WARNING: Some of the Content here may be Objectionable to some. I have this blog labeled as "Adult Only" as a common courtesy for those who may easily be offended by Adult topics such as the Truth, Down to Earth topics, realities of living with Ovarian Cancer and/or any life threatening disease that goes along with it; Sexuality, Medicinal Cannabis, Profanity, and of course plenty of unpleasant body functions are also discussed here. This is a very tough battle for which I don't intend to hold anything back on what I am facing.

This blog is very personal and comes from the heart of a real fighting cancer patient who wishes nothing more than to live for all of those I love my own will to live, and my love of life. While sometimes I might be on heavy medication (prescribed by my doctor) and occasionally I might write about things or subjects that one may never even think about or consider; so please consider that as well. Yes; whacked out things might even be found here; but I mean everything in all good intentions.

This blog is not at all intended for the faint hearted, those who lack a sense of humor, have no idea what down to earth means, greedy mean people, and/or those who don't know how to share the world with others, and especially those who are unable to easily put themselves into the shoes of others. This blog is mostly about my journey of living my life in the best ways that I can under the Golden Rule and appreciating all of the GOOD KHARMA that comes my way! Never take anything in this world for granted; especially family and friends!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Overcoming chemo brain with new devices and knowledge...

My husband and I have been so incredibly close lately (actually we always are). We have these cute little spats that don't really last long and always end up with us laughing our asses off at each other. One example is that we have these pool keys which I sometimes will loose. I put them in a pocket but it always ends up "well which pocket did I put them in?" Sometimes he looses them and it always seems that I am the one who lost them in the first place each and every time because of this chemo brain.

I am convinced each and every time when something does go missing; it must be me that lost what ever it is. I love to put things in pockets (yes coats and pants), in purses (which ever purse that might be). Women do have so many accessories and I'm no different. They look great, and they hold all of the things we can't possibly carry in our hands all of the time!) Anyway back to the missing pool keys; I had to call my neighbor to let me and my friend into the hot tub. I must have looked inside each and every jacket of mine and my husband's, pants I had worn, purses I may have used. I could not for the foggy chemo brain remember where those keys must be. My poor patient husband is helping me look and of course nothing.

The next day, my husband goes to work and then finds those keys in a pocket in his jacket that perhaps I had never even known he had; his secret pocket. The problem is neither of us can remember or even know which of us is responsible for loosing those keys. It totally does not matter to either of us. Move on!) We just cracked up when he produced them and told me he found them in his jacket in his secret inside pocket. It was either me or him? We had no idea but didn't care. He had checked the mail one of these days and I did too. I wore his jacket one cold, cold morning to take Blue Belle out for her morning potty break (could have had the keys then, but don't know). His coat is so warm and smells just like him that I just can't resist wearing it sometimes. I just remember his outside pockets which I always use but who knows? We were just so tickled that we found those keys. What a relief!

Chemo brain seems to be a big thing for me and many other cancer patients like myself. It happens sometimes where you feel this fog covering up your brain when you are either telling a story, trying to remember where you put something, or explaining to someone something you did, etc. It happens and sometimes when you try to figure out and to learn new things it takes many times of memorizing for anything to really sink in. Don't get me wrong, I still feel smart at times, just frustrated when I forget things. Things do eventually come to me whether its seconds, minutes, hours, days, and sometimes months. You never know.

Well I am doing new things for this New Year to improve my brain skills and I already feel great about it. For instance, I am taking that Yoga class which I can tell is helping me in other ways as well. I also signed up for this Medical Terminology course which really excites me and will give me a great challenge. Maybe I can find out what's really ailing me; yeah its the cancer but hopefully I can fix myself, myself. Wouldn't that be cool? Yeah that's a dream, but I can also make myself more useful in this world by learning medical terms, what they mean, and more.

I also just got myself a new iPhone and its so far pretty fun and I can play with and learn how to use on the way to work! Oh boy! So far so good with the learning how to use; still getting confused with the menus but I have a feeling this will be a good experience for me. Oh,, it's a fun one!)

I just shipped my mom her new phone (my old phone). It will be so good if we can get back to talking to each other every day or every other day again. I hate doing the weekends or once a month. That will not work. A woman's gotta talk to her mom as much as she can or least every day , right?

TGIF! Don't get me wrong, I love each and every day and have found new purpose in going to work in that I do have fun, I get to work with some people who really do have hearts of gold, they do good things for others, would be more than willing to give the shirt off of their backs, and what ever they can do to help out. Their work involves creating drugs which can save the lives of those with debilitating diseases.

However lately, I have found it really sad when others at work tell me of how others make it really hard for them to deal with work (making them very miserable) and while it does make me sad to see others so sad, I just hope that my presence makes going to work so much better and tolerable. I just do my best to cheer others up with my problems. It seems to work with my mom and it makes me very happy to be able to do that for her and for others. I catch myself laughing so hard at myself that I get others laughing too. That always seems to make me feel wonderful!) There might as well be some positive in my seemingly constant bowel problems.

I decided after this experience in the hospital that I just want to just do my best at everything I do. Yeah, it was a close call!) I made it!) So now, I just give everything I do my all! Yeah I have been doing that all along, but never have I felt so strong about it; actually perhaps I always have. I really do like to make those around me appreciate their lives so much more than they do or just to feel great just being around me and maybe I am able to influence others that being miserable is no way to be or to live your life. Live a little, laugh a little, give a little.

I was at work early today and I only got around 3 hours of sleep; if that. I did have some very painful problems today (not until after noon) which honestly does worry me. It was good for me to be at work and to get things done, but in all actuality I was pretty scared today about my doctor's appointment yesterday.

Work actually helped me get my mind off of those problems, but once that pain started I had to sit it out for a little over 2 hours. Yes, I had a bad case of diarrhea which happens sometimes too often; I'm still very, very happy as can be that my butt hole still works!)

I almost felt as if I had dry heaves in my butt hole and that my intestines felt as if they might just come right on out (that I might shit out my intestines). How unpleasant that was and I for sure could not go home while this was all happening. I couldn't get it to stop a few times; like all the food I had eaten was now coming out. I didn't have any appetite for any food and was fearful that it too would come rushing out. That's another thing my doctor had been concerned about was my weight. I need to gain some! I'm still loosing weight but still within the 120lb range. With my clothes, jacket, boots, and a set of keys I had in my pocket; I weigh 129.

I still managed to get things done and all that I had promised I would get done. I felt great about that but was still in lots of pain. I tried some aspirin, then a few hours later some Ibuprofen. It was just like I had taken some sugar pills, so I just tried some breathing techniques, thinking about Blue Belle and what every I could do to rid myself of pain. I tolerated it quite well and NO that does not happen all the time. Just 1 day out of 4 which isn't that bad. No pain the rest of the week.

Finally, it (butt hole dry heaves) stopped, peacefulness but still quite painful! I drove home and then decided that I needed to go to Whole Foods to find me some stuff that could put some real meat on my bones. I called my mom on my new phone and my new hands free device with does not have one of those ear barrettes (torture devices for your ears) just to tell her that her care package is on its way.

How wonderful it was just to hear her voice and that I was indeed cheering her up. I was parked and ready for my shopping trip (all except that feeling of intestines coming out of my butt hole). She told me I needed to smoke a bowl and I did. Within 10 seconds; the pain dissipated. How amazing that felt and my mom got to witness all of this on the phone!) Actually she has witnessed it many times. I sometimes will call her in pain and she will always tell me "You need to go smoke a bowl". How cool is that for my mom to say that to her own daughter? She knows it works and it really does. I would be arrested if I lived in her state (South Carolina) and dared tried to get rid of that pain and uncomfort. Well now I could walk to and inside the store without any pain! What an awesome plant and medicine!) I guess my ancestors weren't at all stupid.

I got all kinds of great stuff at Whole Foods including some Aloe Vera juice, Fish oil (w/out mercury), stuff that had no gluten, soy, or dairy. Maybe diet can help me and perhaps this others stuff can help regenerate my intestines. I told the cashier of my hopes and dreams that I will cure myself one day. After she had bagged up my groceries, she walked around the counter and told me that she just had to give me a hug, so she gave me a good solid hug. It was very sweet. Here's to hope!)

