Monday 22 December 2008

Make mine with gravy please!

This past month I have been working with a much tighter regimen under the special guidance and help of the wonderful Dr. S. - 5 days detox sauna, at least 5 coffee "you know what's" a week, eating the usual vegan fare, and trying really hard to eat as much raw food as I can. However, tis the season!

So far I have stayed away from the usual office "goodie" baskets that show up at this time of the year, with only one really naughty incident that occured after being tempted all day by one very fully loaded chocolate filled woven basket. As I whisked by it at the end of the day, I grabbed a Hershey's kiss and mini size milky way bar, and scoffed them down so quickly I wondered if that was really me, and did I really do that? Most importantly it was not such a big thing- just a little regression.

One thing that it really helping, because it is so hard to eat cold food during the winter, is to put some gravy on it. And who does not love gravy? At our annual holiday lunch at my job, they had the big turkey-beef-stuffing buffet thing, and I found a little moistening really helped to enhance my vegetarian plate. I think that is oh so clever of me to come up with that. I get a bit of tasty fun and warmth, and eat my vegetables too!

Tuesday 18 November 2008

Two Steps Back

Mildred, Daisy and the triplets (my 5 tumors) let it be known in my recent CT scan last week they needed to stretch out a little, they were feeling a growth spurt! Only a few millimeters but as my dour Oncologist put it - "it is real!" What happens now? - trick my ovaries into believing they are not working- how do you do that?- err we shove a huge needle into your abdomen wall and say "you might feel some discomfort" and we fill you up with hormones each month. I think this is the stage where the torture starts to begin.

I am trying to keep the faith. Do more infared saunas, no alcohol at all now (agh!) or coffee (how worse could it get) no dairy, meat, fish, poulty. I was doing quite well, but I fell off the wagon a bit, and as a result, these cancer sisters let me know they are sincere about doin'n it for themselves. My message to them- we're in this together ladies- don't go off by yourselves. This is a team thing. And as a friend of mine says "I'm serious!"

My mother just bought me a beautiful juicer so I can have fresh carrot juice every day-something cancer is not so crazy about. I had some this morning with broccoli and pineapple. It was okay- quite refreshing actually. Also I am experimenting again with my dehydrator- mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, they make a great third thing on the plate!

How about a raw pumpkin pie for Thankgiving-it can be done "I'm serious!"

Love to all my dear friends.

Friday 7 November 2008

Lifted by Art

One of the things I recently renewed in my life has been my love of painting. This happened the other day when a special friend of mine Kathy, offered me the use of her studio while she was out of the country. I accepted, but was not really sure if I could do anything, I had been so tired- how inspired could I be. It took a while to settle down and focus, but once the paints were squeezed out of the tube the genie was out of the bottle!

I first did some very small pieces about 3 x 3 inches (that is how intimidated I was) then worked my way up to 12 x 12 inches, and finally created a work 30 x 30 inches. I would not have even done the larger one had it not been for my dear friend Charles who pushed me to get on with a challenge. Annoyed at such pushy behaviour from him I ventured up scale. I am so glad I did.

Art has the ability to give so much to the painter, as I am witness to. The special dialogue one can have with one's creativity, and sources larger than oneself can be intoxicating and rejuvenating. The last few weeks have been the happiest, and I know that joy has a very positive effect on the immune system. So while I detox in the sauna, get my old fillings removed (mercury), and try to adhere to my "new life" protocols, I added an old one...painting.

And thank you again Kathy.

Sunday 14 September 2008

The Long Slog

One of the hard things about trying to "save ones life" or at the very least put off "certain death", which we all face as soon as we are born, is what I call here the long slog. Without a daily measure, like a scale when one is trying to loose weight, it is so hard to follow one's progress. Usually I have to suffice with peeing on a piece of paper to see how alkaline I am, but it is not so accurate. Naturally, I can have blood tests and scans, but as you read before those are not handed out so easily. What that does then, this not having a gauge, is to make a person very hypersensitive to every ache or pain, temperature change, an "odd" a mood swing. A constant inner voice says "What's that?" "Did you feel that?" "That's so noisy!" and "what does that mean?" I am a bit exhausted as you can imagine.

