Monday, September 15, 2014
.... and not being able to gauge how I really feel about this next procedure. I have been told that the radiation treatments will be painful to the sternum for a short while before the pain I have been experiencing starts to abate after the cancer is hopefully incinerated. I have been warned that it will affect my skin and possibly do some damage to the structures beneath it.
The skin between my breasts and along the sternum is very sensitive to the touch... bordering on painful. even if i just gently run my fingers along the bone. It feels like a bad sunburn - and I haven't even had my first treatment yet. I pray that we just affect the tumour and not cause any further damage.
The new pain medication is working to relax and give me some much needed rest. It is an organic prescribed pain killer, which we spent the weekend converting to a medicinal rub and additive to my evening tea. It is suspended in coconut oil as a base and preserve to prevent it from spoiling. The rub has been working well on the skin providing much needed relief from the constant ache. Ingesting a small amount before bed allows me to sleep pain free and wake up in the morning with the energy needed to sail through my day. Pain free sleep is a blessing - it is the time of night when I am able to recharge the batteries and face the day with a better outlook.
Last evening I tried to help Max in the garden. It is no longer possible for me to pull plants without causing the sternum to protest and send pain shooting into the arms only to be followed with numbness and then more pain. Bending over still causes issues with the Vaga nerve that runs along my neck. I feel old.... and am just hoping that with the treatments I can begin to feel better...
I just asked a friend of mine to help me to make a video. What kind of video? A friend of mine reminded me a few nights ago that the one thing that bothers her the most about the passing of her mother when she was 14 years old; was not being able to remember what her mother's voice sounded like or that she never got to know her mother as an adult. It suddenly occured to me that I needed to undertake this project soon before any more time elapsed. While I think I still have lots of time left... time has a way of getting away from us.... it passes quickly. Celine was amazing and wonderfully patient, kind and loving..... her children are so lucky to have her. She took two hours of her time to 'interview' me so I could tell my children some of the things I wanted them to know and how special they are to me... and my Max. It was a deeply emotional experience and I am grateful that Celine came in on her weekend off to help me. She is editing and incorporating pictures we gave her on a thumb drive.
Monday 29th September
- today will start day 6 of 10 of radiation treatments and I have just realized that the cough I have been developing is not so much radiation related as it is my first cold in over a year. Despite my best efforts to remain sick-free, alas, it is the school season and its hard to disinfect after helping my students on their computers. It happens every year and this year will be no exception.
I can tell the radiation is working because the hump that had formed a few inches below the clavical has reduced in size and is less sensitive to the touch. It is still radiation and with that comes its own set of risks for more cancers in the future. With all the vitamins and chlorophyll I take daily..... we are hoping to reduce the total impact to the body by assisting with the healing process.
REIKI is going well. It allows me to connect with myself on a spiritual level. On Thursday, Janet was working on me when I felt a few interuptions in the flow of energy..... she would tell me later that I had a'visit' from my cousin who had passed... I couldn't think of any cousin except the one in the hospital in Germany who is dying of cancer.... could it be him?? Either way, it was a comforting message. He basically told her that he was looking out for me. There are a lot of skeptics out there but I really believe he did come to see me.
School is super busy but really enjoyable in between all the appointmenta and running around to get things done. So busy that I decided the family needed a much deserved vacation.... so we have booked it for the week after Max and I finish teaching this semester. The kids are excited and so is Max. William will be coming with us and is looking forward to chilling with his brother.
Monday, September 8, 2014
..... there are lots of tears and dark nights.
Friday was a long day... it started early early morning and the last class ended at 9pm. I am the new coordinator for the weekend program. My first weekend class runs from 7-9 pm... the pain in my neck was worsening through the entire day but by early evening my head was starting to feel woozy. By the time I headed out to the parking lot in the torrential rainfall the nausea was hitting in waves. I sat back in the drivers seat taking a deep breath. Pulling out of the driveway I am praying I can make it home in time. The pounding rain and humidity are making my head spin and I look to pulling over when the nausea becomes overwhelming and I put up my hand just as I throw up. In true Marita fashion... I roll down the window and fling the partially digested apple onto the empty rain soaked road and continue to drive. My lap is soaked with another wave of nausea. I am just minutes from home.
I pull into the driveway and stagger up the steps and through the front door. Lydia greets me at the door and realizes something is wrong. She rushes up the steps to run me the requested bath. Max is at the neighbors and makes his way home when Lydia calls him home. I am in the bathtub trying to relieve the increasing pressure on the neck. No amount of shifting can make me comfortable or relieve the pressure. Stepping out of the tub, the head spins again after the pain increases in the neck and I empty the rest of my stomach contents into the sink. I am tired and just want to head to bed. I will have another class early in the morning.
