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

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Winter Tree’s


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Not much going on.  Still have issues with my throat.  I went to the Robert Schadd Naturopathic Clinic last Wednesday.  I’m looking into doing some Vitamin C I.V. treatment. They recommended I take some special throat tea to coat my throat.  I’m still thirsty, but not as bad as before.  I know it will take time, but I really wish things were back to normal.  Back, neck, and pelvis still hurts, especially when I wake up in the morning.  The only good thing about my recent radiation treatment is that my skin is so dry, my oily nose can’t produce any more blackheads! It’s never looked better.

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Last week I went to school and started doing an acrylic winter tree scene with the Grade 5’s.  I kind of overdid it.  Spent more time in there than I probably should have because I was so excited to see what they came up with.  Unfortunately, I also got a bit run down.  I think the radiation treatment “fatigue” effect has finally hit me.  That’s why I’m going to do very little this week. I know I need to take it easy.  I say that, but I am still running volleyball practices. My body is telling me to take it easy, but my mind says, “Go, Go, Go!”  Frack’s intermediate team won yesterday’s game and has another one tomorrow night.  They are doing well.  It’s fun to see their skills improve.  They are working as a team now.

As promised, here are some of the grade 5 winter scenes.  We started this acrylic painting project by making a sky, moon, snow, and fir trees.

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Then, we added the foreground (5 or more trees).  That’s when things started getting really complicated.  Some of their trees started off skinny and then just kept getting larger, larger, and larger.  I had to do a lot of rescuing, I’m afraid, with birch trees, when that happened.  I used a palette knife so I could do it quickly.  Well, here are the results.  I think they turned out pretty good.  I’m thinking of having an art show in the spring so the kids can showcase their work for their parents.

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By the way, I always try to get the teacher of the class to do the art project I’m doing too so that he/she can teach the lesson again next year and I can do a new one.  It’s easier to remember when you’ve done it yourself and besides, it’s fun to paint.

This painting belongs to the teacher.  She’s going to put it up in her house.  I’m glad she tried it and is happy with the finished product.

Next…. I’m doing watercolour giraffes with the grade 2’s.  I’m hoping they can draw ’cause this project may be a bit challenging for them.  Wish me luck.  I’m think I’m better suited doing art with the older kids, but at least there are only 20 or less in the grade 1-3 classes.

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Here Come The Penguins


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Mucositis-5-150x150Still having some trouble with my throat this week (because of my neck radiation treatment from 2 weeks ago…the gift that keeps on giving).  Developed mucositis (mucous lining stripped because of radiation + infection) and was prescribed Codeine for the pain and Lidocaine mouthwash to sooth my poor throat).  At first the back of my mouth looked like this picture which I got from the internet (white patches) and then the next day it looked angry red.  I thought I had strep throat.  Now I seem to be spitting up blood every morning from the area from my nose to my throat.   I’ve been spraying with saline to get that under control.


IMG_9582IMG_9577Went to lunch with my buddies from high school at the Old Mill on Tuesday.  Decided that “All You Can Eat Buffet” was going down, regardless if my throat hurt.  We had a nice time. I can’t believe we have been friends for 36 years.  I got everyone lost the first day of high school!  And guess what, they still are my friends!

Our Intermediate Girls volleyball team (co-coaching) won their games on Wednesday…but it was a nail-biter!  Could have gone either way.  Gotta practice some more.

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I got Bobo to start giving me my injections from Germany on Wednesday night.  I haven’t been taking them while undergoing radiation treatment.  Made me a bit uneasy thinking the cancer may be having a field day for 3 weeks.  Bobo forgot the exact location/target area on my derriere as to where to insert the needle and I was a howling a way.  “It’s not my fault”, he cried.  “All the old puncture marks have disappeared!).  That’s his story and he’s sticking to it.  That night I woke up with a fever and my P.J’s were soaking wet.  “Thank heaven’s”, I thought, “The injection is causing my immune system to kick in.  Fight away!  I’m going back to sleep!”

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Visited my heart doctor on Thursday because I was worried that my blood pressure was a lot higher than normal.

