Sunday, January 29, 2012

John and I took the dogs to the beach this afternoon. We take them to Huntington Beach Dog Beach, but we haven't gone in over a year because I couldn't get down the hill to the beach. The weather was gorgeous, but then again of course it was...we live in Southern California! I took my walker in case one of the dogs wanted to say hello and actually I can't walk on the sand without it, I have the same problem walking on grass. The last time we went Cooper didn't like walking on sand so this time he got to ride in the doggie Bjorn.  He was much happier although he did walk around a bit and peed on all the seaweed he could find.

Eat your fruit & veggies!   xo  Inge

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A friend sent me this article. I am not a fan of my coffee but it makes for interesting reading.
I mentioned before that I quit coffee when I was diagnosed, but I have been drinking it again since November...only a cup a day in the morning...ok, sometimes another at night when it's cold outside. There is something comforting about a cup of coffee...

Here's a link to find out more about phytochemicals and how they support the immune system
Want to know what the absolute best foods are to stay healthy?

eat your fruits & veggies!   xo  Inge

Dr. Connealy tells us her approach to cancer!

This doctor practices at UC Irvine. She reinforces everything I have researched this past year that we need to eat a plant based diet.

Juicing Apples, Cucumbers, and Carrots Oh My!

I made a video of me juicing one of my favorite drinks.
This is a picture of me and a friend back in August 2010. Little did I know what was really going on inside of my body.

Here I am with John in April of 2011.  I was so high on pain meds I don't remember that day. I weighed 126 pounds and I am 6 feet tall.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I have WHAT????

So I am admitted into the hospital and get four pints of blood right away, then for the next four days I get nothing to eat and endless tests. On day two of my hospital stay I get the dreaded colonoscopy... well the colonoscopy wasn't bad it's that gallon of nasty stuff I had to drink the night before. The procedure only took about an hour and I was wheeled back into the "fart room" where James, my son who drove down from Oakland the day I was admitted into the hospital, and my husband, John were waiting. I could see by the look on their faces that they were upset. Then this woman looked at me and said "Mrs. Scott you have rectal cancer."

The next few days were a blur of tests and an army of doctors visiting me in my room and telling me bad news after bad news. I could tell by their demeanor that I was in trouble, but I NEVER felt scared. I refused to accept that this was the end for me. I insisted I would beat this and since I was otherwise healthy I wanted the most aggressive treatment they could throw at me...and they did.

A wonderful, well respected surgeon who likes to think outside the box removed a piece of my liver and the game plan was to get a combo of chemo and intense radiation. Four days after my liver surgery I was sent home to heal up so I could begin the other treatments. It was supposed to begin ten to fourteen days later, but after four days of being at home I hemorrhaged from my tush big back to emergency we went.

This time I was in the hospital for almost three weeks. Another surgeon who specialized in colorectal problems cauterized the inside of my rectum to stop the bleeding. I started my chemo and radiation a few days later as an inpatient.

I finally got released and continued radiation and chemo as an outpatient. By radiation treatment number twenty my ass screamed at me everytime I had to poop. So what did I do? I screamed of course! I called out to every deity that I thought might be interested and I even threw in a few curse words just for fun. Many of those days are one big blur because I was on major pain killers and much of what happened was told to me. I did keep a journal though that was filled with pages of what I was grateful for and recipes. I spent most of my waking time on the Internet trying to figure out how I got cancer and how to kill it and make sure it never came back.

Before I got sick I was not a fan of Western Medicine, but as soon as I found out what I was dealing with I was on board 100%. After a few weeks I looked into complimentary alternative medicine, especially food as medicine. I bought a juicer and blender. I stopped eating sugar, drinking coffee and became a vegan.

Fast forward to now and I am six months cancer free. I didn't lose my hair (except my pubes never grew back) but the chemo attacked my nervous system so I need a walker to get around. My legs feel "electrified" most of the time. I shit in a bag because the radiation destroyed my sphincter muscles...actually the cancer probably did most of the damage and they had to radiate a large area of my insides to make sure they got it all. Next month I talk with a pelvic surgeon to make a date to have some screws put in my back to reinforce a very weak pelvic bone...another casualty of radiation.

In the grand scheme of things none of this is a big deal. I beat the odds and I knew I would! I am one of UC Irvine's walking miracles. So here I am one year later...volunteering at the Infusion Center in the hospital that saved my life, blogging about my adventures, sharing insights, recipes and stories of hope.  You are welcome to leave comments and/or email me with your stories and advice. I will add them to my posts with your permission. Stage 4 cancer is no fun but it is only a number! It does not define who someone is. Last year at this time I was going through Hell but I kept going and came through to the other side. I am grateful for each day and don't worry nearly as much as I did for most of my life. If I learned nothing else from my experience it is to eat your fruit and veggies!

xo  Inge

Here we go!

This is my first post to my new blog. I have another one  junkstylediva that I had been posting my health updates on, but I started that blog a few years ago and it was geared to crafts, vintage goodies...and then I got sick December 26th 2010. Well, I got sick much earlier than least January of 2010 is when I went to the Urgent Care because I was crapping my pants and I felt like crap (pardon the puns please). The doctor on duty decided I had an intestinal bug and prescribed a form of Bella Donna to treat it. Meanwhile I had to stay in bed for at least a week.

Now I rarely even get a cold let alone something that will keep me in bed for a week, but I did feel better and continued to work. Then about a month later I had more "accidents" in my pants...usually first thing in the morning and almost always when I was out walking one of the dogs. I didn't feel sick though and decided it had to be stress related. I have had issues with IBS most of my adult life and since I was working a part time job that I hated and continued looking for full time a job during the economic downturn...well, who wouldn't be stressed?

Then came the drops of blood in my stool. Again, not something new to me. I have dealt with hemorrhoids since I was pregnant, but I did decide to see an acupuncturist to take are of that problem. Within two weeks problem solved and I was back in the groove. Then August 2010 those dang hemorrhoids popped out. Crap! that meant surgery and since I didn't have health insurance that would be a problem. I went to a nurse practitioner who also had hemorrhoids and he said "yep, that's hemorrhoids alright" and he gave me a referral to a surgeon.

The surgeon was booked until January of 2011 so I made an appointment and waited. I still had issues in the bathroom and then my legs cramped so bad I couldn't get a good nights sleep. So what did I do? I ate bananas of course! I looked up the symptoms on line and decided I needed more potassium. Then by November I was tired all the time. By now I found a full time job that required me to be at work by 8 am. Since I still had toilet problems in the morning, I had to get up at 5am to make sure I was done using the toilet way before I had to drive to work. Now I hate getting up before 9 am...ask anyone who knows me... so I figured of course I'm tired because have to get up at the butt crack of dawn to go to yet another stressful job. But hey, it's a job and it helps pay the bills. So from then on I would go to work...come home... take a four hour nap and do it again the next day.

Then I woke up December 26th and my legs felt like lead weights; I had trouble breathing and I felt like total shit. I told John, my husband I had to go to emergency..something was not right. So in the car we went to the only hospital I knew of...UCI Medical Center.  As I mentioned before I didn't have insurance so I kept my fingers crossed I could make payments.

We got to the emergency room and I told the woman at the desk I had trouble breathing. Five minutes later I was in a triage room and the nurse was taking my vitals. Everything checked out normal. I was beginning to think I was going bonkers and turning into a hypochondriac when the doctor ordered blood work and an hour later came back to tell me she knew what my problem was...I had less than 40% of my blood left and needed an emergency blood transfusion. She asked me if I was bleeding somewhere and I told her why yes...she said how long and I said for about four months...she almost fainted!

And from there my life changing journey began...