Posts tagged #treatment

Micheal Phleps looks like ME

cup·ping

ˈkəpiNG/

noun

noun: cupping

  1. (in Chinese medicine) a therapy in which heated glass cups are applied to the skin along the meridians of the body, creating suction as a way of stimulating the flow of energy.

It is not a new therapy actually it is over 3,000 years old but Michael PHELPS - Olympic | United States of America does it and people go crazy! Fact I have been doing cupping for about 4 years now. When I was doing it years ago a woman handed me a card for spousal abuse telling me I was not alone and there was help for me. I was yelling to her “No No it is a treatment”. I do not think she understood what I meant though.


I went to a massage therapist years ago who tried to work my back for the aches of surgery and my arm from Lymphedema  and Axillary Web Syndrome (Cording) . Patrick Fuller took one look and calming told me I was a mess, which I already knew. He suggested cupping, I had seen many friends getting this so I figured -why not, it won’t hurt (or will it). My back as destroyed from surgeries and having my breast removed, one arm has cording the other lymphedema so I just wanted relief. Yes, I wear my sleeve but this is life long and needs maintaining.  The cupping I do is when they light the glass jars and stick them on, he leaves them there for about 15 minutes. I sleep while they are on. They can apply them and pump them on although I do not like that style as much, I think most athletes do this type. 

Photo credit www.themollyproject.org

Photo credit www.themollyproject.org

 

Cupping gets the blood flowing and lymph system moving which can only help in lymphedma right? When you have cording the pain from the twisted “cord” is so intense you want relief but relief is popping that cord OUCH. What cupping does is loosen the webbing so the massage therapist can work it out with ease. From medication and surgeries your body harbors so much toxins, cupping releases them from your body. Now add MS to my mixed bag. Cupping decreases my pain, helps with digestive issues, increase blood flow and circulation (ummmm so important), and detoxification. It WORKS! After a session I want to schedule another so I can still feel pretty good. The trick is keeping up with it. This for me is like taking my medication I have to stay on top of it.

 

My family was not a believer so my 16 year old son needed his back worked from running he had a horrible knot. Patrick was working on him when he felt it, he told Ben he could scrap the knot out which was going to be painful and take a long time to release or he could get cupped. Ben choose cupping and he loved it. The pressure is relaxing and soothing. There is no pain involved and when he was done Ben felt amazing, He made a comment that he felt like he was standing taller and he was! See the cupping broke the knot up and relaxed his muscles so when he stood he was not hunching in pain. Ben was sold!

 

Now I know everyone is reading about the swimmers and gymnasts and other athletes doing this so they want to try it. You should for sure but my advice is to make sure the person you choose is certified and experienced. This is not for an a newbie to try. ASK YOUR DOCTOR! Please make sure you clear it with them. You will love it but make sure you are doing it right.

I do thank the athletes for drawing attention however if one more person asks me if I am doing “that Michael Phelps” thing I may scream! Next they will all start wearing tiaras…...

FYI the big spot under my tattoo is when my cording starts. When I left I could place my arm down without any pain!   

FYI the big spot under my tattoo is when my cording starts. When I left I could place my arm down without any pain!

 

Burn Baby Burn

For Surgery number 7 or is it 8 who the hell knows I had no desire to go for the stiletto look.  Cancer can have $1 Old Navy flip flops that I gave to Meg after. Screw this bulshit. I went in with a full blow migraine, yes migraine into a quick operation on Tuesday June 16th . Doc asked if I wanted to try local anesthesia and not get knocked out, I asked him if he was "fucking crazy", please put me to sleep . The scars need to be cut out and I do not want to remember a thing. After the quickie in the OR if only it was a joy ride, I was literally rushed over to radiation, yes that day! The nurses were a little perplexed and frankly freaked to send me off but they went with it. 

 

Rads is weird, no really it is. The staff was amazing over the top to say the least. The idea is to kill all the tissue and any cells that are hanging out to zap the hell out of them before they have to grow.  Now please keep in mind that while I just came from OR I still have a migraine, am starving yet nausea  and now am waiting to be radiated so I was in no mood to joke. And guess who was with me?? TOM-the joke master extraordinaire. . Not a great day but Tom and I used it as a date night, hell there were no kids so why not. His humor got me through this crazy day. So they make the mold, set you up, then line it up and then they run like they are being chased out of the room-like literally run out of the room.  Which cracked me up because they are leaving me there half naked, breast half cut and they run. Radiation takes 2 minutes for me and I thought big deal that was easy! So I go back the next day with my BFF MC (I swear they all tried to get a free lunch out of me). Was in there for 2 minutes and left, this time sore and exhausted. Then my girlfriend Lisa took me, I was so tired and so sore starting to burn. Realizing this was not an easy ride, why didn't someone tell me?? Then Jess took me the next day I could barely move my arm, cording starting, burn in full effect, completely whipped out. And then I realized this is no freaking joke!

There it is and let me express that is nothing compared to what I have seen. NOTHING compared  to others but this is my story and in the words of Seporah "it is all about you". I have been using Lindz Cooling pads in the fridge they really help cool the burn.  My fab doc gave me some of that silvadene cream which is great.  A breastie sent me some amazing cream by Ava it smells delicious I wanna eat it and really seems to be calming my skin. As for the soreness and the ache, I will say it for the 100th time if you do not have a Comfort Pillow, get one! It not only is super awesome for those damn lymph nodes that come out it helps relieve some of the pain from cording and radiation so your arm does not rest on your side. 

