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You never know how strong you are...until being strong is the only choice you have

When I discovered the unknown lump in my left breast, I knew something was wrong I had a feeling that it was cancer, I tried not to think that it was not but I can’t lie to myself like that. I didn’t know much about breast cancer, until I was assigned to prepare a persuasive speech in front of my speech class. I decided on breast cancer, I didn’t know much about it anyway and did my research. I didn’t have to prepare much or write an outline. I managed to dig deep and talked to the class unscripted. I somehow tied it all to what I was going through from the discovery of the lump and doctor visits to the fact that you or someone you know has been effected by cancer and I am one of them. Even though I didn’t know for sure at the time if I had it or not but I felt that I did. My cheeks trembled fighting back tears and that deep pain in my chest as I talked about my personal life with strangers for the first time it was scary but good it was practice for breaking the news down for my family and friends... after class one of the students came up to me and said I’ll be here for you if you need me... I was so touched by her and to confirmed I am not alone in this journey. As with many people who experience cancer, we’ve all been told we have 5 years to live with stage IV terminal cancer and there’s nothing we can do for you after conventional treatment fails. BUT I believe there IS! There are people out there who live beyond the statistics and have turn over to alternatives to fight cancer for good. That means changing your diet, eating natural foods that keep you alive, have a positive attitude, surround yourself with positive people, and following a spiritual path. For me I believe in God, for healing and restoring my health better than it was before. I pray every day for him to take this cancer away and I find comfort when I seek him. Because of my faith, I am able to live normally have the strength to live on with a purpose and believing I am healed!


2015: First Treatment and follow up

Thursday, February 19, 2015 0 comments
Well today's visit was not that exciting it was depressing...
The tumor markers have gone up the last three visits. Which means there will be a new treatment plan.
Current: Zometa ( IV Infusion), Arimidex (Daily Pills), and Leuprolide (2 shots)- once every three months, no serious side effects other than hot flashes and weight gain.
Options from doctor for change:
A: Zometa, Leuprolide, and Faslodex 500MG (2 shots). Because of this new shot I will need it once a month. As of today I have it get them every two weeks until March. side effects same as current.
B: Zometa, Arimidex, Leuprolide, and another daily pill don't remember name. 1 every three months. Side effects he says that will be annoying for me mouth sores, rashes, fatigue
C: Zometa, Leuprolide, and a new FDA approved drug from two weeks ago, has one patient on for a study. So he doesn't have enough information to give me on this one.
I even asked about removing my ovaries if it will benefit anything. But he said removing ovaries will just be a convenience to eliminate one of the treatments. But you will still need to come in for the others. So really there is no winning here.
I chose option A. Which means I have to stay in Texas.
I asked about my survival chances? Of course no answer... Wonk wonk...
Kind of good news the cancer I have is estrogen receptor positive metastatic breast cancer. It can be treated with hormone therapy for a long time. Hopefully this new one will keep the markers from increasing and under control.
Job hunting has been meh, most of the ones I apply for are online, and most ask if you have a disability or did and Cancer is listed as a disability. You can only answer yes, no, or do not want to answer. Of course they say they don't discriminate... Really like who are you fooling.. Ugh... Would love to find a job that can be flexible and accommodating with my health. I want to work in California, but flying back once a month would be too costly vs flying once every three months which would be doable for me until I find the right employer and job.
The struggle is real.
I cried today out of anger and sadness driving home while listening to crazy in love remix on repeat ok I love that song! =P
Love you and thank you all for your support!

The Median Isn't the Message by Stephen Jay Gould

Sunday, November 2, 2014 2 comments
I know it has been forever since I  had posted anything! I will update in the next few days or so. Anyway I came across a wonderful essay and wish I had found it sooner. If you're interested in statistics and cancer. Enjoy reading and being aware.

I took the article from cancerguide.org and is worth sharing to anyone facing cancer. I believe there is hope and a cure(you). You are not a statistic. Everyone's cancer is different. Stay positive and keep fighting! Statistics outline probabilities - they cannot limit possibilities.

About the Author: Stephen Jay Gould was an influential evolutionary biologist who taught at Harvard University. He was the author of at least ten popular books on evolution, and science, including, among others, The Flamingo's Smile, The Mismeasure of Man, Wonderful Life, and Full House.

Dr. Gould lived for 20 very productive years after his diagnosis, thus exceeding his 8 month median survival by a factor of thirty! Although he did die of cancer, it apparently wasn't mesothelioma, but a second and unrelated cancer.

