Monthly Archives

May 2012

Uncategorized

Love, True Love

My girlfriend Meghan just emailed this photo to both Danny and I. How fun! I had never seen it before. I can’t believe how short my hair was, and how far I’ve come. I’m so fortunate to have such a wonderful man who loves me so deeply. I’m incredibly grateful to have such wonderful friends, and an amazing family. I am not defeated. Last Thursday was a turning point for me. I had breakfast with Jude, and Seanene, and after I jogged home, I called So Cal Patti. I had been living on a 25% belief that I could beat my cancer, but then, throughout the day, something shifted. When he came home from work, I told Danny I was at a solid 75% which is great news because I had been tearful at the drop of a hat before Thursday. And, I’m incredibly happy to report that after this past weekend, I realized I’m back at 100% again – just like the old days. I can’t explain it, it’s just a gut feeling. That’s not to say that I’m not fearful for my journey, but I’m more excited about the future success of my treatments. Somehow I realized, truly absorbed the notion, that I am incredibly healthy. That no one would ever expect me to be ill. That I’m shockingly healthy, and capable, and fortunate. I have been surrounded by a loving and selfless man who continuously makes me laugh uncontrollably, and I have mounds of friends who endlessly hug me, and give me their love, constantly filling up my soul. I have family who will stop at nothing to help me beat this. I have new friends who have found me from this blog, and continue to support and love me even though they have their own challenges…

Continue reading
Uncategorized

Chemo Concoction

Danny and I took off for the Memorial Day weekend. We packed up Emma and Bingie; Emma in her crate in the back of the truck, and Bingie wandering the cab, finally settling onto my lap. We braved the crazy traffic, and headed east over the mountains. My parents gave us their house so that we could get out of town, knowing that we need a kitchen in order to function with our crazy chemo phase. It was so much fun getting away from the routine of our life. We needed a break, a change of pace, a different view, new scenery, and a mild adventure.  Above are photos of the chemo process. On Saturday night, Danny and I made two batches. These new little gadgets are making things so easy! After the drink had cooked for three hours at 100 degrees, I hunkered down. It took me an hour to ingest an entire glass, five large sips every 20 minutes, which is pretty typical. I can’t drink it fast or it causes almost instant projectile vomiting. After my last sip, I was able to hold the drink down for one hour, then, after gently pacing, and doing some deep breathing, I had a wave of nausea so severe that there was nothing I could do. Neither my desire nor thinking of warm beaches, butterflies and bunnies did it either, I went to say something and vomit shot out of my mouth. It was seriously like something you’d see in a horror movie. The worst part about vomiting, other than the fact that I need my body to absorb the sulforaphane, is that one drink costs about $40. So, it’s practically liquid gold. I don’t care about the cost, as long as it gets into my body. I’d pay anything…

Continue reading
Uncategorized

Hard Work & Healthy Distractions

Danny is going to kill me. I was supposed to tell my friends at the retirement home that I need to take a couple of weeks off from volunteering. Dan’s worried that I’m overdoing it, and he wants me to focus on getting healthy. He believes that I need to focus solely on my new protocol, but while I was painting Margaret, Elizabeth, and Ruth’s nails, I realized I just can’t walk away. These wonderful women are so fun to be around. They keep me laughing, or at other times, we’re just quiet. Volunteering feels like the only time that I’m not focusing on just me. It’s wonderful helping someone with their walker, or opening a door. I love serving them juice, or painting their nails. They give me a reason to get out of the house every Tuesday morning, whether it’s sunny or pouring rain. I’m afraid, that if I can’t volunteer, I’ll get depressed. I’m pretty terrified these days, and I need distractions. I need to help others. I need my life to not be just about me. Yesterday was my first high dose vitamin C treatment. On Thursday, I’ll return for IV curcumin and resveratrol. I’m going to be alternating those two IVs twice a week for quite some time. Unfortunately, the treatments are not covered by insurance. So, thank you to everyone who has donated money to help heal me! Thank you to Matt & AJ for Movember For Jess, and to those who have donated to the Islanders Bank account in Friday Harbor. Of course, thank you for the girls who created, and maintained the Hope for Jess website of my art work. Thank you to everyone who donated to any of the above fundraisers. You guys are AWESOME!! When it comes to medical care, hospitals are…

