Today, 2 years ago I was told the horrific news that changed my life. 'Your tumor tested to be Malignant - I am sorry. You have cancer...'.
It has been a hell of a roller coaster of a ride at times but during these 2 years I have experienced so much, met some amazing people, taught me to fight like hell and live every day with gratitude, Wonder and Hope. It's bizarre to say but sometimes I still look at the crappy days I have and I think 'is this really happening? How am I still standing?'. Am much as the news settled and is a reality - it still feels like a dream at times.
I have had so much happen to me in the last few weeks. I apologize for my lack of updates but I have just been so busy and caught up with all the events and personal issues in my life I really have not had the time.
I start with the whole process of getting things right with my medical aid. They managed to authorize my next chemo plan (hooray!) but they did not however allow me to have the pill form of one of my drugs (Vinorelbine) so now I have to go in for the drip on the 8th day after my initial chemo. It's ok - just a bit of a mission. At the end of the day it is a bit silly however. If you think about it actually works out more expensive to have to go to the chemo ward for the assistance of the nurses / pay for needles and the meds. Really is a bit ludacris.
So after getting all this authorized and wanting to start my new treatment (because I was in quite a bit of pain from the pain transfer) I got a call from the nurses asking if I still had my port in. This is something they removed when I had my mastectomy. Should have seen a problem on the horizon....They would not administor the Vinorelbine unless I had one put in again due to the drug burning your veins really badly. Charming thought aint that? Operation 'Get a port as quick as possible' started and I immediately got on the phone with my surgeon who made an urgent after hours appointment to see me so we could have it put in as quick as possible. I had him consult me (bless his soul) and managed to shuffle his diary around and cancel some appointments so he could insert the port in on the next Tuesday. Didn't expect that to be so easy! I have the worlds best surgeon. He is the one that broke the news of my cancer to me in the first place so I wasn't too fond of him in the first place....but over our consultations and ops I have certainly grown very fond of him. He is almost a retired man coming up to his 70's, he knows all about my family, is old school as hell - does not even own a pc in his office but best of all that I really appreciate about him - is he has all the time in the world for his patients and he goes the extra few miles for his patients. He talks the hind leg off a donkey but the fact that he will walk to the end of the earth for you gives any doctor 10 thumbs up. That's a quality hard to find!
Tuesday came. I had to be booked in at Milnerton Hospital in the afternoon for the port insertion. It's not a very long procedure however it can be very complex. They have to find a good artery to work with (that's really hard to find considering my veins are completely buggered from chemo). From there they follow that artery into the heart valve - thread a few devices through the artery making very sure not to nik anything in the process. A tiny cut somewhere can take hours to mend and involve you having unwanted drains and lung damage. They then have to place the port in such a position where it may not move whatsoever. After all that is done they flush it all out to prevent clogging and clotting. I have heard so many horror stories that involve ports dislodging and getting tangled up in the lungs and ribs. Scary with the stuff that can go wrong.
It's a good thing I have the port now because I have never seen anyone so stressed as my aneathatist that day. Due to my veins being totally botched up there is normally quite the struggle to find a vein. Now you know it's bad when an aneathatist paces up and down the theater all stressed out because he can't find anything. I was prodded, tied up with bands, slapped like a druggie would do to themselves and generally made very stressed. All this hurt like hell because he tried several times going in blindly - he then looked at me after pacing up and down again and threatened to use my toes. 'Oh no you don't! Mr. I suggest you find something in my arm and in my arm only' I said - the mere thought made my stomach turn! I think he saw how serious I was then he gave it another try. He ended up finding a teeeeeny vein with a pediatric needle. Thank heavens because I think you would have needed at least 5 people to hold me down if they dared to try my veins. So once the drugs were running I always try fight the sleep as best as possible and I check the theater staff working like busy bees. As this is all going on and feeling very high I get told - 'could you possibly sit up please. The ECG monitor is not hooked up to you properly' - 'Are you for real here!? - you have just drugged me and I'm about to go to sleep' *drugged up half asleep slur tone. They managed to push me up with me wobbling a bit around (very close to falling off) and soon after I woke up with the op finished and complete.
I started chemo the next week allowing me to have some recovery/ healing time. The new chemo is definitely no walk in the park. I was given only a small dose and was left horribly nauseous not knowing what to do with myself. Day 3 I thought I was alright so I was very excited to go to my friends 30th. An hour before I felt terrible. I was a white sheet and quite ill. My blood levels were horribly low and I almost feinted several times. So much for going out. A week later I was still quite bad having plenty of rest and dizzy spells. My doctor has prescribed me plenty of magnesium to make it better. I have recently started getting some ringing in my ears as well. At random intervals I experience ringing known as tinnitus. It's quite annoying and makes me feel a little bit crazy at times - hope it's not to stay (can become permanent).
With all this going on I have been trying to get the ball rolling with the magazine. It's lots of hard work but with dedication we'll make it succeed.
A friend of mine told my story to a client of hers who wanted to offer me some special alternative treatment to help me with healing. I thought of everything as very arb at first but decided to take this lovely man up on his offer in wanting to sponsor me. You never know!? He knew this man that is retired and worked as a professor at Stellenbosch university. This man - Mr Haye believes in the power of healing through the magnetic fields in your body. He has various methods using magnets. He uses salts to neutralize your body acids, magnets to realign your body up and doing various things to oxygenate your body. All good things really and things that could certainly not harm you in any way. He showed us various ways (Helen came with me to observe) to oxygenate your system (because oxygen kills off cancer of course). The one way is to put peppermint aromatherapy oil on your hands. Just rub a drop in - breathe it in on your hands and exhale while bent almost putting your head between your knees. You do this about 5 times. Another way is using a coke bottle with a drop of peppermint oil again in water (about 1/3 of a coke bottle filled). There is a long straw like contraption in the bottle and what you do is you blow bubbles exhaling and then you breathe the air through the straw - picking the straw out of the water. You breathing in pure oxygenated air and it completely clears up your breathing tracts. On showing this contraption to us and how to use it I could not help but crack up laughing. On taking a rest I looked up to see the others doing it and I packed out laughing because all your heard was *bubble bubble bubble* - the sound of a hubbly/ bong. It looked like we were hitting a bong together with this old man!. It was so hard to be serious doing this. I learnt a hell of a lot from this man however - simply too much to write at this point. We were shown many experiments on how to test negative magnetic fields etc.
Must be off - thanks for the follows.