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

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Countdown to the end of chemo begins...

I really have been counting down since I started this nightmare, but I really can't believe that the number is now at 3. Yes, 3 days till the end of chemo. It's more like 2 actually because most of you probably won't get to read this until Monday so then it will be 2. 2 more days and I will have my last treatment. I simply can't wait. You have no idea. The scary part is I have no idea what my future holds. After my treatment, my shot and the PET scan in a week or so after that, I have no idea what will happen. I am just hoping and praying that the scan comes back clean.

I am finally coming down from my cloud 'o birthday bliss. Man, what a good birthday. I catch myself just smiling here and there because I'm reflecting on what a great day it was and how much it meant to me. I know I had a hard time putting it into words, but like my Mom said, it's hard to explain awesome. Exactly true.

I broke down and called the nurses on Friday about my hands. They called me back and told me it was a side effect from the Vincristine (one of the drugs I get). She told me to take vitamin B6 and be sure to discuss it with Dr. Nabong on Wednesday. I have taken the B6 for 2 days and so far, no relief. Maybe it takes a bit to get "working" in my system, but who knows. At least I can tell my Doc on Wednesday if it's working or not and go from there. It really is annoying and definitely not getting any better.

I had a good weekend though, it was a busy one at work and today I did some yard work and cleaned my house. It really needed it. I also met a high school friend for dinner who had just flown in from Cali. Thank you Facebook for the re-connect!

I got this email the other day and I thought I would share it with you. It's really interesting. So until the next time...I hope you all had a great weekend! Thank you again for making my 32nd birthday so special. :) :) :) :) Love, Erin

Johns Hopkins Update - Very Good Article


AFTER YEARS OF TELLING PEOPLE CHEMOTHERAPY
IS THE ONLY WAY TO TRY ('TRY', BEING THE KEY WORD) TO ELIMINATE CANCER, JOHNS HOPKINS IS FINALLY STARTING TO TELL YOU THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE WAY.


Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins :


1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer
cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have
multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients
that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after
treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the
cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable
size.


2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a
person's lifetime.


3. When the person's immune system is strong the cancer
cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and
forming tumors.


4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has
nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic,
to environmental, food and lifestyle factors.


5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing
diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune
system.


6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing
cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells
in the bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract etc, and can
cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.


7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars
and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.


8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often
reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of
chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor
destruction.


9. When the body has too much toxic burden from
chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either
compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb
to various kinds of infections and complications.


10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to
mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy.
Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other
sites.

11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer
cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply.

*CANCER CELLS FEED ON:


a.
Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off
one important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar
substitutes like
NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made
with Aspartame and it is harmful
. A better natural substitute
would be Manuka honey (a New Zealand Honey - can be found at some health food stores or online {
Amazon.com}) or molasses, but only in very small
amounts.
Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in
color Better alternative is Bragg's aminos or sea salt.


b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the
gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting
off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk cancer
cells are being starved.


c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment.
A meat-based
diet
is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken
rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock
antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all
harmful, especially to people with cancer..


d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole
grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into
an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked
food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live
enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to
cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance
growth of healthy cells.. To obtain live enzymes for building
healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most
vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw
vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at
temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).


e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high
caffeine
Green tea is a better alternative e and has cancer
fighting properties. Water-best to drink purified water, or
filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap
water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of
digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the
intestines becomes putrefied and leads to more toxic
buildup.


13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By
refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes
to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the
body's killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.


14. Some supplements build up the immune system
(IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals,
EFAs etc.) to enable the bodies own killer cells to destroy
cancer cells. Other supplements like vitamin E are known
to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body's
normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or
unneeded cells.


15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit.
A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior
be a survivor. Anger, un-forgiveness and bitterness put
the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to
have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy
life.


16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated
environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to
get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen
therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer
cells.


1.
No plastic containers in microwave.

2.
No water bottles in freezer.

3.
No plastic wrap in microwave.

Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in its newsletters. This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as well. Dioxin chemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancer. Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies. Don't freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic. Recently, Dr Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital, was on a TV program to explain this health hazard. He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers. This especially applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body. Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Corning Ware, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food. You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and soups, etc., should be removed from the container and heated in something else. Paper isn't bad but you don't know what is in the paper. It's just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc. He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons.

Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Saran, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food. Cover food with a paper towel instead.


Interesting huhh?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

HB EB!!

Well hello there everyone! My birthday is almost complete...just a mere 50 minutes left of it. Oh how sad. I wait for this day to come every year and now it's almost over. Time sure flies when you are having fun. You know what though? I'm OK with it being almost over though because that means I am seconds, minutes, hours and days closer to my final chemo treatment! Woo hoo. Let the countdown begin!

