Gratitude

Chicken satay is not delicious anymore, nor rice-beef porridge, not also cakes, nothing. It is only your kiss that I taste is still delicious, told my husband. I laughed nervously. Tried to hold back my tears. I know, I taste your kiss is also delicious, I replied.

My husband started to lose appetite since a week ago. Yesterday, he asked me to make Mie Nyemek (a Javanese style of noodle soup with spicy and savoury broth). After 6 spoons, he asked me to stop feeding him and wanted sweet hot tea. Today, he didn’t eat anything, he consumed only liquid, fruit flavour popsicles and glasses of sweet hot tea. Sometimes, I offered him nutrient milk (for cancer patient), but I don’t think he really like its taste.

Two days ago, again, I cried in distress as my husband slept hours and hours very soundly, it just reminded of his condition in the hospital last month. The cycle was always like, my husband would be in agonizing pain, couldn’t sleep for days, then sleep for more than 12 hours like a baby. When he was sleeping I would insist him to have water or liquid in take. Sometimes, he refused and told me, he just wanted to sleep. But, other time, he would drink the water or hot tea. Using a straw.

In this difficult time, I still always try to count my blessings. That’s very important, keep counting our blessings in spite of the fact, things in life are going not in our preferences. When you’re in happiness, it will be easy peasy to thank your blessing. But, how about when you have two daughters, 12 and 14 years and your husband is having a terminal illness that human-logical will not long survive? Will you (still) be able to count your blessing?

I will give it a try. I feel my gratitude because our daughters are doing great in school and adapt well with their father’s condition. They become independent and will be tough woman, I’m sure. Moreover, I have time to take care my husband and express my love for him.

These photos were taken last February in my daughters tooth filling ceremony (mepandes or metatah). An important religious ceremony for the Bali Hindus that is done when a girl or boy has entered their puberty. Again, I feel my gratitude because my husband has got the chance to see and celebrate our daughters’ beautiful religious ceremony.

Learning to accept God’s plan

 

I stared at my laptop, had no idea what to write, words seemed jumbled in my brain. But, I wanted to write. It’s almost a year since my last blog updated. Many things happened. Slowly but sure, the cancer consumed my husband’s body and spirit. It was started with the pain he experiences, that he tried to fight by having painkiller pill and kept increasing the dosage. Until the painkiller also kill my husband’s appetite. He then stopped being a vegetarian, did not want to drink any juice (fruits or vegetables), including the carrot juice. He asked for sweet things (tea with white sugar, ice cream, cakes). Probably, because that kind of food is tasted better in his palate than healthy food. If you remember about my previous posts about his cancer, you will understand those sweet things are actually feeding his cancer. After two years never been hospitalized, since August to October, he has been in hospital 3 times, because of his HB was too low (lower than 9) and he has to be transfused. The last one was the worse, he vomited black liquid as well black feces. When the paramedic had to move him from his bed to the ambulance bed, he lost his consciousness. I saw it. My daughters saw it, they hugged each other seeing their father like that. We burst in tears, it was awful. When the paramedic put the oxygen, he regained his consciousness and could communicate that the oxygen mask was way too tied. In the hospital, they examined my husband and told us he has chronic ulcus pepticum. It happened for long, the blood has turned his vomit and feces black. In his second day in the hospital, my husband slept so well for almost 24 hours, he did not move, he did not want to eat or drink, he just slept. But, when we asked him something to keep him alert, he could answer us logically, then went back to sleep (too) soundly. The nurses calmed me and said, he just tired. But, it did not calm me, later in the evening, my mind took me to the efforts we had made to fight his advanced cancer. Used ECCT blanket, took Chinese medicine, drank a lot carrot juice, becomes vegetarian, avoid sugar, fine white flour, white rice, eat brown rice, eat fresh fruit. I started to find mistakes, may be because he did not eat fresh vegetable, he just like cooked vegetables, why could not he resisted himself to take more and more painkiller pills, why was I did not more care about how much dosage he had take in the evening when he could not sleep. He has collections of painkillers: Oxyneo, Arcoxia, Tramal, Durogesic patch, or Xanax (for helping him to sleep, but it did not work so well that he kept awake all night long). We have planned the cures for his advanced cancer (prostate that has already metastasized to the bones) naturally. But, it did not work very well. Everything went on NOT in our plan. We wanted my husband to be cured from cancer, but his health is dropping slowly. Every month he lost his life quality, difficult to walk, difficult to stand up, difficult to sit and then, he just laid in bed, could not move, because it was too painful to move. And from the USG, they found that my husband’s liver has swollen because there are multiple nodes there and his bile is hardened. His cancer has metastasized. I did not ask the doctor what they can do with that and he did not offer anything to do as well. We are already in a situation of ‘there’s nothing we can do more but accept it’. But, do I really able to accept it? That second night. I was alone only with my husband in the hospital room. Every time I touched his hand or body, it was cold, and suddenly I felt scared and very lonely. It just like, how can I live without him, how can I raise our young daughters? When it became to hard to handle, I called my mother, crying uncontrollably and told her I am scared and I am not ready if he ever left me. My mother told me as any wise woman would, you should let him, release him, he has suffered for long. Tell him, you will always love him, take care and raise your daughters until they can live on their own. Pray for the best for him. Only for the best, she told me. Her advice hit my mind. I used to say, I trust in God. How deep is my trust in God, especially when sadness happens? Our plan is probably different with God’s plan. And what I must believe is God’s plan will always be the best for His creations. He created us, certainly we must not misjudge His plan for His creations. Around 2 am my husband woke and I started to talk to him. Telling him how much I love him, that he should not worry leaving us in this world. I can raise and take care our daughters. Properly. Until they can stand on their own feet. My husband reaction was: What? They cannot cure my cancer? I replied: I don’t know, lets talk about the worse (according to our plan). Because you know that, everything happens in God’s plan. Right? My husband nodded, it is just in case. Do you have anything to say to me? He told me to keep being a strong and brave woman. He knows I can take care our daughters. Our conversation was quite normal, my husband then went back to sleep and I also slept. In the morning, coincidentally it was a holiday, I called my daughters (14 and 12 years old) to come to the hospital. And I told my husband to say ‘something’ to them. Again, he gave almost the same words to them, be strong, be brave and take care of your self. And listen to your mother, because she knows what good for you. My husband spent 7 days in the hospital, the bleeding was stop, his HB reached 10,9, and the doctor allowed him to go home. Take care of him at home, he said.

