response to Helen Chinese Medicine after treatment

HELEN - A Cruise - you lucky girl you!  Sounds divine.  I will look up your travel route on Google maps.  Yay on you for finishing your chemo.  You may not have ovarian cancer and peritoneum cancer.  My friend has ovarian state 4A and she is 3 years chemo free with one year of treatment, surgery, blood transfusion.  She did not have peritoneum cancer.  She was not familiar with peritoneum cancer.  My challenge is the peritoneum part of my cancer.  The doctors have never said ovarian cancer metasticized to the peritoneum - they simply say ovarian and peritoneum cancer.  This is all leading up to the answer to your question that no I am not finished with treatment and will not know if the new paclitaxel/carboplatin increased to 175 dose is working.  So...I cannot book an airline ticket until I get a better picture of what might be in February 2018.  But GREAT idea to do so to have something to look forward to.  I am actually using this strategy for my weekend b/c next weekend I am back in overnight for a 12 hour chemo.  Tonight I discovered that I have lost my Visa card.  So, original plan bagged.  But bicycled home, grabbed a Cliff bar birthday present mailed to me and opened yesterday, a banana, my water bottle, and a bag of bread and bicycled back to the park feeding the ducks and getting in a short mountain hike on a lighted path.  Saturday I see the Chinese Med Dr and then will be foot loose and fancy free - hopefully for more hiking.  Write soon.  Sandra


  • Helen - I thought about you and the girls on the MRT this morning.  Your cruise is coming up.  YAY!  I found my first ever pig's liver - at the Carre Fore last night after seeing Al Gore's new movie - An Inconvenient Sequel - my nurse bud Shan Shan recommended the pig's liver.  Not bad.  Like beef liver.  Made a lettuce, broccoli salad with Japanese dressing and will prepare a banana/70% cacao powder smoothie with protein powder and my chinese herbs for dessert.  Saw my Chinese Med doc this morning.  My NTUH doc knows him.  They are both Dr. Chens.  LOL.  So when people ask if I am married or have a bf - you bet I do - the best kind - TWO Doctor Chen's.  Better than a good mechanic.  LOLOLOL.  Chemo 11 last Sat - this past week - OMG - TINGLE city.  Felt greata Sun and Mon and crashed Tues and Wed but back to swimming and lunch walks by Thurs.  We are HOT right now.  The heat index is 107 F.  WRITE!  H.N.

  • Hi Sandra, I think it is really great how you eat all this good food.  I am sure this healthy eating is boosting your immune system and the smoothie drink sounds very tasty.   I haven't quite finished chemo, I still have one more cycle to go.  At my latest oncologist visit my oncologist suggested that maybe I could do two more rounds of chemo, she said it depended on how my blood counts were at my next visit, which is after I come back from the cruise and after my 6th round of chemo.  I am happy to wait to make the decision until then.  My Ca125 marker is done to 129, which is so much better than the 1400 it was a few months back and a CT scan showed that any nodes that were enlarged are now back to normal size.  Do you get tingling when you have your chemo?  It is good that you are back to swimming and walks, now.  Did you find your Visa card?  We are having lovely spring weather at the moment, though it is windy today.  Take care  Helen

  • Dear Helen,  it's Sunday, September 24th - I am stunned, amazed, bamboozled - do you have Aussie words - for a CA125 at 1400 and that you are active, alive and vertical - talk about a 129 - that is like blow the roof off wonderful news.  Heck yes have a second, a third, just have chemo forever - everyone should have chemo.  I am being a bit cheeky here.  I can see why your oncologist wants you to go for another session - they are attached to the CA125 - and in concert with a positive for no diesease spread CT Scan - your doc is in Hog Heaven.  As I am sure you are too and I am too reading this wonderful news.  I went to a new English speaking service at a Presbyterian Church - good connection and fellowship.  Afterwards I was starving of course b/c it was lunch - I had my Prosure and went for a foot massage.  Unfortunately, after 3 scoldings of "it hurts" the practictioner didn't stop hurting so I gave him 500NT and left - I was surprised he gave me back 250NT.  I have enough agony with neuropathy - the treatment was supposed to give relief not heap on more challenge.  So...this made me anxious and hungry - I had to come home and make a salad with liver.  But then - I am back out there being a weekend warrior and enjoying an upswing in energy in spite of this being day 2 of nadir.  I've gotten bad about taking 2 B12's at a time - they cannot hurt me and I think there is relief to the neuropathy - the constant TINGLE TINGLE TINGLE.  LOL.  Nothing like it.  My buddy who has melanoma metasticized to the lung, had a chemo - he said he was in bed for a week and that was it - no more for him.  We just all respond so differently.  I am excited like I am going with you on your cruise.  You will have so much fun - this cancer thing makes every minute exceptionally sweet and delicious.  H.N.

  • Hello Family.

    I just came home from the hospital and am CRAZY about a document they gave me saying I had SALVAGE chemotherapay.  I have never heard this term before.  The doctor has never used it.  He makes me crazy - today is the first time I have hated him.  After surgery he said ten years.  Today he is saying one to two years disease free maybe longer.  He also said I can go tall ship sailing next summer.  He told me of a patient who went to Russia to dance for a year.  Sometimes I wonder if he is just bs'ing me b/c I am a foreigner.  I am back on paxol/carbo.  My ca 125 went from 144 to 44 (Sept to Oct).  My WBC went from 2.99 to 4.4 in one week.  (I could not have chemo last w/e b/c of low WBC).  Maybe I am too hung up on this vocabulary word.  Would not be the first time the language barrier has made me crazy.  My CT scan was unpleasnat "your veins are getting thinner."  Oh great, tell me some more flippin' happy news.  How is everyone else doing?  Enjoying a Heinz 57 baked bean dinner ($3.00 USD for a can - LOL) - reminds me of camping in America paired with a cuke, apple, broccoli salad and Japanese dressing.  Love to all H.N.  (no matter what that silly paper says)  PS Still seeing my Chinese Doc - he upped my meds to 40 different plants/herbs.  :-)

