Keep On Keepin’ On

Miss M and I at Madison Square Park on a recent trip to NYC

Miss M and I at Madison Square Park on a recent trip to NYC

I’m back!  (And my hair’s coming back too!)

But I ain’t gonna sugar-coat it…  I’m not feeling too good these days.

They just found another blood clot in my arm. Enough already!  So back on the blood thinners I go. Sigh… My arm has progressively been getting worse and worse. Moving it around is increasingly difficult. My fingers don’t move at all now.  And living day-to-day with only one functioning hand is taking a while to get used to. All the little things are so difficult now.… Tying my shoes… Peeling a carrot… Opening mail… Fastening buttons and zipping zippers… Cutting Miss M’s morning pancake… Sigh…

I think what’s even worse, is the pain. The pain in my fingers. In my hand. In my neck. In my shoulder. In my back.  The pain is there pretty much around-the-clock these days. And it sucks.

And while I do have more energy now that I’ve stopped chemo, it’s still not what it used to be. Just going through the regular activities of a normal day exhausts me.

It’s difficult adjusting to the limitations of my new reality.

The same new reality that forced me to withdraw from the dance therapy training program I was supposed to be  doing right now in New York.  Another sigh…  I realized I just didn’t have the strength, the stamina, or the mobility to get through the intensive program.  Initially I was pissed. And sad. But it is what it is.  I accept it.

And life goes on. And it’s not ALL bad.

I finally got some awesome voice recognition software for my computer. Yay Dragon!  So now I can just talk into the computer and it types everything out for me. It’s not perfect. But it sure is easier than typing it all with one hand.  And at least I still have one good hand!  Thank God for that.

Last weekend I got to celebrate the beautiful marriage of my darling cousin to an amazingly kind and talented man…  Miss. M was the flower girl. I was a bridesmaid. The whole event from beginning to end was joyous and full of love. Hubby and I had more fun than we’ve had in a long time… Meeting interesting people… Getting tipsy…  And getting our swerve on on the dance floor – just like old times.  And I rocked it in heels the whole night!

A few  weeks before that Miss M and I spent an amazing week in Ohio visiting our old friends and nourishing our souls.  Miss you guys!!!

Then we celebrated Miss M’s 5th birthday with a fun home-style Brazilian BBQ.  Complete with my fabulous in-laws who arrived from Brazil the morning of Miss M’s birthday.  It’s so wonderful having their help, love, and support for the summer.

And now that summer has arrived, my spirits are boosted by all the lush green trees, beautiful songbirds, beach days, and relaxing hours in the hammock with Miss M (that is, when I’m not at medical appointments, which unfortunately takes up a large chunk of my time. But that’s a whole other issue).

In terms of treatment, I’m on a break from chemo and pharmaceuticals right now. But I’m doing some new alternative treatments. I started high dose intravenous vitamin C last week. They pump it straight into my port. Where the chemo goes. But this is much easier. And I actually feel better after, instead of worse.  The vitamin C oxygenates my body, boosts my immune system, and kills cancer cells. Plus, I started eating apricot seed kernals which are known to be potent anticancer agents and I keep adding more plant-based cancer fighting elements to my daily routine.  I wanted to do hyperbaric oxygen treatment as well. But the cost was absolutely crazy… Over $200 a session. And they wanted you to do upwards of five sessions a week. Are you kidding me?!!??

If anyone is interested in learning more about natural and alternative ways to prevent or treat breast cancer there is an amazing book by Dr. Veronique Desaulniers that just came out called, “Heal Breast Cancer Naturally”.

In addition to all this, I’m talking to various research hospitals in the northeast about enrolling in clinical trials for a cancer vaccine. I wanted to try a cancer vaccine when I was first diagnosed. But they told me because it was still experimental that I had to exhaust standard treatment first. So now I’m finally free to try it.  Yay!  I think I found a good one in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania.  It’s a Multi-peptide Vaccine With Basilixumab.  We are currently going through my medical history to make sure that I am eligible.  If I get in I will be required to make weekly trips to Philadelphia for a while.  So if anyone out there has connections in Philadelphia that could help with an occasional place to stay, please let me know.  And if anyone has any Amtrak train miles they want to donate that would be great too.

In the meantime, I just keep on keeping on. What else is there to do?

I try not to dwell on how crappy I feel. Some days are easier than others. And I notice how much better I feel when I’m having fun… When I have something to look forward to… When I’m spending time with people I love… So I know I need to do more of that.

Don’t we all?

Peace.  -T

Miss M visitiing her favorite teacher in Ohio

Miss M visiting her favorite teacher in Ohio

Miss M's old school in Ohio.

Miss M’s old school in Ohio.

My Brazilian family enjoying QT in the hammock on Father's Day

My Brazilian family enjoying QT in the hammock on Father’s Day

20 Responses

  1. Please don’t eat apricot kernels. They offer no anti-cancer affects, and they are extremely dangerous. They can easily kill you, as your body uses them to produce cyanide.

