Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Keep On

A quick entry as my cannabis seeps through my body, distracting me from . . . everything. 

I had my first post-Healer, post-Cannabis, post-Lapatinib experiment (remember, it crosses the blood brain barrier and the other drugs don’t, which is one of the reasons Dr Specht has been such an enthusiastic pusher) MRI today.  I didn’t sleep quite as well last night as I have been recently, but probably better than I usually do before scans (the drugs, they are my sleepy sleepy friends).  As I was lying there before sleep, though, I was thinking about what I would do if the scan came back normal.  Like, nothing at all. Well, a brain of course, but no lesions.  I imagined the looks on their faces, Dr Jason and Nurse Sarah, and it totally cracked me up.  But then I really thought about it—what would I do after that?  After evidence of a cure?  If I’d been freed from cancer, what would I do?

I would probably stop Navelbine as soon as possible, sure, so that I could start taking some high-powered antioxidants, but aside from that, I would do everything the same.  I’m really excited to be starting my editing course in a couple weeks; I’m really looking forward to going back to Kenya after 15 years;  I am interested in learning more from ET even if I don’t “need” his gifts; music, horses rocksboatsknitting . . .

I would do everything the same.  

I’m just so tickled that I feel that way, and that I somehow managed to notice. I don’t need to be freed to succeed.  (weed)

All of this leads up to, after a long, long multi-hour wait to be scanned, nurse Sarah coming through the exam room door saying “Whatever you’re doing works well for us!” Yep, early reports are for a stable MRI!  Nurse Sarah was the only one to read the scan by the time we saw her, but she had looked back and forth at several pictures and saw no new spots and no larger old spots! 

Who knew stasis could be so AWESOME.

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Father’s Daughter

As per my usual when meeting a new health care provider, I prepared for my first visit to ET, spiritual healer and medium, by making a list of ailments and physical annoyances I’d been experiencing, in the interests of having a place to start, a road map, if you will, if he and my Guides didn’t come up with one themselves.  

Yes, my Guides.  ET talks to people’s Guides or Guardian Angels—and he distinguishes between the two.  A Guide is a spirit being that has been or could be incarnate (i.e. a dead human’s spirit could, I guess, become a Guide—I’ll need to ask); an Angel is a spirit being who is only spirit, and can never animate flesh; but aside from that they function very similarly in our lives (what their actual functions are, I am only just beginning to learn).  To prepare for a first meeting with a new client, ET does a meditation with his own Guides (and/or Angels) and mine, the morning of the appointment.  In that meditation, he is shown various pictures and given various words or phrases that are important to the client and the healing that is about to take place.  

Let’s just say that none of the pictures he saw had anything to do with my right thumb, which has ached off and on, with varying degrees of severity, for the last 5 or 6 years.  Or, since I learned to knit.  

My achy thumb was on the list because, I’m sure, it’s a relatively minor pain in the scheme of things (so if it can’t be healed, it doesn’t destroy my hope for larger issues?), and I want it to go away without my having to take pain pills, or give up knitting (which I don’t do in the summer anyway, but my thumb still pains me).  

Cancer was not on my list.  

How interesting it is to me, now, after the 6 ½ hour session and the things that transpired, that asking for relief for one modest physical issue was okay to contemplate—but that asking for relief from cancer was not. He is a healer after all. Why did I want to see him, if not to be healed?

In part, I wanted to see him because what he does, what he sees, if he is speaking the truth (and I believe he is), is so game-changing for the way this planet works, that I wanted to go and see if he could help me, so that maybe, just maybe, I can someday help other people.  For several years now I have been practicing the Tarot both for myself as a way of communicating with my Guides, and for various friends or relatives if they happen to want a reading.  I am also hyper-aware of how my body feels at any given time (these things are all interconnected). I am aware of my energy state (and have long been in the habit of ignoring it if it’s not FULL STEAM AHEAD!); both physical and more . . .let’s say super-physical.  We all have energetic bodies as well as physical ones, and I can feel my energetic body and the shifts and flows in it. 