You all have no idea how much this birthday meant to me. Here I thought it was going to be the worst birthday I have ever had, but honestly it turned out being the best birthday I have ever had. I am not joking. It was better than turning 16 and getting a new car, it was better than 21 and being able to drink a Miller Lite legally for the first time and it was better than entering my dirty thirties. I am just turning 32, but having cancer while having my birthday was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Words can't describe how I feel. Words can't describe what each and every one of you out there did for me on my birthday. You have know idea. I have cried so many tears over the last few days out of pure happiness, warmth and love in my heart, proudness of my strength and just pure amazement that I truly am blessed. Here come the tears again. See, you have no idea. I just hope that you know from the bottom of my heart how much it meant to me. Thank you so much.

My birthday was beyond amazing. I started off by going through emails upon emails, Facebook posts upon Facebook posts, texts upon texts...well, I got more texts than I ever thought I would...thanks Mom! Here's where HB EB comes into play...Happy Birthday EB (my nickname). Another plot played out so well by my Mom again. Hey, why not have everyone text me today with 4 simple letters, HB EB...it will make her day. It sure did! I kept getting those 4 letters all day long from numbers I have no idea who they were...but thank you all. It meant the world.

"Sex and the City 2" was AMAZING. I loved every minute of it. I was joined by amazing people too so thank you to all who saw the movie with me. Dinner was delicious at Pizzeria Bianco. I even got a few presents too that made my day even better. I really didn't expect anything, I mean the fact that I am still living through this crap is gift itself. But opening some amazing presents wasn't so bad either. Thank you Mom and Dad. How can I forget the beautiful flower arrangements I got today too. Thank you Hudson's and my chemo angel Mandy. Wow. I certainly am SPOILED. I was ever so excited to get home tonight too to check my mailbox. I knew it couldn't be possible that there would be more than 40 cards again and I was right, but man, there were still a lot, try 27. I have 2 packages waiting at the post office too that I will pick up tomorrow from my other 2 chemo angels, Sara and Mary. Total Birthday Card Count to date=111. Who gets 111 birthday cards! See people? See how amazing this is. Can you imagine how I'm feeling? It means the world. Like I said, words can't describe it.

So, as I embark on my 32nd year I just know that thanks to all of you, you have given me what I need to finish this chapter of my book. I can't wait till The End. It will be here before I know it.

Thank you all so much again. I love you all.

Love, Erin :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Birthday Eve...

Hello all! This is my last post as a 31 year old...wow. Time sure flies, huhh? At 1:04am I will be 32 years old. This so far has been the best birthday ever and it's not even my birthday yet!! I have been getting birthday cards in the mail since Friday...it started with 6 on Friday, 3 on Saturday, 14 on Monday, 15 yesterday and get this, 40 today. I'm not kidding...there were 40 birthday cards in my mailbox today. I wonder what the mailman thinks? I mean who gets 79 birthday cards for their birthday? It's not even my birthday yet!! Absolutely unreal. I feel about as overwhelmed as I did when I found out I had cancer with the amount of support given to me. This is just unbelievable. It means the world to me that so many people have taken the time to send me a birthday card. Thank you to everyone. It's amazing. A special thank you to my Mom, the mastermind behind this amazingness. :)

Obviously I have been feeling like a million bucks. I have developed some weird hand thing though. Not quite sure what it is but the nerves in my hands are acting up and it hurts pretty bad. I think I may call my chemo nurses either tomorrow (if I remember...I may just be on cloud 9 all day that I won't notice my painful hands) or Friday to see what they have to say. I'm sure it's nothing, but I always get weirded out when it's just not "normal!" Rather be safe than sorry.

I still am in shock with the outpouring of love on my birthday. I have cried so many happy tears in the last few days reading all this wonderfulness.

Tomorrow will be another fantastic day...at least in my mind! It's my favorite day of the year. My day! I deserve it, especially this year!! :) Plans are to go see "Sex and the City 2" with gaggle of girls and then I'm going to dinner with my Mom and Dad at Pizzaria Bianco. Should be yummy. Of course I will be super excited to get home and check my mailbox...ha. I highly doubt there will more than today's count of 40. Wow.

So onto my 32nd year. I know it will be a great one, it has to be. This time next year I will be looking back on all of this with another big smile on my face because by then I will have beat it!

Thank you all sooooooo much for remembering my birthday. I really don't think you could have forgotten though...it's not like I haven't said anything. Hee hee hee. I really do appreciate it though from the bottom of my heart.

Love, The Birthday Girl (in 52 minutes)

Monday, June 7, 2010

It's My Birthday Week!

The biggest week of the year is here (well, at least in my book!). I am so excited! Actually I'm glad I'm writing this now and I'm sorry I haven't updated sooner, but the blogging site was down and I couldn't log in yesterday at all to write. Boo. I'm here now though.

