I just spent the past hour talking with my aunt and uncle. They got the Budwig books, yay! Uncle B says Aunt B has been really reading through them since they got the books yesterday.
He says he’s keeping a positive attitude, and he sounds like he’s always sounded. His laugh is still hearty, too.
I told them about my friend’s sister-in-law, and how she beat the doctor’s death sentence by five years. Uncle B really liked to hear that, and said he’ll read the budwig books too.
The only bad thing though – Aunt B says their doctors have told them to AVOID fresh fruits and vegetables, because of all the contamination scares in the last couple years!!!
Aunt B says she’s afraid of not washing a fruit or vegetable thoroughly enough, and having Uncle B get even more sick from that.
Kinda defeats the whole idea of the Budwig diet, I said. But she replied, “Well it’s something to think about.”
I know she’s saying it out of fear of losing him sooner. There’s no way to convince her that she will wash the vegetables thoroughly enough – the doctors know all, of course. And come on, this is Michigan. Even I grew up on canned goods. Fruits and Vegetables have always been wilted, half rotting and small in that state. Confirmed when I went back for a visit in 2004 – nothing’s changed. Unless it’s an apple – Michigan is known for its apples – the produce is crap. But you know, there ARE farmer’s markets there. Lots of people go to them. And again, you CAN be trusted to thoroughly wash the fruits and vegetables, honest.
I admitted I didn’t know what to say or how to act because our family and our culture is not equipped to talk about cancer for some reason. Aunt B told me it’s totally ok, she understands, and thanked me for my sincerity.
Here’s the timeline of Uncle B’s illness:
October, 2007: Began having stomach pains, so he’d run out to the store to get some Advil or other pain medication. The pain would go away, then crop up again in a different location a day or so later. This went on intermittently for about a month.
November, 2007: Went to the doctor when the pain wouldn’t go away. Was prescribed antibiotics and vicodin. Had a cat scan. Went back two weeks later for the results – they couldn’t find anything wrong so gave him more antibiotics and vicodin, and sent him for a colonoscopy and other tests.
December, 2007: Before finishing his second round of antibiotics, aunt B had to take him to the hospital because the pain was so bad. He had a second cat scan, and something showed up, so they kept him for observation.
While in the hospital (around December 13 – 15), he was given dilaudid but it didn’t work, so they put him on morphine, and then gave him his own button for it. Eventually they would give him a break from morphine and instead give him more dilaudid and vicodin.
They performed a biopsy of his stomach, and put him on an epidural for that. Uncle B really liked that a lot, hehe.
Uncle B wasn’t allowed to stay on epidural so they gave him a fentanyl patch, along with methadone and continued dilaudid.
When the test results came back after the biopsy, it was stage IV stomach cancer of an unknown primary, with six weeks to live.
Aunt B went through all the ‘what if’ stuff, and even got mad at Uncle B for not having gone to the hospital sooner. They were both totally sideways emotionally, trying to grapple with the news. Definitely normal and expected.
They talked with the doctors and the doctors told both Uncle B and Aunt B that they did in fact do all they could in a timely fashion, given the symptoms, and that there was nothing else they could have done. So that has set Uncle B’s and Aunt B’s minds at ease, at least that’s what they say to me and the family.
Uncle B got out of the hospital on Dec. 15 and has been home. Three of their four sons live in-state and have come home to be with their dad. I’m not sure if the fourth son has come home or is on his way.
So I’m feeling good because they’re feeling good. I told them to come visit California and start their world tour to live life like there’s no tomorrow. They liked hearing that and said they’ll see what they can do. ;)
I’m sad but not devastated. I know Uncle B is in a lot of pain – he and Aunt B have told me so. But they sound so upbeat, so why should I be mourning – he’s having a good day today and that’s all that matters – the here and now – from moment to moment. And so I will be happy in this moment. It’s all good.
Regarding the Endometriosis, Aunt B says oh yeah, she definitely had that since she was a teenager. She went through all the symptoms (heavy bleeding, massive pain) and what happened to her (doubling over in pain, puking from the pain, actually passing out from the pain, sitting cross-legged and rocking and crying from the pain, praying for death, etc…), and I said “yep!” and we shared horror stories. We also cracked jokes about my Ma (her sister) being so callous to the pain we were in. I told Aunt B that my Ma once said, “I used to laugh at my sisters cuz I couldn’t believe they’d be in such pain, until you started having it”. But still, my Ma would tell me to shut up and take another Midol pill, and that it was part of being a woman, so she never even understood what I went through, either.
Aunt B understands and says “your mom was a bitch back then!” LOL
She was though! She had no clue. Aunt B told me that my Ma once told her about childbirth – she said “oh I had some lower back pain and I went to the hospital and I was in labour and I had the baby, no big deal.”
Aunt B says she called my Ma several names, hehehe
Though Aunt B says for her pain, she got on The Pill and that lessened the pain, and then later when she started having kids, the pain was reduced further. Aunt B says that from time to time, she would get really bad pain again but not consistently every month and to the degree that she did before getting on The Pill and then later having children.
I told her about her other sister J and J’s daughter, about her other sister M, and about her Ma – how they’d all told me in 2002 that they too suffered from really bad monthly pain. I wish there was a simple blood test that could confirm an Endometriosis gene, so I could map it out and rule out whether it runs in the females of families or what.
But for now, my gut says yes, they all did have Endometriosis. For most of them, childbearing helped. For gramma, it didn’t. It’s different for every woman.
But this info is good to know.
I won’t be passing this disease on to a new generation if I can help it.