Monday, March 26, 2012

Next steps that look like graceful dancing

As always, Ana is weighing options. Naturally, sometimes, the options weigh on her too.

At current, she feels healthy and strong. The only time that ever wavers, even for a second, is when she feels a nagging doubt. Still, she is in good shape. The first, and biggest, hurdle she's already cleared with ease — successful surgery. The news on that part of her recovery has been nearly all good. The margins are clear, her body has recovered impressively, most of the tests she underwent came back on the positive side (things like estrogen negative, and the like) — they confirmed she had a non-aggressive kind of invasive breast cancer.

Now she is clearly on Step Two. She is going to take it without rushing into radiation and chemo, which is a difficult decision for her — but she sees radiation and chemo as poisonous, which is, in fact, what they are. The thought is that radiation 'cauterizes' the area effected by cancer and that chemo is a systemic solution that will kill more bad cells faster than it kills the more numerous good ones. But both pose difficulties and feature several long term side effects, some worse than others. SO -- she's looking into testable, but health-positive, treatments and overall regimens that will strengthen her body naturally.

Some of these things sound odd, but are they any more odd than saying that radiation is a healthy solution? Or that pumping your body full of actual poison will make you healthier?

So as treatments ranging from biomagnetics, IV solutions, Turkey Tail mushroom extracts to PET scans and blood monitoring are on the table. More than anything though, Ana has to have peace of mind. At this point, the tumor is gone, so now she needs to remove doubt. That really is the most important thing, considering how stress contributes to health breakdowns as it is.

She remains, as ever, conscious of her health and won't jeopardize it, which is why radiation remains an option down the road, but she is taking the next step without it. It's a brave step and one that requires our collective support and love. But it's not a reckless one either. It was a decision made with care and hope, sure, but also with a lot of reading, research and understanding. It is, for her, at this point in her life and her recovery, the step she feels will make her life better. Sounds healthy to me.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Semi-New Blog Thingy

OK, I haven't figured out how to mirror the old URL so you could automatically get here from there -- so I hope you find us.

The change of name is result of a change of focus for Ana. As you all know, she had successful surgery, but now she owns her body. Her focus must be and is on recovery and healing. That starts by kicking the "C word" to the curb. It doesn't define her or her health.

And so here we are.

Ana is spending the week at an institute outside of San Diego focusing on her health, her mental approach and recovery from surgery. Today was better than yesterday. Tomorrow will be better than that.

So this is just the next step. There will be more and all will represent positive gains. Please continue giving if you can at all afford it, spiritually or financially -- Ana receives all of the money and all of the good vibes and spends them accordingly. The only reason that I'm serving as the middleman is so that she isn't burdened by having to say Thank You for Giving, it makes her cry each time to know how generous everyone has been throughout this chapter in her life. It's not a bad cry, but we should be encouraging laughter and lightening her load.

Look forward to bigger and better updates in the future.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Note from Ana

NOTE: After her tumor was removed successfully via a lumpectomy by the good people at Pink Lotus Breast Center in LA (well, by a good doctor at a great facility), Ana wanted to say a few things:

""Gratitude", is the word that resonates with me the most. I'm not saying this because it's what's expected of me, or because that's what I think you want to hear. I'm saying it because, honestly, that's what I have felt more than any other emotion in the last two months. 

There's SO much to be grateful for. For instance, my mom's healing, and that my doctor recommended I get a mammogram because of what was going on with my mom, and more importantly, the fact that I LISTENED. That this was discovered so early and that really, out of the worst case scenario, it seems to be the best case scenario. Grateful that I've been able to maintain a sense of humor and a lust for life. Grateful for all those senseless comedies that I love so much. So very grateful for the team of doctors I have on my side (holistic and allopathic). 

But more important than anything, I'm grateful for all of YOU. Every single time any of you have sent me a text, email, phone call, or come to a doctor's appointment with me, it's given me strength, courage and faith. At first, I was uncomfortable and overwhelmed with all the attention. I couldn't believe the amount of love that I was surrounded by. But slowly, I've learned to accept the love gracefully and graciously. I've stockpiled all of the love in my heart, and I pull from it whenever I start to waiver. 

I also want to give a special shout-out to Sirena, Jay, Blair and Marcus, who have been in touch with me every single day, holding my hand through this entire process, and who came up with the idea of the blog (and fundraiser). Naturally at first, the idea made me uneasy. But as they pointed out, people would have to know eventually and this was a great way to keep everyone in the loop without feeling bad if I couldn't respond right away. 

And the fundraiser... well, that REALLY made me feel uncomfortable. It's strange to be center of attention and have my friends donate money to me, but again, it was pointed out to me that the last thing I need to do is stress out about money right now, and that is absolutely right. So, I've stepped aside and let my team work their magic. I've asked not to know whose contributed to the fundraiser for now, because the few times I've found out, I cried. It really is overwhelming to know so many people love me so much. Blair has been kind enough to send "thank you" notes on my behalf, assuring me that you all know how grateful I am. I want you all to know how much you have helped me. There has hardly been a moment that I've allowed myself to stress about finances because of all of your generosity.

I know that most of you are relieved that I've decided to have surgery. I appreciate your support in the choices that I've made, even if you would have wanted me to make different ones. I also want you to know that I don't regret in the least having made those choices, because now that I've had the surgery, I will never wonder if there could have been a better choice. I know I've made the right one. And as I continue along this path, I will remain open to what treatment choices my allopathic doctors recommend, but I will always use holistic practices to keep me at my healthiest, and in fact, I will be attending the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego for one week starting this Sunday. 

At the risk of sounding completely cliche and corny, I'm learning to love myself better and to put myself first (at least for now) . It's always been so much easier for me (as I'm sure most of you), to give than to receive. I'm learning to use this experience as an opportunity to learn things about myself and hopefully evolve into a better me. 

A very wise, handsome guy said to me recently that from catharsis comes great beauty-- or something like that, but more profound and articulate. I've paid attention though, and so far, he seems to be right. 

I love you all from the immensely, with deep gratitude."