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There's a first for everything!

by Claire18. July 2013 19:57

So I did it! I tried the coffee enema. I followed Polly Nobles instructions; http://pollynoble.com/2011/10/how-to-do-an-enema-and-why/ and took the plunge. I bought organic ground coffee and prepared it as described. I was dreading it to be honest. The thought of putting something in that end didn’t fill me with excitement. I’ve never found colonic treatments that bad but then it’s not something I look forward to either! Anyway I had a few hiccups, leaks, spillages and so on but soon enough the whole 750ml went inside. I had no discomfort o0r anything adverse. 15 minutes passed quickly whilst I scanned facebook and twitter! There was a side effect though.... I was buzzing! To begin with I wasn’t sure if it was because I’d actually plucked up the courage to do it but soon enough I realised it was the effects of the coffee! It was just as if I’d drunk it! I was all over the place for a good few hours. Having been off caffeine for a year with only the odd coffee and tea my little body didn’t know what had hit it! I’m hoping it won’t be like that every time I do it. I think I might try to do it once or twice a week. Twice a day sounds extreme. The idea is that the toxins in my liver will be removed and therefore help me become less inflamed and become more alkaline and healthy. It’s odd because coffee is highly acidic but apparently the nerve endings in the bowels somehow means it removes the nasties. It can also stop symptoms and pain.

So that’s a first for me. I’m feeling very pleased with myself. Was it too much information to share?! Ha ha! X

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What's going on in my head?

by Claire17. July 2013 13:49

Yesterday I drove early up to the hospital to have my bloods taken in preparation for starting chemo today. With the weather being so nice I drove in my convertible with the top down. It’s only in termperatures like we have been having when you can truly enjoy a convertible.  Having short hair helps as it doesnt get messed up!

It was the quickest visit to hospital ever. The blood test area is governed by a ticketed numbering system. On walking in I got my ticket and before I even sat down my number was called! Yay! Having bloods doesn’t get any easier and I was left with quite a bruised arm. The phlebotomist said sorry so he knew he had done something wrong this time.

I called the oncology ward this morning and after being asked many questions bout my bowels, hands, feet and infections I was given the go ahead to start chemo.

It’s hot, hot, hot today again and I must admit I am looking a bit red faced. I normally have a cheeky hour before clients reading my book before I start to work but today is toooo much!

I’ve been getting more emails from people on facebook who have been in the same situation as me or have relatives recently diagnosed. I hope I can still offer help and encouragement. I have been feeling doubt and fear in my mind the last few days to a week.

I had a chat with Pete this morning. I don’t want to worry him but sometimes I need to sound it out. I get that sudden feeling of, Oh my god... The enormity of the situation and the fear that it could be forever more that I will have to fight this disease. I get scared that it may well win. When I say it out loud it feels silly as I’m in such a good position right now. I don’t want to miss these good healthy times and create something that may never happen. Pete as always sounds it out for me. He said that I am doing everything right and things couldn’t be better than they were a year ago. It’s ok to have moments and some negative thoughts but not to let them take over. It’s also a good time to keep the body guessing, make some changes and really ramp it up a bit. I know he is right. I don’t know why I have been fretting but it crept up on me and starting eating away at my happy thoughts. I really don’t want to think about it. It doesn't serve any purpose and doesn’t help in the long run. I just get afraid that I will one day find it has spread then if it ever takes over I could be in a hospice on my last few breaths. I don’t want that- clearly. I just feel that it is all so scary. I am fighting for my life. Technically. Every day is a challenge and having no idea what is going on inside me really. I need to tap into my intuition and start listening to the real me and not my worrying head. Meditation really helps and when I think of all I am doing I realise how much control I have over my life, without having control... if that makes sense!

Yes well.. Like I say saying it out loud seems ridiculous. I know what I must do and how I should be thinking but I wonder sometimes if I want to create drama as there is something missing. I haven’t had any major urge to know what the future holds for a while now which is a breakthrough for me. I’ve been enjoying life. I guess that I sometimes feel sad because everyone else assumes they have ‘the rest of their lives’ to do things and this saying means many, many years to come. I know none of us know how long we have but it’s hard being told that you have an incurable disease and that it is life limiting and to eradicate that wording.

Peter and I heard the other day that one of his friends wife, who we used to see at the hospital, was suffering from leukemia after having quite a turbulent time, has been told, after having blood tests, that there is no sign of disease... Miracles do happen! I want that. I want to be told when I go for my next scan that there is ‘no evidence of disease’. I’m not sure if I will ever believe it but I really have to shake this lingering disease off. It doesn’t serve me in any way. I don’t need it. It’s amazing how the doctor’s words get stuck in my head. If only they would say it could be cured and then the day I am told there is no sign of it that I would believe it. I just need to get that gumption in my tummy to say to every cell in my body ‘I will be cured, I am canSer free’. I do need to re centre myself and really get to grips with my inner self. I must believe that I am safe and I am well.  I want to be free.....

