Saturday, November 29, 2008



I have started exercising as it has been prescribed as part of my treatment regime! I get Sunday's off.

• Exercise is important in reducing breast cancer risk.

• 1-3 hours of moderate exercise per week can reduce your breast cancer risk by 30%.

• Exercise also can prevent obesity - Obesity is linked to breast cancer risk.

• Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. If you haven't been particularly active in the past, start your exercise program slowly and gradually work up to a greater intensity. Try to include weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging or aerobics. These have the added benefit of keeping your bones strong.

• Women who train strenuously may lose their menstrual cycle or become anovulatory, and therefore be exposed to far less estrogen.

• Exercise can delay the onset of a woman's first menstrual cycle, menarche, which also decreases breast cancer risk.


I have started a regime of homeopathic remedies, supplements and Chinese herbal medicines indicated for breast cancer. I am putting more faith in the energy medicine right now but hopefully they will play their part.

Below is the list of natural medicines I am taking:

  • Conium 200ch
  • Phytolacca 200ch

Melatonin: Natural sleep hormone. Melatonin regulates the body’s circadian rhythm (sleep wake cycle).

The recommended dose is 9-45mg is but I am taking 3mg per night. A strange rule applies to melatonin which is if you feel sleepy the next day, increase the dose! I have only been brave enough to take 6mg and felt quite sleepy, with a mild headache the next day. Maybe will try 9 or more mg this week if feeling brave. But then maybe 3mg is what my body needs.
More about melatonin in next blog entry.

Super Anti-oxidant
Omega 3 & 6 oils
Reservatrol: found in the skin of red grapes


DIM & I3C: di-indolmethane & indole3-carbinol – extracts from cruciferous vegetables broccoli and cauliflower
Mega EGCG: green tea extract
A1 – MALIGNANCY: combo of Chinese medicinal herbs
A1 – BREAST CANCER ADD ON: combo of Chinese medicinal herbs
AV/AT: anti-tumour combo of Chinese medicinal herbs
Tanshinone: anti-cancer, inhibits angiogenesis


Cancer cells are cells that have lost their ability to divide in a controlled fashion. A tumor consists of a population of rapidly dividing and growing cells.

Mutations rapidly accrue within this population of cells. These mutations (variation) allow the cancer cells (or sub-populations of cancer cells within a tumor) to develop drug resistance and escape therapy.

Tumors cannot grow beyond a certain size, generally 1-2 mm³, due to a lack of oxygen and other essential nutrients.

Tumors induce blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) by secreting various growth factors which supply required nutrients and/or remove wastes, allowing for tumor expansion.

Angiogenesis is a necessary and required step for transition from a small harmless cluster of cells, often said to be about the size of the metal ball at the end of a ball-point pen, to a large tumor.

Angiogenesis is also required for the spread of a tumor, or metastasis. Single cancer cells can break away from an established solid tumor, enter the blood vessel, and be carried to a distant site, where they can implant and begin the growth of a secondary tumor.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


So, after yesterdays confession session of physical world reasons as to why I think breast cancer started growing inside me, I am going to negate it all by saying that I believe that we should not try to understand God’s divine logic, or what is perceived in the physical world as chaos.

We just need to accept that there is a learning in the illness or the event, and rather focus on that.

Wednesday was a very tough day – I felt like I needed to make a decision to operate or not. Right at the end of the day, I reached a calm decision to wait until January. I want to give the world that I have come to know and believe in, energy and natural medicine, a chance to work.

I have started taking all the homeopathic, herbal, Chinese herbal, and nutritional supplements indicated for breast cancer. During this time, I will focus on issues in my internal world and God. If I still need to operate in January, then I will go ahead knowing that I have not just gone the surgeon’s route.

What swayed me was a story the breast surgeon told me about a woman of a similar age to me, who only needed a single mastectomy but had a double for safety. The surgeon received an sms a years or two later saying she had died of a heart attack. This illustrates to me how this girl had unresolved heart chakra issues that unless resolved timeously, would result in any illness in the heart zone.