Continue reading
Uncategorized

Navigating, Always Navigating

On Friday, I was walking between doctor appointments and passed a bush of wild-ish roses. The smell was intoxicating. I find that since I don’t drive, I notice so many beautiful things each day, things that I wouldn’t have noticed if I was whizzing by in my car. It’s a much slower pace of life, and it’s a gift.  I’m completely overwhelmed lately. I have a wonderful new primary care doctor, and a fabulous naturopath, but I’m still reeling from all of the information and reality of my new treatments. Suddenly, my cancer seems painfully undeniable. I’ve been galevanting around Green Lake, taking care of myself with the low doses of artemisinin and diet, and I thought that I was really fighting Herman, but compared to the other cancer patients that I’m meeting, there’s so much more that I could do. That I have to do, and, all of a sudden I feel catipulted into the cancer world. Before, I realize, I had one foot in and one foot out. There are so many treatment options, and I need to exhaust them all, all at the same time. In about an hour I’ll jog to a bus stop. By jogging a couple of miles, I’ll avoid having to take two more busses. I’ll head to my naturopath’s office to start the first high dose vitamin C IV. On Friday they had to draw blood to make sure that my body could handle all the things that they’ll be injecting. I’m currently downing an intense sprout smoothie which should work synergistically with the IV treatment. It’s all about timing and combining, so I’m adding various things to increase the effectiveness. It’s enough to make a person crazy. I’ve just finished ordering some various equipment to create our amazing chemo drink, and…

Continue reading
Uncategorized

Poor Little Hermie

Jules and I walked the lake last night. I’m so lucky to have all these girls (Erin, Meagan, Meghan & Jules) that take different shifts to help keep me in the game 🙂 Today, I’m headed to a new internist appointment, trying to find a better go-to doctor for all over health. Then, this afternoon, I’m headed for my first high dose IV of vitamin C! Lets hope they can find my vein easily!!! I’m excited and nervous. I’m seriously traversing the metro today…can’t wait for my new adventures. As for the vitamin C, if you try and ingest it, your body excretes most of it, to get the massive levels, you have to get it injected. By injecting it, you bypass the stomach, the lower intestine, and liver, and the vitamin goes directly into your blood stream allowing it to travel all throughout your body. So, the IV helps bioavailability. This whole treatment is amazing. It’s a great addition to any radiation, or chemotherapy. Vitamin C is a molecule off of glucose, which is what cancer and tumors live off. So, the tumors suck up the vitamin C, thinking it’s delicious sugar, but in truth it’s an antioxidant. In the high doses, vitamin C generates large amounts of hydrogen peroxide which is a potent free radical. A normal cell has catalase to neutralize the free radicals and protect them, but cancers DON’T. So, the high levels of vitamin C weaken the cancer cells. Also, the hydrogen peroxide aids in the artemisinin. That’s why I’m supposed to walk for two hours before I take my pills every night, exercise and deep breathing help oxygenate my brain generating more hydrogen peroxide. So, literally, today with my IV, and my walking, and then the artemisinin, poor little Hermie is going to get…

