I’m Good!


Dear Friends,

Great news!  Just got my letter back from Germany with the results of my urine sample (which I have to send every 3 months for analysis).  I’m good! 

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Usually I get a list of problems like metabolism, lymph nodes, arthritis, toxicity, compromised immune system or something going on with my liver, kidney, stomach, or intestines…but not this time, I’m clear!  Hurray! 

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That explains why I am feeling so fantastic.  I have never felt this good in over 8 years.  I finally feel like a “normal” human being.  Now I just have to exercise more.  Trying to walk 10,000 steps a day and have just downloaded Pokeman Go to give me something to do as I pound the pavement!


Thank you to those who have written me to ask me how I was doing.  I have neglected my blog since I got back from Germany because I was doing a lot of fun stuff.  I am going to write a bit about that now.  I think I’d better show lots of pics rather than do too much writing or I’ll never get caught up!

Time to get started….

maria

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Results are In

Thursday April 28

imageIt’s rainy again. I’m back at the clinic. This morning I had my lampadina. Feeling great. Lots of energy.

WisteriaMary and I spent the evening at the Caracalla Spa. It was way less crowded than in the day time. I’ve been trying to convince her to go to Friederichbach spa with me (only women on Thursday), but I’m not sure she is going for it!  No clothes allowed.

imageThis morning I had 2 shots in the butt (stem cells) and ozone therapy. My vein collapsed 1/2 way through the ozone treatment and Mariann asked me if I was Catholic. I said, “Why? Are you going to give me my last rites?  She said, “No, if you are Jehovahs Witness we can’t restart the IV in the other arm”.

imageSo we had to call Dr Sommer to try to get another IV deep in a vein in my other arm (which I’m not really suppose to use because I have no lymph nodes there due to a mastectomy). It worked. I’m now having Vitamin B17 (amygdalin) and C therapy.

imageI told NDr Christina I had a vegan chocolate bar for her, but only if she got the IV in my arm right the first time. She was unhappy my vein collapsed. She really wanted the chocolate bar (luckily I had 2 chocolate bars in my purse, one for her and one for Dr Sommer too).

imageAt least I didn’t have to get stabbed nine times in one day like last week. The big bruise on my hand has gone away after using some type of wound healing cream called Traumeel. It works so well, I bought it at a pharmacy so I could use it at home.

imageSo I got my test results on Tuesday. Everything appears good at this time. My energy is up. My brain/hypothalamus is now working, however my pituitary gland is still struggling a bit. The cancer is dormant. My immune system is operating at 80%. And I need to detox (it’s at 38%, down from 45% when I came). So I’m getting some medicine to take home with me to help me with that, plus injections because my lymph node system is not up to snuff either.  Otherwise, I think I’m doing really well.

imageDon’t think I’m going to tell my oncologist I’m here in Germany again. I don’t need the added stress. Dr Sommer told me it would not be necessary to get tested at home for another 6-9 months. That’s good enough for me.

image image imageI’m suppose to be arriving in Canada on Saturday night, but apparently some of the airport workers are on strike yesterday and today. Good thing I have insurance! They may be footing the bill for food and accommodations if I need to stay longer!
imageAfter my treatment tomorrow morning, Mary is making me breakfast and then we are heading to Frankfurt.  I went to pick up the rental car on the side of the road near a castle where our apartment landlord said it was free.  Well guess what?  It wasn’t free. I got not one but two parking tickets.  Mary said it was too bad I have to come back, otherwise we could just not pay them!

On the bright side, at least they didn’t tow us.  I would have had to phone up the rental car company and tell them it was stolen and a darn good thing I paid $600 extra for car insurance!

Finally got to see the Baden Baden Roman Ruins yesterday.  See pics below.  This is where Roman Soldiers set up shop to recuperate in the healing thermal waters.

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Day 5 Heidelberg

Day 5 Heidelberg

imageToday was my short day. Lampadina, 4 injections and a colon hydrotherapy and then I was FREE! Hooray! Off we went to one of my favourite places in Germany…Heidelberg.

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It’s just so breathtakingly beautiful. The ruins of a old castle which was bombed by France.

 

 

imageWe took the funicular to the very top. It was a bit overcast, so the pictures aren’t that sharp. Then we went below to the castle ruins.

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I got some really cool spooky pictures too!

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I think I want to take a photography course now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On our way to Stuttgart, we encountered so much traffic (construction), we ended up just going back home to Baden-Baden where I made some pasta with (sp?) aili oglio (olive oil from Firenze, sundries tomatoes, hot pepper from Italy, and garlic).

