Monthly Archives

September 2011

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First Solo Metro Experience

Things I’ve learned living in/about Greenlake:1. There are as many dogs as people2. Dogs don’t mind wearing soiled poop bags on their back as long as they get to go outside3. Dressing up is wearing Lululemon4. One out of two drivers stop for pedestrians (a great ratio for the city)5. People smile when you walk/jog by6. Bus routes are convinent to get into the city, or anywhere else you need to go So far, this neighborhood is perfect for me. I am officially in love. Our house is a complete disaster zone, although better by the hour. We live one block from a bus route and three blocks to another. This afternoon I am going to attack the metro to get to my doctor appointment on Capital Hill. I am nervous and excited to navigate the city alone. We’ll see how it goes! It had been sunny and warm, but the clouds are rolling in. I might be walking in the rain. I guess it’s now or never – maybe it’s best I just jump in and get my feet wet 🙂 It’s going to be raining indefinitely for the next 10 months anyway. I kid, I kid – I’m sure there’ll be a few rainless cloudy days too.

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Little Bad Mole

About a month ago I had an appointment with a dermatologist to check all of my moles. Unfortunately, two moles were removed and one of them came back with precancerous cells. Although it’s not a very big deal, the pathology showed that there is still some precancerous cells in the area around what was previously the mole. I was supposed to have a one hour procedure tomorrow to remove the rest of the dangerous area, but this morning I panicked. You see, the area in question is on my breast. The doctor already removed a big chunk and she wants to go back in. I’m antsy, nervous, apprehensive, and all around sick about the thought of going back in. A woman’s breast is a very private area, and is such a symbol of femininity. The first procedure took three weeks to heal, and now it’s a big ole’ lump of scar tissue. I might not be able to avoid another procedure, but I cancelled the one for tomorrow which was supposed to take place in Wenatchee. Instead, I called Virgina Mason in Seattle which is a leading medical center for dermatology. I have an appointment for Friday to have an initial meeting, at which point I will have a referral for the surgery. It’s odd, I have been more upset about this silly little procedure than my brain tumor surgery. At least I now know that I will be in the hands of the best at Virginia Mason. I’ve learned a lot about medical things in the past year and a half, one of them being, go to the best whenever you can. It’s your body, and anything less than the best is less than you deserve. Follow your gut and don’t feel bad. It’s your body and you are…

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Crab Apple Kitty

Stella is in kitty cat heaven. At the vet’s office, she was gently given a sedative and she walked into my lap. She relaxed, and when it was time, I laid her down onto a blanket. They injected her rear leg so that I could pet her head. I laid my face onto the table, and looked into her eyes. I told her how wonderful she was and what a good girl she was being. I watched the light go out of her eyes, and although I was sobbing, it was a relief to know that she wasn’t in pain any longer. It’s amazing how quickly health can deteriorate. Yesterday was the first time I’ve watched life go out of a body. It was not easy. All I can hope is that when I die, I will have someone petting my head, looking me in the eyes and telling me kind things. It wasn’t just me with Stella yesterday, it was also my mom and dad. We all cried. We all loved her. I couldn’t help them, I didn’t have it in me, but they buried her underneath their crab apple tree. It’s a befitting location since she was also known as a big B to so many. My mom always laughed that I would call her Pretty Pretty Princess. Stella was a tough, sassy, sharp clawed time bomb that was not safe around children or most adults. But to me, she was my tame little kitten.

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Good-Bye Old Girl

Breakfast Soup/Smoothie It looks gross, but I’m telling you it’s delicious. Here’s how you make it. Chop up one nectarine (make sure it’s super ripe – very fragrant) and toss it in a blender. Once it’s blended fill the blender full of spinach (stuff it in there). Add water to the thickness you desire. Add 1-2 tablespoons of flax seed oil. Blend it all together until it’s thick and kind of frothy. Aaaaand, serve. It’s delicious. You can’t even taste the spinach. In fact, it tastes like a nutty nectarine drink. It is wonderful! That is how I started my day. I’m trying to be good to myself because today is the day that my baby princess Stella the cat will be leaving this world. I slept on the floor with her last night in a sleeping bag. She has trouble getting onto the bed these days. I’ve cried and cried, and cried and then cried some more and I know that I still have hours of crying in the future. As I told a friend in an email today, since I don’t have children, this cat has been my baby for the past eight years. She was a stray that needed love, and I was fresh off of a disastrous breakup. My fiance called it off less than two months before the wedding by using the words, “I’m not attracted to you anymore.” If that doesn’t hurt, I don’t know what does. Mark that down as possibly the worst breakup line in history. My parents helped me move from Texas to Wenatchee, Washington and that is where a sassy, headstrong cat came into my life. Ever since we tamed her, she has followed me around like a shadow. She has been a rock in my life, a confidant, a…

