Friday, March 27, 2009

HER2 NEGATIVE!!

I got the result of the bit of invasive cancer back this week and it is HER2 negative!! This is such great news!!

If the HER2 had come back positive, I would have done the
oncological treatment of chemo and Herceptin. But after my mammographer and Dr Carige Golding said they wouldn't do the chemo if HER2 was negative, I have decided not to. This was my gut feeling. This decision just feels right for now.

I am not saying no to ever having chemo, but right now it does not feel right and I am trusting my intuition. The long term side effects out weigh the risks.

Even if I don't do the chemo (for the off chance a cancer cell has gone somewhere else in my body), I need to reduce my estrogen levels as the growth of the cancer was stimulated by estrogen by 66%. I don't want to take Tamoxifen so I need to find another route.

Tamoxifen is an antagonist of the estrogen receptor in breast tissue and is therefore used in the treatment of breast cancer.

Some breast cancer cells require estrogen to grow. Estrogen binds to and activates the estrogen receptor in these cells. Tamoxifen is metabolized into compounds that also bind to the estrogen receptor but do not activate it. Furthermore tamoxifen prevents estrogen from binding to its receptor. Hence breast cancer cell growth is blocked.

Tamoxifen was discovered by ICI Pharmaceuticals[1] (now AstraZeneca) and is sold under the trade names Nolvadex, Istubal, and Valodex. However, the drug, even before its patent expiration, was and still is widely referred to by its generic name "tamoxifen."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamoxifen

Tamoxifen is an artificial substance that is foreign to the body and has side effects, including uterine cancer!


I went back to Dr Craige Golding (preventive medicine specialist) today. He did blood tests 2 months ago (now that saliva and urine tests are available in South Africa), I will go back and do these next week as these are more accurate at showing hormone levels etc) for:
  • liver functioning
  • adrenal functioning and hormone
  • sex hormone levels (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone)
  • thryoid functioning and hormone levels
  • various cancer markers
  • Liver blood results were fine -so my liver is breakdown estrogen fine.
  • Adrenal gland hormones: the results showed I have high cortisol levels (from adrenal glands). Cortisol is produced in reaction to stress. Cortisol affects sex hormone levels. It can prevent the proper breakdown of estrogen into less harmful forms.

Craige
if the 3rd practitioner to suggest the cancer was started by prolonged intense stress. (Dr Carol Benn said cancer started about 2-4 years ago which is when my intense stress period started. I my sessions with Jimmy NLP, I walked back to 4 years ago on my history time line so all ties up).

Maybe my body was also in a compromised state after living it up in my 20's which, and when put under a period of intense stress, cancer developed.

  • My sex hormones were low - so even though estrogen is low, it is not being broken down on time into less harmful forms so I overstimulating estrogen sensitive tissue.
  • My thyroid is slightly underactive - which can happen as cortisol suppress all hormones and immune function. the immune system is supposed to detect cancer cells but if weaken, does not.

Craige has put me on a nutritional supplements that facilitate the breakdown of harmful/strong estrogen molecules into less
harmful/weaker ones, block any estrogen receptors with a weaker form of estrogen, as well as herbal product to reduce my cortisol levels.

List of my supplements:
• I3C + DIM complex: 2 caps/day
• Melatonin: 6mg/night - I am still questioning this dose - hope to do urine test to determine correct dose.
• Vit D3: 2000IU/day
• Reservatrol: 2/day
• NAC: 2/day
• Rhiodiola + Ashwaganda: 2/day = herbal adaptogens to reduce cortisol
• Flax for omega 3 or krill oil - I take fresh ground flax and the oil
• Phosphyltidal serine = PS
• Vit C 2g per day

NOTE: While some of this supplement protocol standard for breast cancer, it is not the same for everyone with breast cancer. It is determined by the body's hormonal levels. I feel certain supplements may still need to be added and I am finding out about these.

I am still on a mostly raw, low sugar, no diary, no meat, no soya, no alcohol ( although Craige said pinot noir red wine is good for breast cancer) diet. I am eating 2 tablespoons of ground flax + 2 tablespoons of flax oil each day (for omega 3).

