Wonderful weekend...but feeling a little swollen and a little frustrated

I decided to go to Houston for the weekend and it was a good move. I had a wonderful time and definitely found Houston to be a really enjoyable city. I didn't do everything I had planned but I enjoyed everything that I did. It was great.

However, I'm having some swelling issues that I had not really anticipated and I'm not exactly sure how to handle it. My ankles and feet, and also my left arm are really swollen and puffy. I read that breast cancer patients should wear compression sleeves when going on long flights but (of course) I didn't do that and now I'm a bit concerned. Because of a mix-up, I didn't get to come right home after the flight and lay down as I planned. I did get to lay down within a few hours but I'm not sure if that was enough. I know that I need to elevate my feet and my arm to help facilitate the movement of fluid in my body.

I had a pedicure last week before I left on my trip and now my toe is starting to hurt -- thanks to the swelling. I don't know. Its all very weird and strange...and scary. If I can't get this under control by tomorrow, I guess I'll be spending a little time at the emergency room.

I have to figure it out because in the month of October, I am planning to travel out of town by plane three different weekends. I don't want to cancel because I'm having issues. I want to go to all three events.

I will keep you posted about how I handle the swollen toe/foot/ankle/arm.


I have been trying to figure out how to deal with (and discuss) an issue that I've had for a few weeks/months now. Honestly, I think that all I can do is to put it out there and see if this too helps somebody out.

Right out front... I am SOOOOOOO sexually um, frustrated?! Not sure if that's the best descriptor but some of my elder relatives follow the blog and I don't want to embarrass them (or myself) anymore than necessary. Boyfriends (and husbands too I suspect but I don't have one, so I don't know for sure) are useful for more than just a drinks, dinner and movies. I don't have one of those anymore. And while I didn't have much (okay, any) sex drive during the early days of my treatment... it is certainly coming back strongly now. And I'm all alone.

That presents a challenge for me. There are a lot of factors at play right now -- I am really single; my desire for dating ebbs & flows; I am still wavering about sharing my body with someone in its current state; and on and on.

Let me start with...yes, I can and do help myself to myself. But that's not the same thing and it doesn't satisfy the deeper yearning I'm trying to balance. In my reading, I've learned that it is not uncommon to lose sexual interest during treatment. And it is expected that your libido returns once you're beyond the harshest chemo treatments and all that. So, in that regard, Nic is right on time for what she's experiencing.

However, I have to say that feeling this way with no outlet is really making things interesting. I'm going to keep it really real... I know that I am coming into a season where my sexual energy is going to be really high. I just turned 40 and I've been looking forward to this for many years. (laughs) But, the challenge of trying to figure out how, who, and whether or not to try to resurrect (or create) a sex life is overwhelming just a bit.

Lately, I find myself practically drooling at cute men every where I go. Its ridiculous. On the subway on my way to work, when I walk out of my building to go to lunch, walking through the mall... shoot, I found myself staring intently at this asian brother in the Detroit airport the other day. Part of it was that he was cute, and he had an afro...but another part of it was that I had a moment where I simply drooled over his attractiveness. And that happens so many times a day that I am starting to be concerned.

Truthfully, sex with anyone in the DC metro area sort of scares me because our HIV rate is really high. And I know that a lot of folks don't believe in getting tested and consistently practicing safe sex. But even if I go outside of my area, that part of the challenge still exists. So, I am trying to convince myself that maybe celibacy is the way to go.


I know all of my friends who are practicing celibacy are sitting there saying..."come on over to the other side, its not that bad". But sheesh... I don't want to. (laughs) We will see what happens soon enough. My guess is that it will continue because I'm just not going to give it away... so I have to wait until someone shows up and then shows himself to be worthy of that type of connection.

Ugh. This is annoying, embarrassing, frustrating and so on.

The other "side effect" of my hormone treatment (tamoxifen) is that I am gaining weight. I think I'm gaining like 3 pounds a week or something. It is NOT cute. I mean, I am still adorable (laughs) but this chunkiness is messing with my swagger, my style. It is hard to feel sexy and attractive, with all this going on in my head. I don't know what to do but I will have to bring it up to Dr. S when I see him again. Because this is getting ridiculous.

My energy level is better, but still not great. I've been told (not by any doctors mind you) that I just need to get back to exercising. Maybe weight training. I'm going to look into it this week. I have to do something different and soon. Because I cannot get fat -- I can't afford new clothes.

According to the breast cancer site (www.breastcancer.org), weight training will help me. So, I'm going to look into that very soon.

Gotta run...feeling the ambien kicking in. Plus I'm tired and a little frustrated tonight. Not sure if I will be able to make all the trips I have planned in October. And I really really want to go...especially Las Vegas for the blogging conference.

PS. If you know any beautiful, single brothers who might make a good catch (single, single, single) please feel free to introduce us. I'm a bit of a challenge right now, but I'm adorable and somewhat smart. I can be a good girlfriend. :)

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