Friday, May 21, 2010

May 2010

May 4th, 2010
My first pulmonary functions test in years.  Apparently I did well but I did better once they gave me inhalers to use so obviously part of my lung is not functioning to it fullest capabilities which is understandable after everything my right lung has been through.  Reasons for the PFT was for my appointment with the thoracic surgeon in London.  I can tell you it is even harder to perform a PFT 6 days following treatment .... it was the last thing I wanted to  do. 


May 5th, 2010
My BFF had purchased a book for us to read called "Spirited" about a medium and how to get in touch with your own intuition, gut feelings, and spirit guides.  I was not to keen on it at first but decided to read the book as I felt prior to becoming ill that I had more gut instincts and was more intuitive.  I always felt that Val and I were the same in that area..... we always listened to our intuitions when making decisions.


Anyways the writer of the book Rebecca Rosen was coming to Farmington Hills and Val purchased tickets for us.  Once again .... the shenanigans of Valentina and Sasha!  We left in plenty of time but did forget about rush hour, what we didn't account for was the customs officer who proceed to drill us down to what streets we were taking to get to the centre.  Luckily Val had it memorized but then he proceeded to think of a better way for us and drill us with the fact that we were going to make another stop in the United States of America to have something small to eat before the show.  Long story short we sat there for 15 mins while he came up with a different route to try and avoid rush hour, nice offer but I think he was just trying to keep too hot girls there as long as he could ... he was a young buck!
 We arrived to the area and could not find anything to eat except fast food ..... running out of time .....GPS time which I was having issues with because it kept saying we were in Hawaii!  Finally after jumping back on the freeway we found a Panera Bread, ordered and back off to the centre for the show.  We arrived just on time and had to eat in the room after Val snagged some really good seats.  Just a little about the show, she chatted for a few minutes about her book and then proceeded into the group reading.  Our spirit guides didn't come out and we feel they did for those that were there that needed them too.  There were a lot of stories of young loved ones passing on and recent passing.  It wasn't this hokey pokey stuff either, where she will tell you you are in a bad relationship, your going to win money, be careful with your car .... she had it down to the exact name of the loved one, when they passed, the name of the dog who passed, identified people by their recent tattoos that were covered, the actual art work, their camera they just purchased that hadn't been taken out of the box, to the new cell phone that has been acting weird, etc.  Rebecca did most of the talking and the guest just really answered yes or no or confirmed some stuff.  It was very interesting and it had Val and I in tears.  Thanks for the great night Val!  And if you want to know if I believe in this .... I believe in God first who potentially put spirits around us to help us and guide us or vicea versa.  Yes, I feel that there are spirits present and more spirit like things have been happening to me lately which all started close to the end of her book.


May 7th, 2010
1:00 - massage appointment to loosen up these aching muscles from the 45 mins of yoga I proceeded to do on my own the day before ..... think I went a little too far.
5:30 - CWC annual Path to A Better Heart 5 km run/walk fundraiser and no I didn't run or walk I helped with registration plus it was thundering and lightening out.  I give all those runners and walkers credit because my a$$ would not have been out there. You know me though I would not miss any of our fundraisers if I can help it, plus it was nice to get out and see the staff again ... it was my first day feeling better following treatment 9 days ago.


May 11th, 2010
Off to London to see Dr. Malthaner the thoracic surgeon.  Long story short he stated that he did not want to see me again because if so then that wasn't good.  There is a big piece of the puzzle still missing and that is the two new pathology reports from Windsor and Toronto saying that it is a breast cancer recurrence.  He was also clueless as to why when they were performing the first pathology on my lung tissue why they never compared it to my initial breast tissue to come up with a diagnosis as this is also what Dr. Alam was pushing for.  Anyways, as of right now even without the pathology reports if Dr. Malthaner had to guess he would also say it is a breast cancer recurrence and if anything changes to contact him.  My options for him if we expect the worst would be a new line of defense for chemo, radiation, and then possible surgery which he would not be keen on doing - taking out my lung, part of my diaphram, and pericardium.  So.... great to meet you (very nice doctor) wish you all the best and hope to never see you again!


