Monday, March 21, 2016

Some Progress….

So if you missed the Facebook update I posted today, here's what it said….

Ok - I'm officially in Ketosis, the lymph node in my armpit is like half the size it was, the one pushing on my liver has gone down enough that I can lay on my stomach comfortably again, and besides the fact that my muscles need building up, I have enough energy to be a semi functional person.
So here is my goal. For Saoirse's first birthday, we had a party in the summer - we called it "saoirse's 1 and kezia's done!" This summer Lochlan turns three. This year's party is going to be "Lochlan's 3 and kezia's cancer free!" - that's the goal. Cancer free by July - that gives me just about 5 months. Let's do this!!!

I'm still experiencing some pain in my hip and lower back which is both muscular and disease related, but hopefully that will begin to subside as I keep making progress - and when I get my medical cannabis license all sorted out. 

I updated my other post talking about what other things I was working on, and I will put it here as well so you can see what measures I'm taking to combat my disease - now that I'm focusing wholly on my health as the first priority. (I keep kicking myself that I didn't put myself first sooner.) 

Thank you so much to those who have donated and supported me through this so far. I have a ways to go, but I am heading in the right direction it feels like. Any support you can give - either donation or other needs - I greatly appreciate it. Please share with anyone who you think could be of support for me during this time. 

Immediate needs:

$125 graciously the local Y has donated a 6 month membership for me.
     My body is giving me a hard time about moving around. My muscles are just not keeping up. Swimming would be great exercise for me to keep my lymph moving while supporting my body weight.

Far Infrared Mats: $750 I was able to use donations to date to purchase the mats. Thank You!
     Hyperthermia therapy is a great way to systemically kill cancer cells. I have done a TON of research on this - and it's one of the therapies included in the comprehensive treatments that are done at the centers on the west coast. I can start this at home with far infrared mats. (They have to heat up to above 60 degrees Celsius to be effective, which is why the cost is so high. I have talked directly to this company's distributor and received documentation about the testing that was done for these specific mats.) They will also help relieve some of the chronic pain that I have been experiencing. 

Medical Cannabis: $TBD (waiting on call back for pricing from dispensary as well as license processing)
    I have been dealing with a fair amount of discomfort, and some pain - especially at night. Pain medication has helped, but it decreases my appetite and keeps me from eating enough food to stay healthy. Massachusetts is a legal medical cannabis state, and I have found a local dispensary that can help me with both pain management and appetite stimulation, as well as anti cancer action using cannabis oil. I was also recommended (by the CannaKids organization) to a consultant who can help me pick the exact strains that will be most effective for me personally. (Half hour consult - $75/ Hour consult - $150.) Cannabis has a synergistic effect with the ketogenic diet. 

Ketogenic Diet: $200 / wk
    I have found a great cookbook and a couple support groups to help me with doing this diet as a treatment for cancer (se below for more info on my choice on this). Groceries for the recipes have added quite a bit to our grocery bill. Help with that cost is greatly appreciated as well. 

Massage: Gift Certificates
   Massage is something that I definitely need. My stress level is quite high, and although I have been working to find ways to de-stress, massage would be great. I currently have three gift certificates that I will be using with cancer certified massage therapists. 

Lymphatic Drainage Massage/Myofacial Release: $TBD
    I am looking into this currently. I have been recommended a local practitioner and will discuss with her about my condition and her recommendations. More soon on this. (This may not be an option - I have to consult with my oncologist about safety) 

Cancer Treatment for Kezia
℅ Peoples United Bank
1 Conant St.
Danvers, MA 01923

Mailing Address:
Kezia Fitzgerald
PO Box 61
Danvers, MA 01923

*The rest of the costs I will find out about within the next week or so. I will update this post as that info becomes available to me.* - I have heard from one center - I was not impressed with their intake, and concerned about the information. The second center has not yet responded with a consult date.

Lots of people have asked for ways they can help us. Other than donating to help fund the treatment, and sharing this post so that others can offer their support, there are some things that would be helpful to us at home. Mike has been a saint in basically taking over running our entire life. He not only runs CareAline every day, he takes care of Lochlan, cleans the house, cooks our meals, does all the errands, and takes care of me. If I can take some of those things off his plate, I know it would help him out a lot. (I'm pretty much useless these days)

Prepared Meals:
I am on a very specific diet - the Ketogenic Diet. I have done a LOT of research on this too, and have decided to get my body into ketosis to help starve the cancer cells and make treatments more effective (this is a good idea for ANY cancer patient - alternative or conventional therapies). This diet is very time consuming as it basically eliminates all processed food and requires a lot of cooking. The cooking isn't difficult, it's just constant. If anyone is on this diet and wants to help me figure out a good flow of cooking, I'd LOVE the help. If anyone wants to make a few meals that we can have on hand to heat up, I can point you in the direction of some recipes (or you can google or pinterest for them). I try to avoid too much dairy, with the exception of good grass fed butter (kerrygold rocks!), and too much meat. 

Help with Lochlan:
Unfortunately, Lochlan is getting a lot of TV time here. I can do more sedentary activities with him on good days (stringing beads and play dough are some faves), but I can't really get out and run around with him. I just don't have the energy these days. Thursday mornings are our highest need time. I go to treatment in Haverhill - I leave the house at 7:30 and don't get back sometimes until 11 or later. I always feel like I'm in a rush to leave so I can get back to let Mike get a meal in. If there is someone (or someones) who would be able to take Lochlan on Thursday mornings, that would be amazing.  Thank you to those that have offered your help and will be helping with our Thursday mornings! Playdates during afternoons are welcome and appreciated. 

Hosting a Fundraiser:

I have heard a few people mention that they would be interested in hosting a fundraiser. If you are interested, please email me and let me know - 

(For more insight into my decisions around alternative vs. conventional therapies, please stay tuned for a later blog post coming soon.)

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