Dr. Brand, a world-renowned hand surgeon and leprosy specialist, often marvels at how the body works. He goes through chapters on cells, bones, skin and motion, without making the reader feel like a student in a biology class. He never seems to abandon his child-like fascination with the human body and its operations.
Having breast cancer has pointed out to me what happens when cells declare "mutiny" and do things they are not supposed to do. Receiving chemotherapy is showing me how little things challenge our immune systems every day and we don't even notice. There are many things we take for granted about our bodies.
Right now, I seem to have a random infection in my body. I'm taking supplements to boost my immune system. I have eliminated almost all refined sugar from my diet (sugar wreaks havoc on your immune system!). I try to eat 5-10 vegetable servings a day and I'm working on eating more fruit. I'm up to one apple a day (but it's not keeping the doctor away!). I just don't like fruit very much. (Once I'm stateside, I'll start juicing fruits to make them easier to eat.)
Two weeks ago, I got a cold sore in my nose. It's bad enough to get cold sores in/around your mouth . . . but the nose? Yuk! I didn't think much of it . . . there are many cases of chemo having this side effect. I put neosporin on it and took ibuprofin.
On Thursday, I noticed that I had a painful lump (swollen lymph nodes) in my left armpit. Had a doctor look at it and she said it was probably related to my nose sore (which is almost well). I have been treating the armpit with heat compresses (as recommended) and with ibuprofin. It got bigger instead of smaller so I contacted the doctor again.
I had my blood checked and everything there looks okay. However, since I am scheduled for chemo on Friday, the doctor decided to put me on antibiotics to tackle whatever is going on. I don't want my chemo delayed again! This is the halfway point and I want to have it on schedule!
We never really think about our armpits! They serve as part of our body's air conditioners, but other than that? Gotta admit that I give them little thought. Right now, though, I'm thinking about it all the time! I want it to heal and be well and to be "not-thought-of" again. If this isn't noticeably improved by Tuesday, then it could delay my departure for Hong Kong (I'm supposed to leave on Wednesday).