Rough Patch

Dear friends,

I am really going through a rough patch right now.  I will explain when the dust begins to settle.

Now is just not the right time. But soon.  As soon as I figure out what I’m doing about the latest crazy predicament I find myself in, I will have quite a tale to tell you.   Promise.

 

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Art, Art and More Art

 

I spent my day at Art For Cancer Foundation and had a great time painting with a palette knife…something I never knew how to do.  Here is my masterpiece!  I’m really proud of this one.  I think I will frame it.  I had so much fun doing it and have discovered another way to paint impressionism.  Who knew?

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Painted this one last week.

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And here were some others I did in September and October.

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In December, Art for Cancer Foundation is have a fundraiser.  I donated one of these paintings above so they can raise funds for cancer patients to do art.  I have also started volunteering to teach art there.

Teaching adults art is quite different than teaching kids….they clean up their own mess!

I am also in their new video to promote Art For Cancer!  See it here!

 

If you are in the area of Symmington and Davenport in Toronto, come see the art show and hopefully, if you love a piece of art work displayed there, please buy one!  It goes to a good cause!

AFC Place, 1884 Davenport Road, Unit 1

Toronto M6N 4Y2

Tel 416-763-8752

Toronto’s First Anonymous Art Show – Year 2

Life is Grand

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I apologize for not writing in a very long time, but I’ve had too much going on.  A few new developments in my life…some good, some not so good.

First, my medications from Germany got held up since early September.  UPS and Canada Post are having difficulty delivering packages with alcohol contents because they think it is a bomb.  Canada Customs no longer allows anything with alcohol get through without a lengthy delay, so I’m waiting for a friend to bring my tinctures back home with her.  She’ll be back in early November.   Thats 2 months without medicine.

My last “report” from my urine sample (in August) said I was toxic/acidic and to come back to Germany for an intensive treatment.  Then I had an MRI which evidently shows cancer in my soft tissue (para-spinal) at C6 (bottom of my neck) and some new spots in my lower back (L2-S3). 

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My radiation guy wants me to participate in a clinical trial where he would radiate that neck area with two really high dose treatments.  Trouble is there is a 10% chance of it fracturing my neck.  

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I was told not to worry, they would take good care of me and would put my neck in a brace. 

I asked him if there was a chance that I would become a paraplegic and he kind of skirted the issue and said…”Yeah”.   Well, guess what?  As Maria O’Kane would say…I don’t like that plan.” 

Another alternative is to do 5 low dose radiation treatments but I don’t think its as effective.  “But wait a minute,” I said to my dr.  “I thought the last time I talked to you, I reached my maximum radiation allotment.”  “Oh no, you can have more”, he responded.  Really?

what-the-hellWell, I’m not entirely convinced I can have more radiation.  As far as I understand any more radiation and I’ve upped my chances of getting leukemia, non-hodgkins and various other cancers.

Besides, I think my thyroid has been fried from the last set of radiation treatments on my neck as there were many nodules found throughout my last ultrasound.  My family dr just told me that if I live to old age, I will need to be put on thyroid medication because of what they already did to me.  Why didn’t anyone inform me of that before?  Plus I think there is a part of my lung that got fried too. I need my voice to sing in choir at church.  Not planning on doing anything on my neck at least until after Christmas Concert. 

I know this may seem like a long shot, but I’m hoping that what they think is cancer in my neck is inflammation from going to a chiropractor in August.  It really hurt from all the adjustments and I had a bump on the side of my neck.  So I bought some special cream/oil and the bump went away.  

trustNow I have to convince my onc. to redo the MRI at his hospital instead of the other one because I want a second opinion.  My reasons are that they screwed up too many times before for me to believe them.  Remember when I thought I was getting C5 radiated and then they told me it wasn’t what they thought it was?  Remember the two times they said it was in my bone marrow and it wasn’t?  I had to have a bone marrow biopsy to prove them wrong.  And how about that blood test that indicated I was pregnant when I wasn’t.  Oh and how about the time I was told the cancer spread to my lungs and I was going to have to get it drained in 3 weeks if I didn’t go on chemo.  Didn’t happen.  Seasonal allergies.