When I got home, my dear sweet husband had fixed the water heater (actually he bought a new one and a friend of his helped him install it). Yeah! We have hot water!)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Feeling better & meeting with doctor...

That hot stone massage really proved to be a miracle in that the abdominal pain in my stomach slowly disappeared through out the week and my back and muscles are still feeling relaxed. Wow! Was that the best massage I have ever had? I really think it is!)

I had my yoga class on Wednesday and I had no problems with any of the exercises. I felt more limber and balanced and I know that too was due to that wonderful massage Aerial Ascher gave me on Sunday.

So what's next? Well I went to see my doctor today and he examined my abdomen for further complications and to see if there was much improvement. For now we are just going to enjoy every God given day I am provided with where I get to go pee and poo.
It's the truth!)

NOTE: This is definitely not me, but kinda sorta where my tumor is located only I don't have any ovaries, omentum, fallopian tubes, etc. I'm more spayed than my dog!)

The tumor that is located just inside my abdominal wall and could very well grow and eventually obstruct my bowels once again and it would need to be removed but the problems with me is that this is an extremely risky surgery. It may need to be performed in the near future; we don't know when but intend on prolonging that as long as possible. He explained to us the consequences of having another abdominal surgery in the future and the certainty that I will need a stoma or a colostomy bag. This would be permanent because of the damage done to my bowels. I like anyone asked if there was such thing as an intestinal transpant or from a donor or man made.

Not sure which type of stoma I would get; one type is an iliostomy which disposes of digested food and the other fecal matter (colostomy bag). I wouldn't get the nutrition that I needed so I do plan to try my very best to get as healthy as I possibly can. It's so incredibly scary to think about and how I wished I had normal problems just like everyone else; oh, wait I do on top of all of this. I just don't focus on those other problems nearly as much. I just wish to live a happy life with my soul mate and of course I am; right now!)

That's exactly what I'm doing; is living for right now. It's all I can do and I can't just live in fear of the inevitable. I can still be active with one of those contraptions but in all reality of what I am facing is living with this terminal disease. I can still live; don't get me wrong and that I will!)

My doctor wants to do this type of scan where it takes about 8 hours to perform and this scanner is able to photograph multiple photographs of this solution that I will need to drink all day (no food or water and I'm getting pretty used to that). This scan will record with photographs all the processes for which my body deals with food and or stuff that I intake. It should be quite fascinating; however he is suspecting that my intestines are incredibly fragile and once I am opened up it might be it for them. They are closing in somehow or narrowing which evidently happens to lots of patients who have survived the recurrent cancer for as long as I have. We have had many who have survived for as long as 9 years and a patient with stage 2 alive much longer.

God it just gets me how incredibly deadly this disease is that I am dealing with. I need a miracle and lots of prayers and I just have faith in my heart that I WILL get through this. I have to get my intestines stronger. I will research and there has to be a way to get my intestines stronger and more resilient. It doesn't hurt to try because I know it does to not try:)

After the doctor appointment, my husband took a nap and I left to go to the AT&T store to get my phone working correctly and to get my mother's new phone (my old phone) working before I send her a care package. I included all kinds of great teas (green, ginger, black, and white teas), vitamins, popcorn, and more. Everything to make my mom feel good because I know she has been feeling very depressed about my state of being. I try my best to be as upbeat as I can with her and not to worry her.

My mother does suffer from severe depression which is another thing that I have in connection to our President. His own mother also suffered from severe depression. She could never be happy in one place and seemed to always be looking for happiness which unfortunately many people actually do instead of just enjoying the ride. It's right now is where your happiness is and it is a choice. You can either complain and feel sorry for yourself or you can just do your best and I always count my day in how many people I can get to smile or laugh.

I am very, very scared of my future, but that doesn't stop me from attempting to enjoy every moment that I can whether it's laughing at myself, my husband, having fun with my dog, talking to my friends or family or just writing right here, right now.

Sorry I got off the subject. Anyway, I'm sending my mom this phone and care package tomorrow morning. Miss Blue Belle got to hang out with me at the phone store and many employees did not even know she was there the entire 40 minutes it took to deal with SIM cards, multiple phones lines on my account, what phones for which, and getting all my phone numbers into my new phone. As she was walking out with me, that's when she drew a small crowd of smiles and pets.

I got home and my husband had freaked out because he awoke at 6:30pm thinking he had to hurry and get ready for work. Mass confusion and of course laughter!

An hour later, a good friend of mine stopped by to see me and she shared her problems with me and we also got a good cry out which you really have to do every once in a while. We got to soak in the hot tub and relaxed. We talked about all kinds of things and how I plan to research making my intestines stronger, more resilient, and perhaps they can improve and perhaps I can even focus more energy on killing that dam tumor and that darn cancer in my body that is supposedly growing inside me. Could this be possible? There really has to be a cure. We got back to the house and watched the rest of the Sharks game and also tried to figure out my new iPhone. Yeah, just got one and hope it can help stimulate my chemo brain.

My husband arrived shortly after the game and we all got to talk, and of course laugh right before she left to go home. I went to bed shortly after and then at midnight was awakened by my husband. The water heater had just bursted, water was leaking everywhere, in the walls (or so we thought). It was 12:30am and we needed to call our dear sweet neighbor Nick to help us shut off the water and to try to turn some bolts (I don't understand those things as well), we got everything shut off and then we turned on the water (not the hot water of course). I was wishing that today had been the day I was to wash my hair because I wasn't all looking forward to washing my hair in the sink with cold, cold, water.

On to choose to enjoy another day!)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Hot Stone Massage

I awoke this morning with the worst diarrhea from all that I had taken the night before to get myself unblocked. My abdomen still hurt but at least things were starting to come out.

The cool thing is that we did not have to cancel our massage. We finally got to use our gift certificate for our couples 75 minutes hot stone massage. We both felt it wasn't long enough but over all it felt great.

I had never gotten a hot stone massage before and wow! It was a very spiritual experience in that the massage therapist I had, had a connection to me in that she was massaging my abdominal region and could somehow feel the pain I was in. I must have cringed somehow but she felt it and I immediately knew of that connection.
My massage therapist was Aerial Ascher at the Roman Paradigm massage near Santana Row. I could still feel that pain in that same area while I was getting that massage, but as the day wore on, the pain slowly dissipated also after I ate a much loved brownie. .

What was very cool about this massage was how relaxing it was to feel the hot stones hit pressure points on my body as she moved them in ways that broke many of the knots that I had felt in my back. It just felt so amazing!

Somehow eating that brownie made with cannabis oil several hours after the massage had caused me to become very thirsty and it even intensified the massage after the massage.

I focused on my breathing so intensely that the singes of pain in my abdomen completely disappeared. I lay in bed with my husband feeling the massage and those hot stones on various points of my body. It felt so wonderful even after the fact? Wow!

Even hours after the massage and into the night I could somehow feel those hot stones in areas where the stones had been rubbed and/or placed. When ever I did awake; I awoke comfortably. All of those knots of pain in my back and shoulders were gone! Normally, when I do awake in the middle of the night, I feel some pain in my shoulders and neck and this time; I felt nothing but stress free and pain free! What a miracle! I was sleeping like a baby in the arms of my love (my husband). That won't be the last one I get! I'm hooked now!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Singes of pain....

This morning I awoke to some extremely sharp pains in that same spot as before where I got hospitalized (left side where tumor implant was removed in 2005).

I have enough antibiotics for 2 days (today and tomorrow). I had to have my doctor appointment rescheduled because I had forgotten that I had the doctor appointment and of course 2 days later I am having some more problems.

Today has been a painful day but nothing a little cannabis could not get rid of.

My stomach swelled later this evening to the point that I looked as if I were 6 months pregnant.
For right now, we are playing the waiting game in order to watch my temperature and if the pain passes the threshold 6 (its at 5 right now). It is scary and I really hope my massage won't have to be rescheduled and that I won't have to be cut open for my number 5 surgery.

