Obviously I needed one or two today, because I was at 5 different appointments. I started out at 9:00 am at the hospital for my weekly Physical Therapy apt for my lymphodemia. Those are always good for me, but make me feel drained, as she is moving the toxins around. Next, I had a quick appointment with my oncologist to see if he thinks there are any problems with the lumps under my arm that are still swollen.The Physical Therapist was a bit concerned. He really didn't think that they were an issue, he then mentioned that you can have quite a bit of pain and soreness up to a year after your last radiation treatment. If he was trying to comfort me, it wasn't working. He didn't seem real concerned but then again, he isn't the one hurting either. I don't mean that rude, but isn't it true? The one that is going through it, is the one probably more concerned and they are the ones who have to deal with the time factor. Like you can have symptoms and pain up to a year afterwards, yikes...I am only 2 or 3 months out. Time is definitely an issue, especially when it involves PAIN!
My third appointment was with a L.M.D. rep for FLEXITOUCH. It is a company that has developed this machine that basically does what my Physical Therapist does for me, except this is something I can do myself every day in the comfort of my own home. ( didn't that sound like a sales line? ) It massages you and then at the same time helps you drain the toxins out of your body. He was very knowledgeable about lymphodemia and he seemed way more concerned about me, as my Physical Therapist does. I wonder why doctors aren't that concerned about it? Maybe because that is not their job. Their job is the treatments or surgery, but a Physical Therapist are the ones that are trying to get you back to life, back to living without pain and so many restrictions. How grateful I am that my Physical Therapist was concerned enough to have Lance come in and let me test this machine out. It takes an hour a day when your lymphodemia is mild to moderate like mine. You have to do it twice a day if it gets acute.
This machine also would definitely be for PREVENTIVE from getting lymphodemia in my arm, hand, legs and etc. He asked if I wanted to see some photos of women and men who had acute cases? I said no thanks, I already know I don't want mine to get worse or spread any where else. Then I asked for the price, we have great insurance through Boeing, but the part that is not covered... is high. They do have payment plans and scholarship type of things so... we shall see?
I have sold things most of my life, I am actually not too bad at it either. But listening to Vance and his presentation was wonderful,he had all the facts and figures to help me see how wonderful this FLEXITOUCH machine is. I wondered how many men and women with lymphodemia, really turn him down? I kept reminding myself of the price, but then after a certain point, I thought "if it keeps me from getting lymphodemia anywhere else or having it get worse, how could I not invest in it?" Lymphodemia is a life long problem, it does not go away, it can just settles down, but it is a life long issue that you have to deal with. You don't grow back lymph nodes, once they are gone they are gone. That is why I didn't want as many as I had taken out.
I wonder what it is like to sell to someone that is hurting, someone who is sitting there for an hour and can't go anywhere accept listen to you? To sell to someone that realizes that their lymphodemia is going to continue to take more time out of our life? I mean, some times it is down right discouraging to have to continue to fight one more battle after another. Cancer was already a tough battle... but even after that, the fighting continues, it just is labeled something else. I have said more than once... that no one can afford to have cancer, time or money wise. Cancer can be a full time job in and of itself. With no securities or benefits, that can be discouraging at time.
A dear friend that I spoke to today said something that I thought was worth repeating, she herself has had a very trying life and had some huge losses in her life, one of her biggest was the lose of her son. As a mother I personally can't think of anything worse, but her sweet sister told her at the time of the funeral. "YOU CAN BE BITTER OR YOU CAN BE BETTER!" What a great and profound quote! That is certainly true about anyone's life, especially someone who has had more than their share of struggles. "YOU CAN BE BITTER OR YOU CAN BE BETTER" because of it. It is your choice! I know for sure that all these trials and problems are to teach us great wisdom and to help us to become better people, not bitter ones!
There are days that we might not accomplish that exactly, but we need to try and remember to be gentle with ourselves and to try and learn from our situations. Many times, even the worst experiences can be like treasure chests, with hidden treasures of knowledge, that will teach you sooooo much! So here I go again, down another curve in my road, uphill too! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers in my behalf, this has been one of the hardest journeys I have ever taken, plus one of the longer ones too. May we all be, more prone to examine the situations in our lives and then realize that we can either be bitter (why is it happening to me?) or better ( what do I need to learn?), it is our choice.
The last two appointments were for Lauren, she has come down with the flu! I am grateful for our doctors, physical therapist and others who share their concern and their knowledge that helps us get better and ultimately to teach us how to take better care of ourselves. Don't forget to look for those hidden treasures of knowledge. Remember..."KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!"
"THE SUPERIOR DOCTOR PREVENTS SICKNESS; THE MEDIOCRE DOCTOR ATTENDS TO IMPENDING SICKNESS; THE INFERIOR DOCTOR TREATS ACTUAL SICKNESS" ~ Chinese Proverb
"WHENEVER A DOCTOR CANNOT DO GOOD, HE MUST BE KEPT FROM DOING HARM" ~ Hippocrates
"MY DOCTOR GAVE ME SIX MONTHS TO LIVE, BUT WHEN I COULDN'T PAY THE BILL HE GAVE ME SIX MONTHS MORE" :) ~ Walter Matthau