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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Another Year Without Christmas Shoes

Well, I survived another Christmas. My husband asks me every year if he needs to run out to buy me Christmas slippers yet. Ha ha. He’s got Christmas Slippers part one and two if you want to watch it. Just don’t ever return them.

Unfortunately I have been sick for about 3-4 weeks. The wet, damp mouldy weather we’ve been having is making me cough up a lung as I’m allergic to mould. Today is the first day it’s actually snowed which I’m hoping is going to help. Either that or I’m going to have to go somewhere hot where there is salt water. I’ve got to find a way to dry up my lungs.

I had a blood test over a week ago and got some really bizarre results. (low wbc and rbc, low hemoglobin, low hemocrit, high LD, high B12 and high ferritin. I’ve been getting cramps in my legs and I cant walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath and having fast heart beats. The nurse at my Drs office told me to go back and redo the blood tests because my blood coagulated and it probably wasn’t accurate. I asked her to put the requisition into the lab and I would go the next day. I went, the requisition wasn’t there. They called up to the office. The secretary said she didn’t know anything about it and the nurse wasn’t coming in until the afternoon. I left. Got a phone call from the nurse later telling me she forgot to put in the requisition but she would do so now. Too late been there twice. Didn’t feel well enough to go back again. So I don’t know what’s going on with my blood work.

On Christmas Eve I had my family coming over at 4:00. I also had to get my two shots in the stomach by CCAC at 2:40. I figured I had plenty of time to pick up the sushi dinner I ordered at Niji’s and the halibut and chips from Fish Joy. But I was wrong. I spent 2 1/2 hours running from one clinic to another one and back to the first one because they lost my file and none of the nurses could give me the shots. I was so desperate I told them I would shoot them into myself… just tell me how to do it. “I can’t do that,” I was told. I was pissed. Spoke to the supervisor on the phone who told me to return to clinic #1 one because that was the only place that had an experienced nurse who could give me the Zoladex (40 degree angle, 16 gauge large metal needle with a hollowed out inside with a pellet). And you know who the experienced nurse was? The same goof I had in clinic #2 I was trying to avoid because he needed two try’s to get it in me in September. Are you kidding me??? I told him, “Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I think that before Princess Margaret Hospital outsources its patients to get these needles, they should train you to do it first. This is ridiculous. I don’t want to be tortured.

My oncologist is going to get an earful when I see him. I never want to deal with this Nursing (?) company ever again. I’m certain that this clinic was the same bunch of idiots who sent a nurse to my house 5 years ago to change my picc line with bloody gloves!

And I now I find out from a friend of mine that they can give you one three month shot of Zoladex. If my oncologist only wants to see me every 3 months, then why can’t his nurse (who knows what she is doing), give it to me? I told him the problems I had been having trying to get this shot. Why didn’t he suggest the 3 month needle instead or something else that the CCAC is equipped to deal with? WTF?

And now to my next problem. Decided I’d better try and get the results of my MRI from Carepath in case I ended up in the hospital. I was feeling pretty rotten. So rotten that I didn’t make it to rehearsal or Christmas Eve service at my church which I have been singing for over 25 years.

The good news is that the tumours I got zapped at T8, T9 are stable (you could have fooled me because I still wake up in pain like someone shot me in the back every morning). There is also evidence of 2 cysts in my neck at C7, C8. But the bigs news of the day is that the technician wrote that there is metastatic cancer throughout my bone marrow OR I have developed something called myleofibrosis….which when I checked on the internet is some sort of blood cancer/leukaemia brought on from too much radiation. In other words, my spinal cord may have been fried and I have some sort of scar tissue which is causing me not to produce enough red and white blood cells.

Now I have been down this road before when I came back from treatment in Germany and I was told I had cancer throughout my bone marrow and I didn’t. I’m not about to have another bone marrow biopsy to prove them wrong again. I will just wait it out.

