The Perks Of Being A Teacher, Chatty Cathy Has a Death Wish, Gluten-Free Me, and Art, Of Course!

The Perks Of Being A Teacher

Frick and I went to a concert last night (One Republic, and Lights was the Opening Act). It was really excellent.

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IMG_0181I haven’t been to a concert in decades and am a bit behind the times as to what you can and cannot bring inside. Not allowed to bring a glass bottle with water in it. You must dump it out before you enter. Ridiculous. I wanted to drink something and my filtered water is much better than buying an overpriced plastic bottle with BPA in it (which will feed my cancer). Try explaining that one to security. Also not allowed to bring an Ipad….and we had two. We were told to go to Gate One to check in my contraband. Frick was getting upset. Told me we were going to miss the concert…blah, blah, blah.  Should have ate faster and got here sooner….blah, blah, blah.

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So as we are racing to Gate 1, we passed Gate 2 and I thought I saw a face I recognized. “Wait A Minute. That great, big, hulk, towering well over 6 feet tall guy looks very familiar. I taught him. I know I did. I doubled back and read the name tag. “I know YOU!”, I shouted at him with a big smile. He looked at me for a minute, recognized me and gave me a hug. “Man, you are big!” I told him. “Are you a bouncer now?” I asked. “Yup”, he said, “Security”. “Good,” I told him. “I’ve gotta get in there,” pointing to the revolving door of the Air Canada Center.   I have cancer and need my glass water bottle, and I also have 2 Ipads. “I didn’t see anything”, he said and let me through. Gotta love the guy. Never really played by the rules when he was a kid and man that really works for me as an adult!  Inside we went and just in the nick of time ‘cause the concert started as soon as we sat down.

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Chatty Cathy Has A Death Wish

Both acts were awesome. I really loved listening to their voices….when I could hear them. Why? Well, we had this really annoying chick behind us yapping away the entire time. The teacher in me took over. I turned around and told her I paid good money to listen to music and if she wanted to carry on a loud conversation with her friend, I suggested she go outside and talk there. I think I shocked her a bit. Guess she told her stupid boy friends sitting further down what I said and then one of them began talking Really, Really loud. So I got up and complained to the usher who gave me free tickets to the disabled aisle on the 100 level.  Gotta love that….from 300 to 100!  Off we went to our new seats. Frick was not happy with me because we missed a song she liked. Too bad I told her. I didn’t want to hear her whining about “Chatty Cathy” any more and I was afraid I was going to get into a brawl with her…I knew she was thinking about dumping her beer on me in which case I would have gone psycho and killed her. Even the usher told me it was a good thing I complained and moved because that actually did happen to one of the guests in his section before.

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Gluten-Free Me

 

I went to a new Naturopathic Doctor who I think will be a great fit for me. He reads German and knew the medications I was taking from Germany. He seems very knowledgeable and knows of various cancer treatment protocols in different countries like Tijuana, Paris, Italy, France, and Germany. Apparently an Arab president/king(?) flew all the way over here to get treated by him. Anyhow, he has that ozone machine I was looking for, so I’m going to start that up soon ($250 a shot). My benefits don’t cover any of this so my Visa is going to take a hit.

 

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He prescribed me some supplements and I’m suppose to get a lot of blood work done so he has a base. He is going to try to find what the root of the problem it. Unfortunately, I’m on a gluten-free diet again. It is SO HARD to do this. There isn’t much to buy anywhere that doesn’t have some wheat in it. He told me to do it for 3 weeks until I see him again. I feel much better (not as much pain in my fingers/back), but I’m not sure I can do this gluten free for a long period of time. Plus no sugar, dairy, or vinegar. Salads are just not the same without some vinegar. Sigh.

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IMG_0171The acrylic paintings featured on my blog today are for Mother’s Day and are done by our gr. 2/3 class (ages 7/8). I’m going to another Art for Cancer Foundation course on Monday to paint spring flowers! Can’t wait.  More paintings from this class to follow when we finish them all.

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Another Fun-Filled Day in the ER

IMG_0232IMG_0222Spent some quality time picking my nose at the ER at Mount Sinai hospital today. 5 1/2 hours. Where do I begin? Let’s see….



IMG_0219Went to my appointment for my vitamin C I.V. at the naturopathic college. Told the doc.  I wasn’t feeling so hot. I felt like I was having heart failure. I know that feeling all to well. I also had my weird “asthma”cough which I get when I eat dairy products. However, I’m on this bloody gluten free diet and haven’t touched anything dairy in a week. I figured my new symptoms might be caused the new supplements I was taking my new Naturopath in Etobicoke. I think that veggie protein drink I bought makes me asthmatic and the B17 vitamin is screwing up my heart.

