When I first received my diagnosis I was originally Stage 2B. A few days later on a Friday morning, was when I learned that I was Stage 4. When the doctor entered the room along with two nurses and a social worker to deliver me the news I knew it was going to be bad. Right after they told me I naturally freaked out and kept saying over and over, “I am a good person, why is this happening?” I remember the social worker- a short older woman who got close to me and said, “Kids are good people and they get cancer too”. I very rudely told this woman to get away from me (oops, but in my defense they had just given me my death sentence). Then they sedated me and the rest is a blur. Well what that poor social worker said that day could not be truer……. About a week ago the son of one of my childhood classmates passed away from this dreaded disease. This one hit me hard. This little boy fought so hard and he and his family showed what it means to come together and face cancer head on with all you have. I still question often and try to see what I did to deserve this but the fact that this precious and innocent little boy proves that cancer does not discriminate and is not given as a punishment.
With that said, I am SICK. Sick for the obvious reasons but just sick of it all. I am sick of taking medicine. I am sick of thinking every ache and pain I have is the beginning of the end. I am sick of the appointments. I am sick of the search for new ways to be healthier. I am sick of the medical bills. I am sick of Cancer being everywhere…..I am not sure if it truly is or if I am just hyper aware of it now. Unfortunately, this is my new life and there is no way to escape it. This is what needs to happen to increase my chances of being here longer. I just wish I could go back to the days when my worries were a little bit different. One of the hardest thing for me is the absolute mind f**k the whole situation is. In a way I feel great, maybe even better than I ever have since I am really trying to take care of myself. I know this is a blessing and will change at some point but it is so hard to sit and wonder sometimes how long this stretch of feeling great and still being “me” is going to last.
In addition to my medication and hormone therapy, I have tried numerous different treatments/ways to get my body back into balance and in tip top shape. Here are a few things I have tried so far:
- Reiki- Reiki by definition is: a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being. I see my Reiki master every two weeks and it is by far one of my favorite “treatments”. I was skeptical at first but felt a big change in the way I felt immediately after my first appointment.
- Bio Feedback- I see a social worker almost one a week who also practices bio feedback. I am hooked up to different monitors that show how my body reacts to different situations etc. Once we were able to see how my body responds she has been able to help me find ways to help get my body back into balance and not so reactive. Mainly through different breathing techniques and mindfulness. I have been in several stressful situations where I have practiced my breathing techniques and have been able to stop from feeling anxious or having a panic attack.
- Myofascial release: I did this recently and really enjoyed it. Again, the point is to get your body back into balance so that everything flows the way it is supposed to. The only way I can describe this is a degree after a deep tissue massage and a degree before a chiropractor. This was amazing! I felt like Gumby after the appointment and basically felt realigned and balanced!! Goal achieved!
- Exercise! We joined the YMCA in our town and I started going to Yoga and Zumba! I did love Yoga but between appointments and a hectic schedule am ashamed to admit that I have not been going lately. I have been going to Zumba (or club mom as I sometimes like to call it) at least once a week. I truly enjoy it not only for the exercise but for the fun.
- Float tank: I have been wanting to try the float tank/deprivation tank experience for awhile and found it on Groupon so gave it a shot. Basically you go into a “tank” and submerge in about a foot of water that is dense with salt and heated to body temperature. Due to the amount of salt your body becomes completely buoyant and you just float for an hour. At first I was not sure about the whole thing. It is kind of like being in a really dark coffin with really salty water. I got out after 15 minutes but decided to finish my session since I had paid for it. In the end, it was a cool experience but I am not sure that it is one that I will do again. I will say though that I did notice that even though I was in complete silence and in the dark- which would usually bring my mind to race with all kinds of thoughts- I was completely relaxed and in a way “thoughtless”. My mind did not race at all when I was in there so I guess the goal was kind of achieved.
I had my routine appointment this morning at Dana Farber and all continues to look good! I found out that a new treatment was approved by the FDA on Monday that is for people with my specific cancer makeup! Great news as this means that when my current regimen stops working, there will be another treatment lined up for me. My oncologist also informed me during my February appointment that they found two specific mutations in my original breast tumor. Luckily for me, there are two drugs currently in clinical trials that target these two mutations!!! Amazing news for me as all of these treatments will prolong my life and continue to give me a good quality of life through these treatments.
The 1st Annual Cabral’s Crusaders Fundraiser is quickly approaching. If you would like to attend, please purchase your tickets via the link on this blog!