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June 21, 2016

50% to 75%, it is a bit rough

My friend Tanya and I prior to infusion.
I am enjoying this week, I am in the off week cycle of chemotherapy; three weeks on, one week off. The first two infusions I chose to do low dose chemotherapy at 50%, then the third, I chose to increase to 75%. I was comfortable with 50% and I was functioning quite well, minus the day after the infusion – Fridays were my say something crazy day! I chose to increase the dosing to 75% due to increased inflammation and pain that was emitting from the mass in my arm pit. The growth is beginning to look like a third breast it is so large and the pain continues to be around a 7/8. There is something about pain that psychologically can bring you to your knees, I must be diligent to apply positive self-talk, self-care practices, and processing of all the emotions that fade in and out. I am being diligent to remain positive and hopeful. 

After infustion. 
My energy level is decreasing and I am now napping regularly in the afternoons, it has become part of my new routine. My body is tired and needs rest in order to continue healing. The rash that appeared last year after a few infusions of chemotherapy has returned on my knees and elbows. I think what a strange place to get a rash - I too wonder why there? I am sure someone has a theory or two. I leave myself notes and make hand written lists of things I need to do as my memory recall is drifting away. I often laugh when Curtis asks me where I have been and I can’t recall, so we head out to my car to see where I ran errands to and what I picked up. Upon one look we learned
I had purchased some plants for the yard along with a couple household items from Target.

I was pleased to have some letters arrive from my writings pals. The trick now is to figure out what hurts less, to write by hand or type; I may have to get even more creative. I did receive a letter that contained many questions directed at me. I am still processing how I feel about this -there were about 8-10 questions folded into the typed letter. I was a bit taken back, but I am not quite sure why. My first thought was that I do not know this person very well, but I so admired her when our paths crossed, she is “good people”. The questions made me think that she had read every blog entry I had written, which was flattering. These questions identified that there are dangling pieces of stories in my writings. Why is that? I too thought about the many questions all the readers of my blog must have - but they remain unanswered. I thought too, I am sharing so much of myself and yet you want more? I am still processing as I type. I just reread the typed note. All these questions circulating in her head and her choosing to just go for it and ask me the questions hoping I received them well. They are good questions too. I like it. I like the fact that she just went for it and asked me all these questions she had floating around in her mind for all these months. Many of these questions I do have answers to share while there too may be ones that I leave dangling - I too believe this is okay. This is one of the reasons I have enjoyed writing back and forth with people - there is no time-line or expectation to write a response, although I always do respond. The most striking part of writing, it encourages me to experience life at a deeper level, to push myself to be a better person, to grow in my spirituality, and to live from a place of gratitude. So keep asking me those questions while sharing a piece of yourself - the authenticity of the correspondence thrills me.

My slipping memory is something I accepted a long time ago. I typically don't remember what I write to people, what our telephone conversation was about, or why we laughed so hard we were brought to tears. This is okay. What is rich is that in each moment, there is so much love and an authentic exchange of ideas, that the details can fade away because we all leave feeling better for having that slice of time together. It's actually quite magical, at least for me. 

I recently learned of an oxygen hyperbaric chamber in Eugene, it is not covered by insurance, but I can have access to the treatment! I have scheduled an appointment this week. I am so excited because this modality is medically proven to aid in healing of wounds. The side benefit is that cancer cells cannot live in an oxygen rich environment therefore I will be killing cancer cells while healing the wound. My hope is to utilize the chamber every day for 10 days and then reassess the situation. 

There is quite a bit of assessing and reassessing going on in my life right now, I want to make choices that support bringing my body into balance, from a direction of least resistance, and from a place of love. I am determined to turn away from making decisions and choices based on fear or desperation. I feel pretty good about how things are going; yes, this journey requires patience and I have that. This journey requires positivity and I have that. This journey requires deep spirituality, and I have that. This journey requires being open to receiving, and I have that. More than anything, this journey requires unwavering faith while living from a place of gratitude. Seeing the beauty through the pain, through the struggle, through the tears. I know I have what it takes to walk this journey even when there are many obstacles. I am forever grateful for the amazing family, friends, and others that are walking this journey with me, believing in me and giving me the strength to walk with grace. Thank you. 

Today, I am hopeful~

I continue to utilize alternative modalities in combination with western medicine, a majority of which is not covered by medical insurance. If you would like to offer financial support you can mail donations to the address listed below or make a direct donation at your local Selco Credit Union. Every dollar donated goes directly towards my treatment.

Mailing donations:
Christina Garrett
PO Box 192
Philomath, Oregon 97370

Selco Credit Union Direct Deposit: "Team Christina"