 

I am off of treatment for a few weeks to heal and see what happens. Path came back clear so this is the right course for me. Next will be my abdominal  scar. Do you know how far that bastard goes?? Almost from butt cheek to butt cheek! No joke. I am worried about that- the healing and the radiation. We as a society treat rads as the "easy treatment". Who the hell decided that? We go every day and have radiation into us?? This is the definition of radiation per google -the emission of energy as electromagnetic waves or as moving subatomic particles, especially high-energy particles that cause ionization. Does that sound good? NO it does not. So why do we not treat patients like they are not in treatment? I have heard doctors say it is no more than a bad sunburn. UMMM really??? Here is a fact sunburns increase your change of skin cancer you douchebags. Stop treating us like we are stupid and that we do not understand what you are doing to our bodies this is not a joke to us and we need to stop taking it lightly. 

After radiation treatment you must, lotion up, hydrate, and rest. let your body heal after being burned and having electromagnetic waves flow through it. This is not a walk through the park people you go every day, bring a friend and have a milk shake after. However do not wear your tiara it could set the machine off and that would not be good for anyone. 

 

Don't you get sick of talking about breast cancer?

The other day someone asked me if I get sick of talking about breast cancer and while she is just 14 I really have thought that was an intense question (she didn't mean it that way). I think people who do not have cancer or any lasting illness do not fully understand just how sick of it we are. Just cause you can't see what we are dealing with you expect us to be over this when our reality can not bring us away from it.  Yes, I do get sick of talking about breast cancer for sure. I get sick of dealing with it every frigging day!  I want to forget it ever happened to me but that can not happen for many reasons. I have tried very hard to remove my family and friends from my every day talkings of my cancer life sorry if it filters in but this is my reality now. They are probably reading this thinking BULLSHIT but really you have no idea how much more I want to say. This is what I wake up and deal with every single day, that is when I sleep. I think for them because I am not recovering in a hospital from a surgery or bald from chemo or dealing with burns from radiation they think "well she is all done". Such is not the case.

The scars are so painful it hurts me physically on a daily basis. That being said I now have Phase II of my DIEP coming up where my doctor will address this, he is going to literally cut the two scars off and make just one in hopes that will ease just a little of the pain and scaring of the keloid.  He will adjust the new foobs and help with the nice side fat I have from my tummy scar. I keloid on the side making a constant muffin top and I have fluid built up, nothing a little lipo cant help. FACT- I never asked for this cancer gave it to me. When I look in the mirror naked (which is rare I prefer the neck up) I see nothing but a breast cancer scared women. Yes I am sick of talking about breast cancer but how can I stop when this is what I see daily.

I can not sleep at night because my body is aching from my lymphedema and cording and numbness and weird pains in my breast  that were not there before. The tingling that is in my hands and feet that make them feel like they are asleep and hurt like pins and needles keep me from getting a good nights sleep. My joints ache and I can not get comfortable at all because of my chest being well in pain.  Yes I am sick of talking about breast cancer but how can I stop when I can not even get sleep because of it.

Doctor, doctor, doctor! See as much as I want to get cancer out of my life I have a doctor appointment every other month if not monthly. Then there is scans and blood work in addition to the doctor visits. While you know it will be ok (please breast gods let me get a pass) you just get sick to your stomach every single one. Enter scananiexty which builds really all week. You are poked and jabbed and scanned and felt up more than you ever thought possible. You sit and wait in doctor offices waiting to hear "no evidence of disease" and you breath a sigh of relief until the next time. Yes, I am sick of talking about breast cancer but my doctor appointments make it impossible to avoid.

I have made some of my best friends because of stupid dumb breast cancer. We have formed this bond that is unbreakable. We relay on each other to lift us up to lean on and to commiserate with. We watch as some have been taken away from this disgusting disease. We are then filled with grief mixed with guilt and heart break and a touch of relief that it wasn't us which just adds even more to our survivor guilt. I am completely sick of this cancer world but know that this is my bizarre world that I hate yet love but will not leave because my family is here and they know just how I feel. Yes, I am sick of talking about breast cancer but I will never leave them because I need their support as much as they need me.

Breast cancer never just ends it really does not. Each day does get a little better. We find ourselves as first the newly diagnosed trying to find our way through this and understand all the lingo and the grasp what the hell is about to happen. We start making connections and figure out which we fit into and who will help us the most. We then ease into the surgery and  treatment part where we need the guidance and tips of those who have been there. They help us more than our doctors (even though we do love our docs). We form more bonds and find ways to laugh at our nails falling off and drains hanging from our body because these amazing people have been there. Then we start to be the ones who really are just trying to adjust to the new normal, the ones living the post traumatic stress of the after math of cancer. The "WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK JUST HAPPENED?" because I am still processing the last two years!  Cancer puts you on a full force roller coaster and sends you off on a hell ride leaving you dazed and confused from it all. The after math isn't just about your body adjusting it is about your mind healing as well. The emotional scars do not seem to ever really go away or maybe I am still at the healing phase so the jury is still out on this part. Soon we become the veterans the ones who have been through it all and we want to help those in all stages of this roller coaster ride. Yes, I am sick of talking about breast cancer but shit my head is still on this ride!

So there you have it -sick of talking about it but will not, can not, and won't stop. I wonder if this will help those without cancer to understand why we can't stop. We want to but can't. Here is the thing. Those "cancer free" moments-you know when you are out to dinner with you friends, on a walk, sitting and just relaxing, listening to your kids fight, or maybe exercising whatever that is- that moment when for even a second you do not think, talk breath or FEEL cancer. ATTACK it. Embrace it and be cancer free, cause let's face it that is a state of mind not medical term. Shine that tiara and truth be told through all this talk, pain, treatment and surgery are NOT cancer.