Sand Dunes, I Luv My Bobo

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After we went to Frankenmuth, we decided to keep driving to Lake Michigan to see the Sand Dunes.  They were awesome. Now my kids have been to all the Great Lakes too.   Didn’t know mountains of sand like this even existed.

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First we went to Sleeping Bears Dunes National Park. It was very steep.  Sign warned people not to go down the steep slope without hats and water.  It read that it would take 2 1/2 to get down to the beach and climb back up and if you needed help to get rescued, you would have to foot the bill for a rescue.  Needless to say, I did not attempt it.

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IMG_0666Then we stayed overnight at a hotel close to Silver Lake Sand Dunes where we spent the next day walking on the dunes (dared not try it although it looked like fun), go karting and a really cool mini-putt with a waterfall.  Great place to visit.

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Took plenty of painkillers on this trip, let me tell you.  Hard to walk in the sand with a freshly radiated back. Sigh.

 

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Good news!  My husband Bobo recently won an award at work….best mortgage underwriter (nominated by some brokers).  So he gets a free all expense trip to Whistler, British Columbia.  And guess what I told him?  He ain’t leaving without me in tow!  No way!

We are going to be staying at the luxurious Fairmont Whistler Hotel.  Ba Bing!!!  Bobo is none too happy about this event as he says he will have to go to meetings for 3 days.  Not me however!  I will be galavanting outdoors.

Damn back, however.  You’d better believe that I’d be downhill skiing on those mountains if I didn’t run the risk of fracturing some more vertebrates.  Oh well, heard there is a gondola I could go on.  And I could always use the Fairmont’s spa services if I overdo it or the weather is yucky.  Afternoon High tea perhaps?  Hahaha!  Love them scones, fancy little sandwiches and glorious tea!  Getting excited!  Wish I could invite some friends, though.

After the conference, Bobo is coming back to reality, but not me!  I’m going to fulfill an item on my bucket list!  Ever since I was in grade 5 and my friend Leanne Murray showed me a picture of her family’s trip to Lake Louise, I have had it in my head to go there.

I missed an opportunity to go there with my cousin from Australia because I was getting married and couldn’t afford it.   In 2012, when I was out of commission after surgery to cement my fractured vertebrae and put two titanium metal rods in my back, I vowed if I ever could walk again I would go to Lake Louise (and Italy) and not have any regrets.  When my hubby told me he won a trip to BC, I took it as a sign from the almighty Lord above who just gave me the perfect opportunity to fulfill my West Coast quest!

So I have booked a trip on the Rocky Mountaineer, Gold Service, so some poor sucker who isn’t me, can deal with my baggage everywhere I go.  Get my own damn chef too.  And I’ll be asking for some champagne as soon as I get on board.  This is gonna be fun!  I’m going to Kamloops, Banff, Lake Louise and Calgary.  And there is some crazy ride on a helicopter (if I don’t chicken out) too.

Like my husband says, “You can’t take it with you”.

I love my husband.

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Frankenmuth, Michigan

September 12, 2015

Sorry I haven’t been blogging all summer, but it’s hard to do when you have kids! Life has been a bit of a roller coaster ride.

Road tripI had planned on going to New York in July/August and on a driving trip to PEI and Cape Breton, but my plans were kiboshed because of 2 new tumours growing on T8 and T9. I knew something was up in June…just didn’t feel right. There is also something going on in my lung/diaphram and pancreas but I’m not sure what it is because I haven’t seen my oncologist to find out what he thinks….that’s a whole other story.

Wasn’t sure how I was going to make out doing the drive by myself. So I took the kids to Science North in Sudbury (4 hours away) to see how I would fair. Did okay, but sure was glad to get back and get on my biomat. My back really hurt.

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IMG_0266IMG_0279Then I underwent a week of radiation.  Bobo had the last week in August off, so we went to a niffty little German Bavarian Christmas town in the States called “Frankenmuth”. It houses the largest Christmas Store in the world….the size of a football field. And it really is that big.

IMG_0283Of course, we had to go there and check it out. Here are some of the pics! If you get a chance, you really must drive out there and check this place out, especially if you love Christmas! Took us about 4 1/2 hours to get there (via Sarnia border crossing).  Oh, and if you have kids there are 2 indoor water parks (The Bavarian Inn for smaller children and The Zehnders for older kids) which I am sure they will love.