When I asked the surgeon about guarantees of having both breast removed as a precaution to breast cancer recurrence, she said the cancer can come back in the breast skin or the muscle below even once all breast tissue is removed, yet another example of unresolved issues.

Can you imagine how different the world would be if we all just said this prayer each day and committed to becoming more conscious??

Print the prayer out, stick on you mirror, and and say it every day - if it feels right for you!

Here is the prayer I am saying every day to live closer to me truth and God:

Your Daily Practice – Morning

Each day is a new beginning. Your task today is to learn the practice of consciously entering your body and your day. Begin by focusing attention on your entire day from morning to evening.

Review your plans for today:

* Think about where you need to be and with who you need to be.
* Do you feel stressful about this day or do you feel comfortable?
* Do you feel prepared for today's events?
* Are you projecting fears and expectations into this day?

Your First Chakra

* Allow the truth 'All is One' to penetrate your body
* Drop your attention to the root of your spine.
* Feel yourself magnetically connected to every part of life:
o The fragrance of the earth
o The oceans and rivers
o The air
o Your family and friends
o The planet
* Identify your fears for today and pull them into your consciousness.
* Acknowledge the strength of the energetic circuitry connecting you to all life.
* Visualize that strength replacing your fears for today.
* Standing tall.

Your Second Chakra

* Allow the truth 'Honor One Another' to penetrate your body.
* Move your attention gradually up your spine to your lower back, hips and genital area.
* Feel the fire and vibrant energy of this area.
* Focus that energy toward the key areas of this chakra:
o Relationships: Who am I going to be with today?
o Work: What am I going to do today?
o Money: How do I feel about it today?
o Creativity: What am I going to create today?

Your Third Chakra

* Allow the truth 'Honor Yourself' to penetrate your body.
* Breathe deeply as you shift your attention to your solar plexus and abdominal area.
* Focus on your self-esteem and how you feel about yourself today:
o Am I feeling strong? Frightened?
o Do I need someone's approval today?
o Will I need to be courageous?
* Remind yourself of your boundaries, dignity, inherent honor, and integrity.
* Make a spiritual promise in terms of how you want to live your life today.

Your Fourth Chakra

* Allow the truth 'Love is Divine Power' to penetrate your body.
* Raise your attention up to your heart, the center of love.
* Welcome the people you're scheduled to meet today into your meditation:
o Where you feel love for them, send more, boundless love.
o For those you feel challenged to love, say the prayer , "Let me learn more about how to love them today."
* Think about who you need to forgive today; release the rage, bitterness or hurt feelings from your heart.
* Tell yourself "Forgiveness is not easy, but today I ask for one more step toward that goal."
* Release the prayer that you want to look at today through your heart and not through your fears; that you want to feel gratitude for events that do or don't happen as they should.
* Keep your attention on the right way to walk into this day, with a heart full of love.

Your Fifth Chakra

* Allow the truth 'Surrender Personal Will to Divine Will' to penetrate your body.
* Move your attention to your throat area.
* Define your needs and desires for today and let go of doing the same for others.
* Make the choice to love this day instead of fearing it.
* Envision choices that result in positive attitudes, memories, and feelings about yourself.
* Vow to express yourself honestly.

Your Sixth Chakra

* Allow 'Seek Only Truth' to penetrate your body
* Focus your attention upwards to your mind - the world behind your eyes.
* Go beyond the limits of the rational mind and accept the Divine's Plan for you.
* Prepare your mind to enter the day feeling good and not generating illusions, false truths or fears.
* For today, release old grudges, beliefs, attitudes and patterns that no longer serve you.
* Remember that everything in your life is there for a reason and to teach you truth.

Your Seventh Chakra

* Allow the truth 'Live in the Present Moment' to penetrate your body.
* Pull your attention up and out, and hold the idea 'live in present time.'
* Let go of the past and do not anticipate the future.
* During the day, practice the discipline of telling yourself, "This is all I have. This is all there is to my life right now."

Invoke this prayer:

I am committed to feeling a bond with each person I meet,
to respecting my own integrity and honor,
to living within the energy of love and compassion and returning to that energy when I don't feel it,
to making wise and blessed choices with my will,
to maintaining perceptions of wisdom and non-judgment,
to release the need to know why things happen as they do,
and not to project expectations over how I want this day to be and how I want others to be.
And finally, my last prayer, 'to trust the Divine'.
And with that I bless my day with gratitude and love.

The carcinoma in the breast duct that was removed from my right breast was estrogen-sensitive. This means that high levels of estrogen in my system stimulated the growth of the tumour cells.

I started asking myself:

* Where did this estrogen come from?
* How do I reduce or normalize my estrogen levels?

I have decide to include my estrogen history because I have had so many people say to me:
• But you have no breast cancer in your family
• But you are so young.
• But you look so healthy
• But you eat so well
• But you eat such a good diet (mostly raw vegan)
• But you don’t drink alcohol
• But you are active

What I have written below is my estrogen history. It contains events that, until now, I have not discussed with many people.

Not to long ago, people would take offence at being asked whom they were going to vote for. These days, people openly discuss their emotional and psychological wounds with each other just after they have met. Caroline Myss would call this ‘speaking your wounds’ or ‘woundology’.

By listing these events, I am speaking my wounds but it is not my intention to keep them alive by telling you. I am instead loving, forgiving and releasing them. I want to turn them into a positive by hopefully helping others.

I have moved beyond these wounds. I have this energy back in my present tense. I feel liberated writing these events down. I have a wonderful sense of freedom from the shame and judgment society associates with them.

I know that more women have had abortions than will admit. I am writing this in the hope that my story will encourage more women to openly discuss their reproductive histories, as well as become aware of the various factors that increase the risk of breast cancer.

When I meet someone who has an illness, I always want to understand how they got to that point. Their history is carried in their cell tissue (Myss: ‘Your biology carries your biography’). More about my mental and emotional history in a future blog.

Let me take you back in time as to how I think the breast cancer was created:

12/13 I started menstruating - the younger you start menstruating, the longer you will be exposed to estrogen for.

19 I went on the contraceptive injection. I was studying away from home and I had freedom for the first time! I loved the idea that there was a free medication that would suppress my menstrual cycle so I did not have to have periods! I was only on the injection for one year because I realized it was not that good for my body. I then switched to the contraceptive pill.

21 I started going to raves and probably took recreational drugs every weekend for about 3-4 years. I also drank quite heavily for a good part of my 20’s

23 I had an abortion. It was the correct decision at the time and I had few regrets about it. Having an abortion increases one’s risk of getting breast cancer by 30%! If only I had known this then but, like everyone in the their 20’s (with exception of my mom!), I thought I was invincible!

24 I went back on the contraceptive pill on and off because I did not want to be on synthetic hormones but there were not other safe options.

27 I had another abortion and then went back on the pill until 31. Again, it was the correct decision at the time, and I had few regrets. Having another abortion increased my risk of breast cancer by another 30%!

31 I fell pregnant with Grace. I breastfed her for 14 months which was a good thing for my breast ducts.

33 I fell pregnant with Lily and breastfed her for 14 months. We renovated our house thru out this pregnancy which was very stressful.


A woman’s ovaries produce active estrogen. Active estrogen causes breast cells to divide. Excess active estrogen is converted to inactive estrogen in the liver and is excreted.

But some of this active estrogen is converted into long-acting estrogen which continues to stimulate breast cells to divide. Some women’s bodies produce higher levels of long-acting estrogen which goes on stimulating breast cells to divide. This increases the risk of breast cancer by exposing breast cells to estrogen for an abnormally prolonged period of time.

If a pregnancy ends before 32 weeks, by very premature birth or induced abortion, she will have increased risk of breast cancer as she will not get the benefit of full breast maturation, but instead be left with more places for breast cancer to start. Spontaneous abortions in the first trimester do not increase breast cancer risk because they are associated with low estrogen levels.

If the liver function is impaired (eg. Thru use of alcohol, drugs or illness like hepatitis etc), the liver does not break estrogen down properly and estrogen levels start to rise in the blood stream resulting in stimulation of breast tissue growth.

