A week of decisions

It looks to be a busy week.

I had one follow-up today with my family doctor to look at whether or not I would start the return to work process.  It was decided to wait until Friday after my appointment with the oncologist on Thursday.

I didn’t end up getting a drain in the end.  Friday turned out to be a confusing day.  First, I got called because I was told the wrong time and was late to my appointment.  Then it turned out I was scheduled for a more complicated procedure than I needed.

In the end, the radiologist searched around in my belly for a place to put the drain and found two different pockets of open spaces, one like a long line and the other a small hole.  The line was too narrow for a drain and the hole didn’t have any fluid in it.  So after a lot of poking and prodding, the radiologist decided that there would be little use to put a drain in.

I have no idea what this means.  My belly still feels spongy and inflated and there are some open pockets.  I see the surgeon on Saturday, but somehow I don’t think there will be anything we can do.

There was one disturbing thing from the procedure. As the radiologist was poking around with the ultrasound, he found a lump near my right hip he couldn’t identify because there was a shadow over it on the screen.  It was tender for him to touch.  I thought it was just my hip bone, but he said it didn’t match up with the other side.  I am not sure what to think of that.  It’s a question for the surgeon now, and hopefully he will be able to identify what it is.

Thursday when I see the oncologist I have to decide whether or not to try the hormone therapy again.  I really don’t know what to do right now.  The hot flashes are better, but they are still happening.  I am having some side effects from the medication I was put on to control them.  My intent is to discuss it with the oncologist and go from there.

On the dance side, things continue to go really well.  We are continuing to work through waltz, and rumba walks.  Depending on what decisions are made this week, I may talk to Boss about adding some to my exercises next week.  I am really excited about how things are going and how detailed we are able to get.  It’s been a while since I have been able to be so focused on dance.

Back to 2 lessons a week now, and I think my next lesson will be on Friday.  I will practice on Wednesday though, and I intend to do some work on my own for Waltz on Thursday to start getting into a routine of an extra night of practice in a week that isn’t just exercises.

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Latin dress

Not much to say today, so just a quick one.

The highlight of my day was redesigning my latin dress with my dressmaker to make the design so it is better able to highlight my ‘ass’ets.  We came up with a much better design than we had previously and I am really excited about it now.

The design is with Boss now to get his comments and thoughts and some sort of approval.  The approval isn’t necessary, but it does make for a better working relationship when he feels he has some input and control over what I wear.  He did help with the original design for the dress, and we do have to dance together so his opinion is valid and helpful usually.  Where we tend to disagree is usually on colours, but since the fabrics are already bought, that isn’t an issue this time.

I am a little curious to see what he has to say and hope he gets back to us soon.  He mentioned he also wants to look again at the design for my standard and smooth dresses, so it should be interesting to see what he wants to change about them.

The main thing is that the dresses are starting to finally come together after more than a year of waiting!

To compete or not compete?

That was the question put to me by Boss tonight.

There is a competition taking place in my home town in 6 weeks in which Boss and I are both heavily involved in the planning.  It’s the first time in 2 years a competition has been held in this city, and it will be only the second time that there is a pro/am division.

Boss suggested doing at least a solo, but also perhaps some latin.

It’s really tempting, but when I take a step back and look at the big picture, it’s just not worth it or feasible right now.

Aside from the cost, I really have to take my health into consideration.  I am getting a new drain inserted on Friday, which will have an effect on my dancing and for how long, I don’t know.  Chances are very high that once it is removed, my belly will fill with fluid again and I will need surgery to correct it. The medication I am on for the hot flashes is starting to make me really drowsy, dizzy and dopey.  I have a hard time getting out of bed before 1230.  In two weeks, I will have to decide whether or not to try the hormone therapy again, and if I do go ahead, how I want to proceed with it.  There will be side effects from that regardless of what I do.

