Friday, December 31, 2010

See ya later 2010...

Hello all! I thought I would post in my blog on this last day of this crazy year! I really can't believe that it's coming to an end in about 2 hours here in AZ. It will soon be 2011 in New York and across the world it's already 2011 in other places. Wow. It's a little bittersweet for me. Just the other day I was looking back through my Facebook profile because I was trying to locate a posting I had made to get information from it. I skimmed through most of my profile, but it was so overwhelming once again to "re-live" this past year. It definitely was quite the year, probably the worst, yet at times the best year I have had. I am still alive...that's enough to be thankful for. I definitely DO NOT want another repeat of this year. I really have high hopes that 2011 will be the year. A year of good things for me. New beginnings, new adventures, new friendships and just a NEW year. I have never been more excited for the start of the new year. I think you all can understand why after what I went through this past one.

I really should be out celebrating tonight, but instead I am reflecting on this past year here alone with my dogs at home. It's really quite cold out and after working in the bars for the 13 years I have, you really don't want to be out with all the idiots. I am happy here alone, warm and safe. Plus, I have to work in the morning and typically we are really busy on New Year's Day. I just finished up my last meal of 2010...a nice hunk of prime rib from Outback. It sure hit the spot. That was my reward/treat to myself for ending this roller coaster of a year.

I can't begin to thank you all for all your support this past year. It really means the world to me and I really could not have made it to 2011 without you! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU times infinity! I love you all!!

I just realized it's my 100th post in my blog too...quite fitting as it's the last one of the year!

I really hope that everyone has a safe and fun New Year's and I hope that 2011 will bring happiness, hope and most importantly GOOD HEALTH to everyone. Here's to out with the old, in with the NEW...2011, I think I'm going to like you.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! I'll chat with you all in 2011!!

Love, Erin

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

'Tis the Season!

Hi there everyone! It's my first post in December and I really can't believe the last month of this crazy year is finally here! Wow, what a year it's been. I was just doing some computer stuff today and I was looking at my calendar from last year and couldn't believe that I will be coming up on my 1 year anniversary of things here quick! My how time flies!! For me it was fine to fly this year...I want it over with. I know that 2011 will be an amazing year!!

A friend of mine is running the Walt Disney World 1/2 Marathon in January in MY honor!! It is a Team in Training Marathon on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. If anyone would like to donate to this cause I would LOVE it!! Here is the link to check it out!

http://pages.teamintraining.org/wa/wdw11/jbyrd

I finally think I'm done with Doctor's appointments for the year!! I went to the dentist last week (a new one) and spent 2 hours there. Ugh. I had a cavity...only my 2nd one to date, but still devastating. I strive for perfection (haha) and my teeth aren't. It could be worse I suppose. At least I have teeth. I went BACK to the gyno today for another pap smear. What fun!! (Not). The first one came back non-diagnostic which means they were unable to get a reading from any of the cells. Strange-yes. Rare-yes. Concern-No. He's confident this one will come back readable! Keep your fingers crossed! Hopefully I'll get my results soon!

Here's some helpful info--10 Cancer-Fighting Foods--Eat up people!!


1. Beans
Beans contain a number of phytochemicals, which have been shown to prevent or slow genetic damage to cells. While this makes beans beneficial for helping to reduce your risk of many types of cancer, specific research has suggested they are especially potent in preventing prostate cancer. As an added bonus, the high fiber content of beans has been connected with a lower risk of digestive cancers. Read about cool beans here.

2. Berries
The two most widely studied cancer-fighting compounds in berries are ellagic acid (richest in strawberries and raspberries) and anthocyanosides (richest in blueberries). Ellagic acid is believed to help prevent skin, bladder, lung, and breast cancers, both by acting as an antioxidant and by slowing the reproduction of cancer cells. The anthocyanosides in blueberries are currently the most powerful antioxidants known to scientists and are beneficial in the prevention of all types of cancer.

3. Cruciferous Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale)
Cruciferous vegetables — like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale — are rich in a variety of compounds that have been shown to slow cancer growth and development in a number of laboratory studies. Other larger human studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables can help to reduce the risk of lung, stomach, colorectal, prostate, and bladder cancers.

4. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Leafy-green vegetables — like romaine lettuce, mustard greens, chicory, and Swiss chard — are rich sources of antioxidants called carotenoids. These compounds scavenge dangerous free radicals from the body before they can promote cancer growth. The vegetables are also rich in folate, a vitamin shown to reduce the risk of lung and breast cancer. Read more about gorgeous leafy greens!

5. Flaxseed
Flaxseed in the form of oil and meal contains phytoestrogens believed to reduce the risk of breast, skin, and lung cancer. Research on the potency of flaxseed as an anti-cancer food is still underway.

6. Garlic (including onions, scallions, leeks, and chives)
Garlic contains a number of compounds believed to slow or stop the growth of tumors. One such compound, diallyl disulfide, appears to be especially potent in protecting against skin, colon, and lung cancer, though it is not known exactly how it functions.

7. Grapes
Grapes and wine contain a chemical called resveratrol, which has been shown to be a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Resveratrol is thought to work by preventing cell damage before it begins. Red and purple grapes are the richest sources of resveratrol.

8. Green Tea (decaf)
Green tea is a rich source of a class of flavonoids known as catechins. Laboratory studies have shown that the catechins present in green tea are able to slow or prevent the development of cancer in colon, liver, breast, and prostate cells.

9. Tomatoes
The anti-cancer compound in tomatoes, lycopene, has been shown to be especially potent in combating prostate cancer. This compound appears to be more easily absorbed if the tomatoes are eaten in cooked form-either as tomato sauce, paste, or juice. In addition to preventing prostate cancer, lycopene may also protect against breast, lung, stomach, and pancreatic cancer.

10. Whole Grains
Whole grains contain a variety of anti-cancer compounds, including fiber, antioxidants, and phytoestrogens. When eaten as part of a balanced diet, whole grains can help decrease the risk of developing most types of cancer.


Interesting!!

I will try and check in one more time before the fat man comes in 10 days! I hope everyone is having a great last month of this year and is enjoying prepping for Christmas!! Have you been naughty or nice?!

Till the next time...

Love, Erin


Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-cancer-fighting-foods.html#ixzz189hb3ZGK

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Be Thankful...

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!! I know this is late, but I couldn't write in my blog earlier because I didn't want some of my family members to hear my blessing before I did it "live". Ha. Yes, I asked to do the blessing this year. Why? Because I have a lot to be thankful for and it seemed fitting. I just got home from my parents house from an amazing Thanksgiving. I am most thankful for my health. Crazy tho looking back on last year's Thanksgiving and I wasn't healthy...cancer was in my body, starting to cause a scene! Ha! But look at me now, healthy, alive and so very thankful. Here is a re-cap of my blessing that I would like to share with all of you.

"I thought it would be appropriate for me to give the blessing this year because of the year that I have had. I am grateful every day for everything I have in my life, but this year I have a lot to be thankful for. Because of the power of prayer from all of you, the rest of the family that couldn't be here today, my friends, co-workers, doctors, nurses, physician assistantants, complete strangers and the big man upstairs I am able to stand here before you all and give thanks. So let us give thanks for this roof over our head, for one another, freedom, peace, this meal that is before us and for the hands that prepared it. Let us be thankful to be together to enjoy this day with our loved ones and although there are a few family members that aren't here, they are here with us in spirit. We also ask those who aren't as fortunate as ourselves be blessed. Thank you to our Armed forces for protecting our country and allowing us the freedom that we have. And most importantly let's all be thankful for being healthy and alive. I found this poem that I would like to share, it seemed fitting.

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes,
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
because it means you have made a difference.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfilment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

With that being said, let's eat!"


I love that poem! It's so true and perfect. I forgot to add in there but I am really thankful for a set of hair too. See it's the little things...I mean who else is happy they have hair on their head this year? I know you are all, but not as happy as I am! Ha! :)

I think I may be slightly delirious from the amount of food I ate today so I'm going to wrap this entry up by saying THANK YOU! I love you all. Hope you all had as great of a Thanksgiving as I did.

Till the next time...

Love, Erin

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Love.Life.

Hello all! I apologize for not writing in here soon...I have been busy loving my life. I think things have progressively gotten better! I love my life! I am so happy and I'm just so happy and thankful that it looks like 2010 will end on a positive note...in more than one way!

I got assigned a chemo angel and I'm thrilled! Her name is Kathleen and she lives in Baltimore, MD. She's 31, married and has Hodgkin's Lymphoma...it has actually come back since she had it in 2005. She desperately wants to have kids so her Doctor and her are taking every pre-caution that she can still have kids after her chemo treatments. She was pregnant earlier this year with twins, but mis-carried them both! How sad! So my job is to send her a package/note once a week. I have already mailed off 2 packages and I hope she likes them. At least I know it will put a smile on her face. I mean who doesn't like a package in the mail?? I know I was super excited...it's like Christmas! Ha! I know I will probably run out of ideas on what to send her so if anyone has any ideas or has some cool things I should send her, feel free to let me know! I think this time of year will be easy with it being the holidays and all and yes, she does celebrate Christmas! Yippee! Hopefully I can get a new friend out of the deal too!

