On September 3, 2011 I was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. I had emergency surgery and the tumor was removed but it has spread to my liver. I wear an ostomy bag now.
In October 2011, I will begin chemo to beat back the tumor in my liver. I am getting stronger each day and trying to stay positive. I am unable to work. I have applied for Medicaid but that will only cover a fraction of my bills.
I am calling out now, not only for your continued good wishes and thoughts but for financial help. If you can help in any way, please help me fight and win my battle. No donation is too big or too small. With the love and support of those around me, I know, together, we can win this.
Please keep the love flowing in your thoughts for me. I can feel it helping to carry me on this journey. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I'm also very pleased to announce that friend and artist DTM has offered all proceeds from his posters and book sales to benefit GO THE CATHERINE.
I'm a huge fan of his work and grateful for this generous offer. Take a look and maybe buy some great art for your walls. It is for a good cause.
Thanks for listening and viewing!

Cambodia posters available at:

CHURNING THE SEA OF MILK books available at:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Good news, I gained 6 pounds and have broken the 100 pound barrier.

Weighing in at a hefty 103.2 pounds. Blood work is still good, though I've gone anemic again. Steak and spinach for dinner me thinks.
Bad news, my chemo (Round #9) was postponed until my stoma heals. It was cut into by an ill-fitting bag and since the stoma has no nerve endings, I did not notice the damage right away. It has been injured for almost 3 weeks now and they have been a very miserable three weeks. Worse than the surgery, worse than the chemo, worse than sailing upwind in a Newport30.
The reason my stoma is not healing in a timely manner is a chemo drug called Avastin. Excellent for starving the tumors from their existing blood supply and preventing the tumors from forming new blood vessels but not so awesome for helping the body heal wounds.
Everything has been put on hold. It's getting to be a real problem. I am due for a CT scan but the contrast is a laxative and I just cannot deal with the output that will bring. No frickin' way. But prolonging the chemo is a bigger concern.
I saw my surgeon Friday the 17th and she cauterized the cut using silver nitrate. But it opened back up again the next day. There's lots and lots of blood. I'll saturate a folded gauze pad and a washcloth folded into quarters in a matter of minutes. I spend a fair amount of time applying pressure while watching bad tv.
On a side note, I especially like The Price Is Right, Rachael Ray, The Bachelor, Grey's Anatomy and Jeopardy.
The kicker is that there is not much the doctor can do. It just has to heal. That takes time. I'm running low on patience for this.
But, as my friends remind me, just keep moving forward, hold fast, don't let the bumps in the road take away my focus on the end goal.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hiberation. Constipation. No motivation.

While the mild winter we are having is delightful: temperature and heating bill wise, I am missing the snow that is usually here. It's a good excuse for staying house bound.
My apologies for so much time passing since my last update. Pure laziness, a minor OD of Fukitol, a bit of denial that this is really happening to me, feeling like I had hit bottom and was stuck.
It wasn't the bottom. I'm not at the end. I'm going up and forward and out.
I've made it through Round 7 and 8 of chemo. My blood counts continue to stay elevated and the Avastin is treating my kidneys well. My tumor markers are down from 2600 to 1300. That's a sign the chemo is working.
I have a CT scheduled for Thursday, February 9th. Scanxiety! Just have to wait and see. Boy, I can't wait to drink the orange flavored contrast. So delicious!
The only body issue I have is what is known as a 'skin flare up'. Google 'stoma skin flare up'. It's a drag. Perhaps when I am not shitting into a tissue in my hand, it won't be so mortifying for me to write about. Luckily (??) my constipation is making me produce hard little roundish bunny turds. Easy to contain. My reality is much much different from yours at this time, trust me. Nothing to do but wait for skin to heal so I can attach an ostomy bag.
House bound. Hibernating. Overall, I'm managing alright, the weed is good which makes the food good which makes the naps satisfying.