We take care of him at home. I hire nurse for home care, so I can go to work and feel not have to worry because a professional is caring him meanwhile I am not home. My husband still feel the agony pain, taking painkiller routinely, have fish Belida extract (to give protein needs). He eats in very moderate portion, the doctor said because his swollen liver has pushed his stomach that he feels full easily. He eats chicken satay and rice cake for his meals (because this food is the only he can enjoy), have orange (the only fruit he can enjoy, sweet and sour at the same time), Japanese style cotton cake (the only cake he can enjoy, because it is kind of soft and easy to be chewed). My daughters adapt quite well with their father’s condition. My second daughter (Ami, aged 12), even, has night shift to take care her father when she has a holiday the day after. We are learning to accept God’s plan for our life. It will not easy, I know. But. We are learning.

Still keep our faith. Dealing with cancer (2). 

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How long I haven’t seen you? My last post was November 2016. So. it was like five months and twenty years ago. Nothing much happened. My husband is still facing (struggling with) his prostate advanced cancer or I should say all of the family are all still facing (the impact of) the disease. Me as his wife and our two daughters. It almost 2 years after the doctors found my husband has got cancer and it has spread to his bone, probably also to his bone marrow as he had experienced blood problem in September and October 2015. It does hard. Cancer is not just weakening your body, it is eating also your mind. There were times when I saw my husband crying and whispered, ‘can I survive?’ which I replied ‘Yes. If you think you can, then you will.’ Am I lying? Of course not. Cancer is not identical with death. We cannot predict death. Even not the doctors. My husband still do all the herbal and alternative medicine. And he has stopped completely the hormonal therapy (Casodex pill and Tapros injection), after a serious debate with me. I saw him very weak, even he couldn’t went upstair to our house’s second floor, the way he walked like he would fell to the ground in any second. He even can’t go to work for 5 months, he felt so weak. It made me think, something has gone wrong here. So, we decided to stop the hormonal therapy. We will go for the herbal/natural (Chinese medicine that is made in Bandung, Indonesia) and alternative treatment for cancer only. He has stopped the hormonal therapy for 2 months, now. And I don’t think he missed the medicine.