  2. Yup…pain will wear you down.It’ll make it hard to stay awake and harder to sleep.I wish I could say something like “But there’s a trick to beating it!!”…except that there isn’t.But there are good books to be read and movies and friends who can distract you for a bit,and that does help.You know what was hardest for me?Accepting that I needed help with stuff sometimes.It was easier once I learned to laugh at myself…maybe that’s the trick?As always,I send lots of warm wishes for you…may your arm recover as much as it can,and may you have lots of golden moments in the sun.

  3. Good to hear from you! Love to hear about fun you’re having, especially with beloved friends and family. Is your insurance picking up the IV vitamin C? Excellent therapy, and stress of any kind requires much more. I remember my veterinarian friend telling me that animals, who make their own, pump out incredible amounts when they’re sick. You’ll heal a lot faster with it, and won’t bruise as much (a sign you’re getting enough). Keeping my fingers, toes and eyes crossed you’ll get into the cancer vaccine trial – so exciting!

    I spent a year fighting to keep my right thumb, and couldn’t use my right hand at all most of that time; that is a bitch! My intense sympathy! Voice software’s a real blessing. I won that battle, and hope you have yours back ever so soon! ❤️Elizabeth

  4. Yes we certainly do need to spend more time with those we love and to that end, I can’t WAIT to see my two favorite girls this weekend! Love you to the moon and back my gracefulwomanwarrior, and feel deep gratitude for the never-ending inspiration you are to me each and every day… Love, Auntie L

  5. You were on my mind and in my heart yesterday…was wondering where you were, how you were. Opened my laptop this morning to email you and Ta Dah…. there you were! So excited for you (and for all of us :) that you’ve implemented Dragon to ease your means to speak your truth… allowing some comfort to continue to share your honesty, authenticity and energy. Imagining you and your family rejoicing at the wedding brings tears to my eyes. Your family really knows how to throw a party and I’m so, so happy for all of you that you made those memories!! Here’s to a summer filled with many, many opportunities to make more.

  6. I’m so sorry to hear that you had to drop out of your program. I know how much you were looking forward to it. At least it sounds like you’re spending some great quality time with Miss M and making lasting memories. I really hope you get in the trial and are able to find some relief from your pain. You can’t imagine how much I’m rooting for you:)

    • As you wrote… Holding on in the teeth of the storm. That’s me. And I keep on holding on largely because of all the love and support I get. So thank you John. Hope you’re enjoying your summer. Much love.

    • As you wrote on Facebook… Holding on in the teeth of storm. That’s me. And I’m largely able to do this because of all the love and support that continues to flow around me. Thank you for sharing that lovely image. Hope you’re enjoying your summer. Big hugs.

  7. So excited that you may now be eligible for the trial! I’m eating apricot kernels and I was wondering about Vit C. I was glad to hear your doing it. I feel like I’m right there with you. My pain level is increasing and my hands are getting worse. I feel like Femara is killing me, but my numbers are down. There’s no way I could ever tell my husband I was over taking it’s cause he sees it working. The things we deal with!

  8. Keep on keeping on girl! Sorry I missed you while you were here in OH. Eric and I were living it up down in Nashville. So glad you are able to blog again cause I’ve missed hearing from you and I’ve been wondering how you’re doing. So sorry to hear all the trouble the chemo has caused your arm. I had neuropathy and tingling in my hands when I was going through chemo, and Dr. K told me it would eventually go away. I’m 1.5 years out and still have limited strength in both hands. Love ya!

    • Hi stranger! Saw your pics on Facebook… Looks like you guys had an amazing time! Can’t believe you still have limited strength in your hands after all this time. Unfortunately, I’ve heard similar stories from many other women as well. Cancer sucks! Hope to see you next time I’m passing through Ohio. Much love.

  9. It was great to get an update on how you’re doing, Teri. I am concerned about the apricot kernels, too, though. I follow Dr. Andrew Weil as I like how he believes on homeopathic remedies as much as western medicine. Please check out what he has written about the potential poisining dangers of apricot kernels. I’m rooting for you and your wonderful little family.

    • Hi Iris. Thanks for the support. I love Andrew Weil as well. And I did go check out his site. Thanks for the tip.

  10. Glad to hear your warm and amazing voice, Terri. And so glad you have a hammock — a perfect place. Here’s to lots of hammock time for both you and Miss M.

  11. So sorry to hear you couldn’t take your class. Perhaps down the road when you are feeling better you could take one. You truly are one of the most strongest and most determined people I know. Sending you positive thoughts and hugs!

  12. That picture in the hammock, that is love personified. It’s beautiful. Ms. M looks so secure and happy.

  13. Still rooting for you every time I feel especially magic. Your daughter sure is beautiful. As are you! @~~~8~~~> (that’s Ever Higher, sideways. It’s sort of like my own version of “do the next thing”)

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