Monday, December 19, 2011

GOD IS GUIDING US

Hi everyone,

Here's the updates on Friday's doctors appointment as promised. Thanks for being patient. :o)

This time, I decided not to go with him, but he still was kind enough to keep me informed through out the day with everything that was happening around him.

FIELD TRIP

A couple of weeks ago my son's teacher (Ms. Chang) asked me if I can chaperone on a field trip with her class. At first, I told her I can't because of Luis's appointments and chemo the same day. But things changed when my little guy Luis- (aka- Sito) came to me a few days later and said he really wanted me to go.

 


Let me just say I'm glad I chose to go on this trip. I understand my kids need me too. In more ways than one.

Luis also said he was happy I wasn't there this time. He said there was a lot of bad vibes around him. The doctors visit turned out to be a big surprise- as Luis explained to me.

DOCTORS VISIT

 "God is guiding us."  

A few days ago his right leg swelled up and we weren't sure if he was getting chemo. We did however know that it was one of those crazy side effects of chemo.

According to Luis, Dr. Neelam examined his right leg, then mentioned his cancer markers (which went up to 10,000 from 7,000). Then she immediately sends him downstairs to imaging- and wants a scan of his abs and right leg to see if he has a blood clog.

His abs came back fine but they did find a blood clog in his right leg. The doc went ahead and put him on a 7 day regimen called Fondaparinux Sodium Solution.

I have to inject him with this for 7 days- and the swelling & blood clog should disappear.

As Luis is calling me to keep me informed, he tells me:

"Oh my God babe! My doctor, her nurses, and everyone downstairs in imaging are freaking out. Some are telling me how dangerous this blood clog is and what can also happen to my heart."

Now mind you, I'm on the phone with him and he's calm as he can be through out the conversation. This is how I replied:

"I know babe. That's part of their job. They don't really know any other way to react to your situation. "Lets just let them do their part and we'll do ours."  

When he called me and told me all this I did wish I was there beside him, supporting him spiritually while spreading good vibe. But I knew it wasn't meant to be- (obviously.) I also knew that Luis does not (and will
not) let fear and these negative statements by others intimidate him. 

I've seen him overcome many obstacles and challenges in the past- and this is just another one of those.

NEW THERAPY

Dr. Neelam decided it was time to move on to plan B. It's a new chemo therapy given to him every Friday for 3 hours in the infusion room. It's less aggressive than the other one.

He did have his first dose this past Friday. And boy was it easier for him to bounce back than the other one.

  "I'm not hoping for a miracle. I'm making one."

MY THOUGHTS

CHRISTMAS DECORATION IN FRONT OF A HOUSE
We all have our moments of uncertainty, and yes, this was one of those moments where I was a bit taken by surprise. Was I worried? Absolutely not. I have too much FAITH in Luis, his will, and God's work in all this.

Yes, his will has a lot to do with the outcome of his situation. You certainly don't expect God to do everything for you now do you? Of course not.

God will work miracles in our lives, but we still have to do our part.

Luis knows and understands that when we discipline our minds, we DO NOT let fear, doubt and false impressions of the world to intimidate and push us around. He knows he's in control. And he also knows that God's peace fills his mind- and it fills your mind too.

That's health for the new mind for you by the way ;o)

Until next time...I want to wish each one of you and your families a wonderful Christmas. May God continue to bless you with peace, love, and joy.

Some of you I will be celebrating with real soon (can't wait.) While others, I will keep in touch and connect on line. Much love to you all!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

GODS WILL

Hi everyone,

Here's my update on how Luis is doing with the nerve block, how his doctors visit went on Monday- and a couple of things he's been up to lately.

Since my last post, I noticed- (with regards to the nerve block) a few bad nights, and stomach pain with heart burn. But then again, these symptoms do come and go. And so I don't give any attention to them. 
These of course, are just shadows in my mind.

Now what I really noticed lately that stood out and over shadowed the negatives, is this constant desire to fix cars (his passion).

"I'm not blind, I ONLY see what matters- and I'm not deaf, I ONLY hear what counts.

HIS WILL

"Six days after chemo, he used his (what we all have) God giving will to fix the head gasket on his dad's car. He had some help from his dad and little brother Jimmy- (it was a big job.) It took them a day and a half to finish, but at least they were blessed with pleasant weather. 

I  was so happy for him that he actually had the desire to do the work. I know how much he misses working on cars ever since he started chemo again in 2010. He actually told me he enjoyed fixing his dad's car.

This is exactly how we want to keep moving along in our journey. Life has got to be lived. And Luis is living his life, expressing himself, and doing what he loves to do. Gods will is the will of life for us all. And our life is always seeking expression through each one of us as Harmony, Health, Love, Peace, Joy, and perfection.    

 "There's no force on earth more powerful than the WILL TO LIVE- so why fight for things you want to achieve?"

NEW HABIT     

Recently, he also picked up a new habit, cooking- and began experimenting with new recipes. So for Thanksgiving, (of course) he decided to make a turkey for the first time.

We stayed home on Thanksgiving and had his parents and sister with her family over for dinner. And with the turkey being so delicious, and full of flavor- we made our own feast. Not bad for a first timer.

NERVE BLOCK

During the times he was fixing cars, cooking, and doing all the things he loves doing, he didn't feel the need to rely on morphine as much as he used to. Keep in mind, all we did was minimize his pain meds- (advised by Dr. Rohman.) To be honest, the pain has lessened- and it's obvious when I see him fixing cars in our back yard- and taking trips to the junk yard for parts for my car. The nerve block is working. Maybe not 100%, but its working.

 While the dose for his pain meds decreased, my dose of love for him has increased. And it just keeps growing for me. The man has inspired me to love like I've never loved before. He's been my biggest inspiration.


A PICTURE I BOUGHT. IT SPOKE TO ME.
FAITH GETS RESULTS

The nurse assessment also went well on Monday. His blood work came back good, and he managed to gain 6.5 lbs. within 2 weeks. I'm sure a couple of those lbs. came from the turkey. YAY for him!    

Even though we didn't see Dr. Neelam.

Remember on my previous post, I mentioned that she wanted to see us after 2 chemo cycles- so she can check to see if his cancer markers have gone down? Well, this Monday was his second cycle. Our next appointment with her will be on Dec 16th. 

I will have an update on the results for that before Christmas- for those of you who are interested. :o)  

Until next time..........know that Gods will for you is the will of life

Friday, November 11, 2011

FEAR NOT- BELIEVE ONLY

Hi everyone,

Here's what has happened since my last post. But first, I want to apologies for the long post (again). I can't help myself. I love giving details and all the positives that come with them. I hope you guys enjoy reading my story as much as I enjoy sharing it.

By the way, for those of you who took an interest in liking blog- and decided to follow us through our journey- thank you so very much! You guys have no idea how much that means to me.  

You guys are my inspiration to keep sharing!  

If there's anything I can do to make my blog better, please do share! I'd love to hear from you!

THE FOLLOW UP

On Monday the 7th, we met with Dr.Neelam for a follow up. And although Luis was scheduled for chemo right after, he wasn't feeling up for it. He was having pain issues the last few days, and was lacking sleep.

I told him the last call was certainly up to him. We can always reschedule if rest was needed. Then, I went ahead and scheduled a last minute meet with Dr. Rahman- (the feel good doctor), to give Luis some reassurance that all is well.

As we're finishing up the conversation with Neelam, she mentioned that his blood work came back good. But they never checked for his cancer markers- so we will have to wait for that. She also didn't want to give him chemo today because a CT Scan was way past due- and went ahead to schedule one for Tuesday the 8th. We were glad about the no chemo!  That actually worked on our behalf.

POSITIVE FEEDBACK 

Shortly after Neelam, we met with Dr. Rahman regarding the pain Luis was having. He wanted to know why he was still having so much stomach pains even after the nerve block procedure. The doc said its only been 11 days since the procedure was done. And told him it can take from 14 to 21 days before the block sets.