Right I need to remember the saying; Abandon Stinkin’ Thinkin’! Foot in mouth

 

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Oh the simple things....

by Claire15. July 2013 13:39

 

We’re having a heat wave... a tropical heat wave... fa la la la...

Pete and I have had the best weekend. Driving through the traffic on Friday night we arrived at the marina where we would be staying for the next few nights with the promise of a sunny weekend yet again! Even better it wasn’t windy and the sea was really calm.

We slept really well Friday and woke early to get up and walk about half an hour into Brighton to the hustle and bustle and to soak up the atmosphere. After having a hefty veggie breakfast we headed back to our boat where we lay in our sun for the rest of the day. It’s always the simple things that make people happiest. Everyone was so happy. It completely lifts the mood having the sun out and prolonged periods of warmth and sunlight. So simple. I know I am happiest when I can bask in the heat.

Saturday evening we met our friend and had a tasty meal. We are getting to know the area and are having fun trying out many bars and restaurants.  I have already found a vegan restaurant and can’t wait to try a Vietnamese vegetarian restaurant next time we go. The night wasn’t too late but I awoke the next day feeling pretty rough. I couldn’t decide if it was a hangover despite barely drinking anything or an upset stomach from something I had eaten. It was a shame really as I wanted to be on top form for my Bears’ birthday. It didn’t stop us having fun. We took a ride out on the boat and moored in front of the heaving beach for the whole day. Bobbing ...... is what we call it.

Pete was so happy. That’s his happy place on the boat with me tucked under his arm pit! Ha ha! We had such a nice day that we decided to stay another night and headed home really early this morning.

I sadly was sick for most of yesterday which is totally unlike me. Even by the evening when I felt ok in myself my appetite wasn’t right and I barely ate a thing. I feel better today but think I should be careful with what I eat and drink. I need to be kind to myself.

Yesterday was the local Race for Life for Cancer Research UK. It’s an ever growing charity event and my friend has done it every year for the last three years at least. She sent me a message after she finished it in only 38 minutes. Go her... she said she had been thinking of me the whole way round. Touched... J

I’ve been getting more emails from readers and facebook followers asking for my advice. I am feeling really pleased that I can do at least something to help other people in a similar situation. I would do the same if I could do it over again. To be stage one again and to make all these changes could be the thing that got me over it. Still I’m here now and I’m well. There’s really no point dwelling on the past.

The book I am reading The Power of Now really emphasises how as individuals we spend our time thinking about the past and looking forward to future events. Even things as mundane as things we think need to be done on a daily basis. The author tries to get you to understand and feel the moment that you are living in and really notice what’s around you. I’ve been trying to do it. It’s much harder than it seems. The mind wanders at a rate of knots onto anything and everything. Life would be far less stressful for everyone if we did try to live in the here and now and not be side tracked with things and wanting more and more.

I’ve got a busy day working again today so best get off and get ready for my next client and then an early night in my next favourite place... my bed with clean sheets on! Oh the simple things!

 

 

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Ten year survivors...

by Claire12. July 2013 11:04

 

Another busy working day yesterday but this week has felt really good. I feel quite evenly balanced and everything has been flowing. I have been looking on a website featuring women who have metastatic breast canSer recommended to me by a friend. It has real life stories on there about women who are still living with canSer ten years on once it has spread to other parts of their bodies. It initially gave me hope but then it dawned on me that I could live with this for the rest of my life. I am working hard in myself that I will beat this, that I will be a miracle and one day be told there is no sign of disease. But reading the life stories the women on there are all still taking medication and having to change every time something changes or doesn’t work anymore.  That fills me with dread. There was one story of a woman who has lived with canSer for thirty years. Amazing but she felt terrible for much of it due to the chemo. That’s not a good quality of life really. Then at the end of her story there was note saying that she had died recently. Well she was in her late seventies.

I don’t know why this is a revelation to me all of a sudden. I suppose I live in this bubble where I believe I am going to be like Ian Gawler or some of those other amazing stories and survivors.

Any way it brings it all back to not worrying about the future as you never know what is going to happen anyway. No point wasting time and energy on those thoughts. It just caught me out a bit that’s all. I envisage me being told one day that I can stop taking chemo but it looks unlikely as long as I choose to listen to listen to the oncologists. And let’s face it they know enough about it to know what I should be doing.

