Last night I had an M.R.I. It’s not my first, far be it…and it certainly won’t be my last. In fact I need to have another one in order to determine why I am experiencing so much nerve pain. Last night’s scan was of my neck and upper chest. The next one is a thoracic scan and the results of the the two will hopefully pinpoint the problem. With each surgery that I have had, the nerve pain has increased and spread. It used to be just in my legs, but now it is most severe in my chest where it escalates and spreads up to the top of my head and down through my groin. It comes in shockingly fast and painful waves that take my breath away and stops me in my tracks. It keeps me from having a good night’s sleep as it wakes me up almost every hour. A good night’s sleep…I remember it vaguely. I haven’t had one since this horrible ordeal with cancer started. I think the only “good” sleep I’ve had is when I have been put under for surgery…so I guess in that case, in the last 2.5 years, I have had 7 “good” sleeps. Is it sad that part of me is looking forward to the next surgery just so I can “rest” for a few hours? Fu#k!!!!
When you experience the pain and fatigue of cancer, you change. I know I have. Sometimes my patience isn’t the best. I know that I can be very emotional and I get paranoid that something else is going to go wrong.
Last week I had my quarterly epidural steroid injections for my back. As always they were painful and scary but very necessary if I want to be able to function. Even the surgeon asked if I thought they were “worth it” given how much it hurts each time I have them. I assured him that they were worth the pain in order for me not to experience the severe spasms I have without them. No pain, no gain. After the procedure, I lay in recovery as always and waited for the nurse to give me the all clear to get up and get dressed. After about 20 minutes she asked me how I was feeling. I told her that of course the injection sites hurt but I was used to it and knew that in about 48 hours I would be feeling much better. “Ok,” she said, “you can get dressed. Let me help you sit up as you might be a bit light headed.” I scoffed, under my breath. I’m a pro at this, I thought. She helped me up and swung my legs over the side of the gurney…but when I tried to stand, I couldn’t feel my legs and she caught me as I fell to the floor.
“Oh, dear. Are you ok?” she blurted out.
OMG, I can’t feel my legs. What the fu#k is happening?!?!?!?!
“Just lie back. This happens sometimes. I’m sure its temporary.”
Temporary? Temporary?!?! It better be fu#king temporary!!! And this, my friends, is where my imagination, anxiety and just utter exhaustion, took over. All I could think of was what if I’m now paralyzed? I am going to ruin another Christmas for my family. Yes, ruining Christmas was what was paramount in my mind. You see,last year I definitely ruined it. I had reconstructive surgery December 20 and then on the 28th was rushed by ambulance to the hospital where I underwent surgery on December 30th and 31st to remove gall stones and my gall bladder. Three surgeries in 11 days. And those three surgeries meant all of our holiday plans fell apart… as did I.
For another 30 minutes I waited and kept trying to stand. Eventually the feeling did start to come back as did my rational thinking. When you experience a trauma, like being told you have cancer, you forever live in fear. You fear that it will come back and maybe this time, you won’t win the fight.
This Christmas, I am thankful that I am not in a hospital…as many people are. I am thankful that I have food to eat and share with my family…as many people don’t. And I am most thankful for my health. I may be battling a few “things”, but I am here and so far I am winning the fight.
Happy Holidays Everyone. Stay Safe. Stay Well.
#positivity #cancer #nervepain #motivationalspeaker #anxiety #painmanagement #happyholidays #cancersurvivor #breastcancer
President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.