Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Honoring the True Beauty of Amazing Women


Can't believe that it's October 1st already! I have tons of these sedum in my garden, so thought I'd share a glimpse with you. Huummmm..seems a bumble bee is tasting the last of the summer's nectar.
As I reflect upon the past week, it seems that I've been deeply touched by woman who I know who certainly stand out in their own right....not because they have won a great reward, not because they hold a public office and definitely not because they dress to perfection or apply tons of makeup. No, these are not the attributes of woman who leave an impact on those they meet.
Woman who touch your heart because of their acts of kindness, or because of the strength they show when things are so very difficult for them are the ladies who definitely are the most BEAUTIFUL!
Take for instance a wife who has stayed by her husband's hospital bed for more than a month now...never complaining, always smiling and always giving her husband the encouragement he needs as he continues his cancer journey.
Or what about the lady who is searching so desperately for whatever is out there that will help to spur on an appetite for her husband who once was such a strong and vibrant man. She could just easily give up and let nature take it's course, but she is determined to keep searching until she can find something to help nurture him back to a stronger physic.
And, for all of those ladies who battle cancer everyday, their are just no words to describe your beauty. It's a difficult road you travel, but one I'm sure in which you have touched many a heart along the way. All you need do, is just read some of the blogs posted on this page by other cancer patients and it's easy to visualize their beauty through their words as they describe their struggles and their good and bad days.
There's Daria from the Living With Cancer blog who is awaiting more CT scan results and who shares the good and bad days with us and allows us to take a glimpse at a usual day for a cancer patient, or Kristy from The Accidental Tourist a mom who continues to live life to the fullest despite her cancer and no-treatment options and then there's Jane from A Journey of Another Kind who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help bring awareness of kidney cancer througout Europe and around the world!!! Wow....all woman of such strength and courage!!! True beauty for sure.
There's millions of women out there who are such a pillar of strength to so many others despite the adversities that they themselves struggle with each day.
Next time you find yourself complaining over miniscule or trivial things in life, take a moment to reflect on those who are affected by cancer in various ways. You will soon discover that your problems are very small in comparison.
Next time you have the opportunity to spend time with special ladies like these, take the time to see the beauty from within!
"I don't think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that remains".....Ann Frank

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Appetite Enhancers Anyone???

Just wondering if some of you could provide clues as to what helps your appetite while taking chemo treatments.

I'm asking for another cancer patient who has had considerable weight loss and has almost no appetite whatsoever. While she is at home and not in hospital, it is becoming more difficult for her to have any desire to eat anything.

I'm hoping that someone out there just might have that magic potion to help her.

Thanks to everyone!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Housekeeping

I've deleted the Live Chat from my blog for now as you would already have noticed. Seems you have to log in, and that in itself was driving me crazy, as with so many passwords, log-in names, etc I could not even remember everytime what mine was.....so, for now I'm going to include a few housekeeping things in the blogs as I write. That way, it will also help to make my posts a little more personal as well. Please leave a comment after you read the blog, as it will also appear under the comments section now for all to read. However, I will be hunting up another chat software program soon, so that we can all get online and compare notes, get caught up with everyone's present happenings and just have a good chat like old times!

Karen - Thanks for the update on those cards from KCC....I honestly did not do a thorough check on Minister Caplan and just thought he was the federal Minister of Health...."egg on my face"...but I'm really glad you sent the correction. Yes, it would be great for KCC to send out those cards to all provinces and I will contact Deb to advise as well. That kind of inflow from patients/caregivers etc will most definitely make those in office more aware of kidney cancer and what we are all asking from our politicians. Had a few problems last night while chatting with you as my computer kept locking up....we will connect again soon though!

Joanne - Hope things are settling down and always good to hear from you. The presentation was very informative and while is was a bit over my head, I did learn lots of good things from it. I was hoping to "see" you on but unfortunately that particular presentation did not show everyone's presense......I'll be in touch via email soon.

Jane - Wow!!! Double wow!!! Soooooo good to hear from you and thank you soooo much for your kind words. Yes, I've been on a kind of hiatus but finally realized that I DO need to keep this blog going. For myself and for others like you who keep inspiring ME to no end. Hang in there, hang on and most of all.....keep the faith! I'll also be in touch via email soon.

Belinda - Great to receive your email my dear. I've been very behind with my "keeping in touch" but you will soon hear from me again.

Carolanne - Not sure if I deserved such a kind comment my dear, but hey, you've been there for me as well as the rest of the viewers soooo many times as well. Together, we all help each other. Thanks for checking in and I trust everything is going well with bro.

