Well, September came and went in a blur. Down in southwest Florida, we were contending with Hurricane Irma, which came on Sunday, 9/10, but since Labor Day the week before, had us glued to our TV screens about all the possible paths. After the hurricane, it was 4 days without power (not too bad), gas lines, cleanup and trying to get back to normal – which is still occurring over a month later. So, my 6-month “diagnosis” anniversary of 9/13 was completely forgotten about.
Yesterday, 10/13, I remembered it was my 7 month, and wondered why I hadn’t remembered about my 6 month (I’m a dates/numbers person), until I realized it was right after Irma, and well, not the first thing on my mind then. Reflecting back on the last 7 months (215 days), I feel I still know little about cancer in general and wish I had researched more back when I was diagnosed. Not that I would have changed the course of my treatment, since 1 week of chemo isn’t bad compared to someone that needs it weekly for many months, but in the 3 weeks from diagnosis to treatment, would have done more to change my diet and lifestyle I guess (?). I took the mentality, that, since I had cancer, “keep on keeping on” in regards to my existing lifestyle.
I bring this up because, I had been introduced to “Chris Beat Cancer” when I was first diagnosed, but hadn’t really gotten into his story, what he did for treatment, etc. until this past week. He went from stage 3 colon cancer to cancer free, and shares what diet and lifestyle changes he made to get him there (raw/plant-based diet). He shares his stories and others on Facebook, but this was a 10-part video series (I’ve finished 9 in a week) about many topics, including diet, detoxification, stress, spiritual healing, exercise, supplements and much more. There are free trial periods to watch all 10 videos, but I invested in them and feel their well worth the investment. Chris Beat Cancer – Square One link. Module 1 is free of charge on YouTube.
In the first module, he asks “do you want to live?” Being diagnosed in my mid-30’s, I hadn’t ever considered it. Of course I want to live – but hadn’t ever been asked the question throughout my treatment. It wasn’t a matter if “do I” but more “whatever it takes to get rid of it.” There are patients that just want to continue to live their life without any interruption and let the cancer take its course – I’d guess mostly older people. I’d guess most patients want to at least attempt to get rid of it. Things that make you go hmmmmm….
I just heard of “scanziety,” which is the testing anxiety, and I definitely have that. Yesterday, I scheduled my 3rd bone marrow biopsy, to be done on 10/27 (my mom’s birthday). While the biopsy is uncomfortable enough in itself, and the results are what are most concerning. When I saw my doctor in August, she said if this isn’t at 0%, we’d look into clinical trials (Moffitt, etc). Learning more about potential natural ways and options makes me want to hold off to see if I can heal my body from major diet changes.
Next weekend, we are heading to the Hairy Cell Leukemia Foundation Patient Seminar at Ohio State University, which will go over treatment, diet, long-term side effects and the future HCL research. While my week leading up to the seminar and following week will be hectic (for work), I am looking forward to meeting other patients and hearing about the future. Thus far, I’ve only spoken to 2 people with HCL, one the night before chemo (probably not the best idea) and one a few weeks after treatment. I was hesitant and not sure about going, but am happy it worked out and am looking forward to learning more about HCL. Hairy Cell Leukemia Foundation link.