Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Checking in from Snowy Reno

Well, I thought that I'd have all of this down time to read and blog and do my Christmas cards, but the truth is, we haven't had any time at all to just sit, chill and relax! So I'm sorry for my tardiness with an update. My head has been spinning with information and I don't even know where to start. I'm still trying to process it all. Thank goodness I have Annie here to take notes and explain things to me over and over again. I'm going to blame my memory lapse on chemo brain!

Dave and I arrived Sunday and couldn't check into our hotel room until 4pm, so we had the hotel hold our luggage and we wandered around Reno checking out the local movie theater (just a couple blocks away, within walking distance) and ate lunch at a little bar and grill. The casinos are way too smokey, so we've avoided those. But they are everywhere!

They got us into our one bedroom for the night. Dave's mom was so sweet and had flowers and a little bear wating for me. Dave and I, tired from pretravel prep and our travels, hunkered down for a nap while we waited for his dad Jerry and stepmom Annie to arrive (driving up from Sea Ranch, California). After our nap we walked to Hollywood Video and rented the Bourne Identity triology. We came back to the hotel and began to watch it. Jerry and Annie arrived and settled in and then Annie made us a nice dinner and then we watched movies.

Monday Jerry left to drive back to Cali and Dave, Annie and I went to our first appt. with Dr. Forsythe at 12pm. They were behind schedule so it took awhile to get in to see him. It took him awhile to read through all of my records. He was very pleasant and likeable. He suggested taking the German test, which is a blood test that they send to Germany to get results. It takes about 2 weeks to get the results. They test the DNA of your metastatic cells that are harvested from your blood and they test the cells against different chemos to find what they are least resistant to and find which kinds of chemo would work best against them . It's supposed to be the most comprehensive test. He talked about effective therapies such as PolyMVA (alpha lipolic acid and palladium (precious metal) which takes a ride on the free radicals and uses them as transport to the cells. They can target and eliminate cancer cells without hurting the healthy ones. Cellular nutrient that interrupts the transformation of healthy cells to malignant ones) and a Salicinium (addresses all of the inflamatory properties) drip with DMSO and high vitamin C. The DMSO is the carrier for the Salicinium and makes the cancer cells more permeable. He explained how cancer cells thrive on simple sugars, acid environments, low oxygen environments and how in their krebs cycle they go down an anaerobic pathway and regular cells don't. He explained that cancer cells are low energery and produce 5% of the energy normal cells produce. He also talked about how he used to be a pathologist and he suggested that the ovaries could have produced a krukenbrueg tumor, because ovaries can produce any kind of tissue in the body. He did an exam where he felt my belly and my nodes and said my belly feels excellent. He showed me how to look for a left scalene node above the clavical on the left side. That's a place ovarian cancer would metasticize to.

I was then sent into the infusion room where they hooked me up via my port to a Salicinium drip for about 3 hours. This is something I will do every day for 3 weeks Monday- Friday and then take it orally over the weekend. The one side effect it definately has is that it makes me smell of DMSO, which is a kind of Garlicky, Oniony smell. It seeps out of my pores. The whole clinic actually smelled like it when we walked in, but now I can't tell. It makes my breath smell bad too.

After the infusion, we went to Wild Oats (which is being changed over to Whole Foods as we speak) and stocked up on groceries. While we were gone, the hotel moved our stuff from the one bedroom to the two bedroom. What a great setup. It doesn't really feel like a hotel so much as an apartment. It has a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, kitchen with blender, toaster, stove/oven, fridge and all of the kitchen utensils. It has 2 bedrooms with separate bathrooms and a living and dining area. It's quite spacious. They don't have maid service unless you schedule it (as you can wash your own towels etc). The pool is closed because it's outdoors and the hot tub is outdoors too, so we won't be using those. But we did use the little work out room that has a universal gym, treadmill and another cardio machine that is popular right now but I can't think of the name.

