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!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Chemo and Hair Cuts....

Well I finally got my hair trimmed (Friday) and it hasn't been trimmed in about a year and half! To be completely honest; the last time I got my hair trimmed was around April or May of last year and I did get to donate about 13-14 inches of hair (over 5 years of growing) to Locks of Love. It used to be so long and beautiful and now it's very thin and almost lifeless (from the chemo), but at least I have some hair. You can't complain when others have less! We always want more in life and I have to admit that I do too! I'm no exception!)

Well, all of that hair from last years hair cut was all cut in a ponytail so that I could easily donate it and I even mailed the ponytail via 2 day Priority Mail. This was a total dream come true to be able to do this! These days I'm jumping at anything that I have always wanted to do if I have the opportunity to do so!) Life is too short to pass up on opportunities unless I am sick and in pain!(

Here is a photo of just how short it was just last year and of course I'm wrapped up in the beautiful love quilt that was made by a wonderful group of women; I totally forgot the name of the group of women who knitted each of the squares (I promise to post the name of the group at a later date = once I find the information = its a chemo brain thing!). It's such a good thing that once you publish a posting; you can come back and edit your mistakes!)

I'm so deeply touched by all the awesome things others have done for me. It's just proof of how much love there is in the world for me and for others who have cancer or other life threatening diseases. I've actually been completely shocked by all the nice things that even total strangers are doing for me because of my situation. It just proves there is peace and love on this earth!)

Well last Thursday, I was able to go and have lunch with a friend from work last week and then visit with everyone else from my job; now more than ever did I feel that I could actually go back to work by January! I really want this to be my goal to at least be able to do that. I know I wouldn't feel like I was dying if I was working; I would at least feel some normalcy in my life and that I'm not so sick that I can't hold a job. I could focus on projects, getting things done, and being a part of productive society and paying taxes; yes my honey is currently the breadwinner and paying taxes but I haven't been working since March of this year. Believe it or not; I actually don't mind paying taxes at all as long as my taxes go towards good things like providing jobs for others and programs which make our country great!

That's not to say that I do plan to enjoy these last few months before returning back to work especially being able to enjoy those days with my husband. I'm living each day; one at a time and focusing only on what I can do right now in the moment. I've been working heavily on my 2009 Family Movie and have enjoyed going through all of the photos that I have taken this year. I love just picking out music to go with all of the photos but hopefully I can get some commentary done before each slide show. We will see!)

Each day is a new memory for me and to have those good days documented (I have bad ones too of the reality of this disease) with my Nikon Coolpix P80 is the best!). I love getting my camera out and photographing all the cool things around me when I know that I am going out or just experiencing life!) I don't always have it but my iPhone has come in handy on those occasions such as the one below of Blue Belle sitting patiently while I get my hair trimmed and slightly colored.

This is just a goofy shot of me sporting my new hair trim and very slight color. (it's a not a very good one but boy are those some goofy pants = call me Mrs. Green Jeans!) My hair is just a little blonder. I mostly got the dead ends cut off all from over a year and half of hair growth. My hair is just below shoulder length now but it is so incredibly thin that I couldn't do too much with it = but at least I have some hair!)

The truth about my hair is that I have been on chemo for a little over a year with some breaks in between like now and back in January through August of this year. Each chemo that I completed; did list Alopecia as one of the side effects so I just never scheduled getting my hair done in all that time. I haven't even gone to poo out of my feet in a while either. I felt so horrible to have made 3 appointments and forget to go to all three of them. Talk about chemo brain. What a nice lady to have given me those sessions.

It was awesome to see Lynn Kelley otherwise known as the "Skin Lady" after a whole entire year. This year really went by so incredibly fast and I don't like time to go by that fast; I like to enjoy as much of the day as possible. Anyway she was able to trim and color what little bit of hair I have left; Miss Blue Belle just sat patiently in her chair the entire time. I kind of think she wanted her hair styled too!)

Blue Belle was such a good girl and brought many smiles with her inside the salon. A few ladies just sat and waited their turns and got to watch Miss Blue Belle look so beautiful in her chair. It got me thinking; that when I take her trick-or-treating; maybe I could hairspray her hair all 80's; feather it, and fluff it straight up in the air!) She could wear some hot pink collar and leash, find some stirrup pants and one of those long button down shirts!

Well, I didn't get to go see Lynn as often because the truth of the matter is that I didn't know from day to day if I would have any hair to cut. I figured; my luck, I'd get my hair cut and it would all fall out within days or weeks. Well, screw it; I got it cut finally. It should start growing out much better since I'm doing some alternative methods (just for this month) then I will move on to the chemo treatments. I am scheduled for chemo next Monday, but I may be postponing it another week or two. I also would like to see if this Hedgeapple will work.