I am meeting 3 doctors next week:
  • Dr Priscilla Rowan: she will do another slide looking at my blood (live blood analysis) to see whether there is still fungal growth.
  • Dr Dimitri Vlachos: to explore Chinese herbal medicine more as I have no experience in this field and am nervous to just take them after the reaction I had to the herbs in December. I also want to understand the more subtle signs one can look for using the body's energy meridians to see a state of cancer before Western medicine diagnoses it.
  • Dr Bullatoff: to explore the relationship between parasites (like fungus etc) in the blood/body and cancer.
I am also looking into the Rife Resonator which works by running a low voltage current through the body for a period of time to kill parasitic infestation. (see: www.drclark.net)

I would obviously have to then work on other ways to change my body's terrain so the parasites are not able grow
ie. change the pH to more alkaline, reduce sugar, reduce stress, etc.

Oh, and I have started studying 3 courses:
  1. PNI: physco neuro immunology (the effect you thoughts have on your body). I did the NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) practitioners course a while back and am now doing the masters course (not a masters degree - just refers to 'mastering' the material). The topic this year just happens to be health - how can I not do it!
  2. Preventative and anti-ageing course medicine course run by Dr Craige Golding. This focuses on looking inside the body at hormone levels and the endocrine system of the body to help predict future disease. Fascinating! Imagine if I had seen the effect my stress had had on me 3-4 years ago?? Could I have detected my breast cancer, or the possibility of if developing, long before a mammogram or ultrasound could have??
  3. I have ordered a course on 'how to teach raw food classes' for the UK and plan to start teaching this year.....if I don't blow my stress levels out the water!

Lots to keep myself busy with!!
All in all, I am super happy and wonderfully positive!

I am feeling all those prayers, thoughts, and love - THANK YOU!!







Tuesday, March 24, 2009

WHAT IS HER2?

What is HER2?

http://www.herceptin.com/her2-breast-cancer/testing-education/what-is.jsp

HER2+ Breast Cancer

Studies show that approximately 25% of breast cancer patients have tumors that are HER2+. HER2 stands for Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2. It is very important to find out your cancer's HER2 status. This is because HER2+ tumors tend to grow and spread more quickly than tumors that are not HER2+. In addition, the treatment of HER2+ breast cancer is different than the treatment of breast cancer that is not HER2+. Women who are uncertain of their cancer's HER2 status should talk to their doctor.

HER2+ breast cancer is aggressive, so it is important to find out your cancer's HER2 status. This can help your doctor choose which treatments may be right for you.

How is HER2 positive breast cancer different?

HER2 stands for Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2. Each normal breast cell contains copies of the HER2 gene, which helps normal cells grow. The HER2 gene is found in the DNA of a cell, and this gene contains the information for making the HER2 protein. 4
The HER2 protein, also called the HER2 receptor, is found on the surface of some normal cells in the body. In normal cells, HER2 proteins help send growth signals from outside the cell to the inside of the cell. These signals tell the cell to grow and divide. 4
In HER2+ breast cancer, the cancer cells have an abnormally high number of HER2 genes per cell. When this happens, too much HER2 protein appears on the surface of these cancer cells. This is called HER2 protein overexpression. Too much HER2 protein is thought to cause cancer cells to grow and divide more quickly. This is why HER2+ breast cancer is considered aggressive. 1-3

HER2+ breast cancer is aggressive, so it is important to find out your cancer's HER2 status. This can help your doctor choose which treatments may be right for you.

Higher risk of breast cancer returning (recurrence)

  • Women with HER2+ breast cancer:
  • May be less likely to respond to certain breast cancer treatments
  • May be more likely to have a recurrence (return) of their cancer
Women who are uncertain of their cancer's HER2 status should talk to their doctor.

