Saturday, February 18, 2006

believe that you're healed

About four days ago, when the BMT team visited me as they do normally in the morning, I informed them about a pressure that I feel in my chest. The pressure that I feel comes and goes involuntarily and it lasts only for a few seconds in the area of my chest, where the original tumor existed. It's never painful or irritable but it's there. Describing it as "pressure" is vague I know. The only thing more about it that I can say is that the feeling, the pressure itself is heavy where its concentrated and its heaviness is so localized that it distinguishes itself clearly from any other part of my body. It feels as if that area of my chest is caving in upon itself, but again it's never painful.

It's true that I experienced a similar feeling in the months after I was treated for Hodgkin's Disease the first time around. I mentioned this to my oncologist then, but he didn't think much of it just as Scott and the medical staff didn't when I told them about it a few days ago. I do have a heart arrhythmia called WPW or Wolff (Wolfe)-Parkinson-White, but both Scott and my cardiologist agree that the feeling I am experiencing is not related to it. Cardic arrest is very rare in someone my age and if it was the symptom of a heart attack, I'd know without a doubt. So, they don't think it's the heart. Knowing that I had a meltdown only a couple of days ago, Scott inferred that it could be related to my anxiety. Perhaps. Indeed, it's true that I'm a bit anxious about the outcome of my treatment, which is very normal. I read in some of the literature that it takes some patients months or years before they believe that they are cured finally. Before beginning my cancer treatment months ago, I remember during moments of stress that I felt a similar heaviness in the same area of my chest, which is interesting because a friend, who had thyroid cancer, told me that she knew that she was overworked and tired when she felt a similar discomfort in the area of her neck where the tumor used to be. Perhaps this is a wider phenomenon among cancer patients. I don't know. Scott told me keep an eye on the feeling of pressure in my chest and if it persists or worsens to let Joanne or Dr. Schuster know.

Before leaving the hospital yesterday, Scott (a cancer survivor himself) told me that I had to tell and convince myself that I was healed and well. As someone told me recently, I had undergone 'baptism by fire.'


Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome Home Duane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
With Love, Muriel and Tiffany

10:43 PM  
Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome Home Duane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
With Love, Muriel and Tiffany

10:49 PM  
Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES!!Welcome home from us all. We are all so happy that you are home, and as Scott said,healed and well. Modern medicine is so miraculous. Happy new birthday, too.
CW and friends

8:44 AM  
Comment Anonymous mariola said...

Qué alegría Duane! Bienvenido a casa. Un beso muy fuerte.
Con cariño desde españa

5:42 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Thanks! Yes, it's great to be home again!

7:33 PM  
Comment Blogger Ally said...

YAY!! So glad you're home.

I often experience a similar feeling where my tumor was. I notice it several times a day, nearly every day. For me, there's no rhyme or reason to it. It doesn't occur at a particular time, or when I'm feeling a certain way. But it does feel sort of "heavy", like you said. Weird.

10:54 AM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Hey Ally. Thanks for confirming that heavy feeling I have in my chest. I least I know I'm not crazy. :) Did you tell your doc? What did their response?

12:50 PM  

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