  • Hi Sandra, I Was thinking about what you wrote regarding the doctor saying you were having salvage chemo, I would consider that another meaning for the word salvage is recovering, so to me he is talking about recovery chemo, which I think is a good sort of chemo. Try not to think about the time frame, just remember they are finding new drugs all the time and we need to concentrate on living so we are part of all this research. Just on another note, I am enjoying the cruise and we are in Port Douglas today. Lovely and warm. I am glad you have been given the go ahead for your holiday, so go and book it. Take care Helen

  • Good Evening Helen from the 14th floor window of NTUH,

    #2 of 3 chemo this cycle.  I am SO glad I did not book my holiday.  My life has changed 120 degrees several times since October 2017 when I was about to book.  So Avastin took me from 225 to 50 then I elevated to 61 (cried) and now back down 6 to 55.  Chen threw back in carboplatin with my Topotecan.  Next Avastin 5/28.   Asking about CRISPR.  You know of any successful users?  What's shaking in Australia?  Gaining so much weight from being a couch potato at night.  Just no zip to get out.  Maybe doing planks and runing around during the day is enough but the scales are saying otherwise.  Day at a time.  Still trying for an appointment with UCSFMC in August.  I will work straight through end of contract, July 31 because I am having ARC matters (Alien Registration Certificate) and my school did not renew so will have to use days off to interview.  EVERYTHING takes so much time.  Tuesday we had a day off and I was at NTUH from 10:45am to 3:15 p.m. collecting the RIGHT kind of scans to send to UCSFMC, more discharge summaries to send, an orthopedic appointment for a lump in my leg - actually 2 - on top in front of the left leg and one on the bottom on the peripheral nerve.  I have a feeling they will be taking the bottom one out bc it is driving me crazy more and more.  Chen is still uncertain what the 4cm nodule on the nerve near the renal artery is.  He gave me a pass on an April ct scan waiting for June ....there is a GOD.  I hate the scans.  Nough bout me.  What's happening with you and the rest of the women?  I joined an OVC group out of the states ...we talk a lot more than this group.  But we are all united in spirit and disease forever.  TEAL sisters through and through.  Reading Grisham's new book CAMINO ISLAND.  Finished YOUR MIND ON NUMBERS.  State of Nevada denied my 4 hours of professional development credit I submitted from U of Oregon, U of CA, and AZ State b/c they are MOOCS.  Creeps.  They just want $$$.  Trying for financial aid.  The shot I have tonight for nausea is 800NTD - a whole lot cheaper than USA but still a lot for Taiwan teaching salaries.  xoxoxoxo Sandra

  • Hi Sandra,

    You certainly pack a lot of information into your posts!  I am sure your marker will come down with your further treatments.  I agree, scans are not the best, however they do give you a picture of what is happening inside and I am always relieved to find that my major organs are all good.  Now that I am on Taxol, my hair started to fall out, so I had it all shaved off the other day and managed to find my head scarves from 4 years ago from the back of my cupboard.  I have bought a new cap and maybe I will splash out on a new wig.  we have just come back form a week away with my daughter and her family.  It was her partner's 40th birthday.  We had a house right near the beach, it was great.  The weather wasn't overly warm, however the grandchildren still enjoyed the beach and swimming.  I hope you are successful with your interviews.  I don't like interviews and I am so glad to be retired now and do not have to worry about them anymore.  That is interesting about the OVC group in the United States.  Take care  Helen

  • Helen-

    No!  A shave....sniff.  You have a mighty good attitude.  Four years ago.  Second bald time.  We are warriors.  Your time at the ocean with your daugther in a house sounds straight out of a novel - sweet.  I vote for more of that activity!  ha ha.  Who does like interviews.  I felt then and still do that my job this year was straight from God - hope God has another one in mind for next year.

    What are YOU reading and watching?



  • Hi Sandra,

    How is your job hunting going?  The change in my chemo treatment seems to be working, my Ca125 marker has halved and is coming back down.  I am so relieved and pleased, it makes the putting up with the side effects easier to know that it is working.   You asked me, what am I watching and reading.  I am still watching lots of sports, especially the AFL football and of course I watched the Royal wedding with Harry and Meghan.  That was very interesting and she certainly looked lovely.  I also like watching detective programs.  At the moment I am reading a book called "A Bit of Difference" by Sefi Atta.  It is about a Nigerian girl working in London.  What are you reading at the moment?  Take care Helen

  • Yay Helen Yay Yay Yay!  I am so happy to hear your CA125 is coming down down down.  Wheeeee!  That's what we want to hear.

    I am at 41.

    Your book sounds interesting.  Just finished Dan Brown DECEPTION POINT and started John Grisham's GRAY MOUNTAIN about strip mining in the Appalachian Mountains.

    Cried through the entire wedding.  Still watching bits and pieces.  Can't wait for the Royal Wedding photos to post.

    In recovery!


  • Helen!!!!

    I am celebrating - my CA125 was 23 May 25, 2018.

    Yay!  No chemo this w/e bc some number that impacts the white blood cells is 2.3 and is supposed to be 7.0.

    Will try again Friday, June 1.



  • Hi Sandra,

    I am pleased to see that your CA125 is down to to 23.  It is always good when your marker comes down.  Were your white blood cells ok to have chemo last Friday?  I am having a week off chemo, as we are going to Melbourne for the weekend, for a bit of a break.  I am looking forward to catching up with some friends.  Take care. Helen

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