Embrace Your Storm

So, this is the 3rd week since surgery for colon cancer, which took me by surprise. I’m again encouraging anyone over 45 to please get a FIT or Cologuard test, or schedule your colonoscopy. My surgery looks to have gotten all the cancer. I’m told chemo would only help my particular situation by 2%, so the Oncologist is not recommending it. I will likely sign up for a clinical trial I am reading 25 pages about. They do blood tests. If they find you have the marker in your DNA, they suggest chemo. If there is no marker, they monitor you and keep doing blood tests for 3 years.

This has all been. SO. EXHAUSTING. Any burst of activity makes me so tired.

I wake up and still give myself blood thinner shots in the abdomen. The surgery pain has lasted longer than I had anticipated, but is finally now starting to lessen. I can go on short drives if I hold my guts over speed bumps. I have lost 20 pounds and most of my appetite.

Right now I’m trying to focus more on healing, than “what if it comes back?”

I have had amazing love and support from friends. A benefit and variety show will happen 3/11 at Somewhere Bar. Silent auction items include Treefort Tickets, merch from Old Idaho Penitentiary, Boise Brewing. A 1930 vintage MARTIN GUITAR from my friend Eric Paul! Tickets to Sawtooth Valley Gathering, donations of photography, books, music performances, art by Zella Bardsley, Michelle Bass, and more things keep coming in every day. The funds will go into my HSA to pay for bills and any upcoming treatments.

The good stuff, is I’ve found out how many of my friends and their families have endured and survived similar situations. Many friends have had a worse diagnosis than I have, and they remain strong and healthy years later. This is encouraging.

Ready for a statistic? Approximately 39.5% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes. This really sobering, and made me want to do some aggressive research on how to help myself get better long-term. I am listing some things I have learned about, for others who might need ideas.

I have been sent a barrage of alternative treatments and therapies. I am open to both western and eastern medicine. I am taking a daily polypore hydrosol combo made by the amazing author/herbalist Darcy Williamson from Maven’s Haven, an amazing and magical place with workshops and retreats along the Salmon River in Lucille, Idaho outside of Riggins. Can’t recommend this place enough. She is brilliant, and has a heart of gold.

A medical friend suggests a low-dose 81mg of aspirin. There’s a study that states the use of aspirin for 6 years or longer with a 19% decreased risk of colorectal cancer and a 15% decreased risk of any type of gastrointestinal cancer. My doctors haven’t suggested any after-surgery approaches yet, this may be worth a try.

Some other friends swear by Fermented Wheat Germ Extract. It looks to be anti-tumor, anti-viral, anti-everything bad. Friends are actually rounding up lab materials so I can make this at home if I can figure it out. Avemar is a commercial version of this product, which is much more affordable to make yourself.

Other friends have said they had great results with Biontology, and several have recommended I go to Tijuana to be cured at Oasis of Hope. I think this is better for higher stages of cancer, and someone with lots of money to spare. I don’t think they take U.S. insurance. I really want to go to Tijuana, but mostly for some cheap beer and tacos.

Sometimes I just get tired of talking about cancer, and wallowing in my overwhelm.

So today, I had a refreshing break, doing a podcast and interview with my new friend Jonathan Nadeau. He’s accepted my Gaelynn Lea film “Violin Scratches” into his Tournadeau Film Fest. His business slogan and podcast is, “Embrace Your Storm.”

While I deliberate the severity of the cancer I’ve been through, I find out that Jonathan had lost his sight at the age of 14 in a car accident. He is positive, successful, and wildly creative and passionate. It has given me perspective.

Please listen to my interview with Jonathon here, at my SHE LIKES TO GO SLOW PODCAST.