Surviving Cancer: the journey continues

“The eyes are useless when the mind is Blind” 

The biggest challenge in my healing and survival stage is to keep an open mind and focus on understanding my purpose. Overcoming the feeling of giving up when bad days become overwhelming, and keeping a smile, while battling to maintain my sanity. 

Waking up to a swollen face 4days out of the week- the doctors couldn’t tell me why this was happening and I certainly didn’t  know. My face still hurts, especially on swollen and cold days. Oh and apparently the stick therapy is even more necessary because my jaw if tighter and heavier when swollen, my inner voice just keeps screaming “when is this shit going to end”. Finally after weeks of communicating via text and email,  an  appointment with my surgeon/scientist Dr Schimdt, will only aid in bringing comfort to my situation because I was scared and deeply frustrated. 

I’ve always lacked patience, I thrive on immediacy. Key words from dialogue with my doctors triggered me to use my google skills. I read about side effects of radiation therapy and found out about Lymphema. Sure enough- I was diagnosed the next day- and I was back on antibiotics with pain meds. I cried, I cried, and just kept thinking – what’s next? What the fuck else do I have face? Do I have what it takes to win this battle? All these things kept coming to mind. 

The progress from stick therapy regressed and It’s almost like I’m starting all over again.  Back to square one, a few days of not eating- not because I don’t want too, I just can’t. The pain from moving a muscle in my face was simply unbearable. I kept hearing the words of Dr Viet (she’s young beautiful and oh we’re the same age) “Janiela if you don’t push through, you won’t be able to open your mouth for the rest of your life”.  She was honest and wanted only the best results for me.  Sometimes kind words from a stranger is all you need. 

Just when you want to give up, thrown in the towel, the mind starts to take you down the road of self pity and begin to drown you in negativity,  I had to remind myself  – nothing accomplished  in life that’s great ever comes easy! It’s unfortunate that I had to get cancer, have part of the inside of my mouth resected, loose the ability to bite into a banana or any fruit for that matter. 

I ask myself  Janiela do you still have your five senses ? Do you have 2 feet to walk?   Hell Yes – and for that I’m forever grateful. 

The Journey to healing continues! 

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