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Welcome to the DebiLyn Smith blog site. If you like what you read here, check out her website at

Monday, January 10, 2011

For More Information On Breast Cancer

Yes, I have so much energy that this is the SECOND new blog today!

I have read many books on cancer since all this started. In the beginning I bought the Intelligent Patient Guide to Breast Cancer, a book sometimes handed out to new breast cancer patients. I found it at the library and used it like a bible to see what was coming next in the chain of events. (Actually, less like a bible and more like a Stephen King novel). It's pretty close to the truth and I would highly recommend you go to your local cancer clinic and ask about it instead of buying a copy. The clinics usually have their own libraries you can borrow a plethora of information from.

I devoured a tomb of books on natural supplements to use during chemo and radiation therapies which I cannot list as I no longer have them. All I did was end up confusing myself with long lists of non-sensible scribblings of names of weird plant concoctions and "panic" remedies. I went through a phase of wanting to take anything that would prevent this nightmare from ever occurring again. I would have rolled in snakeoil, choked down dried kangaroo dung or smeared lizard guts over my breast had I thought it would help. What helps is a visit to a professional Naturopath who can straighten all of it out for you. Once you have your "protocol" (what drugs you will be on), this person can then suggest vitamins and natural remedies to either aid in the adjuvant therapy (chemo and radiation), to help relieve side effects (dry mouth, heart burn) or reduce long-term wear and tear on your organs (heart, lungs,etc.) For the docetaxel and cyclophosphemede I took (3 times a day) 2000 units of vitamin D, a 1000 mg fish oil supplement(sardine and anchovy based), a 100 mg Q-10 co-enzyme (for heart toxicity), a good multi-vitamin, vitamin B complex and something called astragulus? Also I rinsed my mouth with a teaspoon of L-glutamine in warm water, which I then swallowed to help the esophageal side effects like heartburn, soft gums and mouth sores.

Back to the books! Helping to fine-tune my diet, my amazing step-daughter Lindsay sent me The Diabetes Cookbook (because we both agree that sugar IS the enemy, especially during therapies. Sugar feeds cancer cells and that's the last thing you want to be doing right now!), Low Glycemic Meals In Minutes and David Wolfe's Superfoods. I found plenty of interesting choices to reduce the amount of red meat and high starch or processed meals from our diet. I am also delving into the Cancer Recovery Eating Plan because I plan on doing a major detox when all this is over, cleansing my liver, colon and system as much as I can. Also sitting in an infrared sauna as much as possible over 5 days before dry brushing the sweated toxins from my skin. Add a lot of water, some de-tox teas and I'll be ready to start the anti-cancer drugs, phase four of this drama. For the next five years I will have to trust the pills are doing what they can to prevent a relapse. It will be up to me whether to help or hinder those pills. After what I've been through, I am going to do everything I can to make sure I now have a difficult breeding ground for cancer to grow in. My next bout of research will be on the alkalinity and PH balance of my diet and how that effects me. It sounds like it's a big thing, especially if you eat meat.
Lindsay also opened my eyes to some of the evil everyday products I was using, like make-up, soaps and deodorant. I now use a wonderful smelling and quite strong acting non-aluminum chlorohydrate roll-on called Crystal Essence, lotions by Kiss My Face and make-up Arbonne. For house cleaning products I trust the Norwex brand of cloths and solutions. Their wash powder is wicked on stains. I am so impressed I'm going to become a dealer!

Last, but far from least is the Crazy, Sexy Cancer Tips book by Kris Carr. A book for any cancer "babe" with lots of smiles and suggestions for things like blinging-up a hospital gown, signing up for a patient registry (for your friends to choose gifts from that you might need more than flowers) and a wigilicious section! Think pink! It even has recipes and websites you may never even have thought of looking for.Look at that- even one for rebounders. I was just asking on my last blog if anyone had information about that. Hunh.

One last book- the Cancer Vixen cartoon portrayal of author Marisa Marchetto's ordeal with breast cancer. Informative and to the point, it will have you laughing and crying as you recognize your own fang-episodes. Thanks to my daughter Karly for brightening my day with that one!

I hope all of this helps anyone looking for more information! Like me!

Fry Day Appointment

I love having all this energy back (and hair although its merely s&p peach fuzz still). We spent the weekend ripping up the fresh powder on Hudson Bay Mountain. I'm not quite back to doing "t-2-bs" (top-to-bottom in one shot) yet but I'm out there with the best of them! The never-ending hot flashes are a breeze when I'm on a chairlift in -10C temps. I just rip off my hat and I'm cooled off instantly! Ah, the perks of going through menopause hairless!
I swam for 30 minutes today and really felt it with my lightened lymph node arm. It was heavy and numb but my massage therapist says that the water resistance helps with the arm drainage so I kept going. It gets me out of bouncing on the rebounder for ten minutes to achieve the same effect. There is a third alternative I was shown- using a light feather touch across the skin to virtually draw the lymph fluid across my body toward the far side where it can drain through the lymph nodes there. I find it tires my good arm after five minutes of self-petting so I prefer to boing away on the mini-trampoline. If anyone knows of a good exercise site for a rebounder I would love to hear about it?
I finally received that call from Kelowna saying my appointment is not going to get moved up. It will be January 19th for the oncology consult and the tests. My inaugural radiation treatment is a bit closer though from a 14 day wait to a 9 day wait, meaning my first Fry Day will be a literal one on Friday January 28th! How fitting. Then I have the weekend to try and cool down, hopefully trashing some of that fine powder they've been enjoying down south. I'm thinking Revelstoke for sure. And shopping! I have a modest inheritance coming from my mother which I think would be appropriately spent at a ski shop for some new touring and downhill skis. My current skis have delaminated across the tops after only 4 years and my current touring skis are simply touring bindings mounted on an edgeless pair of old skis. I use a dilapidated pair of ski boots that give me blisters so after 40 minutes in the backcountry I become a whiner. My Mom was a skier right to the end- she hit the slopes after being diagnosed with Stage Four pancreatic cancer and left us behind mere months later. I can't think of a better way to spend her money other than giving it to the needy, which-Bonus- I consider myself to be at the moment! Two birds with one stone. Thanks Mom. What better way to keep cancer-free than getting some exercise? Which includes going store-to-store with a credit card in hand first. Oh Happy Daze- I see some big fun coming up in my very near future. Full steam ahead!