It’s a lot happening with my body in the next couple weeks and adding the stress of preparing for a competition just doesn’t make sense.  On top of that, I have to consider that I am really working on some personal goals right now–like watching what I eat so I can get back on track with my weight, and hopefully returning to weight training next month.  I also hope to return to work in early April.

There is also dance considerations.  While competing in anyway is a great goal for dance, right now I have very little to show that’s different from my last competition.  I am also just now getting into a great rhythm of working through my own self-practice and in my lessons with Boss to the point where a lot of things that have been eluding me are starting to come together–especially in standard.  If I were to do a solo or some latin at a competition in 6 weeks, I would have to take time from my lessons to prepare for that, and I would lose some of the momentum I have been slowly gaining.  It would mean starting back a few paces after the competition and starting to rebuild that momentum again.

Previously, I honestly would have jumped at the chance to compete and prepare for a competition and a showcase–especially in my home town.  But right now, I find that I don’t want to focus on competing or even performing.  I don’t want to take the time away from other things to prepare for it.  Starting next week, I am cutting down to only two lessons per week (which is normal for me), and that reduces my lesson time even further.  I am not even back to doing competitive practices yet, and I don’t know really when I will be.

I was actually surprised Boss brought this up tonight, but I guess I shouldn’t be.  Things have been going really well in my lessons, better than I think he thought, so it was a natural step for him to make.  I think he was working under the assumption that I would do at least a solo, and that any other heats were extra.  I am really thinking I don’t want to do either.

I will still go and watch the competition and support the other competitors from my home town, but unless something changes dramatically, I don’t expect to be on the competition floor anytime soon.  In all honesty, I have pretty much resigned myself to aiming for the fall and a bigger competition out east.

The unexpected discussion aside, my lesson was really really great tonight.  I absolutely love the way that Boss and I are working right now, and I love his plan moving forward.  We started working through the steps in my waltz routine in precise detail–meaning literally from one step to the next, stopping between so I can see where I am, what adjustments I need to make and focus on where the next step will be.  We did it together, and then I did it on my own.  We got through almost the entire first line, and then we did it with the music to see if there was a difference.

I was pretty amazed by how much difference there actually was.  One of the things I have been struggling with is how much more I have to keep my lower body forward now that I don’t have as big a belly.  It’s a huge difference.  But it helps to work with Boss as I can use him for reference to give me an idea of how to adjust on my own.  It’s coming, but it’s a lot of work and processing.  I love it.  Boss told me we are going to work through all my standard routines that way, and I can’t wait.

No more lessons this week, but I will get in to practice tomorrow before the drain is inserted on Friday.

Basics

Something that always needs work.

It’s funny though, the more I learn about dance, the more I realize that even though these might be ‘basics’, it takes time to be ready to focus on more specific elements of each basic step or technique.

Case in point, tonight Boss and I went through my rumba basic step.  It’s actually a step I haven’t really focused on too much in the past as when I transitioned from American Style to International there were more important things to focus on–such as stepping on straight legs instead of bent and learning international style cuban motion.  Unfortunately, the transition between the two styles got a little side-tracked by my getting sick only 3 months after I made the switch.  So now I feel like I am able to get back on track.

That’s not say I couldn’t do the rumba basic step, but I knew as I did it that there some things that weren’t right and definitely some hip movements that just weren’t right.  I had actually been waiting for the opportunity to take the time to break down the hip movements a little more in rumba as that was how I was originally taught back 6 years ago when I was a beginner in Ottawa.

It was a little frustrating at first because it turned out my back steps were working well, but my side and forward steps were quite a mess.  In fact, instead of a forward step, I was actually doing more of a ‘break’ similar to what I do in Cha Cha.  In all cases except for back I was getting onto my settled hip too fast.

In the end, Boss had to break the motion down into ‘semi’ beats to help me get it all together.  The hip settlements all happen on the ‘+’ of the beats so by breaking it down a little more precisely that got me to stop rushing through it.  For some reason I was struggling the most with beat 3, but after letting my mind process it a little bit and giving myself a break it slowly ‘clicked’ together for me.

