Category Archives: Events

Get Thee to an ER

My bowels well up, and rest not; days of affliction have confronted me. 
Job 30:27, Darby (Christian) Bible Translation

From Dec. 12 to 14 I sat in my easy chair in pain, my bowels welling up, gassy, and juicy. My stomach kept emptying itself into the pot I kept handy. Hot water bottle, massage, playing healing sounds… all to no avail. Nothing could go down, nothing was coming out.
I finally called my doctor. “Get Thee to an ER,” he said.
When we hung up, my friend Laura Dailey, whom I had not seen in weeks, was parked on my driveway. What an angel she has always been for me. She promptly took me to the hospital.
The ER doc found a twisted small intestine on the CT scan, something I’d been warned could easily happen after my initial nine-hour cancer surgery in 2009. In 2011 I had an intestinal blockage that resolved, and in 2012 a hernia had been spotted on a scan, but my oncologist suggested I leave it alone unless it became a problem.
It had become a problem.
I texted my 19-year-old son to update him on my status. He dropped everything, went to my house to pick up a few more things, and came to the hospital to stay throughout my days of affliction. I feel so blessed.
A stiff yet flexible plastic gastro-intestinal tube was placed through my nose down to my stomach. I’d had one in 2009 for my first cancer surgery, but it was placed while I was under anesthesia. This time they placed it with me fully awake. One nurse said, “This is the worst torture we do to our patients.” I had to keep my head down and swallow a cup of water while the nurse struggled to get that hose down into my gullet. I gagged and coughed as it went down, then suddenly felt very cold and shook violently for several minutes. The severe throat pain began.
The next morning the surgeon said portions of the intestines had poked through the hole and could die if he didn’t operate. My sister, epidemiologist Dr. Roselie Bright, participated in the conversation by phone and urged me to move forward with the surgery, even though my abdomen had started softening. I opted for surgery.
There was no time to pick up the Surgical Support Series CDs from my psychotherapist. As a substitute, I repeatedly played tai chi Grandmaster Vince Lasorso’s “Relief” recording through my Wholisound Serenity Box using a new portable CD player Laura bought me for this purpose.
Laura alerted people via Facebook. Many thanks to all who supported and prayed for me!
It was another 12 hours—Thursday night—before I was wheeled onto the operating table. The surgeon updated my Superwoman abdominal scar with a 4-inch replacement.
With pain medication the tube was more tolerable, but talking still was quite difficult.           What a blessing to get that tube pulled on Saturday! That enabled me to get off daytime pain medication (which distressed the nurses) and then off all medication when I went home Sunday, 2.5 days before expected. My days of affliction are over and I’m recovering well. I am thankful for the miracles of modern medicine.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:
The nurses were distressed about my not taking daytime pain medication or taking home a pain prescription. “You need to stay on top of the pain,” I’ve been told. Well, I didn’t have pain. I only had discomfort. Part of the reason, perhaps, is because my inflammation level normally is extremely low (0.3 on a scale of 1 to 4). I keep it low with my diet. A lot of pain comes from inflammation, so without excess inflammation, injuries ares much more tolerable. If you are in pain, try reducing inflammation in your body by avoiding inflammatory foods, which can be measured with a blood test looking for C-reactive protein.

Immunotherapy as a cancer treatment

Immunotherapy as a cancer treatment was addressed briefly Oct. 8 at the National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation patient symposium in St. Louis, Mo.  This was one of several cancer treatment topics that I am reporting about during the coming weeks.

Dr. Mohammed Milhelm, Holden Chair of Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Iowa, said “Sarcoma doctors aren’t happy with the current treatments available. I’m trying to move immunotherapy into sarcoma treatment.”

Historically, immunotherapy is used to stimulate the immune system, yet if our immune systems are always accelerated, we would not live. “We have a good brake system in our bodies,” he said.

Immunotherapy is using the body to target the tumors. “A lot of people are thinking about immunotherapy in combination with other treatments,” he said. “We are still trying to understand how the immune system works. It’s tricky and complicated.”

A lot of questions are coming up about how to do immunotherapy. Sometimes imaging months after treatment ends might show significant improvements. Combining immunotherapy with radiation might help the immune drug work better.

