS location and has a map with the geocaches pinned with dots. Most of them are green, but there are other types that are different colors. It’s definitely something you can spend an entire day doing, or something you can kill a little bit of time with. I think we’re going to plan a day where we can hit downtown Charleston and go crazy. There are a LOT down there. We may even start a few of our own!