There is something new to his food, for breakfast he has fruits and fruit juice only, at 12.00 or 1.00 pm he will have vegan lunch and a bowl of salad without any dressing, the same goes for his dinner. I visit often a Facebook Group called Food Combining Indonesia where I see many cancer survivors after they dedicated their way of eating (and life) by eating fresh food as much as possible. Fresh fruits (better what comes in season), fresh vegetables (I choose neutral and crunchy taste, like: Lettuce, Lollo Rossa, Romaine, Ruckola-I can’t say it has neutral taste, but my husband eat it anyway), Tomatoes, Cucumber and Beetroot. He eats them without any dressing, I have told you that? Sorry. I was just trying to emphasise how strong my husband’s effort to survive from cancer. He said, if they survive from cancer because they eat fresh food along with their (chosen) treatment, then I will eat it, too. Just FYI, he was a pure carnivore before the cancer was diagnosed and he has changed his way of eating into vegan for 2 years, including avoid sugar and refined flour). To support him that he doesn’t feel alone, I have become a vegetarian (not a Vegan, yet, because I still eat eggs here and there, like (in bread or cakes) for 6 months, now. And I follow the way eating of Food Combining, too. The bonus is I have lost 5 kgs! Not to mention that my skin looks clearer for the result of drinking carrot juice one glass every day.

Since, I always try to provide organic food to my husband (and family), I have my red rice sent from Jogjakarta as the store I used to visit has difficulties in providing the product we like. You know, last time I phoned the organic food store in Sanur, they told me that the farmers couldn’t harvest their product, it failed, thanks to the rainy season. So that, I decided to find another source and found that online order from Jogjakarta and sent the product by cargo can help our commitment to live a healthier life. Other than rice, I order Sago (palm starch) noodles, cassava (Mie Lethek) noodles and organic kecap (Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce). Meanwhile for the vegetables, I have just found a supplier that is located not so far from my office, her farm is in Plaga (Badung regency), about 16 kilometres from Denpasar city (where I live). I just have to WA her and ask what vegetable I want and the day after I can pick it up on my way home. Life. Is. Good. Isnt’t it?

What impact this brings to my husband? For a person with advanced prostate cancer that has spread to the bones, he still walks, eats with the palate/ sense of taste of normal people, takes a bath, by himself. Way you go, Mr. Husband. Keep your faith. I and our daughters will always support you to face your cancer, a disease that has made us even stronger not just as a person but also as a family.

Happy Birthday, Handsome!

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Today is 20th September, my husband’s birthday. He is a Virgo, a suitable match for a Taurus (who is coincidentally me!). We just had simple dinner party at a seafood restaurant about 15 minutes from our house. We love this restaurant, but then never came by for more than a year, after my husband was diagnosed with prostate advanced cancer (that has metastasized to the bones). But, this evening we came again to the restaurant, ordered the usual menu we always have, a grilled grouper, squids, clams, and Balinese salad (mixed vegetable with spicy shredded coconut sauce). What made it different we ordered also grilled firm tofu and tempe. And pure carrot juice. For my husband. Right. He is still a dedicated vegan because of his cancer. After his last Bone Scan (in July 2016), he never done his PSA test anymore. We know that he is not cancer free yet, but we should always feel grateful that he is still able to do the ordinary activities. I mean, he can walk, eats, takes a bath, drive, takes our daughters to the school, does light exercise. By himself. For a cancer patient, it is called he has still a good quality of life. A quality that can only be achieved with struggle, persistence, sacrifice, faith and family love. Again. We do feel grateful for that.

Posted to DP Prompt: Together.

Meet our hero: DR. Warsito

So, my husband had got his 2nd bone scan and one day after (27th July 2016) we went to C-Care, Tangerang to meet DR. Warsito, an Indonesian (from Solo, Central Java exactly) scientist who invented ECCT (Electro Capacitive Cancer Therapy). My husband has used ECCT blanket for nine months (since October 2015). Actually, he got the blanket in June (2015), using it for two months (June to August 2015). Then, he suffered blood trouble, hospitalized and must be transfused for the lack of blood coagulant (September 2015), blamed the ECCT blanket for that, stopped using the blanket for a month, but in October 2015, the blood trouble came back and hospitalized again (also for the lack of blood coagulant). His blood trouble was not caused by ECCT blanket, it was caused by the cancer (advanced prostate cancer that has spread to the bones). Then, it opened my husband’s heart door to ECCT blanket. Completely.

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Some of ECCT tools: vest, shorts, and helmet. It can be made according to a person’s needs.

