Archive for the "Cancer Warrior Status" Category

215 Card on Hospice? – Apparently Not!

As our Mom, the Cancer Warrior, battles on the timing now is 4.5 years since her diagnosis.  She is on Hospice and getting pain management drugs from them.  This is one really great thing, about Hospice.  Hospice pays for all pain medications as well as some other drugs.  They don’t pay for everything but we’ve found one substitute that they will pay for so at this poing all drugs are covered. 

Well the pain is very strong and if she were not on any drugs then the level would be intolerable.  Additionally, as her doctor describes her tolerance level, if either he or any of us were to take the same amount of pain medications that she is consuming in a single day we would be in a coma.  Pain medication blocks the brain’s pain receptors but the body gets busy creating more so that is why the pain medication levels typically need to be increased over time.  This does not necessarily mean that the cause of the pain is getting worse, just that the amount of pain medication needed to block the pain has increased.

One of our good friends recently started taking a marijuana product to help with her pain from crippling arthritis.  She told us about how nice the clinic was and how impressed she was with the level of knowledge and the different types of products, differing ways of taking it, regulated dosage increase paths, and the different symptoms certain strains effect better.  As our Mother is deeply opposed to smoking any products we liked that the product had capsule or oil forms.

Several times over the past year we have discussed this alternative with my Mom’s doctor.  He always says that it is not that good for pain relief but it is good for nausea, depression and appetitie.  At our last visit we brought it up again since at times her pain is very bad.  He said sure, she could try it and then tried to write a prescription for it going through Hospice.  We don’t know if this is the way it is in California or if it’s just our Hospice’s policies but they informed us that if she decided to go on any marinol or marijuana product that she would have to go off of Hospice.  They way they explained this is that since they are in charge of controlling the pain medication and since they do not dispense marijuana they would not know how much she was injesting so would not know how much current pain medication they should cut out.

So that’s it.  Her choice was to not take any marinol products and stay on Hospice or forgo Hospice and take her chances with the 215 world.  Of course, she chose Hospice, but too bad she doesn’t get to experiment with another pain control substance.

THE CANCER INDUSTRY by Jackie “Cancer Warrior Mom”

At times I have been so mad at the ‘Cancer Industry’ that I want to go ballistic. But at other times, I am grateful for my current doctor’s intelligence and kindness, and all the ‘oh so supportive’ medical employees.
I was diagnosed with gastro-intestional cancer late in 2006, (about the same time that Farrah Fawcet was and with the same kind of cancer) and not knowing any better, went down the road toward radiation of the two areas and then chemo-procedures for treatment of cancer cells in my body.

I was definitely rushed along to the decision toward radiation and chemotherapy by the professional staff at the Clinic.

At the same time I begin to review the chemo-industry magazines’ articles available on shelves at the facility. Each magazine had a “success story” of a patient who became free of cancer, according to lab tests done at certain time periods, by use of various chemical poisons utilized for certain cancers. Unfortunately, only two chemicals of the hundreds was listed as potentially successful on my type of cancer.

Being told of the danger of waiting to have chemo-treatment, and despite all the chemical’s side effects (baldness, extreme nausea, even death), I went along with the procedures. The treatment room was full of very somber patients hooked up the water solutions to which were added the chemical in more water solutions, then followed by more water solutions ‘to protect the blood vessels.’

I was just over 65 years of age and so Medicare paid for all my treatment expenses. I was shocked that the bills could run to well over $30,000/year.

Patients usually had blood tests with each chemo treatment. We each saw ‘our’ oncologist every few weeks where results of the blood tests or other proce.edures like Cat scans were explained. This would tell us if our cancer was ‘decreasing’ or not.

At one appointment, imagine my surprise when my oncologist told me that she was dismissing me as a patient so she could treat patients with a better chance of survival. My sister had driven me to this appointment, and we left the Clinic in shock.

After that time, I tried many other procedures. I went to a Chinese doctor, did the procedures and took home tea powders to make. I also went to Tijuana once and got pills shipped to me, a tonic to dilute and drink and dietary instructions. At each of these Clinics, I was treated with great sympathy and kindness, but it was basically too late for me. And it was very expensive as well.