Newer, more powerful drugs are on the horizon. “We’re learning a lot from the melanoma world and trying to transfer it to other cancers. There haven’t been enough immunotherapy treatments with LMS to know if it is effective.”

Swelling can be a big problem, especially in the bones and the brain, and is a concern researchers still don’t know how to address.

There is a lot of promise right now, but researchers don’t yet know how to translate it into treatments for LMS.

It’s Official: 5 Years Clean

Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Photo by Judy Peace
Photo by Judy Peace

Psalm 51:7, New American Standard Bible

Hyssop, as used in this verse, probably refers to herbs, such as oregano or thyme, used by the early Israelites to purify those with skin disorders and as part of cleansing rituals.

My disorder appears to be purified, cleansed, washed away. Today my nurse practitioner, Michele, confirmed I am now five years clean, five years free of evidence of disease, and five years clear of all medical treatment.

I am THRILLED!

Filled with gratitude and joy, I went to the nearby Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington, Ky., to light a ritual candle and give thanks. Mother Mary holds a reverential place in this hallowed hall, and I feel devotion toward her for many reasons. I entered, wide-eyed at the majesty of dozens of intricately painted stained-glass windows. The stunning primary window, one of the largest in the world, depicts the crowning of Mary in heaven.

After circling and ogling with my friend Judy, I went to Mary’s alcove near the front of the quiet cathedral and saw, to my great delight, real sunflowers on her altar. Sunflowers are the symbol for sarcomas, which are cancers of the connective tissues. I had been diagnosed seven years ago with a sarcoma. The flowers provided the perfect symbol for completing the experience.

I lit a candle, kneeled on the bench, said a Hail Mary, and expressed my deep gratitude for five clear years. “Thank You for purifying me; I AM clean.”

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

If you are longing for a clean bill of health, the above verse can be modified as an affirmation of faith in a positive outcome and as a prayer request of the Divine that can be repeated throughout the day: When you take your shower, you can say, “Purify my body with this shower, and I shall be clean…” When you drink your green smoothie, you can say, “Purify my cells with these greens, and I shall be clean…” When you are receiving chemotherapy, you can say, “Purify my organs with these medicines, and I shall be clean…”

Source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyssopus_officinalis

Thriver Soup Thursday–Save Lives by Raising Awareness

sarcoma ribbon copyWe must recognize that the suffering of one person or one nation is the suffering of humanity. That the happiness of one person or nation is the happiness of humanity.

The Dalai Lama

Some diseases receive enormous amounts of media attention. Others are sidelined or not even recognized by most people. I had never heard the word “sarcoma” when suddenly I was thrust into the world of a terminal diagnosis with a few months to live.

What if I had known that my symptoms indicated severe danger, when I thought I was just having perimenopausal symptoms? How many lives can be saved by raising awareness so others can avoid the devastation I was fortunate enough to have lived through?

I had an incredibly rare sarcoma—and only one in 100 cancer diagnoses is for sarcoma, which is cancer of the connective tissues. The Sarcoma Alliance and Sarcoma Foundation of America want to raise awareness about this disease to help others recognize it and get treatment fast to save lives.

These foundations are asking the White House to name July as Sarcoma Awareness Month. At least 100,000 petition signatures are required by July 29, 2016 for the White House to consider this initiative.

Please sign the petition and share it with others.

Alongside this petition is a movement to name July 15 as LMS Awareness Day. LMS is short for leiomyosarcoma, a rare and deadly cancer. Ask your state legislators to pass resolutions similar to one passed in Michigan (email me and I’ll send the sample to you). Then ask your federal legislators to support this at the federal level.

The suffering of each individual with a rare disease does affect us all at some level. Advocate for others, and they will probably advocate for you as well.

Thriver Soup Ingredient

Here is a link to contact information when advocating to your elected officials: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

Sources:

www.ineedmotivation.com/blog/2008/04/20-wise-quotes-from-the-dalai-lama/

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?utm_campaign=Bobek%20Ltd&utm_source=39150&utm_medium=Affiliate&tpl=39150-42119&id=163453907&irgwc=1

Thriver Soup a #2 best seller on Amazon

lit candles Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

Buddha, The Dharmapada

By lighting a candle through Thriver Soup and sharing its message of options with others, the light of genuine hope among cancer patients is increasing.

