My morning routine is insane. There was a time when I would spend an hour doing my hair and makeup. I loved putting on my fruity lotions or perfume. As a cancer warrior, all of that has changed.
I wake up in pain EVERY single morning. I literally hobble out of bed while crying out in pain. Once I make my way to the bathroom, I flinch at my reflection. My face is usually a little red and puffy. My skin is so delicate since the chemo, radiation and all the side effects from the meds. I look irritated before I actually feel irritated.
I then check my entire body for bruises and skin changes. One of my big symptoms that something was wrong were the tiny green bruises that appeared all over my left leg and left arm. I panic a little each time I do my careful once-over. I have a huge black and blue bruise on my left leg right now. Am I worried? I will say only a little but not totally freaking out because it’s different and on the back of my leg and not the front.
Then it’s time to check my boobs. I carefully review the scars and feel for lumps or anything unusual. The burns from the radiation are all healed. Unfortunately, there is one rather big issue I still have that needs to be corrected. The scar tissue in my tumor area where I received the lumpectomy has built up and super hard. It messes with my mind because it feels like the tumor is still there. I have to constantly reassure myself it’s really gone and review my doctors notes.
Another surgery is in my future for next year. The scar tissue will have to be surgically removed due to the size. My plastic surgeon knows it’s upsetting me and wants to make sure this doesn’t make my scans murky. I just cannot handle being cut anymore the remainder of this year.
The one thing my doctors never told me was how much my skin would age after treatment. The lines on my neck just appeared out of nowhere! The skin on the left side of my neck is still darker than the other side because of the radiation burn. I will now have to wear sunscreen on that area because it will be very sensitive forever.
So, that is my insane morning routine. It’s exhausting but this is my life on the cancer train…