Inheriting the HER2 gene

Your tumor's HER2 status is not hereditary. This means that HER2 status is not passed down from your parents, and you can't pass it on to your children. However, there is a relationship between the genes in a person's DNA and breast cancer in general. Ask your doctor for more information about the relationship between genes and breast cancer. 4

HER2/neu-positive, HER2-overexpressing, and HER2+ breast cancer

HER2/neu is another name for HER2, which stands for Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2. HER2-overexpressing means there is too much HER2 protein/receptor on the surface of the cancer cells. HER2/neu-positive breast cancer and HER2-overexpressing breast cancer are exactly the same as HER2+ breast cancer. 4
  • References:
  • 1. Slamon DJ, Godolphin W, Jones LA, etal. Studies of the HER-2/neu Proto-oncogene in human breast and ovarian cancer. Science. 1989; 244:707-712.
  • 2. Slamon DJ, Clark GM, Wong SG, Levin WJ, Ullrich A, McGuire WL. Human breast cancer: correlation of relapse and survival with amplification of the HER-2/neuoncogene. Science. 1987; 235: 177-182.
  • 3. Paik S, Hazan R, Fisher ER, etal. Pathologic findings from the national surgical adjuvant breast and bowel project: prognostic significance of erbB-2 protein overexpression in primary breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 1990; 8:103-112.
  • 4. Pegram M, Slamon D. Biological rationale for HER2/neu(c-erbB2) as a target for monoclonal antibody therapy. Semin Oncol. 2000; 27 (suppl9): 13-19.

Monday, March 23, 2009

OVARIAN CANCER LINKED TO BREAST CANCER

If a woman has had breast cancer, she has a higher chance if getting ovarian cancer. She can also get ovarian cancer first. Please let all the women in your life now the symptoms below:

Ovarian Cancer Whispers - so listen...

Watch for:
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain or discomfort
  • vague but persistent gastrointestinal upsets such as gas,
  • nausea
  • indigestion
  • frequency and/or urgency of urination in the absence of an infection;
  • unexplained weight gain or weight loss
  • pelvic and/or abdominal swelling,
  • bloating and/or feeling of fullness
  • ongoing unusual fatigue
  • unexplained changes in bowel habits.

If symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks, ask your doctor for a combination of the following:
  • Pelvic/rectal exam
  • CA-125 blood test
  • Transvaginal ultrasound.
A Pap Test WILL NOT detect ovarian cancer.

http://www.baymoon.com/~gyncancer/library/weekly/aa011001a.htm

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

VOMITING AFTER NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS

I felt so nauseous towards the end of yesterday. I had taken the handful of natural supplements I am on for breast cancer and to block estrogen production and receptor sites.

Ever since I got out of hospital, I have not felt like taking the supplements but have persevered, halving the dose on most days. When I was sick last week with the flu, I really did not feel like taking them so stopped for those days.

I took the supplements again for the last 4 days but felt more and more ill each time I took them.

Last night, I vomited which I thought would relieve the nausea but the vomiting carried on for the next 2 hours - not pleasant at all!! I could never be bulimic!!




Just because something is natural doesn't mean it is safe or without side effects. I also need to do more research on the interactions of the supplements I am taking - but not sure interactions will even be documented yet.

I am seeing Dr Craig Golding again tomorrow to hear his suggested next step after reviewing my blood and urine results.

I still do not have the results from the breast tissue analysis.

My mammographer called today to see how I was doing and said if it was him, he would give the chemo a skip. If the Her2 is positive, maybe just do the Hercepin.

I also want to see if I can substitute the Tamoxifen with natural alternatives.

I am still undecided about chemo.




The supplements I am taking include:
  • DIM + I3C
  • IP6
  • Reduced L-Glutamine
  • Reservatrol
  • Vitamin D3
  • Curcumin + quercetin
  • Co enzyme Q10
  • Melatonin at night - 9mg

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

FIRST VISIT TO ONCLOGIST - DEVAN MOODLEY

I went to see the oncologist (Devan Moodley +27 11 356 6520/04, Wits Oncology Donald Gordon Medical Centre, 17 Eton Road, Parktown, Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA) yesterday who works with my breast surgeon and plastic surgeon.

