spring cleanse :: digestive tract tour

April 19, 2014

i eat vegan organic food with fiber as much as i can + want to make sure i don’t have any cancer growing in my digestive tract, where my immune system is based. i chose my doctor because she got 5 stars on yelp 🙂 i had a colonoscopy with no drugs, so i was wide awake + got to see my appendix, large intestine + small intestine 🙂 colonoscopies don’t hurt, because you don’t have nerve endings in there. while preparing for my colonoscopy, i googled + saw that narcotics aren’t necessary or even offered in a lot of countries. i am so happy i got to be wide awake, get a guided video monitor tour of my digestive tract + see when 2 pre-cancerous polyps were found + removed. 1 was flat, which is most often cancerous, + the other looked like a wart. they were both painlessly snared + cut out, so that was instant cancer prevention 🙂 honestly, i wanted to get this important cancer check over with, but i had to reschedule my 1st appointment, because i was feeling panicky. it’s scarey before, but awesome to have it over with + know cancer isn’t growing in my colon. make your appointment to cancer cleanse your colon 20140419-100910.jpg 20140419-101000.jpg 20140419-101018.jpg 20140419-101045.jpg 20140419-101105.jpg 20140419-101132.jpg 20140419-101148.jpg 20140419-101206.jpg

 

mod*mom

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Stream of Consciousness (by Judy)

November 4, 2011

I was just looking at my notes from the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN) Conference that I attended last weekend in Baltimore, MD. I was hoping to find something that would lend itself to a coherent, theme-specific post, but instead I find little bits of information, some of them like golden nuggets that I can stash away until MBCN has the conference and power point slides online in about a month.

I wil share some of these nuggets, though, these little bits of information that, for whatever reason, struck me at the time as important enough to write down.

So here goes a disjointed, fragmented post . . . even though it’s all about metastatic breast cancer (MBC). That’s the thread that holds it all together.

One of the speakers talked a little bit about how the Network first was formed because two women, both with MBC, felt isolated and alone in support groups of people with early stage breast cancer. Things like going pink all of October or celebrating the end of treatment “is not possible with metastatic disease.” I know what she means, what the founders meant. I chave totally different conversations with those with early stage breast cancer (BC) than I have with those who have MBC. The ones with MBC seem to intuitively know what I’m going through, what I’m feeling and even thinking. They understand the very real fear of dying, of leaving this earth before I’m ready. They understand the worry I have for my child, my husband, my little family. They know that talking about death doesn’t mean that I’m obsessed with death or that I think I’m going to die soon. They understand that it’s a deep need to understand what will eventually happen to me with this metastatic disease. They understand all of these things because they live with these things themselves.

Approximately 30% of people diagnosed with early stage breast cancer will at some time develop metastatic breast cancer, cancer that has spread to organs other than the breast. Breast cancer, if confined to the breast, doesn’t kill. MBC, however, kills. And there’s very little research done on MBC.

One of the reasons that we also may become, in Whymommy’s words, cancer rebels and pink protesters, is that we can’t be happy and pink during October. We can’t join the throngs of “survivors” if we’re not going to survive this disease. We know we’re different, that we’re what they fear the most. How can we join in when we’re the black sheep of the breast cancer movement, the bad girls of breast cancer?

We can’t. We stand out. People get quiet when we tell them that we have MBC. They don’t, understandably, know what to say, although I think an “I’m sorry” or “I’m sorry to hear that” is always something you can say to people who are struggling not just with breast cancer but with so many other things that happen to people.

We are the 30%. I am part of the 10%, the percentage that was diagnosed with Stage 4 disease from the outset. I guess that makes me one of the REALLY bad girls of breast cancer. And it makes me unpopular with some people, with people who only want to see the happy stuff, with people who are uncomfortable with my diagnosis, with people who just can’t face the fact that I won’t be around someday, that barring a miracle or sudden death from something else, this cancer will take me in a horrible way.

Trust me, it’s not something I like to think about, but I have to. I have to try to prepare my loved ones that someday I won’t be here, I may be in hospice care, they may watch me die. Believe me, I don’t like that image any more than anyone else does, but the difference is that I can’t pretend that it doesn’t exist, I can’t say, “Oh, you’ll beat it,” because MBC is an equal opportunity killer — it takes fighters, optimists, supplement-takers, vegetarians, the religious, etc., just as much as it takes everyone else.

