After Cancer: The New Normal

It’s been a couple of months since I posted last. I don’t write in my journal every day anymore. It sometimes feels like the days are even harder now but how can that be? Tom is cancer-free. It’s been six months and late December he will do more tests to make sure but his last bloodwork looked great.

He feels great and is doing well. The thing is, we both are dealing with this process of life after cancer. We were so happy and so grateful when he got the all-clear. Then, we both started having days (sometimes the same days, other times different days) where we miss our old life, wonder what life will be like now, and wonder how we will keep up this new regimen.

When you go the western path of treatment, there are follow up appointments and tests but the treatments stop and you (try) to go back to life as it was. We can’t do that. We’ve cut Tom’s supplements in half but he is not ready to let go of any more of them yet. We are both fearful of letting go of them too quickly. So each month we spend a significant amount of money on supplements as well as organic food.

We have finally started letting ourselves go out to eat at 3 different restaurants rarely, but still, it feels so great, helps us feel “normal” and at the same time, we worry and feel that we are cheating.

We decided to take a break and spend a weekend at a place we loved. We used to go there a lot in our old life before cancer. The picture on the post is us the first night we arrived at dinner. It was beautiful outside and the water was in front of us. Both of us were wiped out and exhausted from the 5-hour drive to get there and after 2 days, on the drive home, we discussed how it wasn’t the same, we didn’t really enjoy it anymore. It’s from our old life.

We didn’t expect this at all but we were so focused on healing Tom, we never thought about after and what “after” would look and feel like. So we realize we need to make changes and start thinking about what our new lives will look like.

My routine of taking care of health treatments is pretty much the same; every morning I make Tom’s smoothie and every other morning I juice enough for both of use for 2 days. I have breakfast, check email and then go to the office. I schedule treatment and Dr. appointments for Tom and go with him to the Dr. appointments. I keep notebooks (I am up to 3 now) of all of his test results, bills, and anything else related to his health in these notebooks. I still research when we need answers. I shop on Fridays at 5 different stores for all of the organic food we need for the week. Now that we juice, I buy a lot more greens.

About every 3 weeks I make a new batch of Essiac Tea. Tom has started making it and drinking it at night on his own. I have other things to do like re-starting my business, managing our debt, and now the end of year processes have hit: manage to get his new health insurance plan, my new health insurance plan, and soon, I’ll need to start preparing for tax filing.

My body has finally let me know it’s exhausted so I’m getting treatments I need for adrenal fatigue and TMJ (which has flared up from stress and has caused me to have Tinnitus-it drives me crazy). At the end of the day, I am completely wiped out and exhausted. I knew it was time to take care of my body. I think the only reason I was able to go as long as I have is that I am eating what Tom eats and that has helped support my immune system.

About once a month I get a massage from a therapist that works on my TMJ, my back-because I hurt it and it’s been like that for months. Every other week I get an IV Vitamin C treatment that also includes B-12, Magnesium, and glutathione.

What is Glutathione and What Does it Do?

Glutathione is a combination of three simple building blocks of protein or amino acids − cysteine, glycine, and glutamine − and is produced naturally in the body. It is called the master antioxidant because it can regenerate itself in the liver after each “fill-up” of free radicals and go back to work. Free radicals are often the byproduct of normal cellular metabolic oxidation and toxic overload. They can lead to autoimmune diseases, several types of cancer, and even heart attacks.

Keeping yourself healthy, boosting your performance, preventing disease, and aging well all depends on keeping glutathione levels high. It is critical for immune function and controlling inflammation. It is the master detoxifier and the body’s main antioxidant, protecting our cells and making our energy metabolism run well.-truth about cancer

We both want to dig out of the debt and figure out how to get the most out of every moment of life yet we are stuck in the cycle of treatment and repetitive work. We both want to have so many life experiences together and enjoy living. We have come to terms with leaving our old lives behind, now we have to figure out how to move forward.

We appreciate everyone who follows us and thank everyone for the support and prayers-it’s what has helped us get through this.