Driving to some castles near Munich tomorrow.

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Day 4 Karlsrhue

Day 4 Thursday

This morning I was somewhat concerned to see that I had a little bit of a rash on both my arms. I thought I may have been reacting to an IV allergy, but Mariann told me it was just my body detoxing.

So under the lampadina (Italian word for lamp) I went again. This time I caught the words, “I advise you NOT to use creams while using this ultraviolet treatment”. Then I’m thinking, “Or you may turn green by the end of the day”. That Italian guy in the machine is making me crazy.

Today I had ozone therapy, a detox IV, and amygdalin. Christina poked me four times to get the IV started. No luck. So they had to call Dr Sommer to dig in there and get one of my deep veins. It was rough. Mariann and Christina don’t like to do it. I don’t blame them because I wouldn’t want to do it either.

So you get the guys to do the dirty work! Jam it right it there! No problem. Was done by twelve, so Mary and I decided to go to Karlsrhue to see the palace and gardens. Here’s some pics.

We were about to go to Stuttgart too, but there was a lot of traffic and the GPS kept bringing us to a “closed for maintenance road.”   Asked two young guys for help after we circled the place.  We were getting no where in a hurry. Luckily they told us an alternate route to get to the highway. It was so backed up with traffic, we figured we would be better off just going home. And that is just what we did.

We decided to eat tapas at a Spanish restaurant in Baden Baden. We ate about 9 different appetizers/tapas before we thought to take a picture of our decadent meal.  Peppers in pastery, mushrooms, pollo my croquettes (like a mortzarella cheese stick), olives,  churrasos, calamari, chorizo, etc.  Appetizer heaven. Sorry I didn’t take a pic of it.  All I can say is that it was really quite good. May have to go there again for some seafood paella.

 

Day 2 Germany- Starting Treatment

Germany, Day 2 Starting  treatment

It’s Tuesday. Visit with Dr Sommer and Mariann to find out what’s wrong with me. Liver and kidney, (probably from all the stuff I was eating in Italy) , nervous system, heart, lymphatic system, colon/intestines and there is some kind of screw up with my brain sending messages to the rest of my body.  The only good thing he said is that my resistance is good.  I’m thinking that means my immune system has gotten better.  He asked me what meds I’m taking from Canada and I told him nothing but Xgeva (to fortify my bones) and Zoladex (to stop my periods).  He seemed happy with that.  I asked him if I should keep taking Xgeva because of all the jaw bone necrosis and broken femurs that I’ve been hearing about on mets cancer sites.  He then told me I can stay off Xgeva since I’ve been on it for 4 years.  Not necessary!  No point… I read that shit can stay in your system for 10 years after you’ve taken it.

Hurray! One less shot in the stomach every month!  (4 years = 48 Xgeva shots so far).  Bloody hell!  Glad to do away with it.

image So part of my daily regiment for the next 2 weeks includes being put under a lamp (called the eichotherme) to detox, and to improve my cells and blood circulation. It also gives me Vitamin D with the good ultraviolet light. The instructions are only in German or Italian and the guy talks too fast. I keep having to flip from one side to my stomach then the other side, then 1/2 way to my back and side to side. Good thing we went to the spa yesterday cause I think the guy said don’t have a bath, smoke or drink coffee. No more caffe lattes. Sigh. More ozone treatments, B17 (amygdalin) and other b vitamins eichotherme lamp and colon hydrotherapy to get rid of toxins while I’m here.

Today I had 4 injections, ozone treatment (my own blood + ozone), amygdalin IV (took 5 times to get my IV going because my veins kept collapsing).  Ouuuuuuch!

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Last night Mary and I went to the Caracalla spa.  It was wonderful!  I love that place.  So relaxing… Thermal hot springs.  I slept well when we got home.

Had to take some fizzy alka seltzer stuff before I went to bed in preparation for tomorrow’s colon hydrotherapy.  Apparently I’m full of shit 💩and it needs to come out😚.

Just thought you’d like to know….ha ha ha.

Dr. Phobia

4 moodsI’m convinced I have a mental illness.  I call it Doctor Phobia.  It generally happens when I have to go get results and I’m kept waiting and waiting and waiting a long, long time for an appointment.  I am on time.  I am early actually.  But they (referring to my Dr’s) are NEVER on time.  Not my family Dr, not my Oncologist, and not my Radiation guy.  In fact, you know how they say “Patience is a Virtue”.  I do not have any of that when I have to sit in waiting rooms wasting whatever time I have left on this earth.  Besides, I’ve got a MILLION other things I’d rather be doing rather than sit there.

