Monthly Archives

January 2012

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Pray For RJ

Thanks for the help putting things into perspective. After talking to my think tank, we have decided to revamp my dosing schedule. Now we’re looking at 3 days of high doses, twice a day. Then I’ll have four days off. On the days off, the first day will be high doses of curcumin & piperine, then twenty minutes later I’ll do a power packed smoothie with upland cress, and daikon radish. About three hours later I’ll do another smoothie – same kind. A few hours after that I’ll take a bunch of shark liver oil. Then on the next three days I’ll start off with the upland cress each morning, and eat the regular healthy diet per usual. It’s going to be much easier to know that Monday – Wednesday is high doses, Thursday is curcumin-ITCs-shark liver oil, Friday – Sunday is ITC shake in the AM and regular healthy food for the rest of the day. I’m a creature of habit, and this schedule makes me happy. It feels manageable. I shouldn’t admit this, but even when I go to the hospital for MRIs, I always go back to the same bathroom stalls. Weird huh. Enough about me. I just hopped on Facebook, and I saw something that broke my heart. Please take a look. This little boy is fighting a neuroblastoma. Horrible, horrible stuff. This poor sweet little child is so strong to go through these horrible procedures. This just breaks my heart: Photo taken on 1/22/12           Photo taken on 1/27/12 Here is a link to the website where you can donate if you have the means: DONATE FOR RJ To help share the story on Facebook, here the link: RJ “Tough Guy” Kaufman – Kickin’ Cancer’s Butt 1 Day At A Time For…

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Am I A Binger?

Aaaaaaaarrrgh. I’m a bad, bad girl. I think it has to do with my blood sugar levels. I’m going to blame it on that. This is my routine, I’m sure you’ve already heard it before, but here it goes: 4 days on high doses, twice a day. I wake up in the morning and fiddle around until I take my pills at about 8:30 – 9:00 am, then I wait three to four hours before I can eat. So….I can eat at around noon or 1:00 pm. Then, I stop eating at 4:00 pm and take the second dosing at 8:30 – 9:00 pm. That only leaves about three to four hours of time to eat. I get full so quickly that I can’t even eat that much. I do that for four days then I have six days off. During the high doses I need to avoid my healthy smoothies and high antioxidant foods (they clean out free radicals which I need to help my herbs attach to the cancer cells). By day three I’m starving and craving everything from my delicious green drinks to sourdough, burritos, ice cream, wine, and artisan cheese. Ugh…my body just talks and talks to me telling me all the delicious foods that it needs, IT NEEDS, it says. On day 5, the first day I can eat normal foods, I crave eggs on toast, or a turkey sandwich (totally gross), or a burger (yuck). I crave crazy foods that I never normally eat…well, except for the eggs on toast – that’s a special treat about once a month. On Friday Danny and I ate Mexican, on Saturday I ate a lamb burger, yesterday I ate a burrito. What is wrong with me?!?! I can’t seem to stop myself. Eek – am I binger?!?…

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Burnell Family Visit

Look who stopped by! You might remember Ty from my post a few weeks ago, and from a few posts at the beginning of this whole blog. His mother (I always called her Burnelli) is a close friend from Wenatchee. We commuted together from Wenatchee to Ellensburg for a year completing our teaching certificates. She’s now teaching, and I of course am not. Look at her beautiful children! So adorable. Ty had a follow up appointment from his surgery. He is such a curious, hilarious, sweetheart, and his little sister, the animal lover, has a heart of gold and the most beautiful storybook curls.    If there’s anything that can put a smile on my face, it’s my friends and their children. Children are so full of love, full of energy, and laughter. They’re like adults on hyper drive and it’s so much fun! I need a nap now, I’m not going to lie (I’m laughing out loud as I write this). Oh what fun! Sweet little angels just like their awesome parents. It’s amazing how life connects you to people. I feel so lucky to have so many amazing people in my life! What would we do without the connection to others. That is a scary and sad thought. That’s what I think about sometimes in regard to other cancer fighters, or people in general. It’s so important to have love and joy around you. I’m lucky because I’ve always been a talker. I’m really social and with that trait I’ve been able to meet all kinds of people, and make all sorts of amazing friends. I feel incredibly blessed, so fortunate to have such lovely and loving people that constantly lift me up. There are people that are more reserved though, more isolated and when faced with a…