Maybe I am living in denial. I feel so well I find it hard to believe that I actually have an illness at all. Living with incurable cancer is hard to get your head round at the best of times. I thought I would feel inspired by long term survivor’s stories but actually I take more comfort reading about rare cases of when the disease has gone altogether and the individual lives on for many years.

I keep telling myself I am doing quite unusual things that others are not which could make all the difference. I know that we all have to die eventually and I know there is nothing to worry about but when I read online of people having their 54th wedding anniversary it saddens me to think that I may never get to be old enough to do that. What an amazing length of time to be with the one you love. Till death us do part. Sad really... I’m selfish but I don’t want to go!

Today I’m going for reflexology... can’t wait and I have packed already for the weekend by the beach. Off to Brighton to hopefully enjoy more of the same sunny weather. Yay!

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It's like living in a Disney movie...

by Claire10. July 2013 11:20

I had my first appointment with a new acupuncturist who is closer to where I live than the last one. Her name is Mary Henagan and she is based at the Centaur chiropractors in Oxford. I will add her details to the resources page.

She did a thorough consultation asking me in depth questions about me and my life as a whole. She then read my tongue... This always intrigues me! Then she felt my pulses. She said my tongue seemed very pale in places which is common in women but generally means the blood is stagnant. Nothing too much to worry about. I explained that the tip of my tongue gets very red and sore sometimes as well having a few cracks in certain areas every now and then also. She said the red and soreness shows that there is a lot of emotion at times. Not always stress just a lot of emotion. The cracks she explained where they were placed were located right over my lung area! Well I’ll be... that’s weird right... a coincidence. I think not.

My first treatment was done sitting up and they usually start by slightly detoxing the patient to get everything ready to start with a blank canvas for the next visit. Needles were placed very gently in my points either side of my spine from top to bottom. Bizarrely enough it was very relaxing and even the slightest touch from Mary make want to sleep and I felt really calm. She explained that I may have a healing crisis and get a headache or even feel sleepy but whatever the outcome to go with it and not to be worried.

At the end of the session she felt my pulses again and said they had improved already and she seemed pleased. I have booked to go back in two weeks and I can’t wait!

Well I am not sure if it was from waking up at 4am the morning before but last night I slept like a dream! I had a good solid 8 hours. I love my bed, I love my bed, I love my bed! Waking up to birds tweeting, the sun shining in the window (much to my disapproval to begin with- I'd keep the shutters closed for as long as possible if I could!) and my Bear bringing me a mug of hot water with lemon to start every day. It’s like being in a Disney movie! Ha ha!

Today is going to be busy one again doing clients. I have had five new clients this week alone and have had three calls this morning. It’s so weird as soon as I think about working again I get new bookings. The Universe is good to me. J

I’m feeling really perky today too. I’ve painted my nails a coral colour. My favourite summer hue and have just got another new bikini from About the girl...again...my collection is growing. About the girl is a great online shop selling mastectomy lingerie and swimwear. www.abouthegirl.co.uk
The best part is that the swim wear is the Australian brand Sea Folly who have agreed to let Amy the owner adapt them by putting pockets in the bra tops. Genius and gorgeous! But I had to have it as it was... coral! All ready for my next trip away with my Bear at the end of the month.

So whilst the sun is shining I am going to have cuppa in the sun, get my vitamin D intake and then crack on with some big amounts of eyebrows to contend with!

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Coffee enemas......seems wrong but is meant to be so right!

by Claire9. July 2013 10:43

 

Recently Pete has been tweeting Francesca Fox, who is a chef and lifestyle guru, about smoothie recipes and anything healthy. She recommended we look up Polly Noble and I’m pleased she did. Polly is a bit like Kris Carr only English. She too has had canSer and now inspires people through her nutritional advice and lifestyle changes.  Here is her website; http://pollynoble.com/

There’s loads of good blogs, recipes and advice on their and her story is also very amazing!

This inspires me once again to really start to love the lifestyle I have adopted because of this disease. I have to admit it has been hard lately and I have felt like I am missing out when everyone else around me is eating barbeque burgers and sausages and fish and chips and birthday cake! Ok I admit I may have fallen off the wagon a bit but I am still religious with my morning drinks; lemon and hot water, smoothie or juice, reishi mushroom drink and coconut water. I feel it is time to re engage with everything and feel pleased with what food I can eat and how healthy it makes me feel.  My next challenge though is to encourage Pete to do it too. I feel it’s time for him to become less toxic inside and out. Work pressures (and pressures of caring for a 90 year old man) can be overwhelming and I take it for granted that Pete is doing ok. But I feel a positive change will make him have a brighter outlook and be less stressed. I am going to really try to get him to do meditation too. I’ll keep you posted!