I actually really like working that precisely on stuff.  I love focusing on the details.  But I do understand more than ever how you have to be ready in order to be able to do that.  I think that is what I am enjoying most right now about my post-cancer dance journey–finally I am able to focus into the details again.  I feel like I can finally take those basics I started with and elevate them to the next level.

Boss and I had a quick talk today about the areas where he wants to focus and a general idea of how he wants and expects to move forward.  Hip movement was one of the things he mentioned about Latin as well as focusing on Samba and Paso because they are quite different from the foundation I have in rumba and Cha Cha I am able to build on in my own practice.  In standard it’s about position, swing and sway, but he finds now that I am able to work in a much different way in standard and I am looking forward to that.  In general, we are going to focus on me doing my routines on my own, but with the correct positioning with the sway.  Basically, we are going to do some really detailed work.  That really excites me because I have been waiting for that.

One thing we have been working on in my lesson, as I mentioned is moving in CBMP in standard together with me focusing on maintaining the right position, but also working with Boss through the movement.  The interesting thing with that is as I have progressed over the last two weeks, this exercise has evolved from just a CBMP exercise to one for following.  It’s pretty interesting how more in-tuned I am not only with my own body and movement, but also with Boss.  A few times now he has ended the exercise by changing into promenade position, and today he did a bit of a contra-check into something like an over-sway picture line–just to see how I reacted.  I was pretty surprised to find myself automatically stretching into position without even thinking about it.  Small victory for me!

One more lesson this week as I will have my drain insertion on Friday, so no dancing that day.  I am pretty interested to see how things go on Wednesday, and what we work on.  Starting next week, I am going back to my usual of only 2 lessons/week until the next build up for competition.  Practice will still stay 3x/week for now though.

Until my next lesson though, you can find me working on my rumba basic 🙂

 

‘Bounce’

Sometimes in dance you end up having conversations that in any other context would just be strange and weird.

The main topic for my lesson today turned out to be my bum.

Yep, I don’t think I have ever thought or discussed my bottom so much in my life.

Let me explain…

My lesson started with rumba walks then progressed to working on my samba bounce.  Refining the technique for this is something fairly new for me, and I am happy to say that today we worked on progressing it.

Basically, my samba bounce exercise is about engaging the core to move the pelvis back and forth while bending the knees and isolating the pelvis from the upper body.  It reminds me a little bit of the move Michael Jackson does where he moves forward to stand almost on the tops of his toes–except I move back and forth in time with the music.

So Boss is watching me work on my bounce and giving me some direction to progress it and suddenly remarks ‘we have to figure out a way to emphasize your backside’.  Well, that was the beginning of the in-depth conversation about firstly how we can highlight how nice my bum is in latin, and secondly about how muscular it is and how sometimes it can ‘trick’ in standard.

I have to say that personally, I haven’t given much thought to my bottom, but I can see how it can be an asset in latin.  The funniest thing was actually talking about standard.  Apparently it is difficult to tell when I have my pelvis forward because when I engage my glutes to do this it lifts my bum up.

We also had a discussion about how since I had well-developed glute muscles, I should be using them more in standard to drive me forward and to the side.

Touche 🙂

The funniest thing about the entire conversation was that it didn’t even occur to me that we had spent a large part of my lesson discussing my bottom until after it was over and I was recapping it in my mind.  Suddenly the strangeness of it all hit me and I just couldn’t stop laughing.  Only in dance would a conversation like that be almost ‘normal’.

Body part discussions aside, it was another really good lesson, more focused on standard.  Boss made a small adjustment to one exercise, but he told me today that he now knows exactly what we need to work on more consistently and where the more consistent issues are.

So it seems he has a plan.  I am glad to hear that and I should probably schedule a session to discuss it in-depth with him in the near future.

