A Little Housekeeping

In my Marsha, Marsha, Marsha post on August 31st I listed some topics I was going to be addressing in the near future. Near has gotten away from me and now it’s just the future, but I’m going to make good on my word:

Todd’s blog

Not much to say here. His last post was on September 11th. I don’t see it going anywhere. Too bad for you, really good for me.

Hot flashes/Night Sweats

I’m guessing in August I was going to complain about the hot flashes and night sweats. Most likely I’d whine about how unfair it was to go through menopause twice, as if once isn’t enough. The hot flashes I went through during chemo were different, though. Then it was like I was like going from a cool room into a burning furnace. The hot flashes since my hysterectomy have been more gradual and not as intense.

Now that it’s cold, however, I’ve not been dealing with them quite so much and that makes me happy. And Todd’s happy because I like the house cold at night so I don’t have night sweats. So I suppose you could say menopause has been good for my marriage.


If you don’t know what I’m talking about here or if you just want a refresher you can read Still Under Construction (One of my better posts).

The unveiling was, um, what’s the word I’m looking for… OH! I know! Lame. I knew things weren’t going to look like me, but I still wasn’t prepared for how unlike me they looked. And this just succeeded in dredging up all those crappy emotions associated with having breast cancer. Anger at the stupid disease, sadness at how it’s changed so much, unrealistic guilt because I shouldn’t have these emotions when I’m so healthy now, and acceptance that I’ll probably have these feelings to some degree for the rest of my life.

After the unveiling I got an infection on the right side. Antibiotics cleared it up and I thought all was well. I was scheduled for tattooing in October and further work to smooth out the rough incisions on the left side in December, but I cancelled the tattooing because the left side is nearly non-existent. So when I go in for the procedure in December he’ll fix the left side to hopefully look like the right side. THEN I’ll get the tattooing done a couple months after that.


You can catch up by reading Fungal Petri Dish.

The last biopsy my regular dermatologist performed suggested bug bites. Apparently the fluid had chemical properties indicative of an allergic reaction to bug spit or something like that. So it was decided I had scabies. Except for the fact the bites didn’t spread anywhere other than that one specific region. Still, we all did the scabies treatment, washing everything that could be washed and spraying everything that couldn’t. It seemed to slow things down for a little bit, but then it all flared up again with a vengeance.

Not only did I have those horrible blisters or bug bites or whatever, but I also broke out in another horrible rash from my neck to my feet. It looks like I have developed an allergic reaction to high dose steroids. Thank goodness this is a fairly new development because I was given a massive dose of steroids with each chemotherapy treatment.

I finally got in to see the specialist. He did another biopsy and the results came back as indicative of bug bites again. Like he said, however, indicative doesn’t mean definitive. He completely dismissed the idea of scabies and wasn’t convinced at all these were bug bites.

So as of today I still don’t have a diagnosis. I’m a medical mystery. If only I could run over to South Jersey and see Dr. House. I’d put up with his snarky attitude. I’d probably snark right back. But it doesn’t so much matter anymore anyway. At one time I had upwards of 80 of these annoying blisters/bites, but now I only get a couple at a time and sometimes (like this very moment) I don’t have any flared up.

40+ models on Rachel Ray

What was I going to say about this subject?? I think just that it depressed me because I’m 41 and I feel like cancer treatment made me much older. When I was much younger I always looked young for my age. I thought that would be a great thing when I got older, though I think by the time I was in my late 30’s I looked like I was in my late 30’s. I know the extra weight makes me look older, but maybe it’s just that I feel older. Though I have to say I’m finally, FINALLY after two-and-a-half years, starting to feel closer to my age. And we have so many young friends that sometimes I forget I’m actually middle-aged.

Sunburn stripe on leg

I first posted about this at Summer Fun. This particular sunburn lasted probably a month. Before chemotherapy if I’d burned like that – which I wouldn’t have – it would have turned into a tan. But because my chemical make up has been completely altered my skin does funky things. Like look like a burn for more than a month. Weird.


And that’s the end of my list! Now I can move on.


