Thursday, November 20, 2014

In the spirit...of giving?

Yes I am!  I'm excited to go to grammas for Thanksgiving and I'm excited to get to see my mom and spend a few days in Seattle hanging out with her.  It's been far too long since I've seen her and she works way to hard often working weekends.  I know she does it mostly to be able to help me out and I worry about her working so much.  I don't want her to run herself down and get sick or something.  Regardless, I am just going to be glad to spend some time with her.

X-mas '13 with Mags Who Wags

Oh man!  I have been feeling so crappy lately.  Super run down, weak and shaky.  With the exception of the last four days, I haven't slept for more than two hours at a time in about three months.  No energy to cook or clean or even get out of my apartment.  Wanna hear my theory as to why?  I really think it is because I am now almost 11/2 years into chemotherapy again.  I remember what that was like last time I was there.  I had a huge painful rash all over my face that hurt so badly I couldn't even put my face on my pillow.  I weighed about 103lbs and was way to skinny.  My hair was so thin you could see my scalp and I often wore a hat or a wig to keep warm and not look so crazy.  I had neuropathy all over my body in many different forms and my chemobrain was fried extra crispy...couldn't even concentrate long enough to follow a 1/2 hour sit com and just forget the notion that I would ever have been able to remember anything at all.

As I sit here typing this I am now three treatments shy of being at the place I was last time.  The bad news is that all of the chemotherapy has completely fried my poor gallbladder and it hurts a lot now.  The good news is that I don't have a huge rash all over my face (my skin is actually better than it has been in many years, mostly I think because I use castor oil and olive oil with lavender e.o. as face wash every day).  I still have a full head of hair and I just wear a hat to stay warm or look cute now :)  I weigh 121lbs at weigh in last week during chemo.  Most of my pants don't fit, so actually I am trying to re-haul my diet once again to eliminate more carbs and sugar from it.  I have to fess up and admit that I have fallen off my bandwagon in regards to eating well.  I have been feeling so crappy for so many months now that I have not spent the time cooking like I usually do.  Not as much time preparing fresh foods meant many meals that could be heated up in the oven or on the stovetop.  Usually those meals have a lot of empty carbs and those eventually make you just feel worse, not to mention make your pants not fit.  My chemobrain is not as bad as it was before but it is definitely still there.  Concentration is an issue for me as I am once again finding myself not being able to do one thing for too long without starting something else or forgetting what I was doing.  It's hard for me to remember dates/plans.  I constantly have to keep asking "when is such and such again?" or I just forget that I got an invite all together.  I have two calendars that I write everything on and usually about 8-10 post-it notes in the brightest colors I could find with notes to self written in bold fat sharpie.  They are stuck on my mirror in the bathroom right in the middle so I can't miss it.  I have them stuck to my front door to remind me to do something before I walk out.  I have them in my car to remind me what errands I have to run after I get my IV or chemo.! What would I do without you?
X-mas '14 downtown Portland with my mama

Even though I feel crappy more often than not and my energy is very low and I have some chemobrain going on I am so thankful I am not in the place I was last time at this point in my treatment.  Now you wanna hear my theory on why I think the side effects from the chemo aren't as bad this time as last time?  VITAMIN C IV's!!!  Seriously those things are absolute life savers.  They enhance the cancer killing effects of the two chemotherapy drugs I get (it's been proven in studies even).  It acts like a natural form of chemotherapy by oxidizing cancer cells (vitamin C only does this when in IV form, taken by mouth it is an anti-oxidant which is good for boosting the immune system).  It has NO negative side effects, or at least I have never experienced any.  My nurse says that it can sometimes cause bloating and gas but it has never happened to me.  It makes me really thirsty though and I often drink 80-100oz of water on those days.  It does wonders for the skin, hair, and nails.  And considering that at the beginning of the year I had more cancer in my body than I do now, I think that on top of all of the positives of the C I can safely say that it truly seems to be helping to assassinate those tumors.

