Monday, 18 June 2012

Aches and Pains....What do they mean?

The last two days (Sunday and today) my right shoulder has been very sore.  It is very uncomfortable to reach forward or downwards with my right arm.  The shoulder "grabs" me and really hurts.  I am a little paranoid about aches and pains now because I always wonder "Is the lymphoma coming back or is there another kind of cancer growing inside of me?"  So as the shoulder was aching, I tried to logically think about it.  I've been doing a lot of hedge trimming last week and I started trimming my shrubs.  I cut the grass and then used the hand clippers to trim along the fences.  I have always had bad knees so if I need to pull weeds by hand or trim the grass, I bend over from the waist and use my long arms to help me reach and pull the weeds or clip the grass.  Maybe this is why my shoulder is sore.

I also had an appointment scheduled with my chiropractor so I decided to let him work on the shoulder.  This morning I finished weeding my flowerbed using my hoe, shovel and hand cultivator.  I was very tired afterwards so I took it easy for the rest of the day until I went to my chiropractor appointment.  As I changed from my gardening clothes to my "going out" clothes, I noticed some swelling near the site of where the tumour was in my neck/collarbone area.  As I felt around the swollen area, I felt a hard lump.  I'm wondering if this is scar tissue or if the lymph node is becoming enlarged again.  Or is it a lump of swollen tissue because of the gardening I've been doing.  As I looked in the mirror and was feeling around, I started to feel scared and anxious.

I remember my oncologist telling me in one of my appointments during the chemotherapy cycles that the physiology (form) of that area of my neck will have changed due to the scar tissue and trauma to the area.  I'm hoping that I'm just feeling the "new" physiology of the area.  I have a check up with my doctor on Wednesday and I'll definitely be mentioning the swelling and lump that I felt earlier today.  I don't want to be a "Nervous Nelly" but if it's going to return, I want to catch it early.  I'm not singing anymore so I won't be able to feel any changes like the last time.  I am glad that I have an appointment on Wednesday. I'm going to rest tomorrow and Wednesday.  Maybe rest will make a difference to the swelling.

I have to remember to give my concerns and worries over to God to carry for me.  I do this by combining some meditation techniques with prayer.  I inhale deeply and slowly.  As my lungs fill with air, I focus on my fears, worries and anxieties.  As I exhale slowly, I visualize exhaling all those worries into God's hands until my lungs are empty.  If I still feel tension within, I repeat the process and name each fear individually as I inhale slowly.  As I exhale, I give God each fear individually.  When I'm relaxed, then I thank God in prayer for His/Her love, support and all-encompassing care.

When I went to the chiropractor this afternoon, he at first thought it sounded like a rotator cuff until he started feeling the shoulder as he manipulated it.  He could feel the knotted muscles.  He worked at it and adjusted the shoulder, neck and back area.  It started to feel looser and better almost immediately.  He has given me some shoulder stretches to help keep it loose.  In his words "all in moderation".  I guess I've been working too hard in an effort to gain my strength and stamina.  I think I even mentioned in Saturday's blog that I need to learn to balance between going "full throttle" and "full stop".  Moderation.  I guess I need to still learn how to do things in moderation.  It seems I may be slow in learning all of this.  You would think, being middle-aged, that I would not still be learning.  But learning does make life interesting.  So bring it on.  I'm willing to learn and try to change and then embrace life fully.

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