Sunday, May 1, 2011

X Marks the Spot

'The struggle of life is one of our greatest blessings. It makes us patient, sensitive, and 'Godlike.' It teaches us that although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.'
Helen Keller

As mentioned in my previous post, research has me believing that my current cancer crisis is a result of radiation treatment that was, not only ineffective, but damaging. The lesion growing on the clavicle is actually at the site of the radiation tattoo given prior to my treatment. It was intended to be used as a guide, allowing the rays to be directed accurately. With this 'monster'  growing on my clavicle, it is obvious that the 'tattoo' is almost directly below it and only millimetres away. Too close for there not to be some relationship between the two.

From what I can make out, it is possible that the cancer cells were damaged with treatment rather than killed. At no time was I told that secondary cancer was a possible [probable] side effect. I now ask myself why I did not undertake more of my own research; as I  would normally have done ? In reality, I had been in severe pain for months and felt so relieved to actually be given the diagnosis of Breast Cancer recurrence in the Brachial Plexus that it was exciting for me to learn that it would 'cure' my pain, thus reducing my need for Opiates. I believed the Radiation Oncologist when he told me it was my only option. He offered me Hope!

Apparently, when the cells are damaged they become radical cells causing the body to produce growth hormones in an effort to heal. Instead of having a slow growing lesion I now have a cancer behaving aggressively. Each day I scrutinise the area to determine if there is an increase in size. It is currently about 8cm.

Cancer of the soft tissue is not normally fatal. What I do not know is how I am supposed to overcome the pain and suffering that is beginning to rule my life again. I refuse to increase my Oxycontin dosage, after all, getting off of the opiates was the reason I agreed to undertake Radiation Therapy in June 2009.

I spoke to a Biochemist friend and I believed him when he told me that he had scheduled a conference call with three other Health Care Professionals for 11am Wednesday morning. I was to call him Wednesday afternoon. Unfortunately, when I made the call he abruptly said that HE TOLD ME he would call me Thursday. I felt disappointed! I mentioned it to Haydn who, fortunately, had overheard the original conversation. The arrangement was that I WAS TO RING Wednesday afternoon. I have heard nothing since and my pride will not allow me to call him again as he appeared to give me the 'short shift' on the last call.

Guess that leaves me on my own for the time being as I wait for for another door to open.


Anonymous said...

I am praying that another door opens soon for you, my precious friend. Holding you close in my heart and prayers, always. As for your "friend" and his behavior, it is unexcuseable, but maybe it was a "miscommunication" error. Hopefully, you will hear from him soon and with some good news. Lots & lots of gentle hugs and love being sent your way, Cheryl.

Starry said...

Oh Chez, what a mess.... and I can feel how much the biochemist's shortness hurt you, more so because you consider him a friend. Pride... I know it well, and it would hold me back from calling again too.
And its difficult to encourage you to keep hoping, when you have lived on disappointed hopes for so long.
But what else makes life palatable except faith and hope?
So as always, I am sending you hope and prayers, and love, of course, always love xoxox Starry

Anonymous said...

Chez I feel your hurt with the abruptness of this 'friend'. I too saw the same when I needed help in India regarding colleges. Do not worry.. God is looking down on you.. and he will show you another way very soon. And please keep fighting this.. I want you to get over it.. to be healthy and happy. All of your readers are with you. You have to be strong for us. I wish I can take the pain away from you.. and I would bare it all. I hate seeing people in pain you are in my thoughts and prayers. Hoping for good news soon. Sending hugs your way. xo

Chez said...

Love and thanks my 'anon' friend. My 'friend' was doing it as a favour so I really cannot be too upset.
I am reminded of one of my favourite sayings 'Things work out best for people who make the best of the way things work out.'
Much love xo

Chez said...

Oh Starry I am so looking for 'smooth' sailing at this time. I have had enough 'challenges' to last me a lifetime. And then some!
My biochemist friend has been 'struck off' the Register, which probably accounts for his unusual behaviour.
Have been thinking of you such a lot knowing that there will be a 'settling in' process with being home from SA. Although I have not phoned, I will! It is simply a matter of no 'if' but 'when.'
Love always my friend xo

Chez said...

Emmy you are so sweet. Recovering from disappointments can be challenging and yet, it is our faith that sees us through.
I think it was my last post in which I said that my 'cyber' friends have become more like family than my own. Promise sweetie, will be doing my best to find a way to overcome this. Will not let you down because I would be letting myself down.
Love and gratitude xo

rama said...

I can understand your feeling, but you are missing the point , although he might have told you that you should call him, however when you called him probably he did not have the answer you were looking for, and that is why he must have been irritated with himself for not finding an answer right then. Maybe they are all working on coming out with a solution for your problem, and that is why he said he would call back.
In your eagerness to get to the root of this problem you are restless, but you can't call him. it is understandable.
But stop worrying, and have faith that he is your friend and he would call you back as soon as he finds something for you.
Plus you do have so many friends all over the world looking out for you, and have faith in their prayers, your prayers and your own faith in God.
You would definitely come out of it.
Love you, Rama.