Continue reading
Uncategorized

Armouring UP

This photo makes me laugh. I was trying to hand over my phone to Danny so that he could take a photo of Mount Rainier. It sums up my life at this point, completely sideways. I have been exhausted, spinning around in circles, trying to take care of my body, rallying the troops against Hermie. I’m in a regrouping mode. Last week, I realized through further research, that I’ve been incorrectly doing the whole artemisinin protocol. Apparently, cancer cells do most of their reproduction during the night. The highest cell division between midnight and 1:00 am. My researcher who told me to stop eating after dinner, and walk in the evenings for a few hours before pills, never said a time to stop eating. He just said, refrain from eating for 3-4 hours after dinner, then take your pills and go to bed. So, being the old soul that I am. I decided to stop eating by 4:30 at the latest so that I could get to bed early. I like to be tucked into bed by 8:30 pm. Well, guess what, I’ve been sabotaging myself. The point of this low dose is to ingest the pills between 10:00 – 11:00 pm so that the artemisinin is at its most effective state during the replication of the cells (12:00-1:00 pm) – that’s when the cancer cells are most vulnerable. The artemisinin has a half life of about 3-4 hours, so there was still SOME artemisinin getting through, but the doses would be incredibly low and quickly tapering off. Damn it! I’m always effing up things. Usually, when it’s not life threatening stuff (like when I put my foot in my mouth), it’s hilarious. But in times like this, I just have to roll my eyes, and cringe. I guess it’s fitting that my mother’s…

Continue reading
Uncategorized

I’m ready…

…to fight. Okay, I know, the photo is cheesy, but I’m finally, deep down in my soul, ready to kick Hermie’s ass. I don’t know if it’s the vitamin D or all of the inspiring research we’ve been doing, but truly, who cares. The only thing that matters is that I’ve got my ferocious spirit back!

Continue reading
Uncategorized

Building Confidence

This is the view from the house we rented in Kauai. The trip was fantastic, hilarious, refreshing, and unbelievably memorable. But, now I’m back, and I need to figure out what I’m going to do next. Sometimes it feels impossible to sift through the different random treatments (high dose IV vitamin C, IV curcumin, hypertermia, oxygen therapy, dendritic cell therapy – need to see if UW has stored tissue from my tumor, etc.), and it’s overwhelming to evaluate clinics to make sure that they’re full of honest, trustworthy people. Cancer is a billion dollar a year monster, and there are many a snake oil salesmen. At times, I feel like I’m spinning in circles, engulfed by people with all of the newest cancer cures, telling me to drink $32 dollar per 36 ounce salt water that has been ionized (or something like that), drink 6 ounces four times a day and I should be cured within 6-9 months. Seriously, a guy told me to do that. He didn’t even know the type of tumor I’m fighting. I’d bet that most people honestly want to help, but still, it’s just too much information. I can understand why people decide to just do the standard of care. Just as a side note, at the appointment with the radiologist on Thursday, when we went to thank him, the guy said, “No problem. I’ll gladly help my colleagues to clarify and aide further treatment.” So, at that appointment, Dr F (the radiologist) had an agenda to get me on board to do radiation. His job was to convince me. I feel like I can’t trust these people. He also said that the other radiologists haven’t been accurately reading my last few MRI scans. What the hell?!? Who do I speak to about that? I…

Continue reading
Uncategorized

Hermie is Winning

The appointment went in the worst scenario possible. They proved to us that the tumor has been consistently growing. The artemisinin does not appear to be working. We all feel completely deflated. There was crying from each of us. I don’t even know how to process this information. I am not winning the battle against Hermie. The radiology reports that had been showing the same measurements at each MRI, had been haphazard and the doctor apologized. He said that he’s seen that before, even to one of his family members who has a low grade glioma like me. He said that there are MRI reading specialists all in a room, going case by case, and that they’re overworked and they can get sloppy. That they don’t always review all the way back a few MRIs to truly compare. So, basically, those reports, which we had been banking on, were bogus.  The worst part is that the way the specialist reviewed all of the MRIs in front of us, showed that the artemisinin does not appear to be working. It should have been causing Hermie to shrink, which he hasn’t. I need to regroup and think about what we’re going to do next.  Perfect timing, my Wenatchee girls planned a long weekend, gifting me with a trip to Kaui. So, tomorrow morning I’ll be flying out with Kristin, Michelle, Jessaca and Jenny. These girls always cheer me up and fill me with hope. They’re exceedingly intelligent, too, so I’m sure they can help me figure out what to do.  I am so deflated, and scared. And now I am beginning to understand why so few people survive this cancer. It’s vicious, tenacious, persistent, and effing strong. I just have to figure out how to outsmart it – and apparently, it’s not…

Continue reading
Close