 The Median Isn't the Message
My life has recently intersected, in a most personal way, two of Mark Twain's famous quips. One I shall defer to the end of this essay. The other (sometimes attributed to Disraeli), identifies three species of mendacity, each worse than the one before - lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Consider the standard example of stretching the truth with numbers - a case quite relevant to my story. Statistics recognizes different measures of an "average," or central tendency. The mean is our usual concept of an overall average - add up the items and divide them by the number of sharers (100 candy bars collected for five kids next Halloween will yield 20 for each in a just world). The median, a different measure of central tendency, is the half-way point. If I line up five kids by height, the median child is shorter than two and taller than the other two (who might have trouble getting their mean share of the candy). A politician in power might say with pride, "The mean income of our citizens is $15,000 per year." The leader of the opposition might retort, "But half our citizens make less than $10,000 per year." Both are right, but neither cites a statistic with impassive objectivity. The first invokes a mean, the second a median. (Means are higher than medians in such cases because one millionaire may outweigh hundreds of poor people in setting a mean; but he can balance only one mendicant in calculating a median).
The larger issue that creates a common distrust or contempt for statistics is more troubling. Many people make an unfortunate and invalid separation between heart and mind, or feeling and intellect. In some contemporary traditions, abetted by attitudes stereotypically centered on Southern California, feelings are exalted as more "real" and the only proper basis for action - if it feels good, do it - while intellect gets short shrift as a hang-up of outmoded elitism. Statistics, in this absurd dichotomy, often become the symbol of the enemy. As Hilaire Belloc wrote, "Statistics are the triumph of the quantitative method, and the quantitative method is the victory of sterility and death."
This is a personal story of statistics, properly interpreted, as profoundly nurturant and life-giving. It declares holy war on the downgrading of intellect by telling a small story about the utility of dry, academic knowledge about science. Heart and head are focal points of one body, one personality.
In July 1982, I learned that I was suffering from abdominal mesothelioma, a rare and serious cancer usually associated with exposure to asbestos. When I revived after surgery, I asked my first question of my doctor and chemotherapist: "What is the best technical literature about mesothelioma?" She replied, with a touch of diplomacy (the only departure she has ever made from direct frankness), that the medical literature contained nothing really worth reading.
Of course, trying to keep an intellectual away from literature works about as well as recommending chastity to Homo sapiens, the sexiest primate of all. As soon as I could walk, I made a beeline for Harvard's Countway medical library and punched mesothelioma into the computer's bibliographic search program. An hour later, surrounded by the latest literature on abdominal mesothelioma, I realized with a gulp why my doctor had offered that humane advice. The literature couldn't have been more brutally clear: mesothelioma is incurable, with a median mortality of only eight months after discovery. I sat stunned for about fifteen minutes, then smiled and said to myself: so that's why they didn't give me anything to read. Then my mind started to work again, thank goodness.
If a little learning could ever be a dangerous thing, I had encountered a classic example. Attitude clearly matters in fighting cancer. We don't know why (from my old-style materialistic perspective, I suspect that mental states feed back upon the immune system). But match people with the same cancer for age, class, health, socioeconomic status, and, in general, those with positive attitudes, with a strong will and purpose for living, with commitment to struggle, with an active response to aiding their own treatment and not just a passive acceptance of anything doctors say, tend to live longer. A few months later I asked Sir Peter Medawar, my personal scientific guru and a Nobelist in immunology, what the best prescription for success against cancer might be. "A sanguine personality," he replied. Fortunately (since one can't reconstruct oneself at short notice and for a definite purpose), I am, if anything, even-tempered and confident in just this manner.
Hence the dilemma for humane doctors: since attitude matters so critically, should such a sombre conclusion be advertised, especially since few people have sufficient understanding of statistics to evaluate what the statements really mean? From years of experience with the small-scale evolution of Bahamian land snails treated quantitatively, I have developed this technical knowledge - and I am convinced that it played a major role in saving my life. Knowledge is indeed power, in Bacon's proverb.
The problem may be briefly stated: What does "median mortality of eight months" signify in our vernacular? I suspect that most people, without training in statistics, would read such a statement as "I will probably be dead in eight months" - the very conclusion that must be avoided, since it isn't so, and since attitude matters so much.
