Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 113

I hope that everyone has been having as great of a week as I have.  I have been to see my "other mamma Lynda" at my naturopath twice this week (Mon-Wed-Fri) and will go again in the morning bright and early at 8:15am.  Ever since my session on Monday I can really smell the vitamins on my breath, sweat and skin.  I smell like the GNC.  Lynda said that is great because that means my body is finally reaching saturation and that way I will be prepared for my onslaught of chemo next week.  Yesterday morning as she was starting the IV she pointed out to me that my blood was looking nice and bright red and pretty, unlike most times where it looks pretty dark and almost rusty brown red.  Guess that means my blood has lots of good nutrients in it and that is also a good thing.

I've been waking up in the best of moods lately.  I have been feeling absolutely great too.  I think that the hikes recently have helped both my physical body as well as my mental and spiritual side.  I have always been one to go quite insane if I don't get to be in the woods or mountains often enough.  Ahhhh......

In the past 3 weeks I have gained 5 lbs! YAY! This is a good thing, I was down to 121 and waaay too skinny for my own good.  Now I feel like I am at a healthy weight.  I was just reading about liver ailments last night on the web.  One symptom of liver disfunction/disease is lethargy and general constant feelings of tiredness.  That explains it!  Sometimes I feel like I get kind of hard on myself for not doing enough or being productive enough.  Jeff is constantly telling me "you need to relax and rest".  I do agree but I also like to walk and hike and get exercise.   When it comes to thinking about anything at all, even the slightest things, I become waaaaay overwhelmed.  I literally can only do one thing at a time.  Gone (for now) are the days of multitasking.  Oh, I was such a great multitasker too!  I could have multiple projects going on at once and somehow synchronize them all into perfect dance of chores that all got done in a matter of hours rather than days.  Now it takes me a week just to finish a couple loads of laundry or change the sheets on the bed.  UGH!

What does it all mean.  Here is my theory.  S.L.O.W. D.O.W.N.  I don't have to operate at the pace of a madwoman.  I don't even have to get all the chores done today, or even tomorrow, right?  Why do I hold myself to such high standards when it has obviously not been healthy for me to operate at that capacity for extended periods of time.  I think it is important to be able to recognize our own personal levels of stress.  We may not recognize our daily grind as being "stressful" because that is just what we have to do, our errands and chores, and our meetings or our obligations that fill every little day box on our calendars.  Even the stuff that is supposed to be relaxing and therapeutic often becomes just one more thing that we have to do when we might want to do nothing at all except sit and stare at the wall or sit in the woods and watch the trees sway in the wind (one of my personal favorite things to do).  How many things in your life cause you stress?  Can you find a way to lessen this or get rid of some of them altogether?  If you feel the need to "be productive" perhaps one of these more stressful activities or obligations could be replaced with some YOU time to indulge in what ever your favorite healthy activity is.  I firmly believe that I would not be in the position of The Cancer Assassin right now if I had done a little more to relieve stress in my life.  Or if I had even paid enough attention to the fact that some things that I thought were necessary stressors weren't actually necessary at all.  Stress is one of the largest factors leading to disease in our bodies.  It literally eats away at our insides.

Now don't stress on it, just relax, breathe and find a new, less stressful path.  Your body, mind and spirit will thank you.

I am off for a super fun stress free weekend in Manzanita.  It is my moms birthday this Saturday and we have booked a room at the coast for the weekend.  I love Manzanita, it is so quiet for a coast town, not very many tourists and the Bread and Ocean restaurant is a wonderful healthy spot to refuel.  Jeff is coming along and bringing his surfboard so while my mom and I are busy getting our chill-laxin on, he can go hang ten.  My mom comes into town tonight, YAY can't wait to see her!

I love how this past week has been filled with me getting to hang out with both my mom and dad.  I love my parents so much, they are the coolest people on the planet and they care so much about me.  I am so lucky to have such wonderful people bring me into this world and instill their values, curiosities, and love in me.  My parents rock!  Here's to you mom and dad, the best parents anyone could ask for!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 105

I am now in the double digits!

So I will cut right to the chase.  I know you are all waiting to hear the results of the last CT scan so I'm gonna spill it right here.  Don't get all excited because it is really anticlimactic.  I really was not expecting them to be like "Hey! Where did they all go?  I don't see anything at all."  and they didn' wasn't bad though....