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Her Charm

Another beautiful walk along Green Lake… Documenting my love affair with moss Sleeping Lovers Last night, I was a bad girl. I can’t be good all the time. It’s in my DNA, just ask my grandma. Trust me, she’ll know what I’m talking about. She’s a little naughtier than me, and boy is it her charm. There is no one like her! Sometimes I need to turn on some soothing music, uncork a bottle of pino, pour a glass, take a deep breath, close my eyes and tell myself that everything will be okay. Last night I listened to Lana Del Ray. If you’ve never heard her sing, she’s mesmerizing. I keep chugging along, but I have little blurps of exhaustion. I’m in a blurp. I think it’s related to the fact that I can’t run. One more day. Ugh. One more day, except I stretched in my sleep, which quickly woke me up in a rip of pain. A little tear of the stitches which were healing so well. Damn. Tomorrow I’ll gauge whether or not I should run. I don’t want to get the incision infected. That would be disgusting! If I can’t run, I start to fall apart. I get lethargic, my appetite grows erratic, my mood dives, and I start to feel sad for no reason. It’s embarrassing. Today I started my high doses again. I’m doing a 4-6, four days of high doses twice a day and then six days off. On the dosing days, I can only eat between 11:00 am-ish to 4:00 pm-ish. No smoothies, the antioxidants clean out the free radicals that need to carry the artemisinin into the cancer cells. My fare during dosing days is quite simple. That’s why I need to run, I need to feel energized. Green smoothies…

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Smart Bomb

Good Morning! I just finished making my breakfast drink. Guess what came in the post yesterday……three guesses…..just kidding! It’s my Vitamix!! I made a smoothie yesterday with two bushels of upland cress, and a banana. It was pretty freaking spicy, but upland cress, even in dietary amounts helps stop angiogenesis to tumors. Angiogenesis is the generation of new blood vessels, and blood is what carries the food to the tumors. No blood – no food – no tumor. It’s the PEITC in upland cress that does the magic. If you can eat foods high in PEITC, your body will love you! Just a little bit ago, I made a new smoothie – it’s so much fun playing with this new toy. The Vitamix came with two cook books (Ani’s Raw Food Essentials, and Live Fresh) – both vegan & raw. The recipes look amazing, and I’m so excited to walk over to PCC to pick up ingredients for my first recipe! This morning, though, I figured I’d just make due with what’s in my fridge and cabinets. So here’s what I did: One bananaThree large leaves of purple kale (deveined)Half the blender full of baby spinachTwo to three cups of water (depending on the thickness you desire) 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds, soaked overnight An overflowing tablespoon of Barlean’s Greens My favorite smoothie glass is Dan’s Guinness cup 🙂The blending of this machine is unreal.My old blender would leave chunks of banana, it was so dull.Not this guy, the drink was so smooth – DELICIOUS.  For my taste, this smoothie was a bit too sweet. Barlean’s Greens is very sweet, and earthy. I should have omitted the spinach and just filled the blender with kale, that would have made it more bitter and balanced it out, I think. Still good…

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Warning: Graphic

Well. I did it. I went in for the “little” procedure to remove the rest of my naughty mole that wanted to turn into cancer. I kept my chin up and tried my best to joke with the DR & the assistant, telling them how bummed I am that they’re working on my smaller breast. They laughed with me, and kept the mood light. I made it through the numbing (which they warned me would cause my heart rate to increase), it took three shots of numbing stuff, and soon, we were on our way. As soon as they started cutting, I could feel tugging, and snipping. All of a sudden, as I was trying my best to power through, my hands got really sweaty, and a wave of nausea came over me and I knew I was having an aura. I tried to keep calm, knowing that freaking out makes the seizures come on faster, exactly what you’re trying to avoid in that moment. My parents were out in the waiting room with my purse where I keep my pre-seizure pills which efficiently stop the auras from turning into a full blown grand mal. I quickly said, “Guys, can you stop. I’m having an aura, I need water now – cold water – and I have a pre-seizure pill in my purse in the waiting room. I need it. Please go get it. RUN.” It was so scary. The assistant ran to the waiting room and grabbed my purse from my mom. In the meantime, the DR soothed me, helping me drink the cool water. When the assistant arrived back in the room, he took out two pills and I placed them under my tongue, waiting for them to dissolve. In the meantime, I practiced deep breathing, and the…

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I Always Bounce Back

I woke up smiling! YESSSSSSSSS. I’m back!!! Happy Jess is here again. I think it’s because I had a nice cry last night. As we were going to sleep, Danny wrapped me in his arms. I felt engulfed in warmth and love. It’s so important to feel safe, and loved. Both Danny and I are surprised by how the doctors effected me. I knew they would want to put me back on seizure medicine, and that they would probably try and strong-arm me into radiation, but what I didn’t anticipate was their hostility. I just don’t think there’s a need to treat people that way. Almost everything in the world can be discussed in a nice way. That’s what I think anyway. Not that I don’t get sassy sometimes, but all in all I try to be kind, and think about the other person’s position. Egh. Oh well. It’s all good – I woke up smiling, and that’s what I needed! You can fake a good day, often when you do fake it you turn out being happy anyway, but when you wake up with a smile on your face that is the best! I’m so glad that I’m feeling happy deep in my soul because today is going to be a bit of a trial. Today is the day that the doctors are going to remove that moderate/severe precancerous mole that they weren’t able to completely remove. Here we go, they’re going to take a big old chunk of tissue, complete with stitches. I was telling Danny last night that I feel really bad being such a baby, but I’m so done with pain. I’m sick of it, and it’s been so long since the surgeries. All I really have to deal with is the contrast dye IV, and…

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Can’t They Feign Interest?