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Now if water parks and Christmas Stores aren’t your thing, the little town is quite adorable and you can go for long picturesque walks and look around, shop at the quaint little boutiques or even go on an old fashion boat.  Something for everyone…even your cats and dogs.

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IMG_0412And if you are tired, and need a little push around the Christmas Store, they even have a wheelchair available to pick up!  Could have used a self-serve motorized one for myself though; Frack decided to take me for a quick ride, here, there, and everywhere!  He got a kick wheeling me around!

Fry the F**kers!


Looks like a have one or two new tumours giving me grief (T8-9).  My radiation doctor doesn’t really want to radiate it, saying I’ve had too much radiation.  He thinks I may qualify for a clinical trial on Photodynamic Therapy.  Small surgery, put some chemo/dye at the site, blow up the cancer cells with light/oxygen and cement the leftover hole in the bone. 


NutellaI was suppose to go have a CT Scan on Friday night at Sunnybrook to see if I fractured my spine during my Laser Quest escapade.  Still hurts.  I asked the secretary and the guy who phoned me about the scan to make sure that they also put in a requisition to check my liver/lungs while they were at it because I did not want to have more CT scans when I could do all three at once.  Needless to say,  I arrived at Sunnybrook only to be told that they were going to only check my spine.  I told the lady that I had an appointment to check all 3 areas at Toronto Western on August 5th and I’d rather keep that appointment instead.  So I left.  One CT scan is the equivalent to 500 x-rays.  Figured with this move I saved myself from an extra 1,000 x-rays and an additional dose of radiation dye.  Don’t think my radiation guy is going to be happy with me though when I see him on Wednesday.


In the meantime, I  have decided to try to blow up the tumour myself using Far Infra-Red Rays.  I bought this thing called a Biomat (by Richway).  It was not cheap.  I have been researching about it since I recently discovered it on a metastatic cancer website (Inspire).   Many lung cancer patients were getting good results after buying one.  Helped with pain management, got rid of the mucous in lungs after a couple of sessions and reduced/stabilized  tumour growth.  People felt better after using it.  Some hospitals in Japan are beginning this technology as well.

Biomat Pic.

Cancer patients typically have low body temperature (mine is 95 degrees celcius, when it should be 98).  I have been using a heating blanket/pad to combat feeling cold which is not good as it gives off electromagnetic waves (bad for the good cells in your body).  The biomat releases Far infrared rays (which cancer hates) and it’s good for your healthy cells.  It penetrates 6 inches deep into the body and also provides you with negative ions, improves your blood circulation and digestive system, and detoxes your body.  For every one degree you increase you core body temperature, it can make your immune system work more effectively.  For cancer patients it makes sense  that if you can improve your immune system, you have a better chance at living longer. 

Now that I’ve been using it for a couple of days, I am finding that I don’t feel like I’ve been shot in the back when I wake up….it’s more a feeling of being punched between the shoulder blades.  My digestive system has improved.  My body temperature is at 96.4, instead of 95, which still isn’t normal (98) but it’s on the right track.  I also have a lot more energy and feel better.  For some strange reason, my allergies seem better too.

Newest immunotherapy techniques involve giving patients a vaccine like polio (without the paralysis part of the disease) to stimulate the body to cause a fever.  If you can get a temperature of 104 for 20 minutes, you can kill cancer cells. 

Found a case of a breast cancer patient who got rid of the mets in her spine by going on the biomat over 2 months for 30 minutes each day at 158 degrees fahrenheit, the highest setting.

So my objective right now is to get my core body temperature to normal and at some point, to fry the fuckers.

And I’m going back to Germany in October.  Was hoping I’d be there for Octoberfest to try some beer and sausages, but apparently that event takes place in September.  Go figure.

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Funny Story…..

The day I brought my Biomat home and put it on the bed, our cat Jumper decided it was hers and lay on it.  Every time I went near her to get her off, she smacked me with her claws, which she never has ever done before.  I had to call for reinforcements….Bobo!  “Get her off my biomat”, I implored.  Man, she was not happy when he finally managed to scoop her up and move her.  Decided this new thing on the bed was hers.  Odd, don’t you think?  