I’m betting the technician has never seen little piggy stems cells at work and doesn’t know what to call what he is seeing in my bone marrow. My appointment with the radiation guy is at 3:00 on Wednesday. Maybe I’ll get some real answers then.

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It’s Off To Emergency We Go

Friday, December 4, 2015

Sunrise PicHaven’t been blogging because I have been insanely busy lately.  All is good.  Coached boys volleyball team.  Went to a workshop at Art For Cancer Foundation and painted this sunrise picture.

WellspringGot a ticket on Tuesday near Sunnybrook (they changed the no parking sign to no stopping which I didn’t notice).  I’m contesting it.  Hoping the judge will be nice and reduce the fine at least.  I went to a free cooking course at Wellspring and didn’t want to pay the $24 parking fee for 2 1/2 hours.  Unfortunately that wasn’t my only problem that day.  The cooking course was pretty much all raw vegetarian and a bit of cheese.  I’m lactose intolerant (makes me cough up phlegm) and my German dr told me my stomach intestines were inflamed and I should only eat cooked veggies.  Boy was he right.   My tummy hurt for a couple of days.  Lost a couple of pounds too.  Because I wasn’t eating much I figured I needed some nutrients so I asked my daughter to make me a veggie juice on Thursday night and then I felt really horrible after that.  Didn’t make it to my cancer support group meeting because I felt so ill.

At 3:45 in the morning, my dear friend who is staying with me thought she was having a heart attack.  She came to the right place.  Pulled out my heart monitor.  Everything was high (systolic, blood pressure, pulse…mentally recorded time and rates).  Gave her as aspirin (remember the time).  Phoned tele-health….was not happy that they have a ten minute recording about getting your stupid health card before you even get a chance to talk to anyone.  Got dressed.  Out the door and into the car with cell phone and ill friend in tow.  Destination…Sunnybrook, Trauma and Heart Attack Central.  I decided to take her there because I was afraid that if I called an ambulance that they would take her to Scarborough General (30 seconds away from my house), a fate worse than death, and I valued her life. 

Why not Scarborough General?   I dunno.  Maybe it’s because of the time I stayed there overnight and they didn’t bother giving me a nurse after surgery.  Maybe it’s because of the time I had heart problems and I arrived at the ER and there was nobody there and I waited 15  minutes for a triage nurse to appear at her post…that’s when I got back into the car and went to Mt Sinai.  Maybe it’s because I had a mammogram there 13 years ago and no one bothered phoning me to tell me there was something suspicious there.  Or maybe it was because the last time I went there ER Doctor told me that the next time I had an emergency, not to come here because they didn’t know what to do with me.   Anyhow, I think you see my point. 

imageDid you know that at 3:55 a.m. in the morning you can go 100 mph on Lawrence and get all but one green light? Meanwhile, my friend was talking to good ole tele-health and answering questions.  I knew, as I was driving, that she hit 5/6 red flags for a heart attack (chest pain, pain in back, shortness of breath, nausea, and sweating).   That nurse was SLOW!  Holy cow.  By the way she essentially told me to shut up and to let the patient answer the questions.

imageBy the time the tele-heath nurse finished evaluating her…..”You need an ambulance”…. she tells us after she has painstakingly punched into the computer all of my friends responses,  I was less than 4 minutes away from Sunnybrook.  So I told her just to send the information to them as we were nearby.   She told me to drive cautiously en route.  Too late for that, chickie!

