Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Day Before Yesterday

'The more serious the illness, the more important it is for you to fight back, mobilising all your resources, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical'
-Norman Cousins

It seems to me that spiritual, emotional and intellectual health are deeply intertwined, having a profound affect on each other. Although I often feel I would give anything not to be experiencing this dreadful disease with all its side effects, I make every effort to look at it in a more positive light, using it for my own spiritual growth. This allows me to better deal with the chronic pain, as well as the limits placed on me by the diminishing use of my right arm/hand, as well as the clavicular lesion that is beginning to cause more problems. It allows me to find more meaning and purpose to my life and to live more fully in the 'now,' This brings me back to my soul and offers spiritual transformation and self realisation.

For reasons unknown, I have now become more conscious that it has taken me a great deal of pain and suffering to virtually 'force' me to grow spiritually and emotionally. In 'The Alchemy of Illness,' Kat Duff teaches us that the Indigenous communities believe that illness is the most reliable means of revelation and knowledge. We are forever changed by the experience of serious illness, learning things we would never have learned otherwise. Enriched Spiritual Health offers us comfort, meaning, harmony and purpose, hope strength and inner peace. Imagine how much easier life would be if we set out to develop these skills. Spiritual growth is about finding meaning and purpose in our life, discovering who we truly are and connecting with inner strength/peace hope and comfort in troubled times.- from information taken from Cynthia Perkins, M. Ed.

Experiencing life completely and consciously, even in the midst of great pain and suffering, is the essence of true spiritual growth. 'Be still and know that I am God' is the mantra that I use during my most difficult times.

The day before yesterday I woke to find my clavicular lesion weeping haemoserous. Although I was scheduled to have a fine needle biopsy on Monday I cancelled the appointment. I immediately phoned my' amazing' new Medical Oncologist, Dr Andre, explaining that I was fearful of the thought of a needle penetrating the wound. I feel there is no guarantee that it will not be the beginning of an open, ulcerating sore. I understand that my decision may, in effect, make it more difficult for him to choose suitable drugs should chemotherapy turn out to be my only option. I felt the procedure carries too many risks for my liking. He is adorable! He simply said that was' perfectly fine' with him. Although the changes were obvious, with the centre becoming opaque on Sunday, changing to blood filled Monday, I simply was not prepared for the weeping to begin Tuesday. My understanding is that this is the beginning of the ulceration, possible fungation of my tumour.

As we had planned to take my near new notebook computer into Maitland to have the data transferred I called in to see the on duty palliative care nurse regarding dressings. Sally said it was out of her area of expertise and nominated the community nurse who called in to see me today. Although I found her to be delightful, I immediately removed the dressing on her departure as I felt the dressing was not large enough and the tape was attached to an area of radiation damage. I find dressings and tape very irritating. Guess it will be up to Haydn to work it out with me. As usual!


Kaz said...

Chez you are one amazing lady and you always look where you need to for answer just some take long to see then others.Know we have talk about this on the phone.

Chez seen H dressing before,but he sure does try and it works.

Gentle hugs and loads of love always.Kaz.xo

Jerry Carlin said...

Chez, yes, you are amazing and one tough lady! It would be nice if one could really laugh their way out of illness. Sometimes I think I would have rather remained naaive
and dumb; cancer was a gift I could have done without! You are always in my thoughts and a source of strength!

Cheryl said...

Kazzy♥ you can see that the blog post has had to come before any other communication tonight.
Thanks for your 'vote of confidence' my friend. This is really pretty scary stuff!!!!
H is getting better at 'dressing' but only my wounds haha

Cheryl said...

StonePost thank you for your kind sentiments. You know I do agree with you whole heartedly; I could have learned my life lessons with less pain and suffering.
Although I endeavour not to feel sorry for myself, life seems so unfair at times.
Have my new computer and will master Dragon [hopefully] and look forward to more regular communication my friend♣

Anonymous said...

Cheryl, I am so sorry to hear that the changes to your lesion are obvious and happening so quickly. I pray your "amazing" new Medical Oncologist, Dr Andre can find suitable treatments that will enhance some what improvement.

I am so pleased that you have finally taken your notebook in to Maitland to have the Dragon program installed!!

The Independence you will gain via the speech recognition to google and communicate on line will bring you satisfaction, and hopefully by resting your arm and not having to slog away at the keys will allow you to spend more time on line writing your beautiful blog...You are always in my thoughts.

Sending you gentle hugs and love always~Edwina Xx

Rama Ananth said...

I am really amazed at your regularity in visiting all your friends blogs, despite so much pain and discomfort. You are indeed a source of inspiration.
There are friends who would not even bother to say Hi, and here you are always coming and leaving some meaningful comments each time we update. You are one true friend.
No wonder you have so many friends and well wishers, who really care for you.
I am always praying for you, for your good health, and I am sure others are also doing so, and with our combined effort soon you should light at the end of the tunnel.
You may think why God is treating you in this way, but I see what a good, extremely brave person he has made you, and I feel God has given you the best gift: a gift of being the best and the most lovable person in the world.
Love, Rama.

Diana Doyle said...

Dearest Chez!

What an inspiration you are! I'm so sorry that you are having to deal with this horrid growth however I am praying for you that the medical field can find some answers that will help you. It must be so hard some days for you.

Your words about growth through illness are so true. I know watching mum deal with things that you are now and also watching our daughter struggle to live has been such a spiritual awakening as you wrote of.

Thank you for reminding us all to be grateful for the little things in friendship and support, which you so freely and lovingly give.

I'm sending sunshine your way in hope your days get better.

with love
Diana x

Anonymous said...

