PROGRESS REPORT

Remember in school when we got progress reports to show our parents how we are doing?

It’s time for a progress report!

All things considered, I can say that I am doing very well indeed. I wish I were closer to the end of my medical bill horror show, but alas, it won’t be finished by year’s end like I was hoping. Mostly the expected stuff I suppose; nobody wants to kiss off their money charged, but like I’m trying to make clear to the medical billing departments, “You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip!”

It doesn’t help that the insurance company before the procedure was performed did not disclose to me that, “Oh, your hernia surgeon, medical team and procedure are all covered, *but* the hospital is not!” So, I owe a quarter of the bill on that procedure which *should* have been covered… argh! But I won’t bore you too much with the details.

Besides that…

…with a few minor modifications post-hernia, I am back to my old ways. The ‘modifications’ I am referring to are things like not using the torso for ANYTHING besides standing up straight. Don’t want to undo that new hernia mesh. Also not lifting anything. Sorry Matt, packing I can do, but moving boxes is up to you, Babe.

A follow-up blood test at my oncologist’s office gave a clean report, meaning I am still in remission and starting off on the right post-treatment track.

I had a bit of a horror the other night when I looked at my poor scarred belly, and noticed a new bump. Ohhhhh. That’s not good. Even Matt had to admit that it looked new and a little unusual. This is the paranoia I referred to in this post. Well, since that day, nothing has changed, fortunately. I go on wearing my “belly bra” and hoping that it won’t get worse, or that it was just angry that day and will go away.

plumbing_post_cancer

New Plumbing

Bowel habits are, well, different forever, but I will definitely grow into them. The list of inconveniences in order of ‘annoying’:

– stains in the panties!
– I don’t know whether gas means *just gas* or if something comes with it.
– I have to “go” soon after a meal… 2 or 3 times.
– prickly butt when I’m hiking (for some reason thorough wiping isn’t as effective as it once was). Matt suggests a toilet paper barrier.
– bladder infections: a new phenomenon to me! Arrgh! And dang if it doesn’t happen just before a long road trip, every time so far.

So, in regards to the new plumbing, there is nothing that I can’t live harmoniously with, and there is nothing to say that it won’t get better with time. Still the evidence shows that I have experienced life-long changes this year that the average Joe/Jane does not have, and now I am among an elite group of ‘special’ individuals who have to do laundry more often than average.

The rose-colored short story is: Life is good, and every day is a bonus!

Arianna Huffington: Prioritize Beating Stress

Big Idea 2013: The Year We Prioritize Beating Stress

arianna_huffington_beating_stressArianna Huffington posted this article on her LinkedIn page that I felt eloquently summarized my beliefs on stress developed over the course of my cancer fight.

Ms. Huffington writes from a perspective that I believe is both balanced and realistic. She also holds a profound concern and optimism for the population, and uses her resources to make lives better. Here she identifies a problem which affects most people, then reminds us that to some degree we control the factors that give us stress, and to look for opportunities to improve our stress levels.

“Similarly, we want to use this moment — the end of one year and the beginning of another, and all the hopes, aspirations, reflection, and resolutions that are part of this interstitial moment — to summon the ingenuity we all possess in order to reduce stress.”

“The philosophy behind Less Stress, More Living is based on two truths: that we all have within us a centered place of harmony and balance, and that we all veer away from that place again and again. That’s the nature of life. In fact, we may be off-course more often than we are on-course. If we understand these two truths and prioritize reducing the destructive effects of stress in our lives, 2013 can be the year we reconnect with our own creativity, wisdom, and joy.”

Isn’t that just beautiful? Please read and enjoy.

Life may be out of your control, but prioritize beating stress. Realize that you have amazing control over your life.

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