Now, you would think (after watching ER and Greys anatomy shows on TV) that someone would be greeting us at the ER door, but you would be wrong.  It seems to me that they don’t care as much if you’re having heart attack symptoms than if you are having a stroke (in which case you have a 4 hour timeline to get some injection in you to break up the clot or you could possibly face permanent damage and they could face a law suit).  Two people ahead of us.  Triaged fairly quickly, then registered by 4:10.  Told my friend we were in it for the long haul because they would need to get her blood work done and wait 4-6 hrs later to check the troponin levels to see if in fact she had a heart attack.  She called a replacement for work.  Guess what time she got the blood work done?   7:10.  Just in time for a shift change at 7:30. 

imageWe met an interesting man in the second ER waiting room.  He shared his medical problems with us.   I was amused as he kept asking us for our opinions on his condition (he was having problems with his heart, he drinks and smokes, and his friend wouldn’t let him buy the heart drugs his doctor prescribed him). 

imageI could tell my friend was getting exasperated by him and wanted to thump him in the head, particularly when he started discussing his hemorrhoid problems.  Oh how I wish my husband was with us!  I could just imagine how that conversation would have ended up.  Sometimes you get some interesting entertainment whilst in the waiting room.  My friend emailed me and told me he was missing a few screws upstairs.

Shortly thereafter, he was called for a review with a doctor.  It lasted less than 4 minutes and he was discharged. I don’t think he even got a prescription for his hemorrhoids!  He was told to go see his family doctor.  It was just after 8:30.

My friend got her first set of blood work back.  Normal, thank heavens.  But we still had to wait for the other one (troponin) and they wanted to do a chest X-ray.  By 11:00, my friend was really tired of being there.  I told her, “Don’t worry, they have to get you out of here in 8 hours from the time you arrived or they have to admit you.  Anything more than 8 hours also requires an extra billing to OHIP who requires an explanation as to why you are still there waiting for a diagnosis.   Sure enough, a resident quickly told her at 12:00 that she did not in fact have a heart attack or a pulmonary embolism and she was free to go.  Right on time.  “That’s what my friend told me,” she answered. 

734376_591741964188594_1624691723_nDrove my friend to her worried sister.  She was going to take the bus, a very long 3 hour bus ride and her back was still hurting her so off we went in my car.  I spent the night with them.  We had delicious Thai food for dinner.   It was very nice spending some quality time with the two of them.  Their apartment is so cool.  They have giraffes in their living room with Santa hats on all their heads!  She should be an interior decorator.  I’d hire her! 

Drove home the next morning.  Will try to catch up on sleep tonight.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

sidewalk fall leavesHi.  Not feeling so great.  My wacky cough is back.  I usually get this in the fall because I’m allergic to mold….too many dead leaves on the ground.  I don’t do well when it rains either.  Get headaches and feel like total crap. 

Also was a bad girl because I ate cheese last week.  Not a good idea when you are lactose intolerent.  I don’t fart.  I just cough up a lung. 

Waiting for the snow to come so I can feel better.  Either that or I’m going to have to drive somewhere hot with salt water to dry out my lungs (that’s what my allergist told me years ago). 


Wonder if a sauna would help.  Sigh…..

Wednesday, Dec. 9

Currently hooked up to vitamin C I.V.  Hopefully will start feeling better soon.  Blood pressure was pretty low when I started.  Had my chest/cough checked.  It’s clear, so it’s not bronchitis.  Damn cheese!  Damn mouldy leaves.   My cousin says she loves it when I swear in my blogs!

Needles, High Tea and Then Spa Time!

Friday, Oct 16

Ozone therapy, iron/ artesunate IV and more needles today. Then I signed myself up for 3 sessions of colon hydrotherapy. Today I had my first. Honestly felt like a new person after that. But I felt very sorry for poor Pamela as I truly stink when I get that done. Got the rest of the gas I had been accumulating out. I would need a gas mask to do her job. Mind you, the smell wasn’t nearly as bad as the first time I had it done two years ago…all I could smell was the chemo drugs I had been taking that had been residing in my gut for several years. My tummy feels so good now.  Happy!

I went for high tea in a French Patisserie shop with Marcella for lunch. Enjoyed the company but was disappointed with the platter they served us. Only tomato, cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches with the crust still on it cut into triangles. Who does that? And the bread was not very fresh. The scone was so tiny… 2 cm in length and height. How can you classify that a scone? Top that with two tiny pastries covered in fondant which I can’t eat (sugar). The only good thing in there was 3 raspberries on a tart the size of a quarter. They must think they are serving munchkins or something. Sorry I didn’t get a pic of it… Just visualize a tea party for dolls and that’s what we got to eat.

