A medical update from Christina

To our loyal H&H clients, as many of your are aware, 2019 thus far has been a challenging year medically, physically, emotionally and spiritually for me.

On Wednesday, June 12, I underwent an exploratory laparoscopy to further investigate a mass in my pelvis of unknown origin that has been blocking my right kidney. My bloodwork has been unclear and the outcome was uncertain.

The procedure went well, but fortunately/unfortunately they discovered that the pelvic mass was not in the peritoneal cavity as they had predicted. It appeared the possible location of the mass was in fact behind the cavity scoped (retroperitoneal). The peritoneal cavity appeared normal and healthy – no endometriosis or cancer.

My case is being transferred to the urologist who has been following me since I was hospitalized in April. I have a pelvic CT and biopsy pending and a urology consult to determine a different plan of attack to relieve the blockage of my right kidney.

**UPDATE, June 17: I am scheduled for my pelvic biopsy June 25th and in 2 weeks, the possible results of tissue analysis will hopefully yield more information about the composition of the pelvic mass and how to proceed to relieve the kidney blockage. Fingers crossed.** 

Since the age of 12, I have navigated life with lupus nephritis and since moving to Victoria BC, this volatile and progressive autoimmune condition remained stable, or so I thought.

Lupus is a cruel and unrelenting beast and it is active again. This year, I have discovered that it has damaged arteries in my brain, is chewing up my kidneys and may possibly be responsible for this mysterious mass in my pelvis. I am negotiating feelings of uncertainty, heartbreak, overwhelm, but also hopefulness and gratitude.

I am preparing myself for a long game.
My medical situation is complex and I am blessed to work with great specialists and outstanding adjunctive practitioners, but there are no quick solutions. Hence, I am also preparing you all that due to future diagnostics, treatment and recovery, I will be periodically absent from my usual acupuncture timeslots. This is the double-edge sword of living with chronic illness, while being self-employed.

I ask for your continued support:

  • Keep me in your thoughts and send me your poz vibes
    And if you are curious, learn a little more about lupus.
  • Support me by supporting Heart & Hands
    My amazing team will continue to cover my hours whenever I am away for medical treatment. Unfortunately, our business expenses don’t change regardless of whether I am capable to working. Getting poked keeps our business running and provides a living to our hardworking acupunks.
  • Support yourself by supporting Heart & Hands
    Acupuncture works best on an accumulative basis. If I am away, please maintain your course of treatment and book with one of our amazing acupunks. Whether you are coming in weekly or doing maintenance sessions every few weeks, regular acupuncture supports your well-being and prevents future illness or injury. You are in skilled, compassionate hands, so keep getting poked!
    Book an appointment today!
  • Support others by sending us your loved ones
    We pride ourselves on and THRIVE on your word-of-mouth. If you have had a positive experience or notice someone in your life is in need of some self-care, please send them our way, so they can also get poked!
    Or, here are other ways to support us
  • Share your H&H Story
    We will be launching our first annual Human of Heart & Hands Drive this July.
    Be part of the living document that speaks to the power and connection of Heart & Hands and community acupuncture. We encourage you to contribute to this stories project.
    Read here for more information
  • If you do not live in YYJ or acupuncture isn’t your thing
    Please spread the word.
    Talk about us on social media, don’t forget to tag us @heartandhandsyyj
    OR share our website, www.heartandhandscommunity.ca

Living with chronic illness has taught me resilience, in times of health to live my life to the fullest and a drive to seek alternatives to support and redefine health and wellness. Having the privilege to practice community acupuncture not only aligns with my life, but also allows me to be part of something larger than myself. I am honoured to share this with my community and beyond.

I thank everyone in advance and know that my entire community is rallying behind me.
This is Christina Medical Anomaly Chan signing off for now.