Its so scary to be scared like this and I do try to get my mind off the pain and have been doubling up on the Miralax, Prune Juice, and what ever else I can do in order to get through this abdominal block.

I don't have gas which is another thing to be concerned about and thank god for the cannabis. Its all I can do for the pain right now as it is very uncomfortable to have to deal with.
The cannabis has enabled me to drink more of my prune juice mixture, the Ensures, and has even alleviated the pain enough so that I can comfortably try some yoga moves and stretches in order to get my intestines moving again. Of course it does not have those side effects of causing constipation.

This age old medicine still works great even though financial interests have made it illegal by the Federal Government for me to use; not because it is a deadly drug of course and it is not in the slightest; but because me using this plant makes me not need to purchase medicine which doesn't work at all for me.

It's really funny what money can do for people and the draconian drug laws which ruin so many innocent lives. I really hope that this changes soon because I don't feel that I hurt anyone by alleviating this painful abdominal pain. My doctor completely approves; we are just prolonging my life for right now and its working.

I also ate some brownies that a dear friend made for me with some Cannabis oil which actually did wonders for getting rid of the pain and it also helped me to sleep soundly. I laughed quite a bit but that was about the most dangerous thing I felt like doing to myself. I just couldn't control the laughter at some points of the evening. I was able to get to sleep and so far so good. Fingers are crossed for right now that I won't have to get the Hot Stone Massage canceled just yet.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Laughing at my sweet, sweet dog!

I just finished my first week at work and I'm very proud of myself. I had felt so guilty for having to miss another 2 weeks of work but I really couldn't help it. It just felt good to be able to accomplish at least this. Tuesday, a new President, then on Wednesday, I got to go ice skating during my lunch break which felt absolutely exhilarating. We only skated maybe 20-30 minutes, but the little bit of time we did spend skating was enough to energize me for the rest of the work day! To top it off, later that same day, I had my first Yoga class and let me tell you, it felt absolutely wonderful and really good for my soul.

In the beginning of the yoga class I was unable to get a deep breath into my diaphragm mostly because of my injury to my abdomen caused by the Avastin. It was frustrating but I felt the need to speak up when the teacher asked if everyone was able to get a deep breath. I kept trying through out the class to try to breath correctly and each time it seemed to take so much effort to do.

At least this being the first class also meant it would more than likely be the easiest of all the classes. Towards the end of the hour, we all lied on our backs and tryed to get more deep breaths; breathing in through our nose and then breath out with our mouth. I tried to imagine Blue Belle breathing in as I tried more and more to get the breath all the way in. Finally, towards the end of class; I watched as my stomach swelled with my breath; I had done it! I got my deep breath in!)

As the week wore on, I could almost feel myself getting stronger and stronger everyday even though I have only gained maybe 2 lbs since I got out of the hospital. I'm not able to eat too complex foods, but I was able to handle eating some South Indian Food on Thursday. The South Indian Food (North Indian is way too spicy for me) I was able to eat was mostly cooked and stewed vegetables which made it much easier for me to digest completely. My stomach actually felt great after eating as if this was finally something my system can work with!

Cute Blue Belle Story

When I got home from work today, I was just starting to feel the intense pain of that tumor implant area again. I was feeling really worried and bummed because it was intense pain. I actually thought I was getting better and now this. I tried my best not to worry about the pain and to get my mind off of it. I decided to try out a piece of brownie to see if this could help get rid of my pain. Just as the brownie was just starting to take effect, I had to take Miss Blue Belle out even though it was starting to hurt me just to walk.

Now most of you know just how Blue Belle really is a good, good girl, she passed a very sacred test for me tonight when I took her out for her 8ish pottie break.

Since it has been raining a lot; our front door has been sticking quite a bit so I decided to avoid going out the front door and just went out through the back and out the garage door. We walked out the garage the door and Miss Blue Belle went for the area where she always likes to squat down to pee. We were so focused on getting her out to pee that I forgot to close the garage door as we continued to walk around the complex. I then remembered that I forgot to close it so I immediately headed back within range to close it with my remote.

Since we live so close to the street, sometimes people on the street like to look for open garage doors in which to enter (at least according to the police blotter). Yes, its wise not to trust just anyone because break ins unfortunately happen in this neighborhood sometimes. Don't get me wrong; I do have some wonderful neighbors and we still have some drug problems around here and some gangs (maybe a block or two away).

When I closed the garage door, I didn't think anything of it and just headed back as if Blue Belle were following me. I walked around the pool and then once I got to the area where she normally likes to go number 2; she was no where to be seen.

One of my neighbors in the complex was walking around the corner and could tell the worry in my face. He knew of all my health problems and this was something I could have easily done with out. I told him I could not find Blue Belle. We both started looking and I didn't want to yell out her name and to worry others inside their homes (it was dark and just before 9pm). No I don't live in the country and I respect my neighbors' sanctity. My neighbor asked m if Blue Belle had ever ran away and of course she has never done this and we both thought perhaps she had decided to chase a squirrel or a cat; I guess I thought that could be possible. After a little while, he continued on to the hot tub for his soak and asked that I please let him know when I do find her.

I walked back to my garage and there sat Miss Blue Belle as if I had told her to sit and to stay. She was very patiently sitting there waiting for me to say "OK" for her to continue with me. Yes, she was waiting to hear that release word so she stayed. Perhaps she thought she heard "sit" and "stay" when the garage door was closing. I immediately started laughing and I went over to tell my neighbor that I had found her. We both cracked up as he told me in disbelief how loyal and obedient Miss Blue Belle is.

Now to enjoy all the best parts of Friday!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Day in History...

Today was my first day back at work and of course today we also got a brand new president; one we can really be proud of and even inspired by. I know this because I honestly am very, very proud of him and he has really inspired me. I now know that anything can be possible; even a cure for cancer!) I have so much hope in my heart that he is finally going to do good for the rest of us; not just the extremely wealthy, but the rest of us.
What can I say, I'm proud to be an American right now!)

I feel just like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders because I have to admit that I have been worrying about so many who are not doing so well right now; some are loosing their homes, their jobs, not having any affordable health care (even those who are diagnosed with serious diseases), seniors who are living without so much (while they have lived a full life, they still have to struggle for the rest of their lives), while the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer.

We really need hope right now (fear just doesn't cut it) that things will get better for all of us. I know I should be worrying about my own health, but I just can't help but worry about others too.

I do feel incredibly privileged that I have survived this long with this horrible disease and that I actually got to witness history in the making; something that I thought I would never ever see in my lifetime. It just seemed so impossible. We even had our first woman running for President and she did incredibly well, although now we have an African American for our President and of course I did not just vote for him because of his skin color; that had absolutely nothing to do with why I voted for him; honestly. So many feel that most of us voted for him just because of his skin color.

I honestly really admired this young man immensely; mostly because of his strength and his inspiration. He worked hard and he put himself through school himself and he even graduated at the top of his class. That is something that I can really relate to and appreciate. There is nothing wrong with loving parents who put their children through school and college but it really says a lot about character when that child doesn't have those resources and utilizes what most usually don't care to.

I watched what could have been a serious struggle in watching so many who are unable to embrace change; they just continue to be racist with out even knowing what is in someone's heart. How can anyone live through life, feel good about themselves when they are unable to listen or just give someone else a chance?

Is this other person's life even worth giving them a chance? That's exactly how I look at it. How could anyone not give someone a chance because of their appearance and not even listening to what this person has to say? What if they teach you something important about life that you never knew? What if you have more in common with this person than you ever could have imagined? What if this person really is a good person and helps save lives, or helps others who really do need it, or just has a very incredibly interesting life? Heart and Soul.

OK, enough with the politics. Honestly how am I doing right now and how is it for me being back at work? Am I actually stronger just 1 week ago today being released from the hospital?

Well, I still feel great even though I am kinda sorta not able to fully eat a real diet. I'm still doing soups, protein shakes, Ensures; trying to squeeze in some foods like steamed veggies, a sandwich, a piece of a brownie or a cookie (I tried).

