The State of Affairs v.10
“My heart chakra feels blocked,” I tell him and he laughs.
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Sometimes it boggles my mind the amount of footwork it takes to be a cancer patient. We did a CT Scan on Christmas Eve (multiple weeks late thanks to issues with my insurance company) to confirm nothing new had cropped up. Because I had switched doctors and health systems after I was dropped from my clinical trial, there were issues getting the previous films from one place to the other. After too many hours on the phone, I finally had to take matters into my own hands and go obtain copies of the older films myself and hand-deliver them to the new hospital.
This doesn’t sound like much, but when you are trying to juggle continuing care appointments and working full-time, these hours on the phone and extra trips to hospitals becomes a difficult burden.
All that aside, it finally looks like nothing has changed since my last scan, except that the bit of ascites that was hanging on has resolved. This is fantastic news and solidly confirms my “in remission” status.
We had hoped this would mean removing my port, but unfortunately insurance issues are making that impossible right now. But that sucker will come out as soon as I can afford the surgery.
So overall, that is very good news.
* * *
I just passed the 6 months out from chemo mark. Just as this point slid by, I learned that a friend who is at the same point just found out her ovarian cancer recurred.
I am terrified of a recurrence.
I woke up in a hot sweat last night, but this time it wasn’t from a hot flash. It was from a nightmare that involved my sobbing on a hospital hallway floor as a doctor told me the cancer had returned.
I scrutinize my body, energy level, and intuition every day trying to ensure that everything is still good. I know this won’t help. I know that the only thing that will help is to continue to carefully manage my stress level and emotional energy, ensure I am sleeping enough, continue the clean-up my diet, prioritize exercise, yoga, and time in nature, and continue with my energy work.
And I know that ultimately, none of this is up to me. None of this is in my control. Its not my plan.
But I do not know that I have the mental, physical, emotional, or financial means to endure a recurrence.
So continued prayers that this remission sticks are greatly appreciated.
* * *
Hot flashes continue to be an issue. We had found a non-hormonal prescription that was helping tremendously, but my insurance stopped covering it and, unfortunately, at nearly $200 a month its just not something that is feasible for me to continue taking. What I can keep using, though, is the herbal sleep aid my acupuncturist recommended, and I am finally sleeping soundly through the night. So the hot flashes are really just an issue during the day.
So if you see a woman driving around with the car windows down when its in the 30s, you’ve probably found me.
I am also still struggling with my body's difficulty regulating its temperature following chemo. This side effect stuck with me for about 5 years post chemo last time. This means sometimes I simply cannot get warm not matter what I do. Other times my body starts to overheat in response to moving from a colder area to a warmer one. It is very hard for it to find a happy middle. I carry about a closet's worth of clothing everyday to try to manage this issue.
* * *
I am quickly approaching the one year anniversary of the phone call that would change my life. Like last year, I will be in Tucson, Arizona presenting at a conference. I am not sure how this day will go, and my sponsor keeps reminding me not to project. But if I am honest, just picturing the parking lot where I took that call makes me well up in tears. I am not entirely sure how prepared I am to return to that place.
As the one year mark sneaks up I find myself traveling back in my mind to where I was a year ago. I also find myself dealing with an upswelling of anger and grief, of feelings of betrayal and abandonment. This is why my heart chakra is blocked. There is so much emotion directed at so many people that I do not know how to begin to release it.
This is not unexpected. I have written of it before. But it also is not fun.
No one ever said growth was fun though. At least not every day.
* * *
A lot of my focus in the last few months has been on reducing my toxic load by further cleaning up my diet, changing bath and body products, and looking at the fibers used in my clothing. It feels like a big undertaking some days, but as I get more and more sensitive to my environment and the things that are in my universe, I know that I need to keep moving in this direction. Its what’s right for me.
* * *
Coming up – healing trips to Tucson and Ojai. I’m very excited about what I have lined up in both of these places and can’t wait to share it with y’all. Stay tuned!