I am trying so hard to find the balance between eastern and western medicine. I’ve never been one for extremes. I prefer everything in moderation. So I believe a balance has to exist.
What I’ve noticed so far is that western medicine hurts a lot and eastern medicine takes a lot of time and energy.
Yesterday I agreed to get a shot of Neupogen to boost my white blood count. This is the same shot i’ve been trying to avoid for the last month. But agreed to this week in my attempt to do whatever is necessary to stay on schedule and finish this round of chemo.
The Neupogen goes into your bone marrow to stimulate production of white blood cells. But it also leaves me feeling like crap. Headaches. Pain in my legs so bad it makes it hard to walk. Aching bones. Fatigue. I swear sometimes the meds make me feel worse than the cancer.
That being said, I do recognize the value of taking medication under the right circumstances. I believe the chemo and herceptin are doing what they’re meant to do. And I wouldn’t take on cancer without the help of western medicine.
But I must admit I am not too keen on the thought of being on pharmaceuticals for the rest of my life. There’s talk of putting me on tamoxifen soon – I would love to hear about other people’s thoughts/experiences with the drug… But I’m paranoid about putting my already fragile body at risk for a bunch of other (potentially lethal) side effects. I feel like the more drugs I take the bigger the chemical soup in my body becomes. Who knows what it’ll do to me. And I really don’t want to constantly deal with yucky side effects that screw up my ability to get out there and live life (like this damn Neupogen did for the last 2 days).
It’s so interesting to me how East and West approach the same disease in two totally different ways.
Take my recent white blood count drop as an example. The doctors and nurses were not surprised about the drop (they’ve actually been more surprised about the count going up lately). They assured me it was just the chemo doing what it does. When I asked if my drinking and not eating so healthy the week before could have contributed to the drop they said, “Nope.”
But when I told my acupuncturist/Chinese medicine practitioner about the WBC drop she was surprised. Especially since it had been going up steadily for the last month. And the first question she asked me was, “What did you eat?”
Two totally different responses.
I know in my gut that living healthy is gonna help me against the cancer. Eating right, exercising, meditation, acupuncture, psychotherapy, doing things that bring me joy…
And of course my reiki sessions at Harmony Farm. For which I largely credit my ability to go on a 7 mile bike ride with Miss M. this morning. Renée, my reiki practitioner, is amazing. Without me even having to tell her where it hurts she instinctively knows exactly where to go. I always feel so much more balanced after our sessions. As she says, it’s “massage for your soul”. If you are in the Dayton area you must check her out – Renée Price – Radiant Energy Massage.
The reality is that staying healthy takes a lot of time, energy, and money. And a willingness to remain open to every option and possibility.
I will continue to chart my own path. To live this life as long as I possibly can. And to make it a good one.
Peace. – T