Before that, he will have some bad days, and told him....."Just be patient." "You're heading in the right direction Luis." "It will get better, and things will improve."

"I absolutely love this doctor!" "He's so positive and optimistic about helping his patients feel better......."What a gift that is." 

I must say, later that night, Luis did seem more confident about the nerve block- and the expectations of feeling better from it. I also mentioned to him that I do recall Dr. Rahman saying, it can take up to 21 days (in some cases), for the block to finally set.

CT SCAN RESULTS

We were called back to meet with Dr. Neelam for the test results. Here's the report: There is suggestion of progression of the invasive carcinoma of the head of the pancreas.

She said the report wasn't clear enough for her. So she went back to the radiologist and pushed him to be more specific. She wanted numbers as to the size of the tumor by comparing to July 18th, 2011 scan. He couldn't be specific and suggested that it grew .2 cm.

She also mentioned, his liver is clear. Even that dark spot that was once there is no longer there. Near the biliary tube drainage also looks good. His stomach area (where he's having the pain) looks fine and suggested that the pain can be caused by gas build up.

Dr. Neelam then told us that she was worried and concerned prior to the CT Scan. But after the report came back, she was no longer worried. Luis said she seemed more at ease (as a doctor). 

However, she said his cancer markers came back up 4700- (which is to high.) And would like to give him 2 more chemo cycles- and then check the markers again to see if they've gone down.   

MY THOUGHTS         

To me, markers, numbers, scans, x rays, and blood work don't mean anything. I don't live my life from what I see in the outside world- I live from within. But I don't mind sharing these results, as I understand the mass population do go by what they see and hear.

The truth is, our senses do laugh and challenge us everyday- and say it can't be done. It's impossible. The cancer is incurable. It's hopeless. This is the outside world for us- it denies our desires. Who wants to live like that? I don't. 

This is why I suspend my senses and direct my mind to give attention to only what is lovely and of good report. My new mind focuses on health, peace, and harmony.

If I live by the real world, Luis wouldn't be here right now. Think about it! The real world tells me my husband's cancer is incurable. Back in December of 08, it told me that he had 6 months to a year to live. And he's going on 3 years next month.

It also told me to quit my job and get my priorities in order because the odds are against him. Know that odds don't mean anything. Your INTENTION is what matters. What do you intend today? I intend, as I have since December of 08, to be a believer in Luis's healing.  And I know, with God, all things are possible.

I did quit my job though, but to take great care of him. Being his caregiver has been the greatest gift ever. It has taught me so much.   

I believe God has already healed Luis. We're just going through the process until the day breaks and the shadows flee away.

Until next time........never give up, never listen to no, never listen to can't!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

NEW PROCEDURE

Hi everyone,

Today, I'm here to share the new big thing that we've been so enthusiastic about. But before I do, I'd like to remind myself and the rest of you again of my purpose with creating this blog.

The purpose has (and always will be) to keep family and friends informed of what's happening with Luis's treatments- and how we're dealing with it. I am not here to change anyone's way of thinking- nor their beliefs about themselves and life. I'm only here to share our personal experience.

As a writer, and owner of this blog, my desire is to continue writing and sharing only positive stories and uplifting words abut our journey. I live by my quotes everyday and believe in the importance of spreading only the good with the world.

"When you keep your eyes on God, there's no evil in your pathway."   

THE NEW BIG THING

Back in July, 2011, Cancer Treatment Centers of America began offering a wonderful new procedure in the pain management department. It's called Nerve Block Therapies. There's two, but I will only share the one called celiac plexus block- which is commonly used to treat stomach cancer pain.

This procedure aims to reduce chronic pain in the upper abdomen. It blocks the sensation of pain in the bundle of nerves in and around the stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, kidneys, and bowel.

Many of you know that Luis has been dealing with pain since his early stages of diagnosis. I personally don't remember a day that's gone by without him experiencing some level of pain. The pain has been a major issue for him. And although he's taken many different pain medications, they've never really taken the pain away completely. 

Even for me, driving the car with him while he's on the passenger side has been a huge challenge. Trying to dodge pot holes and always worried about the bumps ahead.

But while he was in the hospital the last time, Dr. Rahman (an anesthesiologist) came by and offered him the option to try the Nerve Block procedure. He began explaining to us how it works:

First he injects a temporary, local anesthetic into the area where the affected nerves are to determine if he experiences any pain relief. If the temporary block works, Dr. Rahman will administer a neurolytic solution (pain killing medication) to the same area 24 hours later. This long-term Nerve Block will destroy the nerves, thereby preventing you from feeling pain in that region of the abdomen.

DR. FEEL GOOD

Dr. Rahman- (referred by me as, Dr. Feel good) said he doesn't have magic or anything like that. And he can't cure Luis's cancer either. But he can block the nerves which send the signal to his brain reminding him of pain.

By doing so, Luis can began enjoying family life once again. He can now look forward to doing things that the body recognizes as normal- without the constant thought about pain. He will also be able to do normal stuff like lay on his stomach, stand up straight (without slouching due to pain).

And best of all, he wont be checking the time and thinking, "when's the next medication due." Because pain wont be there (specifically in his mind). Over all, he can began to expect his situation to improve as well.

On Oct, 27th, Luis went and had the Nerve Block procedure done. And according to him, he is feeling beautiful. But according to Dr. Feel Good, the full affects of the block can take up to 14 days to work completely. Which means he can still have bad days or even bad hours in a day.  And that's why he advised Luis not to completely get rid of his other pain medications- but rather, minimize them. And he has.  

But once the nerve is completely broken, he can expect for it to last up to weeks or even several months at a time.         

We are so thankful for the Neuroanesthesiology department at the treatment center. This has been a huge break through for someone that's gone through so much pain. It has truly been a blessing from God. And so has Dr. Rahman and his team of experts. 

Until next time.......I want to wish each and everyone of you all the blessings of life.
                       

Thursday, October 20, 2011

GOD IS IN THE TOUGH STUFF

Hi everyone,

I'm here at the treatment center and just wanted to give a quick update on Luis. He was suppose to come home today but things changed when Dr. Vashi came by to visit with us.

If you guys remember on my previous post I mentioned that Luis's J tube was leaking. We didn't bother to address the issue because we still had to deal with the biliary tube. Now that the biliary tube is fixed- and things are working smoothly, the time seemed perfect to bring it up again.

J TUBE ISSUE
 
The surgery for the J tube was back in March, 2011. And although we didn't use it consistently, (as prescribed by the doctor) it managed to wear out and get a hole in it some how. Don't get me wrong, it did help some what.  Especially when he was losing a lot of weight and throwing up- (due from the blockage in his tummy).

The J tubes purpose was to allow him to get all the nutrients he needed so he can continue on getting chemo. But since healing is taking place at all times (in the body), you can be sure your current situation will also improve.               

"If you're one of those people who has an open and positive mindset- then you can expect to have nothing but the best outcome for your situation." "That's an optimist way of life."



BIG DECISION

Dr. Vashi suggested for us to replace the J tube because Luis might still need it during and after chemo. But even those times he really didn't use it. There's actually several boxes of Peptamen cans at our home just sitting there. He's been eating by mouth for a long time now- (and keeping food down too). When I get a chance, I'm going to donate those cans to the treatment center. 

As soon as Dr. Sanchez (his surgeon) left the room, we began chatting. We started thinking about what would be the BEST decision for us. And since the surgery requires the same steps as before (which is to cut him open), we decided to get rid of the tube completely.

The surgery is tomorrow morning and Luis is very happy and optimistic about the whole procedure. The truth is, he's always disliked the tube feeding idea. So getting rid of it will be a blessing. Now, that area on his body can also begin to heal on its own.

Before I say goodbye, I want to acknowledge a very special and sweet house keeper by the name of Erna.

Yesterday she came by Luis's room and gave him a rosary. She said that she gives those out to all her patients. She told him to squeeze it tight and pray.    