My husband had tried some alternative therapy since he was diagnosed with cancer (eating cassava, drink mistletoe tea, white turmeric tea, and Soursop leaves tea). However, it is quite difficult to eat a lot of cassava, moreover I could not find enough and new references of cassava can cure prostate cancer (from the internet), then, he stopped eating after 1 month trial. Meanwhile, the other ingredients (mistletoe, white turmeric and Soursop leaves) are very difficult to find in the land of Denpasar city. Since my husband’s cancer is already spread almost everywhere of his upper body (you can go to this post to see his bone scan), any therapy he will do should be easily got, practical to be used and don’t give any painful to his body. He is already in pain for cancer, why should we choose a or more methods to make it more painful? A good therapy should ease my husband pain, improve his life quality and has big possibility to clean my husband’s body from cancer cells. For those reason, right after he went back home from the hospital, he started to use the ECCT blanket and collar. Faithfully. Along with the other alternative therapy (Chinese herbal capsules 30/ day, pure carrot juice 5 cups/ day). He also have therapy hormonal (Tapros and Casodex, although I don’t really agree with the decision). But, my husband insisted to have it, in spite of the fact he felt fatigue and suffer light dizziness, having a fast decreasing PSA, gave him a certain satisfactory). Of course, any therapy will never work well without efforts and sacrifice and love (from family) and patience and faith. He changed his diet completely, becomes a vegan, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, brown rice, and drink soy milk. One thing he could not stop is fried peanuts, that in every meal he always added 1 tablespoon of garlicky fried peanuts.

Well…I have gone too far. What was my post’s actual topic? Right. About meeting DR. Warsito in C-Care, Tangerang.

The taxi hit the street around 06.30 WIB, early in the morning, as we didn’t want to face the busy and traffic jam of Jakarta city. We went to C-Care Riset Kanker, Tangerang, jl. Jalur Sutera Kavling Spektra 23BC No.10-12, Alam Sutera, Tangerang. From Sudirman street, Jakarta to C-Care needs about 45 minutes. The place was not opened yet, but a security was on duty. We had to wait before the official hour began, 08.00 WIB. Two other patients had arrived before us. I said to my husband, “I always thought that we will be the first arriving here, but we are not,” that he replied with “they are earlier to wake then us.” But, it doesn’t matter. We are already there, to have my husband’s ECCT blanket fixed, checked the other tools and hopefully to get an ECCT shorts. My husband was patient number 3.

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Row of cancer survivors pictures.

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Row of cancer survivors pictures with their medical data.

“Hello, bapak Anom. How are you?” A young physician greeted us cheerfully, “Observing your latest bone scan, it shows good improvement, except around the hips area. It seems, the ECCT blanket’s coverage was not maximal in that area. I’ll suggest an ECCT shorts to eradicate the cancer cells there.” Then, he told about the prostate size that has shrunk from 5,29 cm to 3,49 cm. Another significant improvement. My husband told him that he is also doing hormonal therapy, he replied with, “No way it can kill the cancer cells in your bone, it does decrease your PSA number. But, to kill the cancer cells in your bone? No way.” We already knew it. My husband asked him again, “What do you think, can I continue my hormonal therapy? He gave an answer my husband wanted, “Yes, you can.” That I didn’t like.

Then, my husband got himself measured for the shorts and we waited meanwhile they check and prepared the tools for him. We were waiting also for DR. Warsito as I had contacted him by WhatsApp couple weeks ago and made an appointment. My husband wanted to take a picture with DR. Warsito, his life hero and discussed one or two things about his cancers. We had no idea when he arrived in the office, as we already saw him talked to one of his patients in the fitting room, a woman who has got breast cancers. I usually saw him in the internet photos and he is just looked like as his patients describes in the internet’s articles. A friendly, warm-hearted and caring person. But, DR. Warsito is much more than that. He is an Indonesian scientist who invented ECCT (Electro Capacitive Cancer Therapy) in 2011, a method for treating cancer using low intensity and low frequency source. One of the prominent characteristics of cancer cell is its uncontrolled cell division, the ECCT is basically the technique to generate such electric field surround the cancer location and interfere the process of cell division and eventually destroy the cancer cells. Although DR. Warsito’s invention, has helped many, many people with cancers but on the other hand, it has triggered a controversial issues with the medical sectors. Even, the Health ministry of the Republic of Indonesia almost made his office closed until the Research and Technology Ministry defended and supported him. Also people with cancer who are survived because they use ECCT tools, they appealed to the Government to not close his office. So, now, C-Care should work hand in hand with the (only a few) hospitals to treat people with cancers.

“He is sitting there,” My husband told me. DR. Warsito was sitting behind the administration desk, so we were walking towards him and greeted him. My husband introduced himself and telling him about the improving condition. He checked my husband’s file from the computer, as we heard his soft voice and easy to be understood explanation. And I interrupted, “Can I take a photo?” He asked back, “What photo?” He didn’t realize how my husband really wanted to take a photo with him. “You, of course, with my husband.”

