Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sigh of Relief

After all of Friday's worrying, my wonderful oncologist called around 9 pm on Friday night to tell me that for all of these side effects, the chemo is working! He saw my scans and the radiologist's reports and said that I look "much better"! We will know more on Tuesday at my appointment prior to chemo (blech). I was so relieved to hear that the treatment is actually effective and that all of this nausea and baldness is not for nothing. I was also so happy that Dr. Henry called me himself to tell me the good news (I don't work in the medical field, but I would say 9 pm is definitely considered "after hours"). He is the best and I feel so lucky that he's my doctor.

I've been very busy this weekend, swimming again and mall-hopping (Willow Grove on Saturday, and Montgomery today). Dan and I even had a date! We went out for dinner like normal people on a Saturday night and I ate a full meal at Effie's (love that Greek food). We tried for a movie, but it was sold out, so we rented a few DVDs and headed home.

I am definitely dreading Tuesday's treatment and trying not to think about how I'll feel a few days from now. It's certainly helpful to know that the medicine is working - it makes it a bit easier to swallow (literally and figuratively), knowing I will feel totally better eventually and this will all be behind me. For today, I am feeling mostly normal (except for the whole hair loss thing) and able to eat vegetables and shop - in person - with the best of them.

Speaking of shopping, I've been asked recently about some changes we've made in our house (and in my make-up bag). We threw out (almost) all of our plastic storage containers and replaced them with glass, mostly pyrex and some brand called martinex. I bought stainless steel snack containers for Judah's lunches and all of his cups are either stainless steel (Sigg is a good brand found at Whole Foods) or bpa-free plastic (his favorites are munchkin and nalgene). I don't know if any of it makes a bit of difference, but I do know that the cancer rates were not so high before everything was packaged and stored in plastic containers. So not only does it feel healthier, it feels olden days-ish.

As for my make-up collection, for those of you who don't know me intimately enough to know my penchant for product, I will tell you I have never been able to keep up with my love for good stuff. Lotions, hair goo, shampoos, body wash, face creams, pimple creams, blush, eye shadow, concealer, the list goes on and on (and on). I have been known to stockpile. Like I've said before, I like to be prepared (and I also like to have options). Now, I come to find out most of what I'd been using contains tons of toxins that I have been absorbing through my skin for years. So to say I've scaled back would be an understatement. I'm using NOTHING that contains parabens or phthalates (including my daily dose of eye glitter) and I finally found a healthy deodorant (aluminum-free) that works (it's by Lavanila and called: the healthy deodorant - vanilla grapefruit scent)!

Of course we have been eating mainly organic fruits and vegetables (at least the dirty dozen: Peaches, Apples, Sweet Bell Peppers, Celery, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Pears, Grapes (Imported), Spinach, Lettuce, Potatoes). Much to Dan's dismay, it is more expensive to eat this way, as I also insist that whatever dairy, egg and meat products are purchased are also organic.
It's amazing to think about the amounts of crap that go into everything we ingest. I don't want to go overboard, but it's difficult not to think that all of these environmental factors had something to do with my cancerous state. When I was pregnant with Judah, I used to hold my breath when I walked by a smoker or when I was driving behind a truck giving off big, black exhaust. I wanted to protect him from this environmental garbage before he was even born, and here I was, lotioning and lathering, eating and drinking without a care in the world.

So slowly, slowly, we are changing the way we, in our one little house, take care of ourselves. Hopefully it will become easier (read: cheaper) to do this because everyone else will try to do the same.


Photo info: fresh bounty from my friend Alison's garden - even better than Whole Foods!

For more information about what fruits and veggies are best bought organic, see:


  1. I did all the same things with my makeup (I don't even go to the mailbox w/o mascara!) and kitchen storage stuff. I find it unnecessary to buy ALL organic, in that some foods with thick exteriors can simply be washed and achieve the same affect; however, mostly all fruits, veggies, grains, and MILK products are organic.
    I, too, have a serious crush on my radiation oncologist- - - he is the Chief of the Department and funny as hell. He just called me on Friday to ask if I would "buddy" with a new patient of his who is very trepidatious about her upcoming treatment (same as mine).
    Keep up the great attitude and I'll be thinking about you on Tuesday and sending a lot of positive energy your way :)

  2. Mia,I could feel your positive energy. I am so glad you got that news on Friday night. I continue to keep good thoughts for you.

  3. Although they're not as good for the environment, it's somewhat of a relief to know that saran wrap and ziploc bags and containers are all bpa free. We're slowly transitioning to glass storage, but sometimes you need some disposable.

  4. i am so glad to hear about this news and I am so glad we could contribute to your new make up collection! if you are wanting anything else my mom wants you to let us know : )

  5. Hello. Your cousin Rachel pointed me towards your blog. I am doing many of the same things for somewhat similar reasons. My mother died a couple of months ago from brain cancer which no one, even her, knew she had untilt it was too late. I am a 40 year old mom of a 5 year old and an 18 month old who misses her mom and is now very focused on trying to be as healthy as possible and rid my home and diet of as many toxins as possible.

    Thanks for the deodorant recommendation! I had been asking on Facebook if anyone knew of a natural one that didn't make me smell like cole slaw left out in the sun after an hour or two. I shall be trying the one you recommend!

    Also, can you point me toward the stainless steel snack containers you got for your son? I have been using SnackTaxis cloth snack bags for snacks on the go, but I need something more durable and those sound fantastic.

    I am sending you the best good vibes I have and will be following your blog with support for your return to good health!

    - Meredith

  6. Dear Mia,
    We are so glad to hear that you received good news on Friday, and that the weekend brought with it some normalcy. We are still visiting my parents in the country but I have been keeping close tabs on you and sending all the positive thoughts we can muster your way. I know that you had your treatment yesterday and so i am especially busy sending good Karma.
    We love you. Keep up the good work!
    Love Paula and the gang