December 5, 2015 after the Christmas program... yes, Ken is admiring my boobies.

December 5, 2015. Photo by Jonathan deHaan

Dear Fran,

No, no, I haven’t heard from Mike McNeff yet about his effort to get us both on the Ellen show. I will let you know the minute I hear from him.

See this picture? Right before it was taken, I played piano forĀ  our church’s Christmas program—for the second night in a row—and my right hand and arm were killing me. My massage therapist had to drain my arm for an hour and fifteen minutes beforehand, just so I could function.

My arm is swelling after playing the piano. You don’t understand. I’ve played piano since I was nine.

I finally read the handout today the massage therapist gave me. I’ve had that paper for thirteen days. It is dismal, indeed. The sentences that stood out to me:

  1. Since there is no cure for lymphedema, the goal of the therapy is to reduce the swelling and to maintain the reduction.
  2. Vigorous movements or exercises causing pain must be avoided. [I can’t give up my Monday night volleyball; it is the highlight of my week.]
  3. Inappropriate use of these devices [sleeves] can cause serious complications in lymphedema patients.
  4. Be careful working in the garden… avoid the use of scissors to cut your nails and don’t cut your cuticles. Injuries, even small ones, may cause infections.
  5. Avoid mosquito-infected areas…. A single mosquito bite can cause an infection. [There goes my camping plans for this summer: here’s what happened the last time I went hiking.]
  6. Avoid tight bras. [Great, I’ll have a swollen arm and prematurely sagging boobies.]

If you hear that I’m talking to Kathy Bates behind your back, don’t worry. It’s just that I’m thinking that you probably are not dealing with lymphedema after your uterine cancer. Kathy might have some insight for me, but you’re still my best friend.

Best friends always,