Archive for Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cancer battle turns into dance

November 26, 2008

It is said that we “battle” cancer. On some level, that may be true. There are days when it does feel like an all out war with chemotherapy a battalion in hand-to-hand combat.

On such days, my imagery goes something like: March, Attack, Destroy and my mind works to direct the chemotherapy and the killer blood cells in my body to march, attack and destroy the cancer cells that I am told to imagine looking like raw hamburger. Except I imagine mine looking like little bitty ‘c’ shaped candies that used to come in flip top containers. I send the chemo and killer blood cells chomping after them.

I worried one day about where to send them after they had been chomped up — not wanting to send them spewing around and landing somewhere else in my body. I asked a nurse and she said, “Send them to your spleen; it’s the body’s trash compactor.” I was much relived; I did not know that.

So, I changed my mental imagery. Now the killer white cells in my body are dressed in white suits like workers being exposed to radiation wear; on their backs are large vacuum assisted tanks, with long hoses. I direct them to suck up all the cancer cells, which have been nuked by chemo (not accurate, they don’t get nuked, but I tell them they do). The outlet to the hoses connects directly to the spleen, which compacts them.

As the cancer cells are being nuked, sucked up and compacted, I direct the healthy red blood supply to: March, Restore, and Replenish all healthy cells adversely affected by the chemotherapy, which is nonspecific and toxifies all cells, cancerous or not. When I reach this stage of my imagery, I often fall asleep and wake about 30 minutes later. Even as I rest, my mind and body are working to eliminate cancer and restore health to all cells. It is a bit of a battle.

It is also a bit of a dance. Like it or not, cancer is part of me. It’s a part of me that has mutated and taken off in a new direction. I dance with that part of me in a slow, evolving waltz. And like the fella in the Tennessee Waltz, I am going to introduce my partner, Her2, to a good friend, Herceptin, who will steal my “sweetheart” away, maybe even when I am not looking.

I have Her2, an aggressive form of breast cancer; the drug of choice, Herceptin, targets the Her2 and goes after it just as aggressively. So I am learning dance steps; having fallen into the embrace of Her2 until one day — soon I hope — my dance partner will be seductively and finally stolen away by one more seductive and deadly than I. That day, my battle will be a waltz indeed. I, however, will have a new partner.

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