Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wow how time flies!!

Well it is December 26th and it has been five weeks since I came home.  In fact, I have been home as long as I was in Arizona, which seems unbelievable!!!

I have been through two holidays, a business trip, and several kids who have been sick with strep and walking pneumonia and feeling very much back to my ordinary life, but trying very hard not to forget the things that I learned at an Oasis of Healing.  Thankfully, I have a very strong immune system and have been able to stay healthy in spite of the sick house I have been living in. 

The lifestyle is a work in progress, but I think I have done rather well in doing an 80/20 raw almost vegan diet.  Definitely vegetarian and have stayed away from dairy and sugar for the most part.  The holidays have made that a little tricky.  I am now armed and dangerous as far as the kitchen is concerned. I have a VitaMix blender, a Hurom juicer and I received a Cuisinart elite food processor and recently received my order of raw nuts, seeds, raw honey, etc., all of which will assist in my raw vegan diet.  I plan after the holidays to do another juice fast to detox and cleanse and then pursue the finer art of preparing more creative raw foods other than just salads.  A friend of mine from An Oasis of Healing has put together a blog where we can support each other and post recipes that we have tried that are good.  I also found a co-op where I can buy mostly organic fruits and vegetables for an amazing price.  If you want to know more about that, just call me.

I have had a hard time finding someone who does high-dose vitamin C that is non-corn based and who has the know how and experience to access a port.  To spare you all the details, I think I have finally found a way to make this work, but in the meantime, I have only had one vitamin C infusion since I have been back. That should change very soon to where I will received 100 gm twice a week. 

Wednesday, December 29th, I am scheduled for a PET scan. This will show that the cancer is completely gone!!  I feel the blessing of ongoing prayers of family, friends and many I don't know.  I am amazed to hear that neighbors of my family members or ward members of my sister in Oregon are praying for me, as well as business colleagues across the country.  I am so touched and moved by their love and faith.  In fact, my sister, Joyce, who was with me in Arizona, brought me a beautiful fleece blanket that was made for me by three ladies in her ward who don't even know me.  I am very touched and feel deep gratitude for the faith and prayers in my behalf.

In a few more days, we will be facing the new year.  While we all have hope for good things in the coming new year, and to move past the not so good things of the past, I have to say that the things that I have learned from my experience with cancer and my healing journey is not one I want to forget.  The journey is ongoing and I look forward to the future with anticipation, taking what I have learned and adding to it. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Good to Be Back

After several facebook comments that I haven't updated my blog in awhile, I felt I needed to make the time to do that.  I suppose I got a little trunky towards the end and didn't have that much to report so I slacked off. 

The last week of treatment went well.  I had mixed emotions about leaving.  I was excited to come back home to be with my family and get in a regular routine, but I was also sad to be leaving Oasis of Healing because I felt safe there.  I knew what I had to do every day, I didn't have to worry about what I was or wasn't going to eat and I didn't have to worry about food preparation for five other people.  The total focus there was on my healing and I knew when I came home that I would have to make a more concentrated effort to implement what I had learned and what I need to do to maintain my health and keep cancer from coming back.  Dr. Lodi always said that getting rid of cancer was the easy part, keeping it away isn't always so easy if you go back to old habits.  I became very close to all the nurses and several of the patients.  It was hard to say goodbye, but at the same time I was ready.  Even though it was a wonderful place for healing, I was ready to come home.