Me and Luis were Like, WOW! It's amazing how God works- and uses people and things in your life to let you know that all is well.

The signs are all around us. We just have to open up our minds and pay attention.

Until next time................remain positive and optimistic no matter what challenges you may be facing.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

BACK @ THE TREATMENT CENTER

Hi everyone,

It's been about three weeks since his bile duct surgery and I must say, other than the pain issue (near the wound), he was doing good at home. The only concern was to get his pain under control. But when his nurse came over yesterday to change the bandage, things took a turn on a different direction.

Yesterday, I had to bring him to the treatment center because the pain became worse, right after his nurse left our home. And then he noticed his J tube was leaking also.

His nurse (Bryan) came by yesterday to change the bandage. We thought he must have disturbed the whole wound because right after, the pain worsened. That bandage was really glued to his skin and looked pretty painful as Brian removed it.

So as we're waiting in the hospital room, we realize the bile duct bag had no liquid in it. And soon learned that the biliary tube that was connected to his bile duct had moved from its original location. They kept him over night, and told us he would need to go under again to put the tube back where it should be. At this point his in so much pain that all I can say to him is that he's in good care and God is guiding us in every step. And he's also blessing the hands of the nurses and doctors.

They just called me and told me that everything is okay- and all they had to do is pull the tube out, straighten it, and push it back in. Yes! God is working miracles in my life everyday. And I am grateful.

He's on his way back upstairs, so I will let you guys go. Sending much blessings to you all. :o) 
   

Thursday, October 6, 2011

ANOTHER SURGERY

Hi guys,

I wasn't planning on updating my blog any time soon, but someone @ CancerCenter.com  inquired about it- and I immediately became inspired to do so. Amazing how that works ha? We sometimes look for positive support, feedback and inspiration from family (when times are hard) and end up receiving from someone we never even met or seen.  So it doesn't matter where all that comes from, as long as it blesses and fills your heart with joy.   

The worst thing you can do to someone who's going through hard times is to offer advice. But the best thing you can do is to listen and encourage. "Thank you for your encouragement. Who ever you are."

Last weeks chemo didn't happen due to his liver enzymes being to high. As his blood work came back they immediately told us he had to do an ultrasound to see what's causing such a high level. Although he was happy about no chemo that week, we were still wondering what's next for us.

WHAT THEY FOUND
Later we met with Dr. Vashi for the ultrasound results. And learned that they found an obstruction in his bile duct, near the stem- (the stem they placed in him back in Feb, 2011). Which means he needs another surgery called "Biliary drainage tube". A tube that they place through his skin (on his right side) into the bile duct to drain the bile fluid that will not empty into his intestines.

We understood clearly that without this procedure he can't go further with chemo. We just looked at each other and said, "Well, it's gotta get done. So let's do it." (tough times won't break us, they will make us.) Later on we also went and prayed by ourselves. But is there a special time and place for prayer? Nope. Anytime and anyplace.

AFTER SURGERY

The surgery went well but the blood work came back positive for an infection in his blood. So he stayed in the hospital for two days. They had him on antibiotic but they weren't sure if it's the right one for that specific bug- and didn't want to send us home with the wrong antibiotic. I totally understand their concern- and trust their cancer care completely.

He's finally home now, doing good, and trying to get adjusted to the new tube and bag on his side. Although I can't feel his pain, I do see all that he goes through. Everyday he thrives and survives to live. And he appreciates his life a whole lot (as he tells me). I think those who appreciate life the most are those who have experienced the most pain. And I know all that he's gone through just to survive. I love him for his strength and will to live. 

"DON'T STOP BELIEVING." A quote I live by everyday. I will never ever stop believing in Luis's healing. That's why I wear that shirt so much. :o)

Until next time.....believe in someone who is ill, and they will believe in themselves. 

"That's one of the most important things for caregivers and family members to understand. Especially in the beginning of a patients diagnosis."          .




Tuesday, September 20, 2011

CAN'T SLEEP FEELING GOOD

Hi guys,

I know I just recently updated on Luis's doctor visit but I couldn't sleep and felt the desire to share- share the great day (and night) we had today.  I am feeling the good from within and I am grateful.

As I'm laying down next to him, I hear him snoring and sleeping in such peace. (oh how I love these nights.) It was just Saturday night were we both didn't sleep at all because he kept waking up vomiting with pain. Now mind you, he was out with his parents all day Saturday (feeling okay though.) Plus, he was still hooked up to his chemo pump.

Sunday he slept in all day and night. He said he don't even remember his parents being at our house visiting. And I couldn't barely get him out of bed to go to the treatment center and get disconnected from his chemo pump.    

But today, he did rest most of the day while I was out with the kids taking care of some stuff. It was hectic for me- but coming home to see him feeling better (considering his chemo just ended Sunday night) made it worth all my effort.  And I was praising the day. Not even giving any thoughts to what we went through Saturday night.

And our day ended with this type of conversation: He tells me, "You have no idea how thankful I am for feeling this good." "It feels so good to feel good." "I haven't felt this good in a long time- especially right after chemo."

Until next time........NEVER let a day go by without looking for the good.

Good night and sweet dreams to you all.     

                    

Saturday, September 17, 2011

LUIS'S UPDATE

Hi guys,

It's that time again that comes with chemo- the constant hiccups, moodiness, being a chatter box and all the rest that's needed for healing- (just to name a few.) These will continue on for the next week or so.

Just want to give a quick update on his visit with Dr. Neelam yesterday.

Our visit was focused more on his nutrition and less on numbers (love these types of conversations!)

You'll also notice that its been three weeks since his last chemo so he's actually a week late. But it's okay because we had to take care of some personal things last week Friday- so it worked out on our behalf.       

DOCTORS VISIT

Dr. Neelam did an exam on him before chemo and said all the blood work results look good- while the markers continue to go down. We chatted more about his nutrition and when's his next BIG scan coming up.
She wanted us to continue to use the tube feeding and said it would only help him.

In my previous blog post I mentioned that Luis is eating more solid foods now days and less of the tube feeding. But we're actually going to start using it during the day instead of at night. He doesn't like to get hooked up at night because while he's asleep, the pump fills his belly up with a lot of air. This causes him a lot of discomfort, bloating and cramps- (not good).

Since he had a scan done back in July, she said we don't need one for another three months. So the next scan will be in October. And as always, I will continue to keep you guys updated and informed of any new changes.

Until next time.......................................much love to you all :o)    
 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

PROGRESS UPDATE

Hi guys,

Just wanted to give an update on Luis's progress as well as share my thoughts on the symptom which came back to visit us. Plus, some incredible things he still manages to do during his treatments.

As I write this blog, I'm walking in nature with my kids and nephews at a nearby park trail. Which brings me to a warm feeling of love and joy that I constantly receive from God. I remain patient, faithful and trusting in his work. I thank him for the moment that my family is here visiting us from Utah. And I thank him for the positive support I continue to receive from them all. There's always something to be thankful for.       

AFTER AND DURING CHEMO

Last weeks chemo really kicked his butt. And although he's been resting a lot lately, he still managed to fix his dad's car (with help from dad and brother Jimmy) and did some things around the house that he loves doing. There was a couple of vomiting issues after chemo but nothing compared to before.

One of the things that's been happening is we've been cutting down on his J tube feeding- (unconsciously) since he's been eating more solid foods these days. And that's something new since his surgery in March. Now he gets to eat most of his calories from food- (as he should).

He does still get stomach pains but we just keep looking at the big picture. We see all the good that's surrounding us and refuse to dwell on the obstacles.

Before chemo, he also had an opportunity to barbeque chicken wings for us. And while doing so, he decided to chop some wood (which I thought he was crazy) and made a bomb fire in the back yard. He did pay the price the very next day- as he went to work.