I am blessed to have the strength that I was able to go on a long walk around the Bay and that was such a gift! It was such a beautiful day (77 degrees) and to not be able to drink coffee was no big deal because that walk was all the I needed to wake up. (yeah I was feeling like a nap towards the middle of the day). I am still weak from loosing some weight and not being able to eat fully but I'm not suffering in pain. I do have to break down my meals but in all my system seems to be working more and more each day.

It was cool that I got to go to the bathroom at least 30-40 times through out the day (that's what a liquid diet will do for you). Hey at least I was going! I sure know what its like to not be able to go!)

Now loosing weight does have its advantages and being skinny and trying on tiny clothes that actually fit? Wow! There are some downsides to being too skinny. My butt fell down and right now its having problems getting back where it was, and oh my tits too! Don't get me started. I do love my body no matter what; its gotten me this far and I just can't not love it even though I get disappointed sometimes over my health. I do have plenty of good days and yes today was a good day!

Now I did try on most of my pants and many unfortunately look as if I have a number 2 (poopie) hanging in the back there. It really looks like Frumpity, frump, frump, frump, frump!)

Don't get me wrong, I love to go number 2 and it's a great day if do and yeah today was a very good day for me in that department! It's a different thing if you wear pants that make you look as if you have a load going on back there. Go ahead and laugh at these. I did find some pants to wear and they barely fit. This is just 1 pair to give you an example.

I have been on this yo yo diet for a few years now and I literally go through all of the sizes from size 12 down to size 1. Well now I am about a size 2 or 3; pretty tiny for someone as large boned as myself. I look much better with meat on bones, but you really have to pay attention and try not to wear pants that make your butt look like you have some poopie just hanging around back there. Not a good look but at least I can laugh at my poopie pants!) I have 9 pairs of poopie pants right now and even a pair of brown ones!)

I just have 1 more day to find some pants that fit and on Friday, I already have some great jeans that actually fit pretty good for right now (at least when they come out of the dryer). Real skinny pants and I'm washing those tonight!

I also have Yoga class tomorrow for which I am very excited about. I will update as soon as I can on how that goes!)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A bike ride and long walks...

Life for me outside of the hospital has been everything a miracle is meant to be. I actually feel as if I survived quite possibly the impossible; once again!). It's a miracle to be alive and it's also quite the miracle that I didn't have to have another surgery just yet!

To say that I am grateful to be out and to get this second chance is a major understatement.
I have to be honest; I was actually puzzled being in there possibly facing another major abdominal surgery. It was shocking to hear that I might need to be opened up once again. This was much more different than the usual abdominal blockages which are most often fixed with the good old roto rooter method. It was so scary to hear that I might actually need that surgery, but it was so soothing to hear that I made it through with out needing one for right now. I know I have said this hundreds of times, but my key to life is right now and how very grateful I am to have all of these moments.

I don't like to reflect too much in the past, but sometimes I can't help it. Reflecting on this hospital experience has been incredibly surreal and I'm thankful to have made it out. I was actually worried for just a little while that my dreams of having a home in the woods where where I could actually rescue horses or other animals in need wouldn't come true and that may be heaven for me would be that Thomas Kincade painting of a house in the woods away from most civilization; in nature. This is the image I saw of my dream house where I could rescue horses formally in the HRT business. What a dream that is and I can wish that one day it will come true.

We always long for more in life and I'm happy anyway just being able to experience more fun with my husband, friends and family.
I will still have those dreams of us living out on range together and away from the city life and the peaceful country life on the farm.

On Saturday, my husband and I went on bike ride on his Dyna Street Bob and his good friend had just gotten his custom Harley Sportster. Not sure what kind but it looked more like a racing bike than what most Harley's appear like.

We had a nice soothing ride up Hwy 9 into
Ben Lomand. It just felt great & incredibly exhilarating to be outside in the wonderful weather and to feel the wind hitting my face while looking all around me.

I even saw some nice peaceful little farms with horses, goats, and even cattle where it would be an absolute heaven to live.
It really was a gorgeous ride as we get to go on another ride on Monday (the day before we get a real President).

We got home a little after 5:30pm and I was already tired for a nap. I haven't been getting frustrated at myself anymore for getting tired easily and am mostly grateful that my body is able to handle doing a few fun things through out the day. I do get tired closer to the end of the day but I am still very, very grateful to be able to climb into my own bed for a peaceful nap.

One thing that has been helping me with stress is avoiding the news. I made a pact not to watch the news this week and to just focus on getting better.
Life really does go on and we have to cherish what we have right now without worrying for the sake of worrying.

I am also very thankful to have the strength to be able to go outside and to take my beloved dog on a walk. What a gift! Whewhooo! No more chemo for right now!

HEALTH UPDATE: So how am I feeling? Well, my bowels are still kinda sorta working and I am able to eat some things but not without some sort of pain sad to say. At least I'm alive and I'm not in the hospital! The first 3 days out of the hospital was a bit nerve wracking in that I wasn't able to go to the bathroom; so I laid off eating anything solid until I went. I doubled up on the Miralax and from then on it was just Ensures and more fluids. We even called the doctor to see what else to do.

Finally day four, I was able to go and go i did! Lately, I have been getting lots of heart burn when ever I do eat anything; even if its just soup. I'm still on antibiotics; avoiding dairy products, no coffee, no complex items to digest, trying to stay out of direct sunlight, skin and bones (123lbs) and more. I still do my yoga twice a day to help aid in digestion and every once in a while if the pain gets to be too much, I utilize my vaporizer which always tends to work in these situations and thank god for that natural plant and that I'm in CA!).

I have go to see my doctor on Thursday to see how our progress and or next steps will be. We will see!)

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Beautiful Soldier Moment...

It's been great to be out of the hospital and to be able to enjoy this freedom (of not being hooked to IVs & beds) and most of all this unusually warm spring weather!

I love my little neighborhood in West San Jose where I am able to go on a short walk with my beautiful sweet dog across the street to what I ever I may need. Sometimes I will take Miss Blue Belle across the street over to Starbuck's where she sits just outside awaiting my return so patiently.

She knows and people around are amazed at her beauty and how good she is to just sit there outside and wait for me patiently. I then went inside to order my husband a coffee (I get a chai tea) and then as I am walking outside I notice this large brave soldier all dressed in his military camouflage. He is so young as I feel he is young enough to be my own son so I felt his presence to be that of an angel. He appears to be enjoying every second of love that Blue Belle has to give him and then he kindly thanks me for the moment and walks inside to get his coffee. I felt incredibly patriotic that my dog was able to cheer up that young soldier before he leaves for where he needs to go.

I wished I had brought along my camera because that was a very magical moment. I know for a fact this soldier would not have minded getting his photo shot! She was providing the neighborhood a service. Love to a soldier! I hope I see that soldier again and am provided that opportunity. I realize how nice it is to be out of the hospital just to enjoy little moments such as these!

We walked home and then noticed this bouquet of flowers just outside my door! What a beautiful bouquet! The love that's around me! Here is a collection of all the flowers I have received since being in the hospital. I hope I can keep the plant ones alive!

My days have been consisting of getting outside to get a few errands completed here and there and I was even able to go to the hospital to get my disability papers filed. Oh, that again!

It's just for a couple of hours and then I got to go home to sleep a few hours more!) I'm getting the rest I need and of course being able to go outside and enjoy the bright sunshine!) The journey of healing!)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Patrick Swayze.....

I really am treasuring being out of the hospital now more than ever. It's a miracle just to be alive.

Being in the hospital really makes you enjoy the right now moments. I got to enjoy a very good hospital moment Sunday night watching an interview with Patrick Swayze as he battles with Pancreatic Cancer. He didn't sugar coat anything as I try not to here in my battle. We are both living for right now and that is what matters most to us. We both really don't know exactly how much time we have and we appreciating the time of right now.

