Friday, April 24, 2009

Update

I cannot help but notice how much more difficult writing has become with the increased dosage of Oxycontin/Oxynorm used to reduce my pain levels. It has been nine agonising months since I began to feel the pain in the right shoulder and arm. It seems that, at last, we are closer to finding the cause, and the solution, to the pain that has kept me away from the keyboard and the very people that brighten my sometimes dark days. I have missed you all and look forward to resuming regular entries.

Reflecting on the period since my mastectomy in December 2005 I seem to be getting a clear picture. Shortly after my surgery Haydn and I found ourselves travelling frequently to Dubbo to spend time with my elderly Mother who was experiencing severe abdominal pain and was not at all well. Mum died several weeks prior to the accident that took the life of my youngest son in November 2006.

In June 2007 I found myself with another breast lump. I was not surprised! Although I sought medical advice, and the lump was monitored, I now realise that I did not see a future for myself. My will to live was simply not 100%. Fortunately, with time, my body, mind and spirit has undergone enormous healing, and I am, once again, doing battle to give me back my life.

Looking at my reports I see that I have had several CT scans and one bone scan over the past months. I am still unsure why nothing was done however, I believe we are now close to finding the solution that will soon see me pain free. Could it simply have been that I was not ready for the fight?

In February my regular GP returned from an extended break. At the time of my consultation, I presented with pain in the arm and limited usage plus a loss of strength. There was also the problem of pins and needles in the three middle fingers I had been prescribed morphine in January by another doctor in the practice. My doctor recommended an MRI. Our Medicare system meant that he was unable to requisition it as it could only be done by a specialist. Firstly there would be a process of elimination.

Thankfully, my condition is now been treated as urgent. Appointments have been moved and changed and my MRI was done Tuesday. Yesterday I returned to Dr Katekar to be told that there appears to be a local recurrence. The pictures are consistent with metastatic infiltration of the right thoracic outlet, including muscles and the nerves of the brachial plexus. Ouch! No wonder the pain is agonising. In simple language, it seems that there is active cancer in the nerves.

I am to see my GP on Monday. Hopefully, he will have set up an appointment with an oncologist at the Mater Hospital (getting closer to that elusive cup of coffee Lisa.) Dr Katekar made it clear that he in not an oncologist but did suggest that I will possibly be given radiotherapy to reduce the size of the tumour and to kill the active cancer in the nerves. Bingo! The pain will then be reduced and so too, the need for morphine.

It seems that a tremendous load has been lifted. I am encouraged by the scans which show there is still only one tumour. It has not increased in size although there is an abundance of fluid and swelling in that area. I am optimistic that, reducing the tumour size slightly, will allow me to co-operate fully with my body's own self-healing mechanisms as the radiotherapy does its work.

Today I give thanks, knowing that this is a good outcome. Our prayers have been answered!

I am grateful for your friendship and your loyalty and feel excited at the prospect of, once more, becoming a regular contributor and follower.

32 comments:

Daria said...

Where do we find the courage for all this ... I'm hoping and praying for the best.

Thinking of you ...

Michelle said...

I wish my mum had your attitude.

I wish you well.

xxx

Chez said...

Thank you so much Daria. I rely a lot on prayer and my faith these days..

Chez said...

Michelle, thankfully I have always been given the gift of strength and a positive attitude.
Pray your Mum can see the light.

Audrey said...

Oh Chez, I am so happy to see you back here! You are sorely (sorry - bad choice of words!) missed! And I am thrilled that you are closing in on an answer. As you indicated, let the healing begin!
Love to you!
xoxoxo

Chez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chez said...

Audrey, it is lovely to be back. I gain strength from you and my 'Blogspot' friends.
We know we are on a battle front. Don't we? Let the battle begin and the healing take place my friend.

Anonymous said...

Hey sweetie, i cry with all the writing but so glad u have answer. I so pray to god they come out all good. I was so woried about this.. I will write more on this as right now i can't.. Love u lots and sending Butterfly Kisses... Hugs Kaz...xoxo

Diane Rodgers said...

Hi my special friend....
I just finished emailing you...To hard to write here right now...
You are the most AMAZING person I have ever met ... such a gift to so many people you are...and will continue to be. We will all be here for you sweetie, as you have taught us all so well... to look at he positive, accept where you are at,make the most and the best of what has been given, and that you are "exactly where you are meant to be"..... These are your words I have read so many times ...and they have left a huge impression on my heart...your words are a living breathing thing Cheryl...everybody's words are.. So we must choose them wisely and I want to do that now for you...Love you so much Cheryl...Yesterday,Today and Forever...
Diane
xox

Dragonesque said...

Blessings, Cheryl. Praying for healing and pain relief for you and am inspired by your attitude. Have missed you!
Wendy
~x♥x~

Chez said...