I went to my OB/GYN appointment 2 weeks ago for my yearly check-up. I was due earlier this year but I couldn't go because I was sick. If you remember this was the doctor that I first went to see when all of this started happening...the swollenness...etc. So, he was excited to see me and we had a nice chat. I gave him the results of my latest CT scan and labwork and he was thrilled! Thankfully all my tests with him came back normal! I'm good for another year. The only other thing doctor related I have to do this year is go to the dentist! I'm trying out a new dentist too right down the street from my house. I hope I like him and have no cavities!

So things still continue to make my happy. I am so thankful to just be healthy and alive right now. This Thanksgiving means a lot to me. I am really looking forward to a great day with my family.

My Mom sent me this email yesterday and I thought I would include it in my post! Beware! My cancer made the list...yikes...#7!

I'm off to the Cardinal game today and I'm really looking forward to a big W. Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and I'll report back and let you know how much turkey I ate...

Love you all--Erin

The top 10 Deadliest Cancers:

Here's a look at the 10 cancers that killed the most people in the United States between 2003 and 2007, the most recent data available, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

1. Lung and bronchial cancer: 792,495 lives
Lung and bronchial cancer is the top killer cancer in the United States. Smoking and use of tobacco products are the major causes of it, and it strikes most often between the ages of 55 and 65, according to the NCI. There are two major types: non-small cell lung cancer, which is the most common, and small cell lung cancer, which spreads more quickly. More than 157,000 people are expected to die of lung and bronchial cancer in 2010.

2. Colon and rectal cancer:268,783 lives
Colon cancer grows in the tissues of the colon, whereas rectal cancer grows in the last few inches of the large intestine near the anus, according to the National Cancer Institute. Most cases begin as clumps of small, benign cells called polyps that over time become cancerous. Screening is recommended to find the polyps before they become cancerous, according to the Mayo Clinic. Colorectal cancer is expected to kill more than 51,000 people in 2010.

3. Breast cancer: 206,983 lives
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women in the United States, after skin cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can also occur in men – there were nearly 2,000 male cases between 2003 and 2008. The cancer usually forms in the ducts that carry milk to the nipple or the glands that produce the milk in women. Nearly 40,000 people are expected to die from breast cancer in 2010, according to the NCI.

4. Pancreatic cancer: 162,878 lives
Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissues of the pancreas, which aids digestion and metabolism regulation. Detection and early intervention are difficult because it often progressives stealthily and rapidly, according to the Mayo Clinic. Pancreatic cancer is expected to claim nearly 37,000 lives in 2010, according to the NCI.

5. Prostate cancer: 144,926 lives
This cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in men, after lung and bronchial cancer, according to the NCI. Prostate cancer usually starts to grow slowly in the prostate gland, which produces the seminal fluid to transport sperm. Some types remain confined to the gland, and are easier to treat, but others are more aggressive and spread quickly, according to the Mayo Clinic. Prostate cancer is expected to kill about 32,000 men in 2010, according to the NCI.

6. Leukemia: 108,740 lives
There are many types of leukemia, but all affect the blood-forming tissues of the body, such as the bone marrow and the lymphatic system, and result in an overproduction of abnormal white blood cells, according to the NCI. Leukemia types are classified by how fast they progress and which cells they affect; a type called acute myelogenous leukemia killed the most people – 41,714 – between 2003 and 2007. Nearly 22,000 people are expected to die from leukemia in 2010.

7. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma: 104,407 lives
This cancer affects the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, and is characterized by larger lymph nodes, fever and weight loss. There are several types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and they are categorized by whether the cancer is fast- or slow-growing and which type of lymphocytes are affected, according to the NCI. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is deadlier than Hodgkin lymphoma, and is expected to kill more than 20,000 people in 2010. THANKFULLY I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE 20,000 PEOPLE!!!

8. Liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer: 79,773 lives
Liver cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer around the world, but is uncommon in the United States, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, its rates in America are rising. Most liver cancer that occurs in the U.S. begins elsewhere and then spreads to the liver. A closely related cancer is intrahepatic bile duct cancer, which occurs in the duct that carries bile from the liver to the small intestine. Nearly 19,000 Americans are expected to die from liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer in 2010, according to the NCI.

9. Ovarian cancer: 73,638 lives
Ovarian cancer was the No. 4 cause of cancer death in women between 2003 and 2007, according to the NCI. The median age of women diagnosed with it is 63. The cancer is easier to treat but harder to detect in its early stages, but recent research has brought light to early symptoms that may aid in diagnosis, according to the Mayo Clinic. Those symptoms include abdominal discomfort, urgency to urinate and pelvic pain. Nearly 14,000 women are expected to die of ovarian cancer in 2010, according to the NCI.

10. Esophageal cancer: 66,659 lives
This cancer starts in the cells that line the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach) and usually occurs in the lower part of the esophagus, according to the Mayo Clinic. More men than women died from esophageal cancer between 2003 and 2007, according to the NCI. It is expected to kill 14,500 people in 2010.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy Dance!

As you can see from my title of this blog I'm doing the happy dance. I've been doing it all day...I did it at Ironwood, I did it in the parking lot, I've been doing it around the house. I'M STILL CANCER FREE!!! My lymph nodes have even shrank so that's the best news I could have gotten today. I don't think the news could have gotten any better. My white blood count is still 1/10th below the minimum but it's climbing. I went from a 3.0 to a 3.9 in the 3 months so that's great. All of my other counts are in range so that is great news as well.

Of course I was pretty nervous for today but deep down I had a good feeling. I figured if it was to come back in the last 3 months I would have "felt" something...but I haven't. My Mom even said I look amazing so there's no way it has come back. I have the cutest head of hair as well and I would HATE to lose it. This hair on my head is here to stay!!!

I was just so happy when PA Scott came into the room and said "well, it's good news!" I just went "whew!" I could care less what he had to say after that, I knew it was good news. Ha. My Mom has also worked her magic and has hopefully started a possible date in my near future with Scott...hahaha. I won't say much about it for fear I may jinx it but I will keep you posted if anything happens. :)

The other great news of the day is that I am DONE with medical crap for 2010! That's right, I don't have to go back for anything until January 25th 2011! I will get another CT scan before that, blood work and then meet with Dr. Nabong and Scott. If all goes well with that scan (which I'm sure it will now) then they will schedule to get my port taken out!! Isn't that great news? I'm not sure if all of this has hit me yet, but I can tell you one thing, I can't stop smiling!!!

So that my friends is the news of the day. THANK YOU all for your thoughts and prayers...they really have worked. I can now enjoy the holidays without a cancer cloud over me, my family or friends. For that I am truly thankful. Don't worry I will continue to write in my blog at least once a week. I enjoy it and I hope you do too! Till the next time...

Love you all--Erin

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

CT #1 Done!

Hello all! I had my CT scan done today...it's the first scan I've had since July and it was a little nerve-wracking! It's also the first scan since I've been in remission and I pray that I am still in remission. This scan will tell me! I think after this one comes back clean I will have a better piece of mind. At least that's what I'm hoping for in my head! So, I'll tell you a little bit about today...

First off Mom and Dad are back on US soil and at their home sweet home. They were only 7 hours late getting in, but it's ok...they made it safe and sound. Since they were delayed so much I didn't get to bed until after 1am last night and I had to be up at 6am for my 7am check-in at Ironwood. Ugh...it was rough getting up especially when I couldn't even have any coffee! :( I got to Ironwood and for the first time ever they didn't ask for a co-pay? Is it my lucky day?? She then gives me this "drink"...it actually looked like a protein smoothie, like one of those Naked drinks. It even read "Banana Smoothie"...it was specifically for pre CT scans though. It read Ready Cat Barium Sulfate Suspension...whatever the heck that is. I didn't even ask them what it was for, I actually just assumed it was my tracer and I was pretty much right. Mom googled it and this is what she came up with: "Oral contrast is often used to enhance CT images of the abdomen and pelvis. There are two different types of substances used for oral CT contrast. The first, barium sulfate, is the most common oral contrast agent used in CT. The second type of contrast agent is sometimes used as a substitute for barium and is called Gastrografin. Barium contrast looks like and has a similar consistency as a milk shake. It is mixed with water and depending on the brand used, may have different flavors (for example, strawberry or lemon). Gastrografin contrast is a water-based drink mixed with iodine and has a tinted yellow color. When given orally, gastrografin may taste bitter."

I thankfully had the barium and the taste wasn't that bad although it's not something I would like to drink everyday! HA! She told me i had to drink this smoothie slowly over the next hour so they didn't have to give me anymore. Ha. Shortly after that I was taken back to the chemo room (ugh, nasty memories) where they got my port ready for the iodine injection I was going to get during the scan. I was still sucking down my smoothie during this as well! Ha!

Finally she came back to get me and off we were to the tube! I had to slurp down what was left of my smoothie and it was on the table. In and out of the tube, hold your breath, exhale, then ok, here comes the iodine. Wow what a weird feeling! My whole body got hot (like the insides) and then I felt like I just pee'd in my pants! Tee hee. I giggled. A few more hold your breaths, in and out of the tube and we were done! They did a CT of my neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis. Finally I could go get a real beverage...aka...coffee! YUM.

I find out the results on Tuesday when I go meet with Dr. Nabong. I feel like it's been forever since I've seen him so I hope he has good news for me!!

I will report back Tuesday when I get some GOOD news. Hope you all have a great weekend!! Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers today!