Although we are still waiting for breast tissue analysis results, he was able to give me 2 senario's:
  • We know from previous biopsies that the DCIS was estrogen positive - meaning the cell growth was stimulated by estrogen.
  • We don't yet know if the tissue was progesterone positive or not.
  • And we don't know whether the cells were Her2 positive or negative.
He put my info:
  • my age = 35yrs - young to get breast cancer
  • that my DCIS was grade 3 - meaning it was quite aggressive and fast growing
  • that there was a 0.3cm bit of invasive cancer (they normally only suggest chemo from 1cm - dependant on other variables) that had invaded micro blood and lymph vessels.
into a computer program and it gave the following info:
  • If the cancer was progesterone negative and Her2 negative => treatment would include chemo for 3 months and Tamoxifen for 5 yrs
  • If the cancer was progesterone positive and Her2 positive => treatment would include chemo for 6 months + Herceptin for 1yrs + Tamoxifen
The program showed I have a 94% chance of the cancer not returning in the next 10 yrs without treatment. Which I was quite pleased with!

Breast cancer is not like some cancers where, once you have gone beyond a certain time period, will not return. It can return at any point.

So, without treatment in the next 10yrs without treatment, I have a 6% chance of the breast cancer returning.

If i have the oncology treatment, I will only increase my chance of no recurrence in the next 10 yrs by 4%.

So I will then have a 98% chance of the breast cancer not returning in the next 10 yrs after the treatment.

94% chance no recurrence with no oncology treatment
98% chance of no recurrence with oncology treatment


The conversation yesterday was very academic therefore quite easy, and I walked out with a stat report and a prescription that looked like:
  • T + C + TAMOXIFEN (if results are negative)
OR
  • T + C + H + TAMOXIFEN (if results are positive)
(T = Taxotere. C = Cyclophosphamide. H = Herceptin)

All quite easy to deal with until the physical reality of actually living through the process hits.

I am between a rock and a hard place trying to decide what to do next. I need to get my breast tissue results before I can think about it further.

Strange, but now the double mastectomy seems like light work compared to the next step.

I think the thing I am most nervous about most are the side effects of the suggested treatment.

Read on this site for more info on the T and C:
www.taxotere.com
http://www.drugs.com/sfx/cyclophosphamide-side-effects.html

I feel quite calm though and am getting better at living in the moment and holding my centre. That said, this decision is not easy.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

2 WEEKS POST-MASTECTOMY - GOING OUT WITH FRIENDS



2 weeks post-mastectomy, Glenn and I are going out with friends for dinner. I have extreme cabin fever by now!

I drove my car for the first time yesterday - it was a little sore in my pectoral muscles but otherwise fine. I was very careful not to strain my pec muscles in anyway as they can go into a spasm around the tissue expander, and while this may not be painful, it can make the one breast appear high than the other.

I am still feeling slight fatigue in the afternoons and am trying to rest where I can.

I still walk around the block every morning and plan to try gym tomorrow - non-arm/chest gym. I think the cardiovascular action would do me good right now. I am missing working up a sweat.

The cancer theory I am still trying on this week is that cancer is caused by fungal overgrowth as the body is in a state of acidosis and fermentaion. Cancer thrives in an acidic and anaerobic environment. I am still eating an diet very similar to an anti-candida diet: 90-95% raw, low GI fruits, only rice and products etc. Diet below:


Foods, drinks, supplements and medicines to EXCLUDE COMPLETELY for 3-12 months:
all grains, flours and cereals (except rice, millet, amaranth and chia), sushi rice (contains sugar and vinegar), all dairy (except plain yogurt, Irish butter and ghee), colostrum, tissue salts, sugar, honey, molasses, maple/corn syrup, palm sugar, sweets, chocolates, carob, halva, fructose, xylitol (except stevia), fresh sweet fruits: mango, banana, grapes, watermelon, melon and dried fruits, fruit juice (except fresh diluted apple and orange juice), vinegar (except fresh lemon juice), all soy products (soy milk, miso, tofu, tamari, soy sauce), all carbonated drinks, all energy drinks, soda and sparkling water, coffee, tea, kombucha tea, yeast containing products, bovril, marmite, Oxo spread, baking powder, commercial curry powder, all alcohol, all tinctures, Sweden bitters, vitamin B complex, Brewer’s yeast, Bio-Strath, StaminoGro, psyllium husk, Herbal Fiberblend, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, olives in brine, chickpeas, hummus, mushrooms, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn products (mielies, pap, samp, polenta, popcorn, corn thins), sorghum, sago, tapioca, cassava plant, sauerkraut, mayonnaise, tomato sauce, Worcester sauce, pickles, pickled ginger, chutney, achaar, salad dressings, sauces, antibiotics, cortisone, antacids, H2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors, oral contraceptives, Mirena, HRT, progesterone, heparin, chemo- and radiotherapy, etc.

