Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bassackwards! Something has to change!

I woke up in a foul mood this morning.

I feel like my body has been trying to fight off some sort of crud (other than the "normal" detoxing dead tumor material from my liver crud) lately.  On Sunday and Monday I slept for 31 out of 48 hours...mostly on the sofa.  I can't sleep on my bed it seems.  Years ago when I was in crippling pain from two bulging discs in my lower back I purchased one of those memory foam mattresses.  At the time it was great for my back.  Ever since I got chemo it has been my nemesis.  It is waaay to hot.  I can never get comfortable, can't seem to sleep for more than an hour or two at best without flopping around like a fish out of water.  So I get up and head back to the sofa to try to get some precious sleep.  Sleep is our bodies chance to recover and heal.  My liver has been hurting a lot lately.  I am assuming it is because I just can't sleep.  If I'm not sleeping then my body never has a chance to repair the damage done by the cancer and the chemotherapy.  Maybe that is why my liver hurts a little more and more each day and I know for certain that is why I woke up in a foul mood today.  It is irritating to not be able to do the most basic of functions like sleep.  When I was getting chemo I couldn't sleep because I had horrible hot flashes.  I would go to bed freezing (mostly because my boyfriend at the time was too cheap to turn the heat in the drafty, moist house up past 62 degrees) wake up slimy and covered in sweat and feeling like I wanted to crawl out of my skin only to start freezing all over again.  Pulling wet sheets over a wet, sweaty body is not fun.  This would go on in a cyclic manner throughout the night about every two hours or so.  It was certainly no fun.

I take LDN (low dose naltrexone) prescribed by my naturopath as a preventative cancer measure.  LDN has been proven in studies to help boost the immune system and kill cancer throughout the body. It has no real horrible side effects like chemotherapy but it does come with the possible side effect of sleeplessness and vivid freaky dreams or nightmares.  Both of those side effects are what I experience every time I lay down to sleep.  Toss the combination of the uber hot mattress into the mix and you end up with one very unhappy camper.

My prayer quilt
Last night was no different.  I was looking forward to sleeping, especially since I have been seemingly so good at it the past few days.  But the sandman did not pay me a visit last night.  I fell asleep in front of the tv last night on the sofa.  Woke up at 2am and promptly went to bed (after popping my LDN of course).  About half an hour later I was tossing and turning.  I pushed my pillow off to the side and slept without one.  I turned over and over trying to find the spot where I would be comfortable enough to fall asleep.  At 3:30 I decided to get up and try the sofa...after laying there for about half an hour I finally found sleep.  Horrray! Then an hour later I woke up to my cat puking then walking over me trying to tell me that it was time for breakfast (only a few hours early).  I got irritated and decided to head back to the bedroom.  Nice try! As I picked up my favorite quilt (made by one of my grad school friends just for me when I was first diagnosed) I felt a wet spot on my hand.  Yay! My cat decided to poop on me while I was sleeping.  So here I am at 4am cleaning poop off of my hand and off of my favorite quilt all the while being irritated that I can't sleep and perturbed that my cat decided to have a bowel movement on me while I was getting what little sleep I could find.  Not a good start to the day.

My liver has been hurting more and more lately. It pretty much always hurts some but lately it has been very noticeable.  My last visit to the oncologist was back in July.  It was pretty ordinary.  Lay back on the paper covered exam table, he feels my liver for about 5 seconds then says "You're doing great, come back in 4 months".  This is a typical visit.  So my next appointment is the day before my birthday (October 16th, my b-day is the 17th).  At first I though it was unusual to go one month in between appointments, especially after seeing him every other week.  Then it became two months as my scans started looking better and better.  Now it is 4 months.  It makes me worry.  I worry because my liver hurts (is it the cancer coming back, or is it just that there was so much cancer in my liver that it is still detoxing and that is why it hurts?).  I worry because I don't want to get chemotherapy again, it was horrible!  A facebook friend (who also has CC and got the same chemo treatments as I did) asked me the other day what I would do if the cancer came back.  Would I get chemo again or would I seek the natural route.  I immediately said that I would seek natural treatment as I recalled all of the side effects of the toxic cocktails that would course through my veins.  This morning as I woke up to my liver hurting and as I tried to feel my liver the way my oncologist does during exams checking for any hard places or painful lumps I thought a horrifying thought.  What if my cancer IS back?  Yes, I would want to seek natural treatment but in all honesty I simply wouldn't be able to do that financially.  Our lovely insurance system will cover all kinds of toxic poisons like chemo and other pharmaceuticals but it wont even cover a portion of any sort of natural therapy like high dose vitamin C therapy which is clinically and scientifically proven to kill cancers of all kinds.  So where would that leave me?  I certainly don't have the money to pay for vitamin C therapy at $160-$180 per treatment once or twice a week.  Chemotherapy costs thousands of dollars each treatment but insurance covers as you can see this puts me in a bind.  Don't you think it is lame and bassackwards that insurance will cover toxic poison at thousands of dollars for every visit but wont cover a natural therapy that is a fraction of the price and has less side effects and is proven to kill cancer whereas chemotherapy is NOT a cure whatsoever and quite likely only leads to further complications and other secondary cancers?  Where is the logic here?  This logic is only designated to line the pockets of the already rich pharmaceutical companies which also have their ties deep in our political system, food system and water supply.  They want us to be sick so that they can "treat" us.  They don't want to cure us.  Doctors are not in the business of curing cancer they are in the business of treating cancer, treating symptoms, giving us pills and radiation and chemotherapy because every time they use a product from big pharma they get a little richer and a pat on the back for prescribing the latest toxic treatment.  Pretty messed up if you ask me.  Now don't get me wrong, I don't think that the doctors out there are intentionally trying to kill us.  It is not their fault that they were told and educated that the way of pharmaceuticals was the only proven way to treat cancer.  My oncologist poo-pooed all of my natural therapies.  His argument was always the same, "It hasn't been scientifically proven in clinical studies" he would always say, but luckily for me he also told me to "do whatever makes you feel good as long as it doesn't interfere with what I'm doing".  What he didn't know was that the things I was doing was discouraged in the conventional medical world and thought to interfere with chemotherapy.  I did it anyway (like take mega doses of antioxidants before and during chemo) and 17 months after a grim terminal diagnosis I had somehow killed the cancer that covered my entire liver.  How's that for scientific proof?  Can you tell I'm in a bad mood this morning?
Just about anything beats chemotherapy!

