My next surgery was scheduled for mid- March, so in February I went for bloodwork and worked with my endocrinologist to get my thyroid medication adjusted, and worked on a plan with my naturopath to get my body ready for another surgery while I continued to recover from the first one.
I got started doing mistletoe injections (a treatment common in Europe for cancer) and weekly IV treatments to help my body to heal & recover. I know – mistletoe?! Apparently mistletoe extracts are one of the most widely used complementary and alternative medicine therapies for cancer in Europe. The mistletoe is supposed to boost the body’s immune system by boosting the body’s own natural killer cells that are immune cells that fight cancer. It may also help to prevent the spread of cancer. My naturopath consulted with some colleagues in Europe regarding my specific case and put together a plan. I was willing to do and try anything and put my focus squarely on healing and a healthy mindset.
The Ear/Nose/Throat Specialist
One of the other appointments I had to do post-surgery was a visit to the ear/nose/throat specialist to check for any damage to my vocal chords. Apparently sometimes during surgery a nerve can get ‘nicked’ and that can impact a whole lot of things including the ability to swallow and the ability to speak. Back to the hospital I went.
The specialist I saw had a very calm and soothing energy about him, explained the whole “laryngoscopy” procedure I was about to go through, and asked if I wanted to watch on the TV screen in the room. Hell no. They put a rubber tube through your nose and down into your throat with a camera at the end so the doctor can look at what’s going on when you swallow – and thankfully, everything looked OK. It wasn’t painful, just awkward.
It was the first piece of good news I had gotten in awhile, so it put a spring in my step and I took that as a victory!
My Mental Health
On the mental side, I was doing my best to stay focused on the daily tasks for work and for self-care and was grateful to have work and my colleagues to provide some semblance of normalcy. It was a good distraction from thinking about cancer all the time, but I’d be lying to suggest that it wasn’t always there in the back of my mind.
Journaling helped me to get my thoughts out and simply vent on paper. Here is the entry from February 4th, 2022:
Had my emotional breakdown yesterday where I cried and cried and cried some more. I hate the fact that I have to deal with this. I hate being asked about it. I feel like all those thoughts & prayers I received were just dismissed by God, and I don’t know what to say now. I hate how all-consuming this feels. I’m sick of all of it, yet this is just the beginning. Bloody hell.
I hadn’t yet revealed to the world on social media what I was going through as I was still trying to figure it out myself. I didn’t want to deal with other people’s reactions to my cancer news until I felt strong enough to accept it myself. I had to keep reminding myself to just take things one day at a time.