Archive for January, 2013

Two new words…

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

In my efforts to continue to educate myself in the land of veggies and eating to live, I have discovered two new favourite words that I prefer over “vegetarian”.  I get that typical eye roll when a new person in my life learns that I am “one of those freaks that don’t eat meat”. 

 Words like Nutritarian and Qualitarian are so powerful!!!  Plus they are so much more polite than saying ” f*ck cancer ” every time I eat!!!  They are friendly, kind words in an effort to help me learn to love my liver. (Refer to it’s sensitivity on previous post).  

Try remembering my two new favourite words next time you are about to fill your tummy.  Is it nutrititive and quality food?

The Liver & Emotions…

Monday, January 21st, 2013

This is an interesting thing that I read today, thought I would share.

” The liver is a doorway into our emotional library. Unexpressed or denied emotions have the ability to shut down important liver functions. Watch for emotions that surface when working on the liver…. anger is a typical emotion to pop up. More than any other organ , the liver is affected by negative thoughts and feelings. Anger, hate, rage, fear, jealousy, resentment, depression, self pity, self unforgiveness, self rejection, self bitterness, and hopelessness have a powerfully detrimental impact on the liver.”

Wow, good thing I vented last week when I was angry. I guess I am doing something right by releasing my anger through my fingertips. Those words hit home when I read them, considering I had just finished going through that high dose radiation. Guess the vapor had to escape somewhere so both my liver and I could start to heal again.

No worries, no self pity or hatred here. I love me and looking forward to better healthy days. I haven’t gone through all this hardship to give up now!!!

xo

Switch or Savour?…

Friday, January 18th, 2013

I was keeping myself occupied on Facebook this morning and I stumbled across this article that really resonated with me.  I read it over a few times because it completely described how I feel when I write on my blog.  It’s all about taking a time out, to savour the task we are doing, whether it be taking a bubble bath, or simply enjoying a warm beverage or in this case it touched on the task of writing.  I couldn’t have explained it better, so here it is, I’ve copied it to share with you so you will understand how healing it is for me to write and I hope this article also inspires you to savour at least one thing each and every day.

When we savour, we take this task of writing, and we slow down.  We give the task some space–no switching quickly to the next thing.  We pay attention to it and find the enjoyable aspects of it.  And actually, there are enjoyable aspects to any activity, if we slow down and pay attention.  When we savour, we notice these things, and fully enjoy them.  We bask in the moment of doing, and let ourselves soak in it’s pleasure.  So instead of switching to something else, we sit there with the writing.  We notice our urge to switch and let it go —- after all, we’re savouring this, so we just can’t switch!  We think of other things we need to do, and let them go too.  We’re savouring here. “

This is my favourite part of the quote……

“And we just do the writing, and we notice how our fingers feel as they move over the keys, and enjoy the pouring of our thoughts onto the screen, and notice our breathing, our shoulders, our jaw, our legs, our feet, as we sit and write.  We know that many people are not lucky enough to be able to do something so luxurious as writing, as so we are grateful for this moment, however fleeting.”

Sharing Some Love…

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Before I entered cancerland, I honestly thought I didn’t have many friends because I spent most of my time working and then most of my free time, working some more.  Of course working for a living is a necessity, but there has to be balance in our life.  How silly and ignorant was I?  I was just too busy to see all the beautiful people in my life. 

I periodically receive love notes of encouragement which makes all the difference in my recovery. Such beautiful words that keep me inspired. I often return to them to read them over and over.  After reading today’s post you will clearly understand how and why I came up with the name “Earth Angels” for my Relay For Life Team. 

I feel so guilty keeping these notes all to myself, so let me share some examples. (I have left the sender’s names anonymous to be respectful because I didn’t ask for permission to share) Let me pay it forward and allow me to inspire you to do something or say something to a special person in your life. I urge you not to wait for a traumatic event to do so, and for heaven sake, you are not too busy!   Our world needs more happy, happy, happy!

…     Hi my amazing friend,
just read your blog, made me sad, glad, laugh out loud, inspired…and thirst for the green drink in a wine glass,( no doubt! What else would I expect from you!)
Just amazing and thank you so very much for sharing. I do hope it helps you as well, because it is good “medicine” for those who love you and share the “path”
I will take extra doses of the vitamin P &F for you thru this time of recovery!

