Five radiation treatments down and nine to go: I am feeling so much better than last week, not only a physical level but on emotional and spiritual ones, too. There’s been a shift in my energy, and while I don’t know yet if I can fully explain how, I want to try. Something - actually many things - have come together that seem to point me in the direction of recovery. Yes – recovery from cancer. And while it’s too soon to prove it, there’s a feeling deep inside that I am going to get through this and live to tell my story.
Since this whole journey started, I have tried desperately to convince myself that I will survive if I have the right nutrition, supplements, guidance and support, but I’ve not been totally 100 percent sure. I lacked that inner conviction that would have me “just know.” But a shift has occurred, and I can honestly say to myself, “I think I’m really going to get through this.”
Last weekend, two days after being discharged from MGH, I was back to feeling about 70 percent normal. The steroids were giving me energy, my pelvis pain and headache were in control with pain meds, I started radiation for the brain and pelvic lesions, the Ritalin for cancer fatigue was keeping me going, but best of all, my head was clear and I didn’t feel drugged. Believe or not! So Karen and I treated ourselves to massages and facials, we went out for lunch, did errands, some clothes shopping and before I knew it, I had been out and about for eight hours. We had such a nice day together, doing things just like we used to months and months ago.
But then something even better happened. As you know, because I’ve written about it so often, the nutrition part of my recovery such as juicing, meal preparation and planning have been a struggle. Although I’ve had lots of help, living alone and without any energy, has made it hard to be consistent.
But my unrelenting and loving daughter couldn’t accept that, so she ran an add on Craigslist to find someone to help me do what I’m not able to do; make me absolutely delicious and nutritious foods, juice, shop and walk with me to get me stronger. And we found her. She’s the most remarkable, delightful and enthusiastic 28-year-old woman who is doing exactly all of this with another cancer patient. I’m her second one, and Karen and I feel like she dropped out of heaven at our feet. She’s as thrilled with the opportunity to do what she loves to do with me. And – best of all, she LOVES to cook and is fabulous at it. Eating what she’s prepared for me this week has been one of the biggest blessings of my life. There are freshly made juices in my fridge, food for lunches and dinners and she even baked me a recipe of stevia sweetened chocolate chip cookies! Can you believe it? I’m still in shock. She’s planning meals with me, taking stock and control of my fridge and pantry, making shopping lists and is fastidious with everything, including cleanup. Oh, AND she’s certified to teach physical fitness, too! We even started strength training, and she’ll walk with me daily to help get me stronger and build my endurance.
Page 2 of 2 - And it turns out, she lives only five miles from me. Talk about divine intervention – this is so incredibly amazing. Pinch me – I’m in shock.
Joyce Rothman of Massachusetts, a nurse for 40 years, was diagnosed with lung and pancreatic cancer in July 2010. Since then, she has been writing about her diagnosis, her treatment and her outlook on the process, in hopes of helping others. Follow her journey at http://makingsenseofitall.joycerothman.com.