On an exciting note, last week I was finally able to see my dressmaker to get started on my new dresses!  I can’t wait to see how these look, although perhaps now some small changes will be necessary for the latin dress.

This week I really felt like my old self back into working at a pretty top level for me.  It was a good feeling.  Next week will be about making adjustments to my diet to transition from ‘chemo diet’ to just regular old weight loss diet.  It will be nice to get off the chemo weight and be able to keep working towards my goal weight.

Nice bum and all 🙂

You’re a Machine!

Heard that 3 times from Boss tonight.

I am taking it as a good thing :).  I had a another good hard lesson tonight, especially because about 15 mins into the lesson I suddenly started to feel DOMS (Delayed-Onset-Muscle-Soreness) in my hip flexors, inner thighs and glutes from the work I did on Monday.

I have been waiting to feel that, as it’s a sign that I am working my muscles fully so that they are building and strengthening.  DOMS is that feeling you get when your body ‘stiffens up’ after a workout.  If you work consistently, you feel it for about 2 weeks, then your body adapts and you don’t notice it as much.  I was beginning to worry that I wasn’t feeling it last week, but I could tell that things got ‘stepped up’ a little on Monday and it seems I hit the place I need to be.

We focused tonight mainly on standard, with me doing my natural turns in Waltz on my own trying to maintain my position and balance while executing the right technique.  It’s a challenge for me right now to keep my weight forward, so I am having to focus on that a lot.  My feet were much better tonight than on Monday, which is also a good sign.

As I was doing my natural turns, Boss asked me if I knew why I was having moments of instability, or rather from where the unstableness was coming from.  I pointed out that it’s instability in my feet and ankles, not through my core or upper body and he seemed to understand.  I think a few things ‘clicked’ into place for him today–first that I am much more ‘back-weighted’ now without a belly to counter-balance my bum (for lack of better explanation), so I am having to work to bring my upper body forward and my knees flexed to keep my weight forward over the balls of my feet, and second that my feet and ankles are having some issues adjusting to the new distribution of my weight and how to move it.

He didn’t mention anything about shortening lessons or wearing different shoes, and I think after the discussion about my feet and ankles, he understands why I want to keep working in the higher less stable shoes.  I will verify that at my lesson on Friday though.

In addition to the natural turns, we did an exercise I will call ‘diamond walks’ together, again focusing on my position while moving in CBM.  Basically we are walking in CBMP in all 4 directions making a diamond pattern on the floor.  Tonight things started to really ‘click’ for me during this exercise as far as my position and the wheels are starting to turn.

When it comes to position in standard, I can really tell that things are starting to finally fall into place for me.  I am getting into the right position more consistently and I can tell when I am not.  I can feel the stretches through my body (which I couldn’t before) and I am starting to build a good understanding of what that position feels like.  Boss seems pretty happy with how things are going.

Aside from the work in standard, we also went through the samba 3-step turns again today and they went much better than Monday and were much closer to where they are suppose to be.  Boss also had me run through the beginning of my rumba routine at the end of my lesson tonight to see if there were any changes since I have been working more specifically on my rumba walks (which seem to be coming along slowly).  It seems he saw some changes because he was pretty happy with what I did.

In fact, Boss was telling me that after the last 2 weeks he now has a pretty good idea of what he wants to work on and focus on.  Friday we are going to go through my exercises and make some changes and adjustments to align with what he wants me to focus on now, and we might be able to sit down and decide more specifically what the goals are in each style for the next little while.

Aside from telling me that I am a machine, Boss also gave another unexpected high compliment (which is pretty rare for him) in saying he ‘sees that things are going to progress fairly quickly because of how I work’.  I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it was interesting to hear him say that.  I do know that right now there are a lot of little things my body just needs to adjust to and that I seem to be adapting to quickly.  Whatever the reason, I hope this momentum continues and I intend to keep working.

It was good and interesting to see the enthusiasm from Boss tonight.  After Monday, I wasn’t quite sure what to think, but it seems I have redeemed myself tonight.