Love, Erin

Thursday, October 14, 2010

PINK PINK and more PINK!

Hello all! It's my first post of October...I love October! It's Breast Cancer Month so there is pink EVERYWHERE. It's in all the stores, in the magazines and even on big huge football players. I mean what else could you ask for? October also should mean cooler weather, but unfortunately not here in AZ so far. It was like 100 today. What?? October also means pumpkins are a'plenty. I love pumpkin anything. They are so yummy. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin spiced lattes, you name it. YUM. October is exciting to me because it means the start of the holiday season and I love the holidays. This year I especially love them because I AM ALIVE. :)

What have I been up to the past few weeks? I have been busier than ever...but I'm loving every second of it. I am still working out and loving it. I'm still very sore, but it's that good sore. I do feel myself getting stronger so that makes me happy. Seeing and feeling results is always a good thing.

I completed the Susan G Komen "Race for the Cure" this past Sunday. I am so happy that I did it. It was such a great experience. Although it was pretty darn hot out to be running (and it was only 8:30am) I completed the 3.1ish miles in 45 minutes. That's not super duper fast, but considering what I just went through over the past few months, I'm just happy I finished! I jogged, then walked, jogged then walked. I really could have finished faster but man was it hot! There were TONS of people there of all kinds. Survivors, supporters, kids, current cancer patients, you name it...it was amazing. There were frat boys there sporting shirts that read "frat boys don't just party." A little girl sported a shirt that said, "please find a cure before I get boobies." I mean how cute is that? The people watching in itself was entertainment! I will definitely be doing it again next year...and you can bet I will finish in faster time than 45 minutes.

I got my CT Scan scheduled. I'm glad I called because it sounded like my "order" had gotten lost. They had just switched over to an electronic medical system so everything is electronic now...well my order for my CT was on paper and I guess never made it into the computer...so I'm glad I called. It is scheduled for Wednesday at 7am check-in, 8am scan. I guess I have to chug some type of concoction. Oh joy. I have yet to have a CT with contrast so this is a first...imagine that! I haven't asked for many prayers lately, but I'm asking for them on Wednesday! Let's make sure this scan comes back CLEAN! I won't find out the results until the 26th when I meet with my Doc.

Mom and Dad are still frolicking around Europe. In fact they are at sea today but I heard from Mom via text messaging this morning! They were outside of Egypt! I hadn't heard from her in over a week so it was nice to "hear" they were still alive! They have seen some amazing stuff, but are running out of energy...I think they are ready to come home! I would be too. They arrive back to the states on Tuesday. Sydney and I will be at the airport to pick them up!

That is the latest from my end. I will report back on Wednesday after my scan so I can tell you all about it. I'm quite nervous only because it's the first one post-cancer. I think I will feel a lot better after this one is done. So, please say some prayers for me and think positive thoughts! I just got my life back and I want it stay. Thank you. :)

I am attaching a few pictures from the race! Hope you all are doing good. Till Wednesday! Have a nice weekend...

Love, Erin

ME!! PINK for Boobies, LIME GREEN for NHL!


WHO I HONORED...


AT THE FINISH LINE!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Feel the burn..

Hey everyone! Whoa, it's been almost 2 weeks since I have written in my blog. Bad Erin. I'm so sorry. Luckily there is nothing bad to report, so I guess you can say no news is good news! Ha! I'm just living my life and enjoying every second of it.

Working out is going great! I love it. I have been very disciplined in going too even though I only go 3 times a week but for now that's a start. I just started my 3rd week. I feel stronger and healthier so that must mean I'm doing great! I'm also pretty darn sore too. :)

I still haven't received my Angel assignment but I'm thinking I should hear any time now. I feel like it's been forever since I got accepted into the program! Patience.

My CT Scan has yet to be scheduled, but that's fine, I don't go back to the Doc until the end of October so there is still plenty of time.

The weather here in AZ is abnormally hot. I think we are all ready for it to cool down for more than 2 days. Please weather?

I signed up the other day for the Susan G Koman "Race for the Cure" here in Phoenix. I have never done this one before so I'm really looking forward to it. It's a 5K. I can do it especially since I'm post-treatment and I've been working out. I like the day it falls on too...10-10-10. 10 is my favorite number. :) Wish me luck!

So that is the latest... pretty exciting news huhh? Hey, I would rather write in here about boring day-to-day activities than how a chemo treatment has made me feel! :)

Have a great rest of your week everyone. I'll check back in next week!

Love, Erin

Friday, September 17, 2010

September Check Up Results...

Hello all! I had my meeting with Dr. Nabong today...all went well. I asked him how my blood counts were and he said, "ok." I said, "OK?" He said, well your counts are still climbing, your WBC (white blood count) is at a 3 but your ANC (absolute neutrophil count) is at 1400. So he said I didn't need to worry. I thought it to be odd though because I had been at a 3 for my WBC during treatment and it's been 2 months since I've had chemo in my body and it's still at 3. I guess it just goes to show you it is taking my body awhile to bounce back! Patience Erin, patience. I will still scratch my head though because I FEEL GREAT!!!

At least I have something to compare it to because the last time I was at the Doc I didn't have labs done. So hopefully come October they are even higher. My ANC is right on the border of being in the normal range so that's great. A neutrophil is a white blood cell, but it's the most important one because it fights the infections...that's why he wasn't concerned. Hope this is all making sense!

I asked him about my feet and hands and it is just a side effect from the drugs...I guess it just comes and goes. I'm going to start taking that B6 vitamin again and hopefully that will help. If it's still not better in October, I'll bring it up again. That was pretty much all we discussed. I will go back in 6 weeks for another check up (October 26th) but prior to that I will have a CT scan (with contrast--injection of dye) done. Eeeekkkkkk I'm nervous already! It better come back clean as a whistle. :)

I got my port flushed and I was out the door! Everyone loved my hair growth and Dr. Nabong got a kick out me when I said, "hahah my hair is longer than yours!" Hee hee hee.

I am still enjoying the gym and I have been 3 times this week! I am pretty darn sore today though...but it's a good sore. I can't wait to go again!

That's the latest my friends! I hope you all have a good weekend.

I'll check back in next week!

Love, Erin

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back in Shape!

Hey there everyone...just thought I would post a new blog to let you know how amazing my life is going. Ha! I have finally recuperated from my vacation...it took awhile, but I did! I thought I was fighting off a cold last week as well, and finally today I feel like myself again! I never did get the cold thank goodness, but I felt it trying to win, but I of course wasn't going to let that happen!

It's really weird to start thinking about the past 7 months...well actually now, the past year. It was this time last year that this all started. It was right about Labor Day that I started noticing the swelling in my groin. Seems so crazy to think about all that I have gone through in the past year. Did any of you watch the "Stand Up to Cancer" special that aired on Friday night? I did and I thought it was great. The statistics they showed on there were unbelievable. There were many tears falling down my face during the show because it was the first time I have watched a show like that having had cancer, and living as a Survivor. Pretty emotional. I seriously do hope and pray that someday there will be a cure. This cancer stuff is nasty.

For the first time in probably 10 years I went to the gym last night. Seems weird to put me and gym together, but ever since I got cancer I have never wanted to work out more. Weird, I know. Actually before I was diagnosed I had started running and I enjoyed it but then that stupid tumor got in the way and I couldn't continue anymore. I think it was more of I couldn't do something so I wanted to do it more...hence, my yearning to work out. One of the girls at work is a personal trainer so out of the goodness of her heart she trained me last night. She showed me a million things to do to get me started so I'm super excited. Yes, I was able to get out of bed today, but my body is pretty sore. It will only continue to get more sore as well, but I like being sore, it means I'm doing something. Ha! My goal is to have a great bikini body for the spring because with my great body I will have a great set of hair too!

Oh, speaking of hair, I'm tickled that I have hair on my head as well as my eyelashes and eyebrows back! Everything has come back in strong. Yippee! My armpit and leg hair could have stayed gone forever, but oh well. I had a nice 6 month break. I have officially stopped wearing bandanas on my head and I'm rocking my cute really short hair! I actually like it and it's so nice in this AZ heat! My hair looks pretty much the same as it did before...it's not coming in any crazy color or curly...so that's good.

I have my next Doctor's appointment on Friday. I get to go to the lab on Thursday too so I'm excited to feel special because I made an appointment! Hee hee. I really have nothing to discuss with him other than my feet. They are still hurting me a lot. I get out of bed and it's painful. I think I may still have some type of nerve issue. My hands still hurt every now and then too. So, I'll discuss that with him, but other than that, I hope to hear that my blood counts are perfect! I will also get my port flushed and hopefully get my CT scan scheduled for October. Eeekkk....I'm nervous already.

I am going to upload all my pictures from my trip today and when I do I will post a link to them so you all can see! They are great! I'll update again after my Doctor's appointment. Hope you all are doing good and enjoying this somewhat cooler weather! I'm ready to say adios to the 100's....

Till the next time...

Love, Erin

Monday, September 6, 2010

Home.Sweet.Home.

Hey there everyone! I think this is the longest I have gone without writing a post in my blog! You all knew where I was though...frolicking around California, enjoying a much needed vacation! So, how was it you ask? It was awesome. So awesome in fact that I came home a day early because I am beyond exhausted. Not really mentally, just physically. I did realize during this trip that my body is still not 100% yet so that got a little frustrating...but it is what it is. I had a blast. So nice to get away.