But...I have a problem.  I only have enough credit in my account at The Center for Traditional Medicine where I get my vitamin C IV's to get three more IV's.  I have been trying to spread them out as thinly as possible but as often as I can so that I can still get some benefits from them but making them last a bit longer as well.  I am supposed to get three a week, but honestly that is just too hard for me.  I am ok with two a week but on chemo weeks I think I could only handle one.  I am not trying to be to optimistic but I would really like to get one a week.  I know that is not optimal according to my doc but he does agree that some is better than none ( he wants me to get three).  The IV's cost $145 each, see my conundrum.  I can't even afford enough groceries to last me for a month with my income.  My mom helps me out, my dad helps me out, and friends help out, but they can only do so much themselves.  My plan was to take a break from chemo for a few months to give my battered body, brain, nerves and aching gallbladder that has been fried from chemo a much needed breather.  Maybe I will heal a bit, get back on track, get some of my energy and mojo back.  Maybe I will even have enough energy to go for a small hike, who knows!  I was hoping that during the time I am not getting chemo I can replenish my body with all kinds of good stuff.  I am hoping to be able to continue my vitamin C IV's at once a week but I can't do that without a little help...ok a lot of help but if a lot of people help then it just makes it a little cause a little goes a long long ways.

So here(are) is my plea(s):

Please, PLEASE enjoy your holidays!  Spend time with as many friends and family as possible and no matter your differences remember how thankful you are to have them all in your lives.

Be safe out there and stay warm and be kind.

If I am not back on here before Christmas please have a wonderful, joyful time filled with love and memories.  I have a lot of projects to get done before then because I am crafting all of my gifts.  Have to get crafty and creative when there is a money shortage :) but it makes for very unique gifts.

AND if you can spare $1 or $5 or any gift cards for grocery stores (Fred Meyer, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Safeway) or gas gift cards I would really appreciate any help at all.  I'm serious, don't feel bad about giving $1 because every bit goes a long long way and you have no idea how much I appreciate it. Here is the link with contact info for my naturopath where I receive my C IV's. They are happy to accept a check or take a debit/credit card over the phone.  And...THANK YOU!!!!
The Center for Traditional Medicine 
If you would rather donate via paypal you can do so at thegrassygreen(at)gmail or contact me and I can get you any information you desire (addresses etc)

The last tree my little kitty girl helped me decorate.

Cholangiocarcinoma, diet, and supplement information for those out there who have questions.

I want to include a couple of links for those out there who have been asking questions about diet, supplements and just in general what to do if you or your loved one has cholangiocarcinoma.  The links are to my diet and my supplement list but please take this with you as you read them.  Everyone is different and what may work very well for one person may not work at all or not as well for another.  I cannot diagnose or prescribe a treatment plan for anyone as I am not a doctor.  All I can do is share the things that worked for me.  I think that with food it is pretty safe to say to avoid sugars and all processed foods while making the bulk of your meals vegetables and maybe some meats if you can handle meat.  Now again, if you need to gain weight veggies alone aren't going to work and you might need those carbs.  Do you see how me offering advice becomes a slippery slope.  So with that in mind please accept my account of the things I did that have helped me.  I wish I had the energy and time to talk to every single one of you personally but a lot of the time I barely have enough energy for me right now.  Please be healthy out there and never ever give up hope.  Doctors can not tell us how much time we have left on this earth.  My motto is to live every day as if it was my last and to try to be as good to my body as I possibly can be given my energy and finances.  I always try to find the good in everything rather than the bad and I find that it really helps me feel better not just emotionally but physically as well.  Surrounding yourself or your loved ones who are sick with nothing but love and light and peace instead of worry might go a long way to boost their spirits and give them the motivation they need to fight the cancer.
If you want to speak to my naturopath to get more detailed information and scientific explanations as to your specific case you can reach him at The Center for Traditional Medicine in Lake Oswego, OR.  His name is Dr. Noel Peterson.  He has even helped out of state people before by record faxing and phone conversations.  I know he is a very busy doctor though so try to be patient if he can't get to you right away.  He is a wealth of detailed scientific information.

Here is the link to my diet information for those interested:
My Cancer Killing Diet and Lifestyle

And here is the link to my supplement information:
Questions Answered

Another link on supplements:
Supplements...why they are good for me and maybe you too.

I do take a few more supplements than that now but those are specifically for certain conditions I have as a result of all of the chemotherapy.  I am not sure that those should be recommended unless by a doctor.

Once again I want to let you all know that YOU have been the best support system that I could have ever dreamed of!  It has been because of every single beautiful one of you and your shining spirit that I have been able to kick this much cancer booty!  I look at every day as a blessing and find something beautiful in every one of them, even the bad ones.  There is so much beauty out there and it doesn't take a lot of looking to find it.  Soak it in and share it with the world.  A little more love can't hurt a thing.


  1. At some point I would like to speak with you.I was diagnosed with intrahepatic CC a year and a half ago. I feel like I am sinking with no way out.

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