I didn’t get my practice time in today because I had a meeting, but I hope to get into the studio tomorrow to make up for it.  It’s not ideal to practice the same exercises two days in a row but it is necessary this week, and will be next as well.

I finally got my appointment for my drain placement and it will be next Friday afternoon, meaning I won’t be doing a lesson or practicing that night.  I can’t believe that I have to wait that long to get the pressure in my belly relieved, but that’s when the appointment is.  At least I am uncomfortable, and not really in pain.  They are going to try and fit me in sooner, but I don’t hold out much hope for that.

In the meantime, I am still taking everything one day at a time, working as hard as I can and hoping things continue as they have been.  I am very curious to see what suggestions Boss has for exercises on Friday, and I am curious in general where he intends my focus to be.

Finally this week I feel like I am knuckling down and getting back to good work.

Samba spins

That was the theme of tonight’s lesson.

At least the main part of it.  I seemed to have spent a lot of time working on the 3-step spins tonight.  At least enough to tire myself out.

I seem to be fighting a cold as my nose is running and my throat is raw and I have had a headache all day, so that didn’t make for the best lesson tonight.  In fact, Boss even suggested shortening my lessons to 45 mins each for the next couple weeks because he could see I was pretty exhausted.

Not sure what is going to happen with that.  I don’t want one bad lesson to prompt changes to all my lessons.

On top of the tiredness, my feet were being obnoxious during my lesson too and Boss noted I was having to stop doing things to shake them out and give them a break.  He suggested I go back to wearing my lower practice shoes for lessons.  Again, I am reluctant to do that because it seems to be babying my feet a little.  The were good both Wednesday and Friday last week and even during my practice tonight they settled down.  They just seemed upset with my lesson for some reason, even though we weren’t doing much different from usual.

But back to the spins.  Perhaps it just wasn’t my night, but my body didn’t really want to do them tonight.  The 3-step turns consists of stepping, turning, stepping, tapping, then repeating to the other direction.  It used to be a regular exercise I did.  The focus tonight was in samba, where I do the turn as part of ‘rolling off the arm’ after doing a whisk.  So I do a whisk to the right, do a 3-step turn to the left to roll towards Boss, then do a 3 step turn back to the right away from Boss.  The whole step ends with a 1.5 spin to facing LOD.

What I have been missing from this sequence was the step with the tap on each side, so tonight we worked a little on trying to add that in.  I am not sure Boss was completely aware that at least to the left I usually didn’t really do the tap, but it was pretty obvious tonight I wasn’t doing it.  The lesson evolved from trying to get me to do the step right together to me practicing 3-step turns on my own (and still not getting them right).

I could tell Boss was a bit frustrated tonight as he eventually switched from working on latin to standard, and then declared me ‘done’, and started talking about reducing lessons and using different shoes.  He said he wants to work on things that will be intense for my feet over the next few lessons and is worried they won’t hold up.

I still think my feet were just being difficult tonight.  They seemed to be more an issue for him than me.  I feel bad though that his plan for my lesson got thrown off track because my body just didn’t want to cooperate.

I am hoping he will just accept it as a bad night and wait until at least Wednesday or Friday to decide whether to make changes.  Bad days are going to happen now and then.

I haven’t heard from the hospital yet about getting the new drain put in.  My belly is still full of fluid, but for now I am managing.  It is going up and down, but never really goes away enough I don’t notice it.

Week 1–done!

Well, I did it and got through it.

A full week of lessons and practice.  And my lessons were pretty intense on the standard side.  Only one hiccup, which I will write about at the end.

The best thing is that every practice I felt stronger and was able to do a little more, put a little more ‘oomph’ into it and push myself a little harder.

That’s not to say I am not tired, because definitely I am and there have been some early nights this week. But now I have the weekend to recover.

My lesson was focused on standard again, working on waltz natural turns and focusing on position.

