These past few days have been different kinds of weirdness. A couple days ago, I noticed that my whole torso was numb; it was a very odd sensation to be able touch my stomach with my hands, but there was no sensation whatever that registered on my stomach. In other words, under normal circumstances, your hand feels what it is touching, and whatever is being touched can sense being touched by the hand. Now, when I touch my stomach, my hand senses my stomach while my stomach senses nothing at all. It's as if I'm touching someone other than myself--a one-way touch. My stomach--nothing. In fact, if I closed my eyes and lay there naked and someone came over and touched me on my stomach, I would never be able to tell.
Additionally, I seemed to have developed lymphedema, which is a common condition that develops after a woman's lymph nodes are removed along the with breasts. I'm doing the best I can with the exercises they've told me to do, and I'm also going to a physio group on Monday for mastectomy patients. Hopefully, I can get this taken care of and that it doesn't remain a permanent condition.
But good news--I've been feeling slightly more mobile. Except for the trauma my body's experienced in the past 9 months, I'm feeling pretty good. So tomorrow, DH, the kids, and I are off to Victoria for the book launch over there for Eating Stories. In case you don't remember, that's the book that was my last editing project before I started my cancer treatment. The weather calls for gorgeous sunshine and skies, and the kids love going on the ferry. So it should be a nice, relatively low-key break for me to get out of the house.
Dude and I always go to Wal-Mart to pick up stuff. I know, I know! Some of you think Wal-Mart's this evil gigantor monster that's out to suck the souls of humanity, but let's save that conversation for another time. I like Wal-Mart, and I wanted to go to Wal-Mart. But more important, I wanted something that I've dreamed of ever since Wal-Mart existed in my world: to ride their motorized carts, the ones for customers who "need a lift," as the little sign on the cart's basket says. Yes, I am finally one of those people! I rode a Wal-Mart cart--and IT WAS FUCKING AWESOME.
As soon as I hobbled into the store, I walked over to a group of ladies standing around doing nothing. This was the moment that DH and I were talking about for the past hour--of whether or not I should get one of those motorized carts. I thought, "Yeah, I know. I mean, I really don't need a cart..." Dude: "Yes you do! If they give you any shit, just raise your shirt." Me: "Yeah, I suppose you're right. Sure, I'll give it a try." So I got all worked up on the way to Wal-Mart--getting pumped up to the moment when I could show my bodily disfigurement as proof that I needed a cart. Instead, when I asked for the cart, one of them immediately spoke up, "No problem. See you gals, I gotta get a cart for this young lady." The way she said it, it sounded like she was doing the most important job that she's qualified to do. She said as I did my hobbly-hunch, "Don't mind if I walked faster, do you? Get a head start?" "Go ahead," I said, and she sped-walk to the carts. Even though I caught up to her in about two seconds, she still hopped on the cart, drove 6 inches, and stopped it at my feet and said, "There you are! Ooh, the seat's still warm. I assume you know how to work this thing?" I said, "Uh, I never had one of these before." She said, "It's easy--just put your thumb on that button there and steer and go!" And I was off!
I have to say--this weird life goal of mine--to someday ride in Wal-Mart's motorized carts--falls in the category of "exceeds expectations." I totally want to pretend for the rest of my life that I'm somehow physically challenged and never have my shoes touch the ground beneath at Wal-Mart ever again.
And here is me with my old lady shuffle: