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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The Results

51049a380d3c9663fd69f6de2dc617c7Well The Cat Says It All!

T’was a good day.

Speaking of cats, I’m certainly feeling like I have nine lives.

Went for my dreaded 9:30 appt fearing the worst. Took Bobo with me…he brings me good luck. No doctor ever says anything bad when he is around. He is also my comic relief. When the nurse asked me for my red hospital card, he asked her if I gets points for it. She started laughing and then he told her if you rack up enough points, you get a tongue depressor!  He should have be a comedian.

Let Go what you Cant ChangeWhen I saw the radiation guy, he said everything was okay. I gave him the stunned disbelief look. “Whaaat?”, I said. How could this be? I got a whole bunch of things getting bigger in my spine and everything is okay?” I’ve got the report right here…I have another team of doctors who just told me that I needed to call my surgeon because my neck needed to be stabilized before you zapped me again.

“Who told you that?” he asked. My health plan has this thing where they phone you every week to see how you are doing and they always get me my reports before I see my doctors and tell me what’s going on. “Well, they are wrong”, he said. “I just looked at your MRI and everything is within the normal parameters”.  You are a complex case and don’t listen to them. (This is coming from they guy who told me that I had cancer in my neck (C5) last June and when I came for my simulation appointment, discovered the technician was wrong and it wasn’t anything.  So really folks. Just who am I suppose to believe now?)

My husbands sitting next to me, with his “I told you” cheshire grin on his face.  He told me all week-end that they were all whacked.

Meanwhile, I was seriously intent on booking a trip next week to Europe to see all the stuff I had on my bucket list before I became a quadriplegic. I was going to go to Pompei, Rome, Milan, Venice, with a side trip to Germany to pick up my intravenous bags of Curcumin, then I was going to take my daughter to see the Eiffel Tower (her dream), and then take the bullet train to London to see a more palaces and other great places. I figured I’d better do everything I wanted to do while I was still walking!  I was going to do the Queen Latifah thing….cash out whatever money I could find (RRSP, who needs that?) and LIVE IT UP! If you haven’t seen her movie, called “Last Holiday”, it is funny and a must see. (You can download it on your computer for free on YouTube).

Still in a bit of shock. But very happy. And eternally grateful that the good Lord spared me once again.

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My radiation guy asked me what my oncologist wanted to do for me re: treatment.  I told him he wanted to put me on the foot burning chemo (Xeloda/capecitabine) and I wasn’t going for it.  I couldn’t walk every other week because my feet were burning and peeling.  “Don’t they have anything else for you?” he asked. “Yeah, the intravenous I.V. ones where all your hair falls out”.  He just smiled at me.  He must think I’m nuts.  I told him I was sticking to the treatment from Germany as long as I possible could because most of the people I know that were in the same boat as me and stayed on conventional treatment were dead.  One just died 2 weeks ago.  He said, “Some of them were my patients, weren’t they?”  I just looked at him and didn’t say anything.  Then he told me that some of his patients were going to Germany for some kind of hyperthermia thing.  I told him that wasn’t what I was doing.  Didn’t want to get into another conversation with a doctor about piggy stem cells to be told it was quackery once again, so I did not elaborate.

5c16a19e1905a67d8568e99170fa42a87896cefbd0a3e17496212592ad6e1a8fe913fc3cfdf4586867e9cf2517ad4942However, I’m thinking the next time a doctor asks me what kind of treatment they are doing for me over in Germany, I am seriously going to tell them that I’m getting stem cells from a unicorn.  It sounds better.

 

 

P.S.  My new shipment has arrived from Germany.  More needles.  One shot in the butt every morning, two at night, and drops/tinctures three times a day.  My husband enjoys it more than me.

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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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

The Giraffes and Proof that Our Health Care Sucks

Proof that Our Health Care Sucks Below is a graphic account of a very bad day I had on Friday, Feb. 27th intermingled with pics of the giraffes I did with the grade 2’s. Yes, they did do them, although I confess, I will not give a primary child a black permanent marker because I’m afraid of what they will do with it. I outlined their work because then I destroy only one and not twenty after it’s gone through all the watercolour paint and salt.