For more breast cancer risk factors, see:

The fact that I am female (therefore I have more estrogen circulating in my body to start with)
+ my synthetic hormone exposure from contraceptives (results in increased estrogen exposure)
2 x induced abortions (leaves increased number of immature breast lobules & increases estrogen exposure. Also going back on the pill after both abortions increased estrogen exposure)
+ my alcohol history
+ my drug history (result in increased estrogen exposure due to impaired liver functioning)
+ my mainstream diet until 30 (result in increased estrogen exposure from meat, dairy, etc)
+ my environmental toxin exposure (result in increased estrogen exposure from plastics, pesticides, fertilizers, etc which contains pseudo-estrogens)
+ my sharp increase in stress from 29-34
+ the fact that I had my first child after 30 yrs old (results in increased estrogen exposure)
benign proliferative breast tissue (result of high estrogen exposure)
my unresolved emotional & psychological wounds (we all have are them - they are necessary for life and growth but they need to be dealt with to avoid disease in the physical body)
+ the fact that I agreed with my angel of necessity before I was born that I needed to learn about my heart chakra (energy zone in the heart area = love and forgiveness)
= higher risk of getting breast cancer.

More about my diet until 30 and my heart chakra lessons in future blogs.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Breast Maturity & Breast Cancer Risk

A breast development that affects breast cancer risk is the maturation of breast lobules from Type 1 lobules to Type 4 lobules. Breasts are composed of units of breast tissue called lobules and are surrounded by supportive tissue made of fat and stromal (connective) tissue. A lobule is composed of a milk duct with surrounding ductules which are the glands that make the milk. Lobules are in turn composed of individual breast cells.

At birth, you have a small amount of breast tissue, Type 1 lobules, which are very immature and are known as TDLUs (terminal ductal lobular units). Ductal cancers which account for 85% of all breast cancers are known to arise in Type 1 lobules. An infant’s breast tissue may be stimulated by the mother’s hormones present in the infant at birth. This can cause a milky secretion called “witch’s milk” for a short time after birth. At puberty, in response to the cyclic elevations of estrogen and progesterone, the breasts start to develop further, and some Type 1 lobules are matured into Type 2 lobules, which have more ductules per lobular unit.2 lobules are where up to 15% of all breast cancers start. By the end of puberty, about 75% of breast tissue is Type 1 lobules and 25% are Type 2.

Full maturation and cancer resistant Type 4 lobules are not formed until late in pregnancy when the breast is under the influence of the pheromones hCG and hPL which are made by the fetus and placenta in the womb. Type 4 lobules contain colostrum, the first milk. By mid 2nd trimester 70% of the breast tissue is Type 4 lobules, and at 40 weeks (full-term), 85% is Type 4 and cancer resistant. After weaning, the Type 4 lobules regress to Type 3, but remain cancer resistant due to permanent genetic changes which have made them cancer resistant. Each subsequent pregnancy after the first matures more of the breast tissue resulting in a further decrease in breast cancer risk of 10%.

Not only do these lobules look different anatomically, but they grow differently. For example, Type 1 and 2 lobules copy their DNA faster than Type 3 lobules. The faster DNA is copied, the higher the risk of mutations or cancer cells forming.

Actual photomicrographs of human breast lobules:

Type 1 Lobule
Type 3 Lobule

The principle of breast cancer risk relating to lobule maturity can explain other well-documented breast cancer risks as well.

If a woman does not have a full-term pregnancy (meaning she is childless or ), she has increased risk for breast cancer, since she never develops Type 4 lobules. If she has children later in life (after age 30), she has increased risk, because, for most of her menstrual life, her estrogen has been stimulating immature Type 1 and 2 breast lobules. If she has children as a teenager, she has decreased risk of breast cancer, since her breast tissue matures very early in her reproductive life to Type 4 lobules.

If a woman breast-feeds, she often has (in which estrogen is low) or misses menstrual altogether. She has decreased risk due to two factors: less exposure to estrogen and breast tissue maturity to Type 4 lobules. Risk decreases in proportion to duration of breastfeeding.

