Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bullards Beach tonite

Hi Everyone
Well this will likely be almost the last day with hair as it seems that none of the hairs I pull on are "attached". It is good though, as we are performing tonite at Bullards Beach State park, in Bandon, so it will be nice to have SOME hair.  The show will be at 7 pm for anyone interested in the show who happens to be in Bandon. It can sometimes be quite cold there, so bring warm clothes and something soft to sit on.
Jamie Sterling will be joining us on violin, and Mark Dievendorf (our drummer) is coming down from Eugene to also play with us. 
My blood counts are all good today and I am doing well. Just thought I would write a blog in case anyone wanted to know about our show tonite
love and peace
Janet Bates
jankenb @

Monday, July 27, 2009

104 degrees in Portland

Hello everyone

Ken and I have been up on Portland and are heading home now. We live in Bandon, which is on the ocean and its kind of a 50 degree kind of place.

In the winter the temperature averages highs in the 50s and lows in the 40s.  In the summer the temperature averages lows in the 50s and highs in the 60s. So we spend a lot of time in the 50s, which I have just decided is a great place to go through chemo and radiation.  Portland was 104 degrees today, which by my standards is twice as hot as I am used to. 

Sweating is something I usually do not have to deal with, and clearly takes some planning for. Open wounds seem to be aggravated by sweating, and its harder to maintain hydration.  So we are going to go home and stay home.

I cannot imagine how someone who has just had chemo must feel  on a day like today, with the nausea etc, my heart goes out to those who are ill in this heat.

As scheduled my hair started to fall out two days ago.  In fact it is not actually "falling" out because it is too short to fall. It seems to need some weight for it to fall out. If I give it a tug though it comes out. It seems to be mainly at the back for now.

I wanted to explain also how it grew in because that was kind of interesting.  Throughout the chemo in April and May, (after it fell out) it actually grew in a weird sort of way.  There were very sparse white hairs with bent ends on them. I kept telling everyone (especially Ken) "this is not my hair!" He kept wanting to rub the top of my head, heck everyone wants to!!!!!  When my REAL hair started to come in, (about 7 weeks after the last chemo) at first I thought I had dirt on my head from gardening. It grew in just as if I had just shaved it.  Not like the white peach fuzz.

Unfortunately the sparse white strands are mixed in with the dark ones creating a "grey" appearance. Not that I am not grey, I am, just not THAT grey.

 There was this ad on TV years ago with this blond with gorgeous hair, and the caption was "does she or doesn't she, only her hairdresser knows for sure"

Well now everyone knows. :)......for sure.  All my secrets.

Ken and I were just talking about how many weird interesting bits there are to chemo. For instance, the hair grew back on one leg but not the other.  Try to explain that one medically.

Well the temperature has dropped from 104 down to 61 as we drove from I5 to the coast (60 miles, directly west) (most of the drop that last 10 miles).

I feel like I may be coming down with a cold, think I will go home and have a hot bath.  

PS the reason we are taking all these pictures of me is that we are trying to get one we can use for the booklet in my cd cover.  Trying to capture the "the look", with my Annie Lennox hairdo, at least that is who Irene told me I looked like today..

This one was taken today in Portland, and I thought it showed the weird white hairs better.

