Hello to Everyone,
Gia and I want to let everyone know we are still here. We apologize for straying away from blogging. We have just been overwhelmed as many of us get. Keep the Faith and you can get through anything. I her daughter have just not had much time working 2 jobs and caring for Mom. Mom needs me to blog for her as since being in remission of her peritoneal cancer, she had right shoulder surgery. She has severe degenerative arthritis and her orthopedist did all he could to attach and repair her shoulder. She is still struggling to be able to use her arms. She has had a few falls recently and yesterday, she fell very hard and hit her head. After a few hours in the ER, she was lucky as she did not have any facial fractures and got to come home. Today of course, she has pain everywhere. As much as Mom would like to give up on many days, she is still pushing through. Her next obstacle is a breast biopsy for a suspicious lump. We will keep positive that it is benign.
We want anyone who has cancer or is in remission to remember to never give up. We still continue to struggle to keep our home and worry every day that we will not make it. Our best advice is to take it one day at a time and if you have to one minute at a time. No matter how difficult any situation is, it can always be worse. Remember each day and every breath we take is a gift. Don’t forget a little sun can make you feel better. When is stays rainy and gloomy we always take extra vitamin D. Mom continues to use her herbal supplements. Our main ones are: Protandim, Turmeric, Milk Thistle and Chlor Oxygen. You may want to see if any of these may be for you. Water and smoothies also help Mom quite a bit. Hydration is very important unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Always remember to check with your doctor about taking any new supplements, especially if you are on Chemotherapy.
Kale has been a constant additive for us in our diet. Once you get used to it, you can enjoy it cooked, as a salad and in a smoothie. Add some fruit to your smoothie withe the Kale and you will taste like the fruit such as apples. Some other cancer fighting foods we each often are brussel sprouts with black beans and spinach.
Keep The Faith and Keep Strong
Gia and her daughter
(I just got cancer) Fear of ending chemotherapy
Before I get into my fears, I want to give out apologies for not blogging for a while. We have just been having an extremely difficult time keeping our utilities on and making our house payment. It have been a very rocky year in health and finances and lately the financial end has not been good. I know that somehow as long as we do our best to keep positive, God will provide. I am here, alive! I have so much to be grateful for! If I have my health, the rest will come. I believe, the rest will come. I will have my health and financial relief will come. For those of you in desperate need like my family I just want to say my heart feels your pain and we can make it. I have many days, when I have a hard time believing it and I am scared when we do not have money to go around, but hey I am able to blog again. One thing at a time and one day at a time. Sometimes I just have to say one hour at a time. We have to do the best we can or this stress will eat us alive.
Well, in addition to my financial disasters, I am actually due for my last chemotherapy treatment tomorrow. I can hardly believe it. I have had the greatest fear of ending chemotherapy. I know I have been a bit of a basket case because of our financial situation, but then I started freaking out about ending my chemotherapy. I had a long talk with my nurse practitioner last week. She really helped my daughter and I. She is aware of all our problems and she told us that it is normal to be scared that chemotherapy is ending. It is like cutting the umbilical cord. It feels more safe when you are getting blood tests every week and seeing the doctor or nurse practitioner. In fact it feels like that support is not there. I explained how afraid I am of getting another pet scan and my new results. She re-assured my that everyone feels that way. My oncologist will not “cut me off”. I will have a three-week break and then a pet scan. The week after that my oncologist will see me to review my progress. He also said he will call if there is anything urgent. Okay, just typing this is scaring me. I don’t want to be scared, but I just feel scared all the way around lately. I did get good news that my CA125 which is a tumor marker is at 3. I was told anything under 30 is normal and my nurse practitioner said that is a very good sign. I know I just have to wait it out. I will make it. We will make it and so can you.
I am going to continue this blog and still discuss things that happen with me and I plan to evolve to having more information about cancer, diet, recipes, exercises and healthy living with cancer or just doing your best to stay or be cancer free. I will share my emotions and hope to touch and inspire someone out there who needs to know they are not alone. The world can be a scary place and there is much grief in life, but I always remember that tomorrow may be the best day of my life and I do not want to miss it. Therefore, if you are like me and your plate is just overflowing so badly that it is hard to make it to the next day, keep your chin up. Tomorrow just might be that best day of your life.