The risk factors of estrogen exposure and breast immaturity can also act in concert with one another, causing greater risk. For example, if a teenager, who has not had a full-term pregnancy (she is nulliparous), takes birth control pills, her risk of breast cancer is much higher than it is for a woman who has had several children and then takes birth control pills. A woman who gets pregnant increases her estrogen level 2,000 percent by the end of the first trimester. If her pregnancy goes to full term, she will have lower breast cancer risk by developing full breast maturity. If it ends before 32 weeks, by very premature birth or , she will have increased risk as she will not get the benefit of full breast maturation, but instead be left with more places for breast cancer to start. in the first trimester do not increase breast cancer risk because they are associated with low estrogen levels.

Cigarette smoking before a full-term pregnancy can increase a teenager’s breast cancer risk substantially, because her breast lobules are immature and rapidly growing.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Factors Which Increase and Decrease

Breast Cancer Risk

Factors Which INCREASE Breast Cancer Risk

Factor Mechanism
Increases estrogen exposure by impairing liver function
Benign proliferative breast disease
Result of increased estrogen exposure
BRCA genes
Inherited defects in cancer defense genes
Cigarette smoking Benzopyrenes damage DNA
Contraceptive steroids (in pills, patches, vaginal rings, IUDs or injectable forms)
Increases estrogen exposure
Early menarche Increases estrogen exposure
Female sex Increased estrogen exposure
High socio-economic group Delayed childbearing
Higher education Delayed childbearing
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Increases estrogen exposure
Increasing age
Premenopausal: Increases estrogen exposure
Postmenopausal: Impairs immune function

Induced abortion
Leaves increased number of immature breast lobules and increases risk of premature births
Increases estrogen exposure
Late childbirth (over 30 years old)
Increases exposure of Type 1 & 2 lobulesto estrogen before first birth; long susceptibility window
Late menopause Increases estrogen exposure
Nulliparity (never bearing children)
Maturity of breast lobules does not occur
Premature birth before 32 weeks
Leaves increased number of immature breast lobules
Increases estrogen exposure
Postmenopausal obesity Increases estrogen exposure
Radiation Damages DNA
2nd trimester miscarriage
Leaves increased number of immature breast lobules

Factors Which Decrease Breast Cancer Risk

Factor Mechanism
Breast feeding
Decreases estrogen by decreasing number of menstrual cycles and/or ovulation
Cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli, Brussels sprouts or DIM supplements)
Indole-3-carbinol decreases estrogen exposure by causing estrogen to be changed to an inactive metabolite of estrogen
Early menopause
Decreases estrogen exposure
Decreases estrogen exposure
Having children (especially starting at a young age)
Decreases number of immature breast lobules
Late menarche Decreases estrogen exposure
Omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., olive, flax seed, walnut oils)
Oophorectomy (removal of ovaries before menopause)
Decreases estrogen production
Soy isoflavonoids (phytoestrogens)
May block estrogen receptors

Factors Which Have No Effect on Breast Cancer Risk

Factor Reason
Saturated fat
Saturated fat intake not related to obesity
Spontaneous abortions
(miscarriages) in the first trimester
No increased levels of estrogen as found in healthy pregnancies

Sunday, November 23, 2008


We met with Dr Carol Benn again this morning to discuss the next step.
I know what the choices are, I now just need to make them. Although it is such a horrible decision to make, I think a double mastectomy is the way to go form the start.

• Carol recommends a right mastectomy based on the fact that the breast duct that was removed had high grade, aggressive, non-invasive cancer cells in it, and that the whole of the right breast tissue is hyperlastic.

• If I had a lumpectomy (a lump out with a clear margin of 1cm), I would need to radiate the right side. Once radiation has been done to one side, you cannot have it again. The body cannot with stand a double dose of radiation. Mastectomy would be the next step.

