Sunday, 31 May 2009

Cancer is common

Few days back I received a text from my friend telling that her sister has just been diagnosed with BC. It has become common to have BC nowadays. Every friend who knows I have BC, will also inform that their close family or neighbour has BC stage so and so and is having treatment so and so. Cancer is often associated with death. I read an interesting news today about a man with terminal cancer, who is set to win thousands of pounds after betting he would not die before June. He has had mesothelioma cancer (related to asbestos) for 38 months and is considered as death sentence as the longest surviving patient was 25 months after diagnosis. One thing I like about what he said is that he wasn't that fussed when he was diagnosed as everyone has to die some time. But the interesting thing for him was how long it would take, would it take weeks, months or years...

For me, there is nothing wrong about having BC. I would have to adapt myself to it. If without it I'm free to do whatever I want, with it, I might have to limit some activities. For instance, if last time I can go out whenever I want, but now, while having my chemo, I would have to stay indoor much of the time. At the point of writing, it is bright and sunny outside but I can't go out and enjoy the sun as I can easily get burned, so I chose to stay in. Besides, the pollen is not good for me, yesterday I went out to hang the clothes to dry, my eyes have started swollen - sign of hay fever. I put on extra virgin oil around my eyes and luckily it's gone now. What a discovery as I never knew the extra virgin oil can also soothe the itchy feeling caused by hay fever...

Coming back to my sister's friend who has just been diagnosed, my friend was asking for my advice on how to go forward. Hmmm, it's quite a tough job as I don't know how the treatment like over there. As I said before, every BC is unique and it depends on the person's body chemistry. Her Oncologist would be the best person to decide on what treatment is suitable for her. My best move was to refer her to my friend Raden who is very well experienced in this matter...

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Down with diarrhea

One week after the infusion, I'm down with diarrhea again. I had it during my first cycle, free of it during my second cycle, and had it again during my third cycle. Don't know whether it's the effect of the chemo or infections from my kids. Adli had it during the weekend, on Monday Adnin and Aqilah were down with it, and it's now my turn. It was really bad yesterday; the nausea feeling was unbearable that I had to take the anti-sickness pills again. Thank God I'm feeling much better today; still have the loose bowels but at least my appetite has come back. When I'm able to eat, I have the energy to do my regular chores including being infront of my computer.

This week is a mid-term break for the kids. May is full of break - we had our bank holiday again last Monday which we spent quitely at home. Friends took advantage of the long weekend to go for BBQ out of town. Without a car, we had to forgo it this time. During my recent trip to town, I bought the disposible BBQ set from Poundworld. One of these sunny days, we might have our own BBQ at our backyard. Of course, we have to be very careful not to burn the meat as carcinogen is not good as it is the friend of the big C!

I had a chat with my sisters yesterday through YM. They wanted to see my hair. Initially they said it didn't really look bald. Not until I showed them the top and the back of my head that they screamed! Haa'ahhh... Frankly, I'm afraid of looking at myself at the mirror now. Then I cool myself off by telling that it's temporary. I'll gain my true look again when it's all over. I met a new friend who is on the same boat as I'm. She is going for a natural treatment to treat her cancer. I wish I'd have gone through the same route as her. I hope that we can get better acquainted so that we can learn from each other. It's not too late for me as I can still terminate the clinical trial whenever I want...

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Herceptin treatment

I was reading a comment on Raden's blog yesterday, about herceptin treatment for BC. Wondering what it's about, I began to google on it. Believe it or not, the treatment that I'm going through now is actually herceptin treatment.

Earlier on before I started the treatment, the Oncologist was eager to find out the result of my HER2. My earlier posting, I did mention that I'm HER2 positive, meaning the cancer cell can spread aggressively. Here is a caption from a booklet that I found on the net about HER2.

HER2 stands for Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2. Each normal breast cell
contains copies of the HER2 gene, which helps normal cells grow. The HER2 gene is
found in the DNA of a cell, and this gene contains the information for making the
HER2 protein.
The HER2 protein, also called the HER2 receptor, is found on the surface of some normal
cells in the body. In normal cells, HER2 proteins help send growth signals from outside
the cell to the inside of the cell. These signals tell the cell to grow and divide.
In HER2+ breast cancer, the cancer cells have an abnormally high number of HER2 genes
per cell.When this happens, too much HER2 protein appears on the surface of these
cancer cells. This is called HER2 protein overexpression. Too much HER2 protein is
thought to cause cancer cells to grow and divide more quickly. This is why
HER2+ breast cancer is aggressive.
Luckily the drugs that I'm getting now, the doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide are actually part of herceptin treatment. Some definitions on the drugs :

DOXORUBICIN – Included in a class of chemotherapy drugs (anthracyclines) used to inhibit or
prevent the development and growth of cancer cells.