Here are just a few example of Good Kharma things that have happened to me lately:

A complete stranger mailed me a cancer killing hedgeapple and she even paid for shipping all because she believed in me and my fight against cancer. My blog touched her. She is a total angel and it really shocked me how kind she was to do all of that; just for me. She also sent me some wonderful touching emails and I have actually received quite a few other emails from other strangers who just happened to read my blog and no matter what; they always make me feel so wonderful and to prove that I am strong and that I can beat this disease!). Most are so encouraging and that yes, I am fighting this battle bravely and strong; just like an Armstrong!)

Another woman whom I have never met (only online through a Facebook group for other Ovarian Cancer Survivors) sent me a care package with a wonderful book to inspire me, a beautiful stained glass (I call it my blessing) that I have hanging in my front window; I really do feel it is my blessing each time I walk Blue Belle (every morning and day) past it each day. I actually got to speak with this wonderful woman on the phone and it was amazing to actually put a voice to her kind writings. This disease has brought me closer to so many wonderful people; that I can't even count.

I have also had many friends who have visited me and just overall made me feel so much better when I was not feeling so good. So many have called me and one even took us up in a plane ride! How amazing is that! I even had some friends come over and pray for me and then one actually gave me the most amazing massage! I was so happy (I'm still very happy and touched by all the kindness from others!) and it really helped me quite a bit to have all of these friends who I have not seen in so long stop by to visit me.

I had one visitor I believe it was the day I had been released from the hospital or the day after. I was completely drugged up on pain killers from being in the hospital and now it's not so bad that I had to use them as often. I felt so bad that I was so drugged up and kind of unresponsive during her visit; but I can tell she loves me no matter what and believes in me and my fight against this beast! I know in my heart that she knows that I'm not one to give up and I'm completely hard headed and stubborn. Back then I was facing severe, severe abdominal pain; I only get that pain every so often but I still have to be on top with pain medication and I've learned so much how to manage it. I didn't back then. In all I'm just so thankful for all loving people and animals around me!) They make life worth fighting for; all of you!)

I finally feel that I am healing myself naturally now that I am juicing (& doing all kinds of healthy things for myself); yes; the friend who gave me the Jack LaLane juicer! I'm using it practically every day. I'm also making sure that I do my yoga stretches as well and trying to ride my bike every day!)

Another Good Kharma to be thankful for is my job and my husband's. They are both blessings in that they both provide us with lifesaving health insurance. I don't even have to pay for any of my medicine (having health insurance right now is my blessing), treatments, doctor visits, or hospital stays; it's all covered and we are so totally blessed for that!). I'm so very thankful to have it each and every day as I live with this illness. I can't imagine what Lance Armstrong had to go through in struggling to pay for his cancer treatments and so many others are doing the same. I am so incredibly blessed especially right now when I need it most; I have it and I am so lucky and very, very grateful to have it. It breaks my heart when I hear of others who are not so fortunate; true I was just given a short amount of time that my doctor expects me to live; but I will defy his predictions by a long shot. I will prove him wrong.

Many would wonder why I am not angry with my doctor for giving me that speech and for me to just give up on life. I am blessed that he was able to save my life and to work to save my life many times (at least a hundred or more), and those 6 major surgeries he performed on me for many, many, many hours. How could I hate this man when he worked so hard to save my life? I'm just disappointed with him and a little bit of feelings are hurt; that's it. I'm going to keep fighting and just prove him wrong. It's just time for me to switch doctors; he's burnt working with me and my problem body and system.

One aspect to having this advanced cancer is trying my best to avoid any kind of stress. I'm doing this daily. One example is that I kinda quit watching the news lately (sometimes I go outside and ride my bicycle since it's still light or take Blue Belle out to play with her best friend Tess) and I just don't wish to hear bad news (I kind of have enough on my plate right now); I wish we could focus on the positive things that are happening in this world; still having your kids come home from school; what ever you do have is a home no matter how you look at it. The time that you spend with loved ones, friends, family; those are all blessings to be thankful for. IT does no good to worry about things you have no control over. Why does bad news sell so many papers? I would purchase the newspaper if I knew it had mostly good news in it. The headlines totally turn me off each time.

Your health can also be a blessing and so far it is for me; I'm still alive and I'm still fighting this; I get pain; I take a pill or smoke a little from my joint. I was just able to stomach some excellent freshly squeezed spinach, kale, lime, celery, and a mixture of alfalfa and broccoli sprouts. It was so amazing right after I smoked the joint because just before; I couldn't stomach anything (not even water= it gets that way sometimes) and after smoking just a few tiny hits; I have been munching on everything in the house that's healthy! I'm saving my life with this plant that I hope one day becomes legal. I know it's totally saving my life right now; I drink so much water, can clean myself out that way; doing the cranberry juice with water, sometimes with lime or cucumber; but I'm drinking plenty of water and that's why I feel so much better. I get cotton mouth so easily and then become incredibly thirsty which to me is a blessing.