For Patrick Swayze and Barbara Walters for asking just the right questions, I must say he really helped strengthen me in that I was miraculously able to get out of the hospital so soon and to not need that extensive surgery. I got through 4days of being hooked to an IV, shitting my brains my out from CT scan fluid. Hell, I had diaper rash! Oh, I don't and can't have kids, but guess what? I get to treat diaper rash on myself!) Yeah! OK, I did laugh quite a few times while in the hospital and so did a nurse. My husband and I did too of course. We were the loving couple fighting this disease together hand in hand. He was strong for me and that got me through much of this.
I think it was the thin fiber glass toilet paper (it sure felt like it was!) that caused that stupid diaper rash. How completely unpleasant that was. I nearly thought I would need morphine for that pain. The nurse was floored when I said all those things about the cheapest fiber glass toilet paper that was put on the roll wrong (down not over). She laughed so hard, that we both laughed together! I give her that!

Thank you Patrick! and of course my honey boy as he was so kind to get me some real toilet paper!) I love you honey! I got through those next few days in the hospital with out any drugs (just tons of antibiotics). The very last day in the hospital, my husband brought me some diaper rash cream! What a feeling! I made it and those around me who helped me. Just look at that real smile! How could I not be feeling healed?

I'm trying some new techniques of healing my soul with my dog in that she is with me just like a family is with their loved ones. Right when Patrick was saying "Gotta have my dog!" When he said that, I was actually petting my dog in the hospital. "Oh girl you need it!" She had on her little vest and my doctor is approved. "Bring her in!" You must understand and I do, I have my dog! I won't bring her to work ever, unless permitted to do so. She does heal my soul in so many ways and gives me the strength I need and so many others. Yes, she was with me in the hospital healing my soul and giving me strength, doctor approved! Absolutely!)

Yoga is another treatment for in helping me deal with any kind of pain I feel and of course those deep relaxing breaths.

I am so happy to be off of chemotherapy! I was given another chance to live and I am so grateful for it! I can get a few uninterrupted minutes of yoga without my dog trying to lick me.
She comes over to me to remind me to stop and take a moment to enjoy her presense and of course I do (can't really help it).

I hope to survive many more years with her and my husband. I am so grateful for those around me who are able to help me live my life happily. You gotta enjoy your life and to experience it for what it is. I know I have been the last few days. To live the rest of my life happily, would be to end wars and try to resolve things more peacefully and while not hurting or harming others. OK in other words make the moment count where its a happy feeling, like laughter. I saw many kids that made me laugh. Life to me and all lives are right now.

Not to get off the subject, My old sweet, neighbor, the sweetheart that he is called me while in the hospital as we talked movies and I told him of me enjoying a movie with my dog. He laughed as I told him that Blue Belle liked "Milk" over "Marley and Me". The reasons of course, "She hated hearing all those kids crying and being sad. You must be happy! Hell, I was just crying my eyes out in the hospital! She wagged her tail at the end of "Milk" while viewers were actually cheering (I think she could tell people happy and excited) and she walked by my side out as if on the red carpet herself! Slowly and gracefully. It was so good to talk with him. What a great life experience that was! What a loving, person to know. I think we both relate well to not knowing how much time we have.

January 20th is going to be a very magical moment for me surviving this cancer and heading closer to year 7 with this disease. I get to start my first day back to work. We will have our very 1st African American President. I'm actually proud of my president and he will give me the strength I need to get through this. I really hope he means change.

I'm so very proud of him as he gives me more strength to fight this disease (no its a Chronic Illness). His mother did die of this very disease as it took her within months. Here I am, it's years. It's a miracle just to be alive! I love just being a miracle and proving to others that Yes, Life goes on.

It feels great to survive and snowboard season is not over for me just yet! Heah, I'm only 38. I have another year and half till I'm 40. Please give me that and it all natural aging for me and it actually feel quite excellent to age! You gotta enjoy everyday that you are given no matter what. Make the best of every situation you are given.

Anna Nicole was only 38 when she died and I am not done with this earth just yet. Not even close! Yeah, these past couple of days have been tough, but I get through them with lots of love and prayers. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Finally Home from the Hospital

Sunday and Monday were true healing days for me. I didn't take anything for pain; not since Saturday night after 11pm. I got the Foley Catheter taken out Sunday morning and could start getting the strength to walk around the hospital floor and still rushing to the bathroom.

Sunday and Monday night, I had to take a Benadryl orally for my extreme insomnia (just to sleep in that hospital bed) I was really hoping that my CT scan could possibly be given early like on Monday instead of Tuesday. I just wanted out of the hospital as a possible.

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday in the hospital was a bit more pleasant than Saturday! I was still hurting off and on through out the day on Sunday but proudly did not use any thing for pain; no morphine; time to heal I thought. Well tonight I finally got to go home from the hospital. My doctor came up to see us after my CAT scan which was scheduled at 3:30pm today.

It sure felt great when the doctor came in to give me the results of my latest CT Scan which was given at 3:30pm today. The image itself wasn't much different from the one given on Saturday morning but the great news was that I don't need surgery just yet; that's not to say that I won't eventually need it. For right now, my snowboard season is not over yet! I could actually go home tonight!

I sent out a mass text message on my phone to let everyone know I was heading home! What a great feeling! I got to go home after 6:30pm and my was it excellent to be able to lie down in my own bed! My cat Tonto really missed me and had much to say to me when I first walked in the door. So great to be home!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mystery Illness Revealed...Hospital Admission..

Well as the morning hours wore on after around 1am in the morning, I was to drink that nasty CT scan fluid that tastes so godly awful (not the Barium but the clear liquid stuff). I had to drink it every half hour. I had such a brilliant nurse this time who suggested that a shot of the yucky icky stuff concentrated and the a glass of water which I was completely craving.

Normally over the years as I was hospitalized and starting in the emergency room, nurses would always bring me a glass of water with the icky stuff already mixed in; this other way of taking the shock and drink plain water was wonderful. After just 3 swallows of the water, the icky taste was all gone and I had the rest of that little styro-foam cup of water to enjoy and savor.

I had taken all 3 of the required sips of the CAT scan yuck (1 shot, 1 sip) and boy did I savor each and every glass of water I was given. 1 hour, then another 1/2 hour the nurse returns with another one and apologizing for forgetting to take me to get my CAT scan. They that same nurse wheeled me back for my CAT scan. Only I got forgotten about and had to do another 4th shot which the water so worth it. What a brilliant nurse! I love her!

Once we arrived at the CT scanning spot, there was a very nervous thin but very compassionate and sweet old Asian man in the back to give me my CAT scan. He was very quiet spoken and seemed very stressed and at the same time very sad. For me, I don't like to see anyone who is helping others to be sad. I told him that I really appreciate him being here and thanked him for being here to help take care of me. He smiled at him and helped me with my CAT scan. It was hard to stay still because the morphine had already worn off and to hold my breath was nearly unbearably painful. I did my best and then he wheeled me back to temporary holding spot. By then the little boy that was crying so loudly was finally sound asleep.

Once we got back just a few minutes later; an older nurse came in to administer my IV medications including morphine and to check my vitals. She was so very kind and very southern sounding. I can't begin to tell you how comforting it is as a patient when there is that nurse that really truly cares. She was tall and blond and very beautiful for her age. Yes, she was over 60 and how I wished that I would get to enjoy her age. Her voice calmed me and she was so very sweet and compassionate; all of the qualifications that you look for in a nurse. In all someone there to make you feel much better than you are. It's the power of the mind!) How lucky Kaiser is to have her on their staff.

She asked me if there was anything she could do for me and I felt complete solace in her genuineness in wanting to help me. I nearly begged her to please move the IV off of my "Old Faithful" vein and she was very glad to oblige. She didn't want to, but she did it anyway. I loved how she looked over at my vein and then into my eyes and agreed to do so. I think she could sense pain in my eyes especially surviving 6 more years of this disease.

She found a vein on my left arm and very quickly at that. I was quite impressed with her and thanked her profusely. One stick and that was it; most it takes an average of 5 pricks to find a vein, but she was great. She unplugged "Old Faithful" and told me that if the lab needs blood, they can easily access here. Oh how thankful I was for her. She was an angel nurse without a doubt!