IMG_0231The Dr. at Robert Shadd clinic listened to my lungs and thought she heard fluid in there and instructed me to go to emergency. Apparently that’s a symptom of heart failure. I was just going to go home, but after she told me that, I thought it would be prudent to go to the ER even though I didn’t want to.

IMG_0229I arrived at 11:30.  At around 2:00 the ER doc. (when she saw me 3 hours later), said I should have a chest X-Ray. I told her “No Thank You”. “Why couldn’t she just order me a CT scan on my lungs and liver since I was suppose to have one a couple of weeks ago anyway.”   She said she didn’t think I had heart failure because she didn’t hear anything in my lungs, but I may have metastasis in my lungs or a pulmonary embolism.

IMG_0227Now I’m no doctor, but I figured if it was a pulmonary embolism, I would have been dead by the time they scanned me several hours later.

IMG_0225She said the pain I was feeling on a bone on my ribs could be the result of lung mets.  So I told her that while I was having a CT scan on my lungs, they may as well scan my liver too, since that’s another hot spot that mets go to and I didn’t want to have the scan twice…once for my chest and once for my abdomen. She said she couldn’t order the abdomen to be scanned because that wasn’t why I came in the ER. I told her I may as well go next door to PMH and get my onc. to order one scan for both because I really didn’t need the extra radiation. She said it may take 4 weeks for my onc. to order the CT scans and she had to check for a pulmonary embolism. I told her I didn’t care, I was going home. She then decided to phone my onc. who told her to order both. I think I have finally learned to advocate for myself and work the system. It’s been a long process, but goody for me!

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Bobo bought me some lunch…via a message from me via email. Thank heavens for free wi-fi at hospitals.  Yes, I know, buy a phone.  I was thinking of emailing my friend Wanetta who works nearby for some food if Bobo couldn’t come! He spend an hour with me and then went back to work while I chatted with all the other patients there and told them the drill.  That dr. over there is called Goldstein…he wrote a book about the Midnight Shift in the ER”.  Scary when you recognize the doctors.

5:00. Got my results….sort of.  No pulmonary embolism…now there’s a shock. No liver mets. My dermoid cyst decreased 1/2 cm. No heart failure. No bone mets on my rib, which hurts like hell (she said it’s probably muscular).

IMG_0224However, there is something going on in my lungs, but she said phone my oncologist and talk to him about it tomorrow. I tried to decipher the gobbley gook, but could only make out that there is a spot on my lung (tissue damage?) from radiation treatment. It said something about cement (I’m guessing from when I fractured my back and they did surgery on that bone).

Here is what the report said on my lungs:

There is a bilateral apical fibrosis stable in the interval. Along the major fissure on the right side the nodules have increased in size. In the left upper lung, there is a stable .3 cm nodule. Along the fissure in the left lung the nodules have increased in size. In the left lower lobe there is linear atelectasis.

Summary: The nodularity along the right base pleural have increased in size and also the fissural nodules bilaterally have also increased in size in the interval. This could be concerning for metastases.

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“Could Be?”  I’m taking this with a grain of salt. I don’t think it’s anything but the after effects of the radiation treatment I had in January. Until they tell me for sure it’s mets in the lungs, I won’t be doing chemo. any time soon.  I go for my spinal MRI in mid-May. We’ll see what happens there with my bones.

IMG_0199Meanwhile, my german doctor sent me the results of my urine sample today when I got home after 7:00 p.m. Can’t read german, so I have to get someone to translate it first. But I did see he ordered Sanomit (co-enzyme Q-10) for my heart. Interesting he figured that something was going on with my heart from a pee sample from 2 weeks ago.

IMG_0194By the way, I don’t have an appointment with my oncologist until July because they have this new protocol at PMH. I used to see my oncologist or resident every month when I went to get my 2 shots in the stomach. Now I have to go to the 4th floor for my shots by a team of nurses and don’t see my onc. until July. Too bad, so sad. Guess I won’t be having that discussion about “What is in your lungs”. There is nothing in my lungs. Yes there is. We know what it is. No we don’t. However, this time I’m not going to let them shove anything in there to test out the waters like they did with that bone marrow biopsy. There is something to be said about your gut instinct. Trust it. I’m just going to tell him that if there is something there, it will show up in a couple of months on another scan…however it will say Mets to lungs not “could be”. Until then, I am quite happy to be merrily on my way doing “Quackery”.


Hope you like the rest of the gr. 2/3 acrylic canvases above.  I did some flower paintings (tulip/poppies) at the Art for Cancer Foundation on Monday (shown above too)

These are paintings were made by our teacher, Sarah Hall.