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Sorry I haven’t written in a while but I have been rather sick. Had a terrible, terrible ear ache. Felt like someone was stabbing me in the ear and twisting it all around. Unbearable pain. Two weeks ago, Tuesday I went to my family doctor who said there was a little bit of fluid in my ear, but not much. Wasn’t prescribed anything. By that Thursday night, I couldn’t sleep. Friday morning I decided I had enough and phoned for a prescription because it was not going away despite many doses of Advil and Tylenol cold and sinus pills, nasal spray, and saline spray. Unfortunately my family doctor wasn’t there, but the secretary said she was going to phone in later and she would let her know what was happening with me. I told her I didn’t sleep all night, was in a lot of pain and needed something as soon as possible.

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I went to school for a bit to finish off some other art work; tried phoning the dr. office from there (no luck), and then went home where I got a message saying that there was a prescription ready for me but she didn’t know what pharmacy to send it to. And by the way, we close at 2:00.

It was 2:10. I cursed and tried phoning her. Then I drove like a mad woman to get that prescription because I didn’t want to go another day without something for my ear. There was no one there but my doctor’s husband who is a dentist in the same office. I waited at least 1/2 hour crying in pain while he looked everywhere for the script to no avail. Don’t worry, I told him resignedly, I would go to the closest Walk In Clinic. Not that I really relished the idea of waiting in line in a germ filled clinic for someone to look at my ear and give me a prescription, but what else was I going to do? I was in serious pain.

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cryingBy the time I got to my car, I was in agony. I screamed and cried all the way to the clinic. When I spoke to the receptionist, I told her that I was in trouble and I thought my ear drum was about to break and would need to see someone VERY SOON. “Just go have a seat”, she told me. I sat and waited for about 5 people to be seen ahead of me. By then I was slouched over, crying in pain. Finally, she ushered me into a room where I waited some more. The pain got worse. Considerably worse.


bitchI couldn’t take it anymore and yelled for help. One of the patients told the secretary they were needed. I told her to either get me an AMBULANCE OR A DOCTOR NOW. By then I was wailing uncontrollably.  Guess she 
was embarrassed by my crying ‘cause she shut the door on me. I was mad. I got up to open the door and fell to the ground. I literally crawled to the door and opened it. Then I fell into the hallway and screamed. Figured at least they would see me there if I passed out.

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Finally someone (some short Indian woman) came to me. She told me to get off the floor because it was dirty. I told her no. I couldn’t feel my hands; they were paralyzed. And then my feet started to freeze up too.                  She said I was hyperventilating. She asked me what was wrong. I think I told her my ear drum was about to blow. I also told her briefly that I just had radiation to my neck, spine, and pelvis. She wanted to know who my doctor was and my husband’s phone number and maybe I should call him. I told her that was going to be hard because I had no cell phone and I couldn’t move my fingers. She then tried to lift me up with the help of some other woman. That panicked me because I couldn’t get up myself and I was afraid they might drop me on my newly radiated spine. I must have told her 17 times to LEAVE ME ON THE FLOOR, but she kept insisting that I needed to get back into the room where they left me alone.

 

cat1In the meantime, the secretary phones my doctors office and spoke to the dentist who told her that I was just there. Next thing I know, the bloody stupid doctor starts yelling at me telling me I should have been treated at my doctors office. Really? I’m thinking in my head . . . do you really fucking think I’d be here if I saw her? By then I was about to have a nervous breakdown. I am deliriously in pain and I have a wack job berating me because I was just at my doctors office and I was on her floor and needed to move. I shut down. I could not talk to this stupid idiot any more. I thought if I can get up and get my coat on, I am out of here. I didn’t need someone patronizing me while I was in pain. She just kept telling me over and over again that I should have been seen by my family doctor and to get off the floor.

postalA few minutes later, I tried standing up, swayed a bit, and hit a wall. But the feeling in my hands was coming back and I was fiercely determined to get out of there and go home. I made it to my coat, put it on, grabbed my purse and walked out of there without a word. Actually, no. I did say something. WHERE IS MY OHIP CARD? I yelled. “I gave it back to you”, the secretary cried. Then I left. Right out the door.  I can see why people go postal.

