Thursday, May 8, 2008


"Listen to your body." How many times have I heard that during the past nine months? Enough to make it mildly annoying. Yet I've come to understand the truth in that advice during the past few weeks.

It's been three weeks and two days since my operation (not that I'm counting). During this time, everyone who supposedly knows better has told me to keep it easy, move with caution, be gentle, put paper tape over my scars, and don't exercise. In the meantime, fluid has built up under my arm and along my side and even on my back near my shoulder blade. I've done gentle stretching and mild weight lifting (five-pound dumbbells), and while it has helped, I'm terribly impatient and frustrated. So today, I said screw it, and I hit the gym. Before I took off, DH wrapped my arm up from my wrist to my shoulder, with the pressure starting at the wrist and tapering off as it went up my arm. My lymphatic massage therapist told me to wrap it like that when I wanted to exercise. Tomorrow, I'm going to get fitted for a special compression sleeve, but for today, this would do.

At Fitness World, I worked out on the elliptical machine for 30 minutes, did a wee tiny bit of resistance training, and then stretched. It felt soooo good to sweat from my head, neck, chest, arms, have the sweat running in my eyes, nose, and mouth. It felt incredible to get my heart rate up and keep moving. My abdominal stitches did burn a little in certain spots, and when that happened, I slowed down or changed direction of the machine. But I kept working. Then I walked home--and it's about 2 miles from my house to the gym--and then I lifted some more weights and stretched. When I took a hot shower, I felt awesome. I listened to my body, and my body said thank you.

Other ways I listened to my body--my body does not like paper tape, which as I mentioned, I was told to put over my scars/incisions. It actually irritated the scars and the skin surrounding them. Instead, I slather on pure shea butter, kinda like how you'd spackle cracks in the wall, and it's been working like a charm. I almost have flesh that looks like boobs!

I also ordered a compression bra, at the suggestion of my lymphatic massage therapist. It's from a company called Bellisse, and I had to order it through this medical supply store in Winnipeg! I called the woman with my measurements, so I should be getting it sometime next week.

Other fun things I did today: I created some postcards using my new mega-pack of Sharpie markers of all colours that I bought from Costco yesterday; then I wrote postcard stories, which I will send off to some lucky recipients on Check out my postcard stories blog for the awesome results!

And I took some pictures with the new camera!

Here are some pretty plants outside a house I was stalking.

More stalking--uh, I mean, pretty plants.

What? A rain cloud in Vancouver?! No way!

My old friend, Mr. Kitty Kat. You can tell he's thrilled to see me again.

Also, on the walk back from the gym today, as I was crossing Main St., I saw this guy that looked so unreal. I mean, I could probably make this guy up, but if I did, I know someone in some writing workshop would tell me, "That's totally fake and cliché" (at least, that's what I would say). This dude was wearing a black tee-shirt, black leather jacket, black jeans, black sunglasses, had a black handlebar moustache, and was carrying a black briefcase. I wanted to take a picture of him, just so no one (including myself) thought I was bullshitting or hallucinating, but obviously he was in a hurry, on his way to blow up some shit or murder someone, so I didn't want to disturb him.

Yeah. So anyway, for those of you who think that because I have this renewed/new-found energy and vivacity, that I might get to that thing I had promised you I'd get to one month/three months/six months/nine months ago, or even during the time before I knew I had cancer...please, just for the next little while, pretend I'm still a bedridden invalid who's incapable of feeding herself or going to the bathroom without the aid of a laxative. Thanks.

I'm so glad I had this wonderful day, and I'm prepared to get my pathology report tomorrow.

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