Saturday, April 30, 2016

Step into my world

It's been a while since I've written an honest, open, and raw post about how things are going in my life so I decided today would be a good day to do just that. I know reading my posts on grand spiritual insights can get tedious and sometimes boring if the reader isn't quite in the mood for such heavy fodder, but don't worry, today will be light and airy.

It's the end of April and soon, I'll be celebrating 2 years of being in remission. (July 9th is my actual "cancerversary") It's hard to believe 2 years have passed by so quickly. Although I say they've passed quickly, some days felt like they'd never end. It's been pretty hard to look at my calendar and see an average of 1-3 doctors appointments scheduled every single month. Some months there are more but never less than 1. Sometimes I feel like a bug under glass...a science experiment gone terribly wrong. But I'm thankful for attentive doctors and though the appointments get tiresome, at least I know my medical team is keeping a close eye on me just in case something unique pops up. Everything I've read about breast cancer lets me know this process will continue until after I've reached the 5 year mark and then, although things might slow down a bit, I'll be under close scrutiny for the rest of my life. It's just a fact I have to learn to live with and that's a small price to pay for being alive.

Summer is sneaking in stealthily and with the Georgia heat intensifying, I'm finding it more difficult to stay cool. At home, I usually stay indoors enjoying the air conditioning but when I go out, with my prostheses and my compression sleeves on, I'm hot! I'm so hot I feel like I just want to strip naked and throw modesty out the window. I'm dreading going back for Lymphedema treatments. Next week, I'll start back with regular visits to the therapist. I'm hoping she won't do the wrapping like she did last time. Wrapping is worse than just wearing the compression sleeves. At least with the sleeves, I can pull them down or take them off whenever I need some relief but when I'm wrapped, I have to leave the wrapping on for a long time and it's so uncomfortable. Let me walk you through the process so you can understand a little better. I'll drive to the hospital and go into the physical therapy clinic. I'll meet with the CLT (the Certified Lymphedema Therapist) and she'll take me back to a dimly lit room. She'll ask me to lie down on a table and she'll put on some soft music...yes, sounds a little freaky, doesn't it? She'll begin to slowly massage each arm and my upper body. It takes about an hour to complete the therapy session and when she's done, she'll have me sit up on the side of the table. She'll raise the lights a bit and take some rolled cotton out of a box. She'll start wrapping my arms, one at a time, like a mummy. After she's got each arm wrapped securely with the cotton, she'll go back and apply an ACE bandage over the top of each arm and fasten it with a little metal fastener near my wrists. After I'm "mummified," I'll get dressed and leave the office. It will be difficult to drive home like this but I'll manage somehow. I'll pray all the way home that I don't get stopped for a traffic violation because I don't want anyone to see me this way and I surely wouldn't know how to explain it fast enough for them to understand. The therapy sessions usually start out with 5 sessions a week and then taper down to 3. I have no idea how many weeks I'll be going this time but I do know I have to go until my insurance approves the recirculating compression pump system my oncologist ordered for me. When they approve that, I'll be able to have treatment at home and there will be no more wrapping!

I continue to take all of my natural supplements to stay alive. This morning, I was looking at the bottles of everything I take and I wondered how my poor liver has been able to keep up. I'm thankful I did a liver detox last week and I think it helped tremendously. I've made a mental note to continue doing that on a monthly basis. Would you like to know what I take daily? Here goes:
Matcha green tea
Vitamin D2
Vitamin C
Coconut Oil
Fish Oil
Flax seed
In addition to all the natural supplements I'm taking, I'm also trying to eat tons of organic fruits and veggies. I try, but don't always, manage to get in an hour a day of walking. Some days I just don't feel like it so I don't. With all the housework I do around here, I'm sure I get enough physical activity to counter balance scheduled walking.

It seems my house has become a gathering place for extended family lately and it's been nice to have lots of company. Many of my days are spent alone for the majority of the day.  It's been nice to enjoy some pleasant conversation and visiting with loved ones.

Hubby and I are still trying to figure out when or if we'll be able to take a vacation this year. It depends on how I'm doing physically and whether or not we have enough money to get away. Medical bills continue to pile up and seem to be never ending. It's frustrating! We try to plan little mini trips around town so we don't always feel like we're depriving ourselves of doing anything fun. A week long vacation to the beach would be better than any medication the doctor could order. The ocean always refreshes and revives me. It's been calling my name for weeks now....

I continue to write for the breast cancer magazine. I enjoy sharing my experiences with others and it's really nice to be paid for my work! I also continue to review books for several Christian publishing companies. In exchange for my reviews, I receive free books. It's a win win situation for both of us. And then there's always my creative place to vent and share my deepest thoughts. It's helped me process my thoughts and manage to stay sane. And that's the most recent update from my world. Things are going well and I'm thankful for that. Hopefully things will continue to run smoothly for the rest of the Summer. I like having no drama in my life. It's been great to be able to function without stress. Shouldn't everyone enjoy a life without stress? I think stress is one of the main causes of health problems in America today and it more than likely contributes to all the cases of cancer we're seeing on a daily basis.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and most of all, I wish you peace and God's best blessings. Rest. Relax. Take time for yourself. Let love be your guide. Life is short. Don't waste a single minute.

© bonnie annis all rights reserved

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