So todays story goes like this.  I had a radiation appointment at 10:30 on Wednesday.  I was suppose to go to a staff meeting at lunchtime to fill the teachers in on our Spring Concert, which, by the way, I am directing.  When I got to my appointment, I asked the secretary if he was on time because I really needed to go somewhere else at 11:00.  She said there was only one person ahead of me.  I’d probably see him by 10:45.  I went downstairs, had a drink, got myself a sandwich.  Went back and waited.  At 11:00 I asked when I’d see him.  She said there were two people ahead of me.  Wondered about that one since I was told at 10:15 there was only one person ahead of me. Now there were two?   Hmmm.  Pondered what I was going to do.  Should I stay or should I go?  If he tells me I’ve got more cancer I wasn’t going to do anything differently anyway.  I was still going to go to Germany.  

So the new me, decided to ditch the doctor’s office.  I knew Maria O’Kane would have been proud of me.  She used to tell me it was fine to be late and cancel if you didn’t want to go!  She had guts!

I wasn’t sure if it was the right decision, but I had things to do and I really didn’t want to stick around while the meter was running at $4.75 per half hour.  So I asked the secretary to get him to phone or email me the results.  She told me to phone the nurse’s hotline and ask for them.  I did.  Three times.  They said they couldn’t do anything for me…I had to phone for my records.  I emailed my Carepath nurse and asked her to get my results for me, but she’s on vacation. 

Then I started stewing about how was I going to find out.  First I don’t want to know the results.  Then I’m obsessed about getting them.  So I phone his secretary and told her to tell him I was going back to Germany next week and I had to know by Monday what vertebraes had cancer in them so I could point them out to my doctor to get more stem cell injections. 

He just phoned. Apparently I’m fine.  Nothing showed up on the MRI.

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He sounded really, really surprised.  “How are you feeling?” he kept asking me.  “I feel great”, I told him.  I don’t think he could believe it since the last time I saw him I was yellow, my bone marrow was lite up like a Christmas tree on the MRI and my hemoglobin was so bad I needed a transfusion.  But all is good now.  He said, “Okay, how about we do another MRI in 2 months?”  “Sure”, I answered. 

YIPPEEEE!

Italy here I come.  Germany, you too. 

Thanks for all the prayers family and friends. You know who you are!!!

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P.S.  I had my Vitamin C I.V. today.  My Naturopathic doctor could not believe my hemoglobin level went from 78 to 126 so quickly without a blood transfusion.  I think she wants a bottle of the stuff I got from Germany to try it on her patients!

I will try to blog my escapades with my friend/colleague Mary when and if we get wi-fi as we are travelling across Italy.  I can’t wait.  Ciao for now!

Look Who’s Driving the Bus

Look Who’s Driving the Bus

  Dear Friends, I’ve been busy doing all sorts of fun things lately and haven’t had much time to write. Tried to do a quick update, but had to relearn to put pictures in my posts because they changed the … Continue reading

I’m Good (for now!)

Thought I’d better blog again because people are starting to phone and ask me if I’m alright.  I’ve also been told to keep it short!  So here it goes!

My Carepath nurse collected my CT Scan results and told me I was stable!   Hurray!  Life is good.  

 I think my hemoglobin is better now because I can walk up the stairs better without huffing and puffing and feeling like my legs are full of jelly.

I’m glad she let me know since I still haven’t seen my oncologist since November.  My January appointment consisted of sitting in the waiting room with my husband for 1 1/2 hours.  We had to leave again because my husband has 1 hour for lunch and he was gone for 2.  Funny how my clinic note (which I now have Internet access to) stated I telephoned and told them I couldn’t make it in for my appointment.  Hmmm……  not sure how I’m going to handle that.

Top-40-Funny-Minion-Quotes-and-Pics-Best-minionsI requested to see my oncologist in February when I was suppose to get my shots in the stomach. However, he is on vacation; so now I don’t see him until March.  Oh well, if I’m stable now, I’m good.  My hemoglobin, red and white blood cells were really low in December (worthy of a blood transfusion), but now I got some new medicine from Germany and am feeling much better.  Guess it was worth turning yellow for a while.

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And now for some humour….

This is a conversation about reading which I overheard from the back seat of the car….

Frack:    There are no good books in my classroom.  They are all so old.

Frick:     Really, in my classroom, the books are from the 1900’s.

Frack:    Oh yeah, well the books in my classroom are from Jesus’s time.