But the nurse did say she was very impressed with the physical labor he's done. She said it's important for all cancer patients to still stay active during treatments. But did advise him not to chop wood next time. As that type of labor can take a lot of energy out of a patient.  

But all in all, what matters to me is that he continues to make use of his WILL. His God giving will to live. Does what he desires to do, when he feels like doing it. And never allowing cancer to steal his life.

Until next time, be thankful for what you have and you'll keep getting more things to be thankful for. :o)     




Tuesday, August 30, 2011

THE PROCESS OF HEALING

Hello there!

Many of you may know by now that I like to call our current situation a process called healing (and never as a fight.) Being a caregiver to Luis has taught me a lot over the years. And although we're still going through it, I would still ask many questions. Such as, "What is it that heals?" "And where does this healing power come from?" Finding the answers, has allowed me to help support him mentally and spiritually- not just physically. 

This blog post was actually inspired through visiting the site CancerCompass.com. There, I've met some incredible patients and caregivers. Everyday, these great people inspire me with their strength and courage. And they remind me to keep pushing forward with Luis.

I will explain how I became aware of this healing power (which we all poses.) But first, in order to understand, one must be willing to put their old beliefs aside- (you know, the ones you were brought up believing) and be open minded to this new way of thinking. This is where my blog title "Health For The New Mind" truly gets its meaning from. New mind = new beliefs. Beliefs that will inspire you to become an optimist.

HOW YOUR MIND WORKS 

(For those who don't know). There's 2 levels of your mind. The conscious- (rational) and the subconscious- (irrational). You think with your conscious mind. And what ever you think about sinks down into your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind is the seed of your emotions and your creative mind. If you think good, good will follow. If you think evil, evil will follow. Once the subconscious mind accepts an idea, it begins to execute it. You must remember though, the subconscious mind works for good and bad ideas the same.

ONE UNIVERSAL HEALING POWER

In the past, I've visited many links to sites with groups of people who offer different methods and therapies to patients with cancer. I noticed that they all claim that because their theory produces results, it's therefore the correct one. I realized then, that they must be something common to them all. Specifically the subconscious mind. And the one process of healing is Faith. 

All of these groups, such as, psychiatrist, psychologist, chiropractor, doctors and all the churches are using the #1 universal power in the subconscious mind. And they all claim the healings are due to their theory. But the one process of ALL healing is a positive mental attitude or a way of thinking called faith.

A patients healing is due to their confident expectancy that acts as a powerful suggestion to the subconscious mind releasing its healing strength. One patient doesn't heal by a different power than another. Yes, s/he may have their own method but there's only one process of healing and that's FAITH.

 


BIBLICAL TERMS ON THE USE OF THE SUBCONSCIOUS POWERS

For inspiration, I sometimes read passages from the bible and follow Dr. Joseph Murphy's teachings. He was a new thought minister in divine science and religious science. Some of his teachings also come from inspired writers in the bible- (as mentioned below).

The prime condition which Jesus consisted upon was faith. Over and over again you read in the bible,  "According to your faith is it done unto you." If you plant a seed in the ground, you have faith it will grow. And trusting the laws of growth,  you know that the seed will come forth after its kind. Faith (as mentioned in the bible) is a way of thinking, an attitude of mind. Knowing that the idea you completely accept in your conscious mind will find its way into your subconscious mind- and made manifest. 

A classical instance of bible technique: Matthew 9:28-30  When he entered the house, the blind men approached him, and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I can do this?" "Yes, Lord," they answered him. Then he touched their eyes, saying, "Let it be done for you according to your Faith!" And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus warned them sternly,  "Be sure that no one finds out!"   

The words, "Let it be done for you according to your Faith." You can see that Jesus was actually appealing to the cooperation of the subconscious mind of the blind men. Their Faith was their expectancy and their inner feeling that something incredible was going to happen. And that their prayer will be answered- and it was.

Faith is when you accept something as true, while you reasoning senses deny it. It's also important to ignore the rational conscious mind and always have an attitude of complete trust on the inner power of your subconscious mind. :o)        

Until next time................choose the method (or theory) you prefer and you can be sure, if you have faith you will get results.                  

Saturday, August 13, 2011

IT PAYS TO BE AN OPTIMIST :o)

Hi guys,

Not much has happened since my last post other than another round of chemo on Friday the 12th- and some good blood work results again.

He's still connected to the chemo pump- (at the moment) and we're suppose to go back to the infusion room tomorrow night so the nurse can disconnect him. Then he's free for another 2 weeks. The blood work shows yet again that his liver enzymes are continuing to drop.  Also his bilirubin (not sure what it is)  has also dropped in count.

He's no longer having any vomiting issues due from the side affects of chemo and very minimum nausea too. Believe me, that's a HUGE blessing on it's own. Some other side affects (like drinking cold beverages after chemo) has also been minimized.              

I think those small changes- (and great news) continue to come from having the expectations for things to change- (for the better.)  The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. ~Arthur Ward~   Do you agree?  

Until next time.......have a blessed night (my definition of blessed) Blessed = Faith, Believe, Happiness, Love & Joy       


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

SOME NEW RESULTS ARE IN

Hello my lovely family and friends,

 
As you guys may already know, last week Luis had a ct scan done while visiting the E.R. for some pain issues. And although he checked out okay, the ct scan showed something in the liver. So Dr.Neelam still wanted to go over the results with us before chemo on Monday the 25th.

At that point, I didn't ALLOW my mind to worry or even begin to entertain that thought. Luis did also mention that he wasn't worried about it- (which is what matters first and for most.) At that moment, my spiritual side spoke. I began thinking we've gone too far to turn around and question God now. And I thought, he's actually the one that's been taking of our worries so we don't have to. :o)

WITH FAITH- GOD SPEAKS


The ct scan results were in and Dr. Neelam came to meet us. She mentioned that they weren't sure what they saw in his liver. But she was very concerned and  sent him to get an MRI. After a few more positive feedbacks, she said, "I don't want you to do chemo today until I get the results back. If the results show that there's a tumor growth than we need to change it up and start a new chemo." She went and gave him a sheet with all the information about the new chemo and ALL its side effects.

You know what he did with that sheet? Garbage- that's right. First, the guy hasn't even taken the MRI and she's already trying to tell him what they're planning for him. And second, the worst thing (in my opinion) any patient, caregiver or even a family member can do (to make things worst) is to read and fill their MINDS with ALL the negative down falls about a drug. 

My belief is that if we're going to choose a specific treatment, to help cure ourself from an illness- than we must also trust and BELIEVE that it's going to help. Filling our minds with negative information- (the side effects of a drug for instance) doesn't help us to be an optimist. For me, keeping my mind closed to any outside distractions like that keeps me positive and optimistic about his healing.

MRI RESULTS

We left the treatment center with the idea that he's not getting chemo today because the doc has to wait for the results to come back. Luis didn't mind at all. In fact, he said, "I'm going home to rest." As he rested, I went to Jewel for some groceries with my daughter Lulu.

As I'm pacing my self in the aisles and enjoying the shopping, my cell phone rings- it's Dr. Neelam's nurse Amy. She tells me, "Erika, the results came back  NEGATIVE for definite hepatic metastases." "Tell Luis Dr. Neelam wants him back in the infusion room right away for cycle 3 of round 6 chemo."

I tell you guys, that phone call lifted my spirit so high that I felt like I was floating. My feel good mood went from high to higher within seconds. It was that gratifying.         

The CT appearance of the liver is related to
heterogeneous fatty infiltration.  And so, all is well.      
 
