Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Reaching deep into my roots ...
First the good news! The two lesions in my breast were biopsied (or at least samples of the lesions) and were BENIGN!! There were early signs of cell proliferation but not enough for my surgeon and doctor to recommend a surgical biopsy so for now I get a 6 month reprieve till I have to return for a follow-up MRI. If the lesions are still there they will need to be removed. The bleeding issue that resulted after the MRI guided biopsy is of concern to my primary doctor so I have an appointment scheduled with a hematologist for next week.
My biggest issue right now continues to be my heart and not being able to sleep at night. It's now 29 days since I first had sleep problems. I've gone back in my journals and health diary. It was the Monday after I returned from a weekend workshop in Virginia (3/14) and 4 days before the first attempt to do the MRI guided biopsy. I wasn't even aware at that time that I had heart problems. I just remember waking up every hour or hour and a half. I brushed it off to 'worry' or anxiety or who knows what. But it persisted every night, and has persisted every night since then. Some nights i'm fortunate and only wake up about 4 times and am able to fall back to sleep fairly quickly. A month ago I would say I was minimally symptomatic; even two weeks ago, it wasn't bad. I noticed the palpitations but they weren't bad and I could live with them. Mid May for the cardiac MRI and appointment with the electrophysiologist seemed a way off but based on my symptoms I was okay with it. This past week or so the symptoms have gotten worse - not only do I feel these strong heart palpitations at night (which often wake me up) but I feel them during the day. My strategy of cat naps during the day no longer are working and as the days and weeks string together where I am unable to sleep without interruption I feel my body weakening. Desperate for sleep this past Saturday I broke down and took some OTC Nyquil cold medicine. My body does not do well with drugs and although I got some sleep I woke up many, many times and in the end did not feel rested as I slipped into what felt like an out of body experience, and the irregular and increasingly strong heart palpitations would jolt me awake.
I asked my cardiologist to reconsider the heart meds. Sleep deprivation is making me feel desperate ... desperate for sleep; desperate to try anything to get rest. My cardiologist tells me I'm not a candidate for the heart medication as my resting heart rate and my blood pressure are already too low and the meds will lower them even more. I don't care, I say. I know i'm not thinking clearly. I need to get in to see the electrophysiologist sooner. She is working to get me in to see him next week. My cardiac MRI has been re-scheduled for early Monday morning. How long can I go on without sleep, without uninterrupted sleep?
Last night I just wanted to cry. I was so tired. I tried to take a nap in the late afternoon. I normally don't sleep with my pups ... I broke down and let my dog Missy on the bed with me thinking it may help me fall asleep. The only one who fell asleep was Missy (and Mister too!) ... nonetheless, it was nice to snuggle up with Missy who thinks she's a person as she loves to lay her head on a pillow.
I am grateful for the incredible friends I have and all the support I continue to get from such a loving community. And today, I am especially grateful for a new love in my life ... a message early this morning on my cell phone "hi sweetie, just wanting to see how your night was" ... and the daily calls (actually several check-in calls a day) to see how i'm doing and if i need anything, and then an hour ago he stops by on his way back to work to drop off some hot food and OTC meds that the cardiologist recommends to help me sleep ... a hug, a kiss an embrace. I tell him that the best medicine for me right now and what is helping me through all of this are the unconditional love of my dogs, his love and support and the love and support of so many of my friends and family.
I have reached deep into my core and done so much work and healing emotionally ... it's ironic that as I have opened up my heart to love and to allow myself to be loved, I am now here having to deal with heart issues. I wrote a letter to my heart the other morning while i journaled asking her what she needs from me ... "dear Heart: I hear your cries. I hear you. I feel you. I notice you. No longer will I push you away or build walls around you. Please tell me what you need or want from me....." I have spent decades trying to keep my heart safe. Now, even with these heart issues, I know that I have never felt so alive ... so full of life, so full of love.
I reach deep into my roots for strength, for courage, for hope. And I reach outward to accept the help, love, support and encouragement of so many who bless me with their presence in my life.