I started off by driving last Sunday to LA. I have never done the drive to CA before (at least by myself) so that was an adventure in itself. The traffic wasn't bad at all and I was able to find my friends place just fine! I stayed with a friend of mine that used to work at Loco. I changed and we were off to Hollywood! It was fun to walk around, see all the big Hollywood signs, but man that city is dirty. GROSS! I just felt dirty walking around. I got to see some favorite celebrity hangouts, bums and trannys. Everything LA has to offer. Ha. I even had my first Pinkberry experience (yum) and I did some shopping on Melrose.

Monday night I flew to San Francisco and got to experience the fog first hand. My 1 hour flight was delayed 3.5 hours. And I spent an extra hour in the air circling around SF trying to land because of the fog. Not fun, but I made it. My friend Lindsay from high school and her husband Marco were there to pick me up! I spent the next 2 days exploring SF by myself since they both had to work. I met up with a friend from UofA, we were in the same sorority together so it was nice to see her after all these years and I also met up with another girl that used to work at Loco! I also walked and walked and walked. My poor feet. They are in dire need of a pedicure tomorrow. Ugh. I was proud of myself for getting around on the public transportation too. San Francisco was just as I remembered it, a pretty, bustling, windy, hilly, foggy city.

Thursday I flew back down to LA and then made a drive south to Laguna Beach. Now I got to experience LA traffic at it's best. My hour drive turned into 2 hours. Ugh. I made it though and we were off to the bar as soon as I pulled in! I stayed there with another friend of mine from high school. She has a house about 15 minutes from the beach...how convenient. Friday we made an impromptu trip to Carlsbad (had lunch there), then went a little further to San Diego! I hadn't been there since I was a little kid so it was fun to see what it's all about. We walked around the boardwalk and stopped at this bar called "Wavehouse" where you can watch people try and surf on this fake (yet real) wave. It was pretty entertaining. From there we went to the Del Mar horse racing tracks. Didn't get to see an actual race (although I heard them) but it was fun just being there with all crazy energy.

Saturday was a beach day. I went to 2 different beaches and got to experience the beauty of Laguna. The fog made it nice in the morning/early afternoon because it wasn't so hot walking around. I got to relax finally too so that was nice. That night we went to San Clemente and watched the sunset off the pier there. SO PRETTY. I had made up my mind Saturday that my body just couldn't go anymore. I was so tired. I was also worried about the traffic leaving on Labor Day, I missed my doggies and I really wanted my bed! So, off I was yesterday afternoon and I'm so happy to be home. I had a great time and I'm so glad that I went, but there is nothing like being back to your normal routine!

So that my friends is a re-cap of my busy trip! I think I need a vacation from my vacation now...ha! Thankfully I have 2 days to rest before I return to work on Wednesday! Oh, I'm sporting some pretty cool hair too...it is now officially the end of bandanas....yes!

Hope you all are having a safe and fun Labor Day weekend. For once I'm not laboring on Labor Day!

Till the next time....

Love, Erin

Monday, August 23, 2010

Best.Party.Ever.

Hello all! I have survived my Cancer Free party! I am actually really sad that it is over with it was that much fun! I was so overwhelmed with the amount of people that came to support me. It was awesome! A BIG thank you to everyone who came. It meant a lot to me. The best surprise was my brother surprising the living daylights out of me! I was shocked! I screamed like a little girl and of course, started crying. If you know me, I love surprises and this was the best! I was so happy that he could be here to share the celebration! My Mom was beyond elated that all of her 4 brothers and sisters were there. It was awesome. My Doctor's PA Scott even came too! That was a nice surprise as well! I had a friend of mine Carmen come all the way in from Vegas and my Aunt and Uncle come down from Cottonwood. I love my friends and family. Thank you so much. It was such a fun night and even though I paid for it yesterday it was well worth it!

I am still feeling amazing. It's funny when people ask me, "how are you?" I reply, "amazing." I mean life couldn't get any better, I'm cancer free! Whenever I seem to get mad or crabby I think to myself, "Erin, you just beat cancer...stop it." Life could definitely be worse people. I am so thankful for everything in my life, including all of you.

I have officially graduated from the ChemoAngel program. I really hope I can still keep in touch with all my 3 Angels for the rest of my life. The good news is I applied to be a ChemoAngel and I was accepted! Woo hoo! I find out my person in about 3 to 6 weeks. They want to make sure I get matched correctly. I'm so excited!!

I have been super busy enjoying life lately. Early last week I went down to the border to stay with my Brother for a night. Heidi and Frank were invited as well so we all had a good time. I got stuck in a crappy monsoon on my way home and had to pull over in Casa Grande for about 1/2 hour to wait out the storm, but other than that, we had a blast. The doggies all played, Ry and I went shopping in Nogales, AZ and had great authentic Mexican food at a favorite Border Patrol hangout. Good times!

Now, I'm preparing for my amazing vacation to California. I'm leaving on Sunday to drive to LA, spend the night there, then fly to San Francisco to spend 3 nights with my friend Lindsay from high school, then fly back to LA and drive down to Laguna Beach for Labor Day weekend and to visit my friend Nikki from high school. It will be an awesome trip and I can't wait. I haven't been on a real vacation in a year and we all know how much I deserve this one! So, I probably won't be updating my blog until I get back. I know, sniff...sniff....

So that my friends is the latest! My next Doc appointment is September 14th. Stay safe and remember to have fun. Life is too short.

Till the next time!

Love, Erin

Sunday, August 15, 2010

7 Ways to Slash Cancer Risk...

Hey there everyone...I'm still loving and enjoying life to it's fullest! I'm gearing up for my party on Saturday night, I hope to see a lot of you. It's going to be a blast.

I found some more information on how you can slash your risk of getting cancer. Here is what I found.

1. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day. As well as helping prevent weight gain, research shows that activity itself helps prevent cancer by keeping hormone levels healthy, which is important because having high levels of some hormones can increase cancer risk.

2. Lower your weight to the lower end of the body-mass index for your height. Even more important, banish belly fat, which acts like a ‘hormone pump’ releasing estrogen into the bloodstream as well as raising levels of other hormones. This is strongly linked to colon cancer and probably to cancers of the pancreas and endometrium (lining of the uterus), as well as breast cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women.

3. Avoid sugary drinks and high-calorie foods. Cutting out foods made from white flour and sugar, such as candy, pastries, and other baked goods that aren’t whole grain, is one of the fastest ways to lose weight, and is also healthier for blood sugar balance.

4. Eat more fruits and vegetables. This one’s been pretty thoroughly covered in a previous post on anti-cancer foods.

5. Eat less red meat and little or no processed meat. Experts say there’s no longer any doubt that eating beef, pork, and other red meats raises the risk of colorectal cancer. Red meat contains heme iron and other substances that damage the colon lining, making way for tumor growth. Processed meat is even worse. When meat is preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or by the addition of preservatives, cancer-causing substances (carcinogens) are formed that damage cells in the body, leading to cancer. While studies show we can eat up to 18 ounces a week of red meat without raising cancer risk, research shows that cancer risk starts to increase with any portion of processed meat.

6. Limit alcohol to two drinks a day for men, one for women–but none is best of all. Unfortunately for all those of us who like a drink now and then, there’s convincing evidence that alcohol increases the risk of cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and colon. This one got hit with a double-whammy of evidence this week; the National Cancer Institute also reported the results of a huge study detailing the risks of alcohol for women. Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, cancer blogger for the American Cancer Society, spelled it out in black and white: “there is no level of alcohol consumption that could be called safe.” Scientists are still researching how alcohol causes cancer. One theory is that alcohol can directly damage DNA, increasing our risk of cancer. Research shows that alcohol is particularly harmful when combined with smoking.

7. Limit salt intake. Salt and salt-preserved foods are linked to stomach and other digestive cancers; limit salt to 2400 milligrams to be safe.

One last thing; this report did not even address smoking, because experts consider that such a no-brainer at this point. Smokers increase their chances of getting almost all kinds of cancer every time they light up. So the only recommendation is, don’t.

So there is your lesson for the day! Hope you all are doing well! Till the next time...

Love, Erin

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My Journey is O-V-E-R....

Hello all! I finally have something to write about! I finally got the final verdict from Dr. Schriber about 2 hours ago! He discussed at lengths with the folks over at MDA and the bias after the discussions was to NOT go forward with the transplant. So that means my journey is OVER! I did it. I just have to hope and pray that this crap will never come back! I was very much anticipating this news and I had a feeling it was going to end up like this, but I was still in shock as I was reading it. I mean, I finally got the word. It's over. I feel relieved, excited, emotional and over the top with joy! I think I have a permi-smile on my face. :) :) :) :) :). Whew, what a relief!

That means my party on the 21st will really be a party. It's a cancer free celebration, but now it's a complete celebration that my journey as I fight NHL is OVER!

So other than that, I have just been living life and loving it. Going out with my friends, working away and being a normal person! It's awesome. I feel great too! I feel like my strength and stamina is back at full force as well. Yippee.

I'm looking forward to going to visit my brother for a night next week, then my party next Saturday and then my much needed vacation at the end of the month to California. I CAN'T WAIT!!!

That's about it from here! I'm going to grill up a celebratory steak dinner. Yum. I deserve it.