Following our usual London trips we hit up our sushi restaurant and had a great lunch and stuffed our bellies ...at least I did.  Then we had the chance to visit with my cousin Chris and godson Blake for a bit before we headed home but not before stopping off at Tim's to get my fav tea, XL tea, both bags in, two milk, two sugar.  I haven't had this tea in over 3 months since changing my eating habits which include no milk, sugar, and only green tea ..... but I decided to treat myself and boy it was good!!!!


May 12th, 2010
Karmano's - first thing we discovered here was that EVERYONE was friendly even down to the Valet ticket guy who said have a blessed day before taking our car.  I met with a patient representative in the lobby who made sure all my paperwork was accurate, issued me a health card and proceed to bring us to the clinic and show us around.  The place is beautiful and even the people walking the hallway weather they were staff or just someone walking the hall .... they were nice.


Dr. Nahlee was my oncologist assigned and very nice as well as her resident.  Again long story short same as London stated ... they do not have that new pathology report stating it is a recurrence.  I brought all my slides and wax blocks and off to pathology they went ASAP.  Dr. Nahlee stated that they first have to rule out Mesothelioma and were able to perform one pathology already that was a very general test which returned as  Mesothelioma but again it was very general.  These next two test would be the ones to determine for sure what it is but they need to contact Windsor in order to obtain more wax blocks of my tumor ... so should hear from them or call them in three weeks.  Again, every doctor based off of my history is saying it is a recurrence and on top of that the fact that I was responding to treatment only after 2 rounds of chemo.  Their advice .... continue on the current regimen for as long as I can tolerate it and until they are happy with the results meaning I could go up to 12 treatments.


Since Atti didn't come with us to London on the previous day and we had sushi he felt that he should be allowed sushi also, so another sushi lunch followed by a trip to Whole Foods for some organic produce, vitamins and meat!


May 16th, 2010
I want to wait to write about this day because this was our family & friends 'fun'raiser BBQ for Atti and myself.  Amazing day!!!


May 18th, 2010
Follow up with Dr. Alam which went well.  She has stated that they will go for 6 in total and then run a head, chest, abdomen and pelvic CT scans and bone scan and then from there decide what the next steps will be.  It is nice knowing that you have a set end but in my situation I don't and I am ok with that .... I know it will be done soon but I also think I prepared myself knowing that these treatments can go up to 12 rounds, here's hoping not though.  I did finally see the missing pathology report stating that it is a breast recurrence.  I have to continue with blood work every week as I am still not taking my Neulasta shot and feeling much better.


Final captains meeting for the Dragon Boats for the Cure July 11th ... yes I am the captain and have been slow moving on all of this.  I hate to ask having just had the BBQ but if anyone is interested in sponsoring me please just contact me through e-mail smrivard@hotmail.com  Thanks!


May 20th, 2010
Round #5 - this time the Benedryl really kicked me out and I slept most of the time but did get a chance to talk to my roomie and fellow cancer babe before both of us passing out.  Was issued some antibiotics to start on day 6 to prevent the possibility of me catching anything as my counts were down but not low enough to have a shot .... praying they stay up on their own.  Felt yukky upon arriving home yesterday an just rested on the couch and went through my usual fit of not knowing what to eat the would satisfy my cravings ... didn't find anything!! :(  It might be easier if I actually knew what my cravings were for!


May 21st, 2010
We are now present day - YEAH!!!!!  Not too much going on today but I am going to watch some movies and wait for my organic wheatgrass and produce to be delivered to the door from Natural Earth Organics in Cottom www.naturalearthorganics.ca


Next time more about the family and friends BBQ!




~sasha

Friday, May 7, 2010

April 2010 cont...

This post has taken me some time to get to only because my brain has not been functioning like it used to .... chemo brain!  I finally decided that is it, and whatever and however it comes out it comes out!!

April 13th, 2010
What is naturopath?  Well ..... the focus is on the mind body connection, reducing stress, and trying to enhance the body's own natural healing ability with integrative modalities.  It's the bodies attempt to heal itself, to attend to underlying issues and the signs that indicate the body needs balancing.  

