It has taken me nearly a month to be able to write about this. I have had a difficult time coming to grips with it and couldn’t deal with thinking about it until now.
As most of you know, about a year ago I was diagnosed with advanced (stage 3C) colon cancer. I had a nearly three pound tumor removed from my colon and seven of the seventeen lymph nodes they removed were cancerous. The tumor had grown outside my colon and had nearly blocked the inside of my colon completely.
They told me I had had this for close to twenty years. As a vegan, I had always felt smug that this was one cancer I would never get. Consequently, I had never had a colonoscopy. WRONG! Not all vegans are created equal. There are good vegans and bad vegans. I was a HORRIBLE vegan! I lived on junk, oil, salt and sugar. If it is fatty and salty, SIGN ME UP! I love all the fake processed vegan meats and vegan cheeses. The Veggie Grill Buffalo wings were one of my favorites as are the vegan nachos. Deep fried mock chicken covered in a yummy hot sauce full of fat and sugar. What could be better?
Well, I knew all along that vegetable oil is just as bad as animal protein when it comes to being carcinogenic, yet I continued to gorge myself on these foods. Sir Cussalot and I attended the movies about once a week and I filled my fat gut with movie popcorn smothered in that fake grease they call “butter.” It was the only reason I went to the movies!
Once I was told I had colon cancer, I saw the light. I gave up all those crappy things and moved in a new direction. I lost a ton of weight and, until they started poisoning me with six months of chemotherapy, I felt like a million bucks! I hadn’t felt that good in YEARS!
My doctor, Dr. Heinz Josef Lenz at USC Norris Cancer Hospital, did genetic testing and found that I carry four genetic markers for colon and other cancers. I am also the lucky holder of a gene that makes my cancer resistant to chemotherapy. Lucky me.
I was scanned every three months and all was clear. They did ct and pet scans because my liver is weird looking. I have a fatty liver (big ass surprise there!). I don’t drink, smoke, drink coffee or eat animal protein but that is NOT enough to be healthy!
By my fourth clear scan I was feeling pretty dang cocky. Slowly, all my old beloved foods began to creep back into my diet. After my clear scans the end of June of this year, I went wild. I gained twenty-five pounds in three months by eating from my favorite food groups; fat, salt, processed foods and sugar.
Well I paid the price.
A month ago I went to LA for my three month scan. They found two masses in my abdominal cavity. One was 3.2 cm and the other 1.7 cm. How had they grown so fast when my other tumor was so slow growing? I was freaked out and scared to death! As my doctor continued talking to me, all I heard was cancer is back WA WA WA WA WA like in the Charlie Brown cartoons. I was beyond stunned.
I called Mel and sent texts to a few friends. Other than that I didn’t want to talk about it to anyone. I think I was more upset about having to go through chemo again than hearing the cancer had returned. I hate chemo so much (of course who wouldn’t!).
The trip home was sad. I was alone and as close to a panic as I have ever been in my life (and I am not a panicky type person). I vowed to eat better for the rest of my life (a promise I plan on keeping!).
So far I have had two cycles of chemo. I am on some of the same drugs and some different drugs and it has hit me harder than the last time. It now takes week before I feel well enough to get dressed or talk to anyone on the phone. Luckily, most of my friends know that and they give me space and just send a text or brief email telling me they are thinking of me. They know not to send too many because just reading is a chore as chemo has really done a number on my eyesight this time too.
Poor Sir C has had to do everything once again and that is a LOT because he is trying to get rid of thirty-five years of crap so we can sell this place. He is overseeing the painting and repair of the house, the cleaning up of the grounds and so much more as well as taking care of seven dogs on his own.
We hope to leave for Temecula in early November but it will depend on how I feel. I want to get back to trialing again! Pankies is sitting on 10 double Qs and I would love to finish her MACH.
There are so many things I want to do. I want to watch my Grandollars grow up, get married and have their own kids. I have a coupled of books in me and I want to see the Shetland Islands and Greece and Sicily! I want to live in a house again!!!! Sadly, we must sell the farm before that can happen. But most of all, I want to grow older with and torment Sir C for many more years to come. I need this chemo to work. I need to be positive but that is proving extremely difficult right now.
Everyone has a cure for me. Just take this and you will live. Just drink that and you will find a miracle cure. I know they all mean well but I am overwhelmed with things to take.
Doctors tell me they can’t do surgery on the tumors where they are. Perhaps if the chemo shrinks them they will. They don’t know. As advanced as science is, in the big scheme of things we know nothing about cancer really. Chemotherapy is so barbaric. It is right up there with bloodletting and leaches.
In 1995 I watched my sister Pam die of cancer when she was fifty. She had melanoma. She lived with it for twenty years but eventually, it got the best of her. Tumors popped up here and they would treat, then there and they would treat. Finally, there were just too many to treat and she left this earth. I wish they knew more now but they don’t.
I feel like I am in a real life game of Whac-A-Mole, only it is more like Whac-A-Tumor. Science is in its infancy when it comes to cancer so it is like watching a toddler play Whac-A-Mole.
Please send me healing thoughts and prayers. I need all I can get. So does Sir C.