Status: Prickly

orange amazed

Many cancer patients will tell you that much of their time during active treatment is actually spent waiting. Waiting for appointments, then tests, treatments, then results, then new treatments, waiting lists and decisions. We become expert if not excellent waiters. So this current waiting game that we’re in should be old hat, I should be hitting this target on the run and finding it a doddle, but I’m not.

What are we waiting for? Our first grandchild. We don’t know yet if it’s going to be a girl or a boy and of course we don’t mind at all, we just want them to arrive! We want to see what they look like, fall in love with them more than we imagine already, ponder over what life is going to be like as grandparents, observe our son and his partner as they evolve into great parents and watching my parents as they become the fourth generation great-grandparents. I say waiting, but in fact as the due date is today perhaps I’m jumping the gun a bit, however with all systems ready to go, waiting is all we seem to have left currently. I’ll keep you posted on developments.

My brain continues to cloud.

*Quick shout out to anyone reading this who I work for and with – don’t worry, my professional brain seems to be functioning well. It’s the other one that’s gone AWOL*

So this week we’ve had calcium tablets stored with the jams, honey and peanut butter, 2 carrots neatly prepped and chopped and then lost- only to turn up with the salad dressings in the fridge, a medication review with the pharmacist and when asked if I had any questions about Tamoxifen I said no and then on the way home remembered that my prime reason for heading to the pharmacy was to ask about the different brands of Tamoxifen and their effects on the body and so on and so on. It’s as if I’m running on low energy batteries and they fire up to start a task and then lose their capacity about 2/3 of the way through.

I daren’t even start to tell you about the conversations and chats I’ve been having with other folks who are also on Tamoxifen; if I did you’d get Channel 4 to sign us up for some weird reality show that’d be called #Tamoxofenlanders and would be full of ladies (and some men) looking vaguely puzzled and weary.

A quick Google search (other search engines are available) instantaneously provides you with a gazillion links to this brain fog and it’s dreary and tiresome impact, such as this in the Independent:

Commenting on the findings Dr Noble added, ‘It’s critical to find safe treatments that can rescue the brain from impairment, because despite increasing awareness and research in this area, some people continue to endure short-term memory loss, mental cloudiness, and trouble concentrating.’

Yes indeedy doody.

Also this week I’ve started my course of Acupuncture. To be honest I hadn’t specifically thought about the actual treatment as I’d tended to focus more on my intended outcome for this wander into holistic and alternative therapy which is to decrease the amount and intensity of the hot flushes and night sweats enabling me to get some quality sleep thereby increasing my tolerance for telephone conversations with mobile phone companies when they don’t transfer your number over on the day that they promised and you have no phone. So when asked if I was nervous about the needles I had to admit that I’d not given them a thought. I know that no one specifically likes injections- well needless (geddit?!) to say there’s bound to be some weirdo in the world who does- but they don’t hugely bother me, I’ve had so many that I’m a pro.

My Acupuncturist Tammy (Oh the irony! Remember my alter ego Tammy Tamoxifen?) is lovely, gentle, nurturing, funny and professional. She specialises in women’s health and has created a safe space to explore this intervention together. As she said ‘You’ve had your treatment, now we’re moving onto healing and I’m going to be alongside you for this next part of your journey’. I realised at that moment that I hadn’t mentioned my dislike of the typical words associated with cancer- battle, fight, journey, gift etc. Perhaps I’ll mention it next week, but then maybe not. I realised that those words are her words, not mine and she is of course entitled to use whatever descriptors she likes.

We spent some time going over my health and well being in general and I answered all of her questions regarding what has been happening, support levels I’ve had and those that didn’t follow through, and my psychological state. She explained that the first treatment and probably the next was called an ‘Aggressive Energy Drain’, typically done at the start of a course of acupuncture to release toxins and to help her plan the course of treatments as personally as possible.

“An Aggressive energy treatment is an acupuncture protocol that addresses the toxic accumulation of repressed emotions that the body has harboured over its lifetime. The protocol involves inserting very fine needles very superficially into the back shu points of the yin organs, with the intention of releasing the aggressive energies from their place of refuge. Aggressive energy can also be an accumulation of chemical toxins taking in by the body through air pollution, pesticides in food, chemotherapy, alcohol and drug abuse, medications of any kind, radiation, soaps, cleaners and deodorants.”

“The contamination caused by Aggressive Energy can severely affect a person’s health and well-being. Physically it may cause life-threatening or debilitating illnesses. Aggressive Energy can affect a person’s mind and spirit and can cause symptoms such as instability, depression, despair or fluctuating emotional states. The treatment of Aggressive Energy can have a dramatic effect on the patient’s body, mind and spirit, enabling them to be restored to better health.”

Aggressive Energy Treatment

After checking my pulse, I laid on my front and Tammy drew on all of my vertebrae down my spine to locate the correct points to treat. She then inserted very fine needles into my back and I didn’t feel any pain at all, simply a sensation of her working in that area. The needles were left in for 15 minutes during which time redness often occurs around the needle indicating some concern in that associated area. Once the needles in my back were removed, I had to turn over and then needles were inserted into my wrists and the only sensation I had there was a type of fizzing. Difficult to explain really, but hey I’m an acupuncture virgin and only gradually learning the lingo.

I certainly felt relaxed and in particular relaxed in Tammy’s presence and care. She recommended that I take it easy for the rest of the day as I might feel a little zonked – no change there then – and also I might feel emotionally drained after having to go over all the events of this past year during the consultation.

Steve was delighted that I’d had an Aggressive Energy Drain and is now a believer in holistic therapy. At last a helpful Tammy!

Enough said.

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