Three years ago I began having ringing in my left ear. Two years ago I had an infection which seemed to close down the left eustachian tube. This is the tube which drains the ear of fluid. The closure caused a loss of hearing and some pressure in the ear. I tried many natural approaches but the Eustachian Tube (or should we call it ET?) did not reopen. I saw an ENT and he tried a few approaches but eventually had to insert an ear tube in my ear drum in order to drain the ear. My hearing returned and all was well. The ear tube fell out in September 2017 and yet the Eustachian Tube had not opened as we thought it might. Hearing loss returned due to fluid build up in my ear and added pressure and mild occasional headaches began to appear. Another ear tube was placed in October 2017 and the symptoms were alleviated. During this whole process I have been accessing natural health modalities. An approach that I have been using a great deal is Cranio Sacral Therapy. Since I have also been studying this particular modality, I have had many different practitioners working with me. All have reported a sense of bogginess and malalignment in the cranial area. I began to be concerned that something might be pushing the structures out of place. I went in to consult with my new Primary Care Provider who listened to my concerns, asked questions and ordered a CT scan.
The CT scan showed a mass in the left side of the Nasopharynx muscle. The mass was pressing up against my eustachian tube and thus had been causing it's closure. It may also be causing the ringing in the ear. With the biopsy it was determined that the mass is a cancerous tumor that slowly has eroded away part of the bony canal for the internal carotid artery (which for you folks who are anatomy geeks like me, is formed in part by the Sphenoid bone and so it is this bone which was affected). The tumor is now cuddled up against the internal carotid artery and this has some of the medical team concerned. It is a rare area for this tumor to appear and it's given name is Adenocarcinoma. My particular version started in the salivary gland. The tumor is fully contained within the nasopharynx muscle. They declared my brain and skull unremarkable which in this case is something to celebrate!! And is not any reflection on my education or intelligence level😎 It simply means that there is NO cancer in my brain or skull.
The treatment plan is for me to have surgery on Wens. January 31st. The surgery will begin at 7:30am and last approximately 4hrs. It will be at St. Luke's Hospital. I will be in the hospital for a day or so and then healing at home for at least 2 weeks. Once the surgical area is completely healed I will begin radiation for 10minutes/ 5 days/week which will last around 6 weeks. Chemotherapy is also in the plan. This will be a lighter version of chemo tacked onto radiation. Chemo is one day per week. It's purpose is to enhance the effect of the radiation. I am extremely fortunate as my surgeons are world renowned in this type of surgery and will not be cutting open my throat or face 😱 If you want the gory details they will be entering through my nose, removing the tumor and then putting a tissue graft next to the carotid artery to protect it. 😷
The other aspect of this treatment plan has been a natural and spiritual approach. We call it Project Freak Out the Surgeons. 😳 This is not intended in any way to disrespect the amazing medical team that will be working with me. I do feel extremely blessed by their skill and kindness. It is more a reflection of my mischievous and hopeful nature. PFOS is the gathering of many natural health practitioners, family and friends in a multi-tiered healing approach. The healing modalities being utilized are Energy Work, Acupuncture, Healing Oils, Herbs, Love, Humor, excessive laughter, prayers of many spiritual traditions, the power of sitting in healing community and did I mention LOVE :)
I am so grateful to all who have offered and lent their amazing healing skills to my healing process! I am grateful to those family and friends who supported me through those challenging first weeks of not knowing if this was cancer and then not knowing if it was contained and simply just not knowing and really feeling. I am grateful for the laughter! and hugs and research and reassurances. I am grateful for your intuitions and again grateful for your LOVE.
Yesterday I was blessed to sit in community with so many amazing souls! Since the surgery was moved up a week we had little time to get the word out to all who may have wanted to be there. And I was amazed by those who did make it with such last minute notice. The dancing, breathing, communal activities and more dancing was such a sweet form of healing for me. Again I am grateful for the gifts each of you brought! What I felt in that circle and in reflection afterwards is definitely beyond words. I share this and my story in hopes that the healing that I am being gifted can be shared with my beloved community!