CYCLOPHOSPHAMIDE – Included in a class of chemotherapy drugs (alkylating agents) that
promotes cancer cell death.
There are some nice pictures on how the HER2 looks like but I can't find a way to copy it as it's in PDF format.
What's so good about herceptin treatment? It is actually increasing the chance of staying cancer-free longer. The nightmare of cancer survivors would be the chances of recurrence. If we have some information on the nature of the cells, we would know how to control the condition and reduce the chance of recurrence.
I had a text from my sister this morning regarding extra virgin olive oil, being the cure for cancer, as she saw it on TV. I read up on the net this morning and amazed to find out that the recent findings of Javier Menendez from Catalan Institute of Oncology and Antonio Seguara from the University of Granada in Spain, along with their team of researchers, found out the parts of olive oil that were most active against cancer. Their findings reveal that all major complex phenols present in extra-virgin olive oil considerably suppresses over-expression of the cancer gene HER2 in human breast cancer cells.
What a breakthrough! One teapoon of virgin olive oil morning and one at night will do for now. I also came to know that Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and is a great source of vitamin E, having antioxidant properties. It also protects against heart disease, lowers blood pressure, prevents the formation of blood clots and helps to maintain better intestinal and liver functions.
One great caution about the herceptin treatment is that Herceptin treatment can result in heart problems, including those without symptoms (reduced heart function) and those with symptoms (congestive heart failure). Hopefully by taking the extra virgin oil it will protect myself from having heart disease...

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Had my third cycle yesterday

I had my third cycle yesterday. It was as smooth as a breeze... I didn't feel bad at all during the night. Hands and feet felt numb when I awoke at 1 am last night, but it was bearable. If it's not because of the noise by the next door neighbour, I'd be sleeping like a log til 4 am for my morning prayer. I guess the yoga that I practise everyday played an additional role for my peaceful sleep at night.

They prescribed me with Pegfilgrastim yesterday, the medication to boost the bone marrow. This time I didn't get the help of the district nurse. In fact, my husband became my nurse and injected the medication on my belly. I tend to recover faster with it and next week I'd be on my bike again, cycling to school.

The weather has not been good during the last few days as it has been drizzling on and off. Rupa has made an offer to pick me up whenever I need to go to school if it rains. It's an offer that I can't resist. I need to attend a seminar this Friday by a visiting Professor from Montreal, Canada. I have met him during PATAT conference last August in Montreal, and it would be thrilled to see him again here...

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

From golf ball to a small marble

I had an appointment with the Oncologist this morning. As usual, blood was taken to see if I have met the right level for me to be infused again tomorrow. The drug to boost the bone marrow really works. I recovered quite fast compared to the first cycle's experience.

When the doctor measured the size of the lump, I'm pleased to learn that it has shrunk to 3 cm in diameter. Alhamdulillah, thank God the golf ball has now shrunk into a small marble. I'm responding well to the treatment and hopefully it will further shrink until it's completely gone. According to the doctor, even if it's gone, I would still need to undergo surgery. Opps, what is there to remove??? He said there could be traces of cells left as we don't know what's going on inside there. Well, will I put myself under the knife if it's completely gone? It's going to be a major decision and of course, there will be a lot of things to weigh. When the time comes, I'll do my istiharah (the additional prayer that we always do to choose) and see what it leads me to...

As the lump keeps shrinking, I keep on believing that cancer is fungus. Like other infections, when it is given medication, the problem will go away. Same goes with my BC...

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Cancer is fungus?

It has been a week since my last posting and guess what, I had lots of returning visitors yesterday. Friends might be wondering as to what I'm up too. Don't worry guys, I'm well and fine. I have been busy re-organizing my EndNote, figuring out the best strategies to start writing as in six months time I need to report (in the six mth progress report) how many chapters have I written for my thesis.

During my break time, I still read and watch videos on cancer. Once, I came across a statement that cancer is a fungi. So yesterday I google search again and found a video on this - check this out . A prominent Italian Oncologist explains his view that cancer is fungus and can be easily treated by using sodium bicarbonate.

