Warrior watercress

The University of Southampton recently published a study suggesting that watercress may help stop the reoccurrence of breast cancer. Isn’t that convenient?

Apparently they had a small group of women fast 24 hours and then eat a cereal bowl of watercress, after which blood samples were taken. The results were promising.

Findings suggest that watercress blocks a signal vital to tumour growth. You may or may not know, but cancer tumours need a lot of blood to grow. When scanning the body and looking for tumours (e.g. with the MRI, etc.) they are looking for splotches where an abnormal amount of blood has developed. Probably there is a lot more to this body-scanning science, but I’m happier without the details. Point is, tumours need blood. When they use up the blood around them, they send out a signal for more. Like waving over the waiter at a restaurant.

But in this case the cancer cannot signal the waiter. No blood arrives. Tumour dies. DIE TUMOUR! AH HA HA HA!

Obviously this is just the start for watercress research, and is only one of the many studies with many possible cancer solutions.

But it’s been published at my university, and it targets my particular problem. I’ve taken it as a sign, and have now started eating a small cereal bowl full of watercress per day.  Because, like I once mentioned, 50% of the pizza is not enough. I don’t want to play with my life expectancy like someone flips a coin. Screw that.

So along with everything else, I’m eating watercress. Add that to my pile of cancer fighting treatments, supplements, and therapies. Fifty percent is bullshit, though better than the ten percent they first quoted. Bit by bit I’ll raise my chances. By the end, we’ll eat that entire freaking pizza for  dinner, and a watercress salad on the side.

A whole lotta love

This post is for Lulu, who worries when I don’t write. Bonjour, Lulu!

Things are coming along. Friday was treatment, today Zsolt and I spent the morning in bed talking. It’s easier when he is here to distract me with chit chat. My thoughts are really the problem  – they trigger the sickness to become overwhelming. And for some reason this round of chemo is more difficult than the last. Probably because we didn’t stop the nausea in time.

But this has been a nice morning. I am now eating a few slices of cucumber and Zsolt is in the kitchen with the dishes. It’s 11.30 am, we’ve been up since 8.30. The ability to rest together is a good sign for a relationship, isn’t it? Back in the day Zsolt and I would spend entire (and I mean entire) morning in bed just talking. We still do of course, but not every weekend. Sometimes there is work, other times there is treatment, and others we have company. I really cherish our morning – plus it gives me something better to type about than nausea etc.

The past couple days have been draining. Keeping food down  is a challenge, which frustrates me because my weight was just starting to rise again. I’d like another three weeks off, please. I’d also like a house in Balaton and a house in Canada – since I’m in the asking mood. And a promise that this cancer will never, ever, ever come back.

My mother and I have made a list. Nicole had suggested making a list of things to look forward to (see comment from past post Help for those helping) and I’m quite glad we did. Here are a few things that Mom and I look forward to doing:

Going to the spa.

Making Christmas cookies.

Sharing a poutine.

Playing cranium with the family.

Visiting a tea shop.

Putting up the tree.

Seeing family again.

There are more things, but that’s a taster. It was really fun to make the list; mom would slowly read it back so I could imagine each activity. There is much to look forward to, and I’m trying to keep my mind focused on those goals. But thank goodness for the people around me. Without them I’d be drifting back to chemo, the room, the syringes . . . and that’s no good, believe me.

The doctors and nurses keep offering me mood relaxing drugs. I keep saying no. What I really need are positive distractions and a whole lot of love. A whole lotta love. Luckily it’s all around.

*Once I feel better I’ll write about the picc line – but give me a couple days yet.

Taste buds changing

Good Goulash. Oh, how my taste buds are changing.


Yesterday evening, while watching Location, Location, Location with Zsolt and dreaming of our own prospective-possible-future house buying options, I opened a bag of crisps (potatoes chips, but since I’m in England, let’s go with crisps). Tyrrells’ chips are certainly tasty, and their Cider Vinegar and Sea Salt has a sharpness that I love in a good salt and vinegar crisp/chip.

Anyhow, happy and enjoying the show – we dig in. Stacy and Phil are selling a couple on a house that is priced £50,000 over their max budget, and I’m curious whether they can secure a deal. But that’s not the only interesting thing. Once my hunger subsides and I actually start enjoying my snack, I realize I’m not fully enjoying it. There’s no freaking taste! Zsolt is all ‘vinegar lips’ with the sour face, and I can hardly sense the salt. Honestly, it was like eating a plain baked potatoe – hold all dressing.

This isn’t the first time my taste buds took a vacation. Last chemo cycle I had an unfortunate incidence with some scones, which led to a break out of mouth sores, followed by an extremely bland meal of homemade sushi (couldn’t taste the side sauces), however during that last occurrence the taste came back.

Here is the question: will my taste return? Here is another question: will bread ever be delicious again? Right now, without the taste, it’s really quite dull.

But I guess all food is dull without flavour. Fortunately I can still taste goulash. It may be that my diet will be amended to all things Hungarian (peppers, sausage, kolbasz, sour cream and Eros Pista) and no things tasteless.

Anyhow, thank goodness for paprika.

This round of chemo has been different. It may be related to the Zolodex and menopausal symptoms, but oh-my-word it’s been emotional. How do people cope? It’s no fun to be sad; the mental barriers grow exponentially.

Thankfully I have support. Mom and Zsolt have been so good to me – Zsolt dances and encourages me to relax, Mom monitors my routine (which frankly is so easy to neglect when feeling weak, so without her I’d be nowhere near doing/taking everything to help recovery). Also, a nod to my Dad who has been a great help with this car insurance annoyance. Because of their help my mood has lifted over the past two days, and it feels good to feel good.

But this is all from something I realized during my last post. While biking up that mountain I was too embarrassed to ask for help. Yes, yes, there was triumph in biking up – but wow, getting a ride would have been nice.  After writing that blog I asked my mother to check on me more often, because I was slipping. She has been helping since – the support has been such a boost.

From taste buds to energy to emotions to treatment – this ride is long from over. For the time being, ‘help’ is the most important word in my vocabulary.  Thank goodness for the people who surround me. Gold stars for them all. 😉