I’m finding it difficult to write this post.  In part, it’s because I have, from some perspectives perhaps, nothing to write about.  If you don’t believe what I’ve put down here already, a blog post is not going to be the forum to convince you that I’m not only telling the truth, I’m also talking about reality.  The other reason it’s difficult is that the experience really was, I think, life changing.  It’s a bit too soon to tell how, exactly, the changes will show up, but some fundamentals are profoundly different. I’ll share with you some of the specifics of the appointment, and you can do what you will with them.

First, we sat on the couch in the living room of ET's rural King County house and he gave me about an hour’s quick tutorial on Spirit/Guides/Angels, on energy, on the transference and creation of different energetic forms, stuff like that.  He wrote a book several years ago, and I read it before meeting him, so I understood—or at least was familiar with the words—most of what he was saying (and some of it I had already heard from others or figured out on my own with the help of my Guides, through Tarot or the I Ching).

We then moved to his massage table, which was just behind the couch, set at an obtuse angle so that I lounged on my back instead of being flat.  The angle was, really, completely ideal—I remember noting it a couple times throughout the event? appointment? reading?.  I was comfortable throughout, and I was there for most of five hours.  Once I was settled, ET called his Guides and mine (mine, five of them, came dressed in Native American garb, so he said—I still can’t see them or speak with them directly), and asked them to open up my 7th chakra, the Crown chakra, so that he could get a better look at what was in there.  The Guides did so, stretching the chakra open behind me, so that the next time ET spoke to them, I heard him across the room, about 20 feet away.  

I think, for the sake of brevity—oops, too late—for the sake of finishing a post, I will focus on only one clearing he did, and leave the past lives (two were of import for this first visit) for another time, even though it all is connected.  

So.  Children mimic the energies of their parents to some extent.  When they are first born, and until adulthood, there are not a lot of choices kids have.  They don’t choose their parents (the physical, animal body doesn’t, at least), they don’t choose their schools, they don’t choose the books they first read, the religion they first practice, their nationality, their socio-economic group, you get the picture.  In learning how to be a part of their families, parental energies and practices are copied.  All of these things help form what ET refers to as the “default personality.”  In my particular case, something that happened in one of my two featured past lives set me up to be particularly good at taking on another’s energy, and so the energy I had from my father was not just my energy, built up to work with him and the family, but actually a lot of his energy.  “He was pretty messed up emotionally,” ET said (or something like it—I do have a tape, but have not transcribed it yet), “a lot of anxiety.  How old was he when he died?”


“Yikes! That’s not old!  This stuff really messed up his body!”

ET asked if I remembered anything from my childhood about Dad that might relate to me taking on his energy, and what I remembered was this: I was about nine years old, it was fall, and I had learned to blow a bubble when chewing gum.  My father hated gum chewing, not because it’s crass, but because it’s noisy.  Not really noisy, so’s you’d notice or anything, unless you were my dad.  Then it was noisy, repetitive, and the MOST ANNOYING THING EVER.  Unless you were clicking your ballpoint pen open and closed.  Or crink-crink, crink-crinking your pop can after you’ve finished your drink. Or anything else you did more than one time in a row.  I learned about his noise neuroses so early on that it never occurred to me to question them; I just took on the role of Daddy Protector, and warned whoever came to the house that my dad didn’t like gum chewing.  He also didn’t like open-mouthed food chewing, but that was another story.  In this story, young Calin ventures out to the barn where Daddy is working on a farm project.

“Daddy,” I said, going up to him as he came toward me, wiping his hands on his ever-present back-pocket grease rag, “I know you hate gum chewing, and I won’t ever do it again in front of you, but I just learned how to blow a bubble and I was wondering if I could show you.  Can I?”

“Sure,” said Dad, putting his still-filthy hand on my shoulder.  “Let me see what you’ve got.” 

I did my best and successfully blew a bubble.  “Okay,” I said, relieved and pleased.  “I’ll throw it out now.”

“You can keep chewing it,” Dad said, “just this once.”

I did keep chewing, for about 45 minutes, as I wandered about the barn and Dad went back to his work, but it didn’t feel right—I felt like my chewing was probably bothering him anyway—so I spit out my gum long before I normally would have.  I normally would’ve chewed a piece of gum for hours, until it was, literally, dissolving in my mouth.  You didn’t know gum can, in fact, be digested?  It can. In the mouth.

