Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Treats and Treatments

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything on this blog.  I’ve had lots to tell you, but some days, I lacked energy.  Other days… motivation.  And sometimes, the words just didn’t flow.

The lymphedema (swelling in my right arm and hand) continues.  Some days the swelling is very tight, and other days, it lessens.  I’m supposed to keep it elevated to make it easier for the lymphatic fluid to drain.  I do that most of the time, but I get frustrated when it doesn’t seem to make a difference, so I put the pillows aside and try exercising my arm, hand and fingers for a while, or riding my stationary bike or taking a walk around our backyard.  

Not everyone is in agreement on how to treat lymphedema.  We’ve tried a lot of things, including wrapping cabbage around my arm, which is supposed to help the fluid in my hand and arm drain more easily.  It was really difficult to get those crinkly cabbage leaves to lay flat on my arm and hand, and my arm looked pretty funny, when it was wrapped.    There might have been a slight lessening of the swelling, but it’s so much work to wrap my arm, and it uses so much cabbage, that I don’t know if we will use that method very often.

Most of the other methods we have tried or are using now are more conventional, like the wonderful lymphatic drainage massages my friend, Cathy, provides, wearing a compression sleeve and elevating my arm, but I’m still drinking ginger tea and dandelion tea and eating pineapple, because they taste so good, and they’re supposed to help with fluid drainage.

I’m very glad that my hospice doctor and nurses are open to alternative treatments.  They listen and ask that I tell them of my results.  They were more entertained than excited when I told them about the cabbage leaves, but that’s okay.  It may work fine, but it will be a while before I continue with my tests of it.  

The hospice team  was very excited when I told them that swishing organic coconut oil in my mouth every morning, for about 5-10 minutes, eliminated the thrush in my mouth.  They have other patients who are using “statin” medicine with poor results, and they were happy to have a safe, simple, no side effect method of treating thrush, a common problem in cancer patients.  I was so excited that it cleared mine up quickly, and I am so grateful to my friend, Cathy, for telling me about it.  A nice second benefit of swishing coconut oil is that it made my teeth whiter!  If you try swishing coconut oil in your mouth to treat thrush, don’t swallow it.  The coconut oil by itself is safe, but after it removes bacteria and toxins from your mouth, you don’t want to swallow it and get those bacteria and toxins in the rest of your body.

I was having difficulty sleeping, due to pain.  I didn’t want to get a stronger pain medication, but I knew that I wasn’t getting good rest each night.  I need to be rested to fight this cancer, so I agreed to getting a stronger medication.  I was worried that it would make me dizzy, or make me want to sleep all the time, but it hasn’t.  It takes the pain away, and I notice no other side effects.  Hooray!  

My husband, Dave, and I were able to take a wonderful trip to North Carolina, to visit my brother, Gary, and his wife, Elizabeth, and their family!  We were only gone for three days, but we had a wonderful time!  Gary had a TV all set up so that Dave could watch the Browns, in their Thursday night, nationally televised game.  There are not many Browns fans in North Carolina (at least not in my family) but they were all very accommodating, and didn’t make us sit outside or in the basement.

Seeing my family, even for a short time, is such a boost for my immune system.  I know that I have more family coming to visit me soon, and I know that will be another tremendous boost!  All the cards, notes, letters, phone calls and visits help me get through each day with a positive attitude and a grateful heart.

All my vital signs are good, and most days, my mood is also good.  Thank you to each and every one of you for being part of my life!

1 comment:

  1. Yay for coconut oil, cabbage, pain meds, and the powerful force of happiness!