So, it looks pretty much like it did on my last CT scan....Still have cancer, it is still all over my entire liver, three of them even grew...only by a couple of millimeters though and that is not very big.  The good news is that the density of the tumors is less than it was 3 months ago.  My doctor (Shao) and I are taking it as a good sign.  A sign that they are dying, so that is good.  Plus Shao felt my stomach and I have felt my stomach and they definitely feel different than they did.  The place under my ribs is not as large or hard as it was before.  Basically Shao said don't get discouraged by the seemingly bad scan, a couple of millimeters is not much at all and we both know that I am feeling great and that they don't stand a chance :)

So, pretty anti-climactic huh?  I'm cool with it though.  I just got to keep on doing my thing.  I am getting some exercise now so that is great!  I though I was going to go crazy not getting to go out into the woods or mountains, but we went for a hike the other day and I now have my sanity back :)  My dad gets into town this morning from Tennessee (that's where I grew up) and I go to pick him up at 10am.  I can't wait to see him!!!  We have plans to get out into the woods and explore also.  I already have the Bagby Hot Springs in my sights.  My girlfriend Stephanie (Bills) is coming this weekend to meet my Pa and hang out with us.  It should be a great weekend!  Then the fun doesn't stop, as next weekend is my moms birthday weekend and we have big plans for Manzanita that weekend.  I love Manzanita, it is so quaint and quiet for a costal town.

Life is great!  I have been feeling great!  I have so many wonderful people around me.  My "other mama Lynda" at my naturopath and my wonderful nurse Bev at the cancer center both have the most amazing energy.  They are some of the most amazing ladies around.  I am so lucky to have them as my nurses and guardian angels.  They take such good care of me.  Here is a picture of me and Bev.  She is the one that wrote the hiking prescription for me :)  I will ask Lynda if she minds staring in my blog when I see her next so you all can "meet" her too.

I may not get to post for a little while, I will most likely be busy having fun with my dad :)
I love all of you guys and gals and want you to know that I can feel you every day thinking about me.  I love your energy, it is impossible not to heal when you have so many wonderful people praying for you, thinking about you, sending you all this wonderful energy every day.  It is absolutely awesome!  I love it!  Please, please keep it coming!  It is the fuel for my soul and body and it DOES make a difference.
Much love to you all!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 99

Last day of the double digits, tomorrow is day 100 since I have been diagnosed with cancer.  It is really strange in a way.  99 days ago I didn't know if I would be making a 100th post or not.  I had no idea what to expect.  As soon as I was told "you have cancer" I thought the rest of my life was going to be spent in the hospital, hairless, wasting away with machines all around me keeping me alive.  I remember that at first I did not want to tell anyone for fear that they would treat me differently or stop talking to me altogether.  I have found this to be somewhat true for some.  People just don't know what to say to someone who has been diagnosed with cancer.  I imagine that it must be a bit awkward but rest assured that I would rather hear from you and correspond with you than not.  If you are feeling awkward about how to start a conversation with the cancer girl you shouldn't.  I am still the same old me :) just a lot healthier now and with a better more positive outlook on life and a lot less stressed.

A friend of mine Jennifer just said the other day that she is replacing all of her "I have to's with I get to's which reminded me of what my boyfriend Jeff said to me at about day 2 or 3.  Now you get to get healthy. What if we all did this?  What if we said "I get to see the sunrise today" when we are up earlier than we want to be.  What if we said" I get to do chores and run errands", or "I get to exercise and eat well", or "I get to take care of our environment and the earth" so many do not have the luxury of getting to, but we do. How truly lucky we are!  Thanks Jennifer for reminding us of this little change in attitude we can make to create a better reality for ourselves.  After all the less stress we have in our lives the less dis-ease we also have.

Now I get to go to the oncologist this afternoon :)  I have been nervously looking forward to this moment for 99 days.  I get to see the results of my last CT scan from Monday.  Nervous?  You bet!  I know that the place in my stomach feels a lot different now, less hard and not as large...It also does not hurt to breathe like it did before so that is good.  I will keep you all posted on what I saw and what the doc said. Forgive me if it takes a day or so but I will let you all know, promise :)

My ChipIn thing expired and I couldn't just go in and scoot the date out farther so I had to create a new one that starts all over again at $0.  Just to let you all know that with all of your support the contributions to the last chip in account came to a total of $8766.93!!!!!  I cannot even begin to express how thankful and touched I am by all of your support!  I am so blessed to be among such wonderful, inspiring and selfless people.  I wish I could personally give all of you a big hug and kiss, so consider yourself hugged and kissed :) or find someone to deliver them to you, a significant other, or son or daughter, or friend or total creative :)