Kaz said...

Chez,yes u have been thru more then anyone should have to go thru.know i am always here to hug and love you.I am your PITA always.many prayers that all will work out as you say.

Love u Bunches,Kaz.xoxo

Chez said...

Thank you so much Rama. Yes! I am irritated, and for many reasons. I have no idea where to turn. The last time I felt like this was when my breast tumour was growing and fungating on the outside of my breast. It was 2005 and I opened the newspaper to see accusations made about my 'friend.' I curled up in the fetal position. Although it did not last long it was devastating at the time.
I have always been blessed with a solution to my problem and I expect this will be no different. Jesus said 'Ask and you shall receive' so, as I ask for guidance and healing I am secure in the knowledge that there are many asking on my behalf. I think it also says somewhere that when more than one gather to pray their prayers will be heard.
Thank you for your support my friend. I feel truly blessed xo

Chez said...

Thanx heaps Kazzy. Will talk to you on the phone sweetie. Put on my fb page about your great mail service haha
Love always xo

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

Dear Chez

I am so sorry about the misunderstanding with your biochemist friend. Perhaps it was an honest mistake.

Radiation can cause cancer by causing mutations. It is not clear what the incidence of breast cancer radiation causing the skin cancer nearby but there is a clear link between the radiation used for some other cancers with even higher amounts used with BC. At any rate, what caused this recurrence isn't as important as what they are planning to do about it. Is surgery an option?
I do hope that there is a painfree solution.

diane b said...

I hope another door opens for you and you get that call soon. Sorry to hear that you have pain again.

Chez said...

Sue, there must be a reason for these circumstances. Haydn constantly asks me about getting another opinion or even travelling overseas. Travel Insurance is a problem and with the pain requiring opiates there are too many risks. Mutated cells are much more difficult to treat.
There will be a way. In the meantime, it is my intention to focus on finding answers. Meditation is a very useful tool to deal with pain. Time to get on with it!

Chez said...

Diane b it does seem to be a 'learning' curve. Always have those magnificent pictures of yours as a distraction. Thank you.

Diana Doyle said...

Chez, Sending you healing love in this message.

The medical world leaves a lot to be desired...sometimes its only through our own determination and spirit that we can find help and answers to heal us. And your beautiful spirit shines through Chez!

I will be hoping that soon you get some answers. There's a lot of us here that are praying and thinking of you during these 'challenges.' And that also love your caring ways to us all.

You remind me a lot of my mum. x

Sending love as always from across the pone.
Diana x

nancyspoint said...

Chez, I am so sorry you are dealing with more pain as well as disappointment in your biochemist friend. It's hard to find the energy to research on your own. I hope a new door does open and when you walk through it, you find answers, relief and satisfaction. Good luck.

Beth L. Gainer said...

Chez, you are not to blame for not questioning or researching more. As a patient, you are vulnerable and cling to as much hope as doctors can offer. It's so easy to blame ourselves when we've been misguided.

Hang in there and know that so many in our community are here to support you.

Alli said...

You and I have talked about this just a few short days ago and I still say that you must take advantage of every opportunity that avails you. Contact some of these clinics in Europe get information set up a telephone conference call,
Do everything that you have to do . Sometimes the answers are not as readily available We have to search for what we need. We have talked about being pro-active , the more I know about how some of these specialized fields work, the more I have concluded in order to facilitate answers WE have to ask the questions and keep asking until we are satisfied. I don't want you to lose hope in fact I want you to take this be pissed off , because I have found through my own issues the more pissed off you are the more you are apt to find what you are looking for. It may not be a window but a door you go through.. Don't forget we have a trip to go on...

Chez said...

Diana it seems we have our own stories with all things medical. Sometimes I wonder just how much they do know. This appears to have them baffled;I am reluctant to be the 'guinea pig.'
I truly feel this is in God's hands now. I am so very grateful to you, and my very special band of 'virtual' friends, for the love and support that keeps me going.
I am so very glad that we have had the opportunity to become friends and I am smiling at what I take as a beautiful compliment with the reference to your Mum.
Love and gratitude always xo

Chez said...

Nancy, at this time you will see there has been a change and my 'friend' has come through for me. I felt so lost without him as I have always taken his advice to 'compliment' my doctor's treatment. Seems I have had a reprieve. Thankfully!
Do hope all is well in your world xo

Chez said...

Beth I appreciate what you have said as I have been doing a great job of 'beating' myself up.
Guess I have lived with this disease for so many years that I am well and truly 'over' letting it dominate my life and yet I still feel the need to have some 'control.'
Many thanks xo

Chez said...

Alli my friend, thank you so much. I will give you a ring on this as that is much easier for me dear friend. Love Chez xo