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Enjoying Life’s Pulse

We should have the keys to our new place in Greenlake in two weeks. Fun! This move signifies freedom for me. I will be able to walk all over the place running errands. It’s literally thrilling. My heart starts going crazy just thinking I’ll be able to take care of myself, and the daily things for Danny and I. It has been painful to be stuck in our Wenatchee home, isolated from humans (other than my parents and the friends that stop by). I can entertain myself, I like to listen to music or do things around the house, but there’s something about being around people in public, looking at life as it goes by. It’s fun. It’s therapeutic and magnificent. Life has such an amazing pulse, it’s in humans, in pets, in the animals in nature, trees, plants, bugs, even the wind – and when it’s all combined, when you look around, it’s a lifeblood. Breakfast On The Patio I’ve already been packing for a few hours this morning, but it’s time for a breakfast break. I toasted a piece of Dave’s Killer Bread, sprinkled an egg with loads of turmeric, and chopped a clove of garlic for the top, and I’ve got my broccoli tea. I would have added sprouts on top of the toast, but I’m fresh out. It might sound like a crazy meal, but it’s delicious and full of cancer fighting elements. Turmeric is insanely important to fight cancer, it’s right up there with the brassica family. I think the hardest part about dealing with cancers and tumors is the diet. There are so many different voices from specialists and they definitely don’t all agree. Each illness varies, with the exception of sugar. Sugar feeds cancers and tumors. Sugar is incredibly bad for you. The…

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Tapering Off

Today is the first day that I’m not taking an anti-seizure pill (although I have to take one tomorrow). YAY! Let me explain. Originally, I was prescribed 1000mg of Divalproex a day. Last week, I only took 500mg per day and now, I’m down to a pill every other day for the final week. By next Monday I should be done. I’m FREE! Hopefully, not only prescription free, but also seizure free. I want to thank my friend Nancy who is a pharmacist. I was adamant to get off of the medication, and my nurse at the UW, as soon as I told her I was not going to follow her standard of care, never again responded to my emails for a taper down schedule. So, Nancy helped me plan a tapering of the drugs and I really, really appreciate it. I have been incredibly fortunate to have so many people helping me throughout this journey. At each turn, I get great support. I’m still scared to have a seizure, but each time the fear creeps into my mind I take a nice deep breath, and exhale slowly. I will not live in fear. I will not take drugs that wreak havoc on my body and mind. I will not give up. I will not just do what the doctors tell me to do. I will make my own decisions. I will research my options. I will try to keep my care natural. If my health deteriorates, I will reevaluate.

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A final email from Walt (sent to all of Dee Dee’s friends), Dee Dee’s husband, which I received this morning: Hello all, This note is to let you know that Dee Dee passed away in her sleep early this morning. It was a long journey for her and we trust she is now at peace. I know how much your love and support meant to Dee Dee over this last year. Thank you for that.  We plan to have a gathering at the Senior Center next week and will send out a notice once arrangements have been made.  Walt May Dee Dee rest in peace, and Walt know that he’s loved. 

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Prayers For Dee Dee

I received a very sad email this morning. You may remember Dee Dee Pearce from the comments on my blog. Dee Dee has always shared kind words of inspiration, always lifting me up. When I started my struggle, she was dealing with some abnormal breathing issues. The doctors ended up finding a large tumor behind her lungs (which they believed was benign) and as things progressed, it turned out it was lymphoma. (I’m simplifying her journey here – it is long and arduous, although you wouldn’t know it by her attitude.) I’m very, very sad to share that her condition has greatly diminished. For islanders, you may also remember her as Diane Pearce. She gave many children (including myself) piano lessons. Here is the email, please read it below and send your love, your positive thoughts and prayers her direction. Hello all – It has been quite a while since Dee Dee’s last update, so I will fill in with a current status report. A little over three weeks ago, Dee Dee’s health started into a steep decline. Her strength has eroded daily, her appetite has diminished, and now she sleeps most of the time. A hospital bed was brought in for two weeks ago which has made her far more comfortable. She is frustrated because she has lost her ability to speak, for the most part. A few of Dee Dee’s closest friends and I are providing 24/7 care. Dee Dee enjoyed several home concerts provided by our musical friends. These were a real joy for her. Though she is too tired now to receive visitors, I know she cherishes the memories of those visits as well as the many notes, calls, and cards from you. Thank you very much for your support during this time.  Walt It breaks…

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Good-Bye Anticonvulsant.

Sorry, I’ve been off my computer for a few days. My mind is mud. I can’t think. I have had nothing to write because my brain is a slug. I have feelings and thoughts, somewhere in my gray hazy matter, but I can’t connect to them. I can’t even do more than basic sentences without needing a break. Doctors don’t even know what exactly causes seizures. They think it’s an overactive brain (I’m simplifying here), therefore they prescribed me a drug that blocks or slows specific neurotransmitters. Now, I’m running on a portion of the firing that I usually have. My brain is half asleep. Think lobotomy. Yesterday, it got so bad that I emailed my nurse and told her I want off the Dekopate. I asked for a schedule to decrease the medicine. It’s too much. Also, over the weekend, I noticed a small rash on my right shoulder. In the Patient Advisory Leaflet (pharmacy info) under the Side Effects portion, it says, “Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash…” It continues to mention that the rash is a sign of severe liver problems. That sounds fun. All in all, I’m exhausted, mentally slow, my vision is blurry, my moods are horrible, my heart palpitates and I’m just a fraction of myself. I can’t even write. I can’t think. So, today I did not take my morning anti-seizure pill. I emailed my nurse and reminded her that I want a schedule to decrease the dosage, and I mentioned the rash.  I refuse to live like this. I might not be able to control some of the biggest things in my life; I can’t drive to get to the grocery store or even a doctor’s appointment. I also can’t change the fact that I have the tumor nugget growing…

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Sprouts Days 2 & 3

Day 2 Day 3 The babies are growing! Each morning and evening I fill the jar 2/3 full of water and swish it around. I drain it and leave the jar propped so that any excess water will drip out. I keep the jar in a dark area, nice and cool. The only problem, so far, is that I want to eat them now. I can’t wait to be able to eat them every single day!

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