Foods, drinks and supplements to INCLUDE for 3-12 months:
beef, lamb, pork, fish, caviar, shellfish, snails, chicken, turkey, duck, goose, ostrich, crocodile, eggs, almonds, walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, tahini, poppy seeds, flax seed, dried beans, lentils, peas, kidney beans hummus, plain yogurt, kefir, lassi, coconut, coconut milk, almond milk, rice milk, avocado, Irish butter, ghee, olive oil, sesame oil, grape seed oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, coconut butter, pumpkin seed oil, flax oil, hemp oil, evening primrose oil, pine nut oil, apricot kernel oil, apple, pineapple, kiwi, plums, paw paw, pears, peaches, oranges, naartjies, berries, tomatoes, sun dried olives, olive tapenade, fresh diluted apple and orange juice, all salads and vegetables, brown/wild/Basmati/white rice, rice cakes, puffed rice, rice pasta, millet, amaranth, chia, fresh lemon juice, garlic, onion, celery, parsley, basil, basil pesto, rocket, dill, fennel, cumin, cardamom, coriander, fresh and dried ginger, horseradish, chilies, pure herbal curries, turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, Himalayan salt, stevia, home made salad dressing (olive oil, garlic, fresh lemon juice and herbs), home made mayonnaise (egg yolk, fresh lemon juice and olive oil), wasabi, organic cocoa powder, herbal teas, etc.

N.B. Take bicarbonate of soda – 1 teaspoon in a glass of water twice a day for 3 months and/or magnesium peroxide (Colon-fix) – ½ teaspoon in a glass of water twice a day for 3 months. These two supplements alkalize and oxygenate the body. The medium they create is not conducive for a fungal overgrowth. Do not mix them together. Take them 15 min apart. Anti – fungal supplements: non – acidic vitamin C, Enzimmune, antioxidants, EXO, UMI, carotenoids, caprylic acid, warburgia, African potato, Secomet, Citricidal Plus, Kolorex tea, Pau D’Arco, olive leaf, propolis, Cool Blue, AV/AT, RV 162 and probiotics (Super 8 probiotic, Probiflora 9, Bio – Rem ferment, etc.) speed up the healing process.
Avoid any antibiotics and cortisone during the treatment program.
Eat a lot of avocados, garlic, onion, leaks, chives, horseradish, radish, ginger, basil, oregano, thyme, etc. They suppress the fungal overgrowth. Chew mastic gum daily.
Drink 2-3 liters of purified water a day.
Regular use of a Rife resonator or zapper destroys the fungus.
You will go through a detox in the first 2 weeks as the fungus dies. Cravings might increase for a while. Persevere with the program. Select the correct foods when eating out. The improvement will start after 2 weeks. Follow the diet minimum for 3 - 6 months.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

REMOVING DRESSINGS 2 WEEKS AFTER DOUBLE MASTECTOMY



I still have flu and bronchitis from eating yogurt with the post-surgery antibiotic as you can hear by me stumbling over my words in this video!

I have been desperate to remove the wound dressings that covered the micropore over my mastectomy scars - the right side was quite itchy where the drain hole was.

In the video I mentioned I have gained so much by loosing my breasts but don't clarify - here is what I have gained:
  • Appreciation for the present moment
  • Compassion for my human nature and body
  • Although I need my physical body in order for my spirit to be incarnated in this lifetime, it will pass at some point and that's OK
  • Lack of tolerance for extraneous people or situations
  • Ability to say 'No' very easily
  • Desire to do what I want to do and not what anyone else wants me to do
  • Realisation on my life's purpose

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

PESTICIDES: THEIR RISKS & HOW WE CAN REDUCE THOSE RISKS

I copied this info from: http://www.foodnews.org/reduce.php


As you may know, pesticides can have carcinogenic effects in our bodies. I thought this info from this site outlines this well.


