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Cancer changes lives.

We have to deal with medical profession.

We have to deal with medications.

We have to deal with new discomfort and pain.

We have to create dignity, where there is indignity.

We have to deal with family members, friends, coworkers, and strangers, in a changed way.

We resolve to go forward with strength, resilience, purpose, pride, and integrity.

We define ourselves. Cancer does not define us.

Discussion Forum

Transmissible Cancer

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by theburningmonk Apr 10. 1 Reply

Leukemia spreads in the ocean among soft-shell clams. This is the fourth example of natural cancer transmission in animals.…Continue

Tags: contagious cancer

A Personal Cancer Blog

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Comment by Joan Denoo on September 30, 2013 at 12:45am
Yes, I have been taking a probiotic from the beginning of my process, and before starting chemo. The M.D. asks me each time I see her if I am taking it, so it appears to be important to her. I have no idea if it helps, or not. When I was feeling so wretched, everything was suspect, at least for me. I faithfully staid on the regimen, and I am sure I benefited by it all.
Comment by Daniel W on September 29, 2013 at 10:41pm


Hang in there!  You have come such a long way!  The worst is behind you.

I've seen Dave's Killer bread at Safeway but haven't tried it.  I hope it's good!

Are you using a probiotic to help replenish your system?  Some people find them helpful.

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 29, 2013 at 6:45pm
I tried different fruits and vegetables this past week and handled them just fine. This coming week I will try Dave's Killer bread ... a bite at a time to see how my gastric system handles it.

My eyebrows and lashes completely disappeared and now a funny little fuzz is growing on one lower eye lid. My nose is still bald inside, and all the nasal stuff continues to flow onto my upper lip. YUK! I don't see any fuzz growth in there, even when I use a lit magnifying mirror. Oh Jeez! I just have to learn patience.

I talked to a lady on Friday who had celebrated the end of her chemo-cocktail treatment. She said she had to stop after five treatments because her heart couldn't stand the strain. I guess I was lucky being able to go through the sixth on Sept 4, although it made me terribly sick.

I talked to another lady who is terminal and she and her partner have the brightest smiles and countenances. Each day is a blessing to them, and they celebrate.

I talked to another who is the wife of a man who has been on the same schedule as I and he is not doing well. They, too, grasp each moment as a treasure.

There is something about cancer that puts life and living into perspective. My dear family continues to steadfastly offer more assistance than I need.
Comment by Joan Denoo on September 22, 2013 at 11:11pm

Daniel, you speak the truth. To willingly take on the poison, knowing it offers some probability of survival makes it all worth while. Lots of bother and inconvenience. The alternative provides excellent motivation. Is that white cap calcium by any chance? The others don't look familiar. 

I found out Friday that my tear drain down my cheeks and nasal drain onto my upper lip is because of not having eye lashes or nose hairs. The good part of that is I don't facial hair either. Some bad/some good.

Ah! Patricia, you have been through it and know of which we speak!

I fell so much better getting past the four-chemical cocktail; Keep us posted, Daniel on how you get along. We provide virtual emotional support, or at least we/I want to.

Mindy, I suspect this is going to be like having a baby, it hurts like blazes during labor and all is forgotten when it is over. 

Good night everyone, sweet dreams, may gratitude, joy and peace be with each one.  

Comment by Daniel W on September 22, 2013 at 9:07pm

Joan, your Taco Adventure means you are improving by leaps and bounds!   I think you will get energy back too. 

They don't talk much about the energy sapping effects.  The nausea, mouth sores, lack of taste, diarrhea, yes.  I suppose the energy issue sort of goes without saying.  I think it's a big deal.  

A lot of my life now revolves around this little box.  I have a timer set so I take them at the right time every day.  I have to get lab tests the day before refill, and have to arrange the refill for when I can take the afternoon to go to the pharmacy.  They use only the oncology pharmacy, I can't get it down the street.  Kind of a big project.  

Not complaining.  Just expressing the change.  I'm fortunate to have these life-saving little tidbits. 

Comment by Idaho Spud on September 20, 2013 at 6:41am

Glad to hear about your great tasting taco treats Joan, and especially glad it stayed with you just fine.

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 20, 2013 at 2:10am

Starved for flavor, yesterday I stopped at a mom and pop Mexican restaurant for a taco. OH! It was so good. Today I went back for a taco dinner with rice and beans! I ate the taco, divided the rice and beans into three portion, I later ate the first third and it was absolutely delicious and stayed with me just fine. I am on my way!