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life is shortPoor Bobo. He comes home one night with chunks of meat in his coat pockets.  “Darn,” he said, “Now I’m going to have to get my coat cleaned.”   He forgot to take his ziplock bags when I sent him over to my parents to fix their TV (they keep pushing the wrong buttons and then get no picture/TV).  Well, you know you can’t go into an Italian house without being fed something. Needless to say, he wasn’t prepared to hide whatever he didn’t want to eat so he stuffed the food in his coat pockets when they weren’t looking.  I laughed and laughed and laughed at him. 

I wish I was smart enough to think of concealing ziplock bags for food when I was a kid. 

Would have saved my butt from getting whacked more than once!

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Oh Crap, Now What?

Dear Life what the hell ru trying to do to me

Well, the results are in and now I really don’t know what to do.

Apparently the tumour in my right lung is 2mm bigger than it was in August.  In 2013, they saw something there.  On Jan. 2015 it was .9 mm.  In August it was 1.9 cm.  Now it’s 2.1 cm.

I don’t see my oncologist until the end of January.  I could always go back on that horrible drug capecitabine that burned my feet so bad I couldn’t walk.  Or I could ask to get hooked up to a picc line for a couple of hours on Taxol (chemo IV) which will make all my hair fall out, including my:

1.  eyelashes (so I will cry if it’s windy)

2.  my eyebrows (I never was that great at drawing them back in)

3.  my nostril hairs (nothing to catch the snot) and

4.  let’s not forget all my pubic hair (free Brazilian wax).

And let me remind you that Taxol was the drug that stopped my heart on my 2nd treatment.   Fancy going to my grave prematurely because of it rather than cancer.

Hmmmm.  Choices, choices.  Risks Vs Benefits.  Wait.  Wait.  I think I’ve made up my mind.

I think I’ll stick with Germany.  I could always go back in the summer and try some curcumin IV if things start to progress again, but frankly, I think I’m pretty stable now.

I just spoke on the phone with my friend who is a nurse.  She said that sometimes when technicians are reading a CT, there may be a shadow making a spot look bigger than it is. That makes me hopeful that my results aren’t that bad.  My CT Scan also mentioned a spot or two on my left lung that was unchanged in this interval.  Sigh.

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I had my junior girls volleyball try outs today and I must say, they are looking good.  Had a big fat juicy gluten free burger for dinner to get my hemoglobin levels up.  Tomorrow I’m going to go for my vitamin C IV in the morning (more oxygen) and then I’m going to revisit my salt cave in the afternoon.  Maybe all that salt in my lung will shrink and kill the damn tumour.  I wonder if anyone has studied that?  News Bulletin….Salt Kills Cancer.

I found a giant natural salt cave in, where else?  Germany.  Gotta add this to my bucket list.  You can sleep there overnight!  Check this out.  You even take a little kiddie train through the mountain to get to the salt cave. Who wants to come?

 

And now some special messages…..

Rumours have it that a Great Big Baby Shower was in the works for me at work.  Thanks guys, you truly are the best, really… (smirk!)

McLandress….loving those pictures of you lapping up the life of luxury in South Africa.  I have a job for you.  Can you get in a jeep and make your way up and down the east/west coast of Africa and every time you make it to another country, log into my blog so I can see it light up?  I’m not asking for much.  You are already over there.  Just don’t drive in the ebola territories.  I don’t want you getting hurt.  And watch out for the animals. (P.S.  I got Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa covered…you’re in charge of getting the rest).

Bobo….if you are reading this post.  I know you don’t like washing dishes until the next morning but really, if you are eating fish for dinner, the stuff REALLY needs to be washed right way or it gets quite SMELLY in the house.  So unless you want me to puke tomorrow morning, please, please, please, wash anything touched by a fish immediately upon consumption.

Sandy….good luck on your operation tomorrow.  Let me know if you want anything…a visit, some grub.  I promise it won’t be gluten free unless you really want it.  My kids won’t eat it, so I don’t expect you too either.  I can do take out too, if you’d rather.  But I don’t know where you live (you may not want me to know where you live).  If you do, just call (but not on my cell phone, it’s dead and still lost in this house somewhere) or email me. Luv you.  Hope you aren’t in the hospital long.  Same day service works best.  I’d get out of there quickly if I were you.

Doug….I’m bringing that cup I won with the bell on it next Thursday….. expecting good service!  My birthday is coming up.  Don’t forget my cupcake!  Ha Ha Ha!

Frick and Frack…no I am not having a baby even if you do want one.  Stop encouraging me.  It ain’t happening despite what the blood test results say.

Life boring without me

 

 

Miracles Happen, Right?