Still on the brighter side, super sensitivity can have it's plusses. It is amazing how much more alive I feel. Food never tasted so good. Silence never so sweet. Words more lyrical. Nature all the more breathtaking, and friendships all the more precious. That in a perverted way makes this journey so very interesting and fulfilling.

Tuesday 19 August 2008

From Disgruntled To Ungruntled

Getting frustrated again with my oncologist (Dr. Antonio Wolff) who was making it difficult for me to get my 2 month CT scan, I turned to my breast cancer surgeon and friend (remember I called him the disgruntled husband the other week) Dr. Ted Tsangaris. I just had to know what those naughty little tumors were doing. Working on changing their attitude or just partying! I knew if I had a chance to explain what had gone on over the past few months Ted and I could get back on the same page. Yup, we did it, and so as my buddy again he grabbed a pen, and filled in the form so I could get the scan. He also told me not to expect too much from the Tamoxifen as it works slowly, and things might be the same as two months ago. That's fine with me, I told him, no change would be good, I would rather have the same chestnut size tumors than new bigger ones with horns looking for trouble. Waiting for the results was a tough 24 hours but I made it, and Jasmine (his social worker nurse) called me to let me know I was stable. Ha! Ha! No change! Fabulous! I was stable! Not many people can boast that, and I now have the paper work to prove it.

It seems then all the love, raw food, detox, coffee (you know where) and the Tamoxifen are rallying to the cause. It makes me want to keep going, and surely isn't it great how some people, even if they do get disgruntled will ungruntle themselves, and just do the right thing. How happy Ted has made me, my family, and friends too. Yey Ted! Your the best breast surgeon a girl can have!

Tuesday 5 August 2008

Acts of Kindness-It Saves My Bottom!

Hi There My Dearest Friends (and when I say "friends" that includes family too!),

Last week was really hard for me, so many set backs, yet I wanted to just thank all the people in my life who were there for me. Some of you let me cry on your shoulder, others offered me the scratchiest tissue the world has ever seen, others of you appeared at my work door to just say "hi", gave me a reassuring smile. There were sweet hugs, a thoughtful email, a card, a lunch and a couple of great projects assigned to me to get my creative teeth into. Then there were the hard core of you that could hang in there for the long talks and tears. I thank you for holding my emotions for me- because that what you do- you hold them, and that gives me some relief. How lucky I am to have so many dear supportive friends.

I am truly blessed!

Saturday 19 July 2008

Allopathic + Homeopathic

Good News Dear Friends!

I met with a medical doctor who also practices complementory medicine too. I am so pleased. Dr. New Hope for Kiki, or Dr. S gave me the plain talk, the truth talk, and many options, but more importantly a plan. He also agreed to be my central person for healing and getting me better.

The plan is to keep taking the Tamoxifen, which he feels will assuredly shrink the tumors, detox my body (using the most civilized and also not so civilized ways to get the crud out) and keep to the raw food diet. Body work and psych work are also up there too. He said many times a trauma, or blocked stresses cause the body to be in a constant state of anxiety which causes too much adrenaline to circulate around the body, then combined with other factors, some we cannot control sh*t happens! Yikes!

My other news is that I bought a dehydrator so I can cook food without destroying it's powerful nutritious enzymes. At high temperatures many vitamins and minerals are lost in our food, so by cooking at a low temperature 118 degrees I can get the most out of my healing recipes! Combined with my sprouts and raw fruit and vegetables, I have noticed my skin is softer and more radiant, and even though I feel tired, and sometimes grumpy, my energy level is rather good. I am comforted to know I am giving myself the best boost I can.

Next week I will tell you about the Infrared Sauna and my visit to Fountains of Life (colonic time!)

Love Kiki

Friday 4 July 2008

Stephen M. Cattaneo II, M.D.