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Sometimes I don’t know how I stay sane.  I don’t know if I’m right or wrong this time.  Time will tell.  My tumour markers from my recent blood test are normal.  What gives?  Counting on some little piggy stem cells to fix me up.

So I booked my ticket to Germany.  Bobo is going with me.  And we are going to see the Christmas Markets again!  Yippee! 

In the meantime, I’m going to the Naturopathic College and getting weekly Vitamin C IV’s because that treatment shrank my tumours before.

So what else is happening besides having to worry that my neck may break? 

I’m coaching a junior boys volleyball team at school.  I also am starting to teach adults with cancer at Art For Cancer Foundation.  I volunteer as a guest artist.  This week I participated in a video for this charity organization.  I’ll link it to my blog so you can see it when it comes out.  Got my hair done in time for my interview.  Finally found a real, organic hair dye from the States called “Hairprint” which I like.  Thanks Stella!  I finally used it.  Don’t look like a granny anymore!

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Next I’m venturing in some new interesting territory.  I applied for a scholarship for an Advocacy Training Workshop for The Canadian Breast Cancer Network.  I didn’t think I would be selected because I wrote my application at 3:00 in the morning the day before it was due, but guess what?  They want me!

Not entirely sure what it involves yet.  All I know is that I’m getting free food and a night at the Pantages Hotel in Toronto.  They are going to teach me how to become an effective communicator.  And I think I get to share my views on what its like to be a metastatic cancer patient to a room full of big wigs and perhaps the media too.  Not sure they are going to like what I have to say, but oh well, too bad.  This could be fun.  It’s interesting what life throws at you.  Life is grand.  

Rant about Walmart, Robbers In My Neighbourhood, and Dad, You Are One in a Minion

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Intended to post this on Father’s Day, but my internet was giving me problems. Sorry I’m late!

This spring chicken is still very sore from my LaserQuest escapade over a week ago.  In fact, if the pain doesn’t get better soon, I think I may have to err in the side of caution and request an x-ray or MRI on my back.  It kind of feels like the time I fractured my back.  That’s not good.  That’ll teach me.

IMG_0848I ran out of snake venom and am only taking what looks mostly like vitamins and injections 3x a week, right now from Germany.  That has me a little bit concerned. I’m happy to say that the bottle of Sanomit (liquid Co-enzyme Q10) has really improved my heart…I can now walk up a flight of stairs without being breathless now and the arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) I was having has stopped.  My recent echo test shows me at 55%, down from 62%, but that is still in the normal range (55-75).  Hearts still good. Backs bad.  What can you do?

Frick just came back from Quebec.  All I can say is that it was very quiet when she was gone.

I actually heard my son speak!

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Anyhow, I hope you have a Happy Father’s Day.  Decided to post some of the watercolour minions I made with a grade 3/4 class at my school.  Dad, You Are One In A Minion!

Here they are!

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Now, if you have time.  I am going on another rant about Walmart.  Needed a carpet for the entrance to my side door.  Found one at Walmart.  Drag it (it was heavy) to the cashier with the help of Frack.  Backs really sore now.

walmart need anythingWaited in line.  HATE line ups at Walmart.  Aggravated.  Finally, my turn.  NO F’n bar code/tag/price tag on the carpet I picked.  She puts my item on the side.  Calls for another ding bat. No ding bat shows up for another hour.  Standing in line, (back hurts more when standing still).  Asked the cashier if I could go back there and get it myself .  Sure.  I go ALL the way back to the carpet section half way across store.  Found same carpet.  No bar code.  Found the bar code on plastic thing on shelf.  Take it out.  Take picture on my ipad of the carpet and the bar code.  Back to cashier, who is with another customer. Give her bar code.  Show her ipad picture.  Looks like she doesn’t believe me.  See another ding bat dressed in blue vest behind her. She gives it to him and tell him to go back to the carpet area and make sure it’s the right one.  “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”  I holler?  I just went there and got that thing for nothing?   I sat on her bag area and complained bitterly of how I have cancer in my back and it is killing me and I have to wait even longer for some guy to check it after brought the damn bar code over myself. Stewed about it for about a minute and then yelled, “Forget it!  I am going HOME”.  And that folks, is what happens when you are agitated and in pain.  Go Home.

