Monday, 6 September 2010
Today I was updating my "Crazy Sexy Cancer" profile page I thought I would share it with you all.
I am an artist, and was a college professor. I believe in love, living passionately and looking at life as one big adventurous opportunity. I have walked the road less travelled by, and while It has been hard life is a treasure. Still walking after 12 years of C.
I have metastasized breast cancer in my lungs, (BC since 1998 ER and PR positive) my pelvis, L2 and now have some little suckers in my liver. I believe in loving and not being at war with myself is the answer, as I cannot hate my cancer, it is not the devil to be exorcised. My cancer is a result of something I am not looking at, something physical, emotional, environmental. I am not going to give up digging, delving, and researching. Cancer is the "call" the call to listen, to change, to make an action. Today I was thinking of the word "defiant". Defiant at what has been presented to me on my CT scan, defiant that my number is up, defiant that I will be pushing up daisies by next year! That is it right now anyway. Nope not gonna accept the pink slip.
At present, I am studying the history of the liver, and why I am so drawn to the color red. When I was diagnosed with mets in my lungs it was yellow, bones orange-am I working my way down the color chakras, isn't it supposed to be the other way around. Perhaps I can find my own Da Vinci Code!
There you have it today.
P.S. Has anyone see the Showtime series "The Big C" unless she has some cathartic turn-around, that show is a piece of giant poo! I don't know one person with cancer who acts that way. Who can be so glib when your life is on the line, maybe at first, but honestly. I think "The Big C" is a Hollywood "idea" of what one would do, and the general unknowing public (Sorry general unknowing public), a game one plays at a party "So what would you do if you had only a year to live?" I especially don't like the way they have written the support group people. Those people can sometimes be our only lifeline! Boo to Laura Linney who produces it. I hope you turn your character around!
Thursday, 12 August 2010
Rhythms, rituals, and routines is the hallmark of my life it seems. I am sure we all share those to some degree. This past summer, which is nearly over, just lacked all of that. I just couldn't get a grip on it, and as a result felt just rudderless.
I have a wonderfully organized garden which has some great vegetables growing like mad in several patches and also I have a studio in an adjacent apartment to ours to work in. However getting out there, getting up there, was/is like pulling teeth. Of course it was so hot so soon this summer, as most would agree, who could do much but complain, wait and argue, (I felt bloated, fat, and tired most of the time) and mostly because I found myself eating the wrong food. Not wrong, but not "appropriate to my health issues".
I do have to pat myself on the back because even though it appeared and was sort of true I wasn't eating very well, I actually was getting in two raw salads a day, and several green smoothies. The problem was I was adding in several glasses of red wine, chocolate and cheese!
Gosh Cheese! Who can not live without wine and cheese, and moreover, who can not love wine and cheese? (except a lactose intolerant person or those few aliens from another planet who wince at the sight or smell of it) Further when you eat cheese you have to have a rich red multi-layered, berry-laced, slightly earthy cabernet or a fresh slightly grapefruit-y, tangy, gooseberry white. Certainly if one has the wine first, the cheese inevitably comes next as one is too happy to care. Life becomes a dream of tastes and delight, one feels a post orgasmic bliss of the soul, the vapors even.
What I love to do is have a mouthful of a nice full bodied red wine, swallow, pause for a minute to get fullness of the taste, then eat a cherry, enjoy that, then take another sip of the wine, and wow! The fruits in the wine go wild. Now to "up the ante" have a piece of a strong blue cheese and then buckle up your seatbelt because that will send you to the moon, and while you are flying you can hear the "hallelujah" chorus in your head. Another fun thing is to have some white wine, get a chunk of Jarlsberg, and do the same, ships ahoy! Seriously cheese makes the wine creamer, the wine makes the cheese nuttier. So wonderful. The more healthy way to do this is to get an organic wine, or better still Whole Foods sells a "no sulfates added" organic wine, and raw goats cheese. These are less acidic for your body which is more healthy. I mention that because if you do fall off the wagon, at the very least you can be somewhat careful.
Chocolate is another one of my pleasures; the reward giving, sinfully delicious, theobromine mind soother! which I have gobbled up like a naughty child hoping not to get caught. What is it about chocolate? It does have some amazing properties, but sadly not the kind we crave. The chocolate we love is heated, processed, has tons of sugar in it, and probably something the FDA and the AMA have also added to keep us addicted, so we don't ever uncover the truth, but that is another essay. Raw cocoa though, is very very good for us in moderation (is that ever possible with this exotic pod). Raw cocoa has many properties that have been enjoyed for hundreds of years- one can experience an almost fruity taste when eaten in its raw state. Please try it with some Lucuma (a low calorie sweetener) or tiny spoonful of honey. Stevia forget it. I have tried so many kinds, it either tastes bitter, or the leaf kind literally smells like poo. No thank you! I'll take a few grams of natural sugar.
Of course all of this is not allowed on the vegan diet, it is so sad. This summer I hope I got away with it, because as soon as my husband goes back to work to teach, it will be time to pull myself up by my boot straps and knock it off! Cancer just loves it when I get all gooey and cheesy, non selective and choosy. So once in Maine, for the last leg of this summer, it is back to the boot camp with occasional cheating (like on our wedding anniversary August 25th). I hope I can keep to it, as my life depends on it. It is so easy to fall of the wagon and stay off. Alas. Still I have my memories...
Thursday, 20 May 2010
Hi Dear Friends,
What's next is the question I have been asking myself since I returned from the the wonderful "Oasis". I have taken a break for a while from tests, doctor visits and so on and just focused on walking the talk. It can be tough.
