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


Divorce vs. Cancer, by Mary Beth

January 20, 2012

I have not blogged on this site in quite some time. I just had my 5 year and 6 month check-up and I am good, a few minor problems but let me emphasize minor. The past year has been a very difficult and trying one. After 28 years of marriage I found the courage to ask for a divorce.

I have always been afraid of divorce. I am not sure if it was because I was so young when we met. If I was afraid of being alone… which is a funny concept because I have felt alone for much of my marriage. I was afraid of what others would think. I was afraid of the kid sharing. I was afraid that once I asked for a divorce he would not support us. I was worried about money, which is also a funny concept because I was worried about money with him too….probably more so. I was afraid because he was my first love. I was afraid to have to try to meet someone else to spend my life with and now even more so as a cancer survivor, with a double mastectomy. I was afraid because I love the idea of marriage and family and I desperately wanted to have a long-term marriage and a good family life for my kids.

We had talked about divorce many times and in fact were very close in 2006 and then the cancer diagnosis. We stayed together, but in hindsight I think that was the final nail in the marriage coffin… thank goodness in was not the final nail in my coffin. I learned so many lessons from my cancer, mostly what is truly important. It changed me in so many ways. I guess I thought it would change the others close to me too. I have learned that just because we learn lessons, it does not mean everyone else does. So many times after the cancer I felt like the glorified nanny and housekeeper. There were many issues that I could not talk about then, that I hope someday I can share in case other women experience the same with their marriages.

Over the past 5 years since my diagnosis, those that knew of my marital problems would say “you survived cancer, you can survive divorce”. I heard what they were saying, but I just could not find that courage. I felt cancer was different. I had a team of doctors that I trusted. They said “do this” and I knew I would do it and follow their directions to the letter. There is no trust in divorce… another funny thought because there was no trust in my marriage either. I was not blessed with being able to trust those who are supposed to love and protect you.

I was so afraid of asking for a divorce and then having my cancer come back, what would I do? I don’t know if my cancer will come back, but I know if I stayed it definitely would. I found the courage. Divorce is hard, but cancer is harder.

On the tough divorce issue days I think of the other Mothers on this site who are fighting their cancer daily, hourly and by the minute. I think of the women that we have lost and their valiant fight, they remind me everyday what is truly important and then I remind myself… “if I survived cancer… then I can survive divorce.”

Please say a prayer or lots of prayers and healing thoughts for one of our fearless and amazing leaders, Susan, she has been having some breathing and pain issues and was admitted to the ER on Tuesday.


mixed. but good. i think. (by Laurie)

March 10, 2011

And I’m not talking about the weather, which while it has been mixed, has been pretty consistently bad for the last twenty four hours. We had a big dump of snow (the photo above was taken from my front door), followed by freezing rain, which will be followed by ordinary rain.
Good thing I just bought rain boots.

My GP called me last week to let me know the results of my endoscopy (I won’t get in to see the gastroenterologist until March 21st). All my results were negative – no celiac, no bacterial infection, no cancer. It’s all good.

Then I talked to my oncologist on Friday. We discussed my scope results and my digestive symptoms (diarrhea, heartburn, abdominal pain). He expressed surprised that I was still feeling lousy on Friday after a Tuesday treatment. I told him that my recovery time had gone from four to six days and that last round, I’d felt sick for a week (this ended up being the case this time, too).

Then my oncologist said, “It’s time to take a break.”

I was floored.

I had been hoping to hear these words for months (years even) but when I finally did, I definitely had a mixed reaction. I’m being taken off the chemotherapy not because I’ve been in remission for a while (although I have) but because the chemo has started to take too big a toll on my body.

As Dr. G. said, “You can’t stay on vinorelbine forever.”
I’m going to continue with the Herceptin but take a break from the chemo for at least three months. Herceptin is also known to induce flu-like symptoms but I don’t think it has the lasting toxicity of chemotherapy drugs. I’m likely to bounce back more quickly after treatments.

So we’ll see what happens. There are no guarantees of anything and no promises. Every change involves risk.

But the next few months will be devoted to healing.


Cross-posted from Not Just About Cancer.


First four days of Xeloda

September 27, 2010

By Sarah


I started my new chemo treatment on Friday morning, it was so easy. I took three pills and bam I was done! No trips to the hospital no sitting in a recliner for 4 hours. No hospital cafeteria food for lunch. It was a breeze. It’s a scary thing though taking a drug for the first time not knowing how it will affect you. Wondering if you are allergic or not. But I did really well. I was able to eat a nice dinner and really enjoy tasting it. It was a good Friday.