love and peace

Janet Bates

jankenb  @

Sunday, July 26, 2009

ho hum chemo

Hello everyone
Well Chemo is clearly becoming ....ho hum....predictable.
Today is the day to have nausea, today is the day to be constipated, is the day to have heartburn, or today is the day to have achey bones, or today is the day to have sores in my mouth, or today is the day for my hair to fall out. (actually today IS the day that my hair is supposed to fall out, but we will see)
It is so much better knowing what to expect, and with each symptom to be able to say "OK I have this now, and I know it will likely last about .....number of days.  The other thing that is better is that with chemo before, I was never really sure if what I was feeling was the cancer spreading or something like that.  During the break from chemo everything went away and came back once I started up again, so I know this time around it is just the chemo and it will go away.
People associate chemo with weight loss, well not so with me. I thought at the beginning, if I am to have cancer, at least I can be thin.....not!  Through all the nausea of chemo and then 5 weeks of nausea with radiation, I tend to have a poor appetite, but when I eat I will think, now that tasted good and I will overeat and then feel nauseated again.  Somehow through all of this I have yet to learn to moderate my eating, hence I am pretty much the same weight as I started, which is really fine with me.
Over the past several months, I have found that I tend to build my whole day around what I am making for dinner. I love to cook, and I love to plan. Even on the really bad days psychologically and physically, this little ritual seems to distract me, and over time it has given me a sense of
"doing something" when it seemed there was nothing I could do about this cancer. I feel so accomplished when we sit down to eat and I can list all the "items" with in dinner that have been shown to have anti cancer properties.  I have done this even on days when I am really nauseated, and know I will not be able to eat much.  Some days I can get everything ready but the cooking of it makes me nauseated, so Ken cooks it. Odd??
When I was really depressed, I found that cooking dinner was something that did not involve the past, or the future, and at that time I needed things like that to do.
I was thinking the other day about the fact that I was having chemo on my birthday and thought that it is chemo that is giving me the chance to have many more birthdays, so why not have it on my birthday, heck I think I might just make a turmeric birthday cake.

love and peace
Janet Bates
jankenb @

Saturday, July 25, 2009

why stage 3 is rare

Hi Everyone
Well it is farmers market day here in Bandon, and I am shelling peas. There is a man at the market who sells peas for a dollar a bag, which seems pretty fair to me. Between his peas and the ones I eat from what remains of my pea garden, I am getting lots of peas. I have made the zucchini pea dish I posted a few blogs ago, 3 times this week and tonite I am taking my  overabundant basil, and making pesto with the peas, basil and spinach. I am sure turmuric will somehow make its way into the pesto, but don't tell Ken.
It is so great to have fresh veggies when you know exactly where they came from. I am growing lots of basil, tomatoes, peas, beets, and zucchinis. At least that is what is coming up...Oh and garlic.

Today I was asked why stage 3 and 4 of endometrial cancer are so rare. I thought I would explain here. Endometrial cancer is most often diagnosed in its earlier stages because most women seek medical care when they experience either post menopausal bleeding, or unusual bleeding.  Endometrial cancer is actually a common cancer, but only 15 percent are at stage 3 or 4 when diagnosed. Contrast this to ovarian cancer, which is often diagnosed late because there are often no symptoms, or the symptoms are vague. On average 25 thousand new cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed each year and about 12 thousand women die of it.  Contrast that to endometrial cancer in which there are 40,000 new cases a year diagnosed and about 7000 who die from it.  Sadly enough though the incidence (number with the disease) has not changed in the past 20 years, the mortality rate has increased.  Hopefully that is going to change with more recent more aggressive treatments. Radiation has been the mainstay of treatment for stage 3 disease. I have read study after study where the only recurrences of the cancer was outside the radiation field. What this means is that if the pelvis was radiated only recurrences were found outside the pelvis. I guess it is easy to look back, but it is hard to know why they did not start using chemo and radiation together until recently.  There are very few studies to show these two treatments together, but the few that there are are very promising.
They are also starting to treat some of the lower stages more aggressively with chemo and radiation in certain situations.
I feel fortunate to have this cancer now, rather than 15 years ago. Chemo is more tolerable than it once was, and radiation...well I made it through and I am still expecting the wounds from radiation to heal.
SO the most important thing is to catch it early and seek medical attention.
The main symptoms of endometrial cancer are:
Vaginal bleeding and/or spotting in a postmenopausal woman
Abnormal uterine bleeding, abnormal periods, bleeding with intercourse.
Bleeding between normal periods in premenopausal women, and in women over 40 extremely long, heavy or frequent bleeding.
Unexplained anemia.
Lower abdominal pain or pelvic cramping
Thin white or clear vaginal discharge in postmenopausal women

So there you have it in a nutshell, and so all you have to do is make sure that everyone you know knows this. Its not like anyone really ever brings up issues about their periods at social gatherings. :).....but maybe they should.

love and peace
Oh and Ken and I are playing at Bullards Beach amphitheater on wednesday night July 29th at 7 pm, bring warm clothes.