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“Oh…OK.” Click. Nice photo. And very charming smile of DR. Warsito.

My husband asked again about the hormonal therapy, but this time he got the answer, “You can stop the hormonal therapy.” I like the answer. I never agree with my husband’s decision of doing this kind of therapy anyway.

We expressed our (very) thankfulness to him and went back to the hotel. My husband looked happy, he was given a new blanket, his collar was made bigger (so it doesn’t choke him anymore), new ECCT shorts, every tools has been checked and OK, last but not least, he has got also a nice photo with his hero, DR. Warsito.

Before I end my post, I want to tell you that I am not an expert in medical nor electrical engineering matters. I am only a wife of a man who has got advanced prostate cancer that has spread to the bones. Whatever I have written in this post are based on my own idea, googling (using the term ‘research’ will be too dramatic), and experience. I am not in any intention of telling you that the other cancer therapies are not good. Life is about choosing. Every person with cancer can and should choose any cancer therapy he or she comforts to deal with.

My husband’s 2nd bone scan

I just got back from Jakarta yesterday, after spending 4 days accompanied my husband to have his 2nd bone scan test and got his ECCT blanket repaired. It is the month of July. Last year (2015), this month brought an ugly truth to us, we found the fact that my husband has got prostate cancer that has already spread to his bones: hips, back bones, ribs, shoulders, and his neck. Would the same month (of 2016) also bring inconvenient news to us? On 26th July 2016 we went to Rumah Sakit Pertamina Pusat at jalan Kyai Maja quite early in the morning as we didn’t want to face trouble with the busy and crowded streets of Jakarta city. We arrived in the hospital around 7 am and the medical nuclear installation was not opened yet.

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Waiting for the bone scan

So we just put the Bali doctor’s referral at the registration desk and waited. At 08.00 am, they opened, after observed my husband’s documents, a doctor injected him with a tiny amount of radioactive substance. And we waited another two hours. At 10.00 am, my husband entered the test room and had his bone scanned. I felt a bit (only a bit) uneasy and nervous. What would the truth? Ugly or nice?

After the scanning, we waited another 30 minutes for the report and finally…the doctor called us.

“The test result is good”, she said cheerfully and added…”I’m happy to see such result. Look…” She opened the last year bone scan folder. “We can see black spots scattered around your bones, here, here, here…so many black spots.” And then she opened the new one. “This test has shown improvement, amazing one, some of the black spots were washed off, some are gone, although here (she pointed the hips area), it becomes thickened.” I became alerted. Thickened. Thickened. Why the other areas are improved and the hips area is thickened? The lady doctor read my face. As she said, “We should be thankful. Always be thankful. Bapak Anom, just keep doing your therapy, it has worked well with your body. Whatever it is the therapy.”

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Last Bone Scan Result (2015)

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New Bone Scan Result (2016)

Of course. I felt ashamed of myself. Be thankful.

On the way back to our hotel, my husband said: “I’m happy with result. After 9 months of effectively used ECCT blanket, it has proved that it works well with bone cancer, but probably I should be given ECCT shorts, too. So it can eradicate cancer in my hips more effectively”. I responded his words, “I know. I have the exact same idea with you. I hope tomorrow, after DR. Warsito in CCare see the new bone scan, he will give you ECCT shorts.”

At the hotel (the same hotel of last year). I opened my iPad, saw the pictures I took when my husband was hospitalized for blood trouble, when his PSA hit 1500-s, when a small wound in his upper lips keep bleeding and can only be stopped by blood transfusion up to 10 bags, when the doctor frantically told my husband to have chemotherapy (but we frantically refused it, too), when we did not really know what path we should choose to deal with my husband’s cancer. An advanced prostate cancer that has spread to the bone. I took these pictures in October 2015.

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Severely bruised because of the blood trouble

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The bruises were around the upper and lower body

I will tell you again the alternative therapies for cancer my husband has done not because I want to promote sales any of the following items, it is purely just because I want to share my husband’s tough effort of dealing with his advanced cancer. My husband using ECCT blanket 8 hours/ day (he should have 2 days off, but he just skip it, so he uses it almost everyday), pure carrot juice 5 cups/ day, Chinese herbal capsules 30/ day, high dose of vitamin C for stamina (injected once a week by his niece). My husband who was a real carnivore and had a sweet tooth (he usually added 3 full tablespoons of sugars to a 250 ml of tea), since October 2015 becomes a vegan, avoids refined flour, preserved food and sugars. For almost a year now, he still does what he started 9 months ago and although it is not easy (well, what is easy when it comes with cancer?). But really, see my husband’s much improving health, it is impossible to not feel thankful.