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“Wait, wait a minute. What about the ambulance?” I heard someone calling behind me. “Really, if an ambulance had been called don’t you think it would be there by now? You freaks”, I thought.


bitchBitter and angry, I got into my car and drove home. My ear eased up a little bit at that point and I was no longer screaming in pain. Called my dad and told him I might need him to take me to the hospital. However, the thought of going to emergency for a prescription did not appeal to me in the least. And if I went there, I knew what I was in for. I am very familiar with the drill. I would see triage where they would deem me to be low man on the totem pole in terms of an emergency. Then I would be kept in the waiting room for at least four hours. When I got to see a doctor, they would stub me with a needle to take my blood. It wouldn’t work the first time and they would have to do it again. And finally they would tell me I’m not having a heart attack and I could go home (possibly with a prescription for an antibiotic), at last. No thanks. Was not coping well with my situation and felt a trip to the ER would be the last straw.

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My dad came over while I phoned Tele-Health for advice. The nurse, a nice man, sympathized with me, while I told him my sordid tale. He advised me NOT to go to the clinic or hospital because I was immune-compromised and shouldn’t be in public places with germs (my white blood counts and platelets are dismal because of the radiation treatments). The man told me to call two medic numbers and a doctor would be sent to my house that evening to check me out. Hallelujah, I thought, relieved I wouldn’t have to go out again to get a prescription. I just wanted to stay home.

I called the first number. “Where do you live?” he asked. “Scarborough”, I told him. Sorry we have nothing available for Scarborough this evening. Try again tomorrow. Called the second number. “Where do you live?” the next man asked. “Scarborough”, I told him. Sorry, we have nothing this evening. Try again tomorrow. We open at eight.

This is why I hate living in Scarborough. We have no services here. I bet you if I lived in North York or Toronto, someone would have come to my house that evening. So much for amalgamation. Equal services. Bull Crap. It is a LIE! There are no services in Scarborough. Move while you can. Don’t buy a house here. When you are old and grey and need palliative services, be forewarned, there are none here. Decided I wasn’t going to go to emergency for four hours. Anything was better than that. Got in the car with Frick (who also wasn’t feeling well) to go to Centenary Hospital’s Walk-In Clinic while my dad watched Frack. My ear was temporarily better by then. Waited in another line up of around 5 patients. The doctor there was good and fast. Gave me and Frick a prescription and off we went to Shoppers Drug Mart.

81d020b0e6ba033bba9a16198ab37a98And the big kicker of the day. I drove to Shoppers Drug Mart to submit my prescription and the pharmacist told me that he couldn’t fulfill my it because I may have an allergic reaction to it (10% chance).

THIS CANNOT BE HAPPENING TO ME!

I could not believe it. I just spent the entire day trying to get a prescription and now that I had one, I couldn’t get it. “We will phone and fax the clinic and see if he can change it”, they told me. “Fine”. “I’m going home,” I told them and I will send my husband back to get it.

patience 2Well they didn’t get a hold of the doctor. The clinic closed. No one answered the phone there and when my husband went to the pharmacy I told him to pick up the prescription because I DID NOT CARE IF I WAS ALLERGIC to it, I WAS TAKING IT ANYWAY. Had a hell of a headache the next day, but at least I didn’t end up in the hospital with a rash, breathing problems and a heart attack.

1d4880efd963293448ce75e059519217So on Saturday morning the secretary from my Doctors office phoned and asked me where I wanted her to send the prescription. I gave her an ear full which I am certain she will never forget.

And I plan on visiting the owner and doctor at the Loblaws Clinic this week to give them an ear full too.

And that, my friends, is the end of my blog entitled, “Proof that Our Health Care Sucks”.  Why I had to go to 5 different places to get a prescription is beyond me. There must be a better way.

 

P.S.  The following Tuesday I went in to see my family doctor to get my ears checked out once again.  An hour after sitting in the waiting room, I am told that there is very little water in my ear (the ear drum is clear) and perhaps I should get my face x-rayed because there are bones near the ears which may have cancer in them now.  How lovely.  Another round of tests are in store for me in the near future.  Just what I needed.

Had my thyroid, pelvis and abdomen thorough checked out on the week-end and now need to see another new doctor (ENT).  Will be scheduled for a CAT Scan and MRI soon too.

I’m entering a contest to win a Trip to Paris this spring.  I’m going back to Monet’s Garden to paint.  That’s where I’m going.  This is going to be me in April when I win.

I Won

Feb. 13, 2015

I am NOT having a good day.

