A lucky streak at hospital…

This week I have the pleasure of my mum staying with me. It’s always nice having your mum about. We don’t have anything planned really as I need to get back to work and start earning some money and tending to many ladies brows before they get out of hand! But even so we have been making the most of our time together. Well actually I have been roping her into trawling through cook books with me and making a list of recipes we are going to try out. I love nutrition and I love food but have never found cooking and combining flavours as something that comes naturally to me. So I have made an executive decision that there is only one way to change that and that’s to take the time and learn. I love eating veggies and I want to eat fresh natural foods so I have been referring to books such as Honestly Healthy, Crazy Sexy Kitchen and Guilt free Gourmet to get my kicks. Today we bought our ingredients and extra special tools… I plan on making myself a little recipe book with my own tweaks and recipes eventually, things that will really help everyone not just us canSer babes!

I went to hospital today also and had a blood test in preparation for my next round of chemo that starts tomorrow. I was feeling very luck y when on arriving at the pharmacy my prescription was ready for me. This normally takes over an hour to prepare as they never have the confirmation from my oncologist. Then when I walked into the blood test area there wasn’t a single person waiting. I was asked by the phlebotomist how long I had waited… I said I didn’t! But then I thought my luck had changed when I saw on the screen that there was a 90 minute wait to see my oncologist. Boo… I couldn’t believe I had so much planned today and this was going to seriously hold me up. Knowing the nurses I decided to ask if it was necessary for me to see the doc as I had my drugs, had my blood test and I felt fine. Luckily my oncologist called me to see him in the corridor in between patients and we had a corridor consultation. He gave me more paperwork, asked how I was doing and how the website and communications were going and said that he felt having looked at my recent scan that it was stable. That the miniscule increase in one the tumours in one lung were too difficult to see if they were actually a real increase or not. However despite this he said he wants me to have a ct scan sooner than normal. He said that there are plenty of other things we can do if there has been an increase or spread. I don’t didn’t want to hear this to be honest. I don’t want it sooner. Anyway I am not sure when sooner it can be done. I go away to Germany in two weeks and coming back from there I am advised not to have a scan for at least two weeks. So I am guessing it will end up being in November when I actually want it to be. I will have to organise that with Prof when I get the letter from the hospital.

So I was lucky after all. I skipped having to wait hours for my appointment and we went about our afternoon with a skip in my step! I had a visit to my favourite health food store, Bean bag in Witney. I bought a few new items that I have been reading about and just came across by accident. I bought Maca powder and Coconut Manna.

Maca powder is a Peruvian root vegetable containing a variety of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes and every essential amino acid. Maca powder is perfect in smoothies, juices and protein drinks.Maca powder can be stirred into your daily smoothie, juice or protein drink. It is also particularly delicious when combined with raw cacao products.

Coconut Manna is a delicious whole food, made of pure, dried coconut flesh. This tropical “melt in your mouth” treat contains 16% fibre and 7% protein and nourishing fats. Warm it up to spread the goodness. I think I am going to use is purely from the jar as well as spreading and in smoothies for a creamy texture.

I have cupboards full of ingredients I have barely used and don’t know what to do with. I have a mission of experimenting in the next few months.Watch this space….

I simply cannot believe that I will be starting round 14 of chemo tomorrow! …. Blimey this year has flown but also feels like so much has happened. And so much to come……

Breaking news! Pete Just sent me some really this exciting news. There is going to be vaccine being trialled to prevent the reoccurence of breast canSer including triple negative breast canSer. It is in the US but wow.. things are happening.. For more info click on the link;

http://www.wkyc.com/news/article/314672/3/Cleveland-Clinc-team-develops-breast-cancer-vaccine%E2%80%8F

What’s going on in my head?

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’!

All packed and ready for the off… after yet another hospital visit.

Yet another appointment at the hospital today to see Professor Middleton. I wasn’t sure if it was worth going since I’d already spoken to a doctor about possible clinical trials previously. Pete really likes Prof Middleton so was keen to go and see if he had anything to offer…and he did- mainly advice and a different perspective.

He asked what treatment I am having in Germany and I explained that Prof Harris has said in 6 weeks I should have another CT scan and that if the disease has grown by 25% or more then I should stop that treatment and  start chemotherapy again. He is a very calm chap with good energy. Down to earth and a believer in new things (or else he wouldn’t suggest trials!)

He suggested asking Dr Nesselhut when he would like me to have a CT scan. personally Prof Middleton thinks I should wait til the course of immunotherapy finishes UNLESS I start to get symptoms and ill health.

Her said that the CT scan only shows small blobs at the moment. The thing with the immunotherapy/ dendritic cell therapy is that tumours can actually look larger as it could be full of T-cells (the cells that try to stop the cancer) making it appear bigger. A scan can’t determine that.

We questioned the necrotic node. He said it’s neither good nor bad. The node has had it’s blood supply cut off which could mean that it is out growing the area however, if they had been treating me with chemo, for example, they’d probably give themselves a pat on the back for having achieved that result!

The comment that stood out for me is this, ‘ If I didn’t believe that expermiental new trials worked I wouldn’t do them.’ That was great to hear that actually new, apparently non scientifically clinically proven treatments, are accepted treatments that may work- that there is no reason for them not to…

So off to Germany tomorrow. I will discuss with Dr Nesselhut my forward plan and also the new antigen from Australia known as nf-P2X7 (very catchy title). I will explain more about it when I know more. But essentially it is to do with cells having death receptors which cancer cells have abnormal ones. The new antigen antibodies attach themselves to these abnormal receptors and this combination then appears to result in death of the cancer cells – perhaps by re-initiation of normal apoptosis, perhaps by another mechanism such as attracting lymphocytes and macrophages which are involved in killing cells.

Prof Middleton also mentioned a new trial starting in December with something that involves the SRC gene (sounds like sarc). Maybe thats another option if required.

All in all a good meeting with a genuine friendly doctor. He said we could go and see him any time… Cooolll . 🙂

Just want to add one of the many things I have been thankful for today. We have the best neighbours ever. They are so friendly, kind and generous. I have never lived somewhere before where I have been able to chat over the garden wall and feel safe in the knowledge that when we are not around they are watching over our home and our kitty. OO plus I am very grateful for the courgettes that they grow! Mmmm organic and home grown.

Right where’s my husband? We need to get on the road soon.

X

Core of pineapples are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

Four years ago today we got married. Started my day with exercise, a nutrient rich smoothie, supplements then off to London to spend some romantic time revisiting where we got married and then off to see Professor Angus Dalgliesh. We were armed with our research and scans that we had obtained from the hospital to see what his thoughts were on our ’plan’ going forward. Unfortunately the hospital, despite me asking for all images and scans, hadn’t included the most important ones – Grrr. Anyway the Prof said we didn’t need any diet and nutritional advice as we are doing great except one more special supplement we really have to get – Bromelain. Bromelain derives from the core of pineapples and is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! He has had some patients in the same position as me literally curing their own cancer. Well I am in! Off to buy some tomorrow. Back home for some homemade soup  including seaweed a la Bear then snuggled up to watch Lewis (It has been a Lewis extravaganza, one on every night this week!) with my gorgeous husband. Text lots of friends too as they are all keen to know how things went- Team Grant! Night. X