On Wednesday July 29th, Viking (hubby) took me to Markham Stouffville Hospital Chemo Clinic for Blood Work, an appointment with my Oncologist and my Zometa treatment.
He had to wait for the afternoon in the parking lot of a Tim Hortons:( I appreciated him being close and he texted ”I am 7 minutes away”, so that I felt reassured.
This treatment is an osteoporosis medicine that helps build bone density and for me it is preventative treatment. We are building up my bones, because this type of Breast Cancer likes to come back in the bones. My very first treatment did not go well, so I was hesitant to carry on with this treatment. My Doctor and I made some dramatic changes and the second treatment went well. So this was the third treatment and it went pretty smooth.
My fears since chemo are of needles, any and all. So Bloodwork and IV treatment all in one day is a lot for me to handle. I know it is doable, because I have built tools to get through it. I practice breathwork so that I can use it in times of unease or stress or pain. It worked! Also, drinking lots and lots of water for a few days before made my veins much easier to find.
I am feeling very grateful for the tremendous care I get at MSH. I had a really great appointment with my Doctor, we will be switching the drug Tamoxifen to an Aromatase Inhibitor, thus cutting back estrogen even more in my body. However, it doesn’t come without possible side effects, so October could be a little rough (I am to start early October). If I don’t tolerate it, then it will be back to the Tamoxifen and we will re-evaluate.
We discussed some new advances in Genetic Testing for my case and I will most likely be a candidate for more testing. Which is wonderful as I am always keen to be further studied lol. I mean I am fascinating!
The highlight of my visit feels like a big win for me and for Cancer Patients everywhere.
My Oncologist is super supportive of my choice to use Medical Cannabis to treat many post-cancer issues. She wrote me my first authorisation after all. However, this time she mentioned how much she really wants to learn more from ME and that she wishes the hospital could hire me as a Cannabis Educator! She was thrilled to hear about a Naturopathic Clinic (TrueRoots Healthcare) that has (me) a Medical Cannabis Educator and Consultant as a part of the Wellness Team!
She was always thrilled with my excellent Naturopathic Care by my amazing team of Leigha( https://truerootshealthcare.com ) and
Brenda ( http://pcnm.ca/# ).
I left my appointment just glowing - and it was NOT because of the cannabis! It was the incredible support of my healthcare team. I felt lifted and incredibly hopeful for the future.
I feel like the luckiest patient ever as I felt zero shame around using plant medicine for therapeutic use AND I felt heard and respected. Can I get an AMEN?!?! I know that with this kind of support, the feeling of wellbeing amidst this scary disease is easier for me to find. In other words, when a patient feels heard, respected and cared for, the outcome is often more positive. THIS is the answer to all of you who ask, HOW are you doing so well after all that you have been through?
In regards to my professional choice to be a Cannabis Educator and a Yoga and Meditation Teacher, my Oncologist actively SUPPORTS the work I do. She knows the benefits of Mindfulness, Meditation, Gentle Movement and Stress Reduction! She knows that most patients really struggle with anxiety. My Yoga practice and my profession as a Yoga Teacher has immense value in healing and she has seen this through my experience. Reducing pain is a huge part of my post cancer journey. Knowing that Cannabis is helping me function so that I can do the work that I am passionate about is a huge win!
In October I will have my annual Mammogram and Ultrasound. This will be another assurance that the cancer is still gone.
Three and a half years ago there was an immense mountain of healing to climb. These days, I can honestly say I am well and feeling great most of the time.
I know not everyone has the opportunity to experience such amazing healthcare for themselves. I thank Divine everyday for the blessing of being a survivor. I continue to advocate for patients, their experiences and their futures. My work with Yoga, Meditation and Cannabis Medicine keeps me healthy enough to continue my work with Yoga, Meditation and Cannabis Medicine.
Your support as my cheerleaders lifts me up everyday! I am so thankful for you all!