Polly has written a book with co writers about healing and canSer and I know I read a lot about it but as long as I find a few helpful nuggets of information along the way then I find them really useful.

I have noticed a lot recently that coffee enemas keep being mentioned as being very beneficial for the liver and detoxifying. Polly recommends them also. Hmmmmmm....... I’m not sure about this. I want to try it but it’s the whole thing of putting all that coffee inside you in an end I only want things to come out of! But ever the researcher I think I may have to give it a go. I will of course divulge the gory details and let you know how I feel when I do finally pluck up the courage to go for it!

Today I am working again but also going for acupuncture. Ah..... really looking forward to it.

Bye for now....

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A good weekend for British winners!

by Claire8. July 2013 11:24

 

This weekend has been a delight. Not only did I have the Bear back but we had sunshine... lots of it including high temperatures as well as many sporting successes for Britain... The British and Irish Lions won against Australia; the first time in 14 years and Andy Murray won Wimbledon! Come on! It feels so good and is such a lift to everyone in the nation. We needed a pick me up and wow how moving.... I think everyone found a way to watch tennis in their gardens yesterday. Ha ha! We did. We rigged up our TV outside and watched whilst we sunbathed and paddled in the paddling pool... brilliant weekend.

The weekend was full of love and the Bear looking after me; feeding me well. It is nice to be back home and getting into my routine again.

I started this week with a strong yoga session. I am now shaking and I don’t think I can lift my arms! Ha ha! Back to work today too. I don’t mind missing some of the sunshine. I think I have had plenty in the last few days and by the looks of me I look like I have been abroad for a fortnight!

The heat does have some down sides. It’s very stifling at night and Pete and I didn’t get any sleep last night. I think an early night is in order. I also think maybe I should have a detox bath and use some Epsom salts and oils to really balance myself.

I’m off to meet a new acupuncturist tomorrow. Closer to where I live and been highly recommended so I’m looking forward to feeling really balanced again.

I had an email from HD brows head office on Friday informing me that they are making me an HD brows ambassador! I don’t really have to anything other than what I already do. I spread the word and get other ladies involved in it too. Yay! Lucky me!

 

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Research me! I'm a living breathing medical trial.....

by Claire5. July 2013 11:15

 

Had the sad news today that Bernie Nolan has died from Breast canSer. It makes it really hard when a household name dies so young. I hope she fell asleep peacefully. Thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

I got to meet Ellie Copson today who is featured on the specialist consultant’s page. She is a senior oncologist at Southampton Hospital. I have been in touch with her th9ourhg my sister since I was diagnosed with metastasis last July. She was kind enough for me to meet her and discuss my options as they stand. I have concerned with being on chemo for so long and she did things are working and the canSer is stable that she would personally if I were her patient let me more lenient on the time in between chemo cycles maybe extending the break from one to two weeks., especially as I have been on for it more than 6 months.

She said the difficulty in that they have little evidence of patients on immunotherapy so can only base their plan on what they know which is chemo. Obviously chemo strips the bone marrow so it isn’t ideal. The other problem is  if I was to take a longer break of say a few months off chemo is that it could be when I start it again it wouldn’t work any longer. Now I believe that there are no definite answers and they really don’t have evidence of any of the outcomes.

Ellie spoke about some young patients just like me that look really well and are living life to the full. This does make me wonder how many of her patients has she had that are still living years on with a stable disease or maybe no sign of disease? Or have they in fact all died?

There never seems to a finite answer and it does always seem that there is an underlying thing that I will almost certainly die from this disease eventually. God I want to talk or even see someone that is living well ten years on from their diagnosis of terminal disease! I can’t believe that they have all died? Where are they?

Ellie was very kind to me and has said any time I have any questions that I can ask. I pray that my body doesn’t give in and that all that I am doing will win this battle. I am a living breathing medical trial.

I think that if I continue to have good scans and they come back being clear one day that I will have to risk stopping chemo. When I mention the drugs and the reishi I am on, Ellis just looked bewildered. It’s so far out there for a scientist to understand. She is currently researching how breast canSer in young woman especially obese women don’t survive or at least cope as well as those whom are a healthy weight and lifestyle. They are now admitting lifestyle is a factor in treating the disease.

I want to offer myself as a trial for her. Research me!

Anyway hoe today to see my bear. I’m so excited and I’m thrilled we are going to be having a heat wave. Tra la la!