This photo is of the only thing that really put a smile on my face today. I’m down. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this sad. Truth be told, in my doctor appointments yesterday, I didn’t even whisper a word of my “alternative” protocol. I didn’t argue, or give off any sort of attitude. I listened to what they had to say, and asked a few questions. They did not care that I haven’t had a seizure in over 5.5 months, they want me on medication. They did not care that my brain tumor had scanned as “stable.” They did not smile, they did not encourage. I’m now sure that it must say, “stubborn cuss” in my file because I have refused seizure medicine, and I have refused radiation. In my main meeting I told the oncologist that I’m not necessarily against seizure medicine, or radiation, I just don’t feel like it’s necessary at this time. He was not amused, and strongly disagreed with my opinion. The doctors do not believe in little successes in my situation. They didn’t care that I had been seizure free for almost half a year, or that my tumor has not grown in the past three months. How is that? How can they not care? Or even feign interest? How can they look at me, and handle me in such a way? They see me as a terminally patient that is going to die. How can they not throw me a bone and smile at the little victories?! They look at me and they see a dying girl, when no one else in the world sees me that way. They’re looking at statistics, not at me, and that makes me frustrated. They need to look at ME, at my specific situation. I…

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Crushing Dreams

The most frustrating thing about my doctors, is that they are truly waiting for me to die. They don’t believe that there’s anything that can be done to extend my life (and yet they stiiiiill want to radiate). When we discussed the lack of change in tumor size from October 25th, and January 13th, the doctors said it didn’t matter. They care about the big picture. I understand that they’re trained to compile the chronological MRI scans to review and observe changes, but when I held the tumor at bay for three months I didn’t get a “Woop woop!” Nor did I get a, “Huh. Interesting!” Nothing. They said it didn’t matter. Really? I would have appreciated a small smile, or a, “That’s great! Not what we typically see here, and you can’t extrapolate that to anything one way or another, but heck it’s better than the opposite.” It’s all always so negative. They don’t believe in me, they don’t believe in us collectively as brain cancer fighters. I’ve shopped for oncologists, trying to find a better fit, but to no avail. The truth is that according to modern medicine, I’m supposed to continuously get worse as the tumor grows. I’m supposed to progressively lose my speech, my cognitive skills, my independence, my motor skills, my dexterity, my body will start falling apart, echk…everything. I’m supposed to be a good girl, a model patient, and to just give in to whatever my doctors recommend, and succumb to this cancer, and I can see how people do. When you’re surrounded by professionals who handle your care, and they don’t believe in you, it’s hard to believe in yourself. It is true, the brain tumor did not grow in the time period from October 25 to January 13, the doctors verified that fact…

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Herman’s Lessons

From the second it rolled off my tongue yesterday, on the video blog, I regretted it. But I was so nervous, and unsure how to edit my video, I just decided to go with it. There’s a part in there when I said, “So far, all that I’ve learned, is that you can never give up, you know, and you have to take everything…lightly, and have fun.” That’s not all I’ve learned, though. I’ve learned much, much more than that. I’ve learned that I have a choice, in each moment, in each situation, to interpret things positively or negatively. I’ve learned that each person you encounter, in any moment, is going through their own challenges. I’ve learned that a smile from a stranger can spark happiness in your soul, and it’s important to give that gift back. From that, I’ve learned that connecting with others can help heal you. I’ve learned that you have to be your own advocate, and you need to listen to your inner voice. I’ve learned about diet and nutrition, and exercise, and meditation. I’ve learned forgiveness, empathy, gratefulness, kindness, generosity, and true, fulfilling happiness. I thank Herman for continuously teaching me more about myself and how to become a better version of me. You can be whomever you want, but it starts from the inside out. You have a choice to look at things in a positive light. You have the ability to change your negative thoughts. It takes work, but you can do it! Before long you start to notice all of the fun, happy things in your life. Instead of focusing on the bad, scary, unknown things you pick up on things that make you smile. I love that about being an intelligent being. We are so easily moldable. So there you go….

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