July 30, 2018…

July 30 2019 The Day Our World Changed Forever and Build A Better Boat

The Day Our World Changed Forever

My first post in the journal my friend Judy gave me was Monday, July 30, 2018-the day of Tom’s surgery.

It was the first time Tom had ever been in a hospital and the first time he had ever had surgery. He was on no medications for anything. Yet here we were, in the holding room, waiting for them to perform surgery-for Bladder Cancer.

My Blog That Day…

The morning is dragging. Tom can’t eat or drink – just wait. We leave before 10 am to arrive at 11:15 am at the hospital for surgery scheduled for 1:15 pm. The surgery didn’t start until 2:00 pm.

The Doctor won’t confirm what he already knows – it’s cancer. Not thrilled about them putting Mitomycin-C in his bladder after the surgery. It’s Chemo.

The Dr. met with me after the surgery and was very bland stating, “it’s cancer.” Without missing a breath he went on to say they would start BCB (chemo in the bladder) treatments and if that didn’t work, regular chemo, radiation, and removal of his bladder. My head was reeling.

I remember being in the Dr.’s office when he, again, rather blandly told Tom it was “probably cancer.” I remember that awful feeling inside and looking at Tom’s face trying to decide what was going on in his mind. He was emotionless and just said “okay” to everything the Dr. said. Neither of us had any questions, we were both in shock.

As we left the office, I stopped in the restroom-I felt sick.

During the surgery, they scraped several tumors and clusters of tumors from the lining of his bladder. We were told they would call with the Biopsy results.

Tom’s first statement: “I don’t want to lose my hair.” He was scared of the chemo drug that was sitting in his bladder.

Before we left the hospital, the nurse showed me how to deal with the catheter and told me to use latex gloves because the Mitomycin-C is toxic. I drained it the first couple of days and then Tom insisted on doing it until the next Dr.’s appointment.

Our world changed forever on that day. I brought Tom home with the catheter.

I was grateful for my sister. She’s an RN and a Certified Holistic Nutritionist. She had begun researching natural treatments.

I knew I had to share with Tom the information my sister had started researching and was afraid he wouldn’t consider alternative treatments. I didn’t want to share the stats on survival if going with Western Medicine.

I hate the word cancer. The word by itself creates fear in everyone. I know it did in me and I know it did in Tom.

Put Your Oxygen Mask on First…

Todrickhall Virgin Flight Safety Video Image and Build A Better Boat

We all know this. It sounds so logical and simple yet, how do you do that when every ounce of energy you have is being put into helping your husband treat his cancer?

Dear friends, family members, and people that I didn’t really know but cared, all told me I needed to take care of myself too, put my oxygen mask on first because if I got sick, I couldn’t help Tom at all.

I knew this was a truth yet I simply couldn’t. There were no minutes left in a day and no money for anything other than what we needed, what Tom needed to get rid of this horrid disease.

I believe that the cornerstone of Tom’s treatment protocol really helped me do what I needed to do this past year and kept me healthy-an all-organic diet.

Now, over a year later and two months of “all clear” on his tests, we are trying to settle into a “new normal” and get some things back on track.

My body has told me in no uncertain terms that I need to take care of it. My adrenals are exhausted and depleted from the long and intense stress.

“According to the theory from WebMD, if you have long-term stress (like the death of a family member or a serious illness), your adrenal glands burn out from prolonged production of cortisol. So adrenal fatigue sets in.”

It can keep you from losing weight and overall just make you feel exhausted and bad all of the time. There are other symptoms that have told me it is time to focus a bit on healing myself.

So, I started with a massage with Cranio-sacral treatment and my first IV Vitamin C therapy. I’ve started on some nutritional supplements to help my adrenals recover and I took a precious walk on the beach today.

The ocean calms my soul, it’s like meditation when I walk on the beach. It also is something called “grounding”. I walk barefoot on the beach and it’s healthy to walk barefoot in nature to connect and ground yourself with it.

So, thank you to all of you who told me and worried about me and to those who are in similar situations, I hope you are able to put your oxygen mask on first to take care of yourself and the one you are caring for.

The image on the post is from my favorite airline safety video-Virgin airlines. https://youtu.be/z1A5BtqsaPM