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Friday, June 21, 2013

The Miracle of B-12

HubbyMan & I just got back from a camping/hiking trip in the UP of Michigan. For any of you who have ever been there know that the mosquitos are extremely large and extremely aggressive. We had heard that if you take B-12, it would make you less appealing to mosquitos. I had not tried it before because I get a vitamin B-12 shot every three chemo rounds and frankly, bugs don't seem to care for me as much as they do KB, but he was handing them out so I took them.
I don't know if it did anything to keep the mosquitos away but what it did was much, much greater. It freed me. From my nasty, chronically depressed state of mind. So much so that I realize that I hadn't even known what a heavy, depressive burden I had been living with.
Perhaps the people who read my blog had figured that out already(?)
Anyway, I won't say that it's turned me into a slap-happy/silly person, but it has definitely taken the dark edge off of my mood. I feel  solid and stable and...normal. I don't feel weighed down. I feel ... lighter. And it's a wonderful thing.
I haven't even asked my doctor about it because I just don't care. I haven't felt this mentally good in a long time and that's worth a lot to me.
So if you are suffering from the mental oppression that is cancer, consider taking vitamin B-12.
(I am not a doctor so, unlike me, you should probably ask your doctor about whether B-12 is a good option for you. I say this because I don't want to be sued. I've got enough on my plate without frivolous litgation. Seriously).


Oh cherry-flavored, sublingual, 500 mg B-12 tablets, I love you!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Stage IV Cancers and Misunderstanding Chemotherapy

The following link will take you to an article that I ran across this article several months ago. It talks, very directly, about the function of chemotherapy in the treatment of stage IV cancers versus the perceptions of the people who undergo that treatment. I find this very real disconnect highly disturbing. I'm not sure if there's bad communication between doctors and their patients, if popular culture has something to do with how patients think about their the possible effectiveness of their treatment, or if it's merely a way that people cope with being told that they will die sooner than they originally expected. Whatever it is, it seems to show that people aren't necessarily grounded in the reality of their situation.

Ultimately, it is also about death, which some people find off-putting, so read at your own risk:

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cancer Walks and Major Freakouts

This past Sunday was the Lurie Cancer Survivors Celebration Walk. I was all poised to go with 11 family members & friends. I had registered, order and picked up the t-shirts. Family was parked in various positions in small living room. Friends were ready to meet us at Grant Park.

And then…The Freakout.

All I did was put on that stupid, I’m-the-survivor-in-purple t-shirt and it started. A creeping of the skin, a growing nausea in the pit of my stomach and then….


I bawled. And bawled. And bawled. On and off. For like four and a half hours.

It felt like that by putting on that shirt I was putting on my cancer all over again. Wearing it. Out there. For all the world to see.

And I FELT it -the oozing, creeping, lurking black-sludge adenocarcinoma that I will not survive.

It’s in here. It’s in me. It IS me.

Why the hell was I putting on a purple t-shirt and planning and going out there and celebrating it?

The family, confused at first, rallied around me. My oldest told me, “Mom, if you don’t want to do this thing, just say so.” I replied, “I don’t want to do this thing.” “OK,” and she was off to call people who were on their way.

My wondrous husband who is largely cerebral held me and told me to let it out. He talked to me and helped me go through all of the emotions with my mind, using language like I like.

My sister arrived and told me that it was so good that I was doing this and talking about it. It was healthy.

It felt like a hard vomit - the kind that leaves you sore and exhausted, and still a little sick after.

Then we went to my sister's and had burgers, brats and hotdogs.

Today, I still feel a little dazed and tired, but I am mostly profoundly and solidly thankful for my family.

I will celebrate them – instead of this crummy, nasty-ass cancer.