Cancer is terrifying on its own, without having to go through it alone. Fortunately, I had a great support team. I am writing today to talk about one such member of my support team, my Acupuncturist, Sharon Pruss.
While researching alternative treatments to use in conjunction with my radiation and chemotherapy, I was relieved to find that acupuncture was the only thing listed that really seemed to help with many of the specific side effects of radiation of the head and neck. I mentioned this to someone at the Cancer Community of the South Bay, and he immediately referred me to Sharon. I started my acupuncture treatments a week later, prior to the beginning of my radiation and chemotherapy. There were changes for the better from the beginning of my treatments. As a result of my surgery, I developed sleep apnea, and I snored like a chainsaw. After the first acupuncture treatment, my sleep apnea was gone, and the snoring was drastically reduced.
As time went on and I started radiation and chemotherapy, the acupuncture reduced my symptoms to a minimum. In fact, at the half-way mark, my oncologist could not believe how well I looked and felt. Of course the human body is not made to withstand radiation and I did start developing some side effects. Sharon was amazing during this time. When my mouth blistered, she recommended healthy drinks to keep my energy and spirits up, and always made time for me when I needed an additional appointment. Once the radiation and chemo came to an end, I continued to work with Sharon and within one week, the burns and blisters in my mouth had healed. The only other side effect that I had developed was a problem in tasting food. My support group told me that it would take at least six months for that to be restored, but through working with Sharon, I regained almost all of my ability to taste food within six weeks. One of the worst side effects that affect many head and neck patients is a reduction in saliva, which I can say never happened to me due to my acupuncture treatments.
As a result of my great experience, I have family members seeing Sharon. Sharon has been able to help my life partner sleep after years of insomnia. I have, and will continue to recommend Sharon to friends and associates. She made all of the difference in my personal journey back to health!
R.M., Long Beach