…   SO HAPPY TO HEAR THAT ALL WENT WELL YESTERDAY AT YOUR 1ST RADIATION TREATMENT..KEEP UP THE “GOOD WORK” AND MAY 2013 BRING YOU/YOURS “MUCH DESERVED BLESSINGS”.  PLS KEEP ME “UPDATED” – THINK ABOUT U OFTEN.  LOVE YA

…    I always think about you and pray for you. Even though I haven’t seen you, you are ALWAYS in my thoughts and prayers!! You are the most inspirational person I know. I’m so happy that you have chosen to be so positive through all of this, I’m sure it’s doing you a world of good!! Keep fighting Karrie and I WILL see you soon!! I’ve realized that we all need to live for today and I’d like to start my new year trying to be as positive as you. Thank you for being such an inspiration to me…you know I always looked up to you as kids and I still do. Thanks for being you!!! Merry Christmas Karrie, I love ya!!

…  I too read your blog and want you to know what a strong, amazing and inspirational woman you are!!! I think of you often and I sincerely hope you and Rick have a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic 2013!! Take care and best wishes always. Hugs

…  You are in my prayers on a very regular basis and now it is nice to add a praise with the continuing request!! God Bless You Karrie and I hope you have the best Christmas ever!! Thanks so much for sharing your struggles and your victories!! HUGS!!!!!

…  I spoke with your Aunt today and she said you had a bout of the sickies with your chemo.  I hope you are feeling better now…..I have been reading all your writing and dear girl you have a way with the english language, I can see things that you so vividly and lovingly describe. Amazing…I admire your ability to let go of your inhabitions and lay it all out as it really is.  Keep fighting, thinking of you

… You’re an Angel!  Okay kiddo…again amazing. Thanks for sharing! I do hope you are publishing a book, because you do have amazing words sent from your heart.  Lots of love and prayers are sent your way.

…   Karrie, Just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you.  I was glad I just happened to take the time to get on your blog today.  You are always in my thoughts, my heart, and in my prayers.  You are an amazing woman and and inspiration to many of us.  Hope to see you soon!

…  Hi Karrie,  I have been meaning to touch base with you for a while now.  I’m not sure where you are with your chemo but am thinking you must be coming up to the end of it again.  I hope you’re doing well – I haven’t seen you in what seems like a very long time.  I guess I’m missing your smiling face and my hug!   Take care.

…   Dear Karrie,  I met Rick today and what a prince of a guy, (as you well know).  He told me about your blog and here I am.  It’s getting close to 11:00 p.m. so it’s short and sweet.  I’m so glad you had such a good trip and are gearing up for the fight.  I think of you often and wish you a universe and more of good luck!  You have “touched” me more than you know!!!!!!!

…  Hi Karrie:  I don’t even know what to say…except you’re always in my thoughts and prayers. You are an inspiration to me and to so many with your positive attitude. Little Palm Island sounds like a dream-so happy that you & Rick experienced that! Love you Karrie! xoxo

…   you are amazing!  Karrie – Your fighting spirit is awe inspiring! I know you can beat this horrible disease because the world needs people like you in it. You inspire the rest of us to appreciate each and every day! Know that you are loved.

…   Prayers…sorry to hear this..l just messed up the message typing thru my tears..Karrie l hold you in my prayers for the highest and best healing..Rick l have not forgotten you either. Hugs to you both.

…  Hi Karrie….just read your blog, .it was… ya …How do you do it! I admire your energy and spirit and your humour…way to go girl…You give so many people who read the blog,…  its so amazing to read and gives a great look-out on life and the situations we are faced.. and not to feel sorry for ourselves!!! WOW!!!   I’m going to send all my prayers and lucky pennies and what all I can wish for your quick recovery my friend!  Let me know if you like to have Tea?  or company for one of those visits to London?  Take Care my friend!

…   positive thoughts are with you along with much love.  Hugs & kisses sent your way.
love you,

…   Rick and Karrie,  … about your bad news. I’m so glad to hear you are taking time together in March and Karrie will think about her next decision. We just do not understand what we are going to be faced with next. I guess someday we will all look back on this and know the answer, but for right now nothing could be more frightenting and disappointing, and yet I believe something much greater will happen for the good. Out of all adversity comes the light of Love and healing. That night we were at dinner I saw something special glowing in a smile sitting across the table from me and my girls. It was the real Karrie, not one of your girlfriends with a different wig.  That was all fun, but we all know the real Karrie and her smile lit up the room. Karrie, no matter your decision we are with you in spirit always. Our Lord can move mountains, he can make blind men see, he can raise the dead to life, and he could also heal Karrie, so with that being said, I will continue my prayer each and every day for that miracle.  You two have a wonderful time together in March and we will be here doing our part.  We love you both.

