Tag: cancer

Some new light

Previously

A few weeks ago I talked about being sick and having extreme tingles. I was beginning to think I might be experiencing my “new normal.” This must be how people with chronic pain feel most of the time.

Getting help

It occurred to me that relief could be found with the help of a chiropractor, so I made an appointment with the doctor my brother and sister-in-law see.

First, Dr. Morrow talked with me about my issues. Then he examined me and found that the range of motion in my neck was far below what it should be for someone my age (almost 48.) He took some x-rays and scheduled me for a follow-up appointment for the next day.

Diagnosis

My neck is a mess! A normal cervical spine has a curve like this:

Case courtesy of Dr. Andrew Dixon, Radiopaedia.org. From the case rID: 32505

Mine curves the other way. It’s called retro lordosis. I also have some disc degeneration, spondylosis, and a few other minor things that I won’t bother mentioning.

The fix

Luckily, things can get better. I’ve started getting spinal adjustments, ultrasound treatments, and traction three times a week. I’ll be getting physical therapy as well.

I’m feeling so much better. My range of motion has increased, and I no longer feel so broken.

I’ve been feeling angry at my body for having MS, being overweight, walking weird, etc. Nothing good can come from thinking that way. I need a paradigm shift!

Moving forward

Now that I’m feeling like a human, I can get back to regular blogging. I never realized how much energy you need to sit in front of a computer and type and think.

Coming soon

I see the Hematologist find out if my MGUS has progressed to Multiple Myeloma.

Sneak preview: My M protein number is higher than it’s ever been. 1% of people with an MGUS go on to develop Multiple Myeloma each year. The odds have got to be with me.

Illustration of dice

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In the blood

I’m not sure if I’ve written a post about the fact that I have a Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS). Learn more about it here if you’re interested. I could tell a long story about it, but the abridged version is that I may be heading toward a diagnosis of a blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma.

The average survival rate for people with this condition is five years, but some people live for twenty-five years after being diagnosed. The treatment is a three-drug therapy: bortezomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone. There’s information about a study of that therapy here.

My husband, Ernie, is quite worried that I might one day be diagnosed with this cancer. I am not so concerned because I’m convinced that there is life after death. I’ll write about my interest in near-death experiences (NDEs) another time.

I do owe it to my husband to try and stick around as long as I can. This is where the non-traditional medicine comes in.

There was an Amish healer in Indiana named Solomon Wickey. He is said to have cured people who have cancer and other ailments with herbs, and diet. Ernie knew a few people whose lives were extended after being treated by Wickey, so he believes he was for real. So, Ernie did a Google search for any Wickey protégées that might be practicing. He found a blog post listing a few of them and insisted that I contact one of them. I was resistant to the idea, mostly because I do not currently have Multiple Myeloma. What would I ask the person to cure me of?

Ernie decided he liked one of these people and kept pestering me to call her. I agreed to see her if he would call and make the appointment for me. He made the call, and a week or two later we made the hour and a half drive for a consultation.

I won’t reveal the practitioner’s name unless the next round of blood tests shows a lessening or reversal of the MGUS. I will tell you that her methods could be considered kind of “out there on the fringe.” She put touched my right leg with one hand and then seemed to be sensing things about my health. When something came up, her free hand would twitch. I was willing to accept that what she was doing could be legitimate because I believe in a lot of things that haven’t been proven by science.

The consultation ended with her prescriptions me some supplements to take for weeks and instructions to come back for a follow-up appointment.

The supplements cost over $400, so you have to wonder if it’s all just a scam. I don’t know if my doctors would approve of me taking all of this stuff. I did some research and didn’t find any known dangerous drug interactions. I have had no adverse side effects so far. One of the things she prescribed is CBD oil, and I do think it’s helping me to sleep through the night. It might also be helping with MS-related spasticity. It might all be a result of the placebo effect.

That’s the story so far.

And here’s the art.

Abstract digital art composition

It gave me pause

I recently  interviewed for an hourly position with the IT Training and Education group at IU’s UITS. I had to teach about 15 minutes of a training workshop, and I chose one on PowerPoint because I think I’m quite proficient with that  program.  I spent some time during the days before the interview preparing. The materials for the workshop already existed so I just had to work off of those. Unfortunately, I’ve had a pretty bad cold these last few days, so getting up the energy to prepare for class wasn’t easy. Thus, I was worried I wouldn’t do well.

About half an hour before the interview I stopped by the cafe to get some coffee and a cookie. I ran into a co-worker and asked how she was doing. To my surprise she said that she’ll be having a mastectomy next week. Now I never expected to hear something like that. She told me  also that both her sister and mother died of breast cancer.

So I left the cafe thinking that this interview is nothing. This is no big deal.  Any problem I currently think I have, I don’t have. I’m fine and I’m thankful.

And here’s some unrelated art.

Purple Girl