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And these are made by other cancer patients at Monday’s art workshop.  I love going there because it’s always fun being the student and learning something new!

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Bears, The Rebel In Me, and I’m Getting Out of Here!

BEAR CONTEST

IMG_0136On Monday I had fun painting a bear at a workshop through The Art For Cancer Foundation.  The guest artist was Laurie Stein who illustrates children’s books.  She was wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon there.

Well, I didn’t win Michaels Paris Contest.  Didn’t even come in second place (and I could of really used the $1,000 gift card to buy canvases and acrylic paints to do art with the kids).  So I’m going to have my own contest.  Here are the details.

If you are a teacher,  I will come teach your class how to make “Bears” sometime in June (right now I’m quite busy doing Mother’s Day stuff).  You will need to be somewhere in the Toronto Area and supply canvases/acrylic paint for your class (because I am not a millionaire and can’t afford it).  The Dollar Store has lots of canvases that cost between $1 – $3….and I think we will need about $30-$40 worth of paint depending on the size of canvas you choose.  So if you have some Read A Thon money left over or you want to ask your students parents for a couple of bucks, and would like your class to make a bear, then enter FAST!  You may be the winner.  I like these contests!

All you have to do is be the FIRST PERSON to RESPOND via email or this blog.  Hurry.  Do it NOW!

I cannot for the life of me get a picture of my bear on  here to show you what it looks like.  I don’t know why this isn’t working here.  I wish I was more techno-savy and knew what I was doing!  I always could get my pics. from my ipad and insert it into my posts before, but why is this just not working today?  UGH!!!

Oh well, you will have to go on Laurie Steins web-site and look at her artwork for yourself or go on the Art for Cancer Foundation Web-site and you can see all our bears from Monday’s workshop.  Mine is the second bear on the left side from  with the red background.

I’m not sure how to add the link…this is what I got:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/ART-for-Cancer-Foundation/195129660503339

Good Luck!

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Me, The Rebel

I have been playing hooky with my doctors lately.  I didn’t show up to see my back surgeon because someone left me a message the day before and told me I had to have an x-ray done before my appointment.  I have decided I have had quite enough of radiation lately and if the screws were loose in my back, I’m sure I would have noticed it by now.  Besides, I figured they can get that information from my last MRI which said the screws where all there and they looked just fine.  I know.  I got the report.  Why put me through a spinal x-ray when I have a gazillion MRI’s reports?

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I’m Getting Out of Here This Week-end!

I’m so excited because soon I will be on my way to a retreat for Metastatic Breast cancer patients in King City.  I had heard about it from the organization Rethink Breast Cancer way back in January and requested information.  Unfortunately, I think they forgot to send it to me and when I emailed the contact person this week, she told me the retreat was this week-end.  Lucky for me, someone had just cancelled and she told me I could go in their place.  Got my bags packed and I’m ready to go!  Freeeee food, accommodations, pool, fitness and spa facilities, library, hiking trails, Ropes, Squash, Tai Chi, Meditation classes, and group discussions with other Breast Cancer Mets patients.  Boy I am a lucky bitch, aren’t I?  I’d send you pictures from my ipad on my blog, but it really isn’t cooperating with me.  You can check it out the place at

http://www.kingbridgecentre.com/

 

My Newest Paintings and A Brush With Spiderman

Thursday, March 15


Yellow BunnyYesterday I drank so much water (16 glasses), my urine was no longer yellow. My tongue was white and I have developed a SERIOUS shortage of saliva. I’m hoping the cause is from the strong antibiotic I was on and still not because of my radiation treatment. My ear has also started to hurt again. My family Dr. is on vacation and her secretary told me I may need to go back on antibiotics.

 

Purple BunnyMy former principal hooked me up to a new friend, whom I will name Katie. Katie, like me, is also a mets. breast cancer patient and does a lot of researching. However, her mets are in her liver which she has kept stable until recently for about 2 years by naturopathic means. She is a fountain of knowledge and I am so blessed to have this new connection. I could talk to her on the phone for hours. We are able to bounce ideas with each other and learn from one another. I never met anyone else like this. And I owe her big time….

 

google when sickI have been getting a bit jittery over the last 2 – 3 weeks because my medications from Germany have essentially run out and I’m waiting for more. I got a letter from the German Dr. saying my metabolism has improved, my kidneys are light/insufficient (?), there is calcium in the urine, and I have an inflamed intestine. My prescriptions were sent to the pharmacy, but I haven’t received a call for my VISA number yet for them to ship it here. I hope it doesn’t get caught up for a month in customs again. Meanwhile, I’m thinking my immune system is still run down because of the radiation treatment. What if I can’t get rid of this ear problem?