I ran across this article today, and I shall gently and slowly experiment with flavors. I am continuing to lose weight, and that is fine; I just don't want to put it back on. 

Boost Metabolism with Spicy Foods for Weight Loss

I had a discussion with my radiologist today and he said my stomach problems will most likely ease over the next month after stopping the four chemical cocktail, and my fatigue will probably continue until radiation and Herceptin (chemo) is completed. He said it is important to let my body heal from all the killed cells chemo and radiation produce and that rest works best. Well, I have lots of books to read as the weather cools and winter arrives. Spring should bring back my energy. 

Cary and I had a discussion this afternoon and we realize I may not be able to do the fall cleanup, my favorite season, and he will step in and take care of it if I am not able. 

It is cold, and I am going to have to get a hat!

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 17, 2013 at 12:23pm
I am so very happy to be able to report that my stomach and digestive tract finally are settling down and food begins to look good. I think those strong chemicals begin to filter out of my body and a new normal hopefully will emerge. A nurse suggested Ensure, which I dislike, however Ensure Clear tastes good and gives me some electrolytes.

Thank you, Daniel, for the suggestions for teas and fragrances. Nothing worked for the last few weeks, and now I think they might. I normally like spiced orange teas.
Happily, you found something to ease nausea and that apple sauce helps with pills. My 12 morning pills do go down easier. Thanks for the idea.
I suspected you worked very hard on your acreage and feared exhaustion. Happily, you had a good, long, restful sleep. With winter coming on, you will have lots of time for reading. It's tough keeping up with current events when not feeling good.
I wish you could work shorter hours, yet I know you take great pride in your work and gain satisfaction from it. Caught on the horns of such a dilemma increases stress; hopefully you can set limits for yourself while you heal.
Thank you for venting and sharing your experiences. We all provide support and encouragement for each other and that makes the struggle so much more tolerable.
Our daily temperatures dropped below the 90 degree F mark and we now have very nice temperatures, lots of autumn thunder and showers, and thankfully, the Pend Oreille Fire Dist 8 has had no lightning fires so far. Human caused fires continue, sadly.
Thinking of you, Daniel, my cancer team members.
Comment by Daniel W on September 17, 2013 at 10:17am


I hate to think about you feeling ill.  Anxious for you to get better, which you will day by day.  Whatever ways there are to enjoy the moment, I wish for you.  If taste isn't working well, how is fragrance?  Lavender, Mint, Clove, Cinnamon all have some calming properties and might sooth without adverse gastric effects?  Guessing on that.  It's a learning process.

I have gone from lots of coffee daily to lots of tea.  Usually chai tea or spiced orange teas.  They seem to soothe, reduce nausea, and don't cause diarrhea - actually seem to reduce that symptom for me.  Also take my pills with apple sauce, which has a similar effect, while fruit juices nauseate and go right through me.

Last weekend i worked so hard on the 2 acres, I was completely exhausted.  Planted another tree, completed another raised bed, constructed a new roof for the chicken house.  Slept 12 hours afterwards, from afternoon to morning.  It was a very good exhaustion and took my mind off stuff.  But I regretted, a little, not doing some reading I like.

Sometimes after a day at work, I'm so exhausted and want to cry.  It's the unrelenting demand, and the corporate / workplace politics.  Entitled, privileged people scrambling for their supposed needs....  Then I take care of someone who really needs my efforts and expertise and empathy, and I can see they look and feel so much better, and I can cut through a little of the crap and make a difference and I feel so good about it. 

Can't imagine not working.  But sometimes so wish I could do so....  Before cancer I didn't think about quitting, now I do every day.  Also can't afford the treatments, scans, and obnoxious oncologist if I don't work. 

Just venting.  I'm fine.  Off today and planning to do some puttering as well as "homework".  Hope you are feeling a little better, day by day.

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 17, 2013 at 12:20am
"Men who drank six or more cups per day were 18 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer compared with non-drinkers, and were 60 percent less likely to develop metastatic/lethal prostate cancer.
"Worldwide, 70 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes and obesity have Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is the major cause of fatty liver not caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
"Excessive consumption of fructose, which – unlike glucose – is processed in the liver and is linked to increased risk for NAFLD.
"(Both cane sugar and high-fructose corn syrup consist of one molecule each of glucose and fructose.)
"Almost one in three American adults have NAFLD, for which diet and exercise remain the only effective treatments. 

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