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Copperwoman's Story August, 2004

July l August l September

July's story continues into August

August 11, 2004
Light to the Lymphs! NEGATIVE NODES

Last Thursday, the 5th, I spent the day visiting the various UCSF locations in the city for a myriad of tests. They filled me with dyes and sent me through tunnels of light where they took pictures of my insides. More tests Monday of this week. I was scheduled for a fine need aspiration of a swollen lymph node. When the doc was doing the ultrasound, she was checking out various nodes and couldn't find a single one of them that looked troublesome. She didn't want to stick a needle in there because no lymph was crying out "poke me."

She called the surgeon and asked her what to do. Dr. Ewing told her to send me down the hall to the Fine Needle Aspiration doc. He felt in my armpit, looking for a suspicious lymph and was perplexed. Just what were the doctors (both Kennedy up in Fortuna and Ewing, the UCSF surgeon) feeling that worried them? All he felt was fatty tissue and lymphs clumpted together. He still stuck a needle in my armpit 4 pokes worth looking for malignant cells. No fun. He put the samples on slides and couldn't find anything. Remember that Dr. Kennedy in Fortuna wanted to biopsy a chunk of flesh under my armpit about the size of an apricot. What a relief!

I returned to UC Tuesday morning accompanied by my brother Steve. This is the first time I met the oncologist, Dr. Michele Melisko--another wonderful doctor on the UC staff. She ran down the history of my case and had all the details accurate. She was personal and warm. She talked about the lymph situation and said that at some point they might want to do a sentinel node biopsy, where they inject a dye into the breast and it runs to the first node so they know which one to biopsy. But she said they have to have cause for doing it by feeling enlargement which seems to be fading away.

So under all of the circumstances her recommendation is that I do 4 cycles of "chemo light" 3 weeks apart. That's only 4 times in 3 months! I told her about the 4 things I had planned in August and September and she totally worked around my schedule. I will do the first session on Aug. 24th after my 35th high school reunion. And the next will come after the Women's Herbal Symposium and before Earthdance and recording in Big Sur. This includes time to recuperate in the middle. Stoked!

I will be heading to Garberville on August 28th to spend several days before the symposium. So I will see some of my Northern friends then.

I am settling into the space at my parent's house. I scored a refrigerator at the flea market and was gifted with a 2 burner stovetop. It is feeling pretty homey here now. Enjoying dance jam and getting in some computer work too. Nice to be with my mom and dad, sharing meals and some time together.

That's all for now. Thank you all so much for the love and prayers. I totally feel them. I have carried my magic wand to all of the tests--feels good to have you all with me in spirit. I continue to walk this path in light and love. It is such a rich experience.

Sending--and receiving much love,
Copperwoman


August 23, 2004 • Some catching up to do

Last Monday, August 16, I met with a nurse who educated me about Chemo. It was her job to tell me all of the "bad" things that can happen to me, even if they only happen to 2% or less of the people who do chemo. Lot's of it had to do with nausea and all of the drugs they would give me to counteract it--and the various side-affects those drugs could have.

She also informed me that from day 7-14 my white blood cell count could drop making me more susceptible to infection. And that I should stay out of the sun, not get sunburned or be around sick people or in any way expose myself to germs. And that if I were to come down with a fever I should inform the doc right away so I could avoid getting really ill. Now all of these things can happen but it doesn't mean they will. However, it was pretty scary and sent me plummeting somewhat into a dark place. I had been doing so well with my light shield and I was challenged by this information. I had a couple of hard days after that.

However, I did come home to some hopefull news from my mom as she had made a call to a friend of the family's that has been taking care of my dad with wonderful herbal formulas for years. He is an acupuncturist and herbalist extraordinare. He was totally happy to create a Chinese formula for me to fortify me against the side affects of Chemo. He wanted me to see a local acupuncturist in Santa Cruz who would be able to pass on a Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis to him to help him create the perfect formula for me. It so happens that I was scheduled to see my beloved midwife (Pablo's birth) the next day. Perfect!

However, as it turned out, plans changed and I wasn't able to see her until 2 days later. As I said earlier, these were a couple of "less than energetic" days. On that Thursday that I was to see Raven, I was also scheduled to see Esther, my wonderful healer friend who does "Integrated Awareness," a powerful modality that works on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. She began to turn my energy around and get me heading in the right direction. From her, I went on to see Raven, who filled me with her healing needles and love. Her apprentice Seal, did some moxa on some chi points and the whole treatment helped a lot. Raven checked my pulses and tongue and gathered the info to pass on to Brian Weisbuch, the maker of the herbal formula. Both Raven and Esther worked on the hematoma in my breast which had gotten worse again. It started to improve by the next day--the swelling was going down again.

