Monday, September 22, 2014

Finding healing in the bible

Dealing with cancer can be like hell on earth and not only is our physical body tortured but our spiritual wellbeing is as well.  Medical science helps in healing us by administering medicine into our physical bodies i.e. chemo (medical poison), radiation (needs no explanation), hormones or hormone blockers, and various other medicines.  God heals spiritually AND physically.  There are many examples in the bible of God healing the sick, and injured.  I know what you are feeling I have felt it too.... God why can't you do that today? or screaming in my heart begging God PLEASE heal me today!  In Proverbs 4:22 it says God's word is spoken as being medicine to all our flesh.  And according to Isaiah 53:5,6 and 1 Peter 2:24, healing is A FACT as far as God is concerned and it belongs to us because healing was in the atonement.  I want to cry as I type this.  God is so awesome and His work is so beautiful!!!!!  I know I will be healed, one day maybe here on earth maybe not but I will be healed.  I don't know what God has already healed me from, He could have already healed me from other cancers before they could infect me or cause any damage to be detected by the doctors or medical tests.  For all I know God has healed me right this minute.  Oh wow would that be awesome!!!!! 

I just found this prayer in Colossians 1:21 and I couldn't say it out loud without getting choked up because I struggle with my fear of my cancer and I don't want to, I want to be strong in my faith and have it unwavering but I am human.  But the more I read the bible, do my devotions and walk in faith with Jesus Christ the less frequent those days of struggle and fear of my cancer, and now with this prayer it makes me feel stronger and more able to fight the cancer and fight for MY life not the cancers!! 
Jesus is the Lord of my life.  Sickness and disease have no power over me. 

This is SO my new mantra!!!!! :) 

Yep even gonna add a little dance to it!!!! Like the happy dance.... oh ya!!!!  Jesus us the Lord of my life, sickness and disease have no power over me!!!  Ok gotta get a better rythym to make this work as a dance lol!!!

Stay strong my lovelies !!!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Riding the roller coaster of cancer

Riding the roller coaster of cancer

As a cancer patient myself since 2011 I have had the typical cancer treatments.  Radiation, chemo, surgery, medical reactions to meds and surgical glue, popped stitches, biopsies, pain management, horrible blistering, literally being hammered on for a needle biopsy 100% awake and feeling all of it!!!!! (seriously like something out of the movie Saw!)  Barbaric comes to mind.  But God's grace carried me through it all.  (I did however inform my doctor and the hospital that if the radiologist who tortured me while awake for the hammering of the biopsy that I would punch him in the face if I saw him.)  (I'm ok now but was serious about doing that for months)

Cancer is a roller coaster, like life it has it's ups and downs.  The difference is when you are a patient on the cancer ride of your life the ups and downs are FAR more extreme than life in general.  Cancer is really a bitch, it's true.  The key is being a bigger one!  This is actually something I told to my  mother in law who was battling kidney cancer that went to her brain, when her cancer was diagnosed it was already aggressive and stage 4.  She had a rough time of it and God bless her she stayed strong as long as she could, and as a lady of faith in her greatest pain she doubted and was angry at God.  She was giving in to her cancer, honestly she told me she was done, there was no hope, and I told her she needed to "bitch up" pardon the expression.  I went into instant bitch mode when I got my diagnosis I was devastated and scared yes, but I went into instant battle mode it's the only thing I know how to do in the face of adversity.  Unfortunately my mother in law was too good of a lady to allow herself to "bitch up".  She got her wings within a year of her diagnosis.  I however have been going strong.  I am not a better Christian than she was or more important I just have a different mission, and that is to share my story and help as many people struggling with the bitch that is cancer as I can. 

 I found verses in the bible that helped me through the past almost 4 years on the cancer coaster.  I 100% credit my survival and blessings to God and His grace that has carried me through the past 4 years.  I saw my oncologist last week and my blood looks great, she calls me her miracle patient.  I continue to shock and amaze my doctor in a good way.  I have to schedule my next pet/ct scan for 3 weeks from now, this is a dreaded test for me and for a lot of patients.  Pet/Ct scans show weather cancer is there/growing/or gone.  We all hope for dying and gone but it doesn't always turn out that way.  That is the test that told my doctor my cancer had returned last year, and I just know I will pissed off if it shows it again this year. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Recommend Read- Beating Cancer with Nutrition by Patrick Quillin

A few weeks after I was first diagnosed with my breast cancer I started researching (I am a former paralegal, research is in my blood) ways to fight cancer, more information on breast cancer and treatments.  I bought a few books from Amazon, and Barns & Noble because I love books and handy reference material as well as I want to have a library when I finally have my own location for my cancer support ministry that women can check out if they want. 