…   Hi Karrie I cannot believe your nightmare has returned!  However I know how strong and determined you are and with your super attitude I know you can win this fight again. You are an amazing young woman and an inspiration to so many people. There really is no justice.  Please keep on doing what you are doing and know that there are a lot of people following your progress and are definitely in your corner!!!  Sincerest best wishes.  xo

…   I pray for you and your family and all who have to deal with what you are going through,I pray that you will get better soon and to see that beautiful smile of yours:)Be strong don’t let it take over! Hugs to you 🙂

…   Just letting you know that my prayers are with you in this trying time. Hoping that your treatments will bring positive results and that you will regain your health.

…   Hi Karrie,  So happy to see you are back!  I have thought of you often over the summer and hoped you were having the time of your life!  By chance I checked your blog today and boy was it worth it to see your entry from your check up. Yahoo!!  That is awesome news you are doing awesome. It was nice to see you at the resort BBQ.  Jean keeps me up to speed on you and I am one of your cheerleaders you didn’t know you had. Keep kicking ass girl to are a huge inspiration!  Thinking about you and sending healing healthy vibes your way!!

…    I’m not sure if you will remeber me or not but I am one of ___’s cousins and I remember you as one of her friends growing up.   In any event, I had to write because I was touched by your story and to just say, stay strong–we are all praying for you.   I too will be walking in the Relay for Life.  This year is my fourth year (Crazy for a Cure is our team name).  I cannot explain how much it means to me and the emotion of the event.  My reason for walking is different than yours–I walk for my family members and friends, but also because so many people like you are fighting, and I want to help in the fight somehow.   There are so many people and so many stories.  I hope you take strength in knowing others are there for you.  Stay strong and GO GETTUM’. 

…   Hi Karrie! I’m your dad’s cousin.. I just heard about your starring role in the “War Against Cancer” and I already know how that battle will end! You WILL survive & thrive!  How do I know that?  Because you’re a descendant of the Hogue/Roy Clan and we ALWAYS win our battles!  My mother had 15 kids. At age 82 she was diagnosed with 5 months to live after a tumour was discovered attached to her tonsil and her tongue. Because of its location, surgery was not an option. To ease the side-effects of chemo,  our mom agreed to add high amounts of essential glyconutrients to her food intake. Five months later she was cancer-free! Our mom eventually passed away  at home, of natural causes 2 years later. In every battle, there are always some who survive! If I were a betting woman, I’d take odds on the Hogues and the Roys as survivors every time! To win…  don’t give up and don’t give in!
P.S. I love the humour you inject in your writing!  You’d fit right in with my family…we ALL have  a wacky sense of humour and we love puns! So…keep them coming!
Karrie… you’re in our thoughts & prayers and you’re not alone!
hugs & kisses

You are a very brave woman, I am honored to know you. You inspire me – keep up the good fight!

…   Love reading your updates.  It’s nice for you to not have to say the same thing over and over again to so many caring friends and family.  I do have one issue, however.  What’s that crap about not sure if you’ll be here next year for the relay?  Fuck that attitude!!! You just focus on kicking the shit outta the Big C.  Don’t wanna hear those negative thoughts from you ever again. Give Rick a hug from me.  I’m sure he could use a few.  Luv ya,

…   What a GREAT way for all of us who Love you, Rick & CJ to be with you. Thanks for caring about us enough to share your intimate treatment & responses. This indeed has helped me understand & cope with the facts about Colon Cancer , but I only wish that I wasn’t learning this from you experiencing it.
xO

 

…   I am in awe of you my childhood friend….despite all that you continue to deal with, you remain optimistic, energetic and so kindhearted and thoughtful. You are truly an inspiration to all those whose life you have touched. I believe that there is still so much work for you, and that you will be a survivor. Many prayers and much love to you Karrie

 

…  Hello there my sweet cancer-fighting friend.  Just finished reading about having your niece visit you this past August and I was in tears, wanting to hold you so desperately. Oh Karrie, how I wish I could take the cancer away, make you to have not been thru what you have had to go thru for so long—on the other hand your strength, determinedness and fighting ability is beyond my wildest imagination. If you only knew how much I think about you, I would love to see you again soon. Let me hear from you babe….all my love.

