Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Where to Now?

I am finding life extremely difficult at the moment; miss you all so much as I search for answers. Rest is high on my list of priorities right now.
My pain levels increased over the weekend to the point that Haydn drove me to Greenhills shopping centre on Sunday afternoon to pick up a prescription for Endone. I knew that it could not wait until Tuesday when I was scheduled to keep an appointment with Nancy Evelyn herbalist extraordinaire.
I awoke at 1am Monday morning literally screaming in agony. At 8am I was on the phone to my doctor's surgery begging for an appointment. Haydn was happy to drive as there is no way that I was up to it. After 1 hour and 20 minutes I found myself pacing the floor as I waited for my 10.45am appointment.
Dr Mark Desouza was excellent. He asked about the steroid injection into the bursa that he had requested on my last visit and I said that there was a two week wait at Newcastle Radiology. I like to go to that particular practice as they bulk bill me as an oncology patient. Mark's concern was obvious; he immediately called Hunter Radiology, successfully arranging an afternoon appointment.
Dr Chan looked at the ultrasound, we had a lengthy discussion on the safety of injecting into my lymphoedema arm and I decided that it was worth it. I am aware that there are risks with taking the amount of Oxycontin that I consume each day and decided that I am damned if I do and damned if I don't. Anything to take away the pain.
I took the time on Sunday afternoon to e-mail Dr Fluhrer in Sydney, asking for his valued opinion. I am still waiting for a reply. He will charge $55 to my credit card when he eventually gets around to responding. In the meantime, I consider my situation is to be treated with the utmost urgency.
Thankfully I slept soundly on Monday night as was very excited to find that it was 5am when I awoke. Unfortunately, it did not last! Once again I was screaming and unable to function as the pain was debilitating. Haydn helped me pack a bag for hospital as I was convinced that was the only safe place for me. I have been going through this for the past 8 months and, at times, feel completely worn out.
My first appointment for the day was with my herbalist Nancy at Nancy Evelyn & Associates. I was a complete mess when I arrived. On looking into the iris she decided that there was inflammation above the elbow on the right arm and that there was little she could do for me. She suggested Bowen Therapy. Daphne Templeton, the resident Bowen Therapist had not arrived at the practice. Nancy phoned her home and explained the problem, Daphne was happy to come in immediately as she lived reasonably close.
Daphne suggested that my condition is a classic case of post mastectomy lymphoedema, made worse by the removal of a melanoma above the elbow on the same arm in 1996. There are pockets of lymph collecting in several places. She did amazing work! I could feel the lymph begin to flow although I found the treatment very painful. An appointment was made for Tuesday of next week and I was instructed to put washing crystals into a pillow case and wrap it around the area leaving it for two hours. I did that last night and eventually had to remove it as the drawing action was too intense for me to bear. Once off, I could not believe how wet it all was. No doubt it was very effective!
These two angels gave freely of their time; no charge for the consultations.
It was then off to the doctor. I explained about the pain that I had endured on waking and, once again he managed to get me an appointmen at Hunter Radiology for a CT Scan of the neck. I was to be there at 2pm. I have no strength in the middle three fingers of the right hand, also tingling and loss of sensation. Mark is thinking that it is possibly coming from the area in the neck between C6 and T2. Praying that the CT Scan will give some indication.
My medication was changed. I am now to take 40 mg Oxycontin night and morning with 10mg Oxynorm for breakthrough pain. This can be taken each two hours. All well and good. I may be pain free but can I function normally?
Today was a good day. I remained almost pain free and will ring first thing tomorrow morning to see Mark for the results of the CT Scan. Hopefully, we will know tomorrow where we go from here.
In the meantime, I had suggested to Nat - that I believed Jeremy had a message for me and was unable to get through the pain to give it to me. I was hoping it would come to her as they have done in the past.
I was excited to find in my Inbox this morning the following from Nat;
'The heart of the matter is that you have a Mother's heart. You feel that as a mother you have failed because you did not keep your son alive. Keep him safe; keep him well. You channel all your energy into elevating him, glorifying him. But he has been glorified. He has been exalted on high. You need only love and remember him, you do not have to carry him and lift him up. It is time to lift yourself.'
Nat went on to say that it is time to lift my own heart up. Time to live fully for myself. I did not lose half of myself when I lost my beloved son Jeremy.
I found the message very powerful. As you can imagine I am overjoyed that Jezz continues to get through to me in his loving way.
Know this has been long. I congratulate you if you have managed to get to the end. It is important for me to keep this as my own record especially as I am unable to write in my Diary currently with the problem with the nerves in my arm and hand.
Tomorrow, I will see Dr Desouza, yet again, for the results of the CT Scan. Praying that there is a simple solution, nothing more than a bereaved mother that bottled her grief to the point that the pain was expressed physically. I am asking for a miracle!
Please pray for me and may your days be filled with love, light and laughter.
It would also be useful if someone could help me with formatting. How do I manage to get double spacing when the Post is published? I do double spacing, always in the draft, and yet it is all bunched up and difficult to read when published. Help! Please...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Following Right On

Thankfully it is Friday! I have not forgotten the love and friendship that filled the Comments on my last Post and will certainly respond later in the day. This has been a tough week in many ways, although there is no doubt in my mind that it has shown me one of the many reasons I love to blog.