The whole health care dilemma has been getting to me when I read the boards of other cancer patients who can't afford them medicines or are suffering and not able to use the type of medicine that is legal to use in California. Another thing we claim to be is Pro-Life; how can we be Pro-Life when Cancer Patients are given up on all the time and then told to prepare to die. There are so many natural medicines out there; diets to follow and my doctor has never told me that Sugar feeds cancer? I'm not convinced that we are Pro-Life; it's actually Pro-Fetus; not Pro-Life. We care so much more for the unborn than we do the living. I don't get it. That term needs to be changed. It's just not Politically correct at this moment.

I really want to live and survive this disease much longer than just 6 months and one of my options is to go on hospice care and prepare to die in 6 months? How Pro-Life is that? I know so many patients who live months or even years longer if only they could utilize this life saving plant as I am doing; it is saving my life currently. I believe in it because it has helped me survive this long. I would still be at 110ish (lbs) or so; yes I could go on an on about this plant. Maybe I should make my own Documentary film about it how it helps me. I'm living, breathing proof right now especially after 6 major abdominal surgeries.

So since I don't normally like to watch the news (& I'm avoiding all stress); I have come to love ABC's Extreme Make-over Home Edition and another show that I recently found on Channel 75 (CMT?) anyway they have this show called "World's Strictest Parents" (there's always a happy ending). I just can't be stressed out at all and that's why I can't watch the news that much lately. I'm avoiding stress in order to get stronger. This Extreme Make-over show always makes me feel so good after watching it. It's a different kind of reality show that actually helps those who help others who don't have much to offer but still try their hardest with what they have. Anyway, I am so inspired by these shows and I try to watch it as much as I can during the day when I'm resting (it's mostly re-runs and I also love to watch Animal Cops on Animal Planet.

We are still in our planning phases of going to Yosemite in a few short weeks. It will be like a Sunday through Tuesday or a Monday through Thursday trip (during the week). We have other fun things to plan as well and do. Each day is a new day for us.

In all, I'm not over doing it at all. I take small naps during the day when I'm tired in order to get myself stronger. I'm eating as good as I can and often as I can; pretty soon I won't be on the TPN much longer. My intestines are still loud as hell when they are digesting and still pretty painful at times; I'm just managing the pain in the best way that I can. I'm hoping all of this alternative medicine will prove to work and I just may start chemo in a few weeks; who knows? All I know is that I'm fighting to save my life and to help others.

This week I plan to wash Blue Belle in her new shampoo (hypo-allergetic) and visit some more Convelescent homes in my neighborhood. My honey might go with me in doing this as I feel it will help him as it does me to see Blue Belle helping others. It's very therapeudic to see your child make a difference for others.

A good Blue Belle Story: Today while picking up another prescription (Protonix), Blue Belle came with me and was wearing her vest; a two year old little girl walked up to her and grabbed her butt (both sides) and would not let go of her. Blue Belle just froze and looked up at me (I could tell she was in pain) as if "what do I do now?". We just froze and waited for the parents to pry her hands open of Blue Belle's fur. The mother asked if Blue Belle was a dog in training and I had to tell her "NO" she is a fully trained service dog for me and she will not hurt a soul. When the child's hands were finally pried open by the parents, the young child still had two handfuls of hair still in her hands. (she had pulled out quite a bit of hair off of Blue Belle and she didn't even whimper) I was so amazed by Blue Belle's complete gentleness. She has been kicked, smacked, and just now had her hair pulled by young children and never hurt any of them. She just wondered why it happened; so innocent. She didn't ask for any of that; it just happens sometimes and she is prepared to handle it safely in public.

We had to sit and wait for my medicine and I was starting to suffer in pain. I hadn't taken anything for pain all day long and I just forgot too (it happens sometimes). Blue Belle could totally sense that I was in pain so she jumped up into the chair next to me and scratched the side of the arm rest and looked intently at me; She had this sorry look on her face as she kind of asked me if she could sit in my lap. With that, she climbed into my lap as I laughed and started to feel better. What an amazing dog to have and I would highly suggest other patients to have a pet while going through treatments. These animals are medicine for the soul and I totally believe it!)

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nat said...

I don't think I'd be mad at my doctor either, for saying that. Doctors are human - and they are subject to all of the flaws and limitations we humans have. In his mind, he had done everything he knew to do with you. But nobody knows everything, thats for sure. Sometimes it takes a fresh perspective, and that is why I think second, third, fourth, and tenth opinions are so important! I am so glad that you are defying his 'portents of doom'. :)

I love your green jeans - and you look adorable! Did you go on that trip with your husband this past weekend?

Take care CJ - you may have inspired me to get my own juicer! :)

coffeemaiden said...

CJ, I check your blog at least twice a day to see if you've updated. If you haven't I worry. If you have I read it over 2-3 times. You are amazing. And so is your husband. You are so lucky to have him and he is so lucky to have you and to be that special person to travel with you through all of this. You guys rock! Blue Belle rocks, too. What a wonderful girl she is. Where does her complete understanding come from? Her understanding of what you are feeling and of the little girl grabbing her drumsticks and pulling her hair out is unreal. She's a sweetie. You three are in my prayers every day. I have learned to not sweat the small stuff and be grateful for my health and my family's. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Deb

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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.

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