Saturday, February 2, 2013

Whereupon I Tell You I Continue to be a Druggie

Lotsa veggies on this diet. Lots!
Yes, I'm still in the land of the living.  Four years ago this month I would never have believed I would still be here today.  It was four years ago I underwent debulking surgery for ovarian cancer.  "Debulking" means exactly that...the surgeon removed the bulk or 95 percent of the cancer within my abdomen. And since it was still confined to the abdomen and a couple lymph nodes I was staged at III-C...meaning the cancer had not yet spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body.

So here I am, four years later, still doing one chemo drug after another, with each dropping my tumor marker (CA-125) a few notches before it begins rising again.  Right now I am on oral hexalen but that may be short-lived and I may be going on my eighth (8th!) chemo regimen soon.

Just call me a druggie.  I consume one drug after another. The only meds I refuse to take are pain meds. Because, frankly, I haven't needed them. Amazingly!

Anyway...I belong to an online forum of several hundred other ovarian patients.  And on that forum are a few members who are working with a naturopathic doctor in addition to their medical team.   Some of them have attained stability or even remission.  Maybe they would have anyway, I don't know, but I decided I would try what they are trying.

My bedside table after tidying it up.
So two weeks ago I flew 900 miles to meet with several other ovarians, and the naturopath.  Each of us has a treatment plan specific to our own condition...based on a myriad of blood tests (some of which insurance did not cover!).  The idea is to enhance the immuno system so the body can do its best to discourage continued cancer growth.

Along with various supplements I am going to spend a few months following a very low carb diet.  No dairy. No grains. No grain-fed meat.  Organic and grass-fed.

My family doc is interested in seeing how I do on this regimen. My Oncologist just shook his head.  On the other hand, he was agreeable to letting me have a PET/CT scan sometime this we go.

In other news...which is not really news...I spent a few minutes this morning tidying my bedside table. I had it so piled high with books that I was afraid I would have a book landslide any moment. You've probably guessed I read in bed.

Another thing that is keeping me busy these days is Sunday School. I'm teaching a group of nine high school boys and girls.  I can't tell you how much I like these kids!  And they seem to like me right back.  I'm hitting them hard with lots of questions as we read through the Gospel of John.  Hey! The first 5 verses of chapter 1 are astounding!  And that's where we began. Chapters 6 and 10 are favorites of mine because they hold key verses so essential to any Christian...sadly, many Christians are unaware of these two chapters.

Specifically, John 6:37-40 and John 6:44-45.
And specifically, John  10:27-30.
(If you hover your cursor over the scriptures, they should pop up in a little window.)

To sum up...hubby and I are doing well (all things considered).  And we continue to have joy in our faith and in the promises of scripture.

May you be blessed this day.


Caroline said...

Did I ever tell you that I have a friend who had Stage IV Ovarian cancer in 1980 and she is still doing fine? I was wondering where you went and hoped you are well so I was glad to see this post. Caroline

Kelly said...

Wonderful verses, especially the last one! I did an in-depth study of John some years ago that gave me a tremendous appreciation for that Gospel.

Thanks for giving us an update on how you're doing. It's good to hear.

Debra said...

Hello dear friend!
Your diet sounds very healthy ~ yum-I love roasted veggies.
Love ya...

Persis said...

Thanks for sharing the update.

S. Etole said...

Good to see you here again. Nutrition seems to play a big part in our health.

Linda said...

Thank you for sharing. I have been thinking of you and praying for you. Powerful verses you are sharing with your students. I will continue to pray for you and for your impact with them. They are at an age where they will be seeking for answers.

Your veggies look delicious!

Glynis said...

You are such an inspiration my friend. I am dealing with survivor's guilt right now and no one really seems to understand what I am talking about. I am nearing my 5 year mark (at the end of this year) but am having a hard time especially since - I think you read this on my blog - my happy hubby has just recently been diagnosed with leukaemia. I love your feisty 'never say die' attitude and the way you trust God. Love it! Be strong and know that I am praying for you.

Debby said...

Glad you're back! You and that unsinkable faith will change anyone you come in contact with, which is, I believe, what God intended.