Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Pain, pain, go away!

I haven't written in a while so I'm hesitant to start off this blog post talking about pain, but it's what's most prevalent in my life right now, so please forgive me.

For the past few months, every bone and joint in my body has hurt but lately, the increase in pain has become worrisome...especially now that the pain seems to be concentrated in my spine.

My next visit to the oncologist isn't until February 2019 (I'm on an every 6 months schedule right now) but if it keeps getting worse, I'm going to have to go in. In the meantime, I've been hearing many good things about cancer survivors and the use of medical marijuana.

Since Governor Nathan Deal passed the medical marijuana law for our state, I've been thinking about approaching my oncologist about possibly prescribing it to see if it would help alleviate my pain. From everything I've read about cannabidiol, it doesn't contain the levels of THC that cause the mood altering affects of normal marijuana. In fact, the Georgia law states that any medical marijuana product can't contain more than 5% THC and a person cannot have more than 20 fluid ounces on their possession without suffering the consequences of receiving a felony charge against them.

Most medical marijuana is given to end stage cancer patients but it's also used for those suffering chronic pain, like I do.

I have a very high pain tolerance so when I say I need something to help with the pain, my pain level is off the charts. For a normal person, the one to ten scale offers a place for them to rate their pain but I've been living with pain so long now, it's impossible for me to pick a number that matches my level of discomfort.

Every time I am in extreme pain, I can't help but wonder if the cancer has come back and if it might have settled in my spine. In 2015, doctors found a suspicious spot on my spine at L5 and thought the cancer had returned. It turned out, after more testing, that it was just a hemangioma but it scared the living daylights out of me.

I pray daily and ask God to keep me free from another round of cancer. I don't know if I could take it. This one has been hard enough.

To keep my mind off the constant pain, I've been using art therapy. It helps me shift my focus from the pain and allows me to be creative. It's a self imposed therapy that I've thoroughly enjoyed but I have to temper my time. Usually the best time for painting is early in the mornings when I have the most energy. As the day progresses, my back hurts more and more, and I have to quit working.

My complaints aren't always vocalized. I try to keep them to myself as much as possible for fear of burdening others with my problems, but sometimes, you just need to dump things out and let them that's what I'm doing. Thanks for reading and for the love and support you offer. It means a lot!

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