• Radiation damages healthy tissue along with cancerous tissue so it makes any future surgery (like a mastectomy) more difficult. This is because blood vessels, skin, and the pectoral muscle (muscle under the breast) would be damaged, even if just slightly, resulting in a slower healing time, and therefore a higher chance of infection, and scarring. If breast reconstruction is done, there is a greater chance of infection and a capsule forming (scar tissue that shrinks very tightly around the implant) after radiation. A subsequent op is then needed to loosen the scar tissue and the implant may need to be replaced.

• If I only remove the right breast at this point, because the tumor in the right breast was estrogen-sensitive, I would possibly need to go on hormone therapy now or some time in the future to block estrogen in the left breast tissue.

• Hormone therapy blocks the uptake of estrogen by estrogen-sensitive tissue (like breast, ovaries, uterus). This medication induces early menopause (along with all the symptoms of menopause like hot flushes, night sweats, irritability, and insomnia) and I would need to take it for 5 years!! I am not a candidate for this.

• Although, I would go for regular checks on the left breast, Carol says the stress of worrying about the left breast is very draining.

• Although a double mastectomy is not being prescribed, it is being suggested.

This is a very tough decision and I hate that I have to make it. But I am so grateful that I caught the cancer now. I am so grateful that I have a chance of living the rest of my life.

I now need to decide when I want to have the op, within the next week or so, or early next year. Carol is going away on the 9 Dec so she will not be around for follow ups etc. I would be referred to the plastic surgeon who works with her, Gereth Edwards.

We are going to my sister’s wedding on the 12.12.08 and then a full on family holiday after that. My mom is suggesting I have the op before we go away so the family can help me with the kids thru my recovery. I need to be comfortable with my decision before I go ahead.

Hyperplasic – definition (Wikipedia):

Hyperplasia (or "hypergenesis") is a general term referring to the proliferation of cells within an organ or tissue beyond that which is ordinarily seen in e.g. constantly dividing cells. Hyperplasia may result in the gross enlargement of an organ, the formation of a benign tumor, or may be visible only under a microscope. Hyperplasia is considered to be a physiological response to a specific stimulus, and the cells of a hyperplastic growth remain subject to normal regulatory control mechanisms. This stands in contrast to neoplasia (the process underlying cancer and some benign tumors), in which genetically abnormal cells proliferate in a non-physiological manner which is unresponsive to normal stimuli.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


This was the best news ever!!

I am hoping this means I do not have to go for chemotherapy (chemotherapy is only used if cancer has spread to other parts of the body). I say ‘hope’ because chemo is still prescribed in certain instances.

I said a prayer of compassion, empathy, and courage for all the women whose lymph results were not clear.

Glenn and I stopped by the health food restaurant for a strong glass of green juice. We were both so HAPPY! It was a small victory in the face of what is to come but we were not going to let it slip by without celebrating it fully! We are both so grateful for small mercies.

We took the kids to a restaurant with a play park later to celebrate with them. I have such a new appreciate of and love for everyone in my life!

Friday, November 21, 2008


I remember the moment I received the diagnosis of DCIS breast cancer, stage 0. As the Dr said words, the feeling I had inside besides shock, was a knowing that I needed to go inside myself. In that moment, I knew that no one could help me heal but myself. I was just not sure whether the doctors would allow me enough time to dabble in mind-body medicine.

While I knew only I could fix the issue/s that had caused the breast cancer, I wanted to run to any healer who would promise me that they could heal me. I thought ‘Oh well, I’ll fly to the Philippines so a faith healer can stick their fingers into my flesh and rip the cancer out!’ I told this much to the plastic surgeon and his eyes just glazed over!

A little voice inside me had been saying for the last 10 or more months:
‘STOP! Listen to me! Be still’.
In Christian teachings, this would be:
‘Be still and know that I am God’.

I had ignored this voice and kept putting off sitting still with myself. I busied myself with things that I thought mattered but in actual fact, they did not. Being a mom of 2 small kids, preparing for a renovation starting in January, running a busy household, being a wife to Glenn, and trying to write a book, is a lot to keep myself busy with.