We cooked dinner and watched another Bourne movie and then went to bed before getting up again and starting over! I went in to get infused for 3 hours and then I had a 5pm appt. with the homeopathic doctor. She went through all of my supplements and set me up with a schedule and pared down on what I was already taking. I walked in with two huge gallon bags of supplements (set up by my naturapath at home). She told me all of them were excellent choices, but that I didn't need to take some of them right now, especially the antioxidants because they don't want them attacking the free radicals during this treatment because they use the free radicals to transport the stuff to the cancer cells quickly. She also has me on PHenmominal, something that you add to your water that you will drink to alkalize your body. Most water has a ph of 7, phenominal has a stable ph that when mixed with regular water has a ph of 11. The doctor told me that I should try and bring my ph up to 7.42. She gave me homework before I left and asked me to write down 10 "I want..." goals for my physical self. And that when your brain talks to your body, it needs to be simple and and direct, like speaking to a 5 yr old. We ran out of time before we finished, so I am scheduled to meet with her again on Thursday. Annie had to take Dave to the airport in the middle of my appointment so they left and Annie came back to get me afterwards.

It was 730pm before we got back to the hotel,worked out and then we had dinner and rented "Finding Neverland" from the front desk for $3.00. We went to bed and slept in until about 930am and then got up and did it all over again today! After infusing, we stopped at Barnes and Nobels and picked up a few books and then Walgreens for some humidifiers because the air is so dry in Reno and our hotel room (no humidity). We came home and made dinner and tonight we sat around and read, and talked and blogged. It's now almost midnight and I've got to get in bed. I'm trying to get to bed earlier, but I guess it's not working very well for me yet!

So hopefully that catches everyone up with what's going on with me. I'll try and be better about getting on here more regularly so my posts aren't so long.

Thanks again to my army and Catlin family.


Laura Nicholas said...

so glad to see a post from you. Hopefully you will get some time to just settle in and get some rest. Thinking of you and sending you happy thoughts!


Paris said...

I'm so glad to have it all in writing after our last conversation. What an amazing process to go through. I just know it will be a great thing for you to experience and kick this cancers butt! Miss you so much and can't wait to see you! Love, P

JO said...

Hi Shauna: I was so happy to read your blog. I have been thinking about you each day. Sounds like things are going very well there. I am so glad. I will let the gals in our support group know what is going on with you. Keep hanging in there. YOU GO GIRL! Love ya, JO

BoxerAngie said...

Hi Shauna, So glad to hear you are settling in. Do you need a big movie stash? Would be happy to ship you a box from our big library, and I can put a return shipment label in there for you to ship them home (so you don't have to find luggage space). Shoot me an email and let me know what you'd like to watch, and where to ship them to. Also--are they DVD's?? I sure hope so, but I have some older movies on VHS too if that is what you have! Mom and I are thinking of you everyday! Super big Hugs!

chrissy said...

Shauna - Hi, Chrissy Carroll kw1984 I'm so sorry to hear what's going on. I heard about your blog from Heidi Greive thru Janelle Reber. I haven't keep in touch with anybody from HS, except Heidi. Still BFF's since early 1980s. I'm still chris carroll, never married, but I do have a beautiful 9 yr old daughter, madison. She and I live on Mercer Island, with a dog, 2 cats and 2 fish. I have my own business, cleaning houses. It allows me to spend the most time with Madi. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. You go girl! Love Chris and Madi.

Shanna said...

Okay, put your movie order in! I have 2 freebie coupons from Blockbuster and will raid my DVD cabinet before I pack. Can't wait to see you next week. Looking forward to relaxing, reading, healthy eating, exercise, and the laughter. Roll on Reno!

Love you.

Jane said...

Hi Shauna,

Thinking of you...


My name is Shanna and I am said...

Okay, replying to your comment on my blog. lol Not sure how else to do it. How sweet is Ms. Kaelin, worrying about your Cali gal pals. Love it!

What type of movies do you like to watch?? I don't know because everytime we are together we are either on the go or taking the kids to the a show! What do grown ups watch anyway?? lol


Stacy said...

Shauna - I hope I am not intruding. My Uncle has been diagnoised with stage IV colon cancer and I found Dr Forsyth Cancer Wellness center. I am have a tough time convince my uncle to try this clinic. What made you try this. How is the money part of this coming out? Do you interact with a lady name Valirie at the Clinci - she works there? We are having a very tough time getting any info from the clinic or even getting them to call us back. Any ideas, how did you get the info you needed to make the decision that this was a for real deal? I am so sorry to intrude on your page, I am just very worried for my Uncle.