I will die from this. My husband, bless his heart, still says, “I hope not,” even when I try to talk to him about things that are important to me, that I think he’ll need to know about if it gets to the place where he’ll have to raise our son by himself.

*sigh* It’s a hard life. Even so, I love my life and I have an amazing God and I hope and pray for treatments to extend my life for a very long time.

That, and a good medical team, keep me alive for now . . . .
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Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.


For Those Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer (by Judy)

November 2, 2011

Researchers are surveying people living with metastatic breast cancer about how they make treatment decisions. If this applies to you, please consider taking the survey. Their deadline for the survey is November 11. Thanks so much.

SURVEY
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Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.


Featured Charity: Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation (by Judy)

October 27, 2011

Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation is exactly that: an organization that makes memories, wishes for those who have metastatic breast cancer, and, depending on the wish, their families.

Their mission is:

To provide an opportunity for metastatic breast cancer patients’ dream or wish to be fulfilled by providing a special time of ‘Making Memories’ together with their families, a chance that might not have become a reality without the assistance of the Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation.

To advance the awareness of breast cancer and to educate the public about the vast resources and support available to breast cancer patients and their families.

Recognizing the huge financial strain placed on families wherein a member has metastatic breast cancer, Making Memories provides a way for metastatic breast cancer patients to make wishes come true, whether they’re in the form of a trip with their famly, a way to bring family to their bedside, or grants for publishing memoirs or other endeavors.

Making Memories hosts events and promotions as fundraisers. In addition, their website is a source of information about subjects including breast cancer facts and FAQs. Naking Memories currently has a list of wishes from people who have applied to Making Memories.

I think organizations like Making Memories are vitally important to metastatic breast cancer patients who find their finances depleted from cancer treatment and wish to make memories for themselves and their families. I plan to financially support Making Memories somemtime during the coming year. I hope you’ll join me in doing so as well.

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Cross-posted to .Just Enjoy Him


These are the Faces of Metastatic Breast Cancer, 2011 (by Judy)

October 18, 2011

These are the faces of metastatic breast cancer . . . . These are the faces of people waiting and hoping for research that could save their lives.

My face could be among those. Please watch.

For those living with metastatic breast cancer, support from family and friends can motivate them to keep fighting and living for the next available treatment.

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Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.


please be aware (by Laurie)

October 13, 2011

Today is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day.
Six years ago, I thought I had a pretty good vocabulary but I didn’t know the meaning of “metastatic” until I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, only 15 per cent of women with mets will still be alive 5 years after their diagnosis. I’m one of the lucky ones ( stats are bogus anyway).
I think one of the reasons I get so angry at campaigns aimed at “saving [insert infantile name for ‘breasts’ here]” is that, for those of us with metastatic breast cancer, the breast was only the beginning. Our cancer has spread to our bones, brains, liver, lungs or skin. We are “the bad girls of breast cancer.”
And we want you to know about us.
We are:
Catriona
Rachel
Katie
Jeanne
Deanna
Judy
Susan
Katherine
Eileen
Delaney
Kristina
Dirty Pink Underbelly
Susannah
And we remember:
Sarah
Emily
Rebecca
RivkA
Sue
Andrea
Kate
Chris
Daria
Lisa
Jill

Renee


Featured Charity: Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (by Judy)

October 13, 2011

On Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, I’d like to feature the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, or MBCN.

MBCN was founded in 2004 by Jane Soyer and Nina Schulman. When diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, they experienced feelings of isolation from the very groups established to provide support. They felt the stigma of being a ‘failure’ in the breast cancer community. Their belief that cancer cannot be viewed as a disease from which one is either a ‘survivor’ or to which one has succumbed, fueled their desire to advocate for change.

As someone with metastatic breast cancer, I applaud Soyer’s and Schulman’s organization. It is self-described as:

a national, independent, patient-led, non-profit, advocacy group dedicated to the unique concerns of the women and men living with metastatic breast cancer.

For one thing, I’m glad tney recognize that men can also get breast cancer. For another, an organization like this makes me feel less lonely and isolated in the cheerful pinkness of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That’s because the board and members themselves are people with metastatic breast cancer. Their mission statement revolves around both awareness and education. Their website includes sections on Education, Developing Awareness, Support-Resources, Special Events, and News. MBCN even has an annual conference with this year’s conference being held on October 29 in Baltimore, MD.

Kudos to MBCN for filling a gap in breast cancer awareness and education. I applaud those who founded and/or are involved in MBCN.
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Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.