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Hand-Oy Coordination

ejourneys's picture

I've already written that anastrazole has exacerbated my carpal tunnel syndrome by inflaming the surrounding joints and soft tissues (according to my oncologist). Last Friday, that exacerbation ticked up a notch, in the form of sharp shooting pains through my middle and ring fingers that knocked my breath from me.

(I'm used to my CTS affecting my thumb, index, and middle fingers, not my ring finger, but CTS affects the ring finger, too.)

I popped some aspirin, but before it could give me at least some relief I attempted to make my usual salad. I couldn't cut a tomato -- not until I had grasped the knife (and other utensils) toddler-style. That did away with the sharp pains, though I still needed to take frequent breaks as per my "old new normal." Forget about nuance; the only way I could manage was to curl all my fingers into a fist around the utensil (like this).

I took more aspirin before bed on Friday. My hand still felt a little iffy on Saturday, but without any shooting pains. Taking frequent breaks, I spent some time creating my second Sharpie tee:

Large size

Scanned details:

Large size

I had done my first Sharpie tee after my second round of chemo. This second tee dates from 13 days short of my first anniversary of finishing chemo and 9 months 28 days after I had finished radiation.

Sunday saw an episode of what I'll call "shooting pains lite." That called for more aspirin. I checked out the Survivorship Training and Rehab (STAR) Program, which specializes in oncology rehab services, but the closest facility to me is well over 100 miles away. I also did a web search to find local acupuncturists, since acupuncture can relieve CTS symptoms. Turns out that acupuncture is part of my cancer center's "Integrative Oncology and Wellness Services," so I will ask about that. As of this writing I have not experienced anything like the shooting pains of last Friday, but my hand still feels iffy, in that "new new normal" kind of way.

Last month I had been one of the people interviewed for a story in our local paper about cancer support groups. That article, by Julie Gorham, has now come out:

(Legible size is here, or read the article online.)

This is part of the Chronicle's annual "pink paper." I can do without the hype of Pinktober, whose at times crass commercialism manages to fetishize breast cancer ("save the tatas!"), often without a penny going toward research. And of the little that goes toward research from breast cancer fundraising, pitifully little goes toward research into metastatic BC, the only breast cancer that kills. According to last year's Metastatic Breast Cancer Landscape Analysis from the MBC Alliance, "research funding for MBC accounts for only 7% of the total breast cancer research investment."

That's very little bang for the buck, especially considering the hype. The hype also does other cancers -- which also need research funding -- a disservice. For example, did you know that October is also Liver Cancer Awareness Month?

I was happy to see the Chronicle's "pink paper" include Michael D. Bates's article, "Oversaturation?", which addresses the hype of Pinktober and how it's been "corporately hijacked" in the words of Dr. Joseph Bennett. The "pink paper" also includes informative articles on mammography, chemo brain, advances in breast cancer testing, reconstruction, the latest statistics on BC's continued lethality, and more. Living in a small county (estimated population 139,377 last year according to the U.S. Census Bureau) means that several contributors and interviewees either belong to my medical team or work with people who do.

I was also happy to see that the Metastatic Breast Cancer Project website is now up and running. This project is huge, not just in its undertaking but also in its importance. This is direct genomics research focused solely on MBC. This project seeks to be a game-changer on many levels, not least the level of patient participation and collaboration. There will also be a chance for non-metastatic BC patients to participate and contribute, which is one reason why I'm on the mailing list. I first wrote about the project here.


Rocquie's picture

You look fantastic in that beautiful shirt. And I love your hair! I always enjoy your blog posts. . .please keep them coming.




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