God Bless and Keep reaching for the rainbow,
(I just got cancer) Chemotherapy and thankfulness
I first want to apologize for slacking on my blog. After my last session of chemotherapy I was just exhausted and needed a break. I was then blessed with company for Thanksgiving. Chemotherapy and thankfulness are hard to comprehend, but it depends how you look at it. There is just so much in life to be thankful for that I will never be able to include them all. I am so grateful to be alive each and every day. I believe in God and know that without my faith I do not know if I could make it. My family is so loving and takes such good care of me. I am so blessed to have children and am so grateful. I am so fortunate to have them as so many people are alone. I am grateful for life, my home, my friends, pets, having food to eat a TV to watch and on and on. I just want to remind everyone not just those with cancer but everyone that we must always remember that each day is a gift. No matter what you do or do not believe, life is a gift from the day we are born.
The world so full of tragedy, stress, poverty, criminal acts and more that in the scope of it all when you just stop and think of it all, everyone has some type of problem in life. It goes back to the old saying that “it can always be worse”. If we all thought of that on a bad day, we would be grateful and thankful around the clock. It is just so easy to get caught up in our own issues. Having cancer is so real and scary. I get frustrated as I feel sick often and weak, then I freak out that we have truly not been able to keep up with our mortgage, let alone our bills. Then, I remember I could have no home to try to save, no car, no family and etc. My eyes are open. In fact I am lucky to see for real and walk and talk. Not that they were not before, but I just have days that it is hard to step out of my “box of problems”. I am working hard on myself to “keep my eyes open”, as many are in pain, poverty, alone, have cancer, can’t walk, no home and more. I am so thankful and grateful to be here, working hard to keep alive.
Life is a journey. It is full of ups and downs. As we walk the walk and live each day, there will be many awful and stressful times, but every once in a while something wonderful will happen and things will be calm for a bit. I will force myself to live for many more of those special moments. No matter how bad today is, tomorrow may be the best day of our life.
God Bless Everyone and May your Holidays be blessed,
I want to talk about chemotherapy and side-effects. When chemotherapy is given, the main standard these days is to give “pre-drugs” . These include a steroid, an anti-nausea medication and an anti-histamine type medication. Now, you would hope that you would not get side-effects from these, but you do. I have been having the absolute worst case of the crying jags and/or being a ranging “bitch”. I am not kidding. The steroids make me so flippant. It drives my family crazy when I get like this. The worst part is I do not realize I am doing this until they can’t stand it anymore and tell me. I have talked with other chemotherapy patients and some of them have shared some similar experiences.
Another common one from steroids is not being able to sleep. It can make you feel so wide-awake that even though you know you need to sleep, you just can’t. Some other patients say they feel so amazing and energetic that love it. I get hot flashes like I am getting right now. I had my chemotherapy dose 2 days ago and I can still feel the steroids.
I am grateful that they give these medication prior to chemotherapy now. My husband and mother passed away of cancer 19 years ago and at that time, they did not do the same “pre-medications. They had a very difficult time tolerating chemotherapy without them and they did not do well when their chemotherapy doses got strong.
The three different medication really do help me and others. I feel lucky as the anti-nausea medications have been quite successful for me. I have only had one time at chemotherapy that I got nauseated when my dose finished. The anti-histamines help us not get an allergic reaction to the chemotherapy medications. Medicine has come so far. Maybe one day all cancer will be cured. I love to think of a line from Star Trek when they say how archaic our treatments are. I love the little device Bones would use to slide over an injured person and everyone was healed so easily.
Life throws us so may curves. We just have to be strong and be grateful for everything in life. As I have said before, life is a gift.
I want to also send love to all affected by hurricane Sandy. New York, New Jersey and all the East you are amazing souls who are so strong. God Bless you and all your loved ones.
Chemotherapy and a healthy diet is a very important part of getting well. If we eat the right foods, we can get many of the important cancer fighting foods we need to assist in fighting cancer. In fact we need to change our diet and keep on a regime that is always rich in cancer fighting foods. It is also very important to drink as much water as possible unless your doctor has told you differently. Consulting a nutritionist is always helpful as everyone is different.
A healthy diet should consist of fresh vegetables if possible as there is more nutritional value. When you cook your vegetables, you need to try to keep from over-cooking them. Of course, with cancer there may be times when it is difficult to eat. Food may not taste good, you may not feel hungry, your mouth or teeth may bother you and much more. Remember the blender!. You can blend vegetables, fruits, ice, juice and protein powder together and you can make a very healthy and nutritious drink. You can add vitamins, yogurt and etc. I have been eating more greek yogurt for the protein. Remember a protein rich diet is also important when on chemotherapy.
As I mentioned before, I was fortunate enough to get on a food assistance program that sends a few meals a week and some extra goodies. I had a very tasteful meal tonight of baked boneless chicken thighs with pesto, mixed vegetables and mashed potato. It was very good. All the meals are healthy and they are low sodium and low-fat.