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Dragged my husband to another Walmart the next day to get me a carpet!

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And earlier on, I had a fight with the manager/customer sales rep. for an hour because the idiot they sent to find the leak in my bathroom was incompetent and I still have a leak.  They aren’t going to do anything about it.  I am bitter.  Don’t ever hire Rona Home and Gardens for anything.  I warned you.

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The only good thing that happened to me that day is that I coerced Starbucks to give me free coffee for our graduation on Tuesday.  God Bless Starbucks.

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A couple of nights ago someone tried breaking into a house at the corner of my street.  The poor guy was sitting in his bedroom (he has 2 kids too) while people were trying to climb into his window.  Fortunately, someone had already called the cops and they arrived to catch 3 of them.  The fourth went running down the street.  One of my neighbours nearby chased him down and sat on him till the cops came and got him.  3 boys and 1 girl altogether.  Gosh, haven’t had this kind of excitement in my neighbourhood since the woman with the giant knife came to my my house….but that’s another story.  This is all hearsay from what Bobo got from the neighbourhood.

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P.S.  There is a new LaserQuest opening up in Whitby in July.

I still haven’t survived the last attack.

I got 3 free tickets.

Anyone want mine?

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I Am No Spring Chicken


PillsI Am No Spring Chicken.

There comes a time in your life when you must stare reality in the face and come to the conclusion that you are no longer a spring chicken. Reality has hit me big time and in a big way. This is why I’m lying in bed right now with a glass of water and the very best oxycocet painkillers conveniently located by my side.

Sometimes in life we make bad choices. Our mind says, “Oh, that looks like fun. You simply must try it”. And your body says, “Are you out of your freaking mind, don’t do it”. And then, then you have these external forces…people who come out of the wood-work and say, “Oh, go on. Try it. It’s so much fun”. And you think, “Oh, what the heck, why not, just do it”…like the Nike commercial says ….just do it!

Well on Thursday, Frack decided to have his birthday party at LaserQuest. I was all for it because it involved very little planning on my part other than getting the food and no clean up.

Birthday Cake

 

I asked Wan (her side business is called Wan’s Wonderful Cakes) to make me something for Frack with a soccer ball on it.  She is very artistic, a definite Cake Boss.  It had his name on it and Have A Ball On Your Birthday on the side.


While there, thought it might be rather fun to shoot all those kids, including mine, with a laser gun. What can I say, I’m a big kid at heart. The last time I did this was many years ago when I took my class to the CN Tower. Part of the package deal was to play LaserTag. I barely shot anyone because I was “dead” or “inactivated” a majority of the time because I was constantly being “hit”.  All the kids in my class, including the ones that were supposedly on my team, ganged up on me. Unbeknownst to me, it was “Kill The Teacher Day.” I was their favourite target. My score card at the end of the game was dismal. All I remember was my vest constantly vibrating whilst being attacked. Little shits. You should have seen the smug looks on their faces after the game when I asked them why they shot me since we were suppose to be on the same team!

So a part of me wanted some kick-ass kiddie revenge stemming from years of pent up emotions. Besides everything for the party was set up and ready to go and I had nothing to do while they went to play and I wanted to play too. Do I sound like I’m whining now? It’s called justification for my stupid actions.

Burn your ass

Yes, in hindsight, the whole thing was a very, very bad idea… Not for the kids, just for me. I had that intuition “Oh this is going to hurt for a couple of days when I put the battery pack contraption over my head and it felt like I was piggy backing a 40 pound baby”. Not something you want to do when you have a fractured spine held together with cement and metal rods…you know, I’m just warning you, just in case something like this ever happens to you.

