It has been a while since I read my blog.
I am back in it so I can learn from the past PTSD cycles and thank you past self, it’s all very helpful. All the research is right there to reread and all the results of past treatments are there to learn from.
At first, I was just filtering for June posts but then I fell into an internet rabbit hole letting the AI-generated suggestions for other blogs to read dictate the way. This one really rocked me. How did I survive that?! But yet here I am.
While I feel like shit, I have to acknowledge that it has been MUCH worse. MUCH MUCH worse. Today I did not have to tackle my child for surgery and a blood transfusion. Nor did I have to learn that he is not responding to treatment and still has cancer all over his body after rounds of poison. Yes, it is fair to say that today is a better day than that. Even if I can’t feel it in my body, my mind understands that.
And I understand that I may have another cycle, that there may be a fourth so I continue to document the newest research to learn from. I feel so fortunate to live in a time when we can name such disorders and have novel treatments that only get better year after year.
The newest research is less about “software” (chemicals/ anti-depressants) changes, but “hardware” (physical brain/ neurons) changes to combat PTSD. There is ample evidence to show that increasing glutamate production triggers new neural connections. This makes the brain more adaptable and able to create new pathways, giving patients the opportunity to develop more positive thoughts and behaviors.
The drug that can do this? Ketamine. As in the antithetic used to treat wounds in battle. Crazy but true. It was discovered by accident and the VA leads most of this work. Ketamine works by quickly increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter glutamate in the frontal cortex of the brain, while also allowing new synapses to form in the same area. I’m on day three of these infusions and while I’m not ready yet to give it the stamp of approval for other cancer moms out there, I will say that I am seeing some results. The physical pain has subsided and last night I was able to enjoy my children and Steve. I laughed at a joke even.
I also pumped up the music. I found my cancer playlist and gave that a whirl. It has been helpful to replace negative thoughts with lyrics.
Day 3 of treatment- was able to laugh and a somewhat normal-ish night
Music helpful (Sia- The greatest, The Wild Reeds- Let No Grief)
Blog VERY helpful
Meeting with students also has been helpful. Being a teacher is a selfless act that requires you to be there 100% for another. That has let me out of my own negativity. VERY helpful