I know it’s early.

Sleep is often elusive in my world and I try to just rest when I find myself awake and alone at night. This morning I find myself awake and bored, so here I am again to bring you a glimpse into the cancer world.

As I get closer to surgery next week I have found myself in more pain and with a new diagnosis.

Lymphedema.

Go google it. I’ll wait.

Got it? So here’s how it works in my world. As I get dressed every day I “choose” to wear a medical prosthesis to equalize my breasts so that I can wear my work clothes and look symmetrical. What that really means is a wear a giant ugly bra with a super heavy “fake” boob in it so I feel more like myself.

I’ve been noticing lately that it’s more uncomfortable, and even t-shirts we’re starting to bother me. I fuss with the left side, it feels tight, and my armpit is bothering me.

I finally used my brain and asked an OT at work to check it out.

And of course my left arm, the side that had surgery and was at risk for lymphedema, is larger than my right now.

It explains a lot; the soreness, the clothing that’s too tight on that side, the constant feeling of it being “different”.

So now I get to do more things in my day that focus me back to cancer and the aftermath.

Stupid cancer.

New massage/exercises and another “medical” device – compression garments.

Now these are not attractive, although they can be neutral and easy to hide.

But as you all know – hiding from this crap is not in my nature.

So instead, I followed the advice of my OT – who understands my passion for facing things head on – and went to a very cool website called LympheDIVAs.

Go check it out – I know you want to.

Amazing right?? If you have to wear compression garments you might as well make the statement that cancer doesn’t win.

So I am patiently waiting for my first two sleeves to arrive in the mail, and I start OT today for a lesson in how to fight back from this new disruption on my life.

It’s my choice – my choice to not just live with this new facet of my life, but to embrace it. I have found that embracing each part of this cancer journey makes living my life on my terms that much easier.

Yes – pain is constant. I choose to do as much as I can each day, including coaching soccer for my sons team, despite having to limit my activity.

Yes – I choose to have surgery again to replace the expander that was lost during the second round of infection last year. To me it is a means to end the giant bra problem and to get back on my original path of moving past cancer and back to my life.

Yes – I’m tired. The pain from the new meds has become unbearable, and I chose to stop taking them again. I will try a different one in a few weeks.

I guess all I have to say about lymphedema is that it’s just another part of cancer that can enter your life.

I choose to embrace it and not let it define me, just as cancer does not define me.