On Saturday we all piled into the car and headed out on a trip to visit a college for Miss H. I took My pills along and after stopping for a donut and some coffee I downed my next morning does of my medication. We arrived at our location and went through the open house without a hitch. I walked the whole campus (slowly but I did make it the whole way) and after we were finished we headed towards home and a birthday party. Now two weeks ago I would have not been able to go but I got to go this time. It was so nice to get out and do something not involving driving to the hospital. I enjoyed dinner and had a nice big piece of birthday cake. It seems that my appetite has returned and I am enjoying sweets, and other things that I did not have interest in eating before.

We spent a quiet day around the house on Sunday, Laundry, Football games and homework were the main events. I was a bit tired but not as sleepy as I usually am on the weekends. This morning I am feeling pretty good and am still drinking coffee. Which you know makes me very happy.

So far the only side effect I have is a bit of bone pain but Motrin takes care of that. I am back to cooking and cleaning a bit too. From what I understand I will probably have more side effects in my next cycle, but for now I am enjoying evey minute of feeling pretty good for now.


6 Words or Less

July 20, 2010

(By Clergygirl) Last year someone mentioned coming up with my “life testimony” in 6 words or less.  As I was driving home tonight after having an hour to myself, the DJ on the radio mentioned this 6 word testimony thing again.  My old history professor at Greenville College despised wordiness.  I probably have him to thank for cleaning up my writing in college.  Although he would probably have a heart attack if he read my blog, because I am very wordy.  I create words.  Call me George W. Bush.  But I’m probably way less (even that was too wordy) wordy than I would have been had it not been for dear old Dr. J.

So as I was driving home I was thinking about what I would say if I could give a six word testimony.

And I was thinking how hard it would be, for me, to say anything in six words or less.  It may be impossible.

My first inclination is to lean toward something like:

“dark chocolate, dark coffee, dark men.” 

(My husband gets a healthy tan BTW, just for the record)

But that would be way too shallow, and I don’t want to admit that at times I lack depth.

So my second try might look something like this:

“Cancer scary, ministry scary, life scary.”

But this seems far to negative and redundant, but man, do I feel like this sometimes.  It Seems like life is more scary redundant than not these days.  (If this makes sense to you then you have had repetitive hurts in your life and we are bonding through this blog right now.  Hugs dear one.)

And then I noticed that the skies were getting dark and it was about to rain, and this occurred to me:

“Weather volatile, shelter in the Son.”

And I liked it.  So that’s my six word testimony today.  Tomorrow might be different since I’m prone to changing my mind.

What’s your six word testimony?  I’d love to hear it?


Lymphediva SALE

March 6, 2010

Lymphediva, maker of fashionable lymphedema sleeves and gloves, has released a limited-edition sleeve with a gorgeous print that will make you feel good in several ways:

  1. Lymphedema control. That’s the key, of course, and the first requirement for a sleeve;
  2. Cool wicking fabric that keeps you comfortable even though it’s an additional layer;
  3. Gorgeous designs!
  4. For every YSC sleeve purchased, Lymphedivas will donate $10 back to the Young Survival Coalition, in honor of their 10th anniversary conference that Sarah wrote about here last week.
  5. And if you order before Monday, this fun sleeve is only $65 — but on Monday the price rises to $90.

I wore another pattern, the black paisley armsleeve, at my big meeting last week and I have to tell you, I felt totally badass.  It looked like a tattoo sleeve!  You know, if you’re into paisley tattoos.

Anyway, I feel like I just discovered a fashion secret for those of us with lymphedema, and I wanted to share.  Lymphediva sleeves (Class I and Class II compression) and gauntlets are available at Lympehdiva.com, Lymphedema Products, and from other stores that sell products to manage lymphedema.

Disclosure: I have no marketing relationship with Lymphedivas or Lymphedema Products, and I was not compensated for this post. Lymphedivas was founded by two young breast cancer survivors with lymphedema, and I’ve been following the company’s success for several years.  Now that they make Class II compression garments, I can actually own one.  Or three.


November 1: Sound off!

October 30, 2009

Happy November, everyone! Although we’re still a day or two away, I couldn’t WAIT to set up this month’s check-in! How are you? How’s treatment? Recovery? Mothering? If you haven’t posted in the last couple weeks, or if you just want to leave an update, this is a great place to do it!

Also check out the latest from our group blog:

  • Frankenlefty has left the building (by ThrowsLikeAGirl)
  • Death be not proud (by Rivka)
  • More birthdays, please! (by Susan)
  • Courage (by Sarah)
  • Benefit or burden? (by Stella)
  • I’m home (by Lyn)
  • Everyone is welcome to leave a comment on this monthly check-in post, to ask questions, to share concerns, and to leave notes of support, whether you currently are a writer for this blog or not. We’re a community ’round these parts, and this is one of the big places we act like one.

    Now go hug those little goblins, and have a Happy Halloween!