Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sitting in my CTO vest on a beautiful Fall Day...

Last night, I felt a knowledge creep into my mind concerning the lump on my chest.

Since I've been having small muscle spasms (fasciculations) right in that area and I had thought it was my diaphragm, I thought that most likely, the spasms are in muscles across my chest in that area, and the lump is the definition of a well-toned muscle, like you'd see on a weight-lifters' arm.

I know that one of the things doctors are instructed to look for when they suspect MS is extra-toned muscle. Do you remember not long ago ads on television for a device that would stick to your abdomen and shock your muscles with little electric charges (TENS units) which would tone your abs? Same thing, only due to spinal cord injury.

I stretched the skin really taught across the area, to test my doctor's theory that it is a fold of fat. The lump is still there, but flattened out much more, and less pronounced. I don't believe it is fat...and I have faith it is not a cyst or tumor. When I had the thought that it is probably a toned muscle from spasms that I experience right in that exact area, that thought really settled in as fact, or probable fact, or "Making the most sense." I'm going to accept the answer to our prayers, that this is nothing to worry about, and accept what my oncologist believes about it. At least...for now!

The radiology dept. just called and said my doctor wants to reschedule an ultrasound of the lump done with me standing up. I went ahead and booked it for Nov. 2, the next time I'm in that town (for my pamidronate treatment) but if the lump stays the same, then I will talk to the oncologist at that time, whose office gives the treatments, and tell him I've decided it's nothing to worry about.

Basically, I need to accept in faith God's answer to this, and I need to set up and prepare for the surgery in just 26 days. I still haven't purchased flight tickets because I'm just unsure that work comp is going to authorize the surgery.

As for the heavy pressure feeling I've been having in my chest which is very uncomfortable, last night, I set up my over-the-door cervical traction unit with 8 lbs of water. My NY surgeon has told me in the past several times that if I want to see if a symptom is caused by the neck instability, that I just do the traction for 15 minutes and see if it goes away.

Since I just was having that heavy pressure in the center of my chest, I sat in the traction unit for 20 minutes. Yes, the symptoms went away and I can breathe so much more easily. I did feel a bit of paresthesia in my left arm and hand, but it's gone now.

Usually, I will feel great during and immediately after traction, then I will get so much worse than I started because that big, ol' heavy head of mine is coming back to rest on all the nerves etc. So, this time after the traction, I strapped on my CTO vest, really cinching up the Aspen Collar under my chin. And so far, am feeling better, and not holding my breath subconsciously as much as usual.

Am I tired of all of this? Oh, dear yes! I am so tired of this. I'd love to just be able to putter a little around the house, or take a walk on this wonderful day. But what I want and what I can do are two different things! Just having the hope out in front of me of the surgeries in NY is my survival. And I remember when I did not have that hope. I can't imagine how I would be feeling right now if I had never met Dr. B in NY and had a clear, defined diagnosis and treatment plan.


Anonymous said...

I just showed my five year old your picture and I said "doesn't that look uncomfortable". She said "Yeah, but she's still smiling!" from the mouths of babes. Thank-you for sharing your photo. You ARE still smiling and full of hope and it's by God's grace. I have had these same feelings of clarity about my health problems and have learned to trust them too. they are always right. I hope and pray that your plans for NY are going smoothly. bye for now.
Love and hugs,


Scott said...

Whew! You have a lot of stuff on your plate! I am so sorry you have to deal with all that. Though Caroline's comment is true--you are smiling!

By His Grace said...

Hey you two, thanks for the comments! A little smile goes so far and it takes so little to do, really! You both are among my heroes for your own tenacity through times of trouble.

God bless you both.
love, BHG

Zoe said...

Hello Friend,

I'm sitting here, visiting you- wishing it could be in person (((V)))and realizing that your departure date is just a week or so away! Time flies apparently, like the leaves in the fall wind~~~ and sometimes that's a good thing~

I hope this next week's last minute details are not too overwhelming and that everything work-comp related is straightened out for your surgery. I'll be praying that the problems in your chest will find some resolution with the releasing of your spinal cord.
~along with evErYthinG else~

Thank-you again for sharing and being an such an encouragement!!

~Lord Jesus~ Bless my friend with peace like a river~~
xxo,xxo, zoe

By His Grace said...

Thanks, Zoe, for the prayer. yes, all is worked out very well with work comp and everything is a "go." God works miracles! I expect next week will indeed be a bit frantic trying to be sure I have everything I need, and the other thing is getting things done here that I won't be able to do for months. But winter is coming and I'm looking forward to being inside, healing (later on in a halo!) and watching movies while the snow blankets the world outside my window.

I'm praying for your challenges as well, my friend. God bless all my friends, including these bloggers!!