 

 

 

 

My Daily Affirmation…

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Dear Self,

My life is huge, in fact it is gigantic!

I am HAPPY.
I am GRATEFUL.
I am FOCUSED.
I am ENERGIZED!

I release all negativity to make room for positivity with sprinkles of love in everything I see and do.

I will be healthy.

I respect you.

I love you!

Photos from 2012…

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Thought I would share a few photos from 2012.  The feel good days.  Pictures say more than words sometimes. 

Hanging out with 2 of my nieces and 1 nephew who is also my God son.  We had a family bbq at my Mom and Step-Dad’s beach property that they call the Sand Box which is down in Erie Beach.  I spent many a hot summer day at several beaches in Lake Erie.  We were hunting for beach glass and  DeeDee and I took a time out for hugs.

 

 

 

 

My beautiful golden girl, my constant companion, my furbaby.  C.J. celebrated her 15th birthday this year and she is showing off her pretty new Christmas dress that my Aunt Elise gave to her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My best friend Kim.  We met back in 1976.  We were in grade 2 and 6 years old.  We are now 42.  Where did the time go? She is my soul sister and our birthdays are exactly 1 week apart, born in May, our sign is Taurus.  We are strong like bull, determined and loyal to everyone we love!  She lives too far away in Kansas City, Missouri.  She came to visit me for Thanksgiving.  The date on the photo is not correct.  Check out my ball cap.  A gift from my cousin Rick, I promised him that I will LiveStrong!  I am sporting a hair piece that I pull through the hole in the back of the  hat for an instant pony tail to accomplish that ” I don’t look sick ” look.  I think I nailed it!

What can I say? 

I am a proud Mommy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my favourite bandanas, leopard print and hair piece, look inspired by J.Lo.

M e o w !

I like my glow (tan) here.

I spent many a day hanging out by the pool on recovery days, which made up for the spend all day in bed weeks.

I go against tradition and love my black Christmas tree!  Why be normal?

Here a few of my favourite ornaments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BFF’s

 

 

 

 

 

Fun with friends Sherrie & Wendy.  I used to work with both of them.  I met Wendy back in 1988, we both worked at UPS/United Parcel Service at the time.  We also worked together at Portrait Packages Inc. where we met Sherrie.  We were school photographers.  So these crazy gals came over one night for a girl’s night, jammie party/movie/treats, etc.  Wendy even brought a little tent and set it up in my living room.  We played dress up (lots of laughs) and they are each wearing one of my wigs. They chose their favourites and boy let me tell you these two ladies took on new personalities with their new hair! Yowzer!  Wendy (left) is wearing “Nikki” the fun one that is Rick’s favourite one.  Sherrie (centre) is wearing Eva, as in Longoria.  We had lots of laughs, we had fun, but we all secretly thought that Rick had much more fun hanging out with these three hot babes.  We included him in our jammie party, but Wendy laid down the rules as soon as she arrived.  She says to Rick… “you are welcome to join us, however it’s on our terms, you can’t touch the remote and you can’t choose what movie we watch, it’s girl’s night”.   She is little, but mighty!  Rick caved and Sherrie sweetened him up with the delicious home-made baked goodies that she brought with her. 

Look at me and my special visitor!  He let me ring his jingle bells.  How ironic that the day before this photo was taken, I had mentionned to Rick that I have never had my photo taken with Santa and surprise the man in red shows up to surprise me.  I am glad that I decided to wear red that day.  Merry Christmas 2012 !!!   Tis the season to be jolly! 

A few days after this photo was taken, I celebrated my 3 year survivorship!  That is the only gift I needed. 

Also, for reference, at the time of this photo, I had finished chemo 6 weeks prior and radiation would begin 2 weeks later on Dec. 28th. 

It was a rough year of treatment, and I keep bouncing back!    Good-bye 2012!!!!

Monday, January 14th, 2013

How’s this for showing just how positive I am thinking?  This is the first step I have taken in funeral pre-planning!   I purchased a head stone.  It’s either me or it.  This was a very easy decision I must say!