About this time, it became apparent that I could no longer live alone, so I was moved into one of my daughter’s home. Then we both continued to read about cancer and its treatments, about healthier nutrition, and so on. I read a book titled ‘The China Syndrome,’ published over 10 years ago, in which the conclusions were (to my understanding) that eating red meat and heavy protein diets lead to more cancer. Many other books, published over 15 years ago, stated that the current heavy protein diet as eaten by north Americans and others in developed countries, led to higher cancer rates.

Yet no one has scolded the meat or dairy industries here. I never saw major magazine articles that mentioned more that ‘eat a nutritious diet with high protein intake.’

Why didn’t I know with clarity the danger of a high protein diet? And, milk and cheese products fit into this high protein arena — white mustache or not.

Now I am on Hospice, waiting to die.

The Downward Spiral

I titled this post the “Downward Spiral” but what is really happening is a sort of downward staircase because every once in a while the Cancer Warrior, whom has been battling a fatal enemy for three years, encounters a new enemy and that takes her down for a while and then she recovers a bit but afterwards is at a new lower level of life mobility.

This time a side effect from the chemotherapy has caused more problems.  We have been having a lot of discussions about her Western doctors telling her exactly what she had to do then at some point (and each doctor except for her primary care doctor whom is still with us) after their “knowledge” is worn off they drop her.  She’s had four different doctors tell her to go on Hospice and that they can no longer offer her any further treatments.  Thank God, I say, because they have only been causing her harm with each different treatment.  She’s very disillusioned, says she thought she was doing everything right, always listened to her doctors and now where are they?! 

So let’s focus on what’s still working.  She’s still on the liquid nutritious shakes and tonics, liquid nutrition, and that seems to be keeping her immune system healthy.  Her tumor in her right leg lymphnode has broken open to the air.  When this happened a couple of months ago the doctor told me that this is what would kill her, she would develop an infection from this open wound and the infection would kill her.  Well so far, and it’s been over two months, she has not developed an infection.  When her pain is controlled she is feeling really great and is talkative and filled with plans.  She’s a pretty incredible woman with an unlimited amount of energy and projects planned and in progress.  She’s just being eaten up from the tumor but it seems to be slow moving.  Hopefully all that we are doing is keeping it at bay.

She’s keeping her edema under control and is exercising with her rebounder.  She is using the Cellerciser to exercise with the bar for stability and is jumping or at least bouncing for minutes daily.  It’s hard some days but we definitely believe that her non-working lymphatic system in her right leg would be a lot bigger were it not for her rebounding, massage and raising the leg as much as possible. 

This right leg has been a battle keeping the lymph in control so that her leg is not so large and red and hot.  But we’re working the battle and staying on top of it and it’s working. 

The latest problem that the Cancer Warrior has run into has to do with her leg.  Although the edema seems to be under control the tumor is eating into her nerves and causing pain and now extreme weakness.  Her leg seems to go in and out so it became difficult to get up from the bed or chair at times.  So we rearrange furniture so that in each place there is something that she can use to help her feel more secure getting up and down.

Rebounding and Lymphatic System

There is a video on google videos about rebounding (or jumping on a heavy duty, well built mini trampoline) and it is compared to a full body lymphatic flush.  The lymphatic system does not have a pump to help move lymph throughout the body like other organs for example the heart.  So rebounding (protected jumping) helps move lymph up the body.  She also compared rebounding to a full body massage and in addition it is also an aerobic exercise.  See the video  http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9022365608459518126&hl=en&emb=1#

My comments:  The Cancer Warrior has been rebounding for over a year and with her cancer her groin lymph nodes no longer work so she’s constantly working on her lymphedema in her right leg.    Her right foot also has drop foot.  She  has been bouncing following a simple DVD but although she has not ever been able to complete the entire tape, nor can she jump high enough to clear 3 inches, she has been bouncing and lifting legs, and rotating, and stretching etc… We believe this exercise is not only keeping her heart healthy but has so many other benefits, especially with her lymphedema.

