I am in the process of writing an article about Vitamin C. In the meantime, life is happening! I want to tell you what the last week has been like.
I mentioned that there were many people in my family who have been touched by cancer and some taken. In just my immediate family, my father passed of chronic lymphacitic leukemia in 1986, my mom went thru DCIS about 12 years ago, I was diagnosed with IDC 2 years ago and 1.5 years ago, my youngest sister had a double masectomy because of multiple areas of DCIS and beginning IDC. There are 6 total in my immediate family….4 of 6 have been touched or taken. This is horrifying to me! I truly believed that because of my maternal great grandmother, who lived to be 102 and left the world with everything she came in with and whos daughter (my grandma) lived to be 96….I felt that those scottish genes were gonna carry me into long life with no gliches!!! WRONG! But, surprisingly….my GENES are PERFECT!
My cousin has been fighting for about 17 years. She has been through every chemo, every treatment, every body wrenching “therapy” that they have….and she has trouped thru with hope, dignitity and humor! About 2 1/2 years ago, her cancer came raging back. Her primary oncologist told her she had about 6 months and to get her affairs in order. She said, “HELL NO”, I am not ready! She switched doctors….she inspired me to swith to HER doctor who has kept her going….until now. About 2 weeks ago, she fell and was taken to the hospital. An MRI revealed that the cancer, which is very smart, had outsmarted the clinical trials and has now taken over her brain and spine.
My cousin is now in hospice care, with an estimated 4 to 6 weeks left, and you know what? SHE STILL ISN’T READY!!! I am SOOOOO amazed with her spirit. She is my hero! I went to see her last week, terrified about what I was going to be faced with! I had run into her at the hospital, our appointments just missing each other…she looked amazing, as usual, only a couple months ago. I was worried about what this horrid disease had done in that time…the fear is driven by what it has done to my flesh and blood family and what I too, could someday be faced with!
I went with mom to take her some CBD oil, which was requested by her hospice nurse (I was impressed by this), because of her shoulder and leg pain. I went a step further and took some THC caps (yes, I am a card carrying medical marijuana user, please do not judge until you have researched the benefits), a THC chocolate bar, some CBD muslce rub and a nice little “Good Night Nurse” remedy with CBD and THC combined. I wanted to give her some natural peace and maybe a smile.
We got to the door, my bag of goodies in hand, shaking….I hate hospital beds, hospitals, seeing people so ill that they have to be in a hospital bed…not sure I want to go in, but I want to give my cousin a hug, so…suck it up! To my surprise, my cousin answered the door! All dressed, makeup on, wig perfect….just like at the hospital a couple months ago….big smile, warm hug…what the hell was I afraid of? I was expecting a nurse, hospital bed and a barely coherent family member….I mean, she was sent home because there is simply nothing more conventional medicine can do. But here is where the HUMAN SPIRIT comes in to play. She is NOT READY!
She sat with us and was really excited about her goody bag, but of course, she and her daughters would talk to the hospice nurse to find out what in the bag, she would be allowed to have. She showed us around her home, confident and very much alive! She was slighly unsteady when we got there, but the longer she was up, the stronger she got! She apologized for not feeling well enough to make us lunch….REALLY???? We would not have thought of her making us lunch….she is supposed to be in a hospital bed!!! I told her to be very careful if she took the THC if she was also on the “standard issue morphine”, although I knew she wouldn’t be driving a car or operating heavy equipment…but, to my surprise, she had put the morphine away, wants nothing to do with it!
As of today, she is allowed to take everything that is in the goody bag, her hospice nurse, who shows up every couple days (also not what I thought) told her to “go for it”. I am SOOOO hopeful that the THC caps will bring her some releif from pain AND maybe a good chuckle or smile! I told her daughter to set her up with a nice bag of cheetos or doritos and let her relax!
The bottom line in this story is that the human spirit is a remarkable force! I sincerely believe she will outlive the 4-6 week prognosis she was given, on sheer will! I pledge to do anything possible to make this lady, whom I admire, as comfortable and happy as I possibly can! She is truly remarkable!
My closing thought; I do NOT agree with the practice of telling a patient their “time remaining” estimate. By doing this, I believe you are helping cement that there is no hope. What western medicine is actually telling her is that there is nothing more that they can do. I believe that her will and some “natural” additives will keep her going longer than her “sentence”. Miracles DO happen….not expected, but possible!
P.M.A.=Positive Mental Attidtude! There is much to be said about how our PMA can keep us going! Never give up hope, never give up trying! This isn’t our permanent home, but we certainly would like to see and do as much as we can before we move on. My cousin’s quiet strength is exactly how I want to conduct myself, even in health!
Next up….also from this week…the formation of “Mikey’s Crew”!