I was not, of course, overjoyed, but I didn't read the statement in this vernacular way either. My technical training enjoined a different perspective on "eight months median mortality." The point is a subtle one, but profound - for it embodies the distinctive way of thinking in my own field of evolutionary biology and natural history.
We still carry the historical baggage of a Platonic heritage that seeks sharp essences and definite boundaries. (Thus we hope to find an unambiguous "beginning of life" or "definition of death," although nature often comes to us as irreducible continua.) This Platonic heritage, with its emphasis in clear distinctions and separated immutable entities, leads us to view statistical measures of central tendency wrongly, indeed opposite to the appropriate interpretation in our actual world of variation, shadings, and continua. In short, we view means and medians as the hard "realities," and the variation that permits their calculation as a set of transient and imperfect measurements of this hidden essence. If the median is the reality and variation around the median just a device for its calculation, the "I will probably be dead in eight months" may pass as a reasonable interpretation.
But all evolutionary biologists know that variation itself is nature's only irreducible essence. Variation is the hard reality, not a set of imperfect measures for a central tendency. Means and medians are the abstractions. Therefore, I looked at the mesothelioma statistics quite differently - and not only because I am an optimist who tends to see the doughnut instead of the hole, but primarily because I know that variation itself is the reality. I had to place myself amidst the variation.
When I learned about the eight-month median, my first intellectual reaction was: fine, half the people will live longer; now what are my chances of being in that half. I read for a furious and nervous hour and concluded, with relief: damned good. I possessed every one of the characteristics conferring a probability of longer life: I was young; my disease had been recognized in a relatively early stage; I would receive the nation's best medical treatment; I had the world to live for; I knew how to read the data properly and not despair.
Another technical point then added even more solace. I immediately recognized that the distribution of variation about the eight-month median would almost surely be what statisticians call "right skewed." (In a symmetrical distribution, the profile of variation to the left of the central tendency is a mirror image of variation to the right. In skewed distributions, variation to one side of the central tendency is more stretched out - left skewed if extended to the left, right skewed if stretched out to the right.) The distribution of variation had to be right skewed, I reasoned. After all, the left of the distribution contains an irrevocable lower boundary of zero (since mesothelioma can only be identified at death or before). Thus, there isn't much room for the distribution's lower (or left) half - it must be scrunched up between zero and eight months. But the upper (or right) half can extend out for years and years, even if nobody ultimately survives. The distribution must be right skewed, and I needed to know how long the extended tail ran - for I had already concluded that my favorable profile made me a good candidate for that part of the curve.
The distribution was indeed, strongly right skewed, with a long tail (however small) that extended for several years above the eight month median. I saw no reason why I shouldn't be in that small tail, and I breathed a very long sigh of relief. My technical knowledge had helped. I had read the graph correctly. I had asked the right question and found the answers. I had obtained, in all probability, the most precious of all possible gifts in the circumstances - substantial time. I didn't have to stop and immediately follow Isaiah's injunction to Hezekiah - set thine house in order for thou shalt die, and not live. I would have time to think, to plan, and to fight.
One final point about statistical distributions. They apply only to a prescribed set of circumstances - in this case to survival with mesothelioma under conventional modes of treatment. If circumstances change, the distribution may alter. I was placed on an experimental protocol of treatment and, if fortune holds, will be in the first cohort of a new distribution with high median and a right tail extending to death by natural causes at advanced old age.
It has become, in my view, a bit too trendy to regard the acceptance of death as something tantamount to intrinsic dignity. Of course I agree with the preacher of Ecclesiastes that there is a time to love and a time to die - and when my skein runs out I hope to face the end calmly and in my own way. For most situations, however, I prefer the more martial view that death is the ultimate enemy - and I find nothing reproachable in those who rage mightily against the dying of the light.
The swords of battle are numerous, and none more effective than humor. My death was announced at a meeting of my colleagues in Scotland, and I almost experienced the delicious pleasure of reading my obituary penned by one of my best friends (the so-and-so got suspicious and checked; he too is a statistician, and didn't expect to find me so far out on the right tail). Still, the incident provided my first good laugh after the diagnosis. Just think, I almost got to repeat Mark Twain's most famous line of all: the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.