Yesterday I drove up to Hopkins again this time to meet with thoracic surgeon Stephen Cattaneo (the lung man). After waiting a while I was told there was a mix up about where I should be, so off I went to another building to meet with the doctor, on the way I bumped into my Breast Surgeon Ted Tsangaris, after all the greetings, he asked me how I was doing "mad" I said (not the right thing) as his face changed into a disgruntled husband. We then exchanged some not so nice words, however ended up with a hug and "I'll see you in a month for your check up". Now I really felt like poo (US-shit) as he was my buddy from 12 years. Why should I feel bad I thought, why should I be made to feel hysterical - I have cancer, not just cancer but metastasized cancer- I pressed on to reach my destination in the offices of "Thoracic Surgery." The receptionist informed me I had made a mistake with the time, I was late, and generally blamed me for all of the changes in regards to the time and location. That was it for me- the July 4th fireworks started early- I threw my bag into the chair, and said to all that "John Hopkins was NEVER AT FAULT!" "What's wrong?" the receptionist asked "Oh just cancer" I replied sarcastically and with that the tears came- I was so embarrassed, no tissues, and no composure, how un-British of me, but I was tired of being a "good sport" about all this. Quickly I was ushered into the conference room where I was presented with tissues and a glass of water. I felt like a mad woman- was this the mood swing of Tamoxifen? No I think sometimes it all gets to be too much. Think about it, it has been weeks since I had any sugar, wine (no plumy bouquets or toffee finishes for me), no coffee!!!! That in itself would cause a meltdown in anyone.

Next the Nurse came in, and I let her have it all... poor woman, I was however lucid enough to say it was the doctors who needed yelling at not her. After our "talk", and about 20 minutes later, Stephen Cattaneo, sat down to talk to me about my options. Like my Oncologist Dr. Wolff he to felt I should wait for two months take the hormone therapy, and see if the tumors shrink or not. Quite frankly, that wasn't good enough for me, and I told him so- while I would follow their protocol I was not impressed- there aren't many options at this point for any type of cancer. It is always the same; surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or radiation. If you think about it- with all the funding none of the protocols have really changed, they are still doing the same old thing. That is why I have changed my diet, become a vegetarian, and only (most of the time) eating raw food. Wheat grass in and up unmentionable places, funky music and lots of dancing. I've researched that can really help.

Monday I see my favorite therapist from the past Rosemary (I always liked her) to get my head shrunk a bit, and then Tuesday I have an appointment with a homeopathic doctor to get some complementary medicine counseling- I will let you know how that works out. Also just to gross you out even more, I have called the lady who does my colonics- that is a lot of fun, plus you instantly lose 5lbs. You can't beat that for a boost, now can you!

Happy July 4th, and with each bang you hear think of my little and not so little tumors bursting into the air to be re-born as new healthy happy cells.

Tuesday 1 July 2008


Hi There,

This weekend I had my first hot flash (or flush as said in the uk) of course I was not sitting quietly reading, but driving my car in Dupont Circle (the gallery district) with a friend.  If you have ever had the flu and a raging fever, that was it, because not only could I hardly walk, I could hardly stand up!  

It was a usual Washington summer day with the humidity nice and high to give me an instant steam bath as we stepped outside to get me something to eat.  We wandered over to Teaism, where in the bathroom I was stuck on the toilet seat which seemed like an eternity. Coming to with the sound of a gentle knock and the inquiring question of "are you okay" I realized no I wasn't. I splashed my face with water to try and wash the green look I now had on, no good I looked awful. I emerged to see a kind face of concern, mine embarrassed to be such a bother (how English of me).  I noticed a friend's place of work, the Marsha Matekya Gallery was just opposite so we headed over there so I could sit in peace.  I actually ended up in the basement stockroom hugging the floor in the fetus position for half and hour or so. Finally with a chill that washed over me, my first experience with Tamoxifen melted away with me feeling rather exhausted.  I moved from a supine position to sitting, and then, standing!  The rest of my day was actually rather pleasant as my friend and I saw a wonderful exhibition of photographs at the Phillips Collection.   Bret Weston, the son of Edward Weston- see it if you can it is really a treat!

Thursday 26 June 2008


Hello Everyone My Dear Beloved Friends,

I am writing this blog so you can talk to me whenever you want, and also check in to see what is going on!

These past few days have been hectic with CT scans, bone scans, and blood work. All came out fine! Yey. I just have those little buggers in my lung, but soon they will have to jump ship because I am just going to be too healthy for them to hang on.

Notice "Bug Out Bob" my new friend, some of you remember I can't stand needles, the sight of blood or anything vein related. Well if I give Bob a good squeeze when I get the unmentionable needle his eyes, ears and nose pop out! At least I get to laugh while I am crying.

I will write again soon with more pictures and news. And remember, I love you all, and embrace all the love you can give me.