Finding balance

How do you know if you are doing too much too soon?  I guess it’s a bit of trial and error.  My plastic surgeon told me I could go to the gym and hit the elliptical as long as I didn’t feel pain. I decided against that, as it will be a giant pain with one drain still in me, and I’m still not allowed to wear a sports bra.  But, Saturday morning, I joined my volunteer group for one of our twice monthly pit bull pack walks.  Easy pace, lots of stops, 3 or so miles.  The only thing that “hurt” was my sciatica- not related (and a post for another day perhaps).

(Blake, available through

Saturday evening, I joined some teammates for a low key night out.  I didn’t have any drinks- not ready yet and feels a bit irresponsible with a drain. But it was still a bit of a late night out for me.

On Sunday, I got up early to meet up with Team ACPB, who would be heading out for some of their longest runs for half and full marathon training.  Obviously I’m not running yet, so I went for a hike.  I was joined by a friend whose knee was bothering her, so she decided a 20 mile run might not be a good idea.  We took a long loop and hiked almost 7 miles.  Again, felt great, little bit of sciatica, but no issues otherwise.

Went to our post-run hangout, watched everyone else have a beer and drank coffee instead. Sigh….but I was glad to be back to a somewhat normal schedule.

However, once home, I noticed a lot of stiffness in my armpit.  My clothes felt tight. Oh no, is this lymphedema?  I kept touching and checking everything, changed my clothes to make sure everything was plenty loose. I didn’t have any swelling, it just felt constricted. I took a muscle relaxer and laid down with a pillow between my arm and chest to try to raise my lymph nodes a bit.  I felt mildy better, but then the dizziness came.  Not horribly dizzy, more just slightly light-headed and off.  Tamoxifen?  Wasn’t sure.   And then Monday morning, when I emptied my drain, my output had gone back up to around 40 mm. Yup, too much activity can cause this.  All in all, not the end of the world, but it could mean a few extra days before this drain comes out (and I can shower!) Ugh.

I took it easy Monday but met up with my Pitfire Run Club in the evening because I knew it would feel good to see my friends. I walked the 3 miles, and was happy to have a walking partner who was recovering from a little tendinitis. Tuesday morning- still 40ml. UGHGGGGH. Called surgeon and canceled appt- he told me not to bother coming in if the drain wasn’t ready. Then, I sat still ALL. DAY. LONG. Wednesday- 35 ml. Doing nothing didn’t make enough of a difference and I can’t sit on my ass all day. Plus, I committed to doing some work today- walking a couple of small dogs that ami can do one-handed. And Thursday an event at Road Runner.

So, while there won’t be any more 7 mile hikes until this drain is gone, there also won’t be any more days of absolute nothingness. Everything in moderation- I guess that’s how it is with life, even when recovering from surgery.

Fingers crossed for a Friday drain removal!


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