I sat in my tiny bed for the remainder of the night and tried my best to catch mini naps through out the night. Every time, once I had started REM, another awakening moment whether it be a nurse to take my blood, check my temp, vitals, or the beeping of that stupid finger thing, or my IV? I think it beeped too? It was in all a long, long night.

That morning I spoke with another doctor on the Oncology team as I explained that I indeed had some sort of infection, I wasn't sick, but the good news was that my immune system was very strong. I didn't have too many white cells which would indicate serious infection. They were ready to send me to a room. One had just become available.

I was wheeled up to the 2nd floor and was the only patient in this 2 person room. Right then a huge singe of pain hit me and it was as if someone shot and arrow at me and tried to pull it out. I cried as it felt as if I were actually dying. I started to hyperventilate with tears streaming down my face. That pain was at least a 10. Also my temperature shot up to 102.9 but I saw on the digital thingy that it was 103. "Oh God Please Let Me Live!" I thought. It was a very scary situation. The nurses struggled with me and yelled "get the doctor!". I ended up peeing all over myself and then struggled with a bed pan with the rest. (Hey I stopped midstream!) OK that showed some strength!

My doctor came right away to give me results of the CAT scan and to examine me. I was surprised at how quickly he got here and I was very relieved, but still feeling the serious, serious pain. He felt my very swollen tummy as I peed on myself just a little bit. He explained that it was indeed the side effects from the Avastin and that I may at any time have to wheeled into emergency surgery. Right now, we are skating on thin ice and will try our very best to avoid the surgery.

The CT scan had showed up OK in that it didn't look too terribly serious but there was a cloud of suspicion. Could it be infection? More than likely it was and it could even be a tumor implant that is causing this pain. I wasn't opened up so we couldn't really tell; just hope for the best.

I kept thinking and so did my husband, if only I could go back to last Monday. I wouldn't have had my chemo and my husband had even warned me; "are you sure you want to go to this chemo and not just end it right now?" I wouldn't be in this situation. I wished I hadn't even come in for that blood test. That would have disqualified me for my chemo. How could I have known that this was the last chemo treatment my body could handle? That's it; you don't know.

My tummy was really swollen and he felt something and that we would need to be prepared for a 5th major surgery. How frightened was I at this very moment? Immediately I started crying. "Oh God!" I thought! What if I die during this surgery and it sure is possible. Could I actually survive another surgery?

My doctor could also tell that my bladder was getting full really fast from all the fluids I was given. He even figured out right away that I needed a foley catheter because of all the fluids I was receiving and the fact that I could not get myself out of bed very easily. It actually helped quite a bit that I stay here and rest while my body recovered; that I was also starting some serious antibiotics. This would not be at all comfortable but it would make things easier for me to get a little stronger while the antibiotics do what they need to do.

I did what I could to try and imagine all a cut inside my intestine just like a cut would be on my leg. I imagined it healing and telling myself how strong I am to get through this. That the antibiotics were right away administered and of course those symptoms of going to the bathroom every half hour or so. Right when he left I just bawled like a baby. I cried and cried and just tried to talk to God about what's happening right now. Please give me the strength to make it through this.

Right then I heard another woman being wheeled in from her surgery. How pleasant that must have been for her to hear me crying and praying to God! I kept repeating it and trying to focus as positive as I could as the nurse struggled to give me a shot of morphine. It (the morphine) worked just a little bit, but not a whole lot. It was now a 6 and I was still crying.

The lady next to me tried to talk to me and I couldn't hear her at first because I was crying for so long. Finally I heard something and it was her; the lady from across the room. That voice behind the curtain. I kept hearing her phone ring as she talked lovingly to her family. I then listened and instantly calmed myself with her voice listening to her talking with her loved ones. She then talked to me some more and asked how I was. We both talked about our situations. She had just had a total hysterectomy and had just come in from surgery. I told her I had everything taken out and that I was more spayed than my dog. She laughed a little and she told me about how much her Puggs help her cope.

I got to tell her all about my Miss Blue Belle and how good she makes me feel and plenty of others. It was cool to talk about our therapeutic pets as the pain was slowly dissipating.

finally konked out and then was awakened that I would be moved to a private room. I tried to tell the nurse that I'm OK being here and that I didn't need to move but she instructed me that I would definitely need my own room since the next symptom would be happening soon (the extreme antibiotic or was it the CT scan shits?). They opened up the curtains as her and her visitors smiled at me. I almost felt their spirits were clapping for me. I heard her say I want to get a good look at her. What a brave one.

I got to my new room and immediately right away needed to go poo! Oh god where they bad, but I was going and getting rid of stuff. I was glad for a little while until I realized that all I would have to use to wipe myself was the extremely cheap fiber glass toilet paper. It burned my butt in the worst way. Total torture! Oh and the toilet paper was not on the roll correctly. You had to struggle to get to the fiber glass toilet paper. It was under not over!) (you can laugh if you would like= I know I am;)

My husband came in a short time later with a good friend of mine to talk me up that yes indeed I am one of the strongest woman he knows. He brought up my spirits in a way no one but him can; oh and Miss Blue Belle too!) He made me feel that I had the strength to get through this and many more surgeries.

My husband left for a few hours and then returned with Miss Blue Belle which really helped lift my spirits in ways that only nurses and doctors can explain when they see the excitement and love in my face. I didn't have internet access but I did have my dog!

As the day wore on and I was on more and more antibiotics, my stomach started to calm down a little more and more and the pain finally subsided some. The last dose of morphine was given at 11pm which also helped me sleep into the night.

Friday, January 9, 2009

From Doctor Appointment to Emergency Room

Well today was indeed an interesting one.I have to admit that in the morning I awoke and the pain nearly took me for a loop, but it was only for a few seconds as I struggled to get out of bed. I had to practically had to do a push-up, while most of the day my abdomen was off limits. I did take my temperature and it was 102.5; so going to work was definitely a NO!NO!

I just called my boss and my carpool buddies to let them know that I just was not going to come in today. I was so sorry that I needed to miss work again! Sometimes you just can't help your health even though I try my best to. It just doesn't work out that way.

1pm my stomach was starting to really hurt. I couldn't handle it being touched. It was so incredibly sensitive. Well at least I had a doctor's appointment today and could finally find some reason to all of this mystery illness that I was experiencing.

Strangely enough I ate some cannabis buds throughout the day and it help me to relieve at least some of the pain. At least it did feel slightly less painful. My shortness of breath had caused me not to want to smoke or even use the vaporizer. I couldn't afford to cough with the pain I was in; at least that is what the shortness of breath caused.

My husband returned home from work just shortly before 3pm and I was already showered, dressed and ready for my doctor's appointment. We drove to the doctor's appointment as I tried my best not to cry. My husband is so good at calming me down when I do cry; he can be so positive and to lift my spirits even in most dire situations.

Once we got to the hospital parking lot, my husband was able to find a spot in the very back of the parking lot. We had a little walk to do. As we were walking across the parking lot, I felt a deep sharp stab of pain right into my abdomen that I stopped walking and tried to get a deep breath. I nearly dropped to my knees; but I stood still and gathered strength from within to continue our walk. My husband came over to my side and helped me walk over to the doctors' offices as we took the elevator up to the 3rd floor.

We checked in as I struggled in severe pain. I tried my best to compose myself as best I could. We only had to wait maybe 3 minutes and it was finally our turn to see the doctor. I was slow to get up and to get walking. Helen the nurse who has known us for the entire 6 years of being diagnosed knew us as a strong couple together. She walked us back to the huge scale and vital check area (I guess that is what you might call this area in the hallway with the all goods for doing that sort of thing). Anyway, she weighed me and then took my blood pressure and then proceeded to walk us back. My husband stopped her and told her that I have been running fevers. She then rushed to grab one of those ear thermometers and quickly took my temperature. It was a low grade fever of 99.6.

My husband helped me undress as I put on the blue cloth to cover me down below (no pants, panties and top OK) I laid down on my back on the table and we awaited for my doctor to enter the room so that we could discuss the situation we felt we were in.