Needless to say, me, LaserMama kicked butt in there coming in a cool third place.
My prize? My back is seriously killing me…and smug satisfaction that this old broad ain’t done yet. One day, hopefully soon, my back will feel better and my mind will rejoice with the memory of being victorious against the little people.

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FiremenThis weeks artistic endeavour involved painting two telephone booth murals at CAMH (Canadian Addiction and Mental Health Hospital). I’d tell you to go and have a look if you are ever in the area, however, it’s located on the Psychosis Floor. Needless to say you just can’t walk in there without permission, a swipe card to open many doors, and a guard. My friend Wanetta, who works there and convinced me to do this project with her, was my art assistant and bodyguard. I also had my own personal alarm, to call in the troops, if necessary. There were times we couldn’t work on one of the telephone booths because a violent offenders room was across from it. However I got to know many of the inmates/clients by the end of the week and discovered they were really very nice young people. Some even volunteered to help. Wan is now trying to convince me to do art lessons with them in the fall. Hmmmm…let’s add that to my resume. I’d bring in some palette knives to do some acrylic paintings, but they may want to kill the teacher too.

Here are some pics. of the two finished telephone booths.

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By the way, Frick came in 7th in the City Finals this week at Birchmount Stadium for Javelin Throwing.  Proud Mama.

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And finally, somebody please call me a massage therapist.

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Lung X-Ray Results

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I went to see my oncologist yesterday for my 2 shots in the stomach and my much anticipated x-ray of my lungs.

Last month when I ended up in the ER with chest pains/breathing problems, I had a CT scan.  The technician reported that there was “probable evidence” of metastatic breast cancer invading my lungs.  My oncologist said that within 3 weeks it would most likely spread and I would probably have to have my lungs drained of fluid.  My family doctor,  foreshadowing  my steady demise, told me she thought I should get back on chemo. (like my oncologist said I should).  My benefits team of doctors also warned me that there were mets in my lungs and told me to get back on Tamoxifen to see if that would make a difference.  Meanwhile, I was sitting tight thinking that they were all wackos (my husband concurred).  I mean, I know that they are concerned that I’m not doing conventional treatment, but boy they really jump on the cancer bandwagon when something looks different on a scan.  I mean, it can’t be something ordinary.  It has to be cancer!  How about allergies or some other explanation?  Nope.  Cancer.  Three against one.

IMG_0657IMG_0656I felt better after seeing my radiation oncologist last week.  My spirits were buoyed when he told me there was no evidence of mets progression in my spine. It now became three against two because he was impressed that I was doing so well and he wanted to know what I was doing in Germany.  I told my family doctor that it didn’t make sense that my spine was fine and all of the sudden there was metastasis growing in my lungs.  She said cancer can go anywhere it wants.  That’s fine and dandy lady, but isn’t it probable that it would be advancing in my spine too?  I decided my family doctor is really not too bright.  I mean, I didn’t go to medical school or anything like that, but really?  This whole thing seriously did not make any sense to me.  And besides, I’m still shaking my head at her last stupid comment when I had an ear infection (in February) and she told me I should get my face x-rayed because the cancer may have spread to some bone near my ear.  My oncologist practically had a heart attack suppressing a burst of laughter when I told him that one!  I could see tears in his eyes and even he told me that maybe it was time to a get a new family doctor because cancer doesn’t work that way.


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IMG_0655 IMG_0654 IMG_0653So as I was waiting to see my oncologist for my x-ray results, I got an email from myUHN account (a new program which informs you when your test results are in).  Bonus!  Now I get to know what’s going on before he even comes into the room.  Scanned it quickly.

The cardiac pericardial silhouette is normal. There is a small nodular opacity in the right lower lung better visualized in the chest CT.There is mild linear fibrosis in the lung apices. (that’s scarring from radiation)

There is no other significant abnormality seen in the lungs.

There is no significant abnormality seen in the mediastinum.

