It is October 23, 2016 at 2:00 am in the morning. I wake up drenched in sweat with the side effects of the pain medication and ice melting on my chest. Seeking relief in the house, oh, the pain is intolerable. Going on my 3rd night sleeping at home away from the hospital, I find some relief. At home, I am able to update my dosage of the pain medication, replace the ice bladder and find comfort on the keyboard of my computer. For the first time, my fingers are able to talk and share with you the pain and agony I've encountered during the past few months.
It was July 15, 2016 when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer In Situ - roughly the size of a golf ball with many other calcifications surrounding the area. Here I found myself out of my knowledge base with no clue of what I was facing in the next year or the remainder of my life. My breast cancer surgeon did the best she could to explain to me what "Breast Cancer In Situ" meant which for other women DCIS was a loose term they could understand. For me, it was a tremendous weight that was dropped on me. I felt as if a truck load of sand was just poured onto my petite frame.
I started writing this blog post in October, saved the draft. Continued writing it on July 12, almost a year after. This is very unusual for me as I enjoy writing and sharing immediately. However, cancer has dictated my life this past year. Months after the double mastectomy, I finally received some relief of the pain. Leakage from the stitches that will never heal have confined me to home. Yoga provides some sense of mental/muscle relief, but I feel I have been damaged mentally and physically. The surgeries and chemo have left me with side effects of lymphedema and neorapathy. Both are extremely painful with no relief in sight.
What is Lymphedema?
As defined in WebMD: Lymphodema is a big issue for anyone at all who has had lymph nodes removed, and that could be from breast cancer treatment, it could be from cancer that might be in the groin for instance or near the groin, it can be from head and neck cancers and you can get lymphodema in the face, so there's a lot of times that the lymph fluid doesn't flow well when the lymph nodes are taken out and that fluid builds up and needs to be treated.
What is neurapathy?
As defined by Google: Peripheral neuropathy, a result of damage to your peripheral nerves, often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet. It can also affect other areas of your body. Your peripheral nervous system sends information from your brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) to the rest of your body.
According to my doctors, it was caused by 6 months of chemo therapy while treating my cancer. I also have it on my fingers causing difficulty on the keyboard when I am typing. Medications are not helping.
Yoga has been one of the best medicines I have found. I go to the cancer wellness center 3 times a week for the classes. The sessions are specifically designed for cancer patients and they are wonderful.
There are days when the pain is so severe I don't want to go. Somehow I find the strength and drag myself to the center to take my yoga class. After an hour of breathing properly and stretching my muscles, I feel amazing. I even smile.
I will continue my yoga sessions for as long as possible or for the rest of my life because the medications have horrific side effects and don't work. What will happen to my dreams? How will I be able to perform in a job? How will I be able to ride my motorcycle? I think time will answer these questions, stay tuned with my progress.