Mike flew down on Friday, November 19th, and on Saturday the 20th we dropped my sister off at the airport for her to return to Oregon and then Mike and I drove to Sedona.  We stayed the night there.  Sedona is a beautiful place, a lot of red rock, kind of a tourist town like Park City.  It was a lot of fun and nice just to have some time with my best friend.    On Sunday, we continued our trek home and decided to take the scenic route.  We drove by way of northeastern Arizona and passed by Monument Valley and Mexican Hat, Utah.  I have never been there and I was so awestruck at how beautiful these places were.  We the drove to Moab and stayed the night at Red Cliffs Lodge.  That place was amazing and the scenery was gorgeous.  It was like a ghost town as we were there in the off season, but that is just the way I like it.  The next day we drove through Arches National Forest before coming home.  I have never been there.  I know, can you believe it, I have lived my whole life in Utah and have never been to Arches.  Needless to say, we couldn't go to Arches and not hike to Delicate Arch so we did that and then drove around to see the other amazing rock formations and arches.   It kind of delayed our arrival home and I know the kids were anxious and expecting us to be home a couple of hours earlier. It was a nice surprise to see the Welcome Home sign on the garage door and I so appreciated the thoughtfulness of my friends who took the time to do this. 

It was great to see the kids again and to be home.  I love being home even if it is freezing cold.  Surprisingly, it hasn't bothered me as much as I thought it would.  Albeit, I could totally live in Arizona, at least from October through May.  After that, they say it gets so miserably hot there, but at least they don't have to shovel the walks every other day!  The good thing about the snow is it at least feels like Christmas.  It was weird to see Christmas decorations out when it was 80 degrees and you are thinking what in the world are they decorating for Christmas and then I thought, oh yeah, it is almost Christmas.  Kind of funny how you associate holidays to the seasons, and if it always feels like summer, then it doesn't seem like Christmas. 

So a lot of questions I get is about the dietary changes I am making.  I am doing pretty much a 80/20 raw vegan diet.  I can do about 20% cooked.  So for Thanksgiving, I took my own green Waldorf salad and baked a yam, not ones coated in brown sugar and marshmallows.  It was all really good and I indulged in a little mashed potatoes and a little stuffing.  I made sure I had my digestive enzymes and I was good.   I don't miss meat at all and I don't crave sugar or dairy.  This has been a blessing, but once you wean yourself off those things, your tastes change.  I found the reason that I craved chocolate before was because I was low in magnesium.  If you are getting plenty of that from healthy sources the craving goes away.  Your health can also be a big motivator as to what you stick in your mouth.  I don't want to undo the good that I have done and I want to continue to build my immune system and maintain the health I have achieved.

The question I get a lot is, "Do you have to go back?"  The answer to that is no.  I am going to do ongoing therapeutic high dose vitamin C here.  I have been spending a lot of time trying to find someone who does that here and who is willing to work with me in my particular situation since I am already under a doctor's care.  I will be doing a follow-up PET scan towards the end of December.  The chemotherapy has a cumulative effect and so even though my last treatment was almost two weeks ago, the low-dose chemo is still working up to eight weeks post treatment, so Dr. Lodi wanted to see a scan towards the end of that time period to see the ultimate results.  I am completely confident that it is gone given the fact that my previous PET scan showed very minimal uptake.  Based on the results of others at the Center with much more serious cases of cancer and tumors, and have no doubt that I am cancer free. 

The next question I get a lot of  is, "How are you feeling?"   I feel great!  I have always felt really pretty good.  Probably the worst time for me was when I was detoxing as mentioned in earlier blogs. After that, I really felt pretty well other than tiredness by the end of the day.  This treatment is unlike conventional therapy and it is pretty surprising how well most of all the patients were doing, and the improvements I saw in several patients were amazing. 

I have been keeping in contact with a few of the patients who became close friends, a couple of them are winding down their treatment.  It was a wonderful experience and one I wouldn't trade.  I don't believe the things I learned about my health and wellness and the things I learned about myself could have been learned any other way.  I don't think I would have been open to it if it wasn't for the cancer diagnosis, and I don't believe I would have slowed down to discover and learn the things that the Lord taught me. It was truly a mind, body, and spirit healing for me. 

My journey to healing is not over, rather I believe it is just beginning.  A new journey, a change and shift in what I was doing on many different levels. 

Thank you for all of your thoughts, prayers, meals, care of my children, etc.  I cannot adequately express my gratitude and appreciation for your friendship and all that has been done for me and my family.  I would appreciate your continued prayers.