Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Kale, Kale, and more Kale

The MDA doctor visit last week went fine. My high school English teacher said "fine" was a four letter word that meant nothing. Perhaps it fits in this circumstance. The visit was uneventful but I suppose that's a good thing.

My accupuncture visit was great. She focused more and more on the kidney and liver functioning. The chemo takes it's toll on the body in so many ways and the kidneys and liver take the brunt of the blow.

The blood draws and exam last Friday went well. The physician assistant said the blood levels looked good. My view is that they are great by comparison to the first round of chemo. At 10 days into treatment last time I lost 5 points of my hemoglobin count--going from high normal to low (9). This time I lost .5 which sounds great, as I am just below normal with a count of 11.

I suggested to the physician's assistant that it could be because of the vitamins I'm taking, juicing, and that I eat an entire bunch of kale EVERY day. Her reply was, "well I know the kale farmers are happy about it." Ugh. She hinted that this is just what happens with the medicine and the body adjusts to the meds eventually. She said it probably would have happened with or without the kale. Really? I'll leave you to guess my response. Ok, I didn't say it, but yes, I thought it.

Nevertheless, my kidneys and liver still need help, but they are doing ok. Not eating meat and only one meal with cooked food per day is helping but it may not be enough. As I become more adjusted to the raw food and juicing I suspect it will be easier to do it more. When I'm out with friends, or tired, I find that I am most tempted to eat crappy stuff. Working on getting more 'to go snacks' just in case there isn't much on the menu, and to keep me from eating fries!

Doing more research and found out that CML has been linked to exposure to chlorine in the water and mercury fillings in my teeth. Great news aye? So, with benzene, chlorine, flouride, and mercury in my system every day as a child... it's no wonder my DNA 'flipped out.'

I am confident that we will find a way to reverse this disease. I know that the medical world is wroking hard to find drugs to help. Their efforts have made an enormous difference in the world of CML. In addition, I plan on doing lots more research, removing my fillings, and getting a house water filter. No pain, no gain right?

Most of the doctors I've met, even at MDAnderson, don't seem to take a comprehensive view of health. I had an infection around both eyes last week ( looked like alligator skin and puffy too... very attractive I must say). The dermatologist and the leukemia folks didn't agree on treatment. It took a while to find middle ground, but it wasn't because they were talking to one another. It was because I suggested a compromise and then waited to check it out with both sets of doctors.

I was also scheduled to see the social worker for the bone marrow transplant (which I don't really want to consider but I'm keeping an open mind). The social worker needs to confirm that I can mentally handle being 'out of commission for more than 100 days, and that I have caregivers lined up to be with me 24/7 for that entire time. I responded sure to both questions. That was a huge leap of faith as I haven't been out of commission for two days without getting a bit stir crazy. No doubt I will need to do some serious prayer time to ready myself for being still(ish) for more than 100 days. I could exercise and go out, but with a mask and gloves, etc. Sounds like fun. I don't even want to tell you about the graft vs. host disease details.

Again, I just hope that kale, kale, and more kale.... keeps me full of strong red blood cells to maintain energy. And with that energy I can find a way to circumvent the bone marrow transplant. Speaking of energy, I am limiting myself to only 6 hours in the office per day, and getting plenty of rest. Hard to manage all the responsibilities and a social life, but oh well. I don't want pneumonia again that's for sure!

So, please eat your kale, drink your fresh juices, take your vitamins, and exercise. And most important...don't forget to love, love, love! There's no such thing as getting, or giving, too much love.

Happy "I love you Wednesday" !


Tim said...

Rhonda, I had to laugh about your comment re: "fine." Was that Ms. McNeil?

You're in my thoughts and prayers.

debbiedoesraw said...

I too have leukemia, although I have CLL and am stage 0. I am doing raw foods, green juices etc and just added wheat grass juice. If you are interested, get the omega 8003 from Harvest Essentials website. I really urge you to read Anne Wigmores book too.. it has given me lots of hope.
Take good care

Beth said...

Hey Rhonda,
I had to laugh, as my husbands version of "fine," is a lot different. Next time I talk to you I'll tell you!!!

Chris said...

Hey Rhonda,
Thanks for shouting out to me on Kris' blog. I needed that! I came on over to your blog-I will keep checking in. I like your style, girl!

DutchPower said...

He Rhonda,
Had to do a little catch up reading on your blog. Are you still on just Sprycel? Anyway, loved reading your blog (as I have in the past!), hope you're doing well in spite of all the kale! To be honest I haven't changed my eating habits that much yet, but maybe I should investigate that side a bit more thoroughly. Any quick pointers?! Thanks,