Janet Bates
jankenb @

Friday, July 24, 2009

good week

Hi Everyone
Just a short note to let you know I am doing really well. I am at day 12 of this cycle and on the upwards swing.
My blood count has come up nicely. I am working extremely hard at getting the perineal wounds to heal, and they are much better than they were on Monday, hopefully will get them healed by next chemo.
 A friend from university has been able to get me the full articles of the studies on the treatments of endometrial cancer, and I am starting to "believe" that my prognosis IS very good.
Since stage 3 and 4 endometrial cancers are so rare,  it is very hard to get enough women for a proper study (ie one that will have enough numbers to make it statistically significant), so they lump the two stages together. To be stage 4, it means that the cancer has spread to the bladder or bowel at the time of initial surgery.  So by getting the whole article, you can see the difference. 
So all in all I am feeling better about my prognosis.
I find that I tend to get down and depressed about day 5-7 or so with each cycle. When you feel awful, it is hard to imagine (believe).. that this is all going to go away.
I have been working this week, and will next week as well.
My next chemo is August 3rd, which is also my birthday.
Perhaps I should make a turmeric/ginger cake in for the staff.......

love and peace
janet bates
jankenb @

Monday, July 20, 2009

4 wheels of soot

Hi Everyone
I am sure you are wondering what IS this fascination I have with this burned out 4 wheeler, but for some reason I see a certain photographic creative aspect to it. WEIRD.
There is another reason.... 
I awoke this morning to a phone call from the hospital that Ken was unable to answer, because his back was in such spasm.  Now I can see some of you putting this all together, looking at a dead 4wheeler and wondering HOW DID IT GET UP THERE?  I wonder if I need to go further. 
Our burned out 4 wheeler was replaced with a new one, but we had to get the old one out of there, and as you can see from the wheels, it was not "rolled out" of the yard. I had though perhaps we could take the new wheels off the new one and place them on the "old one" but that was not going to work.
SO Ken somehow dragged the dead carcass of this machine onto this trailer,  and just that one poorly planned movement, (all the rest of his moves were carefully planned) now leaves him unable to tie up his shoes. 
I said I would help, heck I even said Chewey and Rex would help, but .............................

Anyways this is probably the last of the burned out 4 wheeler pictures, and only one more "move" left, and that is getting it off the trailer at the dump, and I think we should leave that for a day several days from today.

I am currently on day 8 of my 4th chemo cycle. I had my blood work done today and now a few things are quite low. In the past cycles my white blood count has not dropped until near the end of the cycle (day 20 or so), however my blood work today is low already.  I did receive neulasta last tuesday, which is supposed to bring it up, but perhaps now it is just slower to do so.
The OTHER low value is my platelet count is low. Platelets are the part of blood that is responsible for clotting and for secreting substances that heal tissues.  My level is 80 and normal is 140-425. So what this means is that I should not take up contact sports for awhile.  I am at higher risk of bleeding. At this level I could not have an operation. Platelet transfusions are not given unless someone is actively bleeding. The average lifespan of a platelet is 8-12 days, so the bone marrow is kicking out platelets all the time, and so as soon as my marrow gets to work it will get back up there soon.....I think.  :)  Meantime Ken no wrestling!

I am thinking that these two issues are likely why my "open lesions" have 'reopened" and show no sign of healing soon.  I guess I had thought that since I have been off of chemo for 10 weeks, I would basically be back to normal, and it would be like starting over.
I do think that this pattern of treatment is likely the cause.
The treatment I am getting is called "the sandwich approach".  I got 3 cycles of chemo, followed by 5 weeks of daily radiation,  followed by 3 cycles of chemo.
I think that the basic idea is that as far as the cancer is concerned chemo interferes with the reproduction of rapidly dividing cells ie cancer cells, so after chemo you have cells that have been damaged many destroyed, you then hit a focused area where the cancer was known to exist with radiation.  So you have cells that might already be dead, perhaps damaged, then you hit them with something else that is going to damage, destroy them, which makes the radiation more lethal because the cells are already reeling.
You then go back to the first approach of "killing cells", at a time when they are still reeling from radiation.
I found a recent study that was done comparing "sequencing" of the chemo and the radiation.
They compared those who received chemo, and then radiation,  radiation then chemo, and chemo, radiation and then more chemo. What they found was that the overall 3 year survival for those getting chemo then radiation was 54 percent, which means that 54 percent of the women were still alive at 3 years. The 3 year overall survival of those who received radiation and then chemo was 57 percent, and the 3 year overall survival of those who received chemo, then radiation and then chemo was 88 percent. (sandwich approach)
Keep in mind that this study included both women with STAGE 3 and Stage 4 (I am stage 3), so over half of the women in this study had a stage that was higher (worse) than mine.
SOOOO.... if this "sequencing" is so much harder on the cancer, it  is logically also harder on the blood cells, so that is likely why my counts are getting lower with time.