Oh, here's the invite to my party...7pm, August 21st at Loco Patron! Hope to see you all there!

Even though my journey is officially over, I am still going to keep up with my blog. I really enjoy writing it! Hope you all will continue to follow it as well. But for now...

THE END.

Love, Erin

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Just livin' life...

Hello all! Just thought I would write a little update even though I really don't have too much to say. I did have a doctor's appointment today with Dr. Nabong and Scott. It went really good. Thankfully there was no bad news and no tears! Yippee! I heard the words "complete remission" again from the both of them so that made me smile. I will never get sick of those words! They both are fine if I don't do the transplant and if I do do the transplant. Dr. Nabong's job is done. He's not done with me yet though. He said he's not ready to set me free. He wants to keep a close eye on me. So, I'm going next month to get lab work done, then to meet with him to see how I'm feeling, what my counts are etc. Then, in October I will get a CT scan. They do CT scans now I guess. I'll get scanned every 3 months for the time being. If there is a red flag on the CT scan they will do a PET. Interesting. I also got my port flushed out today. I have to get that done every 6 weeks. I will ask at my next meeting how long the port will stay in me. It really doesn't matter to me, but once it comes out, it better not ever enter my body again! :)

I am still waiting to hear the final verdict from Dr. Schriber's peeps. As of yesterday he was still waiting to hear back from the head guy at MD Anderson and now my Dad wants me to see if he can contact someone else. As of now, my decision still remains the same. NO. I will be interested to see what the guy at MDA has to say though.

So, even though I'm still not 100% sure what route I will take with this transplant, I do know one thing for sure. I'm cancer free. That deserves a party right? Duh! So, I have made the date. Saturday August 21st at Loco Patron in Scottsdale. I will be sending out e-vites and invites via Facebook, but seriously every single person in the world is invited!! That means you, and you and YOU! I would love to see everyone and share a tasty Miller Lite! Please send me an email at sillee@cox.net if you need to contact me regarding the party but I hope to see everyone there. I can't wait!

Tomorrow it will be 6 months since dooms day. I can't believe it's been 6 months. I can't believe I'm cancer free within 6 months! Simply amazing. So happy and blessed to have the strength, courage, mentality, friends, family and prayers that I do. I love all of you! Thank you!!!

Till the next time...

Love, Erin

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

i-What?

Hello there all! Well, I really don't have much to report as far as feedback goes from my Doc. I called first thing on Monday morning and I didn't get a call back (well I may have but I missed the call and they didn't leave a message). So, I emailed him directly last night. Screw phone calls, I got a response in 17 minutes! Ha. He told me the decision was so far split and that he was waiting to hear from the big guy, the head of MD Anderson. So hopefully he will hear something in the next couple days. He asked me what my thoughts were and I told him I was leaning towards no. I haven't heard anything since that.

I'm enjoying my cancer free life, that's for sure. I went yesterday with Mom to get a new computer. I am now a proud owner of a MAC. I LOVE IT. I finagled my way into a free iPod touch too...hee hee. The promo said if you buy a MAC for college you get a free iPod touch...well, I don't right go to college right now, but I did and I still have my ID so that worked! Ha. I'm obsessed with both of these new toys...such great entertainment. Oh technology these days.

So that is a little update from here. I will keep you posted if I hear anymore...

Till the next time...

Love, Erin

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Was that a dream?!

Hello all! It's been a few days since I've posted so I thought I would write tonight and let you all know how I'm doing. I was sitting here tonight thinking, did all of this just happen over the last 6 months? It feels like a blur, like a dream. Wow. I seriously can't believe I kicked cancer's butt in less than 6 months. This crap better not come back and I'm pretty sure it's aware. :)

Let's see...Wednesday we had a little impromptu celebration happy hour at the Loc for a few Miller Lites. Well, a few turned into a few too many but man was that fun! Everyone, including me, was so happy to see me out having fun, enjoying life. It seriously was the best feeling. What I did learn from that night was that I sure did not miss hangovers! Now, party planning is being made for my big one now...details soon!

Along with planning a party, I'm trying to figure out where I want my celebration trip. I have pretty much decided on a trip to California to visit a few friends I have over there, but a sweet cruise to Europe was thrown in the mix, but I highly doubt that is going to happen. I'd rather spend that money on hardwood floors in my house. Yes, I'm always thinking practical.

Although I'm starting to plan a few things, the thought of the transplant is still lingering in the back of my head. I am going to call Jane (my case manager at Good Sam) first thing in the morning and hopefully get the feedback from Dr. Schriber's talks with his Doc friends tomorrow. I will be chomping at the bit to hear back from them. Then, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief...

I meet with Dr. Nabong the following Tuesday as well. So, until then I am just living life, as I should. It feels amazing peeps. You really have no idea. Just remember to live because you never know when you will be thrown a curve ball.

I'll post again when I hear from Dr. Schriber...

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Love, Erin

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Expect the Unexpected...

Hello folks! Another update here that I'm sure you all have been anticipating. Today I thought would be the first day to my cure. Today I thought I would be given the details of the transplant, the rid all of my disease...screech! (Picture the sound a record makes when you go back!) Not the case at all. My life is pretty much back. Can you believe it? I don't think I do yet...but I am enjoying a cold Miller Lite as I type this. Never did I think that would happen today. I never thought I would hear the things I did hear today either. Ok, so how do I explain this to make sense? My head is literally still spinning (and it's not from the Miller either.)

The best news is that I'm in COMPLETE REMISSION. There are NO signs of cancer. My lymph nodes are NOT active, they are enlarged. Enlarged how much? Less than 2 (2 what? No idea, but 2( and less than 2 is good. The biggest one I have is 1.92. Whew, in the clear. There was nothing on my PET scan that Dr. Schriber saw that showed a red flag. Whew. The biggest thing that came out of this meeting is that I'm ALK positive. For once in your life you want to test positive. You can either be ALK negative or positive with this type of cancer and I'm positive, the best case. This is really really really good news and he stressed that a million times in the meeting. Not only is my cancer rare to begin with, but being ALK positive is very rare too. Duh, here we go again...we all knew I was special!! This means the transplant may be too much. This means my progression percentage has already been increased from 20% to 30-40%. If I do the transplant NOW it would only increase it another 5%. So what do they want to do? Pretty much nobody knows. I could treat it aggressively and do the transplant and get that extra 5%...but is it worth it for the rare, yet possible future side effects? Or do I sit here and wait, hope and pray that it doesn't come back? I found out today too that the transplant is NOT a 100% cure. I would still have to live my life post-transplant wondering if it was going to come back. So, either way it will always be in the back of my head. I'm ok with that.

This decision is ultimately going to boil down to me. Dr. Schriber is going to chat with his fellow trusted doctor friends and see what they have to say, but he's under the impression it will come back with mixed decisions. I am leaning towards NOT doing it. I don't think an increase in 5% with rare yet possible lifelong side effects is worth it. Do you? I'm asking for everyone's opinions too so if you have one, please let me know! I'd love to hear from you. I am to call him on Monday with my decision, but I'm not going to give it to him until I hear what he has to say after chatting with his friends.

We played out all the scenarios today and I have never heard the words "if" and "maybe" so much. We all know "maybe" is my least favorite word in the dictionary too! Ugh! There are a lot more details I'm leaving out, but I think I have probably confused you enough...

The other BEST news of they day is that I can live a normal life...hence the Miller Lite I am drinking now. I can go out with my friends, have a beer when I want, no restrictions. Just what I wanted to hear! I hope it continues.

How am I feeling? I'm a little overwhelmed, but in a GOOD way. I'm sad in only one aspect though. I feel like "my day" last Thursday was ruined. I feel like the day I heard there was no cancer in my body was compromised by the transplant talk. Now there most likely won't be a transplant. That's reason to celebrate too!!!

So, the time is almost here when I can start planning my celebration party. The time is almost here when I can start planning my much needed vacation! The time is almost here when my life is back for good. Ahhhh...doesn't that just make you all so happy? I really don't think it has sunk in for me. Not sure when it will yet either, but for now, I'm enjoying being cancer free.

The prayers work peeps, thank you so much. Just keep them coming that this nastiness doesn't come back. I don't think it will because it knows now it doesn't have a chance. I win. Period. Almost the End.

Love you all--The Cancer Conqueror.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The verdict is in...

Hello all! Do you want to hear the good news or the bad news? Or is it bad news? I don't know. My mind is all jumbled right now, my emotions are all over the place. I really have no idea how I'm feeling! Ha.

I was a nervous wreck this morning. We went to Cindy's Cafe (like we do every time before my appointments) and had breakfast. Then, it was off to Ironwood. Man, that place was BUSY. So very sad. The busiest I've ever seen it. There was a line to check in! Luckily I got called back really fast so I was happy. I didn't wait too much longer until Dr. Nabong came in. No hello, no how are you, just straight to business. I could tell right away it wasn't good news. Well, it was good news. There is no sign of the disease. The bad news is the lymph nodes are still active. Pretty much they are like ticking time bombs. They could act up at anytime. He wants to do the transplant. He said he had spoken to Dr. Schriber before he left for out of town and he has been waiting for me to come in. So, Dr. Nabong made a phone call, came back and said I would be hearing from their offices soon. Well, it hadn't been 1/2 hour and I already got the call. I will be going in to meet Dr. Schriber Tuesday at 2:15pm. I will find out more information then.