And here's the additional positive feedbacks that I mentioned above:
  • CEA markers keep going down 
  • He gained 6 lbs.
  • The pancreas looks stable
  • And he's also cutting down on his tube feeding from 5 cans to 4 to even 3 on some days- now that his tummy's tolerating more solid foods.
Now, I know his pet scan is way past over due from what we were told. And I've been mentioning it on a few of my posts. But I'm not in a hurry for that right now. Let it drag if it needs to- I've just been given plenty of blessings- and I KNOW, with FAITH, the best is yet to come. :o)

Until next time.......never allow your mind to accept any negative suggestion- if you do, reject it immediately!
                                                          

Friday, July 22, 2011

NO CHEMO FRIDAY

Hi guys,

I'm here to give a quick update and let everyone know that Luis didn't do chemo this week due to a mistake on my part. I also mentioned on my previous post that he was having some pain issues near his J-tube and wanted to get it checked out. And although I was against it, he still persisted on visiting the ER last Monday.

NO CHEMO AND YET ANOTHER ER VISIT

I messed up on his chemo schedule so I had to reschedule for Monday the 25th. When ever I make his appointments I always leave the sheet in a drawer in my kitchen. But for some reason when I took the sheet out this morning, it ended up being an old one from June 24th. And I accidently mixed up the new date with the old one.

Last week Monday he decided (on his own) to go to the ER. They did the usual- blood work and a ct scan. Keep in mind also that we've gone to the ER twice for the same issue- and they found nothing. Both times were alsoafter his chemo. But this time around everything came back ok except that the ER doctor said he saw something in his liver- but weren't sure what it was.

This is also the reason why he hasn't gotten any ct/pet scan done. I think it has something to do with insurance polocies.

After I made his new appointment, the care management team called me back to say that Dr. Neelam wanted to go over the ct scan results more in depth on Monday before chemo. I will update here about how the conversation went. :o)

Right now, the good news is that he's glad I messed up his schedule because he's still having some pain and didn't feel like dealing with chemo. I guess it worked out for his benefit. And for me, it just means I will have more of the Luis I enjoy. And the kids will also have the father they love being around- without any of the stupid side effects that come with chemo. And yes, I'm still a true BELIEVER that the patient still has some control over their experience.

If you guys have a question or want to share your thoughts please leave a comment and I will reply.

Until next time........stay positive and optimistics

Have a fantastic weekend *HUGS* :o)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

ALWAYS BEING OPTIMISTIC

Hi guys,

I'm back again and just thought I'd give you guys a quick update on Luis's progress. It's been over a week since his last chemo therapy and I'm glad to say that things are looking pretty amazing since his last cycle. Not sure what exactly changed this time around and don't really want to feed to much into it either. Although it could've been the 4 week break that he insisted to have. I will tell you guys this! No vomitting or nausea this time around. YAY! And I will let you guys know this week if he's having his petscan- with the results following after.

He did complain about some pain near his J-tube area right after chemo and also off and on since then. He also, at one point, wanted to go into the ER while we were staying at my moms- (due to a power out from the storm) I insisted for him to take morphine for the pain.

In the past, he's complained of pain in the area a couple of times and when we did go in, they checked him, did a ct scan and turned out it was nothing. I noticed that right after chemo, sometimes, he has pains in different areas in his body which come and go. He's got good days then ok then all of a sudden AMAZING days.

As far as everything else, well we're just enjoying summer barbeques with family and friends just like the rest of you guys.

I will keep you guys posted more of the good stuff later this week! :o)

Monday, July 11, 2011

DAY AFTER CHEMO

Hi guys,

Well, it's Monday the 11th and it's not the usual Monday (the day after chemo) here at home. By this time, Luis would be on the couch in front of the tv falling in and out of sleep- my favorite moments I love to call (HEALING time). You know, 46 hours of chemo does wear the body out.

Today, we actually had another storm and no power again. So what did we do? Well, first, I went to the treatment center for my second training with my youngest son. Then came home, packed up all the food from the fridge and headed to my mom's place with the kids- while Luis stayed home resting. My parents are out of town so it works out beautiful for all of us.

When I got back, I gave him his medicine/supplements with some breakfast and all of us headed back to my moms. He was exhausted and it was hard to get him out of the bed but I knew he would be better at my moms.

Now we're all relaxed with the ac on while he's resting/sleeping- (aka, healing) and I still believe life is beautiful. :o)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

HEALTHY MINDS

Hi guys,

Today, I'm going to go a little of the topic with what I usually blog about. But I promise it's going to be a healthy post for the new MIND (literally). :o)

And as far as Luis's doctors visit Friday- well, let's just say the doctor wasn't very happy with his previous chemo cancellation.

MY TRUE INSPIRATION

I always get inspired when I hear someone looking to better their health. But I especially get excited when it's coming from my kids.

A few days ago my oldest son (T.J.) who is 18, came to visit us from Chicago. And while we went for a little drive, he opened up a conversation on one of my favorite topics of all- HEALTH. It was very inspiring to hear that he was looking to improve his health. But at the same time, I felt that he was going about it the wrong way in his head. So I figured this chat really deserved some GREAT recognition and thought I'd share it here- as I know many people still think this way.

Raising T.J. has been and still is one of my greatest challenges- especially when it comes to his health. But he's also been my greatest accomplishment through all the things he's taught me as a mom. After all, it was him who first inspired me to pick up my first set of dumbbells- after giving birth to him. :o) But since he moved in with his father last year, it's gotten even harder for me to help him develop healthy habits.

HEALTHY CHATTING

So our conversation opened up with him asking me for some guidance on making better food choices. He said that he was worried about getting sick-(or as he put's it) developing high blood pressure, cholesterol, or even kidney stones. (I thought to myself) Oh man, where's this kids mind at?

Picture of T.J. (left) and cousin Sammy (right).


The conversation went something like this:

T.J.: "Mom I want you to help me pick better food choices to eat. I've been eating out at fast food restaurants with my dad a lot lately. You know, I don't want to get sick. Would Subway be good to eat 3 times a week- if I choose that?"

Me: "Yeah of course I'll help you. Remember though, to improve your health, taking smaller steps is a better approach than making drastic changes. And you can't be imagining and talking about getting sick while looking to improve your health either. Subway is a good choice. It's not the BEST- but it's a better choice."

T.J.: "Ok. I also want to stop drinking pop too because I heard I can get kidney stones. My dad's friend said it's really painful too."

MY FEEDBACK & THOUGHTS

I wanted him to understand that health is an inside job. So I began to explain to him that first he must clear his mind of all wrong ideas and negative thoughts- (negative thoughts are thoughts of what you don't want). He needs to also begin to see and feel himself healthy already in his minds eye. Then, each day, his right thoughts will be followed with right actions. Everything starts with the right MIND set.

Our thoughts are both the words we hear in our heads and the words we speak out loud. For exapmle, when you say to somebody, "What a beautiful day," you had the thought first and then spoke the words. Our thoughts also become our actions. Which means we can't take any action without thinking the thought first.

BACK TO CHEMO THERAPY

Luis did go to do chemo this past Friday and everything went well. But he did mention that Dr. Neelam wasn't happy with him taking a break- and she made sure he knew.

This is what I have to say about that: Some doctors still don't want to accept the fact that patients still have some control over the outcome of their treatment. Yes, chemo might be important to them (go figure, that's all they study) but to a patient, more important things should matter. Such as, what are their thoughts and feelings about their unique circumstance. What are also their beliefs about themselves and life. Because it's our beliefs, true or untrue that form our world.

"A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it's real, so (therefore) he escapes the suffering." ~Gauatama Buddha~ (563-483 BC)

until next time.............start believing in good health for yourself

Friday, July 1, 2011

MY APOLOGIES FOR THE DELAY

Hi family and friends,

For those of you who keep up with my blogs, I just want to first apologize for the delay on my updates. Things became a bit tuffer than usual at home. And besides that, I've also been focusing more on my personal goals (as I mentioned on my previous post). Since my last blog, Luis has done 1 chemo cycle with no petscan that would follow- and he's also cancelled 1 along the way.

His last chemo really kicked his butt and we were all in on a (what I like to call) BIG bump on the road to healing. The side effects must have been the worst of all. I'm not going to get into details on how tuff things became because I just don't think it deserve recognition- or to be repeated with my words, thoughts, and energy. I'm thankful it's over and we're moving forward towards greater health (as INTENDED).