I guess I just have to hunker down and wash my hands a lot and try not to get into too many fights I cannot back away from ...  :)
The way I see it, that means I have 8 more weeks until my body can begin to heal.

Love and peace
Janet Bates
jankenb @

Friday, July 17, 2009


Hi Everyone

My garden is doing OK, well at least some of it is. I made this following dish for supper last night and it was GREAT. I was trying to find a recipe for the zucchinis in my garden, and this recipe I found was a perfect anti cancer recipe. It has ginger, garlic, turmuric, peas,  all foods that have been found to have anticancer properties.

I was able to use zucchinis from my garden as well as potatoes and I would have used the peas from my garden if the deer had not eaten the tops off of all my pea plants (and the ones that remained I have gone out and eaten myself)  I found the basic recipe at  

Stuffed Zucchinis

  • 6  medium zucchini (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 1/4  teaspoons  salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups of potatoes chopped
  • 2  teaspoons  butter
  • 2  teaspoons  olive oil
  • 2 1/2  cups  chopped celery
  • 3  tablespoons  minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 4  garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1  serrano chile, minced (I held this....)
  • 2  tablespoons  chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour   (or amaranth flour) (can also use whole wheat)
  • 1  teaspoon  ground coriander
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground turmeric (I used a full teaspoon)
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground red pepper
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1 1/2  cups  frozen green peas, thawed (I used fresh peas)
  • 2  tablespoons  finely chopped fresh cilantro (I used a cup of cilantro)


Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Place zucchini halves, cut sides up, in a shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Cook potato in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain.

Heat butter and oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until butter melts. Add onion, ginger, garlic, and chile, and sauté 3 minutes. Stir in flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through cumin). Cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 3/4 teaspoon salt, potato, peas, and cilantro.

Pat zucchini dry with paper towels; spoon about 1/3 cup potato mixture into each zucchini half. Cover and bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until zucchini is tender.

Nutritional Information

145 (22% from fat)
3.5g (sat 1.1g,mono 0.8g,poly 1.2g)

The nausea is better with the ginger, the heartburn is....... well ....
I am doing OK today

janet bates
jankenb @

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Its Baaaack.....

Hi everyone
Well its baaack to "you know the drill....." Gunna feel lousy for a few days now, knew it was coming, no way to avoid it, its here.
I am eating well, it is odd, I can eat, I just cannot drink without getting nauseated and heartburn.  Tired, bone pains..........
So am drinking what I can and getting an IV a day to make up the rest. 
I slept 12 hours last night, so for any who do not think I am resting.....I AM.

It is really hard to go backwards after feeling so good, but at least there is an end in sight, and the encouragement of favourable ? bloodwork to give me hope that the final chemo in August will be the end of all of this.
Ken and I are going looking at 4 wheelers today (do you note any excitement in my print?) to replace the one that got burned in the fire.  Since we only really use the 4 wheeler on the property and it is not road licensed, our house insurance covers it.  We need another 4 wheeler to haul the other one out of the rubble in the back yard.  Perhaps Ken can drop me off somewhere more exciting (like coos head foods) to look at vegetables, and he can look at 4 wheelers alone.  
Well another day closer to the end
love and peace
janet bates
jankenb @

