Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The new normal

Hello everyone. Well, as I said in my last post there will always be good days and not so good days. I don't really believe in bad days. Any day where I can stand up and thank the good Lord for giving me another day is a good day.

That being said, I returned to Tampa to recon and inquired with them about HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy) and they shot me down. At first I was a little distressed because I've had several setbacks, but once I put it all in perspective, I realize that my particular situation, while not great, is not as bad as what that therapy was created for (according to Dr. G). You really need wounds that do not heal at all, etc to qualify for the treatment and although breast cancer patients are just now being looked at, they are not being considered at Tampa VA. I think they are missing the boat, and even Leslie thought so. Enough that she said she is going to provide further input on my behalf for it. Apparently, my "infection" on the right side is a stitch working its way out...Did you know it can take six months to a year for stitches to dissolve or absorb into the skin? I didn't know that.

I was quite frustrated and proceeded to ask several other questions - why does my skin prickle in the sun? When will I start to feel better? Where am I on the scale of ill to well? Where am I on the scale of other patients? Why do I feel so damn lousy all the time? FIX MEEEE!!! Dr G's answers were as follows: Chemo can have long-term neurological effects and prickly skin can be one of those things. On the scale, I am considered "normal" - kind of right in the middle, just like on a dryer. Same thing with regard to where I fit with other patients. Other patients with my type of cancer have the same setbacks and it can take a year, or longer before getting back on your feet. I feel lousy because I've been to hell and back and my body is fighting and wants to be better than normal. They all sound like simple answers don't they?

Finally, she said that if I can stay healthy for another four weeks, I just might lick this thing with regard to the implants. I still think my body is rejecting them but she says no, she doesn't even want to consider removing them. Isn't that funny? My sister convinces me that it just might be time to get them removed and give my body time to heal and the plastic surgeon says, "No way!" I'll give it that four weeks and then we'll see, but if there are any more infections, then I need to be very serious about this. These infections are life-threatening and one day, I hope to meet my grand-children (no pressure boys)...I just want to be able to be around for those special times.

As for the HBOT, I don't quite think I'm ready to give up on the idea for breast cancer patients to receive such therapy. I will fight if I think it will help others. Hugs to all


  1. I'm sorry you can't have it Arla. Are you in a position to be able to do nothing but rest for the next month? I think our bodies heal better when we get lots of sleep and rest. It's hard when we are working and driving - if you can do nothing for a month, maybe that will give your body time to catch up.

    I feel your frustration.

  2. Oh I wish I could Ann, but that is just not possible...