The site also has a great chart that you can download which lists the fresh foods that are most heavily sprayed with pesticides ('The Dirty Dozen'). An addition I would like to add are non-organic berries.


The site also lists the least sprayed produce ('The Clean 15').


I have inserted the full list at the end of this blog entry.



Pesticide Health Effects: The Latest Science

Every year, new research is published demonstrating the toxicity of pesticides to human health and the environment, often at doses previously declared "safe" by the pesticide industry and the government.

As acknowledged by the U.S. and international government agencies, different pesticides have been linked with a variety of toxic effects, including:

  • Nervous system effects
  • Carcinogenic effects
  • Hormone system effects
  • Skin, eye and lung irritation

Pesticides are unique among the chemicals we release into the environment; they have inherent toxicity because they are designed to kill living organisms – insects, plants, and fungi that are considered "pests." Because they are toxic by design, many pesticides pose health risks to people, risks that have been acknowledged by independent research scientists and physicians across the world.

Ignorance Does Not Equal Safety

Even in the face of a growing body of evidence, pesticide manufacturers continue to defend their products, claiming that the amounts of pesticides on produce are not sufficient to elicit safety concerns. Yet, such statements are often made in the absence of actual data, since most safety tests done for regulatory agencies are not designed to discover whether low dose exposures to mixtures of pesticides and other toxic chemicals are safe, particularly during critical periods of development. In general, the government demands, and companies conduct, high dose studies designed to find gross, obvious toxic effects. In the absence of the appropriate tests at lower doses, pesticide and chemical manufacturers claim safety since the full effects of exposure to these mixtures of chemicals have not been conclusively demonstrated (or even studied).

The majority of the U.S. population has detectable concentrations of multiple pesticide residues in their bodies, as detected in biomonitoring studies by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The ubiquitous pesticide exposures are further compounded by exposure to hundreds of industrial chemicals that contaminate human bodies and are even found in the developing fetus. The full health effects of exposure to these mixtures of chemicals are not yet known; true public health protection would require a consideration of cumulative risks of exposure to multiple toxic chemicals at a time.

Children Are Especially at Risk

Protecting our families' health from chemical exposures can start with minimizing children's exposure to pesticides. It is now well established that pesticides pose a risk to vital organ systems that continue to grow and mature from conception throughout infancy and childhood. Exposure to pesticides and other toxic chemicals during critical periods of development can have lasting adverse effects both in early development and later in life. The metabolism, physiology, and biochemistry of a fetus, infant or child are fundamentally different from those of adults; a young, organism is often less able to metabolize and inactivate toxic chemicals and can be much more vulnerable to the harmful effects of pesticides. The nervous system, brain, reproductive organs and endocrine (hormone) system can be permanently, if subtly, damaged by exposure to toxic substances in-utero or throughout early childhood that, at the same level, cause no measurable harm to adults. The developing brain and endocrine system are very sensitive, and low doses at a susceptible moment of development can cause more of an effect than high doses. It is especially important to reduce pesticide exposures of babies and young children so as to minimize these risks.

Doesn't The Government Regulate These Chemicals?

When consumers realize the magnitude of the health threat posed by pesticides, they naturally wonder: Doesn't the government regulate these toxic chemicals? The answer is that, unfortunately for human and environmental health, government action has been far too slow. It is important to remember that the government said that highly toxic pesticides like DDT, chlordane, dursban and others were safe right up to the day the EPA banned them. And considering that we are talking about toxic chemicals whose effects on children's health may be irreversible, no delay is justifiable.

The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 was designed to require protection of infants and children from pesticides. This law produced several notable achievements and fundamentally improved the health standards in pesticide law by requiring explicit protection of infants and children. But a lot remains to be done, especially in protecting human health from pesticide mixtures and chemicals that have endocrine disrupting properties. Not surprisingly, pesticide makers and agribusiness groups have been fighting strict application of the statute, particularly provisions that require an extra 10-fold level of protection for infants and children.

What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk?

