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Friday, 13 July 2012

I Learned a Lot Today and had 3 Great Surprises.

Today was a very large and long day for me so please forgive my writing tonight,  it may be a little helter skelter.  Wade and I left town relatively early in the morning for an appointment with a Naturopath in Kerrisdale.  It was a beautiful drive down, perfect weather, no traffic to speak of (until we hit the city of course), and great conversation.  Since I was a little early we stopped in to my office to check mail and say hello.  It was nice to see everyone who was there - I guess only I have changed, for the rest of the world nothing is new LOL!  The we flew up to Kerrisdale.


I spent one hour and forty-five minutes with Dr. Lemon (not his real name), and it was well worth every second of my time.  Let me explain, Dr. Lemon is a Naturopathic Oncologist.  His speciality is working with cancer patients and he works a lot in tandem with my particular Oncologist at the Hospital.   My reason for wanting to see Dr. L was to find some ways to manage the ravages that chemo has on the body and to try to keep my body strong so it can survive all these chemo sessions.


His expertise blew me away.  We discussed everything from the chemo doses and other medications I was on, to the exercise I do or don't do daily, the relaxation I do or don't do daily and any stressors that may be in my life other than the caner situation.  With that information, and having a full knowledge of my medical history, Dr. S and I put together a plan to provide me with everything I need to keep strong and recover.  It's pretty intense, and involves reducing a few of the drugs I am currently on (such as the MASSIVE steroid drug I didn't even know I was having to take), and adding in about 8 other supplements as well as adding Cabbage (which I love) into my current juicing routine.  Dr. S mentioned that the fact that I am already having 1 "juice" from the juicer a day is one of the best things I could be doing for my body.  We are upping it to two juices now - Thanks Chris!!!!!!


So it turns out the heart issues I was having on day 3-5 are a result of the crazy Steroid, not the chemo drugs, also the steroid is affecting my ability to sleep.  So with dropping that dosage down and adding in Glutamine Power, Vitamin D, Fish Oil (already taking), Curcumin, Low Dose Naltrexone (already taking), Melatonin, Tryptophan and possibly IV Vitamin C twice a week, I should feel like a champion by the time my next chemotherapy session is due.  Woot!  Woot!  I feel so empowered.  I am doing something good for my body that will give me strength to manage the crash after each chemo session.   I am woman hear me ROAR!


I also asked Dr. L his opinion on the port-a-shunt that the Hospital wants to install in my chest for administering the chemo sessions and he said "if he or his family got cancer he would get it installed right away", so I have booked my appointment for that in the first week of August.  I left the meeting feeling that my care was in good hands from both these fine professionals (Dr. S and Dr. L), and that I am now finally comfortable trusting completely in them to do the right thing for me.  I of course am still responsible for my mental and physical health, which I'm taking very seriously too.


After the Dr. appt we rushed over to West Vancouver as it was my daughters eleventh birthday and I had booked her a little spa day with three of her friends at Refine Express Spa.  Refine Express is a fabulous, relaxing place to go for anything from Manicures to bodywork and facials.  Check them out on Marine drive between 15th and 16th.  Anyway, when I got there the girls were all set up with their feet and hands soaking and ready for their afternoon.  Thanks so much to Jenn P. for driving them in for me.  I got a couple of great surprises at the Salon.  First my girlfriend Rikki who I hadn't seen in ages had found out we were going to be there so stopped in to join the adults for lunch.  Second, my friend Kathie had heard I was going to be there and had taken some time to pick up some lovely colourful scarves, so there she was all smiles and bling with this lovely gift and hugs.  After some chit chat, Jenn, Rikki and I went to The Fish House for lunch.  It was so nice and relaxing although I do notice I'm not my old self.  I normally enjoy the warmth from the sun, however 2 minutes of sitting in it and I felt like I was going to hurl, so we finally got seated under an umbrella - what a relief.  The other difference is that normally on a lovely, sunny day like this, sitting on a patio, not having to drive, I would have had 2 -3 glasses of crisp white wine.  No such luck these days.  A half a glass mixed liberally with soda and I'm done.  Such a shame really, on the other hand, wine is fattening, so there is a benefit here too.


