Wednesday, November 3, 2010

enjoying writing this blog

It is now getting to the point where I can no longer "gaan aan" (literal Afrikaans for "go on", as in go on and on and on...." about my arm and its high risk for lymphedema and how I spend so much time and effort to avoid actually getting it and having to wear a compression sleeve.
Now, apart from an occasional - as in once a day, ok, maybe twice a day, maybe more.... - passing comment such as "my arm feels dreadful, look, it is definately swollen", I try not to talk about it. So it helps to have a blog. Cos here I can pour my heart out.
Actually I don't, pour my heart out that is. I often keep quiet about things. It is what holds me back from being a good writer; I hate exposing myself, exuberant as I am.
For example, during the recent time when I did have to wear a compression sleeve, I was far far far far more miserable about it than I wrote. I don't even remember what I did write about how I felt, but I do know that I did not write what I really felt, and even now I am not prepared to discuss it, what I really felt during that time, that is.
I just hope that somebody somewhere finds this useful. Or can identify with my experiences and feelings. It is certainly helping me by providing me with an outlet as well as helping me clarify what I feel and trying to understand what is happening. It also serves to document. Cannot clarify why I feel it is important to document; I just believe it is important to keep a record of things and often, in hindsight, I have regretted not recording things. Consider Kevin Bloom's book Ways of Staying. If he had not documented things, he could not have written that book.


  1. Bummer about the swelling!!!! The up & down nature of all this is SO damn frustrating. It's great you're documenting all this, though - even if you keep a lot of it to yourself. It can really help others to see that maybe they're not the only ones. I was just talking with a friend who was saying he sometimes feels like he's not good enough at keeping a good attitude & is afraid that it might be hurting his fight. He looks around & everyone talks about keeping positive. So I think it's super important for people to see that sometimes the reality of cancer is just scary or frustrating or tiring - that we're not the only ones who feel that way. So, good for you for putting all this out there.

  2. Thanks Julie. It's nearly midnight here and I have gym early tomorrow but I am on the internet looking for alternative treatments for lymphedema. Look, it's still not certain if I have lymphedema - and I sincerely hope I don't - but I feel I have done everything I can to avoid it. Most recently, been on a major drive to lose weight and have lost 3kg. Have even lost weight this week and that is what worries me: why is my arm swollen if I have even lost weight? Maybe it's cos I flew - a short distance, 2 hr flight - last week. But don't know why it has not gone down yet - it's been four days.
    Anyway, I don't mind wearing a compression sleeve as long as it's short term. Will see what happens when I see my lymph expert on Monday. Meanwhile, now have to pack clothes for gym and do my manual lymph drainage massage.