One of the books I bought was Beating Cancer with Nutrition by Patrick Quillin, PhD, RD, CNS.  For me dealing with my cancer I wanted to learn about what I could to help my body fight this punk ass disease, I needed to have some control in this.  What I eat is in my control, having cancer, losing my hair, having side effects all this was not in my control and even though the choices to follow doctor recommended chemo, mastectomy, radiation were in my control I felt like they weren't.  I needed to have peace of mind that I did not let my body down should the treatments not work, or the cancer to come back I knew I needed to do what I could to strengthen and support my body to fight off this enemy inside, so I turned to nutrition.  In the course of a few months doing this research on how nutrition affects the body, what foods are cancer fighting and body fortifying I became certified in nutrition, yoga, personal training, and senior fitness and nutrition.

 I loved Beating Cancer with Nutrition it is easy to read, gives helpful recipes, talks about nutrition and common cancer medications.  What I REALLY liked was that it talks about cancer fighting nutrition not as a sole alternative to traditional cancer meds, but in connection with them.  I am not a devout homeopathic user or pusher, BUT there is something to it, and for me personally I like to use some natural cures, there is so much chemical ingredients in our society as it is I would really like to go back to a more natural, organic way of life, the only downside is the FDA rules and testing requirements for drugs that isn't for all natural products however I do believe that the big drug companies are greedy a++holes who are just in it to make a buck!! (Sorry got on my soapbox)

Ok so beating cancer with nutrition, this is a GREAT compliment to your drug treatments, or as an alternative.  Be sure to check with your oncologist for what foods might need to be avoided due to your type of cancer or interactions with your medications, that said you can't trust your doctors 100% so after you ask them, do your own research!  Always always do your own research. 

I recommend this book to everyone, even if you aren't a cancer patient or survivor it gives really good nutritional information, recipes and advice on keeping your body strong to help fight off cancer or resistant.  Sorry about the tangent :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Support groups yay or nay?

The issue of support groups when you are a cancer patient is a debated one.  As a cancer patient you will get quite a lot of people advising and ill-advising the use of support groups.  There are not support groups for every type of cancer out there as of yet and regionally there are only ones if there is a demand for it.  I decided to google cancer support ministry recently and only one lead came up. 
a cancer support ministry in Indiana working with a local church, hospital and radiation department there in the area.  I was surprised.  With all the different types of cancer out there and more and more cases has increased and younger and younger people being affected as well as the big surge in celebrities contracting the disease there is so very little still out there in our country to help us through this.

Yes there are some support groups that can be found here and there.  Support is a huge thing to have, it is a must for any patient going through a life changing disease.  Family, friend, work, church, medical team, etc. is essential for a cancer patient and their family or care-givers to have.  Do not let anyone tell you cancer is not a life changing event, they are either lying or have no clue. 

I myself like a lot of patients felt I didn't need to go to a support group and felt this way for about the first 18 months.  My oncologist had even advised me to be cautious when going to support groups should I choose as often times patients or survivors who are dealing with more aggressive or advanced staged cancer can be mean and nasty to others who are not doing as poorly as they are.  I was stage 3 breast cancer and handling my side affects pretty well and looked relatively normal except for being mostly bald.  I decided not do to support groups even though I had wonderful recommendations of the group at my church.  I felt since I had family and friend support and was a Christian and read my bible that I was doing fine enough without it.

I don't remember what made me decide to finally go to my church's cancer support group, it may have been that I was finally worn down to go.  :)  But I am glad that I went and I don't regret it, and I have been going once a month for about 18 months.  I was glad to have that support group when my diagnosis turned stage 4 metastasis last October.  I was so angry for so many months, and hearing the other people share their stories and updates was helpful.  Now that I have come to terms with my stage of cancer I am able to help and support them which is a wonderful feeling.  I like to help others and for me in my cancer journey I have always tried to deal with it in humor and grace.  Ok there have been some raunchy moments and I admit that, but it all stems from trying to cope and deal and I would rather laugh then to cry. 

I want to start a new support group, a support ministry for cancer specifically women's cancers because well I am one.  lol  Little by little I will get one established and hope to touch and bless many deserving women out there.  And lets face it, we could all do with a little more hope in our lives no matter who we are or what we are dealing with. 

xoxoxoxoxo Kat

Thursday, September 4, 2014

You Are

I recently received a card in the mail from my mom.  Throughout my cancer journey (rollercoaster) I have received many cards offering hope, encouragement, support and Faith.  Some of these I kept to read again when I am down or needing a little lift of encouragement and some of these I throw away.  Since my cancer returned and metastasized my mom has been very encouraging and I think it was as hard for her to hear as it was for me when my cancer returned. 
Even though I am currently not going through any treatment save my estrogen blockers I still get encouraging cards, and this most recent one I want to share with those of you who may need a little lift, encouragement, hope and Faith.