Never once have I ever thought that Eastern and Western medicine could not work together but.... have I ever really tried it myself.  I dabbled into reflexology, healing touch, yoga and meditation randomly throughout the years but this was the first time I was going to integrate a variety of modalities.   

I have only been following this path for ~ 1 mth so I wish to not fully discuss what I am taking in addition to my chemotherapy treatments till a later date.  Do I feel that integrating both naturopath techniques and chemotherapy are helping me, most definitely, I truly believe.  I have become very interested in integrating these substances and since have been feeling pretty good after treatments.  I have not had to take my Neulasta shot because my blood count is staying up, therefore lots and lots less bone pain and that overall yukkiness feeling.  Instead of being out for ~10 days, I am able to start coming around on the 5-6th.  This discovery of my Neulasta shot was on my own .... I was also on it last year through treatments and felt like utter crap as well but this time around it was even worse and only after the second treatment.  My body just kept telling me that it had something to do with the shot ... most people they stated adjust to the shot but my body was not.  Listening to your body is so important and I am thankful that I did .... this is also why my interest has spiked even more for learning about helping to heal myself also. 

Till a later date ...... I will discuss my daily routine that works for me!

April 14th, 2010
Routine blood work.

April 16th, 2010
Morning event:
Trip to HDGH for suture removal from my port - piece of cake (really cool scare).  Courtesy drive by my friend Amy Poisson ... it's different asking for help for people to take you around, especially when I don't feel comfortable driving especially the 1st week or 1 1/2 weeks following treatment.

Afternoon event: my own little fashion show with Amy Poisson to figure out what I was going to wear for this evenings event.  For most people this would not be exhausting ... for me ... it was :)  Thanks Amy for the workout!

Evening event:
Windsor - Essex Cardiac Wellness Centre's annual fashion show and silent auction.  I was ecstatic to be able to go this year .... last year I was going through treatments as well but still had the chance to strut myself a couple times down the runway.  This year, it was a week after treatments and I didn't know how I would be feeling ... who am I kidding, I would have been there no matter what! 

It was an overwhelming evening seeing all the participants, co-workers and friends and it was about to become even more overwhelming when it was time to present the Lumley Award.  This was my first time ever seeing this award presented as I was always running the models behind the scenes.  

The Cardiac Wellness Centre initiated a very special award to recognize the efforts of former participant and graduate of the CWC, Mr. Tim Lumley who was the catalyst behind this great event and has become a fixture of volunteerism for the Centre. The Lumley Award recognizes volunteer excellence toward the Cardiac Wellness Centre.

As I sat there kind of listening I noticed that Tim was looking at me and there was some camera guy directly across from me on the other side of the stage.  I started chatting and asking anyone if they knew who it was when I heard " She has volunteered for all of “Path to a Better Heart” 5K Run/Walks even when they were on Sunday mornings after a hard night on the dance floor the night before."  I looked up and I think I finally realized they were talking about me!!!  Of course I started crying .... "While all those efforts cannot go unnoticed, it has been her mantra to go that extra mile with all the participants that she has had the privilege to help along the way. She is truly a caring individual who has always put the participants first and has encouraged so many to stay positive and improve their health when times are tough. It is this attitude that has allowed her face head-on her own battles and inspire family and friends that surround her. Ladies and Gentlemen, this year’s Lumley Award Winner, Ms. Sasha Fulop!"

Again ..... it was such an overwhelming night to begin with and this made it even more overwhelming ... it took me awhile to stop crying and come up with a thank you but I managed to pull it off!  Again words cannot express the honour and privilege to have received this award and to work for this program ... I truly love it!  Thank you Jason!! 

April 21st, 2010
Routine blood work, trip to Dr. Yee to touch base as she has been a great help and awesome throughout all of this.

Then a visit to my personal photographers studio as I decided to continue where my professional album ended last year ..... the bald shots!

April 23rd, 2010
Zoladex shot to suppress my ovary .... this time they only had to freeze my stomach once before they injected the seed.

April 24th, 2010
Sheldon's b-day celebration!

April 27th, 2010
Time to treat myself and loosen up all of these kinks in my back and shoulders ... massage time!