It’s been awhile.
Like all of us, I’ve been dealing with the restrictions of COVID-19. Couple that with the long-term chemotherapies I’m taking, and it’s been a difficult few months.
But something happened that has altered my life almost as much as the cancer itself.
My right arm is now completely paralyzed.
I never thought this could happen. I’d never known it was possible. And yet it is a rare but real side effect that can happen when scar tissue, repeated radiation, and multiple surgeries impact the arm/shoulder area, leading to a diagnosis of brachial plexus injury (BPI).
And so I am relearning how to write, cook, and live as a lefty. Everything takes longer. I drop cups, I knock my pill bottles over. My right arm hangs limp like a floppy fish. I wear a compression sleeve and sling to keep my arm from flapping about. My husband fills out forms, my daughter helps me dress. I need help chopping vegetables.
There has been some grief about this loss, and anger too. But I am trying to remember that I can still walk, listen, sing, laugh, see. I can write slowly. I can read.
Mostly, I am alive.
These are good things to remember.
I hope that you are staying safe and healthy, too.