Visions of Spending My Summer Vacation In Jail

July 6, 2015

bail money“I’m going to jail,” I proclaimed to Bobo after receiving an email from my accountant.  “That’s good”, responded my husband, the eternal optimist….”free medicine when you are in jail “.  Good point….never quite thought of jail in that way.

eggsRevenue Canada is auditing me once again.  Really?  Can’t they pick on someone else for once?  Why me?  The last time they audited me I had to prove I gave birth to two children and they both went to daycare.  Seriously, can they not connect to another government computer to see that my children actually exist?  Now Revenue Canada wants proof that I went to Germany for Cancer Treatment.  All this for a little over a lousy $2,000 I got back for my tax return.   Oh Crap if I have to pay any of it back.

hairSo guess what I have been doing over the last couple of days?  Pouring through past receipts, visa statements, medical records, etc.  to come up with everything I spent on transportation (flight/train), accommodation, prescriptions, food, and treatment.  I’ve got 30 days.  That’s how I started my summer vacation.  Hmmpf.

This morning I woke up in excruciating back pain in which I could barely breathe.  “I am so not going to make it until my MRI next Friday”, I thought.  May have to park myself at an ER today.  It felt like someone shot a big hole between my shoulders. On a scale of 1-10, it was a 20.  Time to call an ambulance?  Phoned my radiation guy who told me to come in.  Explained to him that I am crazy, did something stupid (played Laser Quest at my sons birthday party)  and have been seeing stars ever since.  “Possibly fractured,” he said. 

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my own little worldI also told him I ran out of snake venom from Germany over a month ago and perhaps the cancer may be back.  His eyes and mouth opened wide in shock at the mention of the snake venom.  “Yeah, that’s right.  Snake venom.  Poisonous Snakes will kill you if they bite you, but its harmless if you ingest it…yet it prevents cancerous tumours from getting a blood supply.  That got his attention.  Big grin too.  Gotta luv da guy.

Now I would never be able to have this same conversation with my oncologist, who I imagine would just throw his hands in the air, tell me it’s quackery once again, and kick me to the curb side, because nothing but conventional medicine works.  I would oh so like to prove him wrong.  I would get such smug satisfaction in that.  I told him I was having considerable back pain lately.  The only thing I got out of him on Friday was that it, the cancer, was probably everywhere by now and I need another CT scan at the end of July.  I’m waiting to see what next weeks MRI shows before I agree to attend that one.  It happens to be scheduled on the same day as my visit to St. Annes Spa…..I won their Spa Lotto Contest for a free hydrotherapy session.  So guess where I want to be on July 30th?  Not exactly jumping through hoops to get the radiation equivalent amount of 500 X-rays when I just had that one done in April.  Besides didn’t my soothsayer doctor also tell me that I would be back to drain cancerous fluid from my lungs by now?  Did that happen?  Nope.  Well then?  Why spoil a potential beautiful day at the spa for a CT scan?  Maria O’kane got it right when she told me to “Do What You Want.  Don’t want to go to an appointment, then don’t go.”   “Fuck the doctors, they know shit”, she used to tell me.  Sometimes you just get to the point when you get sick of being told what to do and need some rest and relaxation time so you don’t go mentally insane from the bullshit.

And so the saga continues. 

old ageI asked the x-ray technician what happens if I have a fracture.  He said, “Spinal Decompression”.  “Oh shit,” I thought. “…does that mean two metal rods to hold up my back?” I asked him.  “Yup”, he answered.  “How ’bout cement?  Can they do that instead?”, I asked.   “Depends,” he answered.  “Damn those Laser Quest battery packs.”  “Damn me for being such a big kid and wanting to do things I should not be doing”.

He went to look at the film.  “Oh, you already have two metal rods in there near T 12”.  “That’s right, and it was so enjoyable the first time that I never want to experience it again.”  I think I’d rather get radiated.

My doctor phoned me a couple of hours after I got home…lucky for me it’s not a fracture causing me this grief. Spared another set of rods!   That’s a relief.

