Monday, February 25, 2019

Pain, pain, go away

Well, it's official. I have a really messed up back. The MRI says so. Almost every single vertebrae has an issue. No wonder I've been having such pain.

Some of the issues are hereditary, like the degenerative disk disease, osteoporosis, and spinal stenosis, but the other things are all mine - herniated disks, bulging disks, etc. etc.

I wasn't expecting the test to reveal as much as it did...2 single spaced typed pages of information. Wow. And that's why I'm going to the pain management clinic at the cancer treatment center as well as seeing the chiropractor. Joy, joy.

I'm nervous about going to the pain management clinic. I don't want to be put on some addictive pain meds but I sure could use a little help with the difficulties in my spine. And since I used to work for chiropractors before, I know how that goes. One adjustment will lead to many others and will help for a period of time but then, after the insurance runs out, we'll be back to square one.

I've been researching inversion tables. The doctor mentioned that it might help so the plan is to get one in the very near future. Hanging upside down by your ankles doesn't sound like a lot of fun - blood rushing to your head and all, but, if it elongates my spine and helps take some pressure off the vertebrae, it will be worth it.

The other issue is that pesky lymph node that doesn't want to shrink down to size. Along my left clavicle, there's a huge lymph node that I didn't even know was there. The oncologist found it at my last visit and did an ultrasound on it. At the time, the radiologist said it wasn't cancer but I was surprised when the cancer treatment center called on Friday and told me they want me to come back in next month for a retest. If the node is still swollen, they want to do a biopsy. I don't want another biopsy. They hurt.

Some days I wonder when cancer will ever leave me alone. In just a few more months, I'll celebrate my 5th cancerversary and while that seems like a minor event, it's major to me! Major!

On a lighter note, I've been focusing on getting my art ready for the exhibit. My work will be on display from April 1 through the end of May. I'm honored the county wants to put it up. I feel so accomplished, lol.

Art therapy has become my self imposed daily outlet. When I'm working on a piece of art, I'm not thinking about how badly my back hurts, about that pesky lymph node, or about the fact that cancer could come sneaking up on me again any day.

My latest projects are polymer clay jewelry with a steam punk influence. They're a lot of fun to do and they're quick and easy.

Free Art Friday is coming up again so I may just slip a couple of my pieces in and around the city for seekers to find. I love doing that. It's so fun to hide in the downtown area and watch as finders pick up my art.

I'm so thankful warmer weather is finally here. It's so nice to see the sun today. We've had so much rain lately.

Wish me luck as I get my back cracked. (Oh how my old chiropractor would hate hearing me say that!)


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Love is in the Air

Almost one and a half months have passed since we rang in the New Year and it's hard to believe how fast time is flying! My grandmother always used to say, "The older you get, the faster the years go," and she was right! Since reaching my 61st year, time goes by at lightening speed.

Love is in the air and hearts are everywhere! Valentine's Day will soon be here. Isn't it nice to have a month devoted to the celebration of love? I think so. At least it's not a month devoted to an emotion like anger or hate, that would be bad...really bad. All kidding aside, I love this month - did you get that, I said I LOVE this month, haha. In my humble opinion, love should be celebrated not just on Valentine's Day but every day. Love makes the world go around, or so the song says. But these days, it seems love is hard to find for some. There are so many wrapped up in worldly ambitions and evil desires that love seems to be a think of the past, at least love celebrated in the way God intended it to be but I won't climb up on my soapbox just yet.

Today, I'm not focusing on Valentine's Day, although I should be. Instead, my focus is on cancer, namely my cancer. Speaking of that, today is the day I go for my six month check up. I always get anxious before those visits. It's not easy going to have bloodwork done and waiting for the results. Those results will either determine I'm good for another year or heaven forbid, if the cancer has returned, treatment will start again. I don't even want to think about that.

Walking into the cancer treatment center is always overwhelming. There are so many people there and all in various stages of treatment for some sort of cancer. At times, I feel like I don't belong. I don't look sick any longer. The only way anyone could tell I'd ever had cancer is the fact that I'm missing both breasts and I wear compression sleeves for lymphedema. And to see those things, one would have to look closely, very closely, because I do my best to hide those facts.

I wish there was a way to move completely out of cancerland leaving it behind forever, but that isn't an option when you're dealt the cancer card. It's a lifelong game until you die and yeh, I know that sounded morbid, but it's the truth.

So, today, as I head off to the treatment center, I'll be thinking about love. I'll think about how much I love my husband, my family, and my life. And while I don't being constantly reminded of my bout with cancer, I'll accept it as a part of my "new normal." (I really hate that terminology!)


Survivorship, really?

Yesterday, I attended a survivorship appointment at the cancer treatment center. I had mixed emotions as I drove to the center. Part of ...