The next post will be about our meeting with DR. Warsito, the Indonesian scientist who invented ECCT (Electro Capacitive Cancer Treatment) that can be used for cancer therapy and kill the cancer cell.

Life’s effort to confront cancer

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My husband is walking the dog

~ Where there’s life there’s hope. Stephen Hawking ~.

“Guess what?” My husband welcomed me home with the question.

“What?” I just came from Gianyar regency to see my parents, went there with my oldest sister this afternoon.

“Guess how much is my PSA now”, his eyes were sparkling.

“Like a thousand and five hundreds?” I teased him, mentioned the result of last November (2015) that had hit the highest number of 1589,15. At that moment, his blood became very liquid (only small wound on his lips and the blood kept dripping for 10 days, so that he had to be tranfused with blood to provide haemoglobin and also fresh frozen plasma to help the blood coagulated .

“No! It is 7, 79!” Our second daughter announced and held the lab’s result paper up.

“Wow! That’s wonderful”, I said, looked at my husband. “Your effort is bringing very good outcome. Really. That’s wonderful”.

I admire and appreciate his persistence of dealing with his advanced prostate cancer that has spread to the bones. He still takes the Chinese herbal capsules of Chang Sheuw Tian Ran Ling Yao (30/ day), still drinking pure carrot juice, using DR. Warsito ECCT blanket, still a vegan, still not having any kind of white sugar, still not eating white or refined flour, no cigarettes and alcohol drinks at all (he was a smoker before he was diagnosed with cancer).

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My husband and Hugo, the Siberian husky.

It is easy to tell a patient (read: my husband) what to eat and not to eat, the efforts to do it faithfully are in his own hands. How he changes his carnivore life-style into a vegan, face the reality that he is surrounded by 90% of meat-eating people, including his own family (I had stopped the consumption of red meat a year ago and more choosing fishes or tempe or tahu/ tofu), but still I eat meat. Once, in a family celebration (held at his brother’s house), there was no vegetable based food served on the table, all were meat: Babi Guling (Balinese suckling pig), Betutu Ayam (Balinese roasted chicken), fried fishes, Ares (soup made of young banana plant) but it was mixed with duck broth. He withdrew himself from the dining room and went to the kitchen, fortunately, he found mixed vegetable with shredded coconut there. He told me, if there were no vegetable, he would prefer not to eat than have to eat rice with meat. I-admire-and-appreciate-his-persistence.

Although the Bone Scan (last May/ 2016) has revealed no cancer found on his neck, shoulders, ribs and backbone (only around the pelvis area), but we want to make sure by having a second Bone Scan as comparison to the previous one. Since in Bali, there is no hospital with Bone Scan facility, we are planning to go to Jakarta, probably next month.

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Husband, Hugo and Amy by the beach

The lab’s tests all reveals good result. How does my husband feel? He feels good. Last hospitalized was in October 2015 (second blood problem) and hope we don’t have to go back unless for lab’s test. He can do activities like healthy people do. Go to the office, take our daughters to the schools, fix the leaky balcony with the worker, wants snack (fruits, boiled corn/ cassava/ sweet potato or fried banana), and every weekend does his exercise, sometimes takes the dog, sometimes not.

We have dealt with the advanced prostate cancer for a year, now (diagnosed last June/ 2015) and we do hope, what we have chosen to confront the cancer are the right ways.

Posted to join DPPrompt: Hope.

Still keep our faith: Dealing with cancer.