Self reflection time…

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Photo taken Jan 8, 2013, just before heading into the room for my second last radiation treatment.  Note, my eyebrows are starting to come back, but my inner glow is struggling to appear on the outside.  I’ve got work to do.  Tired of looking tired and geez I sure hate that blue outfit, it doesn’t look good on anyone!  I picture myself in a nice black one (my signature colour) with bling on it and everyone I love has signed it so that cancer can see what it’s up against.  This chick comes with a possey!  (spelling?)

 

 

 

 First day of chemotherapy, April 2012. 

This is going to be hell.  It’s only April and I have to do this until November?

Mom went with me for the first treatment.

Rick says to her… “What the hell, I leave her on your watch for a day and you bring her back broken!”

Humour will get us all through this. Especially me.

Notice the red cheeks?  That is what chemical toxic warfare looks like.  You don’t want to know what it feels like or smells like.

What is on my chest?  The chemotherapy pump.  The bottle is laying on me, but usually it is kept in a fanny pouch around my waist.  This drug is infused into me via grafity feed over a 46 hour period.  It is fed through the chest port (square needle covered with clear bandage) to the right of this picture.  Note this drug is one of 5 drugs I receive for each round of treatment.  The other 4 drugs are given to me intravenously at the cancer clinic before hand and then I come home with the pump.  I also am given several other drugs, such as steroids, anti-nausea x3 types, benadryl to combat the allergy to one of the drugs, to name a few.  A home care nurse visits me on day 3 to disconnect the pump and check for vitals, etc.

  Don’t let the above photos affect you negatively.  It’s part of the whole conquer and destroy equation.  This is what I did in the summer in the middle of chemo.  Why?  Because I wanted to and it was a feel good day.  My kind of medicine!  This day was also filled with jet ski ride, laughter with Rick and friends and wine & smores by a camp fire before bed.  Thank you to the Beute family friends for the memory.

Dying to heal…

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

I have an abundance of emotions running through every part of my being right now.  I felt it necessary to sit down and get my fingers busy on the keyboard to try to help my brain process every emotion.  This isn’t easy, but I feel it’s necessary.  I feel I owe it to myself and only myself to use my blog as a sounding board for both a releasing mechanism and a tool for making some serious change.  This is MEDICINE.  My laptop is the closest thing I have to a pen and paper at present and I am writing myself a prescription.  A prescription that has unlimited repeats.  On the days when I revert to the SCREW IT, I AM GOING TO CROAK ANYWAY feelings run through my veins, I will be able to look back and re-read this post so I stop that urge to test time and run through the yellow light of life.  If this post helps someone else in the interim than that is a blessing and a gift.  I am tired of asking the same old question of “HOW?”.  I have learned the “hows”, now  I am asking “WHY?”  It may be too late but I will never know unless I start today, here and now.

I am hungry.  In fact, I am starving for a change.  Yes, to be matter of fact.  I am dying to heal.  For some of us more fortunate cancer survivors/fighters, like myself, death is not imminent, it is a slower process.  I have more time to chew on my diagnosis and to prepare.  I am sorry to be frank but cancer is what it is.  In most cancer patients, it is the means by which we will die.  Sooner or later.  I don’t want to call it a death sentence, because, let’s face it.  We all have a death sentence.  No one of us is born with an expiry date on the bottom of our feet or a best before date.  However, we are born to live and die.  They are a package deal.

As I lay here on the couch on a self-prescribed bed rest week, I am using my time wisely to educate myself.  I am dealing with side effects from the radiation treatment.  I hate that standard question of rate your pain.  That is a very difficult question for me personally to answer because I have a high pain tolerance.  For some what I am feeling might be more than they wish to bear and would seek drug relief.  For me, I will rest.  I am not my normal cheerful self, yet I am not in bad or depressed mood either.  The best descriptive word I can use would be IDLE.   For a week now, I have had some issues with my throat and swallowing.  Painful?  There’s that word again.  Let’s use the term uncomfortable instead.  When I swallow, it feels like something is in the way, not exactly in my throat/neck region, it’s a little lower than that.  Hot/cold liquids and thick foods such as bread cause more irration than other things, so it’s probably better for me to be drinking my freshly juiced green veggies at room temperature for now.  I’ve never heard of anyone fatally hurting themselves from veggie overload.  Just last night I started experiencing some stitch like symptoms in my chest.  I am trying to visualize my internal body and best guess would be that my lungs are likely inflammed.  My doctor is aware of my swallowing issue and said that it should subside soon and that that area in the body has a tremendous amount of nerves that are sensitive of course.  So duh, high dose radiation would cause discomfort right?  I have absolutely no energy, I get winded using the stairs or simply walking my dog around the block, but I do it anyway, and then back to resting and learning.