“I was going to say age 8,” said ET, after this story. “That seems to be when you actively took on his energy.  Well, he might want it back, and YOU certainly don’t need it! Is he still between lives?”

“Yes,” I said immediately.  Is he still between lives?!? How the hell do I know? But I DID know—I didn’t wonder, I didn’t think. I knew.

ET cocked his head, listening to something. “Yes, he is,” he confirmed.  “This is great,” he went on, “he can get his energy back, and maybe learn what he was supposed to from it, and not have to repeat this life, and you can get on with your own!”

He and the Guides did the clearing, and then cleared the energy associated with my mother as well.  

That evening, back at home in Wallingford, I took the dogs out for a late walk. I felt tall, and straight, and upright, and free, and calm.  I did my best to measure myself against the old mark on the kitchen door, and I looked one half inch taller. Better yet, the anxiety was gone.  I didn’t take a clonazepam that night when I went to bed, and I haven’t since.  

It’s been particularly interesting to be out at the Ould Sod for this weekend, taking care of the farm—to see all my old haunts, and think about them now that I am less haunted.  I’ve been spending time moving my energy around, flexing my chakras, bringing in Universal energy and Earth energy, feeling them swirl together, torrents of light coursing through me, causing involuntary shudders and gasps, and making me burst into laughter.  Yes, really.  I’ve also been taking my cannabis cure each night (I stepped my clonazepam down to half a pill when I started the marijuana, but it’s still interesting to not need any), and sleeping a lot (Ian and I are currently on diverging clocks: at sea, he’s up at 6:30 and in bed by 9:30.  Last night, I was in bed by 2 and up at 11.).  I’ve been climbing trees and leaping over fences, and walking to the pond, and picking blackberries, and I had L&S and Jessie-dog over for dinner and pie.  I’ve also been finding myself canceling appointments . . . and just resting.  

I’m amazed at how easy it is to take a break and lie down, when I’m no longer judging rest as useless, wasted time.  There will always be something to do.  It can wait for an hour.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Leaping Down

I am slowly learning how to use my medical marijuana, which is to say that, if I’m willing to cancel all daytime appointments and sleep away my afternoons, I should take a dose in the morning.  Otherwise, I should do all my daytime appointments, then take my dose when all that’s left is to be pampered and waited on by my dear husband who is . . . oh wait . . . going out to sea tomorrow morning before the almost-equinoxal crack of dawn.  

Ian is going to be volunteering again as a fish counter on a leg of one of the annual survey trips down the west coast of the US. This will earn him a lot of “comp time”, so that we can go to Kenya together in November.  But it means that I, for ten days, will be on my own, back to caring for my own needs and those of the dogs, and then, for the last few days that he’s out, I’ll be in Maple Valley at Mom and Marsh’s, looking over their geriatric pets while they enjoy some time away.  It’s only fair, I SUPPOSE, that I pay M&M back in some small way for all the time they’ve spent watching Spackle and Hoover. THE THINGS I HAVE TO DO.

But mostly I just wanted to write this post to let you all know that my tumor markers continue falling apace:  from 81, to 68, to 56 most recently!

Monday, September 5, 2011


This weekend I became a legal user of medical marijuana.  My sister-in-law, who is a prosecutor in the Seattle area, reacted vigorously when I told her I was going to be able to use pot with permission.  “OOOH!” she exclaimed with relish (she loves her job), “I can tell you all the dispensaries not to go to because you’ll get SHOT!”

Right.  Just because Washington State allows me to have weed doesn’t mean everyone is allowed to have it.  And me, innocent, law-abiding, clean-living (with the exception of chemotherapies, of course) soul that I am, shy and retiring and insecure, arms full of a plant with a lot of value on the street—I’m the perfect target.  And even though I am, in general, innocent and law-abiding and clean-living, and even though I am not shy, retiring, nor insecure—and I’m bad-ass buff—none of that matters to a handgun anyway.  