I have read Caroline Myss’s (medical intuitive & teacher of spiritual truths from all religions) material for the last 7 years, and it is now time to put this all into action in a meaningful way.

I have started praying or talking more actively with God. I don’t follow Christianity or other religion but rather believe in the truths form all these religions. I believe in God/ the source/ whatever you choose to call it.

I have started getting up early each morning, something I have romantised doing since the kids were born but have just never managed to do because they are usually up before me! They now hang on the security gate at the top of the stairs while I have quiet time, and scream ‘We’re hungry!! Feed us!!” I ignore this and call for Glenn to put a movie on for them until we can all eat breakfast together.

On suggestion from a friend, I bought a bag of runes (stones through which God can give me guidance). They come with a book that explains what the rune you have picked means. I try to only pick 1 rune per day unless I need further guidance. I was reluctant at first, but they have been spot on so far.

More about the process of my internal work in the next post.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sentinel lymph node removal op

I had my right sentinel lymph node removed yesterday morning. The op went fine. I will get my node biopsy results tomorrow hopefully,

My dad arrived unexpectantly at the hospital at 5am to wish me well! He has been so kind, concerned and attentive since the start of all this.

He was the first person I forgave and said ‘I love you’ to after I got the diagnosis. He made me walk round and round the car park doing deep breathing. He has always been a bit eccentric but I love this about him!

More about my inner wounds in a subsequent blog post.

I hate hospitals in general. They represent germs, non-well states of being, toxic medicine, and intervention with the body – once that first cut is made, things are never the same in that area again.

Hospitals can also represent healing, mending, compassion, incredible people who have given their lives to helping others, and choice.

We all have the choice to get bitter or better. Physical symptoms just alert us to the fact that we need to make different choices about where we are at, how we want to proceed into the future, and most importantly, how we did things in the past.

I decided that if I am going to spend more time in hospitals in the near future, I would have to change my attitude towards them. So instead of giving the ‘I hate hospitals’ thought too much energy, I changed the way I think/feel about hospitals.

I withdrew my spirit and saw them as car workshops. Some sections deal with investigation (radiology, etc), others with repairs (fixing and replacing), and others with panel beating (plastic surgery). This helped me detach myself from the process my body had to go thru. My car has 2 flat tires and they need to be changed!

My spirit is going thru a very different healing journey that is so wonderful! More about that soon.

While I lay on the operating table, before I was given the anesthetic, I told everyone in the theatre that I was so fortunate to have the best surgical team ever! That this was going to be their operation ever! And that my biopsy results were going to show that I had the cleanest, healthiest lymph node ever!! I am sure they all thought I was nuts but I am sure it got them thinking.

Your mind can’t comprehend ‘THE BEST EVER …..’ so it just hands it over to the universe which delivers. This phrase uses the law of attraction (the books called: The Secret & Amazing Grace contain more details). The law of attraction only works if your goal helps to further your highest potential on this earth.

As usual after an op, I wanted to get out of the hospital as fast as possible. I woke up pinned to the bed by cords linked to a heart rate monitor, a motorized drip, and a flowtron, motorized shin covers that inflate and deflate rhythmically to pump blood back to your heart. My blood pressure was very low and I shivered for about half an hour – not pleasant! Glenn was by my side the whole time working from his cell phone.

I refused to take the Dormicam (sleeping tablet/premed) before the general anesthetic. I wanted to look Dr Carol Benn in the eye before she operated on me. I live in this body and it deserves respect!

Carol is an amazing woman and I am so grateful to have found her. I had an all girl team in theatre. The anesthetist kindly took all the pics while Benn was operating.

I came round from the anesthetic in about 30mins because I had not had the sleeping pill. I was given the same antibiotic that I took for my breast implant op in May this year (Zinnat). I was not allergic to it but just very sensitive - I felt high and looney on it! I could not remember the name of it so had not written in on the hospital admission form. Antibiotic was change to Augmentin after the op.

Letagesic (pain killer) and Celebrex (anti-inflammatory) were prescribed. I have not taken the Celebrex and have only taken one pain killer today.