Perhaps my new back pain was due to another one of my stupid (?) moves in which a truck dumped three 2×4’s in front of my car on Bayview Avenue the other day, blocking traffic.  Me, clearly insane, put on my hazard lights, and hopped out of my car in an attempt to move them to the side.  Too heavy.  Moved them a couple of inches until two men told me to step aside so they could take them to the curb.  Thank heavens for the good Samaritans.  The driver realized his load was on the street, parked his truck, and ran back to get it.  Jumped back into my car and continued on my journey when the wood was safely removed.

Wonder if this new pain has anything to do with that German vitamin (?) capsule I’ve been taking.  The (?) means I don’t really know what is in it.  Again.  Here, let me type in the ingredients.  If any of you read German, let me know what you come up with. Looks like vitamins to me, but who knows?

Ammoniummolybdat

Tri magnesium citrat

Eisen II gluconat

Zinkorotat

Mangangluconat

Kupfersulfat

Natriumselenit

Selen ion

Time for more oxycocet and a soak in the tub.

wierd

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July 7, 2015

gratitudeFeel surprisingly good today.  Back is not great, but it’s manageable without pain meds.  Didn’t take the Vitamin Capsule.  Hmmm.  Wonder if whatever is in that German capsule likes to attack radiation sites?   My neck and pelvis was hurting yesterday too.  

Got another phone call from Sunnybrook. My MRI has been bumped up once again to this Sunday.  My radiation doctor is a saint. 

Just a thought….If nothing (cancer) shows up on the MRI, how am I going to explain this one? Hi, I was in excruciating pain for nothing…no fracture, no cancer…just a German vitamin capsule.  Hmmmm……I may be so in the dog house.  

Suggestions for a lovely gift basket?

Lung X-Ray Results

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

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

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


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

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

There is no other significant abnormality seen in the lungs.

There is no significant abnormality seen in the mediastinum.

There is no pleural effusion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Daniel Sommer

Lange Strasse  72

Baden-Baden, Germany

Web-Site:  www.cellvital.net

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

  

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.

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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Bears, The Rebel In Me, and I’m Getting Out of Here!

BEAR CONTEST

IMG_0136On Monday I had fun painting a bear at a workshop through The Art For Cancer Foundation.  The guest artist was Laurie Stein who illustrates children’s books.  She was wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon there.

Well, I didn’t win Michaels Paris Contest.  Didn’t even come in second place (and I could of really used the $1,000 gift card to buy canvases and acrylic paints to do art with the kids).  So I’m going to have my own contest.  Here are the details.

If you are a teacher,  I will come teach your class how to make “Bears” sometime in June (right now I’m quite busy doing Mother’s Day stuff).  You will need to be somewhere in the Toronto Area and supply canvases/acrylic paint for your class (because I am not a millionaire and can’t afford it).  The Dollar Store has lots of canvases that cost between $1 – $3….and I think we will need about $30-$40 worth of paint depending on the size of canvas you choose.  So if you have some Read A Thon money left over or you want to ask your students parents for a couple of bucks, and would like your class to make a bear, then enter FAST!  You may be the winner.  I like these contests!

All you have to do is be the FIRST PERSON to RESPOND via email or this blog.  Hurry.  Do it NOW!

I cannot for the life of me get a picture of my bear on  here to show you what it looks like.  I don’t know why this isn’t working here.  I wish I was more techno-savy and knew what I was doing!  I always could get my pics. from my ipad and insert it into my posts before, but why is this just not working today?  UGH!!!

Oh well, you will have to go on Laurie Steins web-site and look at her artwork for yourself or go on the Art for Cancer Foundation Web-site and you can see all our bears from Monday’s workshop.  Mine is the second bear on the left side from  with the red background.

I’m not sure how to add the link…this is what I got:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/ART-for-Cancer-Foundation/195129660503339

Good Luck!

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Me, The Rebel

I have been playing hooky with my doctors lately.  I didn’t show up to see my back surgeon because someone left me a message the day before and told me I had to have an x-ray done before my appointment.  I have decided I have had quite enough of radiation lately and if the screws were loose in my back, I’m sure I would have noticed it by now.  Besides, I figured they can get that information from my last MRI which said the screws where all there and they looked just fine.  I know.  I got the report.  Why put me through a spinal x-ray when I have a gazillion MRI’s reports?