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

a very happy unbirthday to you

Hello everyone
I was thinking last night how much this whole debacle reminds me of Alice in Wonderland.
Perhaps this might be one time where one could say it is not so much the journey, but the destination. Last night I fell sound asleep watching netflix and could barely drag myself to bed.
That never happens to me, in fact through all of this I have been taking meds to make sure I sleep well every night.  A whole new level of fatigue that for the time, is rather welcoming. To just lie down in bed and fall asleep, what a concept.
Anyways the thing about chemo is that it is the devil I KNOW,  radiation was the one I was not familiar with.  I feel I have more to help me deal with chemo.
With regards to radiation, it does appear as though the lesions are healing, in fact they have all healed except one and it is looking much better. It still hurts a lot to pee, but Dr Cook told me that it takes 12 weeks to fully recover from radiation.  I will be seeing my surgeon for a followup from radiation, and I guess to see whats what.  I gather at that visit we will determine
how often I will see her in "followup"

My health care bill at this point is at 72 thousand dollars. 10 thousand of that was paid out of pocket,   fortunately for me, having health care insurance AND this "episode" occurred over one year I have only had to pay 10 thousand dollars. If I was one of the 50 million or so uninsured people, I would have had to pay it all, and I likely would have made several compromises along the way. Some people in my position might well have foregone the chemo and radiation, because they could not afford it.
If I was in Canada, I would have paid for nothing except the medication I took at home. I would not have had to wait for surgery (my sister went through the same thing and the only thing that delayed her surgery was her BP was too high). My family tells me of several people on chemo and radiation there and there do not seem to be any significant delays.  Don't believe all they would have you believe about the Canadian health care system.  Please support single payer health insurance. It would be good for everyone except ceos and stock holders in pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies.
So please consider how best you might help others who might end up in a similar situation to me, but not have insurance....thanks

If you are wondering why all these pictures, I am trying to show off all the hair I have. :)

love and peace

Janet Bates
jankenb @

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

what the rain promised and did not deliver

Hello everyone
Well day 2 of chemo going very well.
I did the ginger thing in a really big way and have had very little nausea. I started eating real ginger 5 days prior to chemo.
I do find on the day of chemo, my thirst is more than I can keep up with, without getting nauseated. So (being the spoilt little girl I am). Ken gave me an extra litre of IV fluid last night (we got the nurse at the chemo place to leave in the IV) Felt great last night.
Today once again extremely thirsty, still drinking, but just cannot keep up. So once again am getting an IV infusion in my living room. This way I can use my stomach to eat food and not fill it up with water.
 Ken and I went on our big search for mushrooms today and came up basically empty, where are them mushys, have I started too early?
I got my neulasta shot today and am resting now. Am really feeling great though, almost on a "high". Hard to tell whether it is ginger high, a steroid high, a post oregon country fair high,or what,  but whatever it is nice
My CA 125 came back lower than ever at 5 which was also encouraging, after being off chemo for 8 weeks nice to see the ca 125 still dropping.

This morning at our medical staff meeting I was elected unanamously as the new Southern coos hospital chief of staff, so I was pretty excited about that.
AND I was almost finished on the cd then decided to start over on one song, which complicates things a bit, still looking at September, though.
Looking for a better chemo this time.......
love and peace

janet bates
jankenb @

Monday, July 13, 2009

trial by

Hello everyone
We are sitting here in chemo and the "pre " drugs are infusing. We told the doctor about my plan to save what little hair I have with ice packs......he laughed....can you imagine?
She said that the dose I was getting was so high, it would take more than ice during the infusion. 
Well that does not stop US>

We played at the fair yesterday and though our show was smashing, it was also splashing.
Just prior to our show a thunderstorm broke out with lots of thunder and lighting and RAIN.
I was so impressed that a group of about 40 people stood out in front of us IN THE POURING rain.  Many others hid under close buildings, so all in all it was a great show.