Ok so on with the learning and enough talking about symptoms and side effects.  I know what I put myself through the last couple of weeks with treatment.  Crap was bound to happen.

I realize more each day that it is very sad that it took me escaping death from literally exploding from the inside out to be the driving force behind learning where our food comes from.  Here is what I struggle with.  The why.  Ok, I know I was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer with metastatis to the liver, a terminal diagnosis, and the how to that question I believe the answer to is most in part to nutrition.  My body simply couldn’t handle at a cellular level of the garbage that I was feeding it.  Sure there are other factors such as heredity (funny that no one in my family history suffers other than myself), and other factors, blah, blah, blah.  I think they (who knows who they really are anyway) want to blame our problems or illnesses or diseases on anyone or anything other than ourselves.  I looked deep and realized I am responsible.  I have no one or no thing to blame.  Shit happens.  I can deal with this realization.  I can also inspire myself to change.

Here’s another struggle.  I have a love/hate relationship with modern medicine.  It has given me more time.  It may indeed be a tool that might just save me in the long run. Colon cancer is directly related to diet.  So here is the big WHY.  Why has not one of my doctors ever mentioned the word nutrition in my quest to heal myself?  Why is it always medicine?  I am not ready to give up treatments but I have to compliment it with natural healing ways too.

Sure every cancer patient typically goes right to blaming industry for our issues.  Why does it take cancer to begin this thinking?  My head was in the sand but it is no longer.  I was only 39 years old at diagnosis, too young for my type of cancer.  There has to be a reason.  A why or a whole crap load of why’s.  I am educating myself.  Do you know what a factory farm is?  Do you know that farmers who save their own seeds to grow crops the next year are being sued my large cooperations and lose their farms? These large corporations force farmers to use the better seeds.  The new and improved seeds. Think about the food chain.  Seeds grow crops, crops feed animals, animals feed humans. So if we genetically screw around with the fundamental seed for growth at the beginning of the food chain what do we get?  Crops that grow higher yields to feed even more animals, then these animals eat modified stuff, for lack of a better word.  Us humans eat these altered sick animals because they are eating crap they shouldn’t and voila!  What do we get?  Genetically fucked up humans.  That’s what cancer is.  Genetically fucked up cells.  Do you know that we really aren’t that protected by food standard protection companies?  Here’s a simple question.  Do you know where your food came from?  Before cancer, I had pictures of pretty farms with vast acres of animals grazing and lazying around in the sun after eating too much grass.  Not any more.  If this is what you see, that is your choice of course. And if you don’t want to spoil that pretty painting, please don’t educate yourself like I have. I don’t judge anyone please don’t get me wrong.  However, what I do judge is myself.  I know the difference, and I am sick.  I don’t have the luxury any longer of keeping myself protected from looking sideways or looking through my hands covering my eyes.   All I know is that I am no longer comfortable with eating animal products and gmo products.  GMO.   Genetically modified.  Yep, us smart humans fuck around with our food.  It might be tastier, less expensive, but it is not nourishment.  It fills a growlingy stomach, and it’s easier on our wallets and it saves us time.  I used to joke that the only reason my house had a kitchen in it was because it came with one.  Ha ha very funny.  You have cancer.  It’s not funny anymore.  Fuck.

Boy that bad word has surfaced a lot in this post.  Time to ask another why.  Why are you swearing?  Here’s the answer.  I am pissed.  I am so angry that this is my life now.  So angry, I am tearful.  So angry that I am putting the pedal to the medal and burning rubber to fight this beast that is chasing me.  I don’t care if I have to drive in circles for the rest of my life, sometimes the beast will catch up to me when I get tired of chasing the dream of a cure, and sometimes it will eat my dust like it is right now according to my last blood test.  There will be checker flags and their will be flat tires.  A Nascar comparison keeping my Dad’s love of the sport in mind.  I know you will be right there along the ride with me and not in the passenger seat either.  I visualize you hanging on the hood with everything you have, no helmet and your cheeks flapping in the wind, and your legs and feet dangling behind you bumping into the rear window to support me and my decisions even if you think I’ve officially gone crazy.  Thank you for that.  Thank you for listening to my venting.  Thank you for waving the smoke from my bad temper today. 

