Friday, November 27, 2015


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope you were able to enjoy friends and family - we're back in Friday Harbor, the homeland. Enjoying every moment. 

The celebration is not over, but I already have to say that this Thanksgiving is the best yet. 

Pre Turkey Trot

Mid Turkey Trot (paused to take a weird selfie) - the race literally runs out to my old house and back. Unfortunately, it's behind Dan's noggin.

Post Turkey Trot

I'll bet we get MRI results this week. M.R.I. That's the last time I use those letters until after the weekend. Dan's chomping at the bit already again, gotta go get bundled up for our morning run.

Love to all!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Don't Fear Germs

I'm miserable. But I'm excited.

I've had a temperature for a few days. At first, I just thought it was weird how much my body was hurting. My bones, every single bone in my body was full of needles, and I joked with Dan that maybe I had contracted meningitis. (I love to throw out the impossible and laugh.)

Looking back I had been noticing for the past few weeks a pain in my lungs. A burning, hot, achey sensation that I'm not used to. On Saturday, after I had written my last blog post about my lack of exercise, I became inspired and went to the gym, punched 5k in on the treadmill, and went to town. My goal was to finish the one person race in under 30 minutes. It was a little hard with the burning in my lungs, but I was able to complete it in 29:17 so I felt amazing. I did it!! Then I proceed to hack a lung. The weird part is that the stuff in my lungs isn't getting loose so the coughing didn't last.

The weird thing is that I've been feeling hot for the last week, and achy. But I always find a way to reason it out.

This brings me to yesterday. Finally, so miserable that I couldn't move, so miserable that it was hard to walk, it occurred to me that I should check my temperature. And sure enough, 104 was hitting heavy. When I saw that I had a fever I was thrilled. I leaned over and high fived Dan. Weird right?! But it isn't weird. I had read a few months ago that when you get a fever it stimulates your immune system, including the production and release of t-cells which also happen to love to eat cancer cells.

There are several cases documented of people who get fevers and it causes a regression of their cancers.

Once I learned the fever thing, several months ago, I have been trying to catch germs when people are sick. A long time ago I read a retrospective study about people with glioma. It showed that those who get diagnosed with glioma were described as people who stated they never usually got sick or had broken bones. I thought that was interesting, and I easily fell into that group. So now, I'm trying to rectify it by purposefully enhancing my immune system by putting myself in positions where I can snag a fever. Lucky for me, my nephew is practically always sick and a few weeks ago the sweet little bugger was flaming hot, and coughing. I took deep breaths around him, and hoped for the best, even sipping on a drink he had. I did it discretely. Now, maybe I'm just crazy, but I literally never get sick. I haven't had fever since September of 2012. I specifically remember it because it was right before the most recent brain surgery and I was worried it would interfere with the procedure.

So here I am, chilling with a 100 degree temp, and although achy and physically pretty miserable, my mind is partying. I did it! I earned a temperature and as those pins and needles ravage my body, I imagine my t-cells and cytokines swimming around in my body looking for foreign invaders of bacteria, and viruses, and tumor cells! I will not take aspirin to lower my fever, I will just ride it out. And to explain my reasoning, I sent some articles to my parents and Dan so that they would understand where I'm coming from. When I talked to my mom this morning she was impressed and agreed that she would reevaluate how she handles a fever too.

A fever is a wonderful response, it's like a free housekeeper.

It looks like we've been trying to stop the fevers, when actually that is a detriment to our immune system. This is great to know! Especially if you have kids. There is a lot of information out there showing that people that grow up with fevers (as opposed to people like me who usually never get infected) have a much less probability of getting a malignancy later. Note to self - try to ride it out, but monitor any significant changes.

Anyway, I'm still a little delirious and I don't know what I'm leaving out on here, but hopefully you can get the picture and do a little research on your own.

It's miserable riding it out, I'll admit, but I'm excited about my immune response, so I'll smile through the pain.

Here's a great article from Nursing Times discussing the benefits of not giving patients paracetamo for fever. The next article is a few cases of spontaneous remission after fever. It's fascinating. There are also all kinds of research studies that you can look up online. If you're really curious, look into William Coley's treatments in the 1800's. I hope this random post helps people become less fearful of germs, and viruses and bacteria. Because there is so much that we don't know. Now, I may still be completely insane, and I may be completely off base to want germs, and to initiate fever, but heck - why would doctors try to imitate hyperthermia for cancer patients all over the world as a treatment? (It's a widely accepted form of treatment all over Asia and Europe.) There's something about this concept, and I just got my fever treatment for free! I do love a good deal. :)

Nursing Times (oh crap - they allowed me to read the article once but is now restricted to members)

Fever, Cancer Incidence and Spontaneous Remissions 

Immunity over inability: The spontaneous regression of cancer

Fever Therapy Revisited

Friday, November 20, 2015

It's Okay To Be Weak

Well friends, we have yet to hear back about the third party results, which is just fine with me. For the first time in a long time I'm not anxious to hear the outcome. I just want to relax and not worry, and breathe, and live. I don't have the discipline that I used to. I am unable to restrict my diet, and am unable to rigorously exercise. I do not have the drive that I once had, which was born out of fear. The unfortunate thing is that fear was a bear, chasing me through the forrest, and without that same neurotic stress, I am unable to rise to the challenge of forgoing food, or drink, of pushing my body to extreme lengths for cardio or weights. I walk often and try to jog every once in awhile. I hit the sauna here and there, but I am in a state of relaxation, both mentally and physically. I am literally enjoying every moment. I spent years, several years, after diagnosis, trying wild extreme diets, taking hundreds of pills a day, trying random and scientific based treatments, and I'm tired. I don't have it in me anymore.

I honestly don't know how I ever restricted myself so diligently, so harshly. I'm just bone tired. But I'm happy. I'm thicker, and I don't love that, but I don't have the heart to discipline.

It's embarrassing that I can't practice what I preach, but it's the truth. It has been over 68 months since I was diagnosed, and 65 of those I was on crazy cancer diets. At times it has been a complete obsession. And when it wasn't an obsession it was the root of shame due to moments of failure, or stress from expectation. Living with cancer is living in a vortex. You're here but you're not. You're alive but every decision could lead to your death. Your stakes are impossibly higher than everyone else. I sometimes hear people say things like, "We're all dying." And I think, "What an asshole. Just shut up" The only people who say that are people who aren't in the vice of death's grip, or they're already diagnosed but trying to make other people feel better. There is nothing like living with cancer. You're supposed to just be happy to be alive, yet you're living in a slaughterhouse hearing the screams of your cancer family as they make it to the kill floor. You're being shuffled closer sometimes, and at other times you get shoved out of the way only to lose the friend next to you. It is a terrible emotional state that completely effs your brain. After years of this madness, it has taken such a toll on me that I can't bring myself to live in a state of constant battle. It's just too much. My stomach is so weak now from the years of drugs and supplements that I regularly vomit from queasiness. Last night my head may as well have been spinning, possessed, with horizontal projections - all from an off-label that I have been taking for almost a year. Dan was so terrified that he almost stayed home from work today to make sure I was okay. At a certain point you have to stop. Or at minimum take a break. My body can not take what it once did. Unfortunately, she never ceases to let me know.

I still eat quite healthy, sometimes less healthy (or worse yet much much less healthy) than at other times in my cancer journey, but as I have evolved I've realized that not only has my brain changed, and views changed, my physiology has changed, and my attitude has changed. Every single person in life has their journey. I have absolutely no idea what the purpose of my life is, other than to share my story, and let people know that we are inherently strong, but we should know that sometimes it's okay to be weak too.

Sometimes we ride, and sometimes we carry.