Please visit our REVIEWS page for more information on how the Cancer Warrior uses a rebounder (actually David Hall’s Cellerciser ).  Please comment and share with all of us.  Thank you.

Rebounding and Lymphatic System

There is a video on google videos about rebounding (or jumping on a heavy duty, well built mini trampoline) and it is compared to a full body lymphatic flush.  The lymphatic system does not have a pump to help move lymph throughout the body like other organs for example the heart.  So rebounding (protected jumping) helps move lymph up the body.  She also compared rebounding to a full body massage and in addition it is also an aerobic exercise.  See the video  http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9022365608459518126&hl=en&emb=1#

My comments:  The Cancer Warrior has been rebounding for over a year and with her cancer her groin lymph nodes no longer work so she’s constantly working on her lymphedema in her right leg.    Her right foot also has drop foot.  She  has been bouncing following a simple DVD but although she has not ever been able to complete the entire tape, nor can she jump high enough to clear 3 inches, she has been bouncing and lifting legs, and rotating, and stretching etc… We believe this exercise is not only keeping her heart healthy but has so many other benefits, especially with her lymphedema.

Please visit our REVIEWS page for more information on how the Cancer Warrior uses a rebounder (actually David Hall’s Cellerciser ).  Please comment and share with all of us.  Thank you.

Edema – Dr. Hong Explains

I found a video on google videos that was inseresting.  Dr. Hong had very good information put into a short but very informational video.  He talked about a few of the causes of edema, salt, kidneys, heart failure, vein problems and a couple of others.  He also outlined a few remedies in use to treat edema. 
Take a look at it http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8684957483880514059#

My comments:  The Cancer Warrior has edema from groin lymph nodes that are cancer tumor ridden so they no longer work correctly.  Her right leg can be twice as large as her left leg and the scale can be up to 10 pounds heavier when her leg is bad.  We do many things to help:
1.  elevate the leg as much as possible, actually every time she sits down she then elevates the leg.
2.  rebounding on a cellerciser, we believe helps move the lymph fluid up the series of one way valves to help lessen the right leg.
3.  as necessary she takes a diuretic but continual use can be damaging so this must be under a doctors direction.
4.  edema massage helps move the lymph up and out.

Please visit our reviews page for more information on the Cancer Warriors use of the Cellerciser and how much benefit she has gotten from it.  Please comment and share any questions or stories of your own.  Thank you.

Hospice for Cancer Warrior

Our Mom, Jackie, the Cancer Warrior at a recent Chemotherapy doctor’s checkup was told that the doctor will not give her any more chemotherapy.  This is after the last checkup about six months ago where he told her that since she was feeling fine that no chemotherapy was needed, he wanted her to wait until the stage four cancer tumors grew and were causing problems.  So now that the tumors are growing and are causing problems the doctor says it’s too risky to give her chemotherapy so he won’t.  What gives?!

She was a bit shocked then mad at this turn of events.  I, on the other hand, was okay with that since I wanted her to focus on the alternative options and the chemotherapy would make her sicker during the course of the treatment.  So now that option is off the table, easier decision…

So the chemotherapy doctor set up an in-home Hospice doctor visit and we learned that there are some good things about going on Hospice and some not so good.
The good:
Hospice will pay for pain medicines.
Hospice will bring in home aids to help with personal care like bathing and eating.

The not so good:
You can’t get a blood transfusion while on Hospice.
You can’t do any sort of “aggressive” treatments like any surgeries.

Then after a visit with her FABULOUS primary care physician we talked over Hospice and all it’s ramifications.  She decided again not to go on Hospice yet.  Her previous doctors have been wanting her to go on Hospice for the last two years.  So she decided to wait until she can no longer care for herself in the bathroom.  Her breathing is still good, her kidneys are fine, her blood counts are fine, her pain controlled and her energy is great.  We credit her liquid nutrition program that she is on for the energy and blood work.  We are so happy that we found the program, it is so quick and easy to keep her nutrition intake high.

Cancer Warrior’s Daughter Shares Story

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6T6YNaepdhE

In this video, Rose Ragan shares a bit of her story about why this website came about.