Saturday, June 22, 2013

I.V. Antibiotics-Month 3, Hormones, Breast Cancer Follow up, Menopause and Children

I'm on month 3 of i.v. rocephin and I'm feeling GREAT.  Not just good, but great.  There are more days of feeling normal now and last month, while I still had a flare, it was minimal and I was functional during it.  I've gained 6 pounds and it doesn't hurt to sit anymore.  I've been able to exercise, now walking again for 45 minutes without fatigue.  I actually have an appetite.  I think the multi-pronged approach has really been what has worked for me.  We're treating the adrenals, the hormones, the viruses (EBV and Herpes), and now crushing the lyme with i.v. antibiotics.  I also take Grapefruit Seed Extract and Diflucan (both of which help to eradicate the cyst form of the spirochete.)  I take B5, B6 and B12 (shots), L-Lysine, Cysteplus, Valtrex (anti-viral), Vitamin D, Hydrocortisone (which I feel I will be able to finally be weaned off of!), Magnesium, and a sleeping pill.  I'm still doing a photo oxidation session every few weeks.  All of these things combined have gotten my body to a place where it feels the best it has felt in years.  I'm also doing healing meditations which have definitely helped with my sleeping issues. 

Reading back over my blog it is so frustrating to see that in 2009, when I was treated with doxycycline I started feeling so much better and it was clear even then that I had lyme.  But it took until this year to really be properly treated for it.  That is why this illness is so confusing sometimes.  I never had a positive test and so again and again I wasn't treated for lyme, and despite knowing intuitively that I felt toxic, I became doubtful myself and wondered if I had an autoimmune disease.   It has definitely been a frustrating uphill and downhill journey.

Now that I feel like the lyme situation is under control, I am doing research regarding the hormonal aspect of my health.  Having been kicked into early menopause, and having dealt with a breast cancer scare at the end of last year, I am doing all of the research I can to understand hormone replacement therapy.   I'm reading "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Breast Cancer," by Dr. John Lee, David Zava and Virginia Hopkins.  I'm doing as much reading as I can and then I need to make a decision about how to move forward regarding the breast cancer.  I listened back to my little digital recorder of my appointment with my oncologist, and she basically said that because of the kind of cancer I had I actually have the option to do nothing.  Meaning, not even going on Tamoxifen.  But most importantly, I have to go off of the estrogen cream.  So I'm trying to figure out how to maintain my sanity, stay as symptom free as possible and protect my health, and whether that means I have to go off of all hormone replacement or can at least stay on the progesterone cream.  Apparently, as a menopausal woman, I am still making small amounts of estrogen and even that can be a problem with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.  My intuition tells me I need to find an integrative oncologist, if such a person exists.  It also tells me I need to find a naturopath or homeopath to help me stay healthy and strong beyond lyme and breast cancer.

After listening back to my oncologist appointment I was very depressed for days.  I finally had to face that I am 100% in menopause and having children isn't an option.  I'm 44, and while that is considered older for most pregnancies my example was that my older sister had her last child around this age, so it didn't seem that abnormal to me to think I could still have a baby.   I had to let go of the last shred of hope I was holding onto, which hurt a place inside of me so deep that I felt like if I let it out it would consume me.  I always felt I would have two girls, and I feel like I have let down two souls who were supposed to come into the world through me.   I have mourned the loss, although sometimes unexpectedly seeing a small baby will make it hurt and I will get weepy.  Now the practical side of me has emerged and I think seriously about the process of adoption.  And I am grateful that I have three beautiful children to love in my nieces and nephew. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Happiness Pressure

When I'm depressed one thing that makes me feel even more depressed is that constant feeling of "I should be happy" or "I want to feel happy." Despite being really sick, for some reason I have this ridiculous expectation that I'm miserable because I'm not "happy" and that because happy is the exact opposite of unhappy that's what I should be striving for.  It occurred to me though that I don't put that same expectation on myself in any other area of my life.  When starting an exercise program I don't assume that after day one I'll be running a marathon.   When starting a job I don't expect I'll be an assistant and the next day CEO.  In my romantic relationships, I don't assume I'll go out on a first date and be married to the guy on date two.  And I've been sick for years, knowing that I didn't go from sick one day to well the next.  It was a long process.  So why this pressure when it comes to happiness?

I think it's partially being an American, a Westerner, generational and living in a society with a very high expectation of the success=happiness equation.  So if I'm not successful right now, whatever one's definition of that is, not working, not in a relationship, sick and living at home of course it seems I would be unhappy. 

But I discovered that if I changed what I was striving for it would create an equation I could live up to for myself.  Meaning, instead of striving so hard for happy and being more depressed when I fall short of that, I could strive just to be one click away from depressed.    My equation could look like this...not in any pain today=less depressed.  If I work this like a muscle, less depressed might eventually equal content.  That makes me happy.