Thursday, October 15, 2009

back in us, back in us, back in us...a

Hello Everyone
Well of all things we are sitting in restaurant at Tulalip casino in Washington. What can I say, the  camping fees are  The dogs have completely had it with the 10 square foot existence they have been limited to for the past 3 1/2 weeks. When we get up at night we have to be VERY careful where to step.  With the dogs there, we have about 4 square feet to step at night. 

We are traveling down with Ken's sister Pat who is going to come as far as Seattle with us and then heading back to Kelowna.
We have had a very restful holiday, and it has been great. 
Although the flu is apparently all around us, we have been unscathed. Ken got the flu shot before we left, and then whilst in BC we read in the Globe and Mail that a study has come out that says that the people immunized with the seasonal flu vaccine were twice as likely to get the H1N1 virus. So in Canada they were cutting the flu vaccine programs until further notice. (not sure if this was just until the H1 N1 vaccine came out.)  So hard to keep up with all the flu news, especially while traveling. 
I got an email from a friend a few days ago that made incredible sense to me, in fact some of the info I have practiced for years in flu season, though I admit I have not seen studies to support.
I think though that practices that do not involve drugs are not studied with the vigor that drugs are anyways. I thought I would share this info here. 
 As for me I am doing very well.  I feel that the shortness of breath has resolved, and the muscle pain has improved. Once again I am working on a VERY funky hairdo. I must say that what happens with my hair is very different from what seems to happen to anyone else. The white ( or clear) hair has continued to grow pretty much since 3 weeks post chemo. Now I am at 7 weeks post chemo, the dark hair is starting to grow underneath and looks like I have a VERY DIRTY scalp. The rest of my eyebrows (a few stragglers) fell out, I am guessing to allow for the new hairs to grow in.   I would say that 7-8 weeks seems to be when hair starts to grow.

Mentally, I  do not dwell on the cancer. I guess I occasionally worry when I get abdominal aches and cramping ( which I clearly seem to have some of every day), but most certainly this is from the radiation and not a big deal except for the worry it creates. I would find it hard to believe that others in my situation do not worry sometimes as well.
We had lunch with Ken's uncle along our trip (he had his right lung removed in December for a lung cancer, no positive lymph nodes). He said "so what now?", I said well I just watch and wait, and he said "I know what you mean".  There is a special level of comfort around people who "understand".
Ken and I are going to be celebrating our 26th anniversary on Saturday and  we have a special bottle of wine (no surprise there eh?) for the occasion. Then on Sunday its back to work in Bandon.  
Peace and love
Janet Bates
jankenb @

Dr. Vinay Goyal is an MBBS,DRM,DNB (Intensivist and Thyroid  specialist) having clinical experience of over 20 years. He has worked  in institutions like Hinduja Hospital, Bombay Hospital, Saifee Hospital, Tata Memorial etc.

The following message, given by him, makes

a lot of sense  and is important for all of you to know

The only portals of  entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global

epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible not coming into

contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so

much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, 

in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and

development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully

highlighted in most  official communications, can be practiced (instead of

focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2.  "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all

temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).

3. *Gargle  twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if

you don't trust  salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection

in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic

symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with

salt water  has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an 

 infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and 

 powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, *clean  your nostrils at least once every day with 

warm salt water. *Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti

(very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but *blowing the

nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in

warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.*

(A Neti pot can be bought at the drug store.  You use it to rinse out your nostrils)( Also saline nasal spray found in pharmacies here, this is also helpful for allergies)

5.  *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich

in Vitamin C (citrus fruits). 

 *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C

tablets, make sure that  it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6.* Drink as much of warm  liquids as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the 

same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off

proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they

cannot survive,  proliferate or do any harm. 

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