I knew going into today that I would find out one thing. That thing being if the cancer was gone or not. The cancer is gone. I am cancer free...but it sounds like who knows for how long. That was why Dr. Nabong was so concerned. Mom, Dad and I feel the same way too. It could come back at anytime given the nature of my cancer. Everything is happening fast, again. Sounds like I could begin this whole transplant process next week.

I have been crying. I heard good news, but honestly it's really hard to be happy about something so great when you have this huge hurdle to cross coming up. I don't think I know what I'm really in for, nor do you guys. I will spare you the details until I find out more, but I do know that I will be admitted to the hospital for at least 3 weeks. 3 weeks without my dogs. 3 weeks without a lot of things. Ugh. I have never even spent a night in the hospital (ok maybe when I was born), let alone at least 3 weeks. YIKES. At least I know that you all will never leave my side!! :) The whole things scares the crap out of me, but if this is what it takes to rid my body of this terrible disease once and for all, I'm down.

So it's mixed news. I had a feeling there would be a but...I was right again. This whole process has shown that my gut and feelings don't lie. I have been right throughout this whole thing, especially when it deals with my own body/health.

We're not done yet peeps! Oh, I left out a big thing. I asked Dr. Nabong at the end if I could have a beer, he said, "yes." I said, "really?!" He said, "just 1." I said, "just one!?" He said, "Ok 2." So, 2 it is. They tasted delicious!!! Weird for the first sip, but then it was just like I had remembered it. Now, I'm ready for a nap.

It's taken 162 days to beat this crap, but we're on to Step 2! I know I can do it.

Lots to process peeps...thank you for your thoughts and prayers, but I'll be asking for more! Love you all!

Love, Cancer Free EB

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Less than 12 hours...

Till I hear the biggest news of my life...wow. I can't believe it's almost finally here!! I feel like I've waited forever!! I really don't know how I feel...all I know is I'm hoping that I want to hear only good news. I do know that whatever the news is I can handle it. I'm strong enough. I'm ready. Bring it. I can really almost taste the Miller Lite in my mouth too...I think that's a big sign. :)

Flower update: I got a new arrangement delivered to work yesterday. The lady couldn't pull up the delivery information to see if creepy neighbor had signed for them, so whatever. I hope he's enjoying them. Ugh. At least I got a fresh new arrangement. Thank you Mary!! :)

Blood sucking went fine today...I love going there because everyone hates the fact that I made an appointment and I "jump" the line...hee hee hee. I'm no dummy.

It's almost midnight here and I best try and get some rest. I hope I can sleep.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. I will post tomorrow as soon as I'm able to!! Keep thinking the good thoughts...I hope my journey ends tomorrow!

Till tomorrow with good news...

Love you--E

Monday, July 12, 2010

Scan done, Results Thursday!

Thank you everyone for your prayers yesterday, today and I guess well, everyday! You have no idea how much it means to me. I know they are working and I pray too for the best news possible on Thursday. Ahhhh, it makes me tear up thinking about it. Could I really get my life back Thursday? It's all so overwhelming. I'm scared, nervous and so emotional!! This is tough!! At least I don't have too much longer to wait...thank goodness.

The scan went fine today...just like the other 2 PET scans I've had. This one was the biggest though, but the machine doesn't know that! Ha. I treated myself to coffee and the golden arches breakfast afterwards. I know, not the healthiest but I deserve it!

I come home from work and find that I got flowers delivered today. The note on my door tells me they are at my neighbors house, next door. The address on the delivery card clearly states their address. So I go over there and the guy, he was really strange and weird (never met him before) says he doesn't have my flowers and seemed utterly confused. The lady that lives there is in LA and she's gotten my flowers before...so odd. So I left there almost in tears...did he really keep my flowers? So I have to call them tomorrow and see what's up. If you are the person who sent them to me, thank you. I sure hope I can enjoy them.

I also lost my favorite ring today. It's not really lost, I just can't get to it. It fell underneath my bathroom cabinet. It's really hard to explain but I figured out I need a saw to cut it and hopefully I can retrieve it that way. Ugh. So, this day hasn't been very good. I certainly hope the scan was though...

So that my friends is the update. Blood sucking on Wednesday, then the big verdict on Thursday. 11:30am in my doctor's appointment. I will report back as soon as I am able too...I know you will all be chomping at the bit...please don't pull your hair out...I already did that last week. :)

Thank you again for your support, prayers, thoughts, words, you name it. I so appreciate it.

Love you all--Erin

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Say a little prayer for me...please.

Hello all! Tomorrow embarks one of the biggest weeks of my life. My future is dependent on how my scan turns out tomorrow morning. Am I nervous? Yes. Am I scared? Yes. Am I emotional? Yes. More than anything though I'm looking forward to it all being over.

I followed all the "rules" today though. I am not allowed to have any caffeine 24 hours prior to my scan. So that meant this morning I couldn't have my coffee...no soda for me either. In fact, I really tried to eat healthy today. Lots of water, etc. I also couldn't exercise and since we all know I haven't done that in 5 months, I decided exercise would be replaced with nothing strenuous. So, I took it easy today. I have an excuse. Tomorrow is HUGE.

So with that said, I would like all of you to say a little prayer for me tonight that my scan will come back clean as a whistle...no trace of cancer in my body anywhere. I know it will happen and I can't wait till Thursday to hear the good news. Thank you all.

Scan time: Approximately 8:30am AZ time. :)

Love, Erin

Friday, July 9, 2010

6 days till the verdict...

Hello all! Just thought I would check in and let you know what's up! Nothing really...it's been a pretty normal week and a busy one. That's fine with me because time is going by super fast!! I like it. In almost 5 days I will find out the verdict. I'm quite nervous. Of course I'm thinking positive (as is everyone else) but I really just don't know. I just have to hope and pray that what I went through for the last 5 months was enough to rid myself of this terrible disease!

I've gotten asked quite a few times in the last week if I have cancer, or if I'm battling cancer. Do I say yes? Do I say, no? Do I say, well I hope not anymore! I say a combination of all 3...ha.

On another topic, I am losing my hair again. I can literally pull it out just like I did last time. I had a good set of peach fuzz on the top of my head too...boo. I guess the last treatment finally kicked in and made that hair fall out. I'm fine with it though because I know it will be the last time!!

Next week is medical week. I have my PET scan bright and early Monday morning, then lab work on Wednesday then the verdict on Thursday. It could be Miller Lite time on Thursday...do you know how excited that makes me? I think I'm more excited to hear that I don't have cancer anymore though!

So that is about it from here. I am still feeling good. I still am pretty tired and my strength and stamina levels stink, but they will come back in time. I think I'll go get another massage soon. My body needs to love me again!!

I'll leave you with some more tidbits of information I came across...have a great weekend everyone!

Love, Erin

The 12 Dirtiest Fruits:

DIRTY DOZEN
(Buy These Organic)

1. Peaches
2. Apples
3. Sweet Bell Peppers
4. Celery
5. Nectarines
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Lettuce
9. Grapes
10. Pears
11. Spinach
12. Potatoes

CLEANEST 12
(Lowest in Pesticides)

1. Onions
2. Avocado
3. Sweet Corn (frozen)
4. Pineapples
5. Mango
6. Sweet Peas (frozen)
7. Asparagus
8. Kiwi
9. Bananas
10. Cabbage
11. Broccoli
12. Eggplant

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Hello all! Just thought I would check in and say hello! Did you all have a great 4th of July? I hope everyone had a good one. I unfortunately wasn't able to jet out of town and escape this heat, but I did have fun today. I had a few friends come over and we BBQ'd and hung out by the pool! It was quite a relaxing day. The heat sure does take a toll on me...I'm pooped and I didn't even drink any alcohol! Ha!

I did try out swimming with no hair finally. It really is a weird sensation and definitely so refreshing and less annoying. Very low maintenance I guess I should say. Heidi and Frank went swimming too and loved every second of it. Frank is usually a scardy cat, but today he was such a good swimmer. I am watching Mom's dog too, Sydney, and she didn't want anything to do with the water. She spent most of the time inside where it was cool...she's no dummy.

I thought my dogs were going to have a panic attack from the fireworks tonight. I could hear and actually see the big display going on at Tempe Town Lake. Frank was shaking and panting uncontrollably. Poor dog. He has finally calmed down. Now that I think of it, it's the first year in awhile that I've been home at night on the 4th. I think I will take their fear of fireworks into consideration for next year.

Another normal week is upon me and I'm still feeling great as can be! Just counting down the days, hours and minutes until I find out my future!!

I hope you all had a great and safe weekend!! I will check back in soon!

Love, Erin :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

See ya later "station"...

Hello all! I am still feeling ah-may-zing. I can't complain. It feels better and better everyday to know that there is not a next time that I will be knocked off my feet. Hip hip hooray.

Sunday was my first day off in a quite some time where I felt good and was able to get things done. Boy did I get things done! I was one productive girl. I had a list of things I wanted to complete and I did just that. I also added one special project to my list. Back in February when I was in so much pain my Mom saw me sitting on my couch and just looked at me and said, "you don't look comfortable." I wasn't. We decided that we would bring in my Lazy-Boy recliner from the office into the living room and have that as my resting spot. It sure was much more comfortable. I have kept that recliner in here throughout my treatments and stay-cations because it was just more comfortable. I called it my station. I had everything set up around me so that when I was on house arrest and didn't feel like moving I had everything I needed in my station.

