Thursday, August 25, 2011

No No I Won't Go

Is that your kid stomping on the ground or standing on the kitchen table??  No that's me.  Fighting, kicking, and screaming the whole way....cancer ....I hate you...and I do not know what to do to get you out of my body...I am afraid you might win the war and that is NOT ok.  Not ok.  I will win this battle ...this one...even if you win the war.



Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Trip / The Anniversary

I just got back from DRIVING with my daughter cross country to college and back.  It was a long however fun trip...I reminded myself  that every single time I wanted to complain about the heat and/or the long hours in the car that I got to do this trip...against all odds..I did the trip..2500 miles, 8 states..I am never sure if I will make the next trip to get her home in June and then back again in August of next year....I can only hope.

August 26th is my 10 year anniversary of my first abdominal surgery.  I did not even know back then that the tumor they would remove would even be cancer at all.  So here I am over 10 surgeries later...many chemos..2 chest ports, a pic line, a little pelvic radiation, two times bald, no belly button, a collasped lung, no gall bladder, no female parts, several bowel resections, a little less of a pancreas..etc..a belly button that used to squirt blood....If anyone would have told me that this would be my life I would have to say.....are you f'in crazy????

I am still here...still here ....Thanks all Gods...I am still here!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Vision

This evening while waiting for my daughter I was reading "Success" magazine.  The article I really liked was the one written by Mr Gardner....Will Smith portrayed him in the movie "Pursuit of Happiness".  He reached rock bottom when he had to sleep with his toddler son in the bathroom of the Bart train station in San Francisco.  However...he never lost his vision,,,he was able to lift himself up in his mind and soul past his misery.

He could visualize himself in a new much better life.  I think even if you are dying...you have to do that in cancer. You can have moments and times of despair..but to really survive and live..you must pick yourself up and get on with it...whatever "it" is. 

Mr Gardner eventually became a millionaire.  You/We have cancer...maybe for a short time..maybe it will go away...maybe it will someday kill us...what is the life that you choose to live with cancer?  We can not control cancer really...but we have some control of the rest of our lives...just some ...:)  How will I/you live with the time we have left?  I must always see the vision in my life..I must look forward..like Mr. Gardner.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

In Awe of a Healthy Body

I am still in pretty good shape however when I see people doing fabulous things with their bodies...I could just stare forever.  Sometimes you just miss your body the way it was and all of things it used to do.  I love watching cetain sports now that I never did before...basketball, skiing, soccer,...I love watching dancing..all forms of dancing.  it's like staring at the moon on a summer night...it's all so beautiful.   I do not miss seeing far away places or traveling a lot...I miss my body.  It's ok that I will never get the old me back...because I can take pleasure in watching you.  I just hope I stay the way I am right now.

I could live without a leg, or an arm, or an eye...but I can't live without my pancreas or my liver...or my bowel...I guess I could live without a bladder...they could build a new one...it would be very hard...I do not want to do that.  :)

I need to keep my digestive parts exactly the way they are right now.  I can live well just like this.  Everything is relative at the time you are experiencing it.  Isn't it amazing what we can do.

Alternative Medicine/Treatment

This is a huge topic with crazy and sane people going through illness.  This is a billion dollar business. Juicing, pills, herbal remedies, travel to Mexico..lol...it goes on and on.  Does it work?  Does diet really make cancer stop growing or slow it down?

My OPINION on this subject is....do not throw out your conventional treatment ..if your doctors recommend a surgery ...do it...clear wide margins are very important in removing cancer.  It could save your life or give you significant time in NED (no evidence of disease).  Do not do herbal crap instead of this when your cancer is growing.  Get it out!

However then there are folks like me...10 major surgeries, 4 chemos, ect etc etc.  Living with existing disease that is hopefully not going to grow for awhile....what do you do??  No chemos seem to be working..surgery always works for a time.  I am in no pain..to look at me you would never know I am ill.

I have started an alkaline plant based diet...I have been doing much reading..so here goes...I am fine with under control...my body can only take so many surgeries and chemos...my digestive system is kind of a mess....I am just looking for a little control.  2 years of stability would be quite fabulous.

Other folks do other things...this is what I feel will work for me...I hope...I have been doing it for days now and do have more energy....who knows!!!  I walk a lot as well. I swim from time to time.  I meditate and bang my drum.  It all makes me feel like I am moving forward.  Keep moving forward in your own way..one step back...two steps forward.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Depression and Cancer

I am sure I have typed about this before however I think it is worth repeating.  Depression takes many forms with cancer.  Maybe you are showing huge signs...crying all of the time, sleeping a lot...it's obvious.  In illness there is what I call subtle depression....

Symptoms of this are....

1.  You can not concentrate for long periods of time
2.  Paperwork is a huge issue
3.  Things you used to really enjoy ...you don't anymore
4.  A lack of energy..not quite lethargic
5.  A feeling of disconnect..like you are watching you life go..like another person lives with in you.  You do everything you are supposed to, but it just does not feel right.

Some suggestions for this time in your life...The Wellness Community..where they have free group and individual support for folks going through and recovering from cancer.  I have done both.

Do something new in your life.  Make your life move on...through the last 10 years of cancer, I started a new career, started conga drumming, Tai chi is great....It's very important to view your life like it will continue...for whatever amount of time.

Get evaluated for medication.  It does help some people immensely.  Do things ...even if you do not think you will enjoy...you never know until you are there.  Ignore people that say stupid things to you.  Love people that support you.  Lots of hugs and laugh...see funny movies.  Stare at the moon on a beautiful summer night.
Never give up...cancer does not win unless you give in to the madness :).

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tomorrow

Tonight I had a great night with my daughter.  We talked a lot about the future. I could stare at her forever.  I want to see her future as I look into her eyes...in case I miss it.  I can't miss it. I will not miss it.  Ten more years would be a great gift...It's not twenty..but it's ten.  :)  Ten is good...not great..but good...it's ok.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Stability in Disease...what it really means

I got supposedly great news the other day.  The tumors I still have in the back by my pelvis have not grown in 8 weeks.  That is a big yay..big...as with so many issues I have as  result of around 10 abdominal surgeries, 4 chemos, pelvic radiation, one pic line, 2 chest ports, and a partridge in a pear tree..big yay.

For sure this time around, I thought that I was in trouble...big trouble. After I shed a few tears and realized I get to be at peace for a little while longer the rest of the emotions began to check in.  This disease is chronic..bull____.  You can fill in the blank...there is nothing chronic about cancer because at any waking moment...it can move in and kill you..in a month...a week...a day.  Those smart little cells can change their growth pattern and move right in.  The thought of that is quite scary to say the least...when you are sitting with tumors.

I can be relieved and happy for the moment...I can shed those tears for the moment.  However the joy is temporary...the relief is not.  The other emotions are really primary..there is no joy in dealing with existing disease.  You have moments of joy with who ever..or you go where ever...however joy in your soul...I do not think so...only joy in moments. 

I am too busy getting ready for the next battle..because I know that it is coming..another crazy surgery someday..more tubes..more iv's, another epidural...more pain...more fear...how much can one little body endure.  I do not think other folks really get that.  It is very different than having cancer once.

So pardon me if I am not jumping for joy all of the time.  I feel the joy of being here in good shape ...I hope and I pray for time.  But I have work to do.  I will never be done with cancer and looks like it will never be done with me.  It will pick at my soul. 

There is no stability ...there is only prepping for the next battle.  It will come and I will be ready...I hope :)