Again, I kept running into the problem where Boss kept finding me being tentative and hesitant.  It’s a bit of a new thing for him because I don’t think he has ever really had to tell me to move more and push harder before.  For myself, I don’t really see any difference between what I was doing before and what I am doing now, so that is a little strange, but it seemed we are starting to sort through the issue.  I am slowly gaining a little more confidence in what I am doing.

It’s a complete switch of the mind for me.  Previously, I had to be careful not to push too hard, not to bring my weight too far forward and not to run Boss over.  Now, it seems I can’t keep myself forward enough and I am not quite pushing through all my steps.

We did figure out that somewhere I stopped pushing through the ‘2’ to the ‘3’ and was using up all my energy on the first step.  Once I remembered to adjust that, things got better.

At the end of the lesson, Boss decided to try running through a series of basic waltz steps to see what happens.  Now THAT was really interesting.  At first, he told me that he was having issues because he couldn’t feel me using CBM to move myself, so if I was doing it, he couldn’t tell.  So, the second time we ran it, instead of doing what I thought was the right amount, I just decided to go and do as much as I could.  Holy cow what a difference!

We only got to run things once, but it was night and day and gave me a pretty good idea of how much more I can do now, compared with what I could do before.  Boss told me to stop worrying about my balance so much and that now I am able to move without influencing his position like I used to–and that is probably the biggest switch I have to get used to.

My head hasn’t completely figured out all that it needs to adjust to, or what is good or bad right now, but it is slowly coming.  Trying to remove the block about being tentative is going to take some time, but I am slowly chipping away at that wall.  I am getting a better understanding of when I am being tentative and what the difference is, so that is a start.

I am looking forward to next week and hope I continue to get stronger.

The one hiccup from this week–last night as I was going to bed I noticed that suddenly my belly started feeling ‘full’ again.  I had hoped it was a fluke, but unfortunately not.  The seroma is back and my belly feels like there is a softball under the skin stretching it.  I called my surgeon and sometime next week I am probably doing to have a drain inserted guided by ultrasound to make sure it gets deep into the pocket where the fluid is collecting.  I don’t know when it will happen, how long I will have that drain or how it will affect dance.  It’s also just one step further towards needing surgery to correct the issue and close the pockets that have formed in my belly. Not much I can do, my body seems to be doing what it feels is necessary to heal and I just have to deal with the complications as they arise.

Until then, 1 week is done and another is coming up.

Is that a light?

Seems like there might be one way off in the distance at the end of the tunnel…

The drain was removed today!  My surgeon is actually a little perplexed with that though.  He has never had a patient go from having so much fluid collect, to basically nothing.  He was shocked to see that nothing had drained and even tried to see if he could manually drain anything with a syringe before he removed the full drain.  Nothing.  He says he is skeptical for now that this is the end of it, but will give it a month to see how it goes.  At this point, fluid will either collect or it won’t.  The wound is doing all the things it is supposed to, so that isn’t a concern for now either.

I had a great lesson today, but wow my mind is processing a lot of new information about my body.

We were working on standard today in my lesson, focusing on position and moving and CBMP.

My mind is not quite ready to process all the changes my body feels in standard and it is just spinning.  We were doing a lot of repetitive work, so that was good to not overwhelm me, but it is still very strange.

I have no concept of my size right now.  I am so used to being bigger than I am.  On top of that, I am continuing to struggle with having less bulk to maintain a larger area of personal space.  Boss actually had to point out to me today that I wasn’t close enough and I wasn’t maintaining enough pressure through our hips and thighs, and I feel like I am quite ‘on top’ of him.  It’s a much bigger adjustment than I expected.

I also seem to be tentative when moving in standard.  I think that is something I am doing because I am not sure of my balance and don’t really trust my body.

The themes from Boss for today’s lessons seem to be ‘you need to apply more pressure to me’ and ‘you need to move more’–two things I don’t think I have ever heard before.