Turns out, it was actually a 3-healer day. I took a trip that evening up to the Mts. to the home of a "Shaman-type" friend. Another powerful event with singing and drumming and more powerful healing energy. It was a day full of healing gifts for which I am very grateful.

This brings us to today, the eve of the first Chemo "Light" treatment. I saw Esther again today and did more preparing for tomorrow. On the table, I recalled a song that came through inspired by St Germaine:

Transform negativity, into positive energy
Send it back in light and love
To the universe
Healing ourselves, healing each other, healing the earth.

I better quit now as I should have been asleep a while ago. I just had to catch up before the next chapter begins tomorrow.

Again, I thank all of you for the light, love prayers and the images of divine perfection you send my way.
Love,
copperwoman

I guess I knew my hair
was going to fall out
by the looks of this new logo

she said it will
but maybe it won't

I am going to
experience it fully
whatever it does

cw


August 27, 2004
Superwoman lays down her cape

Today is Friday, 3 days after the first Chemo "Light" treatment. The chemo itself wasn't bad going in. Here are a few pictures of the event taken by my mother who accompanied me. As you can see, I was well equipped with my magic wand etc. and my picture of the cardiovascular system to help me to visualize the chemo "golden light" going to the right places and doing the right thing. After the treatment we returned to Santa Cruz and stopped off for a cupping, some needles and moxa from Raven. That was the perfect thing to do.

I am trying to remember Wednesday, but it seems to have slipped away. I recall laying on the earth in the back yard. Resting some, eating some.

Jody arrived on Thursday. I popped some anti-nausea meds and we took a trip to see Dr. Froid, an eye doctor I found that would take my medi-cal. I have been needing some new glasses and wanted to get the photosensitive ones because the chemo and sun don't mix too well. He turned out to be a great guy and we had lots of fun there. Medi-cal even paid for the "shading" since cancer is on the accepted list of reasons to warrent such an extravagance. Afterwards we headed to the Pacific Garden Mall and had a pretty good time hanging out a bit. I don't know where all that energy came from... because today has been a different sort of day.

I woke up really early and went in and out of sleep. The morning was filled with wierd dreams. I tried to pass on the anti-nausea meds this morning but I ended up taking one. They say prevention is much easier than trying to stop the nausea. I had a bit of a "cry" this morning and for the first time felt "out of control" of my emotions. I have been keeping up the positive attitude but I just felt so crummy this morning that the crying felt good. I felt better after some oatmeal made by mom. It has been a sleepy sort of day with a few things taken care of in the middle. I was about to go to bed but decided to write and I feel a lot better now. I can't just lay around all the time. My energy feels good at the moment.

I was hoping to drive to Garberville tomorrow (Saturday, the 28th) but I am now continuing the surrender that I knew was coming. I can see that I really have to take one day at a time and do whatever is best for my body--thus "superwoman laying down her cape." I now also know, that I will not be able to go to the Women's Herbal Symposium next weekend, except for perhaps a brief drop-in visit. It just wouldn't be the same to have to stay out of the sun, or stay covered--not to mention the torture of going to bed early at such an event. All of the surrender is fine knowing the ultimate goal is my perfect health and I will have a lot of time ahead of me to do the things I want to do.

My love to all of you
Copperwoman


August 31, 2004
Bouncing Back

I am happy to say I am feeling much more like myself again. As each day passes, I have more energy and fewer feelings of nausea. Those first few days after chemo "light" were scarey--thinking that's what my life was going to feel like for the next 3 months. I can't recall ever being that slowed down and out of energy. And the stomach feelings were so unsettling. Fuzzy head was happening too. It was just hard to be clear and figure anything out--and meditating in the morning just wasn't working, it was hard to get grounded.

What a relief to feel my energy come back. Saturday I was able to attend my friend Mayim's 60th birthday party and was even able to play the guitar and sing a few. I was still moving slow and taking it easy, but felt more alive. Sunday there was even more progress. I went to dance church and did some easy dancing and connected with community. Yesterday, Monday, I went to see Esther and we did more great work together, loosening up tight things, working on the stomach and digestion, the pancreas, kidneys, liver, gall blatter, psoas, etc.

I guess I was getting a little over confident about how I was feeling because I had planned to drive to Garberville Tuesday with a stop overnight in Ukiah. However, after listening to Raven, I surrendered once again to my inner wisdom and her guidance. With chemo, from day 7-14, the white blood cell count can go down making one more suceptable to getting sick. Right now I am in that time period, so it is a time of greater caution. I wanted to go to Shivani's birthday party on Wednesday and see family that I have been missing since I left Garberville. I was also looking forward to having a session with Temura and her team of angels and saints, the garden, the cats, Josephine Rose (the dog), etc. But surrender I will, knowing what is best for this body.

I send out a special hug to all of you as I feel your prayers and loving embraces,
Copperwoman

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