Thursday, May 17, 2012

What I learned during my Hiatus was.....

A lot! My March Hiatus was taken at the beginning of March for a month. A month turned into nearly 3 months. I have realized it was much needed and I am so glad I took this time to work on "me".
I would love to share the different paths this part of my journey has taken me on and the results thus far.
Step one was decompression therapy. I am still going once a week and it continues to be very helpful with the pain I was experiencing in my neck and spine.The changes have been amazing and I feel much stronger in these areas. Best of all I don't need continual pain medicine and neck rubs to ease the pain. I am not sure it helped with headaches as much as I had hoped and I think this therapy has done all that it is going to do for now.

I did find a new primary care doctor that I am very happy with. She was worth the 3 month wait to get in as a new patient! She took her time with me and was very understanding and receptive to how I have chosen to live my life as it pertains to my health care needs. I needed a doctor who is ok with exploring complimentary care along side of conventional care. This has worked the best for me. She is  pleased with the changes I have been making. I was also looking for a doctor who understood I want to be on as few medications as possible, pertaining to meds used for sleep, anxiety and bouts of depression. To date, most docs encourage me to stay on these with the mindset of "you have stage 4 cancer, it's ok to be on these meds".And I agree, until the person/patient feels they do not need this help anymore. Many of these meds are meant to be temporary. Unfortunately, I think we as stage 4 patients tend to be seen as "temporary" and therefore there is not a lot of concern for the long term use.

I did have labs done which showed I am deficient in B12, vitamin D and magnesium,as well as having hypothyroidism. I am taking medicine for that and B12 for now. Can only add things in one at a time.

I also received my LEAP testing results and am currently working with a dietitian.The results were quite surprising. I have allergies/sensitivities to 30 foods, with the main 3 being chicken, cows milk and rice.By removing these foods, all 30,  from your diet it allows the immune system to calm down and the body to detox.I am on my 5th week and the results have been incredible!

~ fewer headaches and migraines! The severity of both lessened quite a bit and regular Advil was able to control the last migraine. That would never work before.
~ energy is up and fatigue is down! I needed to sleep about 2 hours everyday before with a terrible sense of fatigue. If I need to rest now, it is short and I usually don't fall asleep.
~anxiety is way down!  After 5 years of continual stressors my body seemed to stay in a constant state of anxiety. It is now nearly gone and this medication has been cut in half so far!
~sleeping is better! The big change here is I am tired at the end of the day and ready for bed. Before my body was so uneasy that I couldn't sleep. I am now completely off medicine to help me sleep and just using a small dose (2 mg) of melatonin for sleep.
~Overall I have noticed clearer thinking and a calmness I  have not felt in many, many years!
This has been life-changing! I am so glad I took the time to explore the complimentary care in combination with conventional care! Physically I continue to swim, cycle and do yoga...all have been instrumental in this process.

So, I will continue on,as this will be a life-change that remains on-going, but my Hiatus for now has come to an end. I have swimming lessons booking up my summer quickly and have gone back to teaching!


Retired Knitter said...

Wow, sounds like the LEAP testing would be a good thing for anyone. I will have to look into it.

Maryann said...

It's so important to get the right kind of doctor. My oncologists answer to any complaint I would have would be to give me another PCP is now in the process of trying to eliminate some of these meds. They all have side effects and it seemed when ever I would have a side effect the answer was a different drug would be added. I am glad you are feeling better...curious about the LEAP...will have to check this out


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