Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Even Better Good News, but...

I finished my treatment August 13th, but the doctors and nurses warned me I would have a long healing time due to the nature of my cancer and how much the treatment took me down. My blood chemistry was a mess, I was malnourished and severely dehydrated. I lost 37 lbs. in less than three months, had no taste buds, and only half of my saliva glands worked. From the bottom of my lower lip to the top of my breasts my skin was dark red/tan from the radiation treatments. I had to sleep sitting up due to mucus drainage that would choke my windpipe if I laid down.

I was prescribed strong pain medicines and encouraged to use them as I needed to eat despite the pain in my throat from all the radiation. Slowly I did eat little amounts, though everything tasted like salt, even drinking water tasted like salt. Since I had an IV port in my chest, we did hydration treatments every evening from home. Ken was great with helping with that.

I'd created a healing space for myself in the living room using Ken's recliner as my "center." I put pictures that were important to me nearby along with items that made me smile in my line of sight. While "medical" stuff was on a small table next to me, I had a basket of art supplies and reading materials on the floor on the other side of the chair. The medicines I was on made it difficult for me to focus on reading for long, but I could color and draw. So I did, and I lived in that chair morning and night. My cat, Pyewackitt, laid on the chair arm next to me, keeping me company.

To the surprise of my doctors I was off all pain medicines in four weeks and I showed signs of good taste bud regrowth. Now, eight weeks later, the doctors continue to be surprised at how quickly I have healed, especially given how bad I had been. My blood chemistry is almost returned to normal, only my immune system still needs a bit more recovery as does my strength and stamina. My skin has lost most of the dark coloration to where it looks more natural. Most all of my taste buds are back, even the taste buds for sweet, which are generally the last to come back. I'm eating more, but need to have water to drink with all meals since I lack some of my saliva glands. These will not return.

I had my after treatment PETscan last week and Hurrah!, no sign of cancer. I was elated, but the doctors soon brought me down to earth. The PETscan, they said, is not definitive as it does not reveal cancer below a certain size. This will be verified by a larynscopy October 27th. Then blood tests October 30th will show if my blood chemistry has returned to normal. It is only after all this that they will say I am in remission (they never say cured with cancer).

In the meantime I am walking more and thinking of returning to yoga for core strength building, especially since I am a new size! I am also doing research on the science behind healing spaces as I think it made a difference for me.