After his chemo, we were actually expecting for the next appointment to be a petscan that would follow in 2 weeks- which would've been Friday June 24th. But when I called the scheduling department to found out why was Luis scheduled for chemo when we were told he's do for a petscan, the lady said that Dr. Neelam never put in the order for that.

I personally think it was a misunderstanding between the 2 doctors- and (of course) it wasn't meant to happen.

Because he also lost a few extra pounds, he wanted a break and rest from it all, (who could blame him). He decided that he wasn't doing chemo. And as usual, I supported him on his decision and called in to cancel.

The great news that I'd LOVE to share is that he's eating more solid foods and relying less on the tube feeding- (which I think is EXCELLENT). He's also resting a lot more now and saving his energy for the days that he goes to work. We're moving along patiently and confidently.

until next time.............intend great HEALTH for yourself every single day and see yourself healthy and well. :o)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

NEW SEASON NEW POSSIBILITIES

Hi guys,

Wow... it's been an AMAZING 2 weeks since my last blog and I'm already expecting a great summer with family and friends. Luis is enjoying the warm weather without some of the side effects of chemo. And with my kids being on summer break, I'm actually looking forward to more time focusing on my personal goals. You know... the goals that we put off for too long.

HIS UPDATE

Doctors visit on Friday went well (according to Luis). I didn't stick around because the kids didn't want to stay. But he did tell me how it all went. He said that his blood work came back good (again). The cancer cell counts are steady, and his liver enzymes are getting better with each blood work. I told him the carrot and beet juice I make for him is paying off. Beet juice is very good to cleanse our liver. And I will continue to IMAGINE all the good that it does for him.

I knew that supporting him with the Gerson Therapy (a therapy used to heal patients with chronic diseases) for 10 months had it's purpose. From that experience, I learned the benefits of juicing and fell in love with the idea instantly.

He also mentioned that he lost a few pounds and the doctor questioned him as to what he was doing. But the only thing we can think happened was that because his working and being more active now, his actually burning more calories than what his taking in. Now all we need to do is increase his calories more than what he needs for body-weight maintenance. I did mention in my previous post that his food sources and meal plans will continue to change
through out his treatments.

I've also noticed that he no longer relies on his pain meds like he used to in the past. In the beginning he couldn't even control his pain. They kept trying new pain meds for him to take. Then they increased it to a higher dose- which didn't work. And after his surgery, he was able to manage his pain a little better each week.

And today, I can honestly tell you guys that he no longer relies on morphine for pain every 2 hours. Now he only takes it every 4 to 5 hours and sometimes we even forget. Wow...this is AMAZING on it's own!

SUMMER BREAK

It's been a tough school year for the kids since Luis started chemo last year and it's time for them to enjoy their summer break and have fun. I'm talking about more free time, having friends over and not being on a tight schedule. Looking back now I do realize that It was hard for them too- witnessing the painful sleepless nights, morning sickness and the bad moods- (just to name a few).

But today, I'm also very grateful that I've never shared the full story with them. All they really needed to know is that their father is going to get better. And all I had to do is continue to reassure them that it will pass and things will get better.

And it's not always easy to hide it either because they also feel things that's around them- especially if their father is not feeling good. I'll give you guys an example!

We were on our way to the treatment center Friday for Luis's chemo. And while we were in the car, my daughter (Lourdes) asked her father: "Papi are you still feeling better or you just have a little pain?" Luis replied and said, "I have a little pain." For the past 3 days he's been having stomach cramps. He really didn't even want to do chemo. I actually thought that he was going to ask me to reschedule for him- but he didn't.

For me, I'm just glad that regardless of what's going on in the outside, I can still continue to IMAGINE and feel only the best. And dwell on possibilities. Did you guys know that our Imagination is our most POWERFUL faculty?

until next time.............imagine what is lovely! You are what you imagine yourself to be :o)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

FEELING BLESSED

Hi guys,

Friday the 27th was a very blessed day for us at home- and although it has passed, the feeling hasn't. This is another one of those days where you stop and reflect on how far you've come in your journey, how much you've actually grown- and how even your struggles and personal sacrifices can also have their own rewards. And sometimes those rewards may even come in a form of a small conversation with a doctor.

HALF WAY THERE

I'm happy to say that Luis has finished round 5 of his chemo cycle- which means 1 more round of chemo and then comes the PETSCAN. And although I'm not sure on the exact date, I do believe that it will be a day of celebration. I personally don't need to see a petscan to know that healing is taking place or that his going to be cured. I also don't expect anyone to believe in what is yet to come- I just need him to BELIEVE in it. "All things are possible to him that believe." Mark, chap 9 verse 23.

But I do also understand that doctors work differently and these scans will show how far they've come, and if they need to change something then this would be the moment of truth for them. So let those scans shine bright up near those lights and reveal to those that need to SEE to believe. :o)

Friday morning, (before chemo) I took the kids to school then headed to the treatment center to meet Luis. I wasn't going to go because I actually wanted to stay home alone to clean the house. But of course, somebody decided they wanted a haircut hours before chemo. And although the treatment center has a barber shop, he refused to go there. The last time he was admitted for those 2 weeks during surgery, he went there and the lady ended up messing up his hair by cutting too much into his curls.

After his hair cut- (and satisfying his craving for ice cream and a chili cheese dog at Dairy Queen) we headed back for his last appointment for a nurse assesment. This is where they check his weight, blood pressure, give him his bloodwork results and then an oncologist comes in to chat with him for a bit.

When Dr. Neelam's assistant came in, he shook our hands and began giving Luis some positive feedback regarding his treatment- which went something like this:

Aric: (physician assistant) "How you feeling Luis?"

Luis: "Good."

Aric: "You look great- I can tell you that right now."

Luis: "Thanks."

Aric: "Okay, so your bloodwork came back good, not normal but we never anticipate on normal anyways. So I will go ahead and put your orders in for chemo this afternoon. How are you handling the additional 46 hour chemo treatment that you go home with? Are you still able to eat even with your tube feeding?"

Luis: "Good- I think my body took it hard in the beginning but I feel like it's tolerating it a little better with each cycle. Yeah, I'm still eating."

Aric: "Good. Well, I have to tell you, this is a very aggresive treatment your on- and I must say, your doing extremely well. I'll be honest with you, most patients with this type of treatment can't seem to keep up with their cycles because how terrible the toxic makes them feel. And what happens is that they get so sick that we have to stop and prolong the treatment. But you seem to be doing so good with it. I'm encouraged. So what ever your doing, keep doing it because it's working for you."

Luis: "Okay thank you."

I can't tell you guys how exciting it felt just to listen in on that conversation. I still get butterflies in my stomach when I play that conversation in my mind. This is'nt just his reward but also mine. It feeds me spiritually and inspires me to keep doing what I'm doing as well. 

@ THE BEACH WITH THE KIDS

Last week, we've also made some time to take the kids to the beach. So while they played in the sand, Luis soaked up the natural Vitamin D from the sun while burying the kids in the sand for fun. I just collected some more (what my little guy calls) gratitude rocks and enjoyed the view and peace. Although the kids had a blast getting buried by Luis, he, on the other hand, ended up hurting himself later that week. The guy couldn't barely walk because his thighs were hurting so bad from the position he was in while burying the kids. I told him he had what is called the delayed onset muscle soreness- which comes 2 days later. His body isn't conditioned to handle that type of physical activity. But I told him hey at least you know you still have some muscles left in those skinny legs of yours. He didn't think that was funny- but I did. :o)    


until next time..............................decide what your beliefs are and know that a belief is a thought in your MIND and what you think, you create. Believe in perfect health. 


Thursday, May 19, 2011

HOSPITAL STAY

Hi guys,

Just wanted to give you guys a quick update on yesterdays visit to the treatment center. I bought Luis in to the emergency room for some pain near his J tube and ended up going home without him.

