I've tried to be fairly honest on this blog, and have tried to balance the good, positive, upbeat posts with the not-so-fun posts, but I feel like, lately, I haven't posted because I didn't want to see like a complainer, like someone who can't find the positive in life, who is a "Debby Downer..."
Well, today? I made a decision. This is my blog, I'm having a rough day, and I'm going to post about it.
So, yesterday, I was fairly sedentary. I sat for a good portion of the day, and I'm paying for it today. I paid for it last night, and I'm *definitely* paying for it today. My back is killing me.
Over the past few days, I've had some relief from the ongoing back pain. I don't know that it's ever completely gone, but it lessens enough that I'm able to function without constantly thinking about it. I have been sleeping better (waking up once, able to take some pain meds and pretty much go right back to sleep).
Last night....not so much. I was up around 2:30am with (because life sometimes really, really sucks) a hot flash that lasted what felt like 30 minutes, and back pain. I threw the covers off and tried to cool down. This is a cruel joke, because when you have a hot flash, you sweat. Then, when you start to cool down (or, more accurately, when I start to cool down), I then get cold. *sigh*
And, I couldn't get comfortable. The back pain increased, so I took two Advil. Usually, this is enough to calm the pain and to allow me to get back to sleep. Last night, my body had other plans, and by about 3:30, I decided enough was enough, and I got up. I used my corn bag on my back to release the muscles a bit (and proceeded to burn my back in the process....my own fault, but...damn it!), and sat up to watch Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (one of my favorite television shows!!!). So, it wasn't a complete loss, I suppose. :)
Once I was able to take my meds around 6am, my back started to ease and I was able to function. However, as the day has worn on (and I did not sit still today, as I am trying to keep active), my back is still bothering me. Advil hasn't helped, at least, noticeably. I did have a conversation with my Care Manager Vicki, and she asked me to go off the Oxycodone and back on the Vicodin. So, I just took one of those, and I'm hoping, praying for some relief.
I don't know if I can describe the back pain. I guess the best way is that it's a constant, grinding ache in the lower-most portion of my back, in the hips area. It's just above the pelvic area, and had started (joy of joys) to creep around to the front a bit. The front-ish pain feels more like cramping (ladies...you feel me...), which is again cruel, since I don't have the parts that would cause me to have cramping.
The ache is not like muscle pain that I've had in the past (at least, the muscle pain from working out that I remember). Honestly, that's what has me worried. I have had some back pain creeping up my back that was definitely, clearly muscle pain. I think that's as much my body reacting to my pain level as anything, at this point. Those, I can handle, since they seem to be pretty quick and go away in a few seconds. They are almost spasm-like, and have happened more at night than any other time of day (usually, as I'm getting ready for bed).
I spoke with a fellow survivor today, and started to get fairly emotional. This bone scan has me worried. I'd be lying if I said otherwise. There's a lot of unknowns - the unknown of what the test is going to be like. I spoke with someone in radiology today - the test should only be about 20 minutes, and when I have the nurse assessment on Thursday morning, we can make a decision (based on how I'm feeling that morning) on whether I need additional pain meds to get me through laying on that table for that long. I know that 20 minutes doesn't seem like a long time, but when you are already inn pain and have to lay on a very solid, very uncomfortable table for that long.....20 minutes can seem like an eternity.
There's the unknown of what happens if the test comes back showing cancer spread to the bones (and, along with that, there's the *known* of what this means for my long-term prognosis...). There's the unknown of what happens if the test doesn't come back showing cancer - if it's not mets to the bones, what the hell is causing me this much pain? And, if it is mets, what do we do about it? Radiation? I haven't had that - there's another unknown.
Yes - I think, right now, I'm using the word "unknown" as a way to describe "fear." When I was re-diagnosed in March 2012, and I knew I was going to go through chemotherapy again, I *knew* what that meant. This time? I have no idea what radiation will be like, how it will feel, what side effects I'll experience. Will I react to the radiation as strongly (from a side effect stand-point) as I do with the chemo? *sigh* Good God, I hope not....
I just get emotional when I think about where I'll be a week from now. I'm assuming I'll have answers. What if I don't? That's almost as scary as having the answers.
I am still optimistic - I know I'm where I need to be. I know for a fact that, if there's something to be done to help me fight this effing beast, CTCA will make sure I have access to it. But, I'm so damn ready to be done with this, to be back in remission and to live a normal life again.
Maybe I'm not meant to. Maybe this is my journey, and I have great things to do. Maybe I'm just meant to be a voice for those of us fighting.
Oh, what I wouldn't give to know for sure. But, I know that's not meant to be. So, I'll do my best to keep my head up, my tears hidden from the kids, and my spirits high....
Meantime, I think I'll do some internet window shopping. I'm in the market for new glasses and a new purse. The glasses are good - thank goodness for good vision insurance. The purse? Yeah - the ones I like are *very* pricey (by my standards)....so, I'm off to check etsy.com and see what I can come up with. :)
Right after I pick the kids up from school.