  1. Stacy~ on November 12, 2007 at 9:53 am

    Jen, I have to say I’ve learned a lot from you about breast cancer, and most of it I’d never known before. Whether it’s typical things to expect or new things, I think you do an amazing job of opening yourself up and sharing with others, and I know, I just know, that it’s beneficial to other people, especially other women, about how upfront you’ve been. Thank you for that.And hon, I don’t get the impression that you are old, just more wise because of all you’ve been through. Being tired makes people feel old, but I see your wonder and love of life shining through, and as long as you hold onto that, you will never be old. You are a blessing to know 🙂

  2. Lynilu on November 12, 2007 at 10:43 am

    Jen, I agree with Stacy~. My situation is much different, yet there is a certain similarity. The stress brought into our lives in heavy doses (yours the cancer, mine the care and subsequent death of my hub) leaves us feeling old. For a long time, I just felt as if I’d been run over by a truck because of the pounding stress during his illness. He had lung cancer, and the treatment schedule was brutal (especially since we knew it could not change the terminal status), watching him weaken with no hope, and general neglect of myself took a toll. I felt 90 years old much of the time for nearly 2 years. Please know that what you are feeling is a “normal” (isn’t that a misnomer???) response to what your body and mind have been through! I’m glad you’re coming back to a better place, but don’t let any of the hype in the media get you. My DIL remarked yesterday that Oprah noted a $400 or $500 ensemble to be “affordable” wardrobe builders! Maybe in *her* world, but that’s a whole year for me!! Hugs and continued healing.:)

  3. Dev on November 12, 2007 at 11:20 am

    I don’t think of you as old at all ~ probably because we’re very close in age and I still feel young….well, at least on my good days. I have to agree with Stacy as well. I’ve learned a lot by visiting your blog and am thankful for your friendship.

  4. Barb on November 12, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    When I was young, I vowed I was never gonna color my hair, cuz I didn’t wanna be afraid to age. I rarely wear make-up either. A few years ago when one young beautician offered to color me, I told her my vow. She became very sober and said, “A LOT of women are afraid to age!” Not that it’s easy, buuut it’s honest! And frankly, I figure I’ve earned some of these white hairs and wrinkles. Don’t compare yourself to supposedly perfect models who do much extraneous stuff to maintain that “perfection!!!” You’re plenty cute as you are, Jenster!!!

  5. Jenster on November 12, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    Stacy – Must you always get me all ferklemped with your comments??? LOL Thank you AGAIN for your very nice and very encouraging words. :o)Lynilu – I think you described it perfectly. I don’t see any more wrinkles than I did three years ago. It’s more like a lack of vitality – a constant tiredness. But I’m determined to get over that! And you’re one of the youngest people I know!Dev – Thank you and ditto on the friendship thing! :o)Barb – I promise I don’t compare myself to unrealistic models or celebrities. I only compare myself to myself – if that makes any sense.I’m not afraid of aging. Never have been. But cancer, treatment, our difficult situation at the time and everything else has sort of dulled that spark, aging me in a different way. I’ve decided it’s very temporary, though! By the time I’m finished with myself I’m going to be about 25!And thanks for the “cute” comment. LOL

  6. Sherry on November 12, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    That was a very good “clean up”…as for being a medical mystery…it would be nice to be a mystery of a different kind wouldn’t it? Mind you, a visit to House would be most interesting!!!!

  7. Travis Erwin on November 12, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    Todd and my wife seem to be on the same blogging schedule. Funny how blogging creates all these little loose threads we have to gather in from time to time.

  8. slackermommy on November 12, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    I’m tired just reading your list. You’ve got a lot going on. My sis has a lot of “medical mysteries”. Weird illnesses and rashes that boggle medical professionals. I think some people have autoimmune responses to stress and illness that manifests in medical mysteries.

  9. radioactive girl on November 12, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    I’m glad you updated everything.I wish you could figure out those bug bite things! I am not technically in menopause, but I also have run hotter now that I have had my hysterectomy. I have one ovary that supposedly is working fine so they can’t explain why I am always hot now, but it also has been good for my marriage. I keep the house colder, which he prefers. Who knew menopause could be good for anything!I feel old for my age right now. I think it has to do with stress/worry.

  10. Jenster on November 12, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    Sherry – I always thought it would be nice to be mysterious, but not this mysterious! lolTravis – I know! I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night thinking about this “loose end”.Slackermommy – I agree that stress messes with the immune system which leads to funky stuff.Radioactive Girl – You’ve got a lot of stuff going on right now and I’m sure that takes its toll. It’s good that you’re so active because I think that helps a LOT!

  11. Manic Mom on November 13, 2007 at 1:16 am

    Hi my friend! I have been away for far too long, and I’m sorry! I caught up on the unveiling. I felt like yelling about the docs discussing caddyshack–were they at least INCLUDING you in the conversation, and could they have at least brought up the baby ruth scene? Come on now!?!?!?My mom had scabies! I thought I may have had them, but all I do is itch. I have no bite looking things. Be well! Stay strong! xo

  12. Jenster on November 13, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    Manic – Oh yeah. I joined in the discussion about Caddy Shack, but the Baby Ruth scene didn’t come up. When I go back in December I promise to throw that out there. :o)

Leave a Reply