After chemo last week he began having some unusual pain near the J tube area where he had the surgery back in March. He tried to see if it would pass but got a little worried, and wanted to get it checked out by a doctor. Being his caregiver, I'm always ready to drop what ever I have to and support him in any way possible- just as long as he keeps a good mental attitude- and he does, everytime. After we got there, they examined him and said he looks good but wanted to run some blood work and a blood culture on him- just to make sure he had no internal infection near the tube feeding. They also took him downstairs for a ct scan to check out the abdominal area as well.

The blood work results came back okay, while the blood culture results wont be in until Friday the 20th- (will update you guys here). And the ct scan showed some air in his abdominal area and (as usual) the doctors have to do their job and took some percaution by admitting him for 2 days. I was fine (for the moment)while he was upset and didn't want to stay. But I told him that he's in a good place and that this to shall pass. I left the hospital to pick up the kids from school, (as promised) then headed home.

All of a sudden, it hit me again, and I found myself feeling sad and down as I entered our home without him- (again). I started remembering the 2 other times that he stayed in the hospital and I had to learn to handle my emotions and everything else on my own. But this time around, I noticed something different- the feeling was short and passed very quickly as I began to speak to my subconscious mind telling it to take over in peace and harmony. As I did that, I started feeling a little better, then more at peace as I kept busy helping Sito with his homework.

I woke up this morning, took the kids to school and headed to the treatment center to be with Luis. On my way there, I couldn't help but feel that he was coming home today. Remember I said that they were keeping him for 2 days? Well, for some reason my intuition kept telling me that he was coming home today. As I arrived in his room, (at a perfect time too) Dr. Sanchez (the J tube surgeon) walked in as he greeded us. He told us that the air they've found in his abdominal area could be from the surgery he did on him in March- meaning they're not even sure. Dr. Sanchez said he's not worried because Luis looks good and there's no eruption and told us he can go home today- I was so happy.

Well, it's past 8:30 pm now on Thursday and I'm tired and just simply drained. It's been a long week for all of us since his last chemo. And I had my share of running around with and without my kids- not to mention my lower back is hurting from not working out for the past week. If I don't lift weights, it seems as though my body responds with pain- gotta get back into it.

until next time............................take care guys and I will do the same :o)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

SMALL CHANGE

Hi guys,

Here's another update on Luis's progress for those of you who are interested. It's been so far a good 2 weeks (for the most part) and another successful chemo treatment has passed us on Friday the 13th. The doctors visit went well but (as usual) the nausea feelings after chemo are back yet again- and I find myself faced with the usual challenges that come with being his caregiver and wife- (more on that on a later post).

NEW SUPPLEMENTS

Recently Luis was advised by his naturopathic and nutrition team to take some new supplements daily along next to his food and tube feeding. Their goal is to minimize the risk of side effects during his treatments, while still supporting his HEALTH. These also will help him stay strong and nutritionally balanced so his chemo treatments don't get interrupted.

For over 15 years I've been involved in nutrition, so I know the importance of it. Rather our goal is to lose weight, improve our physique or just seek for greater health- it always seems to make sense to start with our nutrition.

He's been advised to take some Muscle Milk for weight gain and L-Glutamine to prevent muscle breakdown and to support healthy immune system function. I should also mention that his food sources will continue to change and support him as he gets better along the path towards perfect health. I like to remind myself at times that NUTRITION is only a part of his treatment to support the healing process.

until next time....................have a great week.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

CHEMO WITH SOME OPTIMISM

Hi family and friends,

Just wanted to share some more good stuff with all of you here. But before I start, I want to promise everyone that I will do MY very BEST to make sure that my blogs remain as positive and lovely as possible- that will always be my intentions. I refuse to focus my thoughts on the disease. I'd rather fill my mind with thoughts of health and healing. I've come so far from what I was like 2 years ago- spirituall and mentally. Today, I can honestly say that I've become my own version of an optimist. And I've learned that to be an optimist, I must look for the good- so here goes some more GOOD.

BACK @ WORK

Although Luis missed his last treatment (due to an infection by his J tube) he still managed to make great progress on his own at home. He started having these desires everyday to go to work- and he wasn't slowing down either. A few times, (while at work) he would text me and ask if he ever told me that he loves his job?- and I would reply saying yes. I was so happy for the guy. He loves working on cars and says that he could'nt ask to work for a better company than this dealership. And according to him, the guys on his team are the best- very understanding with what his going through, help him out, and even give him the light jobs to work on. He tells me that he thanks GOD everyday for these guys.

CHEMO TIME

On Friday, we went to the treatment center with expectations of him staying for chemo- and (as usual) they got his port accessed and him ready to go. I don't know why they do that first before checking his blood work results. There was a few times where they accessed his port (to get him ready for chemo) then learned that his blood work didn't check out ok with the doc. So they had to send him home with it. But any how, an hour later, Dr. Neelam's assistant comes in and tells us that his blood work looks good and begins to exam him.
She mentions that there's some highs and lows on the chart but nothing that should stop him from getting chemo today- so she puts in the order. She ask's us if anyone has gone over the blood work with us earlier- we said no. She goes on explaining what are some of the stuff they're focused on and begins to point out something on the chart VERY interesting and a bit surprising to her. His tumor marker- it's something that the doctors use to monitor the success of a current therapy. Or another words, check if the cancer is responding well to the treatment or not.

Now I've purposely forgotten about this marker- it serves me no purpose. But because she had such an enthusiastic response to it, (I thought) okay, you got my attention, and I'm listening. She said, (wow Luis, although you've missed a treatment, you still managed to bring your tumor marker down by 2 points). It seemed as though she was impressed. But me and Luis just looked at each other with a BIG smile and felt each others joy. We understand that medical therapy is only part of the plan to help him heal- and that he still has control over his mind. The biggest battle with cancer is in the mind. So once you learn the laws of your mind, you'll experience growth and healing.

Take a look at the picture where the letters CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) appear!
The marker shows that it's gone down to 17.2 from what it was 19.2 You see, these are the stuff that I love to give my focus to and share it with you guys- things that inspire and fill my heart with joy. :-)

until next time........become your own version of an optimist- even if your current results show darkness!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No chemo therapy this week

Hi friends and family!

I just wanted to share with everyone that Luis didn't get his therapy last Friday and he won't be getting it this Friday either.

Last week, Luis went in for his treatment, and as usual, he gets blood work done and a routine check. But this check up was a little different- he had a fever. So the nurse tells us that when a cancer patient gets a fever they have to take every caution to make sure he/she doesn't have an infection before they go further with treatments. They went and prescribed him some antibiotics to take for seven days- that was last Friday.

Today I get a phone call from his care manager, (Karim) regarding his blood work. She said his test came back positive for infection near his abdominal area- (by his J tube.) So the doc prescribed him a different antibiotic for an additional seven more days.

So as we went in today to pick up his prescription, we see his past oncologist Dr. Chang in the cafeteria. I had a brief conversation with him which went something like this:

Dr. Chang: "How are you?"

Me: "I'm great- thank you."

Dr. Chang: "Finally Luis decided to get treatment again. Remember when I used to tell him to go see Dr. Neelam and he kept refusing?"

Me: "Yeah I remember- (laughing.)"

Dr Chang: "How is he doing?"

Me: "Oh his good- especially after he got that surgery done."

Dr Chang: "Surgery- what surgery?"

Me: "Well, he got a J tube inserted in him because he had a blockage in his tummy."

Dr. Chang: "Oh he can't eat?"

Me: Yeah he can still eat."

Dr. Chang: "Oh okay. Lets keep our fingers crossed."

Me: (thinking) Hey, that might work for him but I don't believe in luck.)

After we left the cafeteria, Sito (as usual) stops at the drawing board to post something for his dad.
I always enjoy seeing the kids write something special for their dad. I just thought it would be cute to share it with you guys. If you can't see it, it says, I love Luis Catalan it's Sito.