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See those pictures, make me feel blessed. He looks fine and healthy. He could still do activities like people with no cancer. When someone is not informed that my husband has an advanced prostate cancer, one would not know by his appearance only. Today, he did his monthly PSA test. Last week, it was 57,18, rose from 44, 52 (he stopped taking Casodex, the hormonal therapy pills since two months ago). Before went to the lab this morning, he was sure his PSA would rise again. And I got this prayer in my head, let his PSA down, as it will make him feel better and embrace still his faith to our alternative treatment. My prayer was answered. His PSA was down to 33,85. But, his cholesterol is very high, no wonder, he eats fried food every day, fried firm tofu, fried peanuts, fried crackers. Before got cancer, he worshipped meat very much, he was a carnivore. I know that eating too much deep fried food is not healthy, but I tried to understand switching an old habit that already existed for decades is not easy. So, I let him eating deep fried food, even I made them for him. However, you are what you eat, his cholesterol is the result of what he is consuming, that’s the point. My husband then told me, stop frying the tofu, just boiling it. And I added, no fried peanuts and crackers of course. Yes, he replied beyond question. It has been 5 months since my husband started his alternative cancer treatment, he did not do any biopsy from the very first time, no surgery, no chemo, no radiation, was in hormonal therapy for 3 months, then stopped it doubtfully (by a lot threats from me, like: don’t blame me if you have got osteoporosis, severely feel weakness, dizzy, possibly got heart attack, your muscle will shrink, your bones will shrink, your body will shrink), I know, I am a fierce wife. I remember, what his hematologist told us when I enquired him about the side effect of the hormonal therapy. Nothing, he said, only fatigue. Then I insisted: tell me that I am wrong, from internet I read that hormonal therapy can cause osteoporosis, wouldn’t it be dangerous for my husband. And he looked at me uneasy and said: ibu, we are doctors do our job by priority, which one is more important right the moment, it is eliminating your husband’s cancer. Leaving the hospital, I kept thinking: will it really cure my husband cancer? What if he could not walk and has to be moved around on a wheelchair? And didn’t the hematologist said if this hormonal therapy did not work, we will continue to chemotherapy treatment. Well. Chemo. I have seen my own older sister painfully died, she had left her Chinese traditional medicine and chosen chemo. My husband consumes the very same Chinese traditional medicine as my older sister (although in 1990-s, we still had to boil the herbal medicine before drinking it like tea. Now, it is much more practical and easy as they have already transformed it into capsules). I become fierce towards my husband cancer treatment, as it is very tricky, we are doing alternative treatment that many people underestimated it. Alternative treatment that much less popular than chemo or radiation or hormonal therapy (read: conventional treatment). I didn’t swallow every information we got thoroughly, even when it was told by my husband’s hematologist. Sorry, Doc. But, patient and their family has got the right to know details about any treatment/ medicine their taking. We have to be well informed about any treatment we want to do. Curing cancer will never be an easy thing to do. It does need sacrifice, persistence, and faith. Keep your faith that every effort (even when it is very hard to do) will be worth and reveals beauty in time.

Watch your food: surviving cancer.

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Banana and sweet potato waffle

I’m hungry, said my husband this morning. I want some snack.

OK, I replied. Although it is not really OK in fact. My husband’s food nowadays are different than before (after we found out what not should and should be eaten by a person with cancer). Some months ago, I would just heat a sweet bread (sweeter is better) in the microwave, put on the plate and gave it to him. Now, it is not as simple as that. Sugar is one of the ‘should not’ to be eaten ingredients, along with meat, eggs, fishes, refined flour, processed food and white rice (a staple we really love with the bottom of our heart). So, I mixed 2 mashed overripe bananas with two tablespoons of (organic) whole wheat flour, 1 tablespoon of tapioca flour (to hold them together, as I was not using any eggs), a pinch of salt, and pour some coconut milk into the mixture. I heated the waffle iron up, poured the batter, cooked it a few minute for each side, placed the waffles onto a plate, drizzled it with date juice (not too much, just 1 teaspoon) and finally, my husband could have his snack. I also made some shredded sweet potato waffle. Another kitchen experiment. :).

My husband routine through the day is still the same: pure carrot juice (if you want to know further about the miracle of carrot juice, you can read about Ann Cameron, a cancer survivor by drinking only carrot juice), Chang Seuw (herbal Chinese medicine made in Bandung, West Java-Indonesia), mistletoe tea and ECCT (Electro Capasitive Cancer Treatment) blanket of DR. Warsito. My husband keep using this blanket faithfully, in the hope it will eradicate his cancer that has spread to the bones, back bones, ribs, pelvic bones (as I have written in my former post, the bone scan result was multiple metastatic to the bones).

We have decided to stop the hormonal therapy (Casodex pill) since 17th January because he kept telling me that he felt dizzy, fatigue and uncomfortable (like, very uncomfortable). First, he refused it. But, I did insist him to stop taking the little tiny pill. What if my PSA rise? He began to make enquires which I countered with: do you want your PSA to keep down and feel very fatigue? And don’t forget the side effect which were not told by the haematologist, like: osteoporosis, risk of earlier heart attack, depression, and memory problem. Why would we really care about downing the PSA? What is more important, you feel better or having decreasing PSA but your health becomes worse?