Let me finish this post on a happier note.  Rick was out of town for business last night and when my sister asked if my 3 year old niece Kennedy (who I affectionately call DeeDee) would be able to come to my place for a sleep over, I didn’t think twice and said sure, of course I would love the company and the distraction from my side effects. 

So jump forward to earlier today, this Sunday morning, like every other three year old in the world that wakes up earlier than the sun itself, wakens me from the reality that I will not be sleeping in.  I convince her to snuggle in bed just a little longer to make the morning s t r e t c h.  Cartoons helped me in my quest.  We were snuggled up under the blankets, her special pillow, her special blanket and of course her special buddy named Ellie.  We were so relaxed watching the cartoon and I was so appreciative of this quality time with her.  She would constantly wiggle and change snuggly positions, of course this little fireball of energy wouldn’t remain still like me.  At one point she was laying on her side, facing me and draped her arm over my tummy and gave it a little rub.  She asks “what is  under your shirt?”.  I replied “what do you mean?”.  There wasn’t anything under my shirt, why would she ask me this?  She asks “that bump?.  Oh yeah, she is feeling one of my several scars.  “Can I see?”, she asks.  I raised my p.j. top. and exposed my scars.  I realized at that very moment that DeeDee is the one and only family member in my life that has been spared the trauma of dealing with my illness.  My soul was crying uncontrollably inside.  A feeling of complete relief and exhaustion at the same time. I know this won’t last long because she is growing up fast and will soon understand the questions to her own “why does Aunt Karrie have scars”.   Thank God for this little blessing that she doesn’t have to know that I may not be around to see her grow up.  I wish this could last forever.  I could be the reason for hurting her and I want to change that!  I want to live.  I want to thrive and survive.  I will do everything I can to be as healthy as I can. 

So please, I understand why you think it might be crazy for me to eat a vegetarian diet, or it might be crazy for me to spend countless hours reading books, watching documentaries, reading food labels, going for long walks just to listen to the birds, searching the web with Dr. Google, and using my blog as a soap box to vent my recent epiphany, etc.   I just urge you to understand that you and DeeDee and everyone else in my life, whether close or far, impacts me greatly in my choices.  I choose to love myself more than I think I can, to respect my body and I will not take it for granted any longer.  I will inspire myself and hope that you will be inspired too.  I will continue to let modern medicine help me, but of course I will use Mother Nature and the garden of eatin’ to be my pharmacy too.

How did I answer DeeDee’s question?  I simply said that Aunt Karrie had lots of boo-boos, but she doesn’t hurt any more.

Dying to heal.

 

 

 This is how I started a brand new year. Kennedy was with me for another sleep-over so her Mommy & Daddy could party.  This little monkey’s face was the first thing that I saw in 2013.   What a memory!  I always sleep with them because I love the cuddle time!  Thank you peanut!

Daily vitamin dose…

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Never heard of vitamin P, or vitamin F?  I take a daily dose of it, sometimes I have to double up on the dose for the tougher days, but Positivity and Faith are helping me out big time.  I am in control.  Well, this is what I tell myself all of the time.  I can’t let myself think negatively.  It just isn’t going to happen.  The body follows suit to our minds and what I have learned first and foremost in this journey in cancerland  is that the only thing really and honestly speaking that I do have control over is… my mind.  I can control every thought. 

Radiation treatment is now complete.  All 6 treatments.  I know it seems like a very limited number of treatments and I still wrap my head around this, not that I am complaining at all.  The trips back and forth to London to the clinic are very tiring and I hate the hour drive there, especially when I don’t feel so great.  I hate going to the clinic and facing so many other people fighting like me.  Reality sinks in when I walk in the clinic doors.  It’s “That” place.  Sarcasm aside, it’s also that place that is keeping me alive.  Sometimes I have survivor’s guilt because I am beating the odds and frankly I don’t “look sick”.  Sure I am wearing a bandana and have the typical look but my face is smiling, I am perky and full of life.  I do empathize immensly with the frail patients and sick patients.  This will likely be me one day but as long as I remain on the up side of positivity and determination I believe I can steer my prognosis in the right direction and not travel backwards.  I talk with other patients in the waiting rooms while we are sporting our lovely stylish blue gowns.  I learn their stories, share mine and we feed off of each other’s energy.  None of us wants to be there, but we have to.

