Sunday was my last day with the Bear on my own. We did our usual bits and bobs then as the weather was atrocious we tucked up to watch England beat Ireland for the first time in ten years at the Irish stadium… whoop! I had a happy boy here.
I spent my time pretending to watch.. I do enjoy it but I get so anxious! So I read my book, Honestly Healthy by Natasha Corrett and Vicki Edgson. It was recommended to me by a friend, what a great book. It is essentially a recipe book but it is based on the alkaline diet. The first chapter explains foods and how to eat alkaline but also how to prepare for a cleanse too. I really like it and the recipes are all so tasty looking and great for me as I long for things such as pancakes. They have great alternatives including how to make nut milks and desserts. The pancake recipe will be used tomorrow as its pancake day! Yay! I will never grow up.
I received the magazine I subscribe to yesterday and it has a make over… I was very pleased to see little old me on one of the first pages.. See the picture at the bottom. They asked, what would your life mantra be?’ I replied by email quite a bit of speel but of course they have condensed it… They asked me to send a picture of me being zesty.. So i did! However I felt a little silly to see the pictures that everyone has featured… oh well they shouldn’t take life too seriously. I certainly try not to. The monkeys liked me as you can see!
I have been doing quite a lot of visualising as usual not for very long. It’s like doing exercise and is so hard to concentrate. But as usual my visuals have been changing. My latest ones is affected by the weather we are having so at the moment it has been snowing so the canSer has been freezing then I either melt it break it like ice. I imagine also the chemo drugs taking away the damaged and canSerous cells and think of many white blood cells and dendritic cells swamping the area making it new. I climb the ladder into my brain which is like a control room and switch off the blood supply to the tumours and then switch on more dendritic cells. I then go down to lymph nodes and watch tem function properly clearing away the fluid from around my heart.and if needs be a i get a towel and help dry my heart off too. I like the idea if my insides being more like control rooms.. I don’t feel that I am being cruel by killing the canSer. I feel that they are confused and damaged and need to leave to become healthy cells.
This came in useful last night as I awoke remembering that today I had a CT scan. The long awaited scan (or not so long). To be honest I am not sure how I feel about it. In myself I think this is it’s going to be gone and then I realise things are never that simple. Well no point sweating over it I have a week to wait for the results and I so want to have good news. Not just for me but for everyone else! I wonder often if I am just silly thinking that this will go away. It doesn’t for so many other people. Why should it for me? I have been told it is incurable. Why do I think it can be cured? Is it just hope? That is the only thing to keep me going. If there isn’t hope then what’s the point?
Any way the scan was so quick- in and out in less than 5 minutes. So that’s that till next week.
Before I went I called Professor Andrew Tutt who is directing a trial and is a well known specialist in breast cancer including triple negative. The trial he is heading up focuses on triple negative and the immune system. Apparently it has now become evident that the immune system plays a dual role in cancer. While on one side the immune system can fight the tumour by destroying its cancer cells, some immune cells can support the tumour by establishing an environment that facilitates growth. This information scares me! What?! Surely not…
The project aims to help identify TNBC patients who are more likely to either relapse or remit by looking at their immune cells and genes present on tumour cells. They would like to understand how these breast cancers gain the ability to evade the immune system and which molecules in the tumour environment have to be present to destroy these tumours. They think that this seems particularly important in defining the prognosis in Triple Negative Breast Cancers.
If they can discover which elements of a “successful” immune response (e.g. destroying the tumour) is missing or is not working properly in those patients with a bad prognosis, then they may be able to develop a treatment to help them. A similar approach has already been very successfully applied in treating skin cancer, whereby a receptor (“antenna”) called CTLA-4 is manipulated with a targeted drug called ipilumimab (anti-CTLA-4) to remove its inhibitory effect on the immune system. In this study, they will focus on an immunity receptor or “antenna” called NKG2D which has been shown to be important in other cancers.
Currently there is no treatment which specifically targets Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Consequently nearly all patients are treated with chemotherapy and many have an unacceptably poor expectation of survival. This research project could bring us closer to developing a specialised treatment which will save lives.
The more we learn about this type of cancer, the more accurately they can predict how it will respond to treatment. This has several implications for improving patient care:
· It can inform doctors about which patients need drug treatment to get better and who may only require surgery and radiotherapy. This will help to determine which patients need chemotherapy, rather than simply treating every patient in the same way.
· It is also of psychological importance to patients and their families to have a reliable prognosis as early as possible in their treatment.
· It may also affect the intensity of follow up appointments later in their care, making sure that we target those who need extra treatment. This will facilitate more efficient, cost effective treatments which is especially important for women receiving treatment in developing countries.
· Understanding more about how the immune system affects tumour development will help us to develop bespoke treatments for TNBC and potentially other forms of cancer.
I know a bit scary eh? I am of course worried that the immune system is now making it a hospital place for canSer to grow?! But if I think back to before my immunity was shot to bits and still the canSer grew. Surely now that my immunity is better and has changed that it will in fact combat the disease? Oh please.. Surely the fact I was ill a lot and now I don’t fall sick at all must show that something is changing for better inside me?
Well this is the reason for booking to see Andrew Tutt. I want his opinion and what he suggests I do next if needed- maybe my immunity can be tested? So many questions.. Anyway this isn’t until the beginning of March.
A thought just popped into my mind. Made me chuckle. This morning I meditated and it was a particularly good session. I see myself in blackness floating like in the universe and sometimes I go inside and feel the source of all energy as a calming environment. I opened my eyes to see a big fluffy squirrel right outside my back door looking at me! Sometimes I think I must be Cinderella, no, Snow White! Ha ha ha! Cute little squidger.. Off he ran! I felt blessed and he made me smile.
I have today made the first 30 bracelets that I am making to sell for charity. It is going to take a while to get all 500 odd done but I aim to have them done by the end of this month in time for Triple Negative Breast Cancer Day.