Addressing the risks of pesticide exposure first and foremost requires information, which is frequently made unavailable to the general public by the government agencies. To counteract this trend for secrecy, EWG believes that:

  • People have a right to know what's in their food, so they can choose foods with less pesticides.
  • The government can and should take steps to dramatically reduce the number and amount of toxic chemicals, including pesticides, in the food supply.
Each of us can opt for food safety today by choosing to purchase produce low in pesticides and by buying organically-raised fruits and vegetables as frequently as possible. With this first step we can protect our families' health and preserve our own future and the future of the environment from the harmful effects of pesticides.

The Full List: 47 Fruits & Veggies

RANK FRUIT OR VEGGIE SCORE
1 (worst)Peach100 (highest pesticide load)
2Apple93
3Sweet Bell Pepper83
4Celery82
5Nectarine81
6Strawberries80
7Cherries73
8Kale69
9Lettuce67
10Grapes - Imported66
11Carrot63
12Pear63
13Collard Greens60
14Spinach58
15Potato56
16Green Beans53
17Summer Squash53
18Pepper51
19Cucumber50
20Rasberries46
21Grapes - Domestic44
22Plum44
23Orange44
24Cauliflower39
25Tangerine37
26Mushrooms36
27Banana34
28Winter Squash34
29Cantaloupe33
30Cranberries33
31Honeydew Melon30
32Grapefruit29
33Sweet Potato29
34Tomato29
35Broccoli28
36Watermelon26
37Papaya20
38Eggplant20
39Cabbage17
40Kiwi13
41Sweet Peas - Frozen10
42Asparagus10
43Mango9
44Pineapple7
45Sweet Corn - Frozen2
46Avocado1
47 (best)Onion1 (lowest pesticide load)

Note: We ranked a total of 47 different fruits and vegetables but grapes are listed twice because we looked at both domestic and imported samples.

VERY INFORMATIVE FROM FRIEND ED - THANKS ED!

Heidi,

You have touched on a subject that has become near and dear to my heart. Have you read Michael Pollen's great books The Omnivore's Dilemma, The Botany of Desire, and In defense of food". Great reads. I also just finished Animal, Veritable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Powerful stuff while still being a fun "page burner" read!

I have some of these in mp3 format if they tickle your fancy!

Nothing is more intimate than food. We vote three times a day what to put inside ourselves, and our kids. It literally becomes our living flesh, yet we often give it scant regard not caring where it came from, how it was grown, and how it got from earth to plate. Multi Nationals are now playing God with our seeds and I was sad to see that Monsanto GMO corn and soy were pervasive in SA. If you get a chance look for the torrent "The World according to Monsanto" - scary, but ignorance is no defence!

I am an active member of www.slowfood.com. There charter is broad but encompasses so much of what I feel is important about food. If there is a SA chapter you should look into it.

The Petersen household today includes an ever expanding veggie garden, and multi planting fruit orchard designed specifically for urban dwellers with matchbox size lots like mine. Growing food has opened my eye's and dare I say soul in ways I am still trying to comprehend. We are members of a local CSA (community Supported Agriculture) and every two weeks we get a box of organic veggies which never fails to entertain and baffle the mediocre chef's in Kaz and I. It is amazing how many great veggies / fruits we receive that we have no idea what they are called which renders Google rather useless.

Anyway, enough! I am so glad you are in recovery.

Keep well. Love to Glenn and the fam.

Ed / Kaz / Justin / Bradley

YOGURT SICKNESS!

On leaving the hospital, it was recommended that I eat plain yogurt while taking the post-surgery antibiotic, Dalacin.

Although we don't usually have diary in the house, I ate plain organic yogurt twice a day for one week. We made the most delicious mango lassi's (fresh mango pulp + plain yogurt -> blend til smooth) every day. The kids and I now have yogurt sickness (runny noses and chesty coughs)!

I felt very fluey and achy yesterday. My axilla (under arm) and groin lymph nodes are the size of marbles. Although it is not nice being sick, at least my body can still razzle an immune response!

Sometimes, the immune systems of people who have cancer are so weak, they can not even respond to a common cold. Any normal response of the immune system when suffering from cancer is a good sign.

I made myself get out of bed early-ish this morning and walk around the block. I knew I would feel better after doing this - which I did.