Find a cureWent to the oncologist today and got my shots in the stomach. When I left, I got the feeling he was not on board with my decision to continue doing the treatment in Germany which he claims is “quackery.”  Take a deep breath.  Too bad, so sad, it worked for 10 months and I’m going to keep doing it.  I’d rather do that, than have my feet burn off with chemo.  I also talked to him about going to the naturopath to get intravenous vitamin C.  He said, “It’s not proven to be effective”.  My husband said that there are lots of books and journals in Germany that say what they are doing works.  Doc. said there weren’t enough case studies done.  I asked him what it was going to take to do that.  He said it will never happen because you can’t patent something like vitamin C….it’s not profitable.  Bunny:snowmanYou need lots of money to do trials with lots of people.  If the big Pharma companies have nothing to gain, it will never happen because of the expense.  There you go folks.  Find your own medicine.  Plants aren’t profitable because you can’t patent them.  Synthetic drugs are the only one’s that “count” in our world even if they have toxic side effects.  Nothing else matters because someone is getting rich from this.  It is disheartening.  It is disgusting really.  Not a good day.

hairy cat fabioSo today I am itchy.  My neck is itchy.  My back is itchy.  And guess what… my pelvic region/crotch/groin is also very, very, itchy (and I don’t want to scratch there because I don’t want any weird looks from people).  There has been very little hair there since my chemo treatments five years ago and now I can safely say that what was left of my scarcely populated pubic hairs has now been successfully fried with radiation.  And my skin looks burnt brown.  Apparently I’m not suppose to have any kind of sun exposure on any of my newly “radiated” parts for at least a year; doubt that will happen any time soon (unless I decide to put nudist colony on my bucket list).  Nahhhh.   Well, at least I don’t have to worry about spending money on a brazilian wax job; it’s already been done for free thanks to medical care.  Had to buy some $50 medicated ointment for my newly parched skin.  Big pharma makes more money.  Argh!!!

Had to drag the kids to the hospital today because it was a P.A. Day.   Frick and Frack are used to it.  It’s happened before.  They refuse to go to the “Magic Castle” place where kids go while their parents have their treatments.  My kids prefer to play on their computer gadgets during my visits.  As long as I feed them pancakes from McDonald’s or buy them breakfast at Druxy’s, they are happy.

imgresdonating bloodI saw an old friend from Gilda’s Club who was getting blood work done and oddly enough, two other friends “found” me at PMH because they “recognized my white, furry, hat” and decided that, yes, that was really me.  One of them recognized “The Hat” from my Germany Pics.  I thought that was really funny.  I taught one of her children many years ago.  Another person I ran into was from my Thursday night Christian Cancer Support Group.  She said she spotted me from a mile away because of my “Hat”.  Glad I had it on!   My daughter told me that the elderly people in the waiting room at the blood lab were eying my hat too when we were in there.  Poor people.  They probably didn’t have any hair because of chemo. and needed a warm hat.  It was bloody cold outside today (- 18 or -32 with the wind chill or something like that).  My alpaca kept me toasty and warm!  I think it is quite possibly the best purchase I have ever made.  Especially today.  The city of Buffalo (just south of us) had  lots of snow earlier this week and now are experiencing this really cold, bitter weather, so the kids all got to stay home today.  They really should invest in some of these kinds of vehicles to get their kids to school! snow days

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Meanwhile some f*$#$ squirrel decided to jump into my chimney to keep warm last night and it cost me over $500 to pay someone to climb on my roof, install a trap door, and cover all the grates (5) up there.  Damn squirrel!   I could have bought him a couple of alpaca hats and thrown them on top of my roof for that much.  He’d have had his own cosy, furry nest.  Now I need to go back to the casino in Niagara Falls to win some more money on the slot machines.

When I got home I searched for today’s “blood work results” on my computer since they weren’t ready at the time of my appointment.  My platelets are low and white blood cell count is red flagged.  Everything else seems to be okay.  I suspect these new developments are because of my radiation treatments, although I’m not sure what to do about it except eat seaweed and soak in himalayan salts.

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Guess I’m also going to have to protect myself from sick people at the moment.  Would this be considered extreme?  How ’bout I bag myself every time I go out ’til my counts go up?

 

Cat Scan

Gotta have a CAT scan in April.  Bit concerned about that since I couldn’t take my German injections while I was doing radiation treatments for 3 weeks.

 

I figure there may be some growth in my bones because of this.  My doctor however is thinking it may have spread to my liver, lungs, or brain because I’m not “on” conventional treatment.

I would like to prove him wrong….again.

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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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!