Rewiring the System

28 Turns Great

Posted in Uncategorized by rewiringangel on October 28, 2010
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The rush hour bridge traffic was stop and go nearly 10 miles per hour from the interchange a mile from my house and through the toll booth. I shot out of bed at 7:30 and threw on my jeans and the black tall turtle wool sweater I had set aside last night.  I got to the hospital on time because I left the house with more than an hour to spare. Traffic is a chance to remember to breath.

Since the cancer shock three months ago I find myself holding my breath most of the time. I forget to allow my belly to relax and accept the life giving air to fill my system. I sit in traffic using the time to teach myself to breath. What would happy look like after this intersection?  Today I find out that it will be a year until I am myself again.  A Year! Is that a year from today  that or a year from July when I saw the ultra sound with the images. But today I had a massage that bubbled out the tight places, the congestion in tissues  all the infection or pus and fungus?  Me Fungus nananananaaaa

I went to the massage and the breast center then the doctors library then drove to the specialized edema physical therapy. I could not get through a day with out walking in the water.  The pool is my friend.  The doctor at the Osher Center tells me to do everything slowly and easily. I was introduced a person who comes to the center she is over a year cancer and treatment free and volunteers to talk with woman going through the process. . She gives me a more doable meal plan Fish every night for dinner with a salad. Move back into life slowly she suggests. It is a good word set, return to my life as it was slowly so I can discriminate … What is in my current life that I want in my future. I want romance and romance..  How am I finding the idea?  I am bubbling with soft internal all ways gracious instrument that makes gracious sounds and Like the first date thing. We are going on a first date.  What did George Benard Shaw do after all the letters and conversation and how did he turn the connection into deep desire fire?  All the Victorians were hot as they  planned out events in great detail.  Oh great ocean of possibility wash over me and allow me to slow down as I fight infection.

I am the Love I desire.

I have a circle of people at the Y who every day, have something wise, kind, and supportive to share with me. Today three people said I looked better than yesterday. They came right up to me and expressed concern. That is so lovely. I need people because with out people to talk with and listen to I would shed my skin and be truly raw and unprotected.

I promised the assistants that I would slow down. But I have not ‘done’ anything though my ‘interest in getting things done’ is what  uses energy. I am ready to be taken care of and do the prescribed mental resting.

I have an acupuncture session tomorrow at 5 and a physical therapy at 8 am friday.

I feel  gayly as I go sort of aloneness but connected to the great connectivity of people who open their hearts to send me a message or reach out and rock me in their arms. I will not give up against all odds.  Today I finally had the strength to feel interest in making therapy appointments. I got Lymphedema just two weeks after my surgery. I just blew up!

Lymphedema also known as lymphatic obstruction, is a condition of localized fluid retention and tissue swelling caused by a compromised lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system returns the interstitial fluid to the thoracic duct and then to the bloodstream, where it is recirculated back to the tissues.

Tissues with lymphedema are at risk of infection. I have recurring secondary infections in my knees and arms culminating with my nail bases with some of my nail base and cuticles are decimated. What is going on?

Secondary lymphedema affects both men and women. In women, it is most prevalent in the upper limbs after breast cancer surgery and lymph node dissection, occurring in the arm on the side of the body in which the surgery is performed. Head and neck lymphedema can be caused by surgery or radiation therapy for tongue or throat cancer. It may also occur in the lower limbs or groin after surgery for colon, ovarian or uterine cancer in which removal of lymph nodes or radiation therapy is required. Surgery and/or treatment for prostate, colon and testicular cancers may result in secondary lymphedema, particularly when lymph nodes have been removed or damaged.

My Right Knee is doubled in size and hurts. The flow of lymph from the legs towards the heart is the result of the calf pump. As a person walks, the calf muscle contracts, squeezing lymph out of the leg via the lymphatic vessels. When the muscle relaxes, valves in the vessels shut preventing the fluid from returning to the lower extremities. The lymph from the legs is filtered through the inguinal nodes in the groin area on its way to the thoracic duct. Blockage of the inguinal nodes can contribute to swelling in the legs. From the thoracic duct, the lymph is returned to the venous circulation through the left subclavian vein.

Treatment for lymphedema varies depending on the severity of the edema and the degree of fibrosis of the affected limb. Most people with lymphedema follow a daily regimen of treatment as suggested by their physician or certified lymphedema therapist. The most common treatments for lymphedema are a combination of the daily use of intermittent sequential multi-chambered overlapping gradient pumps, manual compression lymphatic massage, compression garments or bandaging. Complex decongestive physiotherapy is an empiric system of lymphatic massage, skin care, and compressive garments. Although a combination treatment program may be ideal, any of the treatments can be done individually.

Sequential gradient pump therapy

Compression pump technology utilizes a multi-chambered pneumatic sleeve with overlapping cells to promote movement of lymph fluid. Pump therapy may be used in addition to other treatments such as compression bandaging and manual lymph drainage. In many cases, pump therapy may help soften fibrotic tissue and therefore potentially enable more efficient lymphatic drainage. Sequential pump therapy may also be used as a home treatment method, usually as part of a regimen also involving compression garments or wrapping.

A Stanford University medical study showed that patients receiving the combined modalities of MLD/CDT and pneumatic pumping had a greater overall reduction in limb volume than patients receiving only MLD/CDT

The onset of secondary lymphedema in patients who have had cancer surgery has also been linked to aircraft flight (likely due to decreased cabin pressure). For breast cancer survivors, wearing a prescribed and properly-fitted low-compression sleeve and gauntlet may help decrease swelling during flight.

Early prevention and disease regression in breast cancer

In 2008 an NIH study revealed that early diagnosis of lymphedema in breast cancer patients (called stage 0 in the article) associated with an early intervention, a compression sleeve and gauntlet for 1 month, led to a return to pre operative baseline status. In a 5 year follow up patients remained at their pre operative baseline, suggesting that pre clinical detection of lymphedema can halt if not reverse it progression.

The truth is that I must slow down and learn how to be cared for and rest in the heart of another and others as their thoughts reach me and pull me toward this powerful multiplying connection.

You have sent your angel wings to lift me. I am ready to flutter out of this chrysalis. I am counting the days.

I look forward to some caring and joy come Monday.




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