Oh Kaz, we can do this. United we conquer, divided we fall.
Chin up my dear friend.

mandy said...

HAve missed you terribly Chez but I understand that you must get your health right..

I am so pleased that answers are coming forth and now after many months of pain the right treatment can be given to get you on that path of healing and recovery...
Always know that I am thinking of you dear friend..
My prayers are with you on this road and I pray that it will not be a long one...xxx

Chez said...

Diane,deeply touched by your sentiments my dear friend.
Big 'Thank You'. Will write more a little later. Just so tired today!
So grateful for your friendship

Chez said...

Thanks Wendy. Love the friendship I yhave found here. Thanks for being such a big part of it..

Chez said...

Thanks Mandy. Friendship certainly lessons the burden. So glad of your friendship.
I am reminded that 'Things work out the best for the people who make the best of the way things work out'
Cheers and blessings my dear friend xo

Alli said...

Chez you are so part of my prayers right now. You must do everything you can to fight this. You have the inner strength and you will..

Hang in there... and good to see you writing again.....Be blessed

Alli Xx......

Starry said...

I am so encouraged by your positive outlook Chez, but that is not to say you can't ever show another side of how you are thinking or feeling to me. It is good to know the real situation at last and there is every reason to hope that the life you want is at your finger tips. Just keep thinking how wonderful it will be when you can do all the things you have dreamed of these past months, and that even this moment is wonderful as it is a grace and gift of time to get you to where you want to be.
Love you always, and of course, I always send my prayers and dreams,
xxx
Starry

Chez said...

Alli, it makes a huge difference to hear those words of support and encouragement. Important also because you know how difficult the journey can be and how much the days are enhanced by the knowledge that others care.
Thank you and bless you

Chez said...

Oh Starry..it really does seem as though a tremendous load has been lifted. At last! A reason for the pain. I feel eternally grateful for that amazing MRI scan that gave us a clearer pic.
Thank you for your love, support and encouragement my sweet friend. Keeping this short so as not to overdo it.
Thanks and love xoxo

diane said...

Great to see you here again. You are such a strong lady to get up and keep on fighting back everytime you get knocked down. It is encouraging to hear you are so confident of the outcome. I wish you all the best with the treatment.

Breeze said...

I am so glad you have discovered the reason and have some tools to fight this with! I hope they move forward soon so that you can have some relief from this pain you've had.

Your attitude and strength are admirable!

Keep fighting the fight!

Breeze
xxx000

Chez said...

Diane it does seem unfair at times and yet the only way is forward.
Thankfully, I am able to remain positive most of the time which makes a huge difference.
I pray for the day that I am pain free and able to throw the Oxycontin out the door. I believe with all my heart that it will happen.

Chez said...

Thanks so much Breeze. Like you, it is my intention to write so I will be doing everything possible to get back on track.
Your comments, and those of my blogging friends make a huge difference.

Diane Rodgers said...

Love you sweet friend, and looking forward the day when you can throw the oxycontin out the door! Can't sleep tonight....praying for you with all of my heart...Wish I could be there with you....just to hold you and tell you all is going to be ok.....

Shazam said...

Chez, dear lady...nothing you go though diminishes your kindness and light...this blog just reflects it...as you see we are all sending oodles of good thoughts...thank you for sharing your journey with us xx

Sean said...

Precious lady...it is with tremendous fortitude that you have faced all the adversity that has come your way. Six months after losing your beautiful Jeremy, I would have considered you doing well if your will to live was 10%. I admire your tenacity for mental and spiritual healing. You continue to inspire others on the same journey. Now it is time for some physical healing. You have some very caring friends here Cheryl...richly deserved. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Dear friend u have some many here praying for u and u will come out on top so we have our change to meet so looking forward to that. So waiting to see how u made out yesterday, so hard when we are so far away from u. Your always in my thoughts though. I also look forward ti the day the pain meds. are gone and u have some of my special cookies... Love u lots sweetie. Lots of Butterfly Kisses to u. Kaz...xoxo

Robyn said...

Hi Cheryl
Just wanted to let you know that Robert and I have been thinking of you. So pleased to hear that you now feel that things are moving and happening as they should. Your blog on 5 April was just beautiful and touching as that was Phillip's 3rd anniversary, a beautiful quote from Eleanor Roosevelt.
You are constantly in our thoughts. Keep up the good positive thoughts and actions.
Love Robyn

Anonymous said...

hi Chez, so glad you are back with us. your courage is inspiring to say the least. i wish you well and will remember you in my prayers. Fran

Lisa said...

chez, chez- you have been on my mind constantly over the last few days- i am here if needed xx

diane said...

haven't heard from you in a long time. I'm worried that you are not doing well. Thinking of you often.

Debby said...

Oh, my gosh. This sounds like what I am dealing with right now. I have a PET scan scheduled Monday.