Yesterday, he has got his PSA checked and as it can be predicted, the PSA rose to 57, from 44, but why would we worry? My husband never complained about feeling very fatigue nor very dizzy. His track in Padang Galak beach becomes longer, and today because it was raining, he replaced his exercise in the beach by walking on treadmill for 30 minutes.

Sometimes, when he needed some reassuring words from me, he would ask me: will I cure from cancer? That I will reply: you will. You haven’t been hospitalised since November for any reason (for your info: last September and October, my husband was hospitalised for blood problem-lack of frozen plasma and must be given FFP-Fresh Frozen Plasma transfusion up to 10 packets). That is the most significant fact that we are in the right path to cure your advanced prostate cancer.

Join the Daily Prompt: Reason to Believe.

Note: since I am not an expert of cancer and having a husband with advanced prostate cancer, I have to read, ask people (cancer survivor most of them) and learn as much as I can about this tricky disease. On Prostate Cancer and PSA, I have read the blog of Tanya Harter Pierce and think what she said is logically true.

It is (not) simple to be happy.

~ It is very simple to be happy, but it is very difficult to be simple ~ Rabindranath Tagore.

I am happy easily. I am contented easily. However, since my husband diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer 5 months ago, the fact had interrupted me to be happy easily. A few months ago, we have started to walk our path to make my husband a cancer survivor, when the haematologist alarmingly told my husband to have chemo and radiation therapy when he was hospitalised (you can read about it here), we refused those politely (yet wholeheartedly) and told him that we wanted to ‘fix’ my husband abnormal blood condition first and tried improving his stamina. But, no chemo and radiation. My own sister had died a decade ago, for cervix cancer and had some chemo and radiation after surgey, as well as my mother in law, because of colon cancer and had chemo also after surgery. Both of our family died in conventional cancer treatment. So, we want to try something different, probably unpopular kind of cancer cell killing. We are using 90% natural medicine and a loooot of carrot juice, I have posted about my husband’s natural treatment frequently. I will tell you something else, it is about the consequence of our unpopular choice and indirectly related to a crab and happiness.

This Saturday morning, I and my husband went to the beach. Doing our weekend routine, I rarely wear sport shoes, I prefer barefoot and feel my feet enveloped by warm wet sand and enjoy the calming sensation it sent all over my body or probably, to my brain first, then to the whole body. This morning when we walked along the beach, I saw a little tiny bity crab, took a picture of it, that suddenly made him angry and attacked me with its pincers. I was surprised and moved backward frantically. That was funny, a crab that was not bigger than a coin did freaked me out. I laughed. My husband laughed. The crab did not laugh. It just stayed still, in an aware position, felt annoying because a crazy woman disturbed his warm lazy Saturday morning.

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Cute crab.

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Still cute crab although it had attacked me with its little pinchers.

Then, it hit my head, that laughter. It burst out easier recently. I felt gratitude, satisfied and contented. I know, if we check on Thesaurus, we will find that three words has the same meaning, it just the way to express my feeling. A feeling that is created not just because the sea breeze caressed my face or witnessed the flying swallows above the water. It was not as simple as that. One day before, my husband has got check his PSA again, and the result was down to 44, 52 from 112, 67. That is wonderful.

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My husband is walking along the pedestrian path in Padang Galak beach.

I am feeling blessed. We are feeling blessed. Still with my feet in the wet sand, I remembered a short conversation between me and one of my colleagues when I was still looking something in my files folder.

Colleague: How is your husband?

Me: He’s good.

Colleague: Good. Does he already go to work?

Me: Yes, he does.

Colleague: By car?

Me: Yes.

Colleague: Who’s driving him?

Me: Nobody is driving him. He drives by himself.

Colleague: He drives by himself? Really?

Me: Really.

I switched my eyes off the papers, looked at her, and realized a I-don’t-believe-it-can-happen stare from her. I didn’t say anything, until she said: Thanks God.

Me: Yes. Thanks God veery sincerely.

And she left me with a recognition, between the popular chemo and radiation treatment for cancer patient and the unpopular back to natural way treatment, I and husband has chosen the unpopular one. It turns out to be good. That makes the skeptical people hard to believe that. At least, my colleague was not expecting my husband could drive by himself. But, he already can do that. He has been back to his routine taking our daughters to their school on the way to his office.

It is (not) simple, but I have been back to be happy easily. Feeling blessed to the every single things of my life.

Posted to DP prompt challenge: Unpopular.