Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Friday, December 26, 2014
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Friday, December 12, 2014
The burning began almost immediately and lasted almost two solid days. I tried all kinds of remedies, baking soda, aloe juice, apple cider vinegar, and even broke down and bought some tums. All lessened the hell fire temporarily, but none put it out.
The nurse had told me during the chemo treatment, that any symptoms I had previously, such as nausea, constipation, etc. would probably be worse. I wasn't having any consistent issues, so I was feeling like any problems I had would be mild.
HA! Well I was not having this problem before the chemo, but it seems that any issue that may arise will also be intensified. The burning is finally gone, but if you've never had really bad acid reflux, it comes with a whole host of other symptoms such as chest pain, abdominal pain, hoarseness, and cough to name a few. I was so miserable I could do little but lay around. Then, of course, you start feeling like crap because you are laying around too much. It's a vicious cycle.
So today, I am so sore, I feel like I am a hunchback. I can't sit or stand up straight. I'm exhausted. Eating is a turn off, although I am doing it. Slowly, a little at a time.
So what is the silver lining of our story today? Hell if I know. You can't have rainbows and unicorns shooting out of your ass all the time. But I am here and I am pushing through. Tomorrow is another day and hopefully it will be just a little bit better.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
As I laid back in the chair, I began by using a technique where I visualize my body catching fire with healing violet light starting with my toes and working its way up my body. The plan was to just envision and speak to the drugs about my intentions, but I was taken on another journey.
As soon as I had finished engulfing my self with the violet light, I was transported to a beautiful wide valley where I was running along side a horse. I began running even faster and began to pull ahead of the horse which glanced with shock at me and he began to run faster. This was not a competition, but that pure joyful abandon you had when you were a kid racing against your friends.
Soon we came to the edge of a cliff and I did not slow down. I ran and jumped right off the edge, arms and legs flailing, falling and falling, but there was no fear. I had no idea what was at the bottom, but after quite a considerable dissent, I splashed into a river. When I came up, I floated a little way and looked up to the bank on the left where I saw a wolf which is my great grandmother, then I looked off to the right where I saw an owl which is my grandmother. These images had been revealed to me in a previous vision I had a women's circle I attended about two months ago. My mother was just a little further down the river, stooped, attending to some kind of work in a basket. After seeing these women, my ancestors, I knew I was protected in this space.
After I passed them, I became fish-like and sped further down the river, until I leaped from the water, back in my own body, onto a boulder near the shore, then jumped to the edge. I stopped here and laid down, with my feet just in the water. During this entire time, I was still on fire, so the violet flame spread across the water where my feet came in contact with it about 5 feet out. The wind was gently blowing. All the elements were present. Earth, air, fire, water.
This was the place I actually ended up doing the visualization work I had intended. After finishing, I knew the chemo was not done, so I sat up and there was an old house across the river with a long inviting porch across the front. I knew this was not actually a house, but a resting place until the time came to cross back over.
I crossed the river, and took a seat in a rocking chair and waited. The whole time I was having this experience I was also cognizant of what was going on back on the other side. There was a gentleman receiving his chemo treatment in the room next to mine and I could overhear a conversation he was having on the phone. I was not trying to pay attention, but could not ignore him when I heard my own feelings of how being diagnosed with cancer was in fact a blessing being reflected back to me.
I also began to become very aware of the sensation in my hands. I had built up so much chi that they had become almost hot. I had an overwhelming desire to touch somebody and pass this energy on, but was unable to get up since I was attached to the IV. So I did the best thing I could and just lifted my right hand and focused the energy on the man next door. I tried to sense if there was anyone else close by that I could share this amazing energy with, but I was unable to pick anything up, so I laid my hand on my own breast.
Shortly after, I began to have the sense that it was time to go. So I got up and walked through the front door of the house and was back in the chair of the treatment room.
It is early on in my treatment and am aware that the effects of chemo generally get worse as time goes on, but as of right now, I am feeling no ill effects whatsoever. And since this is a take it one day at a time situation, I will happily take it.
Hope this is helpful.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Monday, December 8, 2014
It was depressing. Nobody should ever have to read that and I find it quite irresponsible. But as I said I had a moment and in that moment I was crying out I did not want to die and that it was bullshit. Seven or eight years is simply not enough. Not because I am afraid to die, because I am not. In fact, I view death as a beautiful continuation of our existence. The next great adventure so to speak, but we will leave that for another time. Through a few experiences I have had over the last year or so I started feeling like I was beginning to understand my calling in life and was exciting to begin that work and 7-ish years was simply not going to work for me. I have too much to do.
But who said I had 7 years, hell it may only be a few months, and my head was spinning with the thought that I had no idea when cancer might have its way with me. It could be 4 months or 4 years or.... and that is when I started to laugh. I mean really laugh, belly laugh, because of the irony of it all. Here I was worried about dying from cancer and not having any idea how long I might have left on this earth and yet this is true every single day of our lives whether we are sick or not. I can sit around scared to death about dying of cancer, yet be killed in a car accident tomorrow just like anyone else. Having a diagnosis, in fact, has changed absolutely nothing as far as my mortality. Having a prognosis certainly could, especially for those who just buy into it and give up, but that is not me. You can ask both my mother and my partner, I don't like being told what to do and the more you insist, the more I resist.