I start round five of my chemotherapy treatment in a couple of days. I am still feeling weak, mostly due to my anemia and low red blood cells and low white blood cells. These have been my biggest battle as it makes me weak and that makes it harder for me to exercise. Exercise is very important to keep up muscle mass and energy.
My family and I are still having a very difficult time financially and that keeps me stressed as well. I get stressed and depressed which makes it even harder to get up and do anything. Life is quite a challenge as it is for anyone going through fighting cancer. That is what it is a fight to survive. We have to keep the faith and believe….”My cancer will be cured, my cancer will be cured, my cancer will be cured and money will come to us, money will come to us money will come to us”. See I have to keep telling myself as well. I do work at it, but I also believe it.
(I just got cancer) Chemotherapy and bladder infections
I am on a week off of chemotherapy before starting cycle 5. unfortunately, I have a bladder infection and it is slowing me down. When you get a bladder infection or any infection when on chemotherapy you have to be very careful. You should take your temperature every day and if you spike a temperature, you have to go to the emergency room right away for intravenous antibiotics. Your Oncologist will give you guidelines of what degree of a temperature he or she would want you to go on antibiotics for. Bladder infections are tricky as you may not have a temperature, but just have malaise, back pain or burning when you urinate. You may also have frequent urination. For me, I have had frequent urination issues all the time I have been on chemotherapy. Everyone is different and I suggest you do your best to get in tune with your body. I sometimes have a hard time with my symptoms and do not always explain myself correctly so I have to really think about the question asked to me to describe how I feel.
I wanted to give a shout out to the Ceres food program in Northern California. They are a fantastic organization that was kind enough to assist me with healthy food for a 12 week program. The food is very good and all cancer fighting. I am so grateful. I mentioned in my last blog to check with your Oncologist if you are having financial difficulty like myself and family. Many places around the world have organizations to assist patients with food.
We have not had luck yet on finding mortgage assistance for cancer patients. Some places have programs for utilities though and senior centers can be a good resource for references.
One of the meals we just had was walnut meatloaf, but it was all veggies and it tasted like traditional meatloaf. It was amazing. The Ceres Program has a cookbook and I plan to get it in the future when I can afford it. I was told that all the recipes are what they prepare and serve when you are on the program so I am very excited about that.
I get to go for a urinalysis in the AM. I have to think of all my appointments as fun as “I am going to be cured from cancer, I am going to be cured from cancer, I am going to be cured from cancer!. We all deserve to be well and meet our financial obligations. Keep the faith. If you feel negative as I often get, sage is a good cleanser of your home. Purchase it dried and light some of it and go through your home in each room, by doors and window and say positive affirmations. It may sound silly, but I felt better. We all need to do what works for us.
My best to all,
(I just got cancer) – Finished Cycle Four Of Chemotherapy
I finally finished cycle four of chemotherapy. I have been under so much stress from my health to finances that it has been a very challenging cycle. I feel like I am being challenged every day. I have had to work very hard at keeping myself positive and that has not been easy. Being positive in my outlook is extremely important and I realize my health comes first, but not having our mortgage payment this month is freaking me and my family out! My children have been checking into programs, but we have not had any luck. “Somehow our mortgage will get paid, somehow our mortgage will get paid, somehow our mor-gage will get paid.”
My daughter was able to get us an organization that is a food program to help patients with have cancer and are on chemotherapy. It is a meal donation program that is in my local area. If you have cancer and are reading this, ask your Oncologist if there are any meal assistance programs in your area. We are so grateful for this help as it is healthy meals prepared with cancer fighting foods. I also is a way to teach you how to learn to eat right now and for the rest of your life. I had butternut squash that was topped with ground chicken, tabouli and garbanzo beans. I also had a kale salad. It was very good.
As far as my health, I am doing well with treatment except for the usual anemia, low red blood cells and low white blood cells. I had to take neulasta again to build my white blood cells again. I am still anemic, but not low enough for blood, so I am taking iron. I still feel very weak, but have been doing as much exercise as possible. I still do my best to consume up to 12 glasses of water, tea or juice. Green tea is very good against fighting cancer. I also drink Odwalla super green food, carrot juice, orange juice and lots of water.
I have kept up with taking many vitamins and minerals such as A, E, B-12, Cranberry, coral calcium, selenium, turmeric and Protandim which I get from http://www.livelife healer.com
Well, I am going to keep the faith that somehow our mortgage will get paid and I will keep working through my chemotherapy. I will survive. We will all be strong together.