"You are a fighter,
a survivor,
a woman of faith and strength.
You are a tough opponent for any challenge.
Even the big "C" is no match for you because you belong to an even bigger "C"...
HE is with you an many prayers are for you as you fight this battle."
(DaySpring cards)

I am and have always been a tough cookie, some even nicknamed me Wonder Woman.  Through this extreme disease I have faced a war like no other and thankfully I am a soldier of God.  I have no doubt in my mind, body or soul that I have been carried through this journey with grace, God's grace.

I hope you are able to find some hope and comfort in this post.  Best wishes for you all and prayers for healing.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Yoga and Breast Cancer

Yoga can be a great benefit to a cancer patient or survivor.  We all get stressed, and need to de-compress in this fast paced world we live in here in the USA.  For someone who is going through the cancer process it is even more stressful and the need to take better care of ourselves is greater than the "average person".
There is medical proof that stress is harmful to our bodies and drops our immune systems, stress also releases hormones.  For some of us hormones are not our friend, but instead more like a CIA double agent and we have to be very careful.
Yoga not only reduces stress, it stretches muscles, muscles that may have been operated on, moved, pulled, affected from radiation, degeneration, lack of use, etc.

Yoga can be practiced by all, and at different levels.  It can be done privately in your own home, or at a studio with a group, at your local park, gym, there are lots of yoga classes nowadays. 
Yoga helps you become more aware of your body and your mind, your mental and physical well being.  Now, me being a Christian I don't like all the new-age beliefs and practices associated with mainstream yoga like chakra, crystals and aura.  I am a certified yoga instructor and I take a more Christian take on my classes like breathing out the stress or fear and inhaling the Holy Spirit.  My class may not be for everyone, and mainstream classes may not be for me.  I fully feel you should go where you are comfortable and this blog post is not a religious lecture.
Yoga can enhance the quality of life for women dealing with breast cancer.  What's nice is that yoga can be done at any time before, during and after a cancer diagnosis helping to relieve stress, and assist in recovery after radiation, surgery, chemo.
Studies show that yoga has a very positive influence on the mobility, flexibility, strength and over all physical fitness of women going through treatment for breast cancer.
Women who implement yoga into their daily routines find it compliments their traditional medical treatments.  Yoga helps to relax and stretch the whole body inside and out after chemo rounds and the deep impacts of radiation seeping into muscles, it is CRUCIAL after a mastectomy or lumpectomy surgery to regain range of motion in the muscle that is affected and most times lost after surgery. 
As I said yoga can be done at any time and can be either private, one on one or in a group and all levels of physical ability enjoy it.  I have seen women who have limited range of motion all the way to 100% range of motion and the support and encouragement from others who are going through the very same thing is amazing.  There is no need to feel embarrassed at our classes we have an amazing group of women and every class is a blessing.

Monday, September 1, 2014

You can't trust anyone

 I hate to sound melodramatic but it is true!  As a cancer patient you can't trust anyone.  I used to trust my oncologist explicitly, I trusted her with my life!  Now that trust is shaken and I don't have as much faith and trust in her or any other doctor or pharmacy.  I will tell you why. 

The City of Hope a world class leading cancer center located here in California came out on the local news on the results of a study they had performed regarding Paxil and Tamoxifen.  Paxil is a drug used for depression and anxiety, given to a lot of cancer patients for depression and Tamoxifen is an estrogen blocker used for pre-menopausal women and both drugs have been on the market for 20 years or more.

Studies on the interaction of both of these medicines have been done since 2010 and most recently in January 2014, it was announced February 7th on KTLA 5 local Los Angeles news channel by the lead research oncologist that it is proven that Paxil renders Tamoxifen INEFECTIVE.  This is devastating  news to breast cancer patients and any estrogen related cancer!  I am ER positive that means estrogen receptive, so my cancer grows from estrogen and it is a matter of life and death that I rid my body of ANY estrogen.  So for almost a year both my oncologist and my local pharmacy did nothing, did not see any negative interaction of that combination thus causing my cancer to come back and eat a HOLE in my iliac bone and cause me to be stage 4 Metastatic.  INCURABLE.  Before their negligence my cancer was curable and now it is not.  I interviewed several big name pharmacies in my area and 95% acknowledged they were aware of the Paxil/Tamoxifen interaction.  One pharmacy was shocked and amazed that the interaction wasn't caught and supports my professional negligence claim.
We can't rely on professionals with our lives.  Sad but true.  We HAVE to do our own research, check for drug interactions, ask questions, seek second opinions, etc.  Doctors are human too and make mistakes, however it is our health and our bodies and our responsibility.  I learned the hard way, please don't end up like I did.  My cancer reoccurrence was avoidable, and now I have to live with it.  In 3 weeks it will be a year since my oncologist gave me the results of my pet/ct scan and delivered the devastating news.  The past year has been one heck of a rollercoaster.  I was so angry and it has only been the last 2 months that I have come to terms with my anger and see the positive in this situation. 

*Look for post on cancer and anger