Just the action of pumping oxgygen and nutrients to all one's body cells, and the removal of wastes, is so healing in itself.

Although I was in quite a negative, moany state of mind, I repeated positive phrases to myself:
  • This is the best day ever!
  • This is the best moment ever!
  • Well done for just getting out of bed and walking around the block!
  • I am feeling better and better with each step!
Even when I don't feel that this really is 'The the best moment ever!', I would rather repeat the above/similar phrases than negative phrases that could harm my immune system and body cells.

By the time I got home, I was feeling slightly better and felt I had turned the corner towards getting better.

Now I just have to sit out the releasing of the mucous and aches as my body heals from yogurt sickness!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

DRAIN OUT & TALK OF FURTHER TREATMENT

(My mom was my videographer for video at end of this entry. I wanted the removal of the drains filmed but she pressed pause for that and filmed all the in between bits...like the floor, ceiling, her body etc so I can't use the footage! But you get to see inside the dressings room at least.)








I saw Dr Gareth Edwards (plastic surgeon) today to check my dressings and the breast wound drain.

Gareth said my drain could be removed as it had drained <25>ml in two days. Yeah! I can move freely again!!

Most of the nerves in my breast area have been cut so removing the drains was not sore - I could just feel a tugging sensation as they came out.

My breast wounds feel numb, almost like my C section scar did immediately after the op.

I am still a little sore but it is more of a stiff feeling with limited arm movement and not a post-surgery raw wound feeling.

I did not need to take any parcetomol for pain today.

I then went to see Dr Carol Benn to get the lab results of my breast tissue analysis.

The histology (body cells under a microscope) report showed:

MY LEFT BREAST:

  • Mild fibroadenosis

MY RIGHT BREAST:

  • Grade III infiltrating duct carcinoma, 3.6mm in maximal diameter in upper medial quadrant
  • Extensive widespread high-grade duct carcinoma in-situ and lobular cancerisation involving both upper medial and lateral quadrants
  • Lymphovascular invasion identified
  • Infiltrating tumour 3mm from closest superficial medial margin
  • DCIS present with 1mm of deep and superficial medial and lateral resection margins

Although Carol removed all the cancer, non-invasive and invasive, I thought surgery was the end of my treatment road.

The fact that the spot of invasive cancer had infiltrated blood and lymph vessels, even though a second axilla lymph node Carol removed last week was negative, means I may still need some form of treatment.

Yesterday, Carol told me I may need some form of chemotherapy which I was quite shocked to hear as I have made it clear that I wanted to avoid chemo and radiation if possible. I was hoping a double mastectomy would negate chemo.

The lab results shows the DCIS tissue to be estrogen positive (meaning estrogen stimulates the growth of the cancer cells).

The test results for progesterone sensitivity and Her2 are ambivilent. These tests need to be redone and the results will only follow within the next 10 days.

Hormone-senstivity means I may need horomone blockers like Tamoxifen. Lymph and vascular infiltration means I may need chemotherapy. If Her2 is positive, I may need Herceptin. I am praying the invasive tissue is Her2 negative.

Although I was told by Carol that she could not comment on the next step of treatment until she had all the results from the breast tissue analysis (understandably), I wish I had been told last week of the potential routes the results of the breast tissue analysis could involve. (If you are about to go thru this, ask your surgeons!)

I feel like I am on the next down of the roller coaster as I wait to hear results of these tests.

The goal posts have been moved again and I am working on getting back on track with my goal of life.

My next move is to book appointments at the neuro linguistic programmer (Jimmy) to reset my goals, Dr Craige Golding to get results of my body's metabolic tests related to breast cancer and plot a way forward naturally, as well as visit the oncologist Carol works closely with.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

BLOGGING

I promised Gareth, my plastic surgeon, that I would let him OK pics of him before I posted them - he is concerned about legal liability.

Gareth agreed to let me blog pics and videos if I pixilated the faces of everyone except himself and me to protect their identity. I have given the pics and videos to Glenn who says he is able to do this. I just need to be patient.

Hope to start blog lots more from last week, as well as this last weekend, ASAP!

Am on it!

Heidi

LiveHeidi

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