Monday, May 11, 2009

Waiting. Living.

It'll take a couple of weeks for the inflammation from the radiAtion to go down. During this time, I am drinking juice and trying to eat food and waiting for the pain to go away.
I have pain in my lower left rib cage and in the soft tissue area just under the rib. If the pain goes away, I can go ahead with my next plan of treatment. This entails #1 going off the narcotic pain medicine I take daily (because it would interfere negatively with #2), #2 starting an immune boosting drug called Naltrexone which in a low dose has been shown to stop progression of tumors in cervical cancer. There is a woman who writes about it who has metastatic cervical cancer like me and has been living for 4 years using Naltrexone and keeping her body alkaline through diet.

If the pain does not go away: I will try a non narcotic pain med first. If this does not control the pain, and I therefore wouldn't be able to take the Naltrexone; I will enroll in a clinical trial.

In the meantime, I am waiting. And living. Trying to keep my body more alkaline than acidic which is hard because I have been strongly craving pancakes every morning and I don't think they fall into the alkaline list even though the batter has flax seeds in it.

A group of my friends bought me a new dryer. Does this mean I don't have to go back down into our creepy basement and put the clothes on damp dry after drying each load anymore? It is exactly what it means.
Another group of friends planted vegetables in my garden for me. Dug up the earth and brushed away leaves and mushrooms and rotten quince and blackberries and planted lettuce and tomatoes and other vegetables that I could not possibly plant with all this radiAtion in my body.
This is the community I live in.
People like angels keep sending me gift cards to the grocery and the wellness center. They clean my house. They send me encouraging emails. They leave flowers on my doorstep like tricky little pixies.
These are my family and friends.
My daughter made me a card for mother's day that has 18 hearts drawn on it and inside each heart, she wrote I love you.
This is my daughter.
This community, this family and group of friends, this tiny daughter: they give me the strength to wait patiently. . . to keep walking. . . to live.

p.s. The sauna is finished! This is my lovely husband, Scott, and Thandi, Frank and Scott Hampton. This gives me strength to go in my backyard and pretend I am in Hawaii.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Saturday, May 2, 2009

RadiAtion Again

This weekend I was in the hospital for a couple of days dealing with some abdominal issues no one in their right mind would want to hear about. You can ask me about it, but I will think you are not in your right mind.
I did get some good news in that we had thought there might be a new tumor in my abdomen, but the CT scan showed no new cancer. So the issues were resolved pretty quickly and basically I watched TV, threw up a whole bunch, and slept for two days.
I'm getting radiAtion again. There are two good things about this: 1) It should blast away some of my new tum0r on the bottom of my left lung. 2) I get to see my friend Carlie the radiAtion tech who is nice and from MinnesOta and who plays good music on the CD player in the radiAtion room.
There are many bad things about radiAtion, but the worst is that because they are radiAting close to my intestine, I get really nauseated and throw up a lot.
In the hospital, I had to be taken down to radiAtion in a wheelchair so someone could be with me if hurled all over the hallway. I waited a while for the transportation guy. When he showed up, he was pleasant and quiet. He helped me with the foot things and then asked my if I minded holding my chart. He did not say anything on the way down to the Garden Level from the 7th floor except for kind of narrating where we were going even though I already knew -because I go there everyday -and saying "here comes a bump."
I went and got radiAted and held the chart again on the way back up. About halfway up the elevetor, I asked the transportation guy if he had any plans for the weekend. He said he was going to buy a tent. A coleman tent. For 50 dollars. At Big 5. His friend had a coleman tent that he got for 40 dollars, but he was getting his coleman tent for 50 dollars. He was going to his friend's house after he bought the tent so they could set up their tents in his friend's living room. He wanted to see if his cot fit in it. Because he just bought a cot. From REI. Because he liked to go camping, but was getting so that he had to sleep in a cot.
Then we were at my room so I said, "Thanks for the ride." I thought I should say something else, so I said, "Have fun with your tent."
Then I thought about how my friend Kathy had just asked me where to get a cot. "Where can someone get a cot these days?" she had said.
And I thought about how I really didn't want to throw up anymore and how it would be fun to go camping.