Well, on Sunday I was sitting in my station eating lunch and I realized I didn't need my station anymore. Chemo was over. I finished. I could put my living room back to normal! That I did. After I was done I just sat on my couch and started crying. Happy tears of course. Frank was quick to my side and I told him, "Frank, Mommy's just so happy that I don't need that stupid station anymore. I did it." So it felt good to reflect back on the almost 5 months and see just how far I have come. Wow.

I got a massage today. It was so very much needed. My body was beginning to hate me, but I think it likes me again because I pampered it today. Of course I enjoyed every single second of it and I wish it would have lasted longer, but thankfully I have 2 more massages, thanks to Loco! :) I'm already looking forward to my next one.

So this week is as normal as it gets. Work, work and more work. I am loving it though because I feel great!!

I will leave you with some more information I read recently. Here are the top 10 foods that increase cancer risks...interesting.

1. All charred food, which create heterocyclic aromatic amines, known carcinogens. Even dark toast is suspect.

2. Well-done red meat. Medium or rare is better, little or no red meat is best.

3. Sugar, both white and brown–which is simply white sugar with molasses added.

4. Heavily salted, smoked and pickled foods, which lead to higher rates of stomach cancer.

5. Sodas/soft drinks, which pose health risks, both for what they contain–sugar and various additives–and for what they replace in the diet–beverages and foods that provide vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

6. French fries, chips and snack foods that contain trans fats.

7. Food and drink additives such as aspartame. DIET COKE!

8. Excess alcohol.

9. Baked goods, for the acrylamide.

10. Farmed fish, which contains higher levels of toxins such as PCBs.

Very interesting. Hope everyone is having a good week. Till the next time!

Love, Erin :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Human Again...

I think I finally feel like a real human being again. This morning was the last time I had to take my antibiotic so that means I officially off the drugs! Woo hoo! I'm sure there is still some chemo in my system, but thankfully I can't "feel" it. I am feeling better and better everyday. I can't wait to get my strength and stamina back 100% though. I get pooped at work. I have to sit down every now and then because my feet and legs hurt. I guess I just need to re-train my body. I'm pretty sure it hates me. Ha. I have put it through the wringer the last 5 months. It will get a nice treat on Tuesday though when I go in for a massage. I'm so excited.

Tomorrow I will have my first day off in a about 2 weeks that I have felt good and actually feel like doing something productive so I'm looking forward to that. I have piles of stuff on my counter that I need to go through, thank you notes to write and some yard work to do! It should be a busy day!

I was doing some research last night about fruit. I read that eating fruit during treatment is something I should stay away from because of the sugar content in fruit. I know it's natural sugar, but still it's sugar and sugar produces insulin in your body and cancer feeds off insulin. So, I've stayed away from fruit. I have it as a treat now and then, but since February I have hardly had any fruit. It looks soooo good too and I crave it. So last night I was trying to figure out really how much sugar is in different fruits. Are there certain fruits that are highly loaded with sugar and others that hardly have any? The answer is yes. I found my research interesting so I will share it with you.

Fruits Lowest in Sugar

* Small Amounts of Lemon or Lime
* Rhubarb
* Raspberries
* Blackberries
* Cranberries

Fruits Low to Medium in Sugar

* Strawberries
* Casaba Melon
* Papaya
* Watermelon
* Peaches
* Nectarines
* Blueberries
* Cantaloupes
* Honeydew Melons
* Apples

Fruits Fairly High in Sugar

* Plums
* Oranges
* Kiwifruit
* Pears
* Pineapple

Fruits Very High in Sugar

* Tangerines
* Cherries
* Grapes
* Pomegranates
* Mangos
* Figs
* Bananas
* Dried Fruit, such as
o Dates
o Raisins
o Dried Apricots
o Prunes

So that is what I found out. Interesting huhh? I may keep this list on me when I'm shopping just for reference.

Oh, I forgot to mention my birthday card count is now at 146. I received another birthday card today in the mail. The only one I received from a different country too and it was the biggest card I received. Thank you Cheryl in England for the card! :) I truly am blessed.

I hope everyone is having a good weekend, staying cool and being safe.

I will check back in next week!

Love you all--Erin :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On the up...

Hello all! I am happy to write here today and tell you that I am feeling much much better! The best part is I know that I will just keep feeling better and better from here on out! So happy.

I think it took a few days for the antibiotics to "work" in my system because come Monday my "rash" was so much better. I still had leg pain, but it wasn't as severe and yesterday there was no pain at all. Same today. So the lymph nodes have stopped acting up, thank goodness. Whew! I think I nipped it in the bud. I will still be taking the antibiotics until Saturday.

The only side effect I'm dealing with now is the neuropathy. Ugh. It's in my hands and feet, definitely worse than the last round, but it does come and go. I'm still taking my B6 vitamins (ok, I missed a couple days...maybe that's why it's back) but I will be taking it from here on out for sure!

I got my PET scan scheduled for July 12th. That's a big day folks. The verdict will be delivered then on the 15th. I'm nervous already. I just want to know...but soon I will. I have a lot of fans out there that have good gut feelings that it's gone and I won't need a transplant. My gut is on the fence as of now. I usually don't get "feelings" this far out either so we'll see what my gut tells me when it gets closer to the day. :) Hey, it is what it is.

I got to spend the last few days with my family, my brother included! It was great fun. His dog Tillman got to meet my dogs Heidi and Frank today too and that was a hoot. Frank and the T-man got along great. My dogs are woooooorn out.

I am going back to work tomorrow! Mentally I'm ready but I think my body will take a couple days to get used to working again, but there's people there at work to help me. I'm sure I will be fine. I can't sit around here any longer either. It's time. I need to start saving for my well deserved vacation too!! Hee hee hee.

So that my friends is the latest. It's hotter than heck here, N. Arizona is in flames, a restaurant is serving Lion burgers here in Mesa, but we won today in the FIFA cup! Woo hoo! I will finally include pictures of my final day of chemo...enjoy!!!

Love you all--Erin

The Ironwood Cancer & Research Facility


Getting my vitals taken!


Scott, Dr. Nabong's PA and I


Dr. Nabong and I


Both my Doc's rubbing my bald head...they were so jealous! :)


Getting ready to get hooked up for the LAST time!


This "numbing" spray burns!


And here are the cupcakes for the nurses!


Just getting a huge syringe of cancer killer chemicals...no biggie. (That's the heart damaging one.)


Just another day in the chemo chair...





The awesome nurses & I presenting me with my certificate...a little teary eyed!! :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day 2010

Hello all! Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there. I was fortunate enough to spend a good portion of the day today with my Dad! It was great. I think my Dad had a really good day and he sure was fed all his favorites! He was happier than a pig in mud. Just goes to show you it's the little things in life that really do make people happy. :)

I slept like poo last night. Ugh. Probably the worst night of sleep ever, but I did have a lot on my mind. This mystery maybe infection isn't really calming so I kept waking up thinking about that...thinking how I needed to take my antibiotic around 6am, but wasn't going to set my alarm for it and waking up hungry. Thankfully today is the last day of Prednisone and Mom fed me enough tonight that I should not be hungry till tomorrow, but who knows with this crazy drug. Ha.

My rash is still the same, thankfully not worse. My leg pain has probably increased a bit, but it's still not bad. I don't feel as terrible as I did yesterday though, I'm not achy and it really did feel good to get out of the house. I didn't even get a nap in today so I hope that helps my sleep tonight! I will soon find out, I'm pooped.

I decided to take an extra day of rest this week so I won't be returning to work until Thursday (as long as I still feel good.) I really don't want to push it.

So that is the latest from here. I hope everyone had a great weekend. I will ding back with another update when I have one!

Love, Erin

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Infection?

Hello everyone! Just wanted to check in and let you all know how I'm doing. Yesterday was a worse day than Thursday, but that's probably due to the WBC shot I got on Thursday. Mentally I felt great, I just didn't have much energy. Mom and Laurie came over though to keep me company, Laurie brought Oregano's (yum), we played games, put out all my 145 birthday cards I got on my pool table and had a photo session. Pics will come soon. Gotta figure out how to "share" them on Mom's new Mac! I couldn't think of a better way to spend a Friday night.

I woke up today feeling good, well for the first hour. I got up to get some food to eat (after I had been resting in my chair) so I could take my meds and I noticed my leg hurt. Just like it did in the beginning. I mean not unbearable pain like before, but still, pain. I got freaked out. It felt a little swollen too so I went to check it out in the bathroom and I had this weird rash on my upper thigh. What the heck is this? Didn't itch, didn't burn, you couldn't even feel it, just see it. WEIRD. So of course I try not to freak myself out, but that's easier said than done. I just wanted to talk to my Mom. Maybe she could calm me down! She did, enough to tell me to call my Doctor's!

