Sunday, October 3, 2010

From Treatment to Therapy......

So here's a little update on my actual condition: 
I still receive my Herceptin treatment via IV every 3 weeks.  Its not bad at all....I'm tired afterwards but my hair is coming back and it doesn't mess with my stomach like the chemotherapy did and for that I'm every so thankful.  Here's a pic from my last treatment....I got bored and Jenny found a mask which I used for my latest character......CHEMO BANDIT!!! lol I also included pictures of me and my nurse Jenny acting Goofy at treatment.  And me and my friend Kat who was nice enough to go with me to my radiation and treatment one day.  We realized the best thing about treatment is.....the FREE FOOOD!!! :)

On another note I've been dealing with a slight case of lymphodema that developed in my arm a while back.  I was able to purchase a compression sleeve and luckily it removed the little bit of fluid that had accumulated in my arm.  However, the real problem began about a month ago after returning from my trip to Colorado.  I noticed that my right side was no longer fitting into my bras and had become red, inflammed, and painful.  I let Dr. Briggs look at it and he told me that it wasn't a  blood clot (great....not really what I was thinking but I'm glad its not one lol) and he didn't think it was infected.  He said it looked like the fluid from my arm had not accumulated into my right side and that was the reason for the swelling.  2 days later I went back to Marino Therapy Center for a few manual drainage sessions.  You see when you have lymphedema its kind of like a sewer system that back up where ever your lymph nodes used to be.  You dont' have that drainage system to help your body empty out the bad stuff like it once did.  The fluid goes into your capillaries which makes it impossible to remove the fluid with a needle.  You have to do different massage techniques to actually move the fluid back into the lymph capillaries that you still have in other parts of your body.  It's actually quite impressive how your body adjusts when you take part of it away.  Once you have been cut on as many people know you form scare tissue and for me it means that my arm is contracted every morning when I wake up....almost like I've been lifting weights.  This just means I have to do regular stretching everyday to keep it stretched out and I do drainage techniques I have been taught that will help keep the fluid moving. 
So about 1 week after my first few appointments with the therapy center I woke up to even more swelling and pain on my right now it was pretty obvious I had an infection.  I started on antibiotics and 48 hours after beginning them I awoke with alot of difficulty swallowing.  Breathing was not a problem but swallowing was very difficult to do.  After calling the doctor they determined I was having a reaction to the antibiotic and within an hour of getting the steroid pack I could feel the swelling in my throat go down. that wasn't so much fun but the good news is the infection is gone but the swelling is another story.  I am going about 2 times a week for therapy and wearing a sports bra and tank top made of almost 50 percent spandex.  You see the more pressure is applied to the area the better it helps remove the swelling.  So we will see if this removes the swelling in a few weeks.  If not there are other options but right now I'm praying this works....I'm just feeling a little lop-sided these days lol.  Here the best pic I have of what my sleeve looks like....even though I have my eyes closed you can see my pink arm ha ha. 
Thanking God for Each New Day,
Sarah :)

1 comment:

Pam Barrs said...

Dear Sarah you are truly a strong women of God, I was blessed to get to meet you first at the Relay-4-Life and the other day for just few minutes in the boutique at KCBC. All the women & men that you have inspired to give it all to God, your Faith is amazing. I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will restore your health 100% You will be the walking testimony, to bring Hope & Peace to so many. Your sweet spirit is bringing more people into His Kingdom. It is just like you said WITH GOD ALL THIS ARE POSSIBLE..
I love you and God Bless you
Singed your sister in Christ Pam