One of the first side effects that I’m noticing from my newly cooked marijuana oil is a great need for naps.  I mean, I am chill, brother.  I decided that, if this oil works and cures my cancer, I would want to have a record of it, from the very beginning.  I started that record yesterday (I think it may be a memoir project rather than just a series of blog entries . . . yep, that’s me, kicking around the idea of not only becoming a legitimate editor, but also writing a book . . .), but what I’m finding, at least so far, is that it’s hard to build up enough steam to do something when you are, essentially, stoned (the body is supposed to adjust to the side effects of the oil within 3 weeks, and it could be that I should be starting with a smaller dose anyway).

Dude.  I’m actually relaxing for the first time in . . . who knows. Like, really just wandering around the house, having extensive, slobbering naps and in general letting things slide (with the exception of the laundry, which was really necessary). One of our friends, who may have been suspected of using pot illegitimately, and therefore may have been my drug “expert” over the last couple weeks, suggested that perhaps rest, just rest, once in awhile, might cure me.  Maybe that’s the secret to the pot potions—they simply put you to sleep so your body can do its thing.  

Back to procurement, though, because medical marijuana can do no one any good in absentia.  Fortunately, for the avoidance of handguns, many of the medical marijuana users in the area are in difficult stages of difficult diseases—I mean, unfortunately for them of course as far as how they feel—but fortunately for the distribution of legalized pot, because there are lots of delivery options.

The industry is a weird mix of business-as-usual and hush-hush. I received my card from a Naturopath in West Seattle, at a 6pm appointment (i.e. after normal office hours), and it gives me the right to have, for my own use, a 60-day supply which comprises 24 ounces (1 ½ pounds) of marijuana bud and up to 15 plants. The appointment cost $150 if I brought evidence of current disease activity (I had evidence in spades); $200 if I didn’t, and needed the doctor to evaluate me.  Payable in cash, or a money order.  I chose cash. 

There’s an online list of area dispensaries and other informative medical marijuana websites, and I eventually navigated to a place that could find me a pound of Indica bud (various strains) and deliver it to my house (it’s since been processed). I had to scan my driver’s license and marijuana card and email them over to the company: very official.  The amount that I had to pay for my take, though—$3600—was in cash, and is a “donation”. The “donation” language is completely ingrained in the marijuana dispensers, because the law in Washington doesn’t make any provisions for how the marijuana should change hands; and federally, selling drugs is trafficking, and is a felony. 

I discovered what may become my pet editing project in surfing through all this drug stuff: every single one of the websites I saw had typos, grammatical errors, and/or other unprofessional-looking issues with language.  I should at least be able to help legitimize medical marijuana in a linguistic way. After the way I’ve been feeling today, though, both with doing things around the house and with writing this entry, I have a newfound understanding for the sloppiness.  Does tidiness really matter? I keep asking myself, before lying down again and staring at my toes, or the patterns of shadow on the ceiling of my bedroom, or the backs of my eyelids.  

On the evening of my delivery, the guy, whom I know by a first name only, called a couple times; first to say he was running late, then to find out exactly where I was.

“Is there off-street parking, or a driveway?” Marijuana Man asked.

“Uh, no, there’s not,” I replied, hesitantly.  “It’s just street parking . . . I mean, we have a short driveway, but . . . just how cloak-and-dagger is this?” I finally asked, and he laughed.

“No, no, the street is fine.  I’ll be there in five minutes.”

The deal came off perfectly easily, the first batch of oil went as expected, and now all I have to do is take a tiny bit every day, and see what happens.

Wake me in a couple months.

Friday, September 2, 2011


The blogger interface on my cell phone only allows me to post a title, not an actual entry, which is why yesterday’s post about my tumor markers, entered from the clinic between appointments, was a surprisingly succinct commentary on the current state of my life, as compared with most commentaries. Such as this one.  

Today’s title is, of course, an increasingly less obscure reference to the state of my bowels.  They were, this morning, almost too, as these things go. I am having a real milk latte to compensate, but a smallish one.  I’m taking pains to not share it with Hoover.

There were a couple notable things about my appointment with Dr Specht yesterday.  One is that she said she was not, at this time, going to ask me to reassess my experience with Lapatinib and try it again, maybe starting at one pill per day and working up to maybe no more than three; no, she was not going to ask that at yesterday’s meeting, but that perhaps in 3 weeks, or 6 weeks, we could get together again and discuss.  She did ask, in the absence of asking me to reconsider Lapatinib, that I please not deny the possibility, completely, of ever taking it again, at this time.  

