Update on my mother

My mother – thanks God is still with us. She is maintaining reasonable lifestyle and is relatively happy. However, the chemo made her arthritis worse. As a result she is not very mobile and stays at home most of the times. If she goes out, it is only for short walks. She needs a stick to support herself and lost confidence to do longer walks. She stopped taking most of the supplements and I suspect that she is back to her old diet – which is mostly vegetarian but does not include much of fresh veg. Psychologically it is not so wonderful – up and down. So all in all we are happy she is still with us but the quality of her life is not that fabulous. I think the main problem is that she is slipping in the old lifestyle – she always wants to help and do everything for everyone and tries to do it even now. That means her own wellbeing is not her priority anymore.

If I would make one note to anyone reading this – it would be – don’t go back to your old ways. Make changes for better and stick to them. Stay focused on yourself. Don’t try to save other others all the time, don’t try to be perfect, don’t be scared of not being perfect and be more selfish. You don’t need to sacrifice yourself for your family. Instead thrive and they will thrive with you. At the end – everybody will benefit from your strength although in a different way than you imagined. The household can wait, kids and husbands can be more independent than you think 🙂 Good luck to everyone xxx

Update: I have noticed more visitors coming to read this post. What I want to say is this – stay focused on yourself and think about your life in a great detail. What can you change? Make the changes today and don’t put them off – like giving up sugar, upping greens, taking more rest. Delegate things that you do for others – share the tasks. You don’t have to carry everything on your shoulders. My mum always felt guilty about resting or even about thinking about herself and her needs – don’t do this! This is your life and no one is going to live it for you.

IMG_1839

 

Supplements that were recommended to my mum

I realized that when I was writing about my mum I forgot to mention two supplements that were recommended to her. One she used and one she didn’t.

The one she did not use is called Ovosan. We did find positive reviews for it but at the end my mum decided not to buy it. The main reason was the price. Also you need to talk to the consultant about the dosage. She was hesitant about that. And last but not least, she found that the product was made from chicken embryos which she did not like. I would never push her into something she is not completely comfortable so we abandoned the idea. Having said that, I think if you don’t mind the price and the other things it might be worth checking out.

Later on, another friend pointed us towards different supplement – Penoxal. It is not cheap either but it is made from mushrooms and the dosage is more straightforward. She did not use it right from the start but during her chemotherapy as her immunity suffered lot more than expected. Once she started taking it she seemed to have more resistance.

Update: 2019 – Most doctors don’t want to hear about supplements. If you can, choose an open minded doctor. Check also my other post: https://wordpress.com/post/youdonthavetolikethis.com/138

 

img_0831

 

 

 

In the middle of it

At the moment my mum is in the middle of the treatment. Went through a series of chemos and now the date of the operation is going to be decided. It is hard to say that she is doing well. I  would rather say she is keeping up the brave face. She is sick of it.  I have no doubt. We knew that the chemos will undermine her immunity but we did not know how much. I can honestly say that we underestimated it. Basically after every chemotherapy she has a cold, cough, runny nose, fever, nausea, loss of appetite. Her blood test were not good. Once it was red blood cells then it was white blood cells. On the top of it she had an allergic reaction to antibiotics which caused a bad rash all over the body. She lost her hair but that is probably the least of her worries. I think the chemo is such a big hit. Of course she continues with all the supplements, herbs and juices. It gives her an extra boost and protection. She thinks /and I tend to agree/ that without the extra herbal help she would in a lot worse state. My heart goes to everybody who is going through this…

Update: 2019 – now a distant memory. My mum says those days were very unpleasant but were bearable. She is convinced that the supplements and herbs helped her to minimise the side effects. The doctors often commented on how well she is healing.

Rest and take time for yourself
Don’t be shy to ask for help, don’t be shy to cry

First steps

When I started this blog I did not think that breast cancer will be one of the topics. Well, I was wrong. It has been on my mind for a while now. I did turn to internet – searching all

possible answers. It became clear to me how important if not crucial is to keep mum in a good spirits. How to do that, I was not sure. The first week I myself needed a help from my dear family and lot’s of tear was shed. I did not hide my pain as it seemed pointless. I did say to my family: “I knew she has to die one day – but not like this. If she is to go I hope it is going to be in sleep, having a lovely dream with a feeling of fulfilled life. That I can take. But like this…” Many people thought that my mum’s reaction is strange. Basically she did not talk about it. Only bare minimum she had to say. It seemed that she is more worried about us. It was the first thing she said to me: “ I am sorry I have to worry you all.” That is very her. Thinking about others first. From outside it looked that she took the news without big emotions. My sister-in-law asked me: “Does she even want to fight it?” My mum avoided that subject and never said the word – cancer – once.  Here and there she would break into tears but it always had to do with seemingly unimportant things. Broken glass, mess in the kitchen…I was thinking what is better for her – to avoid speaking about or let it all out? I did not find much help online on this topic and I suppose it is very individual. First few days I also pretended as if nothing happened…

Most of the articles I have read said one thing: “it is important to keep the person in a optimistic state…people who embrace it with optimistic attitude generally do better…” O.K. at least one thing to start with. I looked online for facts and statistics. Found that breast cancer actually has good chances of survival. I pulled out the numbers and showed that to mum not knowing how she would react. When I showed her the statistics her face lit up: “so there is a chance…” Everything she has been bottling in came out. All her anger, worries, disappointment. I could hear relief in her voice. After that the word cancer was not a tabu anymore. Mum showed me the lump and talked about her feelings openly: “If there is a hope it is worth trying…” It did not take long to think through a strategy – she will take the traditional route with Western medicine but at the same time she will take all the other help she can take – positive affirmations, herbal support, dietary changes and some yoga.

So first steps were made – discovering hope and laying down a plan.

Update: 2019 – having a plan worked psychologically. It brought some structure into the day and had some concrete steps. I recommend to write down things on paper. What can be done today? What can be done this week? What changes I need to make? Food plan etc.

Hope
Hope should never leave you