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You can conquer canSer

by Claire4. July 2013 14:45

Yesterday I took mum to have a pair of eyebrows tattooed on! Sounds extreme but is a real boost for the self esteem for those who have no eyebrow hairs.

After that we decided to be ladies what lunch and then had a lovely walk along the beach. The weather has stayed dry but not sunny. Can't complain. I am missing Pete terribly but it's nice to be here. 

I have had plenty of time thread and finally finished my book, You can conquer cancer. I really feel my ten point plan is so similar to his program. He focusses a lot on meditation and recommends that idiot two to three times daily for up to an hour at a time!  I'm not sure  I can manage that but I do feel working harder at it as it is very healing.

He mentions in his book that he feels close loved ones should also adopt a few elements such as meditation, exercise and diet.  It helps them become more aware, go through the process of healing and be more grateful too. I like this. I think I'm going to try and get Pete to be more involved and make positive changes. He needs peace too. I think doing a guided meditation would help someone just starting out. Deepak Chopra is a good starting point. I am going to try out some of Ian Gawlers mediation CDs too.

Ian Gawler writes summary points of what to do enhance treatments and surgery:

Mental preparation:

After choosing your plan of treatment commit and prepare mentally. This will help with side effects, maximise the benefits and make the whole experience meaningful. Aim to create a healing environment physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Step2- immediate practicalities:

Eat well-Choose a healing diet. Keep fluids up include juices and smoothies.             

Exercise regularly at least 20-30 minutes per day. Minimum of 4 times per week.

Meditate daily.

Use imagery- white light or visualisations especially when receiving treatment

Supplements

Support your bowel using probiotics.

Check your vitamin d levels regularly.

Emotional preparation:

Be authentic

Communicate

Practise gratitude

Spiritual preparation:

Generate acceptance

Make time for big questions. Contemplate the meaning of life and what life is all about.

I think it all sounds like sound advice and a really great place to start by covering so many elements.

I have now started reading The Power of now by Eckhart Tolle. It's a bit heavy duty but I hope to get a feel for it soon.

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Surely it's not been a year already!?

by Claire3. July 2013 15:23

Today is a monumental day for me and my Bear. It's a year today we got the tragic news that I had incurable canSer. A year...Already! Oh my..    

For me it feels like only yesterday but also a lifetime ago. I can vividly remember being at hospital then calling Pete. I remember the panic, the sadness and the look in Pete's eyes when he came in from work beside himself. It's weird I'm not holding onto that day and those memories so that I can relive them or be a victim. I want to let it all go so that I can move on. I don't blame anyone, most of all I don't blame myself. It is a distant memory and a time and date that year on year forever more I will look back and think that was the day my life changed forever. Strange then you'd think it would have been when I was told I had canSer first time round three years ago, but no. That day I didn't go home and think my life will never be the same again- for the better

This day last year was the day I came alive and woke up from my slumber of a life. Took the bull by the horns, picked myself up and dusted myself off. But if it sounds like I'm gung ho and strong I'm not. Without Pete, my Bear, my One then I am certain I wouldn't be sat here now blogging.

 He is my inspiriation, my drive, my reason for living. He gives me strength every day. He brightens my world and gives me hope. And what would life be without hope?

Then there's everyone reading this including my mum, friends, family, friends of friends and complete strangers who have given me the passion to keep going. It's amazing how small simple comments, emails and entries on the visitors page make such a difference. Just knowing people want to know what's going on in my life, feelings, in my head and heart, inspires me daily. I want to thank everyone because without them, you I wouldn't be as healthy (as I can be) and happy.

I live a life without regret, blame, sadness and fill it with a future, hope, happiness and gratitude.

 My health is better now than a year ago. The canSer is apparently still there but when it got worse last year I have batted it back and I believe that I am in a stronger position than that fateful day.

There have been many dark hours and days and who knows whats yet to come? But that's how exciting life is!

Ive had a year of opening my eyes, heart and soul. And so has Pete. I've learned about the need for a less acidic life physically and emotionally. I practise yoga, exercise regularly, take supplements, medicinal mushrooms, travel to Germany for immunotherapy and use heat and air daily. I have rekindled my love of drawing and getting back to work. I have had huge success selling wish bracelets for charity and been a lingerie model for the day. The most memorable thing is the kindness I have experienced and love from absolutely everyone. I hope I've helped teach people with my words and that I can offer some help to anyone who wants to improve their life and comfort to those in a similar situation.

So the last thing to say is Thank you!

 

 I'm still away at Mum's house and hope my Bear can wait just a little while longer for a big old' squeeze on my return.. Not long now.  Mmwwaaahhhhhhh! Xxx

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