All excretions are blue/green from the dye that was injected in the same area around the areola that the radioactive isotope was injected. My stools are very loose from the antibiotic. I am taking pre & probiotics and digestive enzymes.

I asked for natural alternatives to the medication I was given but was told to just follow protocol – my worst!

My mom had kindly pick our kids up from school and was sitting with Grace when we got home. Later, the kids climbed all over me, and inspected the motorized drain. A game of ‘DR NURSE’ ensued. Dr Grace made Nurse Glenn get her Fisher Price first aid kit.

Luckily, I still had a few plaster points in place where the heart rate monitor had been attached that they could play with. They pulled them off and stuck them on our foreheads! I think this helped ease the tension.

I have been completely honest about where I have been (ie. We are just going to the Dr), all procedures (the Dr cut under mommy’s arm, took out a lymph node, and now the drain needs to drain fluid from that area so it can heal), explained how I am feeling in the moment (eg. Mommy feels, sad, tired, angry, etc), but I have not said it is breast cancer because they don’t need to go thru the adult anxiety etc.

I see Gereth Edwards (plastic surgeon who works with Carol Benn) tomorrow at 10.30am to discuss procedure involved in a double mastectomy and reconstruction.

I am hoping he will give me the results of my lymph node biopsy so I don’t have to wait until Monday, when I next see Carol.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Injection of radioactive isotope to detect sentinel lymph node in axilla

I had a radioactive isotope injected into my right breast this afternoon so Dr Carol Benn (my breast surgeon) can identify my sentinel lymph node during the lymph node removal and biopsy surgery tomorrow.  

This lymph node is the main lymph node that the breast's lymph vessels drain into. If any cancer cells escape the breast, they mostly likely end up in this node. If it is clear, it means that the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body. RESULTS WILL SHOW IT IS CLEAR!

Over the last nearly 5 years, I began to limit my intake of food additives and non-organic food, and started eating a high raw food diet. This year, I started eating a vegan, mostly raw food diet. 

To lie in the nuclear medicine department of a hospital and let someone inject a radioactive isotope into my breast areola (area around nipple) was quite torturous. I want to run, scream, cry.

The injecting of the isotope lasted about 30 secs and burned as it went in. The staff tried to reassure me that it was a very low dose of radioactive substance and it only had a half life (time in your body before it is excreted by kidneys) of 6 hours. 6 hours!! Dr Benn will still be able to find the node using a scanning probe tomorrow morning.

I then had to lie under a gamma camera (looked similar to MRI machine) for 20 minutes as the radioactive substance moved towards my sentinel lymph node.
After this time, photos were taken to locate the node. The staff then drew with black marker pen on my skin to mark the position of the node for Dr Benn.

I felt slightly nauseous afterwards. I lay down for 10 mins (that’s all Grace allowed me to) when I got home and felt better after that. My right arm is slightly sore in places.
Glenn sat with me all the time. He has been so supportive since this started. I am so grateful to him! He has even allowed me to rant a little more than usual about raw food and Caroline Myss! He took the pics of me in nuclear medicine.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday: Ultrasound

I went to mammogram clinic (Dr Seider, Donald Gordon Hospital, JHB, South Africa) this morning as I have new lumps in my right breast, near where the DCIS was removed. I didn’t know if this is scar tissue or more cancer.

The ultrasound shows my whole right breast has abnormal tissue, and Dr Seider thinks the lumps could be cancerous. He could not say whether or not they are non-invasive or invasive by using ultrasound.

He checked my sentinel lymph node (main lymph node in axilla (under arm, into which all the other lymph nodes in the arm drain) using ultrasound. He said he is willing to take a bet that it is clear – he is about 97% sure! I am holding the thought and vision that it is 100% clear and healthy!

I am having radioactive dye injected tomorrow/Tuesday/18.11.08.

I am having the sentinel lymph node removed by Dr Carol Benn on Wednesday/19.11.08 to ensure it is clear.

If this lymph node is not clear, it could mean that invasive cancer was not spotted and has spread to the rest of the body. It would mean chemotherapy. It will be clear!!!!