Sandy - You go ahead and use any of my tunes anytime my dear....LOL....appreciated your kind comments and thanks for checking in. Take care now!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last night I followed the link on YouTube that was provided by an Anonymous viewer...it led me to the following link

www.manageyourtreatment.com

Please check it out as it provides numerous links about cancer as well as info on the importance of preventing infection from happening when taking chemotherapy treatments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Keep your comments coming...I always enjoy hearing from everyone and as well, you are all providing a great service and lots of information for everyone else who check out my blog. I'll soon have more pictures posted, but for now I've just put them on a G drive which is not connected at the moment.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Stopped by yesterday to visit another wonderful patient who is going to begin Torisel treatment this week.......since we've been there, done that, we wanted to bring our assurance that he will do great. Might feel really tired but he will get through it. A BIG hug for his wife who has been right there for him for quite a few weeks now. Also, "you go girl" as you continue to ensure he has the BEST medical attention that is out there. I applaud you for standing up when the need arises.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks to everyone for checking in....this post is a little different but I will continue this format on occasion as the chat is no longer here. Let me know what you think? Also, if anyone would like to write an inspiring post on this blog, let me know and I'll be more than happy to have you do it. My email is daandrews@eastlink.ca
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Have You Participated in the Relay for Life???

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Last Night's KCC Meeting

Sooooooo...did any of you get the opportunity to tune in? Karen, I know u were there and your participation was appreciated by the group.....great work my dear. Let me know how things went.

The first part was a little over my head as it spoke of the concept of the genetic aspects of kidney cancer and the possibilities of whether it can be passed onto your families, is it hereditary or does it just happen which is referred to as the cancer cells being "somatic" and are NOT passed on. The likelihood of it being hereditary is very small.

The main thread that I took from the presentation was the statement that researchers now think that kidney cancer has something to do with the immune system NOT working properly.

Past treatments for kidney cancer patients have consisted of biological agents to enhance the immune system such as Interferon and/or Interleukin 2, clinical trials or even no treatment at all.

With our present new era of targeted therapies, now the medical approach is much different. These new therapies try to shut off the signals that tell cancer cells to grow.

There have been major advances in the treatment of RCC during the past 2 years alone and there are newer treatments being tested in clinical trials.....who knows when the next great inhibitor for RCC will appear. Getting it approved is a very big barrier in treating patients, so it is up to each and everyone of us to let our voices be heard throughout the government departments of health to bring awareness of these newer treatments and the fact that many terminal patients need them NOW, not months away!!!

KCC have created pre-paid postage cards addressed to the Honorable David Caplan - Minister of Health and Long-Term Care for those of us who may be interested in forwarding to address our concerns with regards to Kidney Cancer and the approval of new treatments and the funding of these treatments for those patients who need them most. Please contact KCC to obtain these cards and pass them along to family and friends for their submission as well.....there is strength in numbers and together we can ALL make changes happen.

One more note from last night's seminar is that the 8th International Kidney Cancer Symposium will be held in Chicago, IL from September 25-26.
One of last night's presenters at the seminar, who is an RCC specialist herself said that patients should NEVER BE AFRAID TO LOOK FOR THINGS THEMSELVES and not always leave it up to their doctors to find what's available.....that is excellent advice!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Presentation from Kidney Cancer Canada

Just a reminder for all those affected by kidney cancer to tune in Wednesday, September 16th for a live presentation entitled
Genetic Aspects of Kidney Cancer
from
Ottawa Hospital Regional Cancer Centre
7:00 to 9:00 pm EDT
To read more information about this presentation, go to
Remember that you must first register before you can access the live presentation!!!
INFORMATION IS VITAL - HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE ONLINE OR IN PERSON

I'M BACK


I know it's been forever since I've written a post here. I actually have been thinking of not renewing my domain name and just cancelling this blog. That was until tonight when I spoke with someone in Ontario, Canada who assured me that my blog has been read by several other cancer patients. Not only have they read my posts, but one man in particular who had a nephrectomy, also insisted that his doctor put him on some kind of chemo to prevent cancer recurrence. His onc initially ignored his request, but after perseverance on his part, the patient won out and he did receive several chemo treatments for prevention purposes only. Today, he is delighted to report that he is "cancer free"!!!

Of course being cancer free right now, does not mean that he will remain cancer free forever. He will continue to undergo testing in the months ahead, but the good news is that he is informed about what he needs to do. Both he and his oncologist will know if there is any sign of a cancerous lesion on future scans, MRI's or ultrasounds. That's the important thing.....that the patient is INFORMED of what he needs to do and despite his oncologist's initial disagreement to begin preventive treatment, this patient was determined to do whatever it took in order to take care of his future health.

In 2001, my husband and I heard the words from the medical specialists who said "Go home, live a full life because we have gotten ALL of the cancer and it will NEVER come back"

Oh my, I wished I would have known then what I've learned the hard way since.

My advice to any cancer patient is to always insist on asking for tests, information and treatments if you have researched and found what is best for you. While there are many excellent oncologists out there, don't always assume that everything they tell you is "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth"............

It is YOUR life and not theirs, so it's up to you to always get the BEST medical diagnosis and treatment for your type of cancer.

Yes, I WILL keep this blog and I trust that others out there will be helped in some small ways through my posts.


KEEP POSITIVE AND NEVER QUIT