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Monday, July 20, 2015

On optimism and other things

I'm pretty much the poster child for pessimism, I know. Wonderful life, beautiful husband, spectacular kids. Then, bam: incurable cancer: And sometimes, when I say "I'm literally dying," I'm sure it sounds as though perhaps I'm just not trying hard enough. But the doctors have deemed me incurable. With chemo, they think they can get me a year.

And I'm trying, I'm trying! I'm taking the fucking chemo. It's awful, not to mention the requisite body modifications (aka my little friend.) But I'm doing the thing the doctors recommend.

Of course I know about tumeric. Stuff's nasty, but one dear friend is making me down it in olive oil by the shot glass. Sloane Kettering even makes some small arguments for its use. Not totally spurious. I'm interested in Metformin (a diabetes drug)'s apparently positive results with certain cancers and I'm going to approach my doctor about it this week. I might even try sour sop, for the same reasons as turmeric, albeit slightly shadier. It's not just that Snopes has declared the Graviola cancer cure UNDETERMINED.

Yes, I've heard about magnets, acupuncture, marijuana as miracle cures. And the crystals! This site has twenty-six cancer-curing crystals it's quick to hawk, right after the shocking disclaimer, "I am not a doctor / this is not medical advice."

The most important thing I can do right now is eat, eat, eat (the sad mushy fare I'm allowed) and sleep, sleep, sleep (because my body and morphine conspire against me and because it's good for me anyway). I'm doing the chemo, I'm gathering second opinions, I'm trying out all the home remedies with any semblance of gravitas. I believe I can at the very least improve my odds for longevity.

I'm trying. Do I think I'll win? Ask me a year ago.
Me, a year ago.
I'm trying!


  1. Keep trying. It sucks. It's hard. You're so beautiful and strong and every day we have you with us is a blessed day and I see many many many blessed days for us. Because I know you'll keep fighting. Keep the turmeric going and keep the journal going. Even when I don't post, know that I am reading. I want to be there with you on this journey and, honey, if there is anything I can do, let me know. I'm so far away physically but I will always do my best to be there for you emotionally.

    1. Amanda, you're amazing. I know you're there sweetheart. Thank you.

    2. Amanda, you're amazing. I know you're there sweetheart. Thank you.

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  3. Everything Amanda just said. Plus, know that you are in my thoughts constantly. Know that everytime I think of you I wish for you to be well, to be healthy again, to be happy. I repeat it I don't know how many times a day, because I can't really do anything else, but send my healing wishes for you. You are one of the strongest people I've met, and I know you will fight until the sun goes out if you have to, and I love you and admire you for that. Keep at it, my friend, and know that I am with you. Maybe not physically, but mentally and emotionally. And as always, if there is anything else I can do for you, please don't hesitate.

  4. Hi T, you are constantly in my thoughts and am sending all my positive energy your way.
    I know you're in chemo hell and hoping against all odds that there's a big shiny light at the end of your tunnel. Cancers an evil bastard-keep kicking the fuck out of it.
    I'm far away but with you every step you take. Your courage and grace is truly remarkable. Anything you need is yours my friend.

  5. I found your blog through my friend Von's FB page. Such a difficult journey. Thank you for sharing your ups and downs with us. And as for homeopathic things to try, essiac has been known to help with cancers caused my environmental factors. If you haven't heard of it, here is a link. http://www.essiacinfo.org/ Healing and peaceful energy to you and your family.

  6. I know you're sick of hearing it, but look up essiac tea. I know many people who've sworn by the stuff. <3

  7. Hi Tanya. A friend sent me the link to your blog. As another "treatable" cancer mom, I feel ya. Hang in there and keep laughing. (By the way, I persomally hate the T word. I told my dr. he was making me depressed using it. One of the onco nurses volunteered " we don't say incurable, we say treatable". THAT I can live with!) I am on my third blend of chemo - first two nearly killed me (I told the doc it was worse than the cancer). I've been here 8 months when prognosis was 3. I keep finding things I MUST live for (my son's high school graduation, see my mom and dad again, see brothers I haven't in years (we live far apart and I'm not wealthy), see friends from high school, continue to parent my boys, continue to give love and hope to others - there's so much, I'm sure my list will require five years.) It confuses my kids - some days I'm go go go, others I can't get off the couch. They are angry at my prognosis. So am I. That gives me strength to fight.
    Recently, I met another mom. Terminal brain cancer. She's on YEAR SIX after diagnosis. She's another single mom - she, too, can't leave her kids. So hang in there, you're not alone, and it sounds like you have a good support system. Ultimately, it's up to God. I know God loves me, and I believe in miracles.