3 year boobversary!

Monday, December 30, 2013 0 comments
Hi hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and prepare yourselves for 2014 for a blessed year, good health, and fortune! I am looking forward to it  

Just want to fill you in on my latest oncology visit, I asked if the tumor marker continues to stay normal if I can I get off treatment. He pretty much said no, if I do the cancer will come back and that I need to be on this treatment indefinitely, and my body is responding well to it. The tumor is gone. If I want to get off treatment, I would have to decide if I want to remove my ovaries or not. I thought about it, and still sitting on the fence, we will see, I will have clearer vision later. I do want to live way beyond 5 years, and beat the statistics and yay happy 3 years this month of survival. Woot!

After I graduate fall 2014 and go on a spiritual journey traveling in 2015, it might help or even help get better and there will be a miracle! Then figure out where I want to live and work after that. Maybe going overseas will keep me there, who knows, I am open to new opportunities. 

Have a nice and sage new years! 

Crazy Water!

Friday, August 23, 2013 0 comments
Oh yes... For while I've been thinking about getting the alkaline machine, but cost too much . I've heard good things about it from people who drink it, believe it works, cures them from diseases, & cancer because it can't live in an alkaline body. You can google for more details and judge for yourself you'll get a lot of skeptics and debunkers too. I guess if you believe it works then it will work for you and I believe the testimonies from terminal patients who turn to alternative medicine anyways when conventional treatment fails for them and it is the last resort for treatment. I found a company called Crazy Water that distributes mineral water with high ph content 8.2 and I put it to the test! Recommended 8-16 ounces a day. My juicer heroes guys use alkaline water to filter my orders! Maybe I should just start drinking this for now I'm still debating about the coffee enema(the process) . I know there's so many things you can do naturally. I seriously think that it is helping me along with the hormone therapy... No need for chemo or radiation. The oncologist never talked about removing my ovaries again after the tumor markers dropped ��

Summer is almost over...

Sunday, August 11, 2013 0 comments
Hi all... 

Been a while with my updates. My travels is coming to and end. I had a blast! Being happy and enjoying life is a good alt. to beating cancer. That's why I cannot wait to go overseas backpacking after graduation. 
My last visit to onco the tumor marker read 40. And you know anything 39 and below is normal!!! So... Hoping it will go down even more, will know in September.
I start school soon and will get back into my alternative treatments with the vitamin C infusion twice a week. I've been looking into the Gerson protocol to get rid of toxic build up in your tubes,that you cant do on your own with fiber, coffee enemas is suppose to be a good, natural and inexpensive way to do! Haha more details later about that. I need to get all the supplies and organic coffee! I saw some graphic videos and wow I can't believe it until I try it!! Well I believe just want to see for myself. Amazing... If you didn't know already I like to and am comfortable talking about poo aka boo boo (just sounds cuter). 

I'm half asleep posting this... Good night love all my nom fans! 


Summer Updates! What is going on...

Monday, May 20, 2013 2 comments
Finals are done for the Spring '13 semester and finally declared my major in Management. One more year peoples and I am ready to get out of Texas! Find a new doctor and continue to stay healthy, positive, be stress free, and add more laughter in my life.

I was engaged last year, and I am aware it was rushed. I didn't get married right away, thank God! The man I fell in love with was different from what he appeared to be. I should have known thine lover first before saying yes. Everyone has baggage and laundry that needs cleaning to move on, let go blah bah, I was hoping that we could work it out, believing he can change, but it takes two to meet in the middle, and that didn't work so, I am not going to waste my time and energy on someone who doesn't and is not completely honest with you. It was a heartbreaking and negative relationship. My grades were poor and I ended up on probation from the business school, and needed to be on top of everything or else I would have been kicked out, my health was not doing well either, but I kept fighting to stay strong through the mess. I made a decision to move on after spring break, when I was slapped in the face with reality, I decided to do what is right and make my health and happiness a priority then worrying about a dead relationship and someone who doesn't deserve me.

So... now that I am not getting married, I can take my time finishing school and not rush. Take advantage of my free time to travel and visit fam/friends and meet new friends!

Destinations lined up:
Hawaii-Never been
San Diego
New York
and... maybe some where else? I don't have start school until August 28th.

My infusion treatment with the Vitamin C is going well and I have a lot of energy. My cravings for meat and sugar declining. Healthy people make it sound so easy but it is not, it is a struggle man! When you didn't grow up being healthy and eating junk most of your life. I drink a little bit but not much so my liver is clean! I did use something for a while when I couldn't sleep, but now that I have eliminated the negative things... I can rest peacefully and fall asleep, and not stay up until 3-4 in morning!

That is the haps for this summer! I am happier and laughing more than I have been the past year and continuing to kick cancer's ass!

Inspiring Story

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 0 comments
I love this... young woman out there newly diagnosed and want children in the future. Runaway if you doctor tells you, you can't get pregnant! :)  Click link and watch video below.

Survivor Story