So, I called. PA Scott is on-call this weekend so I was thankful for that since he knows "my story." He asked me some questions and of course was like "that's weird." HAHA. I swear Chemo has been weird to me. So, what he thinks is a possible infection and my lymph nodes are swelling because they are trying to fight the infection off. Makes sense to me. What this infection is I have no idea! He called in a prescription for some antibiotics for me and I will just keep an eye on it and hope it doesn't get worse. I've only taken 1 pill so far (I have to take 1 every 8 hours). I don't feel any better or worse, just the same. I feel achy today too...all I want to do is lay around and sleep, but guess what? I can't sleep either. I hope to get a good night's sleep tonight though. I've been watching my temperature closely too. Soup and ice cream for dinner lifted my spirits though. :)

So, I still plan on going to Mom and Dad's tomorrow for Father's Day. I don't have to look pretty, I just need to show up! Maybe it will do me good to get out of the house too.

It sucks that you get so close to the finish line and something like comes out of the blue and scares you. I really hope it's nothing, but it's still scary. The feeling of "that pain" again did not make me happy. Good thoughts people. I will check in tomorrow and let you know my status. I wish all the Father's out there a great day. I can't wait to give my Daddy a big hug.

Love you all--Infection Fighter.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chemo Over, Part 2

Hi there everyone! Sorry that I didn't go into more detail yesterday about my big day, but I just wasn't feeling up to it. Staring at the computer and concentrating was not making me feel good and my brain just wasn't with it. So be it. That hopefully will never happen again seeing as though I graduated from chemotherapy yesterday! I did it guys, I did it!! I certainly couldn't have done it without all of you though that's for sure. So thank you.

We started off like we usually do, breakfast at Cindy's Cafe. Then it was off to Ironwood. Mom was the photographer and captured my typical chemo routine. I know I promised in my last post that I would have pictures, well I will only have one because Mom can't figure out how to send the pictures from her new Mac to me that I can use. I can't copy and paste them or save them on my computer. So, the good ones will have to wait until Sunday when I go to their house and can figure it out myself. So sorry. Something for you all to look forward to!

I had a slew of questions for Scott (Dr. Nabong's PA) and I got them all answered for the most part. We really don't know what's going to happen. The PET scan that should be done around the 12th of July will determine all. I will really need you all pulling for me on that day! I pray it comes back clean. My docs will talk with Dr. Schriber over at the Bone Marrow Transplant center and we will go from there. My next meeting with Dr. Nabong is on July 15th. Big day peeps. I thought my lab visits were over, but nope, I'll be going in the day prior to get my blood drawn so you all know I'm looking forward to that. HA.

We had a few more photo's taken with my Docs and I gave them the cupcakes. My owner Ryan at Loco, his girlfriend owns "Cupcakes" in N. Scottsdale so I ordered a dozen for my docs and a dozen for the nurses as a thank you for ridding me of this crap. Dr. Nabong tried to take both boxes, but after I gave him just one, he flew down the hall with them. I don't think he shared because my chemo nurse said she didn't see any cupcakes in his office. Too funny.

So at 12:35pm I was hooked up for the final time. At 2:33pm the needle came out of my port for the last time. WOO HOO. Before the exit of the needle though all the nurses that were on-duty came over and congratulated me, hugged me, presented me with a certificate of completion (which I will include at the end). It was touching. I really didn't get as emotional as I thought I would, probably because I felt like crap when I left there. I did have a few tears when I left, but other than that, I don't think it's really hit me yet. It may not until I know this crap is gone. Time will tell.

After chemo we all came back here. I rested, Dad snoozed on my couch and Mom started to go through my PILES of cards! She will read the rest tomorrow when her and my Aunt come over for Chemo Friday. Ha. Mom then made my favorite dinner and thankfully I was able to eat it, 2 bowls no less! YUM! After dinner though I was pretty queasy, but I fought to keep it in my belly and I did. Whew. I can officially say that I made it through 6 rounds of heavy duty chemo without getting sick. That's an accomplishment in itself I think. :) Mom and Dad left a little after 6 and I took a short nap and just rested. I sure didn't feel good. I went to bed early and was up at 3am until about 4:30am (stupid Prednisone) but once I fell asleep I was out like a light until 9am.

I feel much better today. Still weak and tired, but definitely not as bad as the last time. Maybe just knowing this is the last one helps too. I rested this morning and watched the first disc of Season 1 of "Brothers and Sisters"...now that's a good show. I love it already. I went to get my WBC booster shot at 1:30pm. As I was waiting in the waiting room, one of the nurses was leaving and she looked at me and said, "we are still talking about those cupcakes!" HAHAHA. Sounds like that doesn't happen that often! Sad.

I came home from that, had some lunch and then I went to the Post Office to send back my Netflix so I can get another disc, hopefully Saturday! Other than that I've just been resting. I am officially on house arrest till Sunday, Father's Day. I'll just be going to my parents though, nothing extravagant. I'm just happy that I don't feel miserable. Dr. Nabong thought this one would be tough like the last one, but it's not. So far so good. We will see how this shot affects me tomorrow.

So that my friends is the full update from the final day of chemo. I'm so happy it's over with and I can't wait to feel normal again. At least I know that every day will get better from here on out. Yippee! Thank you to all of you for your support as well. Like I said earlier, I couldn't have made it without you! :) :) :)

I will update again soon. Just know I'm resting and at home catching up on my DVR!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Love you all--Erin 6, Cancer ZERO (haha, I love it.)


My certificate, yes there's is a typo and it's bugging me!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chemo Over....

Well this will be short because I don't feel that well. It's hard for me to concentrate and put this day into words right now, but I just wanted you all to know that Round 6 is over...see you later chemo...and hopefully cancer. Mom made my dinner and I ate 2 plates. I just get queasy reading things and my brain is fuzzy so I apologize but I will have to write more tomorrow.

It will be a good post though, with pictures! So look forward to it. Just know that I made it, I'm done and I'm resting away with Heidi and Frank. :)

Thank you for all the thoughts today!

Love you all---The Chemo Dominator

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Onto the last page of this chapter...

Well, the chemo chapter will officially close tomorrow, well if I have anything to do with it it will. I am praying that tomorrow will be the last time I sit in that chair and get hooked up to those 3 drugs. Man oh man I hope I'm right. I mean the cancer HAS to be gone. It was 90-95% gone after 3 more treatments, so that measly 10% left HAS to be gone with 3 more treatments...it just has to. I will not accept NO for an answer...are you hearing me cancer?

Tomorrow will be bittersweet. I get emotional just thinking about it. It really feels like yesterday that this all started, but then again it feels like it's been an eternity. I remember back thinking oh my goodness this is going to take forever. Well, I'm finally here, my last treatment. I think I will be a wreck tomorrow, but mostly with tears of happiness and just knowing that I made it to the end. I just have to trust my body and the drugs that it's completely gone. That's not too much to ask for is it?

We are ending tomorrow like we started...Mom is going to make me my favorite meal, beef stroganoff for dinner. I sure as hope I can eat it tomorrow unlike the first time. I guess time will tell. Dad and Sydney will be here as well. Team Ellis all the way (Ryan, my brother, will be here in spirit). Too bad it can't be a real party, but there will plenty of time for that.

The birthday cards are still rolling in. No joke. In fact, I got 3 more today. Not a day has gone by since Friday June 4th that I have not received a card. Absolutely amazing. Thank you all again.

My hands still hurt, but not as bad. I could be used to it too because whenever I think about it they hurt, but otherwise I don't notice it. I will see what Dr. Nabong has to say tomorrow. Over the last month or so I have developed quite a large amount of hairs on my head. I mean, nothing that amounts to anything, it's pretty much just peach fuzz. Well, it started to fall out again last night. Ugh. I never thought in a million years I would lose my hair twice, but I think it's all because of that 2 week break I had. GOOD NEWS is I KNOW it does grow back and even better news is it will start to grow back as soon as this last treatment leaves my body. Hip hip hooray...can't wait. I think it's going to be funny growing back. I feel some good photo ops in my future...

So that my friends is the latest. Tomorrow is a big day. My Doc appointment is at 11:30am so probably an hour after that I will sit in the chemo chair for the LAST time. :)

From the school of Erin, here are the 5 best minerals for cancer-prevention:

1. Calcium: A proven protector against colon cancer, this mineral is integral for maintaining the health of bones and teeth, blood clotting, and cellular metabolism. Excellent sources include: nuts and seeds, carrot juice, dark green vegetables, salmon and sardines.

2. Iodine: This mineral is found in sea vegetables like kelp, dulse, and Celtic sea salt. It helps protect the body from breast cancer and is required for energy and the growth and repair of healthy tissues.

3. Magnesium: This mineral protects against cancer in general, maintains the pH balance of the blood, as well as aids the formation of your body’s genetic material–RNA and DNA. While damaged genetic material can put you at risk for cancer, magnesium helps with the repair work. It is found in many foods, including: nuts, fish, brown rice, whole grains, and green vegetables.

4. Selenium: This mineral helps the body manufacture glutathione, an enzyme required for proper detoxification of the body. Because toxic build-up in the body is linked to cancer, assisting your body with its natural, ongoing detoxification processes helps lessen your risk of cancer. In research, low dietary levels of selenium have been correlated with higher cancer incidence. Supplementation with selenium is a valuable cancer prevention tool.

5. Zinc: A powerful protective agent against prostate cancer, this mineral is also necessary for the formation of RNA and DNA and a healthy immune system. And, you guessed it: a healthy immune system is better able to kill cancer cells. Zinc is found in pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, seafood, whole grains, soybeans, and onions.

Till tomorrow,

Love, Erin