We had a leisurely lunch and lots of terrific conversation and before we knew it, it was time to go back and get the girls home.  After some big hugs goodbye for Rikke and her man, we loaded four over excited little girls into the car.  By this point I was so tired I thought I'd drop, so I tried to relax on the way home.  Hard to do when the girls are singing beautifully at the top of their lungs right behind you, however we made it and I even made a dramatic suggestion on the way home.  Hey girls how would you like to come over for a swim in the pool followed by Pizza and Cake?  I mean who wouldn't jump at that.  The day was warm, the pool was 32 degrees Celsius and the party was still on.  I rested on the coach (after of course cleaning the kitchen - anal), while two adults sat outside sipping on wine and beer and watched the kids having a blast.  Even Ben joined in, he was in the pool as long as all the girls (probably two hours), which is a first for him.  It made me so happy to hear the sounds of children's giggles and enjoyment coming from the back.  When I originally designed our backyard I had two thoughts in mind.  I wanted to create an "Oasis" where we can have relaxation or Adult parties in the evenings and also a place where my kids will come, with their friends to swim in the pool, have cold pop at the Tikki Bar and pretty soon sit by the fire pit or in the hot tub.  So today hearing the joy coming from the back was like hearing part of my dream come true.  It brought a huge smile to my face.  I only wish I could have been in the pool with them.


At around 7:30 it was time for things to wrap up and many hours past when I should have shut things down, so the kids got all dressed, I cleaned up and just as they were leaving the third amazing thing happened in my day.  I am sure you have read on Facebook the story of my friend Lisa looking for a scarf for me?  Oh, you haven't??? Well here is the Coles Notes version.  Lisa saw my post on FB asking if anyone new where I could buy nice cotton bandanna's or scarves in town, or if anyone had any they didn't use anymore.  So she went into a very expensive shop in Yaletown yesterday to see if they had any, and low and behold she found a beautiful one.  It's like a bandanna or scarf, but it's already sewn to fit and its silk and it has long ties that you can do many things with.  When Lisa asked the sales clerk how much, she was told $165.  A little over the budget for a scarf, lovely that it may be.  Anyway, the sales lady (who by the way didn't own the store), went to the back, wrapped it in a box, came back out and said to Lisa, you know what,  I've had some good things done for me this week, so I'd like to "pay it forward" and purchase this scarf for your friend.  Lisa was blown away, as am I.  So today Lisa arrived with said scarf.  I have to tell you it's magical.  It fits easily, I don't have to tie it because it's sewn the right way and it's comfortable and you can make it shaped in different ways.  Lisa and I both think our mutual friend Lorraine would be able to make couple just like it in silk or soft cotton with prints to match my outfits.....hint hint Lorraine.  A huge thank you to the generous sales person, I will come and thank you in person soon.


So all in all, I had a spectacularly large day, full of joy, new insights, love, love and more love from my dear friends and now I am at peace, sitting in bed with my doggie waiting for my husband to come home.


What more could a woman ask?


Good Night World - some days like today you just ROCK!


Love,
Michelle
PS: Scarf pictures with all 4 new scarves will come soon.

5 comments:

Ashleigh said...

Michelle - I am beyond thrilled to know you've seen your naturopath - he sounds so wonderful & yes has suggested all he things I was researching. I'd love to know what thy cost when you ind out & where you will get the supplements or through him?
I can't wait to see pics of you in the scarves & hope everything else just goes as today - you are meant to have these reminders of support & love & enjoyment of life - it's yours & your living it to the best you can. I am so very proud to call you my friend & say you're doing everything you can!! I hear you Roaring darling - its a fabulous Sound!!!

Sending hugs & love always - anything I can do please always let me know - more water???

Michelle Pammenter Young said...

Thanks Ashleigh, it feels so great to be empowered again - even in such a small thing. When are you coming up for a visit? I have 10 good (by that I mean having energy for more than just an hour) days coming up before my next chemo - a good time for you to get out of dodge with the little man.

Lorraine Wilson said...

I was already there, thinking about how I could make said scarf, when I saw your hint. Sure, let me know what you would like it made from, and I will do it up for you. Is our mutual friend Lisa Snow? I know she comes into the Coquitlam area frequently, so maybe she could bring me some sample colours as well as the scarf to look at?

Michelle Pammenter Young said...

Hi Lorraine, yes it is that "Lisa". I hate to part with the new scarf, but perhaps I can have her bring it to you so you can pattern it and make a couple in some fabrics that will complement my wardrobe. I will try to find some nice silk and or cotton fabrics in town and get working on that. Love to you and your family.
Michelle

ashley said...

Ahhh so it was the Dexamethasone? That was what made me sleepless at nights and heart racing too. Good to have it cut back.

Hope you are recovering ok these days. Good that you are juicing too! So important.

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