It is now Monday morning after a restless sleep. I tried taking a new painkiller and it is not working. I have a number of suspicious symptoms:
1. Not hungry
2. Do not know if I am full after eating
3. Continuous pain in the neck and upper left back
4. Pressure in the neck
5. Dull pain in the breastbone... when it used to be sharp
Tuesday morning brings the expected fatigue of yet another restless night of uncomfortable rest... I am visiting with a pain specialist mid morning and I am hopeful that there is something he can do to help me with the chronic pain which always worsens through the night. I arrive at the clinic and have difficulty sitting in the waiting room chairs so I stand and sway ever so gently back and forth while gripping my left arm into a position making it slightly more comfortable. I am called in to the room and without warning the tears start to flow. I catch a sob mid throat. I am assured that it is OK. I am fighting the urge to completely break down and I look into his face and quietly apologize while wiping the tears that seem endless as they fall off my chin and onto my shirt. He writes a script and explains the process necessary to procure the pain aid. His asssistant comes into the room and explains in further detail the process and to make an appointment in a few months to see how effective the medication is. The tears start again... more with relief that I am working at making the pain as manageable as possible so I can live a quality life. That was a promise I made myself this year.
In the mid afternoon, I have another appointment but this time with a Reiki healer. Her office is inside my chiropractor's new healing center. I have never tried Reiki and I am curious about this new experience. The outer office is quiet and the lights are low as I make my way over to Janet and shake her hand. We begin by me lying on my back and her hands on my forehead. Her hands are cool to the touch. I do not know what to expect and at first I feel nothing but the coolness of her hands and can hear her deep intake of breath. She moves one hand to the base of my neck and then the spot begins to heat up. The nerves branching out from the neck and shoulders begins to awaken in a low warm buzz and I can visualize in my mind the sensations. The vision it creates is like that of a large tree with branches reaching the tips of both shoulders and down across the front and back. It reminds me of the trees on the African plains with the broad expanse and tiny branches budding out everywhere along the hardier ones. She makes her way down to the chest and she places one hand parallel to the clavical just below it and the other one just above the bottom of the sternum. The heat radiates between the hands and into the middle of the sternum itself as if the heat is seeking out the tumour.
My mind opens and follows the path the energy takes through the body as she works her way around and I envision the energy as white light bursting into the darkest corners and burning the cancer cells. With each buzzy feeling coursing throught the nerves I find myself relaxing and allowing the flow to find where it needs to go. The stress melts with the heat. Half way through I have to take a quick washroom break and eagerly head back. Only this time I am to lay on my stomach. My sternum doesn't feel comfortable and I shuffle around trying to find that sweet spot where it doesn't hurt. She begins again at the top of my head and again I only feel the cool tips of her fingers. I am trying to find myself back where we were before the break. Ah, there it is. She spends another 30 minutes going along strategic points in my back. The pain is diminishing from the pain the lower back was in earlier in the day. I book a number of appointments with Janet over the next few weeks and then head off home.
Lydia walks in the door and announces that her throat felt a little constricted a while after taking the third dose of her antibiotics. Sunday I had to take her in with a painful bladder and yes, she has a bladder infection. This was the second antiboiotic prescribed beccause the first one was unavailable. I decide to take her back to the walk in clinic to get her looked at again. Yes, the infection is still there and those antibiotics were not working, just working at making her sick. We get another script and head back to Shoppers for what is now the third time this week. Fingers crossed that this one works.
Wednesday morning - 1 am. I am writhing in pain and am having difficulty getting up and taking a breath. Every breath brings more pain and the left shoulder is agonizing. I force myself downstairs to get an Alieve to try and dull the pain but by the time I get back upstairs to attempt to lay down the grunts of pain and instant tears start... I am panting and grunting and a total mess by the time Max finds me in the spare room. I struggle to look into his face but the effort rewards me with a sharp pain above the left shoulder blade and a stiffled scream. He is trying to help but even the pressure of his hand on the top of my shoulder is causing another jolt of agony into the neck, shoulder and back. So you would think that I would just be swearing and pissed off with the world but no.... out comes the comedic routine... so in keeping when I am in the worst of pain... and likely a form of denial... Max joins in with quippy one liners... sheesh... I get no sympathy!! LOL He tries packing me with pillows to relieve the shoulder pain. I look at him and decide that nothing will work but tell him that its fine and for him to go to bed. I head downstairs to grab a nerve pill to see if that will take the edge off... it will be over an hour before any comfort comes. It is now 4 in the morning and I will try to get a few hours in before I have to get up for work.....