I've been walking around topless for days.
I was a model radiation patient. 5 1/2 weeks and everyone was amazed at how well I was doing. I had some burning, peeling and blistering, but nothing too serious....until my last day. And then my skin just fell apart.
Within 24 hours, I looked like my chest had been blowtorched.
I was in the kind of pain that makes one go a little mad. I went in to see my radiology oncologist and he took one look at me and blanched.
"Good lord!" he said. "How long has it looked like THAT?"
I told him three days. He immediately prescribed a soaking astringent to be applied every 3 hours and some silver cream to be applied twice daily. And sleeping pills.
And topless. I was to go topless as often as possible. Well. This would have been okey dokey with me in the SUMMER, but now that the trees are turning red and gold and the highs are in the 50's....with our house boiler only set on 68, going topless sounded....shivery.
But...hey...I've puked my guts out and shit my ass off with chemotherapy, so this doll doesn't topple off the shelf easily. I could do this.
And I have. I am s l o w l y healing. The good news? No infection. I was warned to watch carefully for green, foul smelling pus. I was also warned that my burns would seep. With pus. All part of the healing process.
"If you have to wear a shirt, wear something old," the oncology nurse advised me.
She didn't tell me that the silver cream, while effective, smelled like rotting fruit. So, not only do I walk around looking like a zombie from the waist up, but I smell like one, too.
I am not good with blood and less with pus. Which is why I chose psychiatry instead of surgery. When I look down, I am revolted.
So much so, that Bing has been the one to soak the paper towels in the astringent when she's home and place them dripping on my burned-to-a-crisp chest. I am always surprised that they don't sizzle when they touch my skin. They go on cold and within a minute are hot because my chest is like a stove. Put a pan of soup on there and it will be boiling in under five minutes....
My routine has been to wait until Bing and Liv leave for the day and then to go topless all day long with short jaunts to the library to return or get books and to get pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks. Um...fully dressed.
I saw my oncologist yesterday. It had been one week. He was pleased.
"You are slowly but surely healing!" he said.
I retorted that this process was WAY too slow for my taste. He smiled.
"You should, hopefully, be able to return to a fairly normal life by Thanksgiving," he said. He meant this kindly, I know this. But, all I could think was that I had another month of walking around topless and when I did wear a shirt? Smeary when I took it off. Nights are the worse. I wear a nightshirt to bed and often wake up at night with it STUCK to me and have to painfully pull it off my chest.
I'd post a photo, but even though I have lost most of my vanity to cancer, I think I need to keep the world from seeing this part of me.
The good news was that The Walking Dead is back. But, the last episode upset me so much that for the first time, I burst into tears watching a television show.
Glenn died! My Glenn! The moral compass and heart of the show! How DARE they kill off Glenn? I would be sad to see Michonne or Maggie go....but GLENN? God, NO! The only worse thing would be to lose Daryl. And WHY couldn't he die with pomp and circumstance? NO. He got to die falling off of a dumpster. And because of that dumbass, Nicholas? Bing and I sat in disbelief and immediately went into action, trying to think how this couldn't be real. Maybe coward ass Nicholas was on top of Glenn and it was his um....entrails that the mob could be seen munching on? We finally decided that if the show was going to pull such a mean trick, that would be just plain unfair. But, hey....we're fine with it. BRING GLENN BACK. PLEASE.
Ugh. The pain of it.
I've also become engrossed in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Holy cow. If I have to sit around shivering and topless all day...it helps to have a good book. Which this is. Verra verra good, as Jamie Fraser would say.
Trying to find the silver lining. I think it will be that I have been entranced by the changing color of the trees in my back yard. Lovely. Simply lovely......
Now, if I can just have Glenn back and put my shirt on again soon, I will be a verra happy wench.