Janet is being used to trick people

When I turned on the computer this morning, I had the extremely painful experience of learning that soundbites from Janet’s story, taken from this blog, were being used by one of the many propaganda websites, that tries to discredit Dr. Burzynski.

We have many caring and compassionate and often brilliant practitioners of Orthodox Western Medicine among our friends. Some of them feel that when we stepped out of that medical monopoly, that we were making a terrible mistake. These friends are all excellent people and very sincere in their concern. I by no means wish to seem to discredit their knowledge and sincerity. Nor do I wish to not give credit to our friends who were trained in Orthodox Western Medicine, yet applauded our efforts to research ALL of the possible data.

Over many years of living, learning, and watching the world around us, Janet and I felt strongly that the monopoly known as Orthodox Western Medicine categorically demonized countless useful alternatives. For example, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed with this many years ago, when it ruled that the AMA needed to stop its malicious harassment of the technology of Chiropractic Medicine in the United States. They didn’t actually stop, but they had to be more careful with their malice.

I don’t believe that it is logical that ANY kind of technology can solve every problem. However, Janet and I have had many problems solved using Chiropractic Medicine over the years. This gave us quick, permanent results, without using any surgery or drugs.

This whole medical subject is unimaginably complicated, and you probably already have very strong opinions that I will not change here. One example, that I find very representative is:

Many years ago I was told that a scientist was researching what is now called ‘coenzyme Q 10,’ and the related ubiquinol. He discovered that it was extremely valuable in the treatment of heart disease and many other conditions. At the time, this scientist worked for a large pharmaceutical company and when his boss discovered what he was working on, he told him that he must stop working on that immediately.

The scientist said, “But, the positive benefits are unequivocal! This is a major help or even a cure for many conditions, yet it has no side effects.”

His boss said, “It is a common substance, that is found in virtually every living cell. All you are doing is supplementing it in people that are deficient.”

“We cannot patent a common substance. You need to on research things that we can patent and then sell, to make money on.”

Fortunately for all of us, the scientist quit and continued his research. Other conventional medical doctors saw the merits of this technology and joined the search. For example:


Through a coincidence, one of my uncles met Dr. Langsjoen, shortly after my uncle had been abandoned by the conventional medical community. These orthodox doctors had told him that his heart condition was terminal and he did not have much time left. They had done everything in their power but he was not going to last very long. Kind of a, “Go home and die.” kind of message.

Happily, under Dr. Langsjoen’s care, my uncle’s health improved dramatically and he had many good years. Sadly, his heart problem did eventually kill him, but much later than originally predicted.

I know that I will be unlikely to change your previous opinions. I know that the Internet is a wonderful place to cherry pick data to support any opinion that one already holds. I suspect that we all do it. But, try hard to keep an open mind and to learn real facts.

Here’s a comment that I submitted to the malicious website. What do you want to bet that they refuse to post it?


Janet E was the person that I love most in the world. We were good friends for about 40 years and soulmates for 32 years. Hopefully it will not surprise you that I am more than a little upset by someone using soundbites from Janet’s story to support this vitriolic, false, twisted propaganda piece, desperately trying to demonize any new research.

The author(s) falsely claims to support ‘science-based’ medicine. But they do not know the definition of science. Janet and I have always believed that real science must be a systematic enterprise, that absolutely must be based on honesty and not propaganda. Real Science must accurately combine the growing base of knowledge, in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. And, it must be willing to revise that base of knowledge, when new real facts are learned.

Science, the real kind, works towards finding the best ways to treat disease. The methods with the highest cure rates, fewest side effects, and lowest cost. The medical establishment that pays for the afore mentioned propaganda piece, works for the most profitable way to treat disease. The medical establishment and its often well-meaning but, close minded followers, seem to think that surgery and pharmaceuticals are the only real tools to fight disease.

Janet and I disagree. I encourage you to do your own homework and learn about the literally countless other technologies that may be far superior to the limited alternatives given to you by your friendly neighborhood Doctor. Since your friendly neighborhood Doctor usually works for the medical monopoly, you will need to do the research yourself.

In case you say, “But, Janet died, and that proves their point.” What is not mentioned in the terrible propaganda piece on this website, is that Janet exhausted all conventional alternatives, before looking outside the medical monopoly. The Orthodox Medical doctors promised her that she would die very soon under their treatment. It was only then that we went to see Dr. Burzynski. The twisted lies in this piece may be written by a well-intentioned dupe, or a salaried propaganda writer.

Lying by twisting the facts is the format here. Like using the fact that Janet had a “severe case of Hand-Foot Syndrome” to support their claim that the medical monopoly is good and Burzynski is bad. But the reality is that the “severe case of Hand-Foot Syndrome” was caused by conventional chemotherapy drugs, the use of which was overseen by a conventional medical monopoly Doctor, who just happened to not give us any orientation about things to watch for as possible side effects from these medical monopoly drugs. Like not telling us how to avoid these well known side effects of the conventional medical monopoly drugs. This was NOT a fault of the Burzynski team. But of the Orthodox Medical Monopoly Doctor. Just one of the many deceptions in this article.

If I were lacking compassion and moral fiber, I could write many similar pieces about all of our many friends that ONLY had conventional treatment and died terrible deaths far sooner than their conventional doctors had predicted.

If you believe that spending a lot of money or dying are symptoms of stepping outside of conventional medicine, then you have no idea of the massive costs and often deadly results of using conventional medicine in many of these cancers.

The Hannah and Pete mentioned above are just some of the many people that the team at Dr. Burzynski’s clinic saved after the medical monopoly said they had weeks or months to live. But the author does not mention that, does he?

