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Carac Days 7 - 13 BRAVERY

Posted Feb 02 2011 12:00am
Boy, I've been a bad blogger. Honestly, I wanted to wait to blog until I had something positive to report, little bursts of hope that future readers would glom onto, as I have done on so many other blogs and forums.

But I couldn't muster the positive. Can't find it. There isn't much I'm afraid.

My case seems to be going along exactly as the other photojournalists/bloggers have reported. Each day seems exponentially worse than the last, and this makes thinking about going all the way to the end (28 days) a sheer impossibility. You can officially call me the poster child for the "take it day by day" mentality.

I am getting ready to apply Carac on day 13. As with all of the other days, I try to find something else to do first that would be less painful, like a root canal or the removal of my spleen with a butter knife and no anesthesia. I fiddle and diddle around until I finally get the guts to get in the shower, around noon each day.

My face is basically red over the entire surface, with the exception of next to my hairline. I am surprised that I even have lesions under my chin. I have some scabbing already in the very worst areas - underneath my eyes on the apples of my cheeks, my chin, above my eyebrows (whole forehead, really) and my entire nose. To put Carac on these places is an act of bravery that is only matched by the feeling that I had when I was being wheeled in the OR for my mastectomy ("MUST BE BRAVE AND JUST DO IT"). Here's the thing though, I only had to do that once. This is putting chemicals on open, increasingly angry wounds again and again and again and again and again. Did I say, again and again? I would take another mastectomy over this any day of the week.

Seems as if there is an blow torch that blows directly onto my face right before and for 3 hours or so after the Carac application. This, while akin to a first degree burn IMHO, is tolerable. What continues to be intolerable, what is the insanity maker, is the constant millions of sharp, knife-like, electrical pricks that barage me from the inside of my skin. In. Tol. Er. A. Ble. Period. I spend my day micro-focused on trying to survive this.

So, the positive is that once ice is applied after 2 hours of Carac pricking living hell, the nerves do seem to settle down enough to be bearable. I find that I can talk (not too much as face movement appears to excite the nerves and then I am back to icing) and eat small bites. I get up in the morning and do some cooking while I feel pretty good, so I think I have actually gained weight. Oh well.

Others around me have noticed that I go from normal to cranky in .02. I won't deny this. I truly feel for anybody in chronic pain. I don't think I could do it. My hat's off to you who manage to make it through that on a daily basis.

I find breathing and meditating helps, ala Lamaze. I find rocking myself gives me something to do while the insane prickling is going on. Sometimes I yell out, but curb that when the kids are around so I don't alarm them too much.

Each day, as I apply Carac to my bone dry, peeling, cracking, scabby skin, I ask myself, "Can I do this one more day? Can I do this just one more time, tomorrow?" If I decide that I CAN get through it one more time, I then commit to one more day ONLY. Thinking about 16 more days isn't doable. Only one day at a time, peeps.

"Lemonade from Lemons" Girl is struggling. Off to the shower ------>

XOXO Jen (Yes, I do realize that I am very very lucky).
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