Modern medicine has been for lack of a more obvious term, a life saver.  Rick and I met with my radiation oncologist on the last day of my radiation treatment this week to discuss how I have been feeling, the side effects, what we can expect in the next few weeks, etc.  My doctor told us that he is very hopeful with the success of the radiation. (let me back track here and state the obvious, I have gone from, sorry there is no cure for your cancer, to we are aiming for a cure)  At the very least, it will certainly extend my time here with you.  He told us that…wait a second…. this is still hard for me to accept…. that I have received one of the highest doses of radiation in all of North America.  Now how many people can say that?  Not many.  I am so incredibly blessed and I never take any day for granted.  Each one is a gift.  Sometimes I have to spend that gift making sure that my sofa and television behave which is the hard part.  Cancer recovery can be very lonely sometimes as everyone else’s lives just carry on as normal.  However, when extreme fatigue sets in, that’s how I roll, I tell myself it’s okay to be lazy and no nothing.  I just let my mind envision my body healing from the inside out to make it seem like I am accomplishing something. 

So now the waiting game begins or maybe I should re-phrase these words and say that now the recovery begins.  In about a month’s time I will undergo an extensive scan to see how the treatment has progressed (it’s a continual thing).  Although the treatments are done, the cancer should be slowing dying away from my liver.  So back to the recovery.  I am going to use this month to put my body into shock.  A different better kind of shock.  I imagine that I am a walking toxic overloaded dump inside.  Chemotherapy drugs and all the other side effect drugs that went with it, the radiation, etc.  I bought myself an expensive gift, but my health is worth it.  I will be shocking my body with vitamin G, for green.  Veggies and clean eating are my priority.  It isn’t going to be easy, but I have to do it.  So this juicer I purchased is amazing.  I am drinking green juices from a variety of veggies and some fruits, but mostly veggies.  Yes, don’t worry, I am also eating good food too.  Healthy choices.  Those people closest to me likely think that I am off my rocker, but really I don’t think I have the luxury of choosing any other way.  I have to fix me.  I may not cure this beast but I sure hope to at lease manage it and wrap a huge lasso around it’s neck.  Since diagnosis I have done a lot of research, lots of reading.  Cancer hates veggies, cannot thrive in an alkaline environment, feeds on sugar, etc.  I won’t bore you with the details and medical lingo that goes with it.  All I know is that I can count on myself just like I can count on my team of doctors.  I am going to heal all of my organs right down at the cellular level where cancer starts.  I want cancer to be stopped dead in it’s tracks and say the same three words when we first met.  What the f*ck?  I can control my mind and what goes in my mouth.  Mind you, I have always been determined in the mind-set avenue until a bag of Doritos is in front of me.  I can do this.  I really don’t see that I have a choice.  I will give this my all.  I will help the doctors to help me.  I want to leave them guessing.  How is this chick still alive?  She’s not supposed to be here.  She looks great.  What’s her secret? And better yet, how can we continue to help her?  Now that’s the key ingredient.  I fully believe that if I continue to show a fighting spirit to my doctors, to present to them that I can handle whatever they throw my way, that they will continue to seek new advances and collectively work together to help me.  I want to be able to share my journey.  I want to inspire others that are told they are terminal, that they will be lucky to see a couple of years (reminding you I am going on year 3 now!)  Every time my home care nurse comes to the house to flush the port in my chest and do the routine check up blood pressure, etc…. I see the charts.  The word “pallaitive” on top.  That word if you don’t know what it means is simply about keeping the patient comfortable while preparing for end of life.  No way, hose eh!  I hate that word.  I am prepared to stay out of my comfort zone and continue fighting full steam ahead.

My secret is simply this.  I accept your love and support.  You are the reason that I do this.  It would be so much easier to say screw it and move on to the eternal shopping mall and to live in a world where chocolate doesn’t make your clothes shrink, but I would rather be here with you.  I want to be available for you in your time of need.  To lift you up when you need it.  I don’t care about beating statistics.  I care about you and I am learning more and more every day that I simply, care about me.

Boy I sure have rambled on with this post.  Guess I needed to give myself a pep talk.  Thank you for being here with me on this crazy, unpredictable ride.  I am signing off now to make myself a delicious green smoothie.  It looks so much better when I serve it up in a wine glass.  Cheers!

 

  My fresh green glass of whoop-ass!