IMG_2225Tuesday, January 5

Would you believe that I still have no results pertaining to my lung yet?  I was checking all day, scared of what I might find.

Saw my surgeon.  He is a good guy. Asked me how I was doing.  I’m okay, I told him, but it looks like I have mets in my bone marrow again… although I don’t really believe it because this happened to me before when I came back from my cancer treatment in Germany.

Oh?  Why did you go to Germany?

Now there’s a loaded question.  This is what I told him.  Hmmm…it might be because they almost killed me three times here.  Or maybe it was because the hormone treatments stopped working and they told me they couldn’t do anything for me anymore except manage the pain.  That’s when I decided to high tail it outta here because at least over there they thought they could keep me alive for many years to come.

“Well it looks like Dr Sahgal is happy with your progress,” he said.  “Nothing going on in your spine.  Your bones are growing back and your hardware is good.”

nutella

“Yes but my oncologist is not happy with me right now because I’m not doing what he is telling me to”, I replied.

“How did you find out about this place?”, he asked.

“My friend knew someone who went there”, I told him.

Short and sweet and I was out of there with an appointment scheduled for next year.

Before I saw him,  I was talking to the nurse in the room by myself (she was the one that nicknamed me “The Screamer” after my surgery).   I asked her if she would mind looking for my chest CT scan on her computer because it wasn’t appearing on myUHN.  I had results for my pelvis and abdominal scans, but nothing has been reported about my lungs.  I was worried because I have been coughing lately and I was told in August that I had a tumour at the bottom of my right lung.  She checked.

Thank heavens PMH actually did the scan which included the lungs.  That was a relief because I would have gone on some kind of Italian rampage if someone messed that up and I had to go do this again. I really don’t need more radiation considering I’m maxed out.  The nurse went through the slides and said, “I’m no technician or anything but I don’t see anything”. Meanwhile, I was peering over looking for white spots on my lung scans too and didn’t see anything either.

Now wouldn’t that be something if the 1.9mm intelligent doubts, stupid confidencetumour they found in August and spots on the fissure line disappeared just like the thing on my pancreas?

Miracles do happen, right?

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That afternoon….I decided to try something new today to alleviate my bronchial asthma problem.  I visited a salt cave.

Several years ago when I experienced this same yearly nagging cough in the fall (rain + leaves = mould), my allergist told me the only way to get rid of it is to go to somewhere hot with a beach and breathe in the salt water air.  Sounds enticing.

Well although I would love to escape right now, it ain’t happening due to the fact that my family dr seems to think I need a blood transfusion and I’m not exactly rich.  Btw, I phoned Germany for some hemoglobin help and it should be on its way.  Plus I stopped taking my German drugs temporarily until my white/red blood counts improve.  There was also some mention about giving me a neupragena (sp?) shot ($3,000-4,000 a pop) on my Sunnybrook blood test results but no one has phoned me about that one yet.  That prescription certainly will give me lots of air mile points for my next trip, as a patient usually needs 3-4 shots to get their counts up. Although I think I would decline that proposed strategy because I’m sure it comes with some interesting side effects which I could do without.  I get to visit my family dr next week.  Can’t wait to discuss the sudden disappearance of “my baby.”

IMG_2211The salt cave was wonderful on my lungs.  I spent the first 1/2 hour coughing up a storm.  I felt rather bad for the gentleman in the cave with me and my older sister.  He certain didn’t get a quiet session because I was coughing up a lung.  Felt really good.  Salt is so healing.  Wish I had know about this before when I suffered with bronchial asthma.  I can’t use a puffer because I’m allergic to ventolin, alupent and its whole medicinal family including it’s cousins.  The cave was a little bit cool so I wore my white alpaca babushka hat which I bought from Germany.  My friend Doug calls me the Snow Queen whenever I where it.  The cold weather lately sure warranted it.

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Wednesday, January 6

Still no lung news.  I phoned the CT Scan place….got a recording, what else.  Maybe if I’m in a bad mood, I’ll nag them and call them every 5 minutes tomorrow.  Fill up their answering machine with 20+ calls.

Today I went to The Art For Cancer Foundation and made the  winter scene above.  It was challenging.  I enjoyed painting it, but my back sure could use a rest.  Time for bed.

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Below are the benefits of going into a salt cave, should you ever decide to go.  The one I went to was in Mississauga.  There is one near York University, in Niagara Falls, and The Windsor Arms Hotel.  I didn’t realize it increases your hemoglobin level too!  Next time you’re sick or have a respiratory ailment you may want to check it out.  Prices range from $17 (Groupon) to $50 for an hour session depending where you go.

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