Although my oncologist is optimistic, and assured me that some people live 20 years or more having this, she did tell me that I would die of this cancer, it was just a matter of when. Well I reject that. I will die from living my life, whether it be by car accident, falling off a cliff while mountain climbing, OD-ing on chocolate (hey it could happen), and yeah maybe cancer. Maybe...but not if I have anything to do with it.
So my good friends, sick or healthy, live every day like it's your last, because it just might be.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Thursday, October 23, 2014
I had the PET scan yesterday and I received my initial diagnosis this morning. Cancer in the breast, lungs, iliac bone and spine, and possibly lymph nodes. It has been an emotional rollercoaster.
My immediate reaction was I am not dying like this. I teach high school and decided it was probably not good for me or my students to stay. Luckily, I was on my planning period, so I was able to leave and there was time to find someone to sub.
I drove home and was contemplating not telling my partner until she got home, since she only worked until noon, but I knew she would not want me to wait. So began my afternoon of hard calls.
I went back and forth with feeling strong, ready to fight anything and crying and, of course, anger. Typical emotions in this circumstance. It is emotionally exhausting and at some point I just needed to shut off the phone and take a time out, so I allowed myself that.
My partner and I stopped by and spoke with the Physician’s Assistant I have been dealing with and I asked if there was a possibility even if very slim that this was not cancer. She said it was possible, but with the nodules, lesions, etc. being in so many different areas that it was unlikely. Yet, it felt like a glimmer of hope.
The next step is to get a biopsy of the breast to determine what type of cancer it might be so we know how to proceed with treatment. I personally have already started treatment. I am a firm believe in food and nature as a healer. I had heard of the Gerson Institute a few years ago and have always been intrigued at the work they do. Depending on the results of the biopsy, I will decide whether or not I will include traditional treatments in my approach to fighting this, but the Gerson Therapy will definitely be a priority for me.
So I have accepted that fighting cancer may be my path for the next several months, years, but when I am alone and still, a calm comes over me and I have this feeling that this diagnosis is not right and it doesn’t feel like denial, although maybe.
So I sit here tonight not clinging to but gently hoping that my original thought of a lung infection may still be correct and the other stuff is just a coincidence. I know, it’s a huge stretch, but if it’s going to happen, then I would be the person it would happen to. I tend to do weird and unusual. For example, when I had my knee surgery, the doctor thought it was a torn meniscus, but it turned out to be benign tumorous tissue and plaque build up which had to be removed.
So, perhaps for the first time in history, a human sits praying for a lung infection, because it sounds a lot better than the alternative. Either way, I still maintain, that I will get through this and be better for it.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
I am a healthy person. I eat well, take care of myself, and typically have plenty of energy. I rarely go to the doctor and when I do it’s usually for injury rather than illness. The last time I got blood work done for a physical, the doctor told me I was one of the healthiest people she had ever seen.
On Thursday, I scheduled myself an appointment because I was having a tremendous amount of pain throughout my entire abdominal cavity, along with pain when I took sudden deep breaths which felt as though I might have cracked ribs and intense lower back pain. The discomfort started out as just that discomfort and over about a week got slowly worse then suddenly became very painful. AS an indication of how bad it was, I can say as an individual who will barely take aspirin, I was seriously considering going to the ER.
I scheduled my self an appointment for the following day. The fact that the pain moved around from day to day was confusing. I went and had blood work done and was scheduled for a CT scan the following day.
I was given the results of that scan about an hour later and my world was through off its axis. I was told that I had nodules in my lungs and intestine, a cyst on my ovary, and a lesion on my hip bone. I just sat there in stunned silence. I was told some of it looked suspicious and some not so much but the real concern was that it was all there together. This news was so shocking to me that I didn’t even discuss what I had intended when I went in that morning which was that I thought I had a lung infection.
I had gone on a vision quest in the New Mexico desert about 3 months ago and slept outside under the stars. During that time I had also inadvertently inhaled a big breath of sage smoke which had sent off on a coughing fit. On my drive back home to Florida I began experiencing sharp pains when I breathed in suddenly like yawns, sneezes, laughs, etc. Overtime, the pain went away and I had a slight dry cough which seemed to be going away when I went back to my teaching job and caught a cold. The cold symptoms were mild and went away quickly but I was left with mild chest congestion for quite some time, then just the the dry cough I had been experiencing before which lingered a bit and eventually seemed to be going away until this all started up.
Many of my family members have both had and died from cancer, especially lung cancer, so the possibility of my having it scares the hell out of me. I’m still convinced that I have a lung infection, perhaps something like Valley Fever, which is found in the SW desert and which if untreated can cause nodules in the lungs and even move on to other parts of the body, however, the chance is still there that this is much worse.
After my initial reaction, I pretty much said fuck cancer, I am not doing cancer. This is bullshit. Yet the possibility remains. I sat with it for a while and I have always been in tune with my body, and I just feel like it doesn’t fit. Yet the possibility remains. I have started using an herbal tea to treat the infection myself and am already feeling much better. And yet…the possibility remains.
This is like any other negative situation. The not knowing is very possibly the hardest part. So I wait. Tuesday I have a PET scan and should know more, and until then I will continue saying fuck cancer, you are not welcome here. I will remain my typically positive self and I will use this time to reflect on what has brought me to this point, because cancer, infection, or whatever it may be, we all share in the responsibility of was has brought us down this road in our journey. And there is always a lesson or treasure to be found at the end of the journey.