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I’m Getting Out of Here This Week-end!

I’m so excited because soon I will be on my way to a retreat for Metastatic Breast cancer patients in King City.  I had heard about it from the organization Rethink Breast Cancer way back in January and requested information.  Unfortunately, I think they forgot to send it to me and when I emailed the contact person this week, she told me the retreat was this week-end.  Lucky for me, someone had just cancelled and she told me I could go in their place.  Got my bags packed and I’m ready to go!  Freeeee food, accommodations, pool, fitness and spa facilities, library, hiking trails, Ropes, Squash, Tai Chi, Meditation classes, and group discussions with other Breast Cancer Mets patients.  Boy I am a lucky bitch, aren’t I?  I’d send you pictures from my ipad on my blog, but it really isn’t cooperating with me.  You can check it out the place at

http://www.kingbridgecentre.com/

 

Ever Wonder What Happens When You Hit a Telephone Pole? (And No, It Wasn’t Me!)

IMG_0089IMG_0087I went to church to sing at our Good Friday mass.  Bobo said that about 10 minutes after I left, a car smashed a telephone pole into two pieces near our house.  Must have been going pretty fast for that to happen.  I live near an intersection where there are frequent accidents.  People often drive through the red lights.  I imagine that’s what happened once again.

Just look at the view of the top of the pole just hanging there.  Never seen anything like that before.

 

I got a call for another appointment (spinal MRI) in May.  I decided not to go to that one either. Phoned the hospital and told them I was not about to come in at 4:00 a.m. in the morning and I wanted the complaints department.  She asked me why.  I told her that my last MRI three weeks ago was at 10:30 at night, there were 3 trauma patients admitted and I didn’t get home until 3:00.  I had insomnia after that and it took me several days to recuperate.  She told me that they are a trauma hospital and one of the machines was broken.  “So what,” I told her, “This happens to me every time I go there, not just the last time I was there.”  And why don’t they phone people when they are 3 hours behind?  I told her that I didn’t think it was fair to send palliative cancer patients who have had surgeries, numerous rounds of chemotherapy and radiation treatments to get scans done in the middle of the night.  I thought that was cruel.  The Odette Centre was suppose to be a Cancer Centre and why didn’t they have their own MRI machine?  I am sure there wasn’t a shortage of cancer patients lined up to have scans done on a daily basis.  A twenty minute scan shouldn’t take over 4 hours to complete.

funny-squirrel-hammer-Thor-costume“Here’s a thought”, I told her….”People who are dying don’t want to wait around in waiting rooms for scans all night.  It’s bad enough they have to wait hours on end for doctor’s visits.  And besides all this,  I don’t like the fact that I have to by-pass the hobos in the front lobby at night when I come in.   I’ve never seen any security there at night and I’m by myself because my husband has to stay home with the things we have at home called our kids.”

1318093697656_5040986She said that the next “Day Time” appointment was 4 weeks later.  “Oh, that’s too bad,” I told her.  “That might screw up my doctor’s clinical trials because I’m one of his patients.”  She told me she would phone me right back with the number of the complaints department.

funny-kids-child-color-blackI think some of Maria O’Kane’s audacity is rubbing off on me.  There comes a point in your life when you just don’t want to take anymore crap and you begin to push back.  I’m beginning to do that now.   Maria always told me that you have to be your own advocate, the doctors know nothing, and so what if you were late for an appointment or didn’t feel up to it.  Don’t go.


Ten minutes later I got a call….”Oh, you can come in for your scan at 10:30 in the morning, but it’s on Victoria Day.”  “I’ll be there”, I told her happily.  I also got their “Patient’s Experience” email address so I can write them a lovely little note to express my true feelings.  I can’t wait. And I will write to them because I really don’t think it’s right to do this to cancer patients.  I’m sure there are others that feels this way but are too sick to complain about it.  It’s just not fair.

Sorry!  This was suppose to be a short blog.  So much for that!

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In the meantime, I hope you have a safe and Happy Easter.

 

 

And may the Easter Bunny be good to you all!

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