There is no pleural effusion.

SMIRK!  So there is nothing really going on my lungs.  “Oh, this is going to be a good appointment,” I chuckled to myself.

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Now, do you think he would admit that I was stable and that whatever I was doing in Germany was working for me?  Nope!  He just picked up the box of zolada (shot that stops my periods/estrogen which I’ve been on for years and I still had progression while on it) and said, “Oh this must be working for you and you must have a really slow growing cancer”.  “Yeah, sure,” I thought.  “I’ve been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of DCIS and it magically has disappeared.  I haven’t been on conventional medication for a good 1 1/2 years and I’m doing okay!   A big part of me wanted to tell him that the snake venom was doing the trick, but I kept my big mouth shut.  However, one day it’s going to come out!  And I can’t wait to see his face when I tell him that!  I will need some sort of video recording device to capture the moment.  And I want my husband there so we can laugh about it for many years to come.  

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And then my onc. burst my little bubble some more by saying that this test wasn’t as good as the CT Scan (which shows more).  Hang on there bud.  Wasn’t I told that I suppose to be chock full of mets in 3 weeks and shouldn’t I be having my lung drained by now?  

IMG_0649“So what do you want to do now?” he asked me.  “Nothing”, I told him.  I’m having some issues with my heart which I need to address.  Right now, I’m staying off everything.  He told me the tamoxifen may have contributed to the fluid build up around my heart.  I really don’t think it was that…I’m quite certain it’s from the overdose of stuff that naturopathic dr gave me a week before the heart problems started.  I’m having an echo done on Monday and I’ll be sporting a 24 hour holter monitor on Monday.  I investigated everything I was taking (vitamins/supplements) and have come to the conclusion that everything I was on was interacting with each other.  So now I’m off pretty much everything until things settle down. 

IMG_0648I feel much better today and my new shipment of injections/drugs have arrived from Germany.  My oncologist nurse told me I lost too much weight (10 pounds due to gluten-free, sugar free, dairy free crappy diet) and there was not much stomach fat to stab me with the needles.  I told her that I like seeing my toes when I look down.  She shook her head at me and told me to be careful, cancer patients need all the nutrients they can get from food.  

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So I went to an All You Can Eat Buffet after that appointment to celebrate!  Food, here I come!

I started juicing more at home too.  Still can’t walk up a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing…will know what my heart’s ejection fraction is some time next week.  I know it’s not normal, but I hope it rebounds for the better soon… I’ve got places to go and people to see!

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P.S.  Frick came in 4th place for Javelin throwing in the East Toronto Finals at Birchmount Stadium and will be going on to the City Finals on Tuesday.  That girl’s got a good throwing arm.

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I met someone at the Naturopathic clinic who has breast cancer and was basically told she was incurable and was going to die.  Like me, she is not doing conventional treatment.  She went to Tijuana and The Issel’s Foundation ($70,000) and managed to shrink her tumour from about 8 cm to  0.7 cm.  However, her disease is now progressing.  Told her about Germany.  Guess where she is today?  Yup.  Flew to Baden-Baden and begins treatment Monday.  I really hope Dr. Sommer can help her as her oncologist here is the same as mine.

Wouldn’t that be something?  More arsenal for alternative treatment in Germany when two of us are sporting good results, don’t you think?.  Wonder if I can find and ship some more of his patients to Germany.

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By the way, I think I should give you his address in case any of you are in a pickle and need alternative treatment.

Cell Vital Clinic (cellvital@freenet.de  (or) info@cellvital.net)  Telephone:  011 49 7221 39 19 49

Dr. Daniel Sommer

Lange Strasse  72

Baden-Baden, Germany

Web-Site:  www.cellvital.net

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Todays paintings were created by our grade 1 students (with the help of the grades 7/8’s because they were having trouble cutting out their fish with scissors) in the style of Eric Carle.  I have tremendous respect for grade 1 teachers because I think it’s one of the hardest grades to teach.

