My cancer saga started when I was diagnosed at 38 with Stage 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I have a twisted sense of humor and have tried to continue that laughter and optimism on my journey...

Where did November go?

Episode XCVI - And Time that gave doth now his gift confound...


What happened to November? Time just seems to get away from me. A whirlwind of activities have happened this month. I have been going regularly to my OT appointments for lymphedema, I have increased my activity resulting in odd physical reactions, I have visited family for the holidays, and I actually have a real hairstyle...



What is beginning to look like an on-purpose hairdo...


My hair is growing so slowly! After months and months of hair growth, I finally felt it was time to go to a salon to get my hair cut. I usually use a walk-in place because I have such little hair. However it was time to actually style what is now on my head. When you go from bald to hair it has very little shape and grows in like a bad mullet.


I seriously keep getting mullets during the growing out phases! At least now I am happy to finally get a hair cut that resulted in a style. I finally feel like I am actually getting bangs that are worth brushing. Seriously, I really do not require a hairbrush. The simplicity of the short hair is actually nice. If I do not brush my hair... does not matter. If I do not blow dry my hair... does not matter. In general, the short hair is extremely low maintenance. And I will never be afraid to cut my hair short again!!!!

The lack of hair has also been convenient for swimming. I have been increasing my swimming to include additional time in water aerobics. I am one of the youngest in the classes and I am also trailing behind some of the women in there. The 80 year old women are actually kicking my butt in the class... it is slightly embarrassing.


The old ladies are schooling me...


So now that I am doing 45 minutes of aerobics and 45 minutes - 1 hour of lap swimming, I am feeling the pain outside of class. Sadly, the more I have increased my exercise the more it is affecting me outside of the water.  It is not that I am sore and tired, I am actually hurting. The very low impact of water was suppose to be easy on my body. I am feeling it in my back and my nervous system. My general symptoms and complaints began to re-emerge as I increased my exercising and activity level. Then I got a few new ones...

Not a stroke... just a slight face droop...


My face began to look like I had a slight stroke in the evenings. My left side began to droop. It seemed to happen more regularly and in the evenings when I was worn down. Besides my noticeable face issues, I was having increased muscle spasms, neuropathy, and increased pain. After I had repeated nights of facial drooping, I called the doctor. He increased my Lyrica dosage and the symptoms began to clear up... for the most part!?!?!

Even though I was physically exhausted, I had some new exciting things happen that made me ignore all that. My OT is one of those people in life who encourages and truly advocates for her patients. She knows how much I love painting so she help facilitate using my artwork at the therapy offices. Not only are they up to help other cancer patients feel good, they are letting me put brochures out to hopefully sell some artwork. Bonus!!!



Me & my OT.
Plus, a bit of artwork in the therapy office at the cancer center...



Originally I thought they would want a piece or two on the walls, but they wanted to use work in multiple rooms. So, I got my painting clothes on and spent a few days creating new abstract pieces to be used. It was fun (and exhausting). But, how could I not take advantage of this new opportunity? I was so lucky to actually have my artwork on the walls for people to enjoy... especially other cancer patients! To check out more of my artwork  - click here.

Not only did I spend a good portion of the month creating artwork, I just got back from a visit with my family for the Thanksgiving holiday. While my husband had to stay home and work, I took the kids on a short trip to Chattanooga. We spent most of the time just hanging out, but we also went on a  few excursions. My mom set up a tour at the aquarium and the whole family went to a Christmas light display.


 

Visiting my family...



In my head...


Like I said, the month of November seemed to go by quickly. However, November was my slow month... it was December that was going to be busy... I hope I can handle it...

When I looked at my calendar for the month of December I was slightly overwhelmed. I know that it is going to be insanely busy, so I was grateful that I got to have a good visit with my family before the craziness begins. Hopefully, I have gotten my medication adjusted to help with some of my side effects that happen when I am tired or overwhelmed physically. Because I am going to be overwhelmed next month for sure!!!


“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” 
- Mother Teresa


Episode Reference: Sonnet 60, Shakespeare sonnet
(a bit of sonnet trivia:
both Sonnet 60 & 12 deal with time
60 minutes in an hour
12 hours in a day
Oh, that Shakespeare... so clever!)
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About Amy Brock

Amy Brock is a cancer fighter and survivor. Diagnosed with Infiltrating Breast Cancer at 38 she has gone through chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, hormone therapy, and other procedures since 2013. Post treatment she has been diagnosed with lymphedema, chemo-induced neuropathy and bone degeneration in her back, as well as other issues including dysphagia, bilateral hearing loss, and arthritis. From being completely healthy, to having a variety of issues, Amy began blogging about her experiences as a way to help others. Read more about finding humor in the craziness of cancer at her blog www.tatawarrior.com Amy is the mother of two children and has worked for various non-profit agencies. In addition, she is a fine artist creating works in multiple mediums which can be seen at www.amybrock.com

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