Now our doctor is the one who has performed all of my surgeries. We told him everything that we had just been through this entire week. He gathered that information and then he proceeded to feel my abdomen as I screamed a little as he touched the very sensitive and tender spots. He felt something and suggested that we go downstairs, get an x-ray, blood tests, and a urine analysis. He called for a wheel chair since I couldn't walk and then ordered the x-rays, blood test, etc.

The volunteers took just 3 minutes to arrive and they wheeled me to Radiology in a different building downstairs. I struggled to stand up for the x-ray and when we were finally done with that, my husband then wheeled me in for my blood test (the same building as my doctor, but downstairs and down a long, long hallway). I grabbed a number and we waited to be called up for our blood test. Got the blood test and peed in a cup and then we proceeded back upstairs to my doctor's office.

It was almost 5pm when we went back to his office. He got the results of the x-ray which really didn't say much, but he assumed that I might be need another surgery judging from the pain I was in and the low grade fever. He did not feel that this was some flu bug; this was due to the chemo drug Avastin. The side effects can be severe. In fact he asked one of the nurses to take my temperature just to be sure about a hunch. We walked over to her office just to be sure and she grabbed that really cool ear thermometer (I want one of those!) and placed it in my left ear. 3 seconds later 102.5. I had a high fever which was what he (my doctor) had suspected. He felt I was getting perferations in my intestine and the danger was that they may need to perform emergency surgery on me.

The emergency surgery would be incredibly risky in that I would need to be opened up again and remove part of my intestine. For now, I needed to go to ER and get a CAT scan. I cried but of course we just kept thinking we should have come here much earlier. I was busy blaming myself while my sweet husband was blaming himself. My pain was getting worse by the minute. My husband hurried and wheeled me to the ER. I kept going over and over in my head "what the hell am I so incredibly stubborn?"

Well of course all of the rest of this week, my pain level
was on a scale of 1 to 10; 10 being the absolute worst; it was at least an 8. I was crying just last night and perhaps the night before too and at the same time being incredibly hard headed and defiant. I just did not want to go to ER. So here are my reasonings for not wanting to go to ER:
  • I did not want to go through the entire process of going to ER (what if it wasn't really an emergency?
  • Getting stuck with all kinds of needles
  • Not being able to eat or drink anything (only those lemon flavored large q-tips)
  • Having an NG Tube more or less froze me wanting to go.
  • Using that fiber glass toilet paper after they give me that CT scan solution to drink (that stuff makes you shit like crazy)
Well, all except so thankfully, no NG tube! We had to wait in the emergency waiting room at first, then we had to go into a little room for an assessment, then they moved me to a room all to myself as all of these children with such strong, strong lungs screamed and cried as we waited. Then finally I hear my name called as I struggled in severe pain to walk to the bed to lay on just across the hall. The nice nurse helped me up and got me some nice toasty blankets and covered me as I shivered. I then asked her how was she at finding a vein. I thought I had told her to save my old faithful (only vein that sticks out where I get blood tests often). She would need to find a vein somewhere else. I struggled and looked away and then I feel that prick. How I hate needles!!!! IV needles are bigger than those butterfly for taking blood samples.

I didn't even notice where it was; right then it was in and she was about to get me some morphine for extreme pain I was in. I was just happy that finally something would indeed be done about my pain! My husband was right by side as he had to hurry back to truck to get something for me out of the car. My husband told me and the nurse that I had itched the last time I had Morphine and I had thought it was the Delotted that had given me the itching. I could have been wrong so I agreed with my husband. We waited just a few minutes more as they brought into my own temporary holding room. I could still feel pain in my abdomen and it never got below a 5; even though I kept getting Delotted. It really didn't do too much for the extreme pain I was in.

Finally at 7pm, I told my husband that he should just go home and get some rest. All he had a plastic chair to sleep on and it. He did not wish to go home until we spoke with a doctor. He went outside to find a place to smoke a cigarette and to call his family when the doctor finally appeared. He was older man and mainly didn't tell me much but just assessed my situation and had me on the list for a CAT scan. He ordered me not to have anything to drink or eat. By then I was so incredibly thirsty. I was ready to go into the bathroom and just load myself up with water, but the surgery part scared me enough not to go into survival mode. He ordered me some morphine (instead of Delotted) and some benadryl to get rid of the itching caused by the Delotted.

My husband returned shortly after the doctor had left and I finally told him that he should just go home; feed the animals and get some rest. After my husband left, I awaited the morphine shot and benedryl. I sat on the bed and scratched and scratched. I grabby my IV bag and ran for the bathroom which luckily was close by. I had to pee so bad. I was so temped to drink water but I didn't. I thought about the possibility of having surgery and what if I died because I did this? No way.

I got back to my bed and rehung my IV bag. It was very hard to get out of bed, but I did it! Finally the Morphine and the Benadryl arrived and the nice nurse administered it. I look over and noticed that my IV was in the exact spot I thought I had told the nurse to avoid; my beloved Old Faithful. I have to admit, I was a bit bummed that my IV was right there. I thought this nurse had told me that she was very good? I dealt with it as long as I could which was most of the evening. Anyway, thinking too far ahead here, a young child was move right next to me screaming at the top her or his lungs for just a little over and hour. I tried to sleep with my ears plugged my index fingers. This child had some serious lungs. I was so very thankful when the child finally fell asleep.

A really nice woman walked in from Admissions, I guess I was just before 9pm and had me sign lots of papers and she asked some really scary questions that got me crying and scared. I feared death in this scary surgery that I might have to have. These questions were the type that made you wish you had drawn up a will. She asked me if I were to become unconscious and close to death if I would want them to do what ever it takes to save me and of course I said "absolutely". I then told her that if I were to become brain dead and like Terri Schiavo, then I don't wish to live like that the rest of my life; that's different. I couldn't help but loose it and start crying. I have so much to live for and I want to fight this!

The rest of the evening composed of nurses and doctors coming in every so often to check on me and to give me more morphine for the pain as I awaited the CAT scan.

More to come soon!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Mystery Illness Continues....

We had a long night last night even though my temperature did get down to normal, I still woke up in a pool of sweat (my sheets were soaking wet). I still felt incredibly groggy and did not feel at all like getting up, taking a shower and getting ready for work. My head was pounding and I didn't get to check my temperature, but I did get to email my boss and hoping I would feel better to go to work in a few more hours. Then when it was time to wake up, I still felt groggy and dizzy; so I took my temperature (forgot to photograph it) but it was a low grade fever of 99.6; my stomach (same spot where I had a tumor implant removed in 2005) just burned in pain. It's a very sharp pain as I if I could have pulled a muscle or maybe its a hernia?

Sorry if any of you just had lunch or if you happen to be eating. In September 2005, I had a tumor implant removed here and after about 2 weeks (actually it was more like a month) this gaping hole just happened and it really burned like it was infected. We did everything we could to take care of it. What a gaping hole huh?

It's come a long way since then; you can hardly recognize that same spot. I do feel some strange sharp pains in this exact spot and it doesn't even appear to look likes it even causing me any problems.

Go ahead laugh at the PJs; they belong to my husband. I like to wear his clothes sometimes when I'm sick and home alone. It just makes me feel much better and like he's right there with me taking care of me.

To be completely honest,
I have been having moments of pain that just feel as if my guts are going to spew out of this somewhat of a gaping hole (only its not a gaping hole right now). OK, I do know that does not sound very pleasant. This is just the reality that many of us cancer patients sometimes have to face. We sometimes live horror movie lifestyles in having to deal with this stupid cancer. I prefer to watch comedies most of the time; as you can tell I have seen my share of horror. Check it out when I first got the surgery and check it our now.

NOTE: The teal circle is where the implant was removed and also used to be a gaping hole. Now my stomach is not at all swollen, I just have soreness and it hurts like crazy to get up out of a chair.