“Well,” I came back, “it’s a good thing you’re not asking me to reconsider today, because the answer would be a resounding NO.  It was the WORST THING I have ever experienced in my 12 ½  years of breast cancer treatments.”  I think that’s true even taking into account the intubation and bedpans of PCP in 2008, because at least then I was in the ICU of the hospital, with my own 24-hour butler (or nurse—hair splitting, really), and enjoying some pretty bad-ass psychopharmacology.  

“Besides,” I said, “I have a couple new things I’d like to try.  These are pretty out there,” I said, “and you’re going to think they’re crazy, and you’re definitely going to think one of them is crazier than the other.”

“Okay,” she said, nodding and looking doubtful. “This is not in the absence of all treatment, is it?” I assured her that Herceptin and Navelbine could stay on the roster for now. Dr Specht finds me, and my flamboyant turns of health, a bit difficult to understand, and maybe even to accept. I don’t fit neatly into very many boxes (this being a notable exception). 

“First, sometime this weekend I will be making my own hemp oil,” I said.  “No, I’m not going to be smoking pot, because, fun as that is, the curative powers of the marijuana plant come when you extract the oil and ingest it, in small doses, over two months. They say that’s enough to cure most cancers.”

Dr Specht’s look of doubt increased, and I understand—I’m not convinced, either, that hemp oil, even rich in cannabinoids and whatever else, will cure my cancer.  But the side effects are pretty minimal, particularly if you take the suggested dosage of one rice grain’s worth per day, so—worth a try.  An aside about the whole medical marijuana establishment: I believe I have found my first editorial crusade.  There is not a single medical marijuana website out there that I have seen—and I’ve seen many in the past month—that is free from typos and grammatical errors.  I will happily volunteer my time and skills to legitimize, if only in a linguistic way, the use of this plant.  

We finished up our discussion of the hemp oil I was going to make, the process, the expected results, etc, and then I said, grinning, “Okay, and now for the one that you’ll think is REALLY crazy!”

Dr Specht looked alarmed.  “What?” she exclaimed.  “That wasn’t the crazy one?”  Dr Specht is young, about my age (I think a couple years younger), but is definitely dedicated to her beliefs about Western medicine. This is good—she does excellent work, and knows her stuff really, really well.  But I am in a new wave of young cancer patients who are living with their cancers and therefore integrating their personal health systems from all sorts of arenas—and I’m putting all those usual arenas—and more—right in her face.  This is also good.  As she grows as an oncologist, and continues down the path of her career, perhaps for the next 3 or 4 decades, it will be good for her patients that she's already heard about some of the “crazy” stuff out there.  And she did offer me the six weeks just so I could try my things.

“Nope,” I said.  “This is the crazy one:  I’m going, on September 15, to visit an energetic, spiritual healer who is also a medium.  He can release dark energies from people’s bodies and help them heal physically.” She smiled and nodded. “He wrote a book,” I went on, “and is pretty clear that all he can do is help release energies and, for those who are interested, help explain where they're from—but for any healing to stay, the patients themselves need to work through the issues that allowed the energy to come around in the first place.”  With a final nod, Dr Specht moved back to the roundly physical, and asked about my eye issue.

“I got a steroid injection into the eyeball a couple months ago,” I said, “and I think two months is about as long as the effects of that are supposed to last.  I see the eye doc again on the 15th.  Oh, in fact, the morning before I see the healer!”

“Don’t tell him!” said Dr Specht, “And see if he figures it out on his own!”

“He doesn’t want any of his clients to tell him anything,” I replied.  “He learns it all from his guides and theirs!”  

At lunch yesterday after this appointment, friend L suggested I wear a thick turtleneck to hide my port and my faux teton, and I called her a doubter, too.  I’ll probably have one eye dilated when I arrive at the healer’s, though, and that will be hard to hide.  I’m not a complete credulous rube, though.  I think I’ll be okay.

And now, much as I’m sure I need to re-edit this post, I don’t have time.  Riding, horses, next on the agenda today!

Thursday, September 1, 2011