  

Mother’s Day Art

 

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Kindergarten

Kindergarten

I went to see a new naturopath in Etobicoke which turned out to be somewhat of a disaster.

 

 

He gave me some supplements which are currently bothering my heart.  Went back to him today to see if I could get my money back…he only gave me 50% of what I paid for.  What I got was a trip to the ER (heart failure symptoms again, I’m afraid…just when I was doing so well in that department and the cardiologist told me I didn’t need to come to see him).  Oh well, c’est la vie.  There goes another couple of hundred dollars.  He made me feel that if I walked out of that place without his treatment, I was doomed.  Not happy.

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(if you want instructions of the art project above, you can go on Pinterest, Maria Pisani, Art for Young Kids, Bubble Paint Hydrangeas).

When I went to see my oncologist, he asked me if I was going to go on any kind of treatment because of whatever they seem to think they have found in my lungs.  I told him that my benefits package included an oncology nurse and doctors and they seemed to think I should go back on tamoxifen (the one that gave me a TIA/stroke).  He told me the chances of that helping at all were slim (10%) as we had exhausted all the other estrogen drugs he gave me.  I told him, “Oh well.  I’m weird.  Maybe I’ll be in that 10% group where it does me some good and it stabilizes my cancer.  You never know”.  Guess who really and truly needs to buy a cell phone now?  My dr. also said that in the next 3-4 weeks, I may experience fluid in my lungs which may need to be drained.  Thankfully, that hasn’t happened.  I think I’m good.  I’m going to have a chest x-ray in another month to see what’s happening in my lungs.

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Sending you some of the projects I worked on for Mother’s Day.

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Grade 5

 

IMG_0351IMG_0350We went out for dinner with my family (hubby, sisters, mom & dad, nephews, brother-in-law etc.) on Saturday.

And then on Sunday, we took a leisurely drive to Richter’s Herbs to buy some organic plants, herbs and vegetables for the garden while my housekeeper cleaned the house.  Stopped by a quaint little bakery and had lunch and then ice cream at Musselman’s Lake.

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Overall, quite a lovely day.

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Grade 4

By the way, guess who’s volleyball team won the championships?  That’s right.  Undefeated.  Here’s our pennant.  I’d post a pic. of our team, but I don’t want to infringe on anyones media rights!

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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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CT Not For Me, Easter Bunnies, and Michael’s Spring Time in Paris Contest


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funny-animals-318Decided not to go to my CT Scan on Monday morning to drink radioactive crap and get an additional 2 years worth of radiation in my body. The lady on the phone asked me why I was cancelling. I told her that I wasn’t mentally prepared for it. That my doctors have been wrong too many times and I’m still reeling from last weeks news that I was going to become a quadriplegic when in reality, I wasn’t. I was not prepared to do the scan on Monday because I didn’t want to hear any results. Period.  (Besides I have to go to church to sing that night and that stuff gives me diarrhea).


IMG_9998IMG_9996She told me I should really discuss canceling this scan with my doctor and that she would hold onto my appointment until I called him. I told her don’t bother because I wasn’t going to call him or change my mind. And even if I did the scan and they did found more cancer in me, I wouldn’t change my mind about what treatment plan I was doing anyway, so why bother? So too bad, I wasn’t coming in on Monday.  I don’t think very many people disregard scans and orders from their doctors, but honestly folks, I have had quite enough and could use a break from all this.  That gave her something to think about.  I wonder if she ratted me out and phoned my oncologist.

 

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This week I was busy making bunny rabbits with one of our grade 2/3 classes as you can see.

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I’ve also been coaching a grade 5 co-ed volleyball team. It consisted of four girls from my previous team and some new boys. I was a little worried that they wouldn’t perform very well because none of the boys (except Frack) ever played volleyball before and they didn’t know what they were doing. I went in there thinking we might get creamed, but instead we did the creaming! Played six games against three different schools and won them all.

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We are currently in first place and play in another tournament in late April when hopefully we will bring home a pennant! The kids were so nervous and so happy that they won.  They are so eager to play and improve their skills that they happily come in to practice at 7:30 in the morning.  So cute.