We will see tomorrow what's the root of this pain. I plan to see my doctor tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm and will hopefully be able to update you all on what is going on. I have been taking Motrin, Tylenol Cold & Flu (OK maybe that's not the best for me, but dog gone it, it knocks me out and makes me sleep it off) and I just started chewing on some cannabis buds which really helped to relax me; it sure forced me to drink lots of water; plus I did after all go to the bathroom (#2) more than 5-6 times through out the day, so everything is flowing through. That is really a good thing; actually its quite the miracle!) I'm happy for that.

Oh I also did my saltwater flush (1st thing in the morning each and every morning) which is working pretty much everyday. I still take the Miralax only with Blueberry juice. I had to switch the Prune Juice since the Salt Water Flush is really working out well for me.

For me, everyday is a new day to just try my best and sometimes obstacles like these stupid colds just happen. Sometimes pains will happen that end up scaring the crap out of us. It's more or less a wake-up call. Sometimes a good deep breath, close my eyes, hold it in and just think of my cute husband, my cute dog, my cute cat and all my cute friends and family will work to get rid of at least some of the pain. I really do have such a fond appreciation for all of those who are thinking of little old me and wishing me the very best. - thank you!)

Sure many of us are very involved in our lives (that's exactly what we are supposed to do;o) and I just pray that most of us are having happy lives; mines still happy don't get me wrong, but I have to go through these little battles every so often in order to get better a long the way; and perhaps this one will make me stronger. Is a cure just around the corner? I sure hope so!)

UPDATE: 9:35pm PST: Here unfortunately is my just recorded temperature. I was just having some chills and feeling quite dizzy. Uggghhhh, I thought I was getting over this, now I have a high fever again. I'm still alive and my loving husband will be taking good care of me. I guess there goes going to work tomorrow! I don't wish to get any of my friends sick! I mean that from bottom of my heart!)

I could barely get up off the couch to go to bed because of the pain in that same spot (tumor implant). I started a crazy coughing madness that really ached that part of my abdomen and of course my temperature just kept rising.

We nearly went to the emergency room last night because of the pain I was in. It was a very close call; we were so close when all of a sudden my hard headedness sunk in. I kept imagining being in the hospital for several weeks and not being allowed to leave. Instantly I just started bawling and tears just rained out of my eyes (I'm going to the see the doctor tomorrow anyway:). I just didn't want to give up and perhaps get an even bigger super bug than this one. I really hate being in the hospital and I finally just put my foot down. I cried protesting going and just curled up in the bed to try and forget the pain I was feeling.

I couldn't go to the hospital unless I was really dying and I didn't exactly feel that way. These coughing fits I was having literally felt as if I had ripped something inside of me each time I coughed.
My husband got some cold compresses and just tried to get my temperature down. I just had a sheet and we finally got it down to 100.2 prior to me konking out.
When I finally konked out, I was able to sleep peacefully through out the rest of the night.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Mystery Illness...

I had my chemo treatment of Avastin on Monday. Prior to my treatment, I was asked to sit in the waiting room for about 15 minutes. There was a woman in wheelchair who was moved sort of close to me. She looked pretty sick and was maybe about 5-6ft away from me.

When ever I get sick or get some sort of illness, I always try my best to remember how I got sick.
Well anyway, Tuesday came and went and I had gone to work. I felt fine in the beginning and many had commented on how great I looked; in that I looked very healthy and refreshed. I went to lunch with a friend and then about 2pm I started getting a really bad head ache, I was literally freezing to death and started feeling really dizzy as if I had a fever. I did feel my forehead as it felt very hot to touch. I also felt really groggy and my abdomen ached as if I had done over 100 sit ups. I knew it wasn't anything that I had eaten because it wasn't that kind of pain . I also noticed I was getting a shortness of breath which kind of scared me.

I emailed my carpool friends to let them know that I was not feeling good. We finally were able to leave; just a little before 4 pm. Well I almost survived a full day at
work. Once I got home, I put on some warm PJs and curled up in the down comforter.

I called my doctor and of course he was in surgery. The chemo nurse asked if I wanted to schedule an appointment with him on Friday at 1pm. Well the problem is it was Tuesday evening; so I just asked her kindly to have him call me tomorrow. We would try our best to deal with this temperature. I then called an advice nurse who had suggested that we immediately drive to the ER and of course being the hard head that I am; I was not about to give up. I already knew what my fate would be if we were to do that. We would wait in the emergency room for upwards of 10-18 hours or longer and then sit in the hospital for maybe a week. Yeah, we could always call 911, but no way. I was not down with going to ER, getting violated, stuck, probed, and so much more. Not worth it; I figured my husband and I are strong together and we can get through this.

I was still freezing and when my husband returned home he found the thermometer to find out what my temperature was. It shocked me that I was getting closer and closer to 104.5, then it got up to 105.1. I got really scared then. I had remembered my mother telling me that if the temperature got up to 106 that brain damage would then ensure. So then we stripped all the blankets and tried to get my temperature back down. I drank some iced water and I took some Motrin and then some Theraflu. Hopefully the temperature would come down. It was officially a waiting game.

After about an hour my temperature finally got down to 99.1. We were ecstatic and I ended up crashing early. I think it must have been the Theraflu. It was such a long night.

The temperature finally came back and I sweated so much that I soaked the bed. It kind of stank a little bit (weird?) My husband sometimes gets cold during the night and while my temperature was rising; he was at least able to keep warm even though I had soaked the sheets. My temperature finally went away around 3 pm and I felt much better but then around 5pm it started to rise again.

My alarm went off and I awoke briefly to take my temperature and to make a decision about work. Should I go in. Well I felt quite groggy but then I could tell that my head was quite warm just by touching it. It seemed to take forever for the darn thermometer to come up with a reading. It went past 99, then 100, 101, then it finally beeped at 102.3. Shucks! I thought.

I just wrote an email to my boss and then called my carpool buddies to let them know I wasn't coming in for work.

I took 2 Motrins and some Tylenol Cough syrup prior to going back to bed since I could not stop coughing. I wasn't really coughing up much, it was mostly the shortness of breath. I slept in most of the morning and just waited to hear from my doctor. Before I knew it, it was already 11:30am. My bed was soaking wet and my temperature was down to normal. I felt incredibly groggy as I changed those wet sheets and took a shower. I never called another advice nurse as I thought I might need to.

My doctor finally called later in the afternoon and wanted me to email him and if I had severe symptoms as I had last night to go to ER. Still hard headed am not heading there just yet. I'm starting to feel better.

For now, I will just get as much rest as possible, drink plenty of fluids, and try to get better.
As far as replenishing my body after the huge night sweat, I have been using these Electrolyte Stamina which comes in individual packages and you mix it will a small glass of water; then I'm drinking lots of water or at least trying to. The vaporizer helps quite a bit with that. I still feel groggy; mostly from the cough medicine; the shortness of breath is gone, the chills are gone, so is temperature. On the road to a full recovery.

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My techniques and treatments work simply for me and may not produce the same results for others. Cancer is a very tricky disease in which it is very different in everyone it touches. No two cancers are the same just as we humans are not the same. What works for me may not work for others.

I love life and expect to live for as long as I can. I intend to use those treatments that do work for me which includes medicinal cannabis. I'm still alive with this disease over 7 years later because of this miracle plant and as long as I have my medicine available; I intend to survive many more years. I hope one day the Federal Government will eventually grow up and be led by true leaders who represent the people and not just coorporations; real people who live by the Golden Rule "treat others how you would want to be treated". I also hope the Government of the US can finally learn to admit that it has made a mortal mistake in making this life saving plant which is provided by GOD and does indeed have the ability to provide all of us with food, fuel, clothing, shelter, and medicine; a mistake that have made is that it is illegal. Yes, it was a mistake out of greed, ignorance, and racism that this miracle plant is illegal. This is a confirmed fact and we should all know and face it.

Cannabis is not at all harmful and in fact quite the opposite. Perhaps our economy can once again grow as it has in the turn of the century by making this life saving plant legal once again.

The contents of this blog including all images, (except images from third parties) and the name "Shopping Kharma - what comes around goes around" belong and copyrighted to C. Jayne Armstrong 2008-2010
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