Western education 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

.....round 3 week 1

...... is well underway with me feeling under the weather.  The humidity is back and it is keeping me in the house working on the finer touches of my school lectures for the fall.  I am getting some sewing done when I am up to it and keeping busy moving around trying to keep the lethargic bowel moving.

With all the amazing and wonderful drugs around, you would think that any of them would have helped to move the bowel now that the chemo and other symptom reducing drugs have created this challenging issue.  Mother Nature has provided us with prunes.... yup, those shrivelled plums that when hydrated through boiling water make a magical elixir.  It is the only thing that works.  I choose to drink mine with ice water which makes it yummier... if that is at all possible.  You just get used to it.  

I have reduced many things in my diet these days like sugar and foods high in carbs... yes, even cereals have high carbs which apparently cancer just loves.  Sugar is one of those man derived products that has crept into almost all packaged foods in our grocery stores.  You would be stuffed past the brim if you had to eat a full stock of sugar cane just to get those few tablespoons that it would be reduced to in the refining process.  Just like orange juice and other refined and packaged products.  I learned through my research that if you walked around the outside aisle of a grocery store, you would get everything you ever needed to feed your family and cheaper.  The aisles are full of products you do not need.  We are cooking and making most everything from scratch, eating our own vegetables and now apples from our own garden.  My perennial plants are making room for decorative obelisks to grow beans, eggplant, zucchini, and cucumbers.  The tomatoes are producing so much goodness and are sliced fresh for sandwiches.  We grow our own fresh herbs in the garden and it pots.  What is amazing is how wonderful it all tastes.  The freezer will house the ripened tomatoes for making salsa but for now, we are making fresh salsa with fresh ingredients.  My friend Sara uses Stevia - an herbal sugar substitute which is gaining in popularity.  It is so hard to believe how many illnesses are caused by sugar and man-made sugar substitutes.  Keeping a low glycemic diet and reducing the sugars, including the corn sugars (super bad... just read how this is manufactured!!), getting exercise each day and eating less red meat and fresh fruits and vegetables will not only make you feel better but give you the necessary building blocks to assist your immune system.  Oooooopsi... just fell off the soap box!!

Monday I had chemo first thing in the morning.... it went OK.  The only thing I look forward to is getting through this round and getting in to the CT scan on the 3rd of September to see if things are going the way we anticipate.  With the nodes shrunk in the neck and an easier time of breathing, I am hopeful that the cancer is being destroyed.  Some research would say otherwise and my recent look on the internet through Preventive Diseases would indicate that there are other non-toxic treatments that when used in conjunction with chemo can effectively kill off the disease..... I am still reading and finding what might help me to heal.  I am learning a lot about chronic inflammation and infections that tax our immune system.  A taxed immune system cannot fight off a cancer and allows it to grow unchecked.  A healthy well-maintained immune system can recognize and destroy cancer cells.  As a young woman, I had chronic bronchitis and chronic sinusitis.... all likely side effects of smoking.  I am fortunate that I have reduced and eliminated these issues when I quit over 8 years ago.  The body doesn't forget what you do to it... so taking steps now to better your odds of a life well lived would be wise.

Chemo brain has me in a fog through Tuesday and other than the nurse visiting to give me my Neulasta shot, I am not entirely sure what exactly went down that day!!??  Hehehehe.  I do remember William calling me from boot camp to tell me of his first day.  Looks like his energy and enthusiasm have not waned and last night, he called me between fire-picket shifts to tell me about his latest adventures.  He cracks me up with the description of one particular activity which I am hesitant to post but know that it has the boys learning to  accept each other's physical appearance... make of this what you will but he found it particularly amusing since he is very comfortable in his own skin.  Team building means breaking down your reality and creating a team mentality that works!!  He is loving the experience of being there.  He is strong and resilient.  They will remove all communication devices this Friday and I will have to wait another month to hear from him... so now I will send him letters and pics in the mail.... yup, snail mail to the base!!!

Yesterday was Wednesday.... not a particularly wonderful day.  I couldn't lay down because of the reflux, despite taking the medication for it and my stomach was just ornery.  I decided to just sit and get some work done while taking breaks.  My mom called just to see if I was coming to their wine and cheese party at the retirement home today.  I said I would and I will, but I will not stay too long.  My Mom does OK but she does not handle my illness well at all.  I do not hear from her very often despite the fact that she lives 2 minutes away.  Her dementia is worsening with time but she is still able to function well and enjoy her life with the friends she has made in the home.  I have told my Mom to not worry about me and to just enjoy her life... I have other family and friends that have been an amazing support.  My brother should be visiting soon and he will bring my Dad out to see me!!!!  I can't wait to see my Dad again!!!!  I miss him so much!! 

I am really missing my sister Patricia... we text and we share pictures online but its not the same.  The kids miss her too!!!  My husband and her husband Alan have things in common and they were just getting to know each other.  I can't wait to see her again and of course my wonderful niece Chelsea and her Earl.  What a wonderful time we spent with each other.  I still feel bad though about the so-called-authentic-italian restaurant.  Next time Patricia, it will be authentic!!

Thursday - today Adam dropped by with a steel cabinet for our garage.  It needs a bit of work but it will be a great addition to storing our garage stuff - lots of room in it.  Thanks so much.  It is always great seeing you in your very busy schedule.  

Friday is a busy day that starts with a Fanshawe course at the college campus where Max and I are the only students.  We are learning to do an online collaborative course for students and moderators.  There is so much flexibility in this technology that I can find a way to still teach my course during snow days.  I remember a time 3 years ago when we had 5 snow days which set us back quite a bit.  This is a safe alternative!!  I met with the course coordinator and uploaded all of my course files which I have spent months developing for him to review and now I feel ready to start the semester.  Last night I am texting my son who has spent his first official week at boot camp.  We try to be as supportive as possible in this tough transistion which is difficult from a distance but well  worth the effort!!

Saturday..... well, I expected to feel better but well, not happening.  I am staying at home today with my stuffed up head and keeping cool in the house.  I have done a neti pot to reduce the stuffiness in my sinuses but think that I have an infection which has necessitated emailing my physician earlier this morning. I am on fever watch today and am taking my temperature twice per day starting from day 5 to day 10.  My bowel is starting to move albeit slowly with a twice a day regimen of prune juice and high fiber foods.  Yesterday evening, I did not eat the pizza but instead enjoyed a wonderful fresh made greek salad with peppers, tomatoes, cucumber and  feta cheese.  Yummy.  I will rest today in the cool of the house.  Tomorrow the family will head off to Toronto without me... it is Comic Con and it was always something Max and I wanted to do.... so he will take the family and leave me to rest at home.  This way I am not a worry.  We are celebrating our 12th anniversary when he comes home in the evening.

I wish to dedicate this blog entry to all the men and women serving in our armed service and to the wonderfully supportive friends and family they have while they focus on their training, missions and goals to keep us free.  Our youth of today have so many more distractions and challenges that we did not have in our own growing years.  Be strong and best of luck Will in attaining your hard earned goals in the weeks and months to come.  Love always, Mom

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