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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Survivor Files: Thankful for Retainers and Chocolate!

I realized that I have been going around for the last two days with my eyebrows furrowed, my shoulders tightened and my teeth clenched. (My typical stress pose) The stress was building even more than it had yesterday as my sweet daughter was in need of a swimming suit.
     "Mom" she said, "can you take me to find a swimming suit"?
     "Sure" I said, "lets get the boys ready and drop them off with Auntie Bets and then I will take you"
(Betsy had called to see if the boys wanted to try out the new trampoline and pool in their backyard - YES! of course they would!)

And, off we went. One store, two stores, three stores four...sounds like a children's book! She was frustrated that not one suit worked for her. She finally found a top but no bottom to go with it. I was telling her that we could keep looking another day. That didn't go over well. We were successful finding me a new watch (so I won't have to use my phone to tell time at camp and shatter my screen like last year), a pair of Nike flip flops for her and a new pair of sandals for me. (Famous Footwear is conveniently located between Old Navy and Kohls here in Cedar Rapids).

I got home and sat down after all of that feeling all kinds of little pains here and there. Boy, can a person let their mind go crazy. Lest people think I am a constant picture of  "calm as a cucumber" in the midst of the storm, think again. I started obsessing about the fact that the spot under my arm is actually hurting! It hasn't hurt before..."oh no...now I can FEEL the cancer!" 

Good grief! How my mind goes off. Of COURSE I could feel the spot under my arm where the lymph node is - the doctor poked a really long needle into it and actually cut three samples out of it! I probably let myself worry for ten minutes about the pain under my arm before I snapped out of it with a huge "DUH"! Our minds do strange things when we know there is BAD STUFF trying to set up residence in our bodies!

I had not stopped to make a conscious effort to un-furrow my eyebrows or stretch out my shoulders and neck or un-clench my teeth for the last 48 hours or so. I needed to purposefully get my body to relax. When I did (after my little psycho rabbit trail of crazy worry), I realized that I have made myself feel like I have gotten hit by a mac truck with all this furrowing, clenching and tightening! I also realized that I hadn't worn my retainers to bed in the last few nights. So my teeth had been working against me even as I slept!

TA DA!!! I woke up this morning without the headache I have had for the last three days. It has slowly made its way back by afternoon, but I think I will wear the retainer during the day too. It keeps my teeth from grinding! My body still feels tight and there are still little pains here and there but now at least I know when to stop and ask myself how I am doing and take moments to stretch out my face, neck and shoulders.

It also helps when your favorite Sloan sister sends the biggest basket of chocolate you have ever seen in your life! (Adult chocolate that is NOT meant for sharing with little people!) I am so spoiled!

P.S. And after all of that...my coordinating nurse didn't call to give me any more of an idea as to what lies ahead. How annoying! Oh well, the weekend goes on as we planned!

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