We did have one more "encounter" with the fire department this past week. Just 50 yards prior to turning into Veneta, the van suddenly lost all power and we pulled off and it was evident that diesel was pouring out onto the highway. What a panic we went in panic mode, trying to figure out how to solve
The fire department showed up as they apparently recieved a call that there was diesel "spewing" all over the highway. We asked the fireman if we were in and danger, he said that if
the van had not ignited when all the diesel was on the tail pipe it was likely too cool a day for a fire. The firemen said that they expected to find a totally burned van.
We got lucky and they hauled the fan up to road to a shop that was open on a saturday, they 
hoisted it up and found that the clamp that puts the gas line into the engine was "gone" and the actually gas line was also in poor shape.  So we were soon "back in business"
We were able to take in some of the fair on Saturday, and while everyone seems to make an attempt to look "different" at the fair, I feel I had the most "different" hairdos.
Not one other woman was bald.  So It was a success.
Not that I plan to do it again next year.
Speaking of hair, I am currently sitting here getting chemo with an plethora of ice packs and stretchy rubber lines..."keeping my cool"
I have dug up a few studies showing success. (hair saving success)

The benadryl I was given pre chemo is starting to make me sleepy
do gnite...

love and peace
janet bates
jankenb @

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Hello Everyone
Well an interesting day, for someone who's physical abilities are not quite up to snuff.
I was talking on the phone (the time I usually gaze out the window), and noticed the air swirling around up new the tops of the trees. I tried to figure that one out, there was no wind out side, there did not seem to be a helicopter landing in my back yard, I went to check.
A minute later a huge pile of brush in my back yard ignited into flames. Huge flames shooting 20 feet up in the air, lapping away at the adjacent trees.  Ken was out in the cottage, practicing
on his Mandolin, so I went out and totally screamed at him, he came around, seeing the problem told me to call 911. I did call 911. First time in my whole life, it was hard to stay on the phone while they transferred me to the two fire depts.
Ken had hauled on hose out and was "watering" the fire, and said for me to stand back as he thought that the 4 wheeler that was in the midst of the fire, was about the blow. I said.....why done YOU get out of the way if the 4 wheeler is about to blow........GUYS>>>>
So then I tried hauling all the hoses we had up to the fire, and I was just exhausted, I realized how out of shape I am.  It seemed to take forever for the fire dept to get here, and ken went back and phoned them and said that soon it was going to take planes to put this out...

They finally got here, and through a series of hose size problems etc they got the fire under control fairly quickly. Putting it out was another issue, we had to get a backhoe in to "take the pile apart" so to spray it from below as well.
The neighbours, with all the sirens thought that something had happened to me.

The whole thing went pretty well after the fire department got there.
I guess the cause of the fire was that there were some kids we had hired to run the chipper, to chip up all the brush (we were trying to do it the environmentally friendly way) (the reason there was all this brush was that we were attempting to make our house more fire safe clearing brush within 50 feet of our house  :) They left the 4 wheeler right next to the pile of brush and the investigator figured that is where the fire came from. The kids had left an hour before the fire started.

I guess I feel fortunate that I saw what I did, when I did. If I had not bee there looking, it seems that a large part of glenwood estates might have gone. Even when the fire dept got here, they had trouble finding the place as they still could not see smoke.  it was all just flames.
A few more minutes and all my bird houses would have burned, and then our very large dog/people house...

The firemen must have thought it seemed weird a bald lady in a skirt (have been wearing skirts for....well you know..) hauling fire hoses....

So that was a great distraction for a day 

love and peace
Janet Bates
jankenb @

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

the root of the problem

Hello everyone 
Ken is busy restringing all our musical instruments, so we have fresh strings for the fair.  We are heading over to Eugene early Saturday morning to take in the fair on Saturday and then we will be playing on Sunday.  We will be camping in our van Saturday night and then home Sunday to start chemo Monday.  I have already started with my daily ginger in preparation.
I am looking forward to Monday, sort of how you look forward to the exam because the sooner it gets started the sooner it will be over. It cannot be over till it starts.   :)