I went to the Caracalla Spa and spent some time with my new Canadian friends Marcella and Rick. The water was so healing and warm. Massage was just what I needed. Haven’t had a lot of sleep…maybe this will help.

Sorry no pics allowed at the spa.  Nudies on the second floor.  Privacy issues.  You know what I mean.

Quackery

Grinning from ear to ear today!

Went to see my radiation doctor who smiled at me and told me my spine was stable, I looked great and “What exactly are you doing from Germany?”

Although I was REALLY tempted to tell him I was taking snake venom (which cuts off the blood supply tumours need to grow), I kept my mouth shut and shrugged because Bobo and Ric both told me not to say anything.  “You know I haven’t been taking anything from here in over 1 1/2 years” I told him.  “I know”, he said, “That’s amazing and you look really good too.  “How much did it cost you?”  $5,000 euros for a two week treatment ($7,500 CDN) I told him (although that does not include travel expenses, lodging, food, transportation, and meds).

He said that he has another patient who went to Germany for treatment and he is doing really well too.  He also said, get this, “You should tell your oncologist to look into it!” HA HA HA HA HA!

Never thought I’d ever hear a doctor say that!

I love my radiation guy!  Finally, someone on the same page as me!

I told him my oncologist thinks it’s quackery.

Man I hope he writes something about this in his clinical notes to my onc.  That would be sooooo lovely.

I Couldn’t Make This Up If I Tried

IMG_0275I’m having a weird week.  Hmmm where do I start?

IMG_0279Took something called Jut-U-SinR8 recommended by a the quack in Etobicoke and ended up in the ER with a convict, 5 security guards, and a room full of screaming kids and other sick people.  This is what happens when you live in Scarborough.  Decided not to stay.

 

IMG_0276IMG_0373Found a cute paramedic around the corner, showed him my heart monitor results and asked him if it was safe to get my husband to drive me to Mount Sinai (because the last time I came here with heart trouble they told me not to do that again)  or should I be enlisting in his ambulance services?  He said, “Oh, that is not good…. but I think your husband has enough time to get you there”.  Good enough for me, I thanked him and escaped.  Luckily, my racing heart startied to show signs of improvement and I told my husband, “What the heck, just take me home (where  left the kids alone).

IMG_0393IMG_0363The next day I went back to the quack and told him I didn’t have heart problems before I came here and now I was leaving with two.   All I got was 1/2 my money back.  Asshole.

 

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IMG_0466IMG_0461Went to the Naturopathic Clinic today for my Vitamin C infusion and was rejected due to my recent heart problems.  Brought out my meds from Germany and all my supplements and guess what I learned today?

 I’m taking snake venom!

How do you like them apples?

IMG_0468IMG_0459I’m currently waiting for my results on my MRI from Monday.  That was the best appt ever.  No one was scheduled for any MRI’s because they were on stand by for Victoria Day Week-end Trauma patients.  There weren’t any, so I went right in and was finished in 45 minutes.  Bonus.

 

IMG_0456IMG_0474So if I don’t have any increases in existing bone tumours, I would like to think the snake venom is working and whatever they saw in my lungs isn’t anything to be concerned about.  If, however, I have some new spots on any of my bones, I am going to have to come up with a different game plan.  Hopefully the spots they zapped in January with radiation are dead/stable.

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Snake venom doesn’t taste too bad, you know.  I mean, if you think about it, I’ve been given mustard gas (amongst other chemical warfare, I’m sure), thalidamide, and rat poison (and those are the ones what I know about).  It’s a wonder I’m not dead already.

I couldn’t make this up if I tried.

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Hope you like the photos of the spring flowers in our garden.

 

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.