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

 

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March is National Colorectal Awareness Month (by Judy)

February 28, 2011

One of my blog readers shared the following with me via email:

I am reaching out to you because as a blogger who writes about her experience with cancer, I wonder if you might be interested in helping spread the word on an upcoming event. March is National Colorectal Awareness month and Tower Cancer Research Foundation is hosting a symposium titled Advances in Colon and Rectal Cancer Research and Treatment: A Multidisciplinary Panel Discussion. This event will take place March 8, 2011 at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.

The symposium is open to the public and will feature in-depth presentations from Tower Hematology Oncology Medical Group physicians and other specialists. Panelists will discuss new colon and rectal cancer treatment options, the importance of early screening, the latest news on clinical trial research, and the importance of diet in colon and rectal cancer treatment and recovery. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions to the panel.

As a fellow cancer patient/survivor, I am — happy isn’t quite the right word, simply because I’m not happy that anyone has any type of cancer — but since cancer does exist, I’m glad to spread the word about the symposium that will take place on March 8, just in case someone who reads this blog is affected by colorectal cancer and would like to attend the symposium.

You can get more information about the symposium at their Facebook page.
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Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.


Jenni

December 7, 2009

It’s nearly time.

Jenni, we love you, we miss you, we wish you peace and freedom from all the pain and suffering. Goodbye, good friend.

David, you will always be welcome here with us.  We send you strength, and the freedom to admit weakness, and most of all, pure, simple love, the love that all mothers have for all children, and that you and Jenni have for Jack and Jamie.  May little Jack grow up knowing how important his mother was to women all around the world, and how very much we learned from her.

Peace be with you all.


Jen Ballentyne

August 21, 2009

Our friend Jenni Ballentyne has entered hospice.  It’s a good thing, my friends, for she is able to relax and be cared for, although of course it is a signal that all is not well.  All hasn’t been well for Jenni in a long time, though.  If you’ve ever read her blog, you know that.  You know that she has suffered in ways that most of us will never have to suffer.  And you know that sucks.

Because it does.  There is no good way to say this.  Cancer sucks.  Her kind of cancer has its own special horrors.  But Jenni has persevered through rounds of treatment, surgeries, crises, and indignities that no one should have to face — and Jenni has done it with a determination and a will that awes all who know her.

Jenni loves her children, Jack and Jamie, and is singlemindedly focused on what’s best for them and their future.  She discussed that in a comment this week, talking about her decision not to try maintenance chemo again, knowing that it will not significantly prolong her life, and it will make the last few months miserable.  She says it better than I could,

The chemo affects you so badly that you don’t even want to talk to anyone, you can’t lift your head, I mean I just don’t see the point. Say I have six months, say chemo will buy me an extra three, but the entire nine months will be revolting. Not worth it. The price is just too high. If it helped my kids then I’d do it, but it doesn’t help them to see me so ill that I can’t lift my own head, there is absolutely no good to come from that at all…. Leaving Memory Boxes, letters, just sweet, special things for my boys is my priority now and I am building on that each day.

And once again, she inspires me as she walks the difficult road that is life after a cancer diagnosis.

Go give her some love, will you?  She has plenty — oh, she has so much love — but it will make you feel better, just to be in her presence.  Pinky swear.

Go.  She’s worth it.


heartbreaking

October 29, 2008

Our own beautiful Jen, from the Comfy Place, wrote a post that really got to me today.

“Last night came thoughts about how dying of cancer is in some ways a kinder way to leave those you love behind. It gives those we love time to come to terms with our demise well before it happens. I have even had my Mum remark that she feels she has been grieving whilst I am still alive. One of my close friends has said the same thing, in a sense. She says she has grieved already, she knows it will continue in fits and starts and she is sure that when I do finally pass she will grieve again but I have noticed how people seem to come to terms with their loss whilst the person with the illness is still alive and with them. I believe this is because they can think about it, as horrid as it is to think about the world without that particular person in it, they can think about it while safely knowing that the person is within touching distance or a phone call away. Then it came to me how children may not get this option of slowly grieving whilst the person they love is still alive. I think because we tend to protect them and want to shelter them from anything painful but I believe in cases like this, we are making it harder on them when the person does actually pass.”

Jen needs to have a talk with her sons, one that I have often thought about. She is brave and strong and thoughtful and loves her boys passionately.

There was a time, not that long ago that I thought a similar conversation with my own boys was imminent. Jen’s honesty is inspiring and I will think of her when my time comes.

But I grieve for her tonight.



Retraction … and Relief.

August 5, 2008

Midwestern Mommy does NOT have cancer.  Whew.


Pelvic Exenteration…

August 4, 2008

That is what it is called! It is radical surgery indeed! More radical that I imagined! Here are some of the facts from Wikipedia…

Pelvic exenteration

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pelvic exenteration (or pelvic evisceration) is a radical surgical treatment that removes all organs from a person’s pelvic cavity. The urinary bladder, urethra, rectum, and anus are removed. The procedure leaves the person with a permanent colostomy and vesicostomy. In women, the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and in some cases the vulva are removed. In men, the prostate is removed.

Contents

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Indications

Pelvic exenteration is most commonly used in cases of very advanced or recurrent cancer, in which less radical surgical options are not technically possible or would not be sufficient to remove all the tumor. This procedure is performed for many types of cancer including genitourinary and colorectal cancers.

Complications

After pelvic exenteration, many patients will have perineal hernia, often without symptoms, but only 3–10% will have perineal hernia requiring surgical repair.[1]

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It is pretty radical isn’t it? I have a LOT of questions for my surgeon before I make my final decision. One of the medical sites I researched (can’t remember which one) said that a 25-45% chance was typical! Gosh, I think I would want more of a quarantee than that. I mean we are talking major surgery here. Apparently the surgeons can reconstruct you a ‘new’ vagina during the surgery or you can have reconstructive surgery later on. I can tell you something for nothing ladies….I am terrified! I honestly don’t know whether I want to do this or not. My first thoughts on it are that if I didn’t have Jack, there is no way I would do it to myself. I would continue with the Avastin, have a couple of reasonably good years, try any clinical trials that came my way and just try to hang in there the best I could. The problem with that is, I may die in two years. I have been advised that I actually will die somewhere around there, could be less, could be a bit more. The thing that plays on my mind and heart though is Jack. If I die he is going to suffer immense pain, so much that I can’t bear to imagine it. If I have this surgery, I am going to suffer immense pain, better me than him. So you see my problem, I kind of have to do this because I don’t want Jack to suffer. I would feel selfish if I didn’t do it I think. Selfish if I didn’t try whatever chance I could get. That’s the other thing, I should probably feel very grateful because a lot of other people do not get an option to live a lot longer or even be cured which is what my surgeons are going for, a cure. I don’t know, I am extremely confused. This is all another part of cancer. It seems that it never ends. I have been through so much already, and now this. Am I even strong enough to cope with this? So many questions. I am interested as to what you ladies think about my position here. Any opinions or thoughts would be very welcomed.