I almost feel as overwhelmed as I do the day I found out I had cancer with all the support, etc. Today I got home and checked my mailbox and I had FOURTEEN birthday cards in there. WOW. I have never received that many cards especially at one time...I think I maybe get 14 total Christmas cards. It's not even my birthday yet either. I truly am blessed to have so many people out there that care about me. It's so unbelievable. Thank you to everyone. :)

How am I feeling? Finally like a human again. I have (I-hope-they-go-fast) 9 more days of feeling good before I embark on my final treatment. I know it will be here before I know it.

I went out on the town on Saturday night for the first time on a Saturday since 2009 (and I'm not kidding.) I wore my wig and Aimee and I had the best time laughing at people that didn't recognize me because I had hair. Sooooo funny. I had a good time, even though I stayed sober. It was just nice to be out and socialize.

It's been hotter than you know what here these past 2 days. It didn't bother me yesterday because I ventured outside once and that was at 11am and then today I was indoors at work so I didn't feel it too bad...but it's been over 110. Yikes-a-roni. It's supposed to cool down this weekend so that's nice. I guess they were getting us ready for what's to come. It's summa summa summatime.

I found out that yet someone else I know was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. She is only 31 years old. She has a fight ahead of her, but from what I can tell she is as positive as positive can be. That truly is the only way to be. Fight girl, fight.

I got an email newsletter the other day with some interesting facts in it that I would like to share.

The Top 5 Vitamins that Protect Against Cancer:

Beta Carotene (found in carrots, kale, sweet potatoes and spinach.)
Vitamin B6 (found in carrots, apples, organ meats, bananas, leafy green vegetables, and sweet potatoes)
Vitamin C
Folic Acid (found in beets, cabbage, dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, citrus fruits, and most types of fish)
Vitamin E (eggs, wheat germ, liver, unrefined vegetable oils, and dark green vegetables)

And, here is your Anti-Cancer Grocery List:

Vegetables

Broccoli
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Carrots
Kale
Mushrooms: shiitake, maitake, reishi, Agaricus blazei Murill, and Coriolus Versicolor
Seaweed and other sea vegetables
Sweet potatoes

Fruit
Avocados
Chili peppers
Figs
Grapefruits
Grapes
Oranges and lemons
Papayas
Raspberries
Tomatoes

Seeds & Nuts
Flax
Nuts

Herbs & Spices
Garlic
Rosemary
Tapioca
Tumeric

Beverages
Red wine
Soy products
Green tea and black tea

Just eat and drink all this goodness and reduce your chances of getting the big C. You all know you don't want to go through what I'm going thru. :)

So that my friends is the latest. I hope you all had a great weekend and hope this week is a good one as well. I of course will be having the best week of my life...I just know it. And, I owe thanks to all of you for making it happen. You all mean the world to me. Thank you thank you thank you.


Till later...

Love, The Almost Birthday Girl

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gemini Power...

Hello there and happy June. It really is my favorite month of the year and I know this year it is going to be awesome. Usually it's just one big event of the month, my birthday (duh) but this year there are 2. My last chemo treatment and my birthday.

It's fitting that I write this right now because I just had a mini-breakdown. Today was supposed to be my last treatment. I so wanted all of this to be over before my birthday so that on my birthday I could get the best birthday present ever, but that's not the case. My best birthday present will be belated, but if you all know me, it's perfectly fine to make my birthday last longer.

I really can't believe all that has happened in almost 4 months. Friday will be the 4 month marker. 4 months of officially living with cancer. 4 months of not drinking. 4 months of Hell. I'll save the best for last, 4 months of kicking cancer's ass. It seems surreal. It seems like a blur. It seems like just yesterday that Dr. Schuster called me and broke the news, but yet it feels like I've been dealing with this forever. I can't believe what my body has been through. I honestly can't believe how well I have handled this either. I am one tough cookie.

I do think though as it gets closer to the end it does get harder. Why? I have no idea. I finally can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I can't wait till it gets here. Maybe because it's so close the last few days are the toughest? I don't know. I think it's also harder because I reflect on everything that has happened over the last 4 months and it's still so shocking. I just want it over so bad.

I went back to work today. I still don't feel 100% but I couldn't sit here another day and think about things and think about how I wished I felt better. Thank goodness I only have to do this ONE MORE TIME. In 14 more days those chemicals, Prednisone, Cytoxin, Adramycin and Vincristine will enter my body for the LAST time. Thankfully they have done their job though and I really shouldn't be mad at them.

We here in AZ lost a great man today to bladder cancer at the young age of 55. RIP Bill Austin from the "Beth and Bill Show." Stupid cancer.

So that my friends is the update. I hope you all had a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend. It's going to be 110 this weekend here, no joke. I think I may have to take a dip in my pool for the first time. I wonder what it will feel like to swim with no hair? I'll let you know when I find out...

Till the next time.

Love you all--E