I don't like to think about "what if".  I don't want to worry about my cancer coming back or why my liver hurts...I don't want to give it too much of my energy or thoughts because I don't want to manifest it into being.  It is hard not to worry though when I feel like there is a softball under my ribs.  It's hard not to worry about what I would do if the cancer did come back.  My choices would be very limited.  Limited because our medical system is so screwed up that I would not be able to afford proven natural treatments with no side effects and more success rates than the toxic cocktails of big pharma that debilitate you and turn you into a 90lb, hairless, moody, chemo-brained, zombie that looses her stomach every couple of hours.

Something has to change.  In the meantime I'm thinking about moving my oncologist appointment up a few weeks.  But then again what would that accomplish?  Most likely not much. I think it is time for a hot bath, a warm cup of lemon water and some positive visualization.  I think it is time to focus on good things and heed my own advice...What you focus on expands.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pobody's Nerfect!

As I sit drinking my morning cup of green juice made with cucumbers, spinach, celery, carrots, ginger, half an apple, parsley, and a lemon (with most of the peel removed) I am reminded about how much I forget or neglect some things in my life.

Today's post is dedicated to all of us who procrastinate, forget, or are sometimes just too lazy to do certain things.  I am certainly guilty of all of these things.  Procrastination, lets see...I think I am pretty darn good at that.  Sometimes I am on it, but other times I put things off until the very last minute.  Forgetfulness, well lets just say that chemo took care of the short term memory and that there are still moments, entire days actually, lost from my memory as a result of chemotherapy.  And laziness, ah yes, my old pal.  I have never been a lazy person.  Even while on chemotherapy I still got off my butt and got outside and played in the wilderness, rock climbing, hiking, skiing or just sitting somewhere beautiful.  Sometimes, often actually, I get dead tired (again I am attributing this to the chemo and my body healing itself and detoxing the dead tumor matter from my liver) and I sit and do absolutely nothing at all, unless it is to sleep and nap on the sofa all day long.  I forget to take my supplements (or is that laziness, OR is it because I want to stretch them as far as possible because they are expensive) and I often go far too long before I eat anything (the appetite is still in need of improvement), and I know that is not good for a healing body.

Sweet potato chips that went wrong.
Now they are treats for my friends pup :)
What I am trying to get at here is that nobody is perfect.  Why would anyone want to be? What fun would there be in life if we did not learn lessons from our past?  Even though I know that I should be doing certain things, I sometimes don't do them.  Why? I don't even begin to know the answer to that one.  But the most important take away message from this is that even though the going gets rough sometimes and you momentarily forget, procrastinate or get lazy you get back on that horse and ride it right into the setting sun.  Everyone of us (no matter how "perfect" they may seem to others) has our moments of stumbling and stagnation.  It is important though to remember that we need to be honest with ourselves and recognize when our "less-perfect" side is taking over our world and our health.  At this point we can either give into it and let it control our lives or we can recognize it and accept that we can't always be perfect and try again.  Don't let it get you down if you ate an entire box of donut holes last night.  Learn from it and listen to your body.  Really get in tune with how that made you feel.  Maybe it made you feel happy and satisfied at the time but the next morning were you suffering (bloated, gassy and irregular) or did you notice that you slept badly during the night or had weird dreams or even nightmares?  This is your body telling you that you gave it something that it did not need or want.  There is always time to change your habits.  There are always improvements to be made.  Just don't dwell too long on all of the things you want to improve upon so much that it gets you down and contributes to more negative behavior.  We all stumble a bit and that is the way we learn.  We cannot have light without the dark.

Hey! Pobody's Nerfect!