He asked me what was happening.  I told him that I was undergoing radiation treatment to take care of 2 spots on my neck, one on my back and a couple on my pelvis.  After one of my radiation sessions when they bolted me to the table with my face mask, my heart rate was 165/105.  He said that was situational and if that was happening on a regular basis then 20 years from now, I’d have a problem.  So not to worry about it.

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I also told him that I noticed there was a blood pressure increase for several days in mid-cycle (after I got the shot in the stomach to put me into menopause) when I had a whole lot of pain in my spine.  It was so bad, I almost checked myself into the hospital.  He told me that my heart is going to react to pain and that was normal.

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“Good”, I said.   “Glad to hear it”.  I’m still doing the treatment from Germany because it worked for me for a good 10 months and it’s better then what they were giving me from here that made my feet burn.  Besides, when that didn’t work, they were planning on giving me Taxol again which was the drug that heart stop dead.  So I’m passing on the conventional treatment right.  However I opted for radiation because I figured it was better to zap them now before they got too big and caused me to get a screw in my neck like Frankenstein or more metal rods in my back.

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He shook his head at me in awe and said I can’t believe all the stuff you have been through.   Your EEG looks a lot better than most of my cancer patients, so don’t worry about your heart.  I’m not going to give you another appointment.  Just call me when you need me.

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You know you are all right when the doctor says he doesn’t need to see you!  Hurray.  One less appt/doc. to worry about for a while.  Cancer often feels a full time job, you know.

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My house-keeper came to clean my house today, so I decided I’d better disappear.  Went to my friend’s grade 1 class (6 year olds) and made some really cute penguins…again I know I’m biased…but what can I say.  Here they are!  I love them!

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Thinking about putting it on pinterest, but I don’t know how.  I got the idea from someone’s “pin” and tweaked the art lesson my way.

(Next weeks art project is a Winter Birch Tree Scene….stay tuned)

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It’s Not Over

IMG_9529IMG_9527Thought I’d show you some of the “Ted Harrison” style acrylic paintings some of our Gr. 6’s did with me a week ago.  I like ’em….but I’m a bit biased.

 

 

Wednesday, Jan. 21

So my radiation treatment is almost done.  I had two zaps in the back (T6), four in the neck (C2, C3) and this week it was 5 days on my right pelvis.  ‘Cept I told them I was not showing up for tomorrows appt.  Tomorrows a P.A. Day and I have a lunch date with some friends.  They can zap me on Monday if they really need to.

IMG_9542IMG_9540I went to Michaels and parked in the handicapped parking.  A woman limping with a cane and her husband gave me the good ‘ol evil eye and I almost lost it.  “Really,” I thought.  “You think you’re in pain and you need that spot more than me?”.  Well, I feel like I have a bullet in my back and my neck isn’t much better.  And you’d better not be behind me when I reverse out of that spot because I can’t twist around to see you and I will run you over!

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The hardest part about this treatment was managing the pain (I try not to use drugs) and I really hated not having any saliva in my mouth once the neck radiation started.  I didn’t even have enough saliva to chew up my food and I would wake up at 4:00 in the morning with no moisture whatsoever in my mouth.  I drank water like a fiend.  I just could not get enough.  Cathy came with me for one of my appointments.  She thought my doctor was young and really cute.  I told her that he was one of my top picks to set one of my teacher friends at school with, until I found out he was married.  Then I thought of his associate who came to Canada from another country to learn new radiation techniques.  Unfortunately he left before I could set him up!

My radiation doctor said it was strange that I was so thirsty.  I am a rare breed, that’s for sure.  Cathy said it figures, it can only happen to me.  What can I say?

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Monday, Jan.26

Just got back from my last radiation appointment.  I am not really doing so well.  Yesterday my throat was white and goopy and it hurt like hell.  Started salt watering it.  Feels like strep throat.

Went to see my radiation guy who told me it was mucositis.  Apparently radiation treatment on your neck strips the lining and then you are prone to infections.  It’s like thrush.  So now I’m on a mouthwash that numbs everything, including my tongue and liquid codeine for pain.

Just when I thought it was over….It’s NOT Over!  Aughhh……

 

This week I’m going to make Penguins with the Grade 1’s.  So check back next week to see what they come up with!  They are going to be so cute, I know it!  Me thinks, I gotta start my own pinterest art account!