Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fellow Bloggers Making a Difference

Today I managed to make it to the Oncology Support Group meeting at the Calvary Mater Hospital. We were let down by technology, thus it was left to the lovely Veronica Fenning  (Social Worker) to come up with a contingency plan. This she did beautifully. Several things came together, giving me a sense of  satisfaction and the hope that others may find pleasure in something that leaves me feeling happy and fulfilled.

I was delighted to see photocopies of blogging information on the table; Veronica encouraged participants to take a copy. This pleased me, as I had previously spoken informally on the subject and I had then sent an email to Veronica leading her to a starting place. I enjoyed speaking openly about a subject that has become an integral part of my cancer journey. There were several things on today's list and these were discussed openly. I think we agreed unanimously that we do best to avoid anyone, or anything, that takes away HOPE. In a discussion on exercise, most felt it was important but did not quite know where to start. I pointed out that it is ironic, the very thing that works for fatigue is exercise at a lower intensity, gradually increasing appropriately. Veronica asked me to expand on that and also where group members would go if they were seeking such information. Big smile on my face, I said 'Where else but fellow bloggers.' It was then I thought of previous posts in which I mentioned my lack of energy. Brenda from Breast Cancer Sisterhood and Julie @ Fitness for Survivors both took the time to email me with personal offers of information and assistance. There is no doubt that I am reminded daily of this wondrous world in which 'Sisterhood' reigns supreme. I am very grateful to you Brenda and Julie. Then, of course, there is Carole who sent me a lovely long email, including list of supplements, that were recommended to her. Where else do we find others so happy to share of themselves?

After the meeting I headed up to have a doppler done to check on the blood clot in my right arm that was originally diagnosed in April. Today's scan was much more thorough and, although I do not yet have the report, I did learn that the sonographer found it very difficult to discern the veins in my neck. He asked about my radiotherapy and I told him that I had been given the highest dose possible. Apparently my Radiation Oncologist decided that any more would negate the benefits and increase the risks. Personally, I feel that many of my problems have come from the after-affects of radiation. How I wish I had the courage to stop at the time my body told me enough was enough. I have increasing amounts of fluid building up in the neck and throat area and the tears literally ran down my cheeks today as he completed the scan. The pain was dreadful! He did comment on the number of 'new' surface veins that are appearing around the chest and arm. I am still a bit in the dark as far as results go!

Dinner over tonight and I turned on the computer to find information from my ISP on a deal on software that will allow me to 'stop typing and start talking.' Once again I am reminded of the generosity of fellow bloggers as I say 'thank you' to Alli who, very kindly, asked a friend of hers about the software he uses to communicate online. What joy! Cannot imagine what it will be like to take up the challenge and learn a skill that will give me freedom on the keyboard once more.

Thank you for the joy that I feel purely because you have come into my life and from showing me that you care. Bless you


Futomara said...

I am touched by your words and hardly know what to say.

Rather than tell my story, let me just make a software recommendation... Nuance's Dragon Naturally Speaking. It's a speech recognition software with 99% accuracy out of the box. It can be found on sale at TigerDirect several times a year.

Wish you the best!

Anonymous said...

Chez, you are such a strong support to all of us who travel this journey. I am so happy that you attended the Oncology group, and that you were able to help others through that. You have a gift, and we are all grateful to you.

Sending lots of prayers and positive thoughts for good results on your Dopplar!

Carole said...

Hi Chez,

Always happy to help whenever possible.
This is what bloggers do best I think, support each other.
I've found so much support, love and kindness since starting my blog - it really does help me get through each day.

I truly hope that you find the supplements help with the ongoing fatigue.

Good luck with the Dopplar, fingers crossed for an excellent result
Much luv, xxxx

Kathryn said...

Thank you so much for your honest words. I am sorry you have had so many struggles in this life to go through. I understand your grief. I lost my husband last November to H1N1 I was 7 and a half months pregnant with our 3rd child. I too blog and have found it very helpful in connecting with others. I will pray for you in hopes that you will be feeling peace, love, and light. That your body is healed from the inside out.
Blessings to you

Futomara said...

I don't know if you subscribed to follow-up comments on my blog, so I will repost my response to your comment.

Thank you. It is nice being appreciated. You have incredible courage and strength. All I did was recommend something I felt would improve your quality of life. I bought Dragon because I never learned to type and took a class last semester that required writing several essays each week. My solution was Dragon because with its accuracy of 99% out of the box and that we can speak at around 125 words per minute, it seemed the right solution. Know anyone that can type that fast? Also, thanks for following my blog.