I am glad we are not camping at the fair, as the lesions on my butt have still not healed and so nice to have running water at night. I have been concerned about the problem of open wounds around the rectal area, and so I contacted a wound care specialist in Portland (she is the one I learned everything I know about wound care from).  I have had open wounds for 8-9 weeks now.
Although I would never clean an open wound on a patient of mine with hibiclens, the cancer center have told me all along to cleanse the wounds several times a day with watered down hibiclens, and so being a "good patient" I have been.  Getting worried about them healing before I am due to go back on Chemo, I got "another opinion".
(I should add that I have never treated open wounds in the rectal area)
The wound care specialist said that hibiclens destroys the cell membranes so that wounds exposed to it will NOT heal.  The product she suggested instead is called Aloe Vesta foam which was formulated for wounds in this area, and does not damage the cells you are trying to get to grow.  So I started that cleanser yesterday and 2 of the 3 wounds are a lot better today.
BOY Do I feel dumb.  I wish all the different areas of medicine could get together and talk sometimes.
I should also add that I have developed a new YOGA pose which allows me with the help of flashlights and mirrors to "observe" this area that is normally rather difficult to get a look at.

So its a race to heal before Monday, as chemo takes away my infection fighting abilities, and so not good to have open wounds.
When I am done all this I am going to inform as many oncologists as I can about this because hibiclens seems to be what most centers suggest.

Ken and Chewy (our dog) are out trying to scare away the rats from my birdfeeder garden, chewy is digging and Ken has a hose,  not sure what the principal here is or what the overall plan is, but they look like they are both having fun.....must be a guy thing.
Wish I had a picture.

Well I AM looking forward to having more fascinating things to talk about in my blog, than my butt....... like nausea, heartburn and constipation.
But for now...

love and peace
janet bates
jankenb @
oh the photo is my sister Denise, her husband Dave and me

Sunday, July 5, 2009

good hair days

Hello everyone
I am doing well, healing is not exactly a spectator sport, however, healing, I am.
Perhaps what that doctor said was right, that it would seem slow for 2 weeks, then I would be better. I still have 2 open wounds, but all in all, they seem to be healing well.
The funny thing about feeling better is that it is a relative thing.
Last week I thought I felt a lot better, but this week I feel better than that. I guess you could say that feeling great is better than I was expecting it to feel, if that makes any sense.

I am getting rested up for the Oregon country fair next weekend, and next Monday (the 13th) I will be going back to chemo. I guess I am not dreading it as much as I thought I would, because radiation turned out to be worse.
I am getting hair, and even have eyebrows now.  I had 5 or 6 lonely eyebrows left, and I gave them a tug and they just fell out.  Then I noticed that a whole new "crop" was forming under.
Somehow not having eyebrows makes you look sick. I have a whole new layer of new hair coming in, but the "peach fuzz" is much longer. I think that the white peach fuzz will just fall out eventually.  It feels soooo great to have hair,  minimal as it is, it is still noticable.
I really do not feel like starting all over again next week. So Ken and I are going to try the ice and bathing cap thing AGAIN. This time we are going to try harder.  :)

I guess mentally I am doing better all the time, I have barely thought about cancer for the past 2 weeks.  I am feeling more and more that this will turn out to be a bump in the road rather than the end of it. 
I am getting more excited about the cd, as it is really starting to show signs that it will be done soon. Today I am using a program, placing the songs in different orders and seeing how they sound in various orders. It is amazing what a difference it makes. The end of one song and the beginning of the next, there definately are some that do not fit together.  The art work for the cover is gradually getting done as well.
I hope everyone had a great fourth of July, or first of July (Canada day)

Love and peace
Janet Bates
jankenb @

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

golden and silver falls

Hi Everyone
I guess the doc was right, things stay the same for 2 weeks and then ??? get better.
The lesions on my perineum have gotten worse over the course of this week, but I do believe that today are getting better. 
Though I have tried many things, I think what really did it was .....soaking my flaming butt in the Millicoma river.

My sister Denise and her husband David are here visiting and so we took them up to Golden and Silver falls yesterday. Along the way I found a "quite" spot to sit and soak until I felt numb...
Hmmm I wonder perhaps if there are healing waters there?
So the rest of me feels pretty good, except the perineum, rectal area. I guess perhaps it just has to heal.
I am hoping that it is all healed before I start chemo on July 13th.
I am back to work and that is going well.
The Oregon country Fair is on July 10 11th and 12th and we play there on Sunday the 12th.

Love and peace
Janet Bates
jankenb @