HousesappreciationKatie suggested that I go get Vitamin C I.V., which I heard of, but never tried. So off I went to the Robert Shadd Naturopathic Clinic on Leslie St./Sheppard and gave it a shot yesterday.  Last night I started having a headache when I went to bed and prayed to Brother Andre, like one of my good friends told me to do.  Some time during the night I had one hell of a fever. “Thank heavens, my immune system is back to work”, I thought as I drifted off back to sleep.

Cherry BlossomsStill had a headache this morning when I work up, but I felt different. I felt cured of whatever ailed me. The heavy sinus feeling in my head was gone. I’m still thirsty, but not nearly as bad a yesterday. That’s a good sign. I have to go back every week of Vit. C for 5 more weeks. Hopefully it will blow up any cancer cells running amuck in my system and improve my immune system.

mini cherry blossum

Spent the morning painting and reminiscing about my friends Michelle Baskie (who passed away of pancreatic cancer) and Maria O’Kane (esophageal cancer). I miss them both so much and think of them often.

 

tenantLast night I looked for information about another person who died on the week-end of metastatic breast cancer. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in her bones at the same time as me  (fall of 2012). Her name was Lisa Bonchek Adams. The similarities between the two of us are eery. Most of the meds we took were the same and she had the same tumour/gene markers (Pi3K). We both had problems with our heart because of chemotherapy and I think I started reading about her because we were both featured in the same Toronto Star article about 2 years ago. I didn’t really read her blog regularly as it had a way of upsetting me and made me feel like I was doomed.  I saw on the news the other day that Lisa passed away last week-end. Her cancer spread to her bones, liver, lungs, and finally, her brain.   I think, I know actually, that I would have been in the same boat had I not gone to Germany for treatment there, no matter what my oncologist thinks and says about it (quackery).

cceb279a36216f145ab2ab856f28e9f5Gotta go to get my shots tomorrow and defend my position as to why I am doing “Nothing” about my cancer. I’m going to tell him that Lisa is dead and I’m not.  I think I made the right choice.  Besides, what drugs is he on thinking that I’ll go back on the feet burning drug Xeloda?  Katie told me she had a heart attack on that drug.  I’ve had 3 separate heart issues because of chemotherapy and he wants me on that one?  Other options being offered are intravenous, loose your hair ones.  I’m going to try everything else I can think of first.

Purple LadyI have gone to a few of “Art For Cancer Foundation” workshops over the last couple of weeks and tried some new projects. I like learning new things, even if they are a bit out of my element like this purple lady I painted. That’s also where I learned to paint the “Cherry Blossom” ones and the surrealistic homes above. I like going there because I learn new things and I have a finished piece of artwork by the time I leave. I also painted some Easter Bunnies (when I was sick at home) which I found on pinterest so I could practice how to do them before I taught them to a grade 2 class after March Break. I love pinterest and found lots of things I want to try out, when I have time. Next week I’m planning to work on my blog and write about my escapades in Germany at Christmas time.  That was quite an adventure.  One last painting to show you….

Purple Winter Sky

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images-2Friday, March 13

You won’t believe what happened to me after I visited my friend Wanetta who works at CAMH.  I was returning to my car.  The light was green, but I only had 8 seconds to get across the street.  Should I do it?  “Yeah,” I though, “I’ll make it, but I’d better RUN.”  So I did.  I’m running across the street and almost made it in 6 seconds when, low and behold a giant man in a Spiderman costume comes
barreling down the street on a skateboard.  “Holy Shit”, I thought, “I’m going to get hit by Spiderman”.  I stopped dead in the 3rd lane.  “WHOA, Missy”, he calls to images-3me in a very LOUD, Authoritative Voice.  You should NEVER JAY WALK!  “What?  What?  What are you talking about?  I HAVE A GREEN LIGHT, buddy!”, I yelled back.  “Oh…”, he answered. Well you never know, I may not be able to use my special powers to save you?”  WTF?  Special Powers?  Is this really happening?  I made safely to the sidewalk, glancing at Spidy beside me.  He had the whole get up on, mask, suit, and skateboard.  “How the hell can you see?”,  I’m thinking…..” You are going to have to save those special powers for yourself riding on the street on that thing in that get up!”

As I made it to my car I quickly pulled out my ipad.  I gotta get a pic. of this guy and put it on my blog.  But unfortunately, Spiderman disappeared as quickly as he appeared.  My Hero….not.unnamed