Pink Pilates and Physical Therapy

My range of motion after surgery has been improving, and I've been feeling remarkably normal except for the menopausal joint pain and hot flashes.  I even started sleeping in a bed again!  Not particularly well and not on my left side or on my stomach, but still better than sleeping in a chair.  That reminds me ... Hey Dad, do you want to come get your recliner?  Still mint condition, only a few blood stains, PM me for details.

This morning, I had an appointment with the physical therapist at my breast surgeon's office.  She's ridiculously booked up so I had to wait several weeks for an appointment, and then I was 15 minutes late to my appointment because I went into autopilot mode and drove to my oncologist's office instead (I drive there every day for radiation).  I used to have terrible anxiety and guilt over mistakes like that, but now I just shrug my shoulders and say, "Sorry, I have cancer."  When the parent volunteer sheets started circulating at back-to-school, I just shook my head and said, "Sorry, I have cancer."  The only person the cancer card doesn't work on is Jeff.  The other night he wanted me to get out of bed to turn off the kitchen lights, and I groaned and said, "Sorry, I have cancer."  His response was something like, "Try not to perish on your way to the kitchen." 

Anyway, even though I was late, the physical therapist still had time to do her full assessment.  She says I'm doing great.  No frozen shoulder, no cording issues (whatever that means), and my only real limitations stem from tight pectoral muscles.  She gave me stretches to do at home.  She also took my arm measurements for monitoring lymphedema.  Forty percent of women develop lymphedema in the first year after surgery, and seventy-five percent in the first five years.  To lower my risk, she recommended deep abdominal breathing to stimulate the lymphatic system, cardio exercise, and not being overweight.  I guess I'll have to keep eating mostly vegetables ... forever.

I also started going to Pink Pilates at Ballet Austin.  It's a free weekly class offered to women who have recently had breast cancer surgery.  The attendees are a gang of older ladies who seem to have been going there forever.  Their leader introduced herself to me and was very welcoming.  There was only one other new person, a woman my age with an identical haircut.  I felt compelled to show her a sign of solidarity, like the three-fingered salute from The Hunger Games.  Cancer patients should totally have their own way of greeting each other, like a secret handshake or something that says, "Oh, I feel you."

In addition to Pink Pilates, I made Jeff clean off the treadmill in his office (currently used only for storage) so that I can ease back into cardio workouts by walking uphill.  I haven't been using my Peloton bike because of my toenail woes; I need better spin shoes that don't rub against my toes.  Walking on a treadmill is boring, but at least I get to stare at the new art on the wall.  Jeff won't let me clean his office, but he did let me decorate it.  If I were an interior designer trying to incorporate my client's personality into the design, I'd say I nailed it.