On Saturday, Jessica Brown with the Fox19 Morning Show in Cincinnati shared the camera with me:

http://www.fox19.com/clip/12485852/thrivers-soup

On Sunday, many tips for cancer survival were shared through Bob Salter’s show on the New York City CBS radio station WFAN:

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/audio/bob-salter/  (Click on the June 5 / 7am show; it’s 40 minutes)

By Sunday afternoon, Thriver Soup became a #2 best seller on amazon.com!

Other interviews for National Cancer Survivors’ Day (June 5) included:

  • Dr. Christine Horner with “The Radiant Health Show” (about 30 minutes)
  • Judy Peace with WAIF 88.3 FM, Cincinnati, OH
  • Chad Young, Program Director with WKCT-AM, Bowling Green, KY
  • John Maciel, KW Magazine on 98.5 FM CKWR, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
  • And a prerecorded show with Matt Nie, Community Focus, 89.1 WBSD FM, Burlington, WI, will air this summer.

By sharing the light, we can make it possible for more people to survive beyond a cancer diagnosis. Thank you for sharing the light with me.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

Sharing these links with others can light even more candles of hope with options. I would love to hear how the tips in Thriver Soup are lighting your way.

Source:

http://www.viewonbuddhism.org/dharma-quotes-quotations-buddhist/joy-happiness.htm

Hidden Messages in Pain

She realized her chronic shoulder pain came from shouldering too many responsibilities.
She realized her chronic shoulder pain came from shouldering too many responsibilities.

There is no coming to consciousness without pain.

Carl Jung, father of analytical psychology

 

Valuable messages can be hidden in physical pain. If those messages can be discovered, accepted, and examined, rather than avoided, we can gain important insights that can alter our daily lives in positive ways.

This week a woman dealing with the aftermath of cancer chose to return to a practice of approaching her chronic pain with curiosity, living the wisdom expressed by Carl Jung, father of analytical psychology. While Jung probably was referring mainly to psychological pain, cancer patients have physical pain that can be used as a tool for greater personal understanding.

The participant had listened to my guided meditation called “A Conversation with Dis-ease.” During the guided meditation, participants travel inside their bodies to the location of dis-ease in their bodies so they can ask these cells questions for guidance.

She offered the following feedback: “I re-learned that I need to stop throughout my day and go inward. Instead of focusing on avoiding the pain, I attempted to face it and examine it.”

While awareness doesn’t necessarily lead to pain relief, there are times when it can.

For another cancer patient, the chance for relief from chronic shoulder pain revealed itself while she followed the specific guidance of the visualization only one time. She realized her chronic shoulder pain came from shouldering too many responsibilities.

The pain brought her to greater consciousness. She then knew how to change her life to relieve the pain.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

A few opportunities are approaching for a chance to listen to this guided visualization for your own healing journey. Hope to see you soon!

Saturday, April 9, noon

“Subduing the Dis-ease Dragon: The ABCs of Creating Conditions for Healing”

Victory of Light, Sharonville Convention Center

11355 Chester Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45246

Saturday, April 16, 7 p.m.

“Subduing the Dis-ease Dragon: The ABCs of Creating Conditions for Healing”

Stillpoint Center for Healing Arts

11223 Cornell Park Drive, Ste 302 (behind the brown Jewish Family Services building)

Blue Ash, Ohio  45242

Saturday, July 30, 2 p.m.

“Subduing the Dis-ease Dragon: The ABCs of Creating Conditions for Healing”

Milford Public Library

19 Water St., Milford, Ohio  45150

Thursday, Sept. 13, 7 p.m.

“Subduing the Dis-ease Dragon: The ABCs of Creating Conditions for Healing”

Northside LIIFT

Revelation Spiritual Church (Look for the BIG white sign in front yard of what looks like a house)

4251 Hamilton Ave, Cincinnati 45223

Click here to hear the introduction to “A Conversation with Dis-ease”