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IMG_0069Michaels Paris ContestToday we went to the St. Lawrence market to pick up some food. Bobo bought me a really cool umbrella to help me with my photo contest entry (Michaels Win A Trip to Paris).  This was my first photo for the contest ( left hand side).  I used the umbrella to get some more colour in my picture.  Better yet, the next time I need to teach a class about the colour wheel, out comes my beautiful umbrella!

Here is my final photo submission and essay.

I sent it in this afternoon and then later realized I made a mistake in it.

Can you find it?

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Michaels Paris Contest Photo Entry

What could be more magical than a trip to Paris in the spring-time?

How wonderful it would be to have champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower, discover gargoyles on the towers of Notre Dame Cathedral, and enjoy a dinner boat cruise on the Seine River after watching a cabaret at the Moulin Rouge? Il serait magnifique! Not to mention going on a VIP Tour of the Louvre to see some of the world’s most famous art masterpieces. Sketching lessons of Parisian monuments, creating beautiful floral arrangements and a participating in a French Cooking Class….that would be FABULOUS! What an extraordinary experience that would be which I would love to share with my daughter! It would be so much fun and an unbelievable trip of a life-time!

For me, another magnificent part about winning a trip to Paris in the spring would be to get the chance to paint in Monet’s garden when the tulips, iris’s, wisteria, and cherry blossoms will be in full bloom . . . a dream come true. Vive la France!

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The contest closes on Tuesday.

I WonI’ll be posting this cat on my blog next week if I win (or you will soon be seeing a posting of me and Frick at the Eiffel Tower because I will be on the next flight outta here!)

 

 

Trouble Brewing

 

Looks like I’m in trouble again.

I had my spinal MRI on Monday at Sunnybrook. I got home at 3:00 in the morning, even though my funny-cat-tucked-bedappointment was at 10:30.  Three trauma patients that night.  Not sure why the Odette Centre doesn’t have it’s own MRI for cancer patients like Princess Margaret. It’s not like they are going to have a shortage of cancer patients needing MRI’s. At PMH, my appts were at 7:00 a.m. and I was done by 7:45. I never got bumped. I guess they figure terminally ill people have nothing better to do at 2:00 in the morning, but sit in a waiting room for scans.  Get home, and guess who’s in my bed?

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My appointment with my radiation guy is on Monday at 9:30. However, my oncology nurse (from my benefits) got the report yesterday and sent it to me.  It’s not looking too good.

 

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There is still evidence of metastatic disease in C2 (neck where they zapped it), T3, a new one in T5 and a slight enlargement in T6, the sacrum and the iliac wings. C3, T1, T2, T8-9, T11-L5 are stable. The most pressing problem right now is C2 which is high in the neck. She said it could be a radiation flare that has made it look bigger, but she felt that was not the case because of the way the report was written specifying that there was metastatic disease evident.

ee0a3964360244b6b25acc3426da8c64That means they are going to have to radiate it again; but that may not be possible because of the radiation dosage he has already given me. Bones tend to get soft and mushy with a lot of radiation and may break or collapse.   So if he is going to radiate my again, that means I may have to have surgery on my spine once again to stabilize it first. Two more titanium metal rods stretching from C1-C4 because C3 got zapped in January and was not strong enough to support the rod. She told me to get in touch with my surgeon to see if it was even possible.

tumblr_nd16cr47Tj1rlnitko1_500So, of course, my brain is going fast forward and I asked her, “So if it’s not possible what does that mean?” They are going to let it keep growing until it compresses on my spinal cord and I become a quadriplegic? She didn’t answer. I know I’m right because I know someone that this happened to. She had to sell her home in the Beaches to get a condo for the inevitable wheelchair she was going to be in.

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I went to bed thinking about how I was going to have to learn how to paint with my mouth.

If my oncology nurse is wrong, I’ll be doing this after my appointment on Monday.

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