Do you believe in luck? Why or why not? Please comment if you wish and share your thoughs.

until next time......................................HAPPY EASTER!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

NEW TREATMENT IN MIND

Welcome back!

A few weeks have passed since Luis's surgery and he's fully recovered. But since my last blog, a few great things have also happened that I want to share with you guys. First, we had the opportunity to enjoy spring break with the kids- then, Luis finally started chemo back up again (with a new treatment in mind). He hasn't had any chemo since January. And finally, we've had an interesting blessing happen to us in the house.

A couple of weeks ago we went for his follow up and got some blood work done. We thought that he'll be getting his chemo therapy right after, but Dr. Neelum comes into the room with the results and says, "your liver enzymes are too high and I'm not giving you treatment today." This issue has come up before so we weren't really surprised. She told us to come back the following Monday for a ct scan- (ofcourse by now, she's thinking the worst). We come back, got the ct scan done and waited for her call with the results. While all this is happening, the kids are on spring break and Luis really wants to spend some time with them somewhere special. So although we're not sure what's the deal with his results, on Tuesday morning we head out to Chicago.

At this point, I can either allow my MIND to choose to worry and entertain negative thoughts as to what might come- or I can choose positive thoughts (like I have) and continue to believe that all is well. I choose to BELIEVE the good.

We first took them to see Diary of a wimpy kid 2 (a great family movie by the way- very funny and entertaining!)



And while we're in the theater, we get a phone call from the nurse saying that Dr. Neelum wants to talk to both of us in her office, Thursday morning.
At this point, all we want to do is have fun with the kids. So after the show, we continue with our plan and check in at the Chicago's Essex Inn.

AN AGGRESIVE TREATMENT

After we get back from Chicago, we go to see the doc- she comes in the room and says, "The ct scan shows that your liver is clean so I don't know why your liver enzymes are soo high." She goes on saying, "I want to give you a more aggresive treatment because your young and I think you can handle it." She also said something about this drug being proven to be very effective with great results for Pacreatic patients. Luis will still get the same five hour chemo therapy pumped through his port every other Friday- but now after his done with that, he will go home with two extra chemo drugs (also on a machine) that pumps slowly through his port for an additional forty six hours. Then we go back to the treatment center on Sunday and get the pump taken off. Since my last blog, his done one of these aggresive treatments, has gained ten pounds and is doing very well.

Rewind back to Thursday morning, (the day before he starts his new treatment) our family dog, (Buddy) ends up missing.
The kids began searching for him, while I call the animal shelter and then the police station. We even went door to door asking neighbors if they've seen him- nothing. I think Luis and my daughter (Lulu) took it the hardest. She cried herself to sleep while he was gone. It was hard on her because Buddy also slept with her every night. We told her not to worry that buddy is in someones house being well taken care of. While many of our family and friends thought he was a gonner- (especially because he's a Yorkshire Terrier.) I personally BELIEVED that there's good people out there that will find it in their hearts to return him. So I made some flyers and the whole family got involved putting them up in the neighborhood stores- and also giving it to people as they walked by.

To make the story short, two days later I get a phone call from a lady who says that she has Buddy. She said if I wouldn't of put up a flyer with the information I had on there, she would've kept him. I had no money to reward anyone who would've found him. So all I had to work with was a nice honest message that said, he's a wonderful dog and is dearly missed. And that he's also a cancer patients companion. It turned out that she's a five year cancer survivor. She mentioned that she knows what it was like to have someone by her side while she was going through chemo therapy.

All in all, we were excited and joyful for Buddy's return- and all I can say to her was, God bless you and thank you for your incredible act of kindness. I also felt extremly blessed that God has given us a second chance with Buddy.

until next time.................................start to believe- it's the greatest step you will ever take. Believeing contains no DOUBT- it's absolute FAITH.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

PERCEPTION!

Welcome back!

Today I wanted to discuss an important subject regarding the faculties of the human mind. You know, the part that many of us don't know we have and unfortunately, our schools aren't teaching us. Yes, we have many marvelous mental faculties- there's the WILL, INTUITION, REASON, MEMORY, IMAGINATION & PERCEPTION. One of my favorite quotes comes from Napoleon Hill's book
Think & Grow Rich- he said, (An educated person is not necessarily a person with an abundance of general or specialized knowledge- an educated person is a person who has so developed the faculties of their mind that they can acquire anything they want or it's equivalent without violating the rights of others).

With that being said, I would like to dedicate this blog topic on perception- and how I came to understand it.

Within the last few months, two of my very dear friends (as well as my mom) have suggested some things for me to consider doing regarding my circumstance. They've said to me- (hope for the best and prepare for the worst)! Yes, that was their exact words. One of them even suggested to start a charity for Luis. And just the other day my mom asked me if we had life insurance on him (I can only imagine what she was thinking). But to be honest with you guys, we too use to think like them. When we first heard the bad news from the doctors- (back in December 2008). We were ignorant too- living in fear and was planning for the worst. I was ready to bury my husband before he even died. But I can tell you guys this- that was very short lived! And as soon as I understood how our mind works and the laws that govern our being- I was able to take control over my life and learn to think for myself.

You know this entire Universe opperates by law- and one of them being the law of polarity! Which means everything has an opposite- (It's like the flip side to the coin or the front and the back side of the book). So according to the doctors, my friends & my mom, they're all right from their point of view- so there's no need to argue with them. But me and Luis started to see things differently- (you know, from the opposite side). We started to think very optimistically and knew that there's a better way to achieve greater health. We learned that it's not WHAT we're looking at that matters but HOW we're looking at it.

There's so many of us that have a perception problem when we say I'm right and your wrong. Hey, I can be right from my point of view and you can be right from yours. So it's not a matter of whats right or wrong-it's what works, what's going to improve. Don't you agree?

So next time you disagree with someone, you might consider them right. They're right from their point of view. It might not take them where they want to go, but their point of view is just as accurate and right as yours.

until next time................... know that there's two sides to everything and you have the power (within you) to choose- choose life, choose love, choose HEALTH!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

WELCOME HOME!

The day has arrived and Luis is finally at home! We feel so blessed to have made it through this situation! We also feel extremely thankful for everyones great support, prayers & personal visits to the hospital. You guys have truly made a difference- so thank you- to you all!



For those of you who don't know yet, the surgery was to insert a jejunostomy (j-tube) in his intestinal tract, (below his stomach). This tube provides a way for Luis to receive liquid food because he was unable to eat by mouth due to a blockage. This allows him to receive the nutrition and water he needs to maintain his weight and strength. Right now, he needs 1250 ml (5 cans) pumped into him over 14 hours. His dietitian also encourages him to continue to get in full liquids throughout the day for even more calories and hydration. Now mind you, this feeding tube is only necessary for a short time while his receiving his chemo therapy. As he progresses in his treatments and gets stronger, he'll be decreasing the amount of the the liquid food and increasing his solid food. The picture below can give you guys an idea of some of the things the tube feeding comes with. The home tube feeding will take some adjustment on our part but it's so flexible to his schedule- and its also portable-so he can take it with him.

Well, it's been a long two weeks since the surgery and I can honestly tell you guys that this experience alone has given me a better understanding about patience. I soon learned that my patience does rest on the faith I have in Luis, the doctors & in God. When there was that one week delay from him coming home because (according to the surgeon, Dr. Sanchez), the valve was not functioning yet. He said it can take a few weeks before it starts working properly. So all he really needed was more time! We went ahead and BELIEVED in the doctor while still doing our part- remaining positive, calm and patient during his recovery.



You see, good is underneath every single thing that appears to be negative. If we can know that good is all there is, (including in a negative situation) then we'll see a negative situation transform into all good. Most of us keep the good away from ourselves because we right away label something as bad, and then, of course that becomes our reality. Well, I chose to see the good in this situation.

until next time.................choose to see the good in your situation- no matter how bad things appear to be!