I finally, after some pelvic pain and some depression rearing it's naughty head, realized it was time again to up the ante and get pro-active again. "Will this ever end?" you and I ask, my reply "No, it is for life, to get more life really." So here I go again.
Last week I met with a new doctor whose name I won't mention but is was a disaster, such a shame as I had high hopes. I wrestled whether I should go back as they offered hi dose vitamin c, which I greatly need at present. After chatting with some other professionals I found out this is part the process too (and dropping 500 bucks! Whoa!) Finding people, surrounding oneself with healers, visionaries, and smart doctors is the way to get closer to healing. I noticed a pattern with the doctors I liked and ones that I did not; great visionary and learned doctors have a staff who are cut from the same cloth. All are positive with patients, are interesting to talk to, and have a holistic connection with the "process" of healing. Why would I want anything less than that. That said I talked with a second clinic and "voila" what a difference. The doctor called me back the same day, and was interested! How cool is that! I came off the phone knowing something new to do and an appointment. Pattern number 2: Cool doctors always can tell you something you didn't know. Pattern number 3: They also give you hope, and that is the best thing any doctor or person can do!
Thursday, 1 April 2010
For the past few weeks, as you all know I have been going to a clinic in Arizona, "An Oasis of Healing" Cancer Clinic. Every day I was hooked up to an IV of some sort. Had a full body cleansing inside and out, and learnt more how to prepare raw vegan foods. It was really hard, but I am so glad I did it.
One of the treatments I had was IPT (insulin potentiation therapy) a targeted and sneaky way to get chemotherapy into cancer cells. One day I had two chemos, another three other types. The whole process gets one really high, so the nurse, myself and the other IPT patients (who were so great) had a rock'n roll party as when you come down, you are must eat tons of natural sugar to get your blood sugar to normal. IPT does have cumulative side effects loss of appetite (except for sugar!) constipation, and some nausea, but can really help people. There was a patient there who just had his PET scan back with no new mets, and some now gone after 8 weeks. I hope it has helped me too. I will get a PET scan when I get back home (I am in California with my parents- so nice- for a week) Note though, when I mentioned I was looking into IPT my oncologist in PA went bonkers, and became all angry. So beware that.. it is considered not a real therapy. When I was getting my port put in at the local hospital in Mesa, AZ the surgeon there said he had seen some amazing things happen at the Oasis clinic. That gave me much confidence.
In addition to IPT, I also had a treatment where blood was ozonated that was wild I must say, and in addition I had hi dose vitamin C infusions which is another cancer chaser... really gets in those cells and evicts them.
After two weeks, I felt really tired and ready to stop as it was tough going, but I know what I learned there I can use now, and I can move forward in my healing. I am going to keep the treatments up by traveling up to Long Island once a month, and locally keeping up the less invasive treatments.
This was one of the most bizarre and wonderful experiences, which I highly recommend.
Saturday, 6 March 2010
Hello Dear Friends,
I am on a wonderful healing adventure in Mesa, AZ. I am going to an incredible holistic clinic called "An Oasis of Healing".
With Dr. Thomas Lodi at the helm, he has created an "Oasis" A breathing space, a healing place. For me it is the lifestyle, foodstyle, spiritualstyle, medicalstyle, bootcamp I have always wanted!
I decided to learn how to "stop making cancer" ( I have had 6 recurrences now) and enough is enough already. It is wonderful to see hope, happy faces, people getting better, doing well and to speak with a doctor who says "yes" instead on "no".
Jack and I met with the doctor yesterday for an extended consultation. As we talked I could see how we could all just "up" the notch on what we were talking about. Finally, a doctor who is informed, knows so much more than I do, rather than the other way around.
At the nutrition center we had lunch, a most delicious raw meal prepared by their chef, and also enjoyed being in the sun. Glorious! Hope is here!
Friday, 12 February 2010
Two weeks and two days. That's how long I have been off the Oxycontin. If you know anything about addiction to hard drugs, then this you might know is catagorized right up there with heroin. It's street name is called Hillbilly Heroin in fact.
I was given it for pain, and it worked like nobody's business. However after two weeks the body starts to get used to the drug, and an addiction forms. No doctor actually warns you of this so beware. Only after I said I was tapering off did my oncologist say he could help me get off it. Even with help eventually one has to stop cold turkey. How bad can it be you may wonder?
Ever had bugs crawling inside your skin, or want to literally cut your legs off because of the restless legs it gives you. Want to just have tantrum after tantrum. Scream at you loved ones for no good reason, then cry about it. All this and further there is diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, and loss of interest in food. It now makes me crazy just writing about it.
In Florida two weeks ago, I spent three nights up until 5am, exercising, listening to comedy tapes, knitting, praying, meditating to finally not have that last 5mg capsule. It was really hell I must say, but knowing in the morning I had made it through the night was reason to celebrate. I called my husband, danced around to Chakka Khan, and called my dear friend LaVonne. I had kicked it.
I am still feeling the residual withdrawl, a tickle here and there, but it is really mild. I feel like I am back in the game- finally. Oxycontin and its sister Oxycodone are so addictive, I learned, they like to hang out in ones muscles, just stay there for a long time, and as a result, that makes one still crave the drug. And I do! Heroin does the same along with other narcotics. How fun!
More to come but wanted to make this my first post of the new year. So think twice about getting that prescription refilled, it really is dancing with the devil. For now it is only Tylenol and Advil for me folks!