There is also an evidence in one site about cancer being a fungi which I thought I should cut and paste here :

Fungal spores are everywhere, millions of tiny particles are in the air, and the food we eat. They can enter the body in many ways, through the intestinal tract, the nose and lungs, and organs exposed to the world at large. We generally do not develop an infection from these intruders. However, when the immune system is compromised, the tissues are poorly oxygenated, the body is malnourished, these spores become the dominant life form and begin to grow.
Dr. Otto Warburg (Nobel Prize Winner) found that simply reducing the oxygen supply to normal healthy tissue, it became cancerous. What he was really experiencing was that fungal spores, hidden in most living tissue, were able to grow aneorobically, becoming the dominant life form. Normal healthy tissue needs oxygen to live and grow, cancer and fungus cells can use sugar as their primary source of energy for growth, this is called anaerobic respiration or fermentation.

However, there are still some debates about this issue. Whatever it is, I like to think and believe that it's true. What I have done including drinking lots of oxygenated water, has shown some improvement. I can't really feel the lump anymore. It feels like the mass tissue that a normal breast should be. Moreover, the nipple is not that inverted anymore. Well, I have an appointment with my Oncologist next week and let's see what he says about it. If the lump is gone, I probably wouldn't need a surgery at all...

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Alive and kicking...

Now that my fellow students have learned about my BC, I thought I should constantly post in this blog so that they know that I'm alive and kicking :-) It has been a week since my last infusion and I feel much better eventhough I caught a skin infection near my mouth. My blood count has risen I hope, as I'm not as pale as before. Thanks to Farizah for bringing me the crab meat soup. The idea came from back home, they say if one is infected by dengue fever, give him crab meat soup to boost the platelet count. It's true as I came across a site that gave me an idea of what to eat to boost the blood count - seafood! Some suggested lamb/mutton soup to boost the blood count. It doesn't work for me as my blood pressure shot up when I ate lamb/mutton.

It has been a good bank holiday weekend; of course I did not go out and join the crowd to hunt for bank holiday bargain. No money, stay quiet! (tara wang duk diam2 looo). Without the allowance, if we could put food on the table, it's already a blessing. No luxury, just live within our means...I've sent an appeal letter to my sponsor; this time attaching a reference letter from my doctor telling that this is a life threatening condition and I should continue with the chemo that I have started on. If they don't understand, I just don't know what they are thinking about. And as for me, whether they approve or not, I'd still stay and proceed with the treatment. I'm a free man and I get to decide what's best for my life. If I die, they are not going to mourn for my loss, my family will. At most, my employer will talk about it for a week; after that they will simply find a replacement for me. Those emails in circulation about treating your family first, is very much true. So, to my workaholic friends out there, work smart. Don't stay til too late at the office, cheerish your family while you can.

I'm quite touched about the news this morning about the gunmen in Turkey killing 44 in wedding massacre. What has happened to the world now as there seems to be no peace at all! A wedding is supposed to be a happy and joyful ceremony and it turned out to be a massacre. Morale of the story, life is so fragile and we should always be ready...

Friday, 1 May 2009

Some useful indicators

In my recent readings I found some useful indicators that might be useful to everybody as a precautionary measure. I'd just copy & paste here for easier understanding :

Chinese concepts. Dr. Chi reports that 80% of cancer patients lack some of the half-moons on their fingernails, and have teeth-marks (indentations) on the sides of their tongues. Look at the fingernails. There should be half-moons at the base of the thumbnail and the nails of the first three fingers. Not the pinkies. If there are less than 4 half-moons on each hand, this indicates low cellular oxygenation. Enzymes and Vein Lite have been used by some to increase half-moons.

True enough, I have the half-moon on my thumbs only which indicate that my cells lack the oxygen and hence, a good environment for the cancer cells to grow.

Look at the tongue. Scallops or indentations along the edge are called "teeth-marks. This can indicate edema, low immunity and poor digestion. Use cooked asparagus or Chi's "Asparagus Extract" as directed on the bottle. There are reports of cancer recoveries from eating asparagus daily. Canned is fine. Puree it and take 1/4 cup twice a day. People have also reported that taking iodine corrects teeth-marks.

I have the teeth-marks too :-) So, what do I do now? Fida stopped by yesterday to pass me the virgin black seed oil. TQ Fida. In our country it's called jintan hitam. I have started to take it this morning. It doesn't taste good but what the hack, I need to get better.

I should also try the asparagus as suggested above. I recently had an email from a friend that asparagus can help cure cancer. Oh well, every suggestion helps...