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.

Spare time: catching fish by the seashore.

This morning, I and my family (minus my second daughter – Ami) went to Padanggalak beach. My first daughter is learning to ride motorbike, morning is a good time to do such activity, because there are not too many vehicles and people’s mental condition are more patient and calmer on the street, I think.

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When we were doing our walk, I saw three men were doing their hobby, catching fish using a fishnet by the shore. I kept watching, intentionally stopped my exercise and let my husband and Andra walked through the stoned path. I praised their effort to catch some fish. The sea water was quite high these recent months, it has reached the stone piles in the beach.

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I have noticed, out of the three men, the grey shirt was most enthusiast one. Believe me. I will show you later.

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See? He was covered by the high waves when he was trying to throw his fishnet to the water.

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He tried again. Prepared for the right moment. 1, wait, 2, wait, and go!

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Right! Just like that! Every time I saw him got ready, I would get ready myself, too. Focusing to his movements  throwing the fishnet that I could snapped it at the same time its still in the middle of the air.

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Again!

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And again.

I love the way he threw the fishnet, it looked elegant and in a rhythm with the high waves. And I admire his enthusiasm, too. Just like the way we should live our life. Keep trying. Never give up!

He would never knew, meanwhile he had spent his spare time , I had also my own spare time by catching some of his pictures catching fish.

Photo taken using iPhone 5s and edited in iPhoto only (by enhancing it).

Posted to DP Photo Challenge: Spare.

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.

Morning in Bali

Once, the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru said poetically Bali as the Morning of the World, probably because of its genuine natural beauties. But, what is it like to see morning in Bali? When the sun ‘wakes’ and starts to rise bit by bit up to the sky.

Be my guests to enjoy the appearance golden brilliant circle out of the horizon until you can see its full circle in the sky.

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Taking these pictures, required one important and not so easy to do: we have to wake up very early in the morning, weekend days. As my husband is getting better from his advanced prostate cancer, we always arrange some spare time to go to the Padanggalak beach. We are trying to catch up what we have missed the last 5 months.

However, waking up at 05.00 on Saturday morning and able to capture the morning sun above the wavy sea water really worth it.

These pictures were taken using Sony pocket camera and join the DPphotochallenge: Circle.