I do hope you can feel the love and appreciation that is coming your way in gratitude. May God Bless you and keep you strong.

A quick update for those of you interested in Ness' progress. Chemo was due to begin this week. I was contemplating a suitable gift to send her, knowing how difficult the journey is, especially for someone just 32 years of age. I carefully chose a beautiful blue Swarovoski butterfly from my own collection rather than buying her something new. As the name Vanessa means butterfly, I had the feeling it was just perfefct.

My relationship with Haydn!!
Haydn did apologise and has said that he will make a real effort. I accept that he will do his best! My stepdaughter Claire tells people that 'Dad duped Cheryl!' She has always said that he became a different person from when we met until we walked down the isle. He then reverted to his former self! Interesting observation!
Unfortunately, Hayd seems to think that had we not had the many dramas that have plagued our time together his life would be different maybe even perfect! Somehow, I struggle with that concept, although there are times that I feel our relationship has not had a chance. To me, life is what I chose to make it. Maybe that is why I am so good at playing 'mind' games with myself.

I was smiling reflecting on Lisa's Post and the media in our lives. Do we or do we not watch television and read the newspapers? Personally, I choose to watch a couple of programmes that inspire me and sit comfortably with my belief system. It seemsHaydn has become very negative since retiring. Watching TV from 4pm until bedtime at 8pm tells me that is not what I want for myself. He states frequently that Melbourne Bitter (beer) is his 'best' friend. Is that sad or what?

Only time will tell whether or not our relationship survives this. At least there is open discussion.

Saw Dr Desouza yesterday. He provided a request for a steroid injection into the bursa using ultrasound for accuracy. First available appointment is 2 April. He does feel that maybe the doctors had been looking for something complex while, just maybe, it is a couple of simple things. Let's hope he is right! I am mindful of Jeremy's message! I have to want to live!!!!

In the meantime, I have decided that there are risks involved with taking the Oxycontin and Endone at the rate that I gobble them up so I have now made the decision to seek the help of an acupuncturist. It seems I have nothing to lose except my pain.

During the 2 week wait I will seek out the services of a physiotherapist as well as the acupuncturist.

I do have Haydn's full support on both. That is great news!

Until next time my friends... live life to the full and may each day be filled with love and laughter

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March Mayhem

Today has been a sad day!
I have always made an effort to keep the close personal 'stuff' off these pages believing that my writing is to be an 'inspiration' for future generations. A way to get to know me when I am no longer able to be part of their lives.
Today I have reason to reflect on the month of March.
14 March 1994
Raymond John Radford beloved husband and father passed to Eternal Life
18 March 1942
Raymond John Radford born to this life
21 March
Leigh, to become wife to Haydn was born
31 March 1996
Leigh passed in tragic circumstances
31 March
Haydn's Birthday
March 2003
Cheryl diagnosed with breast cancer
Seems that since marrying Haydn in 1996 March has been one month that we like to put behind us.
Was I surprised to find today that I was practically given my marching orders? Probably not! It has been brewing for some time. It seems that I am guilty of making 'bad' choices regarding my health. How do I know that all of the supplements that I take work?
Probably good to do a quick brief. At the time of my diagnosis I made the decision to choose complimentary and alternate therapies believing that my own healing system was capable of healing me. Having had a melanoma I was not prepared to undergo a biopsy in the belief that if there were melanoma cells in the breast lump then it could easily be spread. Melanoma is insidious! I had no intention of dying and leaving my youngest son an orpan.
Finding that my step daughter lied to me about her eating disorder caused me enormous stress. It may have been less had I not discovered bags of vomit in her bedroom! I am not sure that I have ever learned to handle stress without it taking its toll. My cancer returned in 2005 and I underwent a mastectomy.
At the time I said 'thank you' but 'NO thank you' to both chemo and radiotherapy. I was either very brave or very stupid. The jury is still out on that one!
OK I must admit that behind the unrest is a reading from a psychic who said that I would marry again after meeting the man of my dreams. I thought nothing of it at the time or I would never have allowed Haydn to read the notes. Haydn has been stewing over it ever since.
Today I was informed that there is nothing between us, that we have grown further apart. As only Haydn can, I was brutally told that any fool could see that being on the computer was responsible for both the thrombosis and the pain that now turns out to be bursitis.
Let me offer by way of explanation that Haydn's first wife Leigh suffered from mental illness and spent many years seeking help for the pain that the doctors could find no cause for. It was certainly real to her. She was almost bedridden for extended periods of time.
As Haydn has watched me suffer for the past 8 months it has brought back memories that he would like to forget. I have been accused of being 'different!' I am wondering why that is such a difficult thing to accept.
I remember Haydn standing beside me at the time of my breast cancer diagnosis in 2003 saying 'This is our journey'
Now I am faced with the knowledge that his almost 13 years with me feels like an extension of the 30 he had with his late wife. He wanted someone that has been happily married. I put up my hand! What he got was more of the same.
My grief - the loss of my beloved child - plus 8 months of pain has seen the physical side of our relationship change. God forbid he even mentioned going to a brothel. Sounds pretty desperate to me.
Throughout the sermon there was not talk of the two legal battles that have taken place over the past few years. The solicitor -chosen by Haydn - that employed secretaries, incapable of producing letters without errors. Haydn and I were left to either write the letters, or proof read and do corrections, prior to the letters leaving the solicitors office. This is coming from two people that left school at 14 to join the workforce.
Then the house was sold in February 2008 with a planned retirement in June of that year. Haydn's partner in the Company put a stop on the Trading Account in June knowing that it was the end of the financial year. Another legal battle which has only just ended and has cost many thousands of dollars.
While the battle raged we lived in a colourbond shed at the factory. I cooked for 18 months on a camp oven in an industrial shed.
The timing of our retirement was slightly off with a huge decrease in Haydn's asset base. Like many others he has lost a lot of money on the share market.
So my dear friends I do hope you can make sense of this. I am not sure I can as I contemplate my future.
I have just realised that I am still having problems with formatting. In particular the spacing is not as I want it to be however tonight is not the night to worry about it. Hope the reading is not too difficult.
Live life, laugh and love always xo