He told me he is working on trying some things for now and that we are going to focus on standard for the next little while, 2 out of every 3 lessons.  It seems like the experimenting is going well.  I am ok with focusing on standard because that will force me to adjust and develop a ‘new normal’.

Right now I feel like there are so many things that are just a hair out my grasp for my mind to fully process them–but I know they will come the more we keep doing them.

Already, I can see where the adjustments are slowly coming.  I was having a much easier time getting into position today and holding it.  While I was finding the personal space issue difficult, it was better than Friday.  I am better able to recognize the position my body is in.  Boss was encouraging me to move more and more and to worry less about my balance and once I did start moving, my balance started to work out.

On top of my lesson, I also had a really good practice today.  I was able to go through all my exercises for the amount of time discussed with Boss, and although I had to give myself time between them, they all seemed to go ok.  The issue with my feet was better today too–it is almost a silly thing–on Monday I was wearing socks with my practice shoes, which I never do, and it was making my shoes too tight and causing the cramping and burning.  Today, I went without, and almost no issues.  That’s a relief!

I am curious to see how I feel tomorrow after today.  Yesterday I was pretty tired and went to bed early and rested most of the day.  I will say that my muscles are sore in a good way from being used, and it’s been a long time since I have felt that!

I can honestly say that today I feel better than I have in a long time.

So perhaps there is some light….

Small Update

I have a lesson later today, but I thought I might give an update from my oncology appointment last week about my treatment options.

I like my new oncologist, he is very direct and to the point and while the information he had for me was very sobering, I would rather receive it directly than to have things softened or ‘sugar coated’.

Some things I learned:

1. My case is especially tricky because my cancer was spreading so quickly (from 2 tumours to 20 in a month), and half of it did not show up on any screening tests, so the doctors didn’t know it was there until surgery.
2.  If I have a recurrence it will be incurable and likely fatal.
3.  It’s also tricky for them to manage me as I am so young (compared to those who usually have BC at 60 or older), and they have to plan and look at a much longer period of time (60 years for me VS 30 for a 60-year-old) when I have a chance for it coming back.
4.  I have been waiting over a year for genetic testing and that is going to be followed-up because it will be used to determine some of the therapies, etc. that will be recommended.  If I test positive for the BRCA gene (gene that causes female cancers), I will need another preventative surgery.  No idea when that testing will happen right now.
5.  Anything to do with me and hormones is proving to be unpredictable and that also makes things difficult.

It was a pretty sobering appointment, but it was a good 90 minutes of discussion that helped to clear up the muddiness of my options.

The plan for right now is to let my body finish healing from the surgery, get my activity levels back up (as that can increase tolerance for Hormone Therapy), and to try and get my hormones as much under control now as possible before considering trying the HT again.  So basically, it is heal, dance and a new medication to try for the next month to see if it helps.

Once I get to that point, there are still some different options, one of which is no HT at all.  HT has been proven to reduce the risk of recurrence by 50%, so it is good to know and understand what benefits it can offer me to help justify putting myself through the side effects.  If I do decide to try the HT again, there is an option of starting at a less frequent dose and building my tolerance to see if that helps with the side effects.

Part of me just wants to say ‘what will be, will be’ and just go back to living my life as best as I can for whatever may be left of it.  The other part of me feels I should at least try the HT again at the lower dose and see how it goes.  It’s a tough decision, but I have a month to think about it and could be in an entirely different place by then.

On a more positive note, I have had the drain for a week now and it seems to have stabilized since Thursday, and no extra fluid has moved through the tube.  My belly swells a little at night, but it clears up by morning like it is supposed to without anything else draining.  I am really hoping that means the drain will be removed on Wednesday when I see the surgeon.  Fingers crossed that one issue is solved!

The wound continues and I have no idea what might happen with that.  It’s just ‘wait and see’.

3 lessons this week, and I hope to have some energy to practice a little bit as well.