Another summer has slid past. Much of it was spent in bed, recovering from my ongoing treatments with Gemzar. I switched to Gemzar February 4, when Vinorelbine proved ineffective in stopping tumor growth. The Gemzar seems to be slowing and/or arresting tumor growth, but I’ll need to be treated with it 3 times a month, forever. Or until it stops working. Another not-so-happy development has been the worsening of the pleural effusion outside my right lung. In a nut-shell, malignant pleural effusion is when fluid containing tiny cancer tumors begins filling the pleural cavity surrounding a lung. This fluid pushes into the lung, reducing its capacity. Kind of feels like drowning: most unpleasant! I underwent a surgical procedure called Pleurodesis, designed to omit the pleural space and get rid of the pleural effusion. So far, seems like it worked. I’m definitely breathing easier, and I’ve weaned myself off the 24/7 oxygen.
Amid all the above mentioned trials and tribulations, something happened today that made me chuckle. While getting ready to go out to lunch with a friend, I spent at least an hour trying on outfit after outfit. Having had a weight problem for most of my life, this isn’t a new scenario. Except usually the process involves nixing outfits because A. They’re too tight or B. They make me look fatter. Today I was nixing outfits because I was A. Swimming in them or B. They made me look dorky because…they’re way big. Since December 3rd, when I re-started appetite-killing traditional chemo, I’ve lost 35lbs.
I am far from thin. Technically, I’m overweight, just not obese anymore. Size 14 jeans I squeezed into last summer now unattractively sag in the rear, and I’ve never been a fan of the ‘jeans crotch at mid-thigh’ look. Usually, I’d just pull out my skinny jeans, except that the last time I was a size 12 was around 1992; THOSE skinny jeans were given away in 1999, along with my size 12 power suits (think shoulder pads that made women look like Defensive Linemen as we strove to dress for success).
The way your birthday suit snaps back into shape when you’re 20 isn’t how it behaves when you’re 62. So, I won’t be prancing around in a bikini anytime soon. And I won’t be standing around admiring myself in the all-together in my full length mirror. Think Shar-Pei. Albeit a rather triumphant Shar-Pei.
Instead, I’ll engage in a bit of positive complaining. I call this ‘gloat-plaining.’ Can’t truly gloat, since the weight loss had nothing to do with any will power on my part. Complaining would hardly be honest. Count me as gloat-plaining and looking forward to a bit of retail therapy.