Chez... this positive attitude will take you a long way. It will help you find some treatment for this. People like you are fighters, you fight for what you want in life and I am glad you are doing this. I'm so happy that you are taking the time to keep us updated even though you are in so much pain. I would lend you my strength if I could but you have more strength than I do. You are such an inspiration. Wishing you a fast recovery. xo

Unknown said...

I love hearing about people living in the 'now' becoming more and more aware of the world around them while discovering more about what is inside them, their mind and heart. You came into my life at the time that I was begining to experience life in that way. I think this is what we recognised in each other that made us want to be such friends. Even I can see how much you have grown from that first meeting. You are amazing.

I wish you every protection and healing possible, and send you all my love xoxox Starry

Cheryl said...

Edwina♥my beautiful friend. Thank you for your friendship and support on this journey.I know our boys are 'angels' together and I give thanks to them for bringing us together.
Today I saw the radiation oncologist; that is a story for another day.My lesion is looking like something I picked up from the jungles of Borneo. Not nice..
It seems to me you know quite a lot about Dragon.I look forward to mastering the programme. There will be no holding me back then my friend.
Much love and friedship to you lovely lady♥

Cheryl said...

'I feel God has given you the best gift: a gift of being the best and the most lovable person in the world.'
Rama, tonight I am close to tears as I read your words, along with the words of other friends, in response to this particular post. It is certainly a time to be mindful of keeping the 'ego' in check.
My strength comes from my 'Dream Team' and I thank you for coming into my life my friend♥

Cheryl said...

Diana♥you know only too well the pain and suffering that can be associated with the 'journey' of life and how absolutely essential loving friends are. I simply could not do this alone and I thank you for coming into my life lovely lady.
May our journeys be gentle dear friend.

Cheryl said...

Emmy you are young and already open to learning the 'lessons of life.' You will go a long way!
It seems there is truth in the saying that what does not kill you makes you stronger. I feel a strong constitution has been a gift of God and not to go unused.
God willing, I will be here to write for many more years.
May you find strength and your journey be gentle♥

Cheryl said...

Sweet Starry, your love and support has been an integral part of this journey. You are so right! We each recognised 'something' in each other those years ago when we entered the 'Blogging' arena. More importantly, we share with each other something very special for which I am very grateful my dearest friend.
Thank you for being here with me offering love, wisdom and so much more. Let us continue to make a difference together lovely lady♥ God willing xo

artistdeb said...

Hello Dear Cheryl-
I am learning as well that it seems we have to be "broken open" to be open to the completeness of God's love. Sending all good thoughts your way. Love, Deb

WhiteStone said...

I'm hoping your Onc can find some relief for you in regards to this cancerous wound. I'm thinking gentle thoughts and praying for you.

Julie Goodale said...

I've often told the Universe that I really am an intelligent person, I am capable of understanding many things. Really, couldn't I learn some of these lessons in an easier way???

You amaze me, Chez. I so admire your honesty & continued search for meaning.

I am sorry at this new development, & as always, I'm sending you thoughts of strength & peace.

diane b said...

You are an amazing lady. To find a positive outcome to your pain and suffering. I hope treatment will help with the lesion even though it doesn't sound promising. keep up your spirits keep on fighting. Wish I could help.

nancyspoint said...

Like others have said, we are intelligent creatures capable of learning through easier means are we not? Unfortunately, we do not get to choose our life burdens as you know only too well. We do get to choose how we deal with them and I admire the choices you have made in that regard, Chez. I am so glad your oncologist is treating you so kindly. Warmest regards my friend.

Anonymous said...

Cheers to adorable oncologists! So glad he's taking good care of you--you deserve the best. Your optimism in the face of seeming unending complications is inspiring. said...

It's hard for me to fathom what you're going through, how incredibly aweful it must be, and yet, you are aware of how God is using this to further your spiritual growth. Please know that daily, you are becoming more pleasing in His sight.


Beth L. Gainer said...

Nice posting and very insightful. I admire your perseverance and ability to have great insight about suffering.

Have you ever read Victor Frankl's book Man's Search for Meaning? It's truly excellent and discusses that suffering is acceptable if we as humans find meaning in it; sometimes a very difficult thing to do.

Keep fighting!

Cheryl said...

Deb, after a week with no internet I am at last able to respond. It is a shame the lessons are often so difficult♥ Thank you for being here with me on this journey.

Cheryl said...

Thank you for making a difference WhiteStone.

Cheryl said...

I do understand Julie. Why do these very valuable lessons have to be so difficult? I look forward to the day that I view it backwards. I am so grateful to my many 'blog buddies' for waqlking with me on this journey. Many thanks

Cheryl said...

Diane b while there is hope, there is life. I never give up on my belief that there is a way...
Thank you for your kind thoughts

Cheryl said...

Thank you so much for being part of my ♥Dream Team♥ and for making a difference with your presence in my life

Cheryl said...

Pinkunderbelly welcome to my reading list. Having had no www for the past week I am a little behind. Looking forward to reading more of your story

Cheryl said...

Brenda♥ we both know of pain and suffering. The Bible tells many tales of those who have endured great suffering only to become closer to Jesus. The journey is not too hard with the Grace of God. It is a gift from Him. Much love my friend. Always with you in thought and prayer♥Brenda

Cheryl said...

Thank you Beth. I will certainly keep an eye out for the book as finding meaning is absolutely essential to the success [or failure]of the journey.
Thank you for being here with me at this time.

sm said...

beautiful quote
You are like inspiration to everyone
how to fight back.
needle going into wound terrible.
Its good that you found the good doctor.