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One Step Foreward

Guess it is about three weeks since I gave up my regular habit of being on the computer blogging, lighting candles on Memory-of sites and emailing near and distant friends. It was August 2008 that the debilitating pain in my right shoulder and arm began. I have been taking Oxycontin and Endone since the beginning of January. There is never a time that I am completely pain free.

An ultrasound yesterday confirmed that I do have very pronounced bursitis of the right shoulder. It seems that there could be another problem as it appears that the tingling and numbness in the three middle fingers of that hand is not related to the bursitis.

I will be seeing my doctor on Thursday for confirmation and treatment options. The length of time taken to diagnose the problem could, in fact, mean that choices for treatment are limited. Too late for simple steps like rest ice and elevation although I have been doing that for the past three weeks.

An injection of coirticosteroid drugs into the bursa, under ultrasound is often recommended. Given that I have lymphoedema in that arm there are risks involved with needles into the lymphoedema arm. At the time of the mastectomy the instructions were very clear. Any activity that involves the risk of broken skin leading to infection and possible cellulitis is to be avoided.

Yesterday while waiting in the doctor's rooms I sat next to a patient that was coughing and spluttering. I immediately thought of whooping cough - without the whoop, or even pneumonia. After dinner I became aware that I had a sore throat. Being me, I decided to gargle with my Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) and even took a dose, not taking into account that it could see the morphine in my body as a foreign substance and knock it right out. That done, I found myself in extreme pain, which is not being controlled by the 20mg of Oxycontin which I currently take night and morning.

A very valuable lesson; I am paying the price.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Another Tragic Accident

Damian and Jascha
As a family, our first opportunity to settle came when we purchased the Lakes Entrance Squash and Fitness Centre, Victoria in 1981.
Damian and Megan settled into St Brendan's School very quickly, loving the fact that they would not be expected to move again. We had always been on transfer status with Dad Ray working for International Harvester Company.
Damian very quickly made friends. Among his close personal friends, Geoff Bottom was a stand out.
In 1990 my late husband Ray was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Removal of the tumour left him paralysed down one side. At that time it was discovered that he also had a tumour in the lung.
Ray was no longer able to perform the duties that he loved so much at the Fitness Centre. The Centre was sold and we prepared for a move to Lake Macquarie as Ray wanted more than any thing else to spend precious moments with his elderly Mother. Knowing that he had limited time, this filled Ray's heart with immense pleasure, giving him a deep sense of peace and love. Pearl always referred to Ray as 'My Baby'
Ray, Damian, Jeremy and I made the move to Warners Bay. Megan chose to remain in Lakes Entrance giving her the opportunity to keep her horse and other animals.
After Ray's passing in 1994 we were a little lost. Geoff Bottom made contact with Damian and suggested that they move to Melbourne together. Geoff said later that it was a great move as Damian was an excellent cook and kept an immaculate house. He had been well trained!
The constant cleaning of the squash and fitness centre gave him good skills. The children well remember the hours spent sweeping floors, cleaning toilets and showers as well as the glass front door that patrons insisted on touching with their hands rather than using the door handles.
Living in Melbourne Damian met and married Amanda. Geoff, who was best man at the wedding met Melinda (Amanda's sister) as she was also part of the Bridal Party. They married shortly after. They made the move back to Lakes Entrance.
On Thursday evening there was a tragic motor vehicle accident in Lakes Entrance. Geoff's first born child JAY (Jascha's cousin) lost his life.
Geoff was in Melbourne, intending to catch up with Damian at the time of the accident. A very close family, Geoff's children were with their sister (Aunty Liz.) I understand all of the children were in the 4 wheel-drive vehicle at the time of the accident.
It is with a sad and heavy heart that we say goodbye to this precious little 10 year-old.
An Angel in the Book of Life
wrote down your babies birth.
Whispered as she closed the book
'Too Beautiful for Earth'

