9 to Go

**This post was transferred from the now defunct "The Long Ease" blog.**

It's been a hectic few weeks, and I sort of lost track of my blogging.  But I wanted to pop in real quick this evening with a TMI report about my healing.

I've been told from the get-go that these oxygen treatments have the best results with radiation injury.  As you likely know, I started the treatments for an injury inside my bladder - therefore the healing progress cannot be gauged visually without an expensive (and in my case, somewhat risky) procedure (cystoscopy). The only way to tell if it's working is really just based on how I feel.  I've been hesitant, to say the least, to admit or even believe that I am doing better, but over the past couple weeks, it's really gotten quite obvious:

I no longer wake in the night to go to the bathroom, and when I DO have to pee, there is no pain, pressure or discomfort AT ALL.  I no longer wince in pain when my car hits a bump let alone when I have to drive over the brick road at the end of my street.  The random occasional stabbing pains are down to maybe a couple a week instead of a couple an hour.  And when I got the test results from the last doctor visit, there were NO red blood cells in my urine.

This is all incredibly good news and very promising.  But it is NOT what I sat down tonight to write about.

I mentioned that the HBOT is believed to work the best on radiation injuries.  When I began the treatments, a friend told me about someone at her job who had breast radiation and the HBOT really helped with her radiation burns from that.  Well, my bladder is not the only thing that was damaged by the radiation.  I also had terrible burns from my treatments.  If you were reading my previous blog back DURING my cancer treatments nearly three years ago, you may remember the difficulty I had with how the radiation affected, uhhh, my butt-crack.  In addition to torching all of the hair out of that whole area, my radiation treatments left me with painful burned areas that have never quite been the same.  It's made riding a bike next to impossible and often left me fussing to try to keep my cheeks from touching just so the discomfort would stop enough for me to fall asleep.

But this morning, while I was in the shower, I noticed something that I had not realized previously - that pain from those burns... it's gone.  Completely gone.  The skin no longer felt raw - it just felt like the areas I have up front where I had radiation burns that DID heal after treatment ended.  I couldn't believe that I had not noticed it earlier!!

I know it's a strange little added victory, but I cannot begin to explain what a difference I KNOW this additional bit of healing is going to make to my quality of life.

I am completely thrilled.

In the morning, I head back in for my second to last week at the Wound Center.  I will definitely be heading into the tube with some added gratitude tomorrow.

Love love,
Phoebe Marie

(From an unrelated trip to the Botanical Gardens this weekend.)

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