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.


  1. Your plan sounds like a good one! Your family and friends are amazing and so are you. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Glad to hear that the sauna is complete! Strangely, my Uncle finished his sauna this week, too, in Hawaii. We had a great visit with him as the chemo continues to be effective (despite PSA count on the rise). He's also surrounded by the comfort of angels and supporters. Wishing you the best in the transition to Naltrexone.

  3. My scrappy neice ... you have such logical plans. It all sounds so reasonable and do-able. You are giving all of us an image of a triumphant Julie. The more that image is projected, the more it is a reality. You don't write like someone on narcotics. Your mind is so strong and intelligent. Walk on. I send all the energy I have to shrink up and take the pain away as soon as possible. Walk on, Julie

  4. I talked to a bunch of folks about non-opiate stuff at work this week and i did some research on naltrexone. We can chit about my findings over some alkaline snacks. You're awesome.


    taken from NPR's The God Chemical: Brain Chemistry and Mysticism