Thursday, March 12, 2009

An Unusual Messenger

This morning I received a card, wishing me good health and a lifetime of beautiful sunsets. It came from Kim, a delightful, but distant friend. In the card she mentioned that she was to have a psychic reading today with Jacki at Warners Bay.

This afternoon I phoned to thank her for the card. Her voice was animated and she began the conversation by saying that she had been waiting for my call.

It was amazing! I learned that my name had come up throughout the reading.

Jacki began by asking 'Who is Cheryl'

Kim said that I was her friend.

Jacki said there was something about breast cancer and that I am causing my own cancer problems. She went on to say 'She is angry at losing her son.' Her son says it was time for him to go. If he had not been taken in a motor vehicle accident it would have happened in some other way.

Kim was was writing furiously at this time and amazed that she was learning so much from Jeremy, through Jacki.

Kim, realised at this time that she was feeling pain in her neck.

Jacki said 'You have a problem with your neck!'

Kim replied that there was nothing that she was aware of and was laughing when I told her this afternoon that my General Practitioner, Dr De Souza had suggested to me on Monday that he thought that one of my problems was coming from my neck and the area of the T2. He suggested that I could have several problems, the major one being in the area of the neck/upper spine. We will be looking to do a CAT Scan once the ultrasound has been done of the right shoulder. That is scheduled for Monday morning.

Jacki said there is something about a web site and that Jeremy is always with me when I am on the site. How proud I am to have had the opportunity to set up a Memory-of site to keep his memory alive. Through the site, I now share the journey with my amazing Angel Family friends.

Jeremy wanted us to know that there was someone with him at the time of his passing. I am not surprised by that, but now wonder if he is in fact referring to Michael, who came upon the accident and held Jezz in his arms as he took his final breath. Just maybe, it could have been his much loved Dad who lost his battle with cancer in 1994.

Jacki to Kim; Cheryl's son says for Mum to 'Wake up to herself!' She is doing this to herself. She must want to live!

I have been told that I must write 'The Book.'

Laughingly I asked Kim how she felt about paying for a reading that so obviously had important messages for me. I think, just maybe, it is time I took her to lunch.

As I sign off for the evening, with love and gratitude, I would like to say how much I appreciate your Comments to my Posts. I feel your warmth and support. It does have a huge bearing on my ability to get through each day at this very difficult time.

I find that I am still able to follow your blogs but not always able to leave comments due to my current limitations. This has certainly gone on much longer than I would have expected however, I find myself being patient as I seek the answers that will allow the healing to take place.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Tough Lesson

Hello all
I find that I am nowhere near resuming normal activities, even after 2 weeks of being a 'lounge lizard.' The doctors are still looking for the cause while I continue to seek outside help with alternate therapies.
Being on the computer is agonising however, I felt that I really wanted to share with you the following which I have taken from the book 'Extraordinary Healing' by Art Brownstein MD. I am testing the theory.
I quote: 'Pain, particularly of a chronic nature, often carries with it deeper messages than merely indicating that something is wrong in your body. Although pain can be a living hell, it can also be a great teacher and a blessing in disguise. Pain opens us up, broadens our horizons, enlarges our perspectives, expands our minds, makes us more tolerant, teaches us patience and endurance, and toughens our spirits and moral fiber. Pain teaches us compassion and understanding and teaches us to become better people. After you've been through pain and you've survived the sheer brutality of its force and power, you'll never take anything in life for granted again. As gold is purified by superheating, so too the hell fires of pain can purify your soul and make you a better, stronger, more caring person.
No matter how long it has lasted, pain in always temporary. Once you have learned its deeper lesson, the pain will be released from your body and you will be free from its tyranny.'
I am waiting patiently to be released from this, often unbearable, pain and look forward to being on top of life once again.
Until then, know that I love you and miss everything about the amazing friendships that I have formed since beginning this journey