In our quest, Janet and I met many people who have completely cured their, ‘terminal cancers’ using Qi Gong, and Chinese medicine and many other technologies that are carefully demonized by the medical monopoly. Instead of dying within months, one woman that we know used Qi Gong, to cure herself completely. That was 30 years ago. As very healthy, living proof of the success of that method for her particular situation, she became an enthusiastic instructor, and a kind of Johnny Appleseed, spreading that knowledge around the globe to her best ability. The result being that she had saved the lives of many people that we met.

Freedom of speech is definitely a double edge sword. Any eight-year-old, or a paid propagandist, can put up a website and spout anything that they want to. I encourage you to not spend much time on this website but to go to honest ones. Your life or the life of a loved one may depend upon it.

Dave (the one referred to in this nightmarish propaganda piece)


Song Lyrics

I am still working mostly on computer things. Primarily, consolidating my backups, that are scattered over many terabytes of hard drives.

It is slow going because working with such large drives takes seemingly forever. But I’m making some progress. It is sort of like beating your head against the wall. It’s going to feel so good when I stop.

The plan is to put all of the backup files into a single hard drive. I then have some software that does quite a good job of getting rid of any identical duplicates. I have already used it to get rid of many hundreds of gigabytes of data. Once I have done that, it will also remove empty folders. At least usually it will. I just found a whole collection of empty folders that it somehow would not remove, so I had to do it manually just so that I don’t have to keep looking in them.

Then, I plan to go through and get rid of ancient history that I no longer want and to organize the folders into at least a somewhat rational manner. Sometimes it’s especially hard to decide exactly where something should go. But, I want to get the easy ones arranged.

Many of the backups are of songs that I have moved from cassette tapes to the computer. Sometimes the song’s jump out and make me play them. One of those was Joan Baez singing, “Gracias a la Vida” or Thanks to the Life. Perhaps, “Here’s to Life” is a better way to say it in English. I found the following translation of the lyrics

Many people have sung it many times. I think the version that I have was recorded by Joan Baez in 1974. Here is a link to the original composer that I found very interesting:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violeta_Parra with probably a better translation, although it is quite short.

I cannot help but wonder if the verse that contains:

Thank you life, which has given me so much
You gave me two eyes, which when I open them,
I distinguish perfectly black from white

Has some reference to the idea that some cultures have that dawn or sunset is official when you either can or cannot distinguish a black thread from a white thread. If that makes no sense to you, try it sometime. As you know, the eye has receptors that can distinguish colors. And some people these are incredibly precise. And also receptors that can only distinguish black and white.

The receptors for black and white are much more sensitive for whatever reason. And it is why very dim light seems to cause everything to look varying shades of gray. Colors pretty much disappear.

You’ve probably heard variations of, “at night all cats are gray.” I was naïve enough to think that I could find where this comes from. However, many have quoted it. In Spanish, I recalled the similar, “De noche todos los gatos son pardos.” Benjamin Franklin had a version of it and the earliest reference I could find says that it appears in John Heywood’s book of proverbs (1546) as ‘When all candles be out, all cats be gray.’

So, I was wondering if in the composer’s culture there was extra symbolism in being able to distinguish perfectly black from white. It seems to me that often phrases from another culture, or another time period, are often pregnant with hidden meaning. But, it is lost on me unless I happen to know how to work the secret decoder ring.

“The da Vinci Code” and other books like that can be quite fascinating. Gradually unraveling the hidden meaning. They say Alice in Wonderland, and many famous works, that today are usually taken at face value, were intended to be understood as containing plays on words. Shakespeare comes to mind.

But, back to the song. I have always liked that song very much. Janet and I used to play it a lot. You recall that Janet spoke Spanish quite well. Since for some of you, either speak Spanish quite well, or it is your primary language, and you speak English quite well. So, if you have a better translation, feel free to share it with me. I’m quite aware that translating something into another language is often an art. The idea is easily confused in translation of the words. Important nuances are lost forever.

And even working in a single language, double entendres can get really tricky.

We have had a couple of brief cold spells here. And some brief rainy spells. Sometimes dropping a lot of rain in a short time. But, basically we are having a very nice Indian summer so far. I hate to say that out loud and jinx it.

They have been saying for a while that the marina is sold out for this winter. It is certainly filling up fast. We are all meeting lots of new and interesting people and it promises to be a very nice winter. I hope yours is also,


More about Janet

Many years ago, I was talking to someone about why I love Janet so much. Listing attributes.

One of her many attributes that I valued greatly, I said was, “That, she knew her place.”

The person I was talking to, immediately bristled, thinking that that was a bad thing to say. So, I had to explain that, it can cut both ways. In this case I meant that she knew that she was very competent at many diverse things. And she was certainly right about that.

Remember that Janet and I come from an age when women were nearly always conspired against and put down. And, I think they still are far too often. Just as skin color and religion are still a problem if you happen to have the wrong kind. But, I certainly believe that we have come a long way.

For me, one of many things about Janet that I admired was that she enjoyed and did many nontraditional jobs, but if she chose to, she could easily do the traditional jobs as well.

She was captain of Alegria from 1981 until her death.

Several, non-sexually liberated, people thought we were joking, but there used to be a place on the United States Coast Guard documentation form, where you listed the name of the captain of the vessel. And her name was there, until they changed the form and left that part off. Hopefully not because they noticed a woman was putting her name on the form.

She really enjoyed working on big ships. But, she only did it for a few years, because once she got enough money, we went off sailing again.

They started out hiring her as a Messman. Which is a glorified maid. As she explained it, at meal times she served meals, and in between she cleaned toilets. I think she was aware of the shock value of the phrasing. At the marina in Baltimore, she worked for quite some time keeping the men’s and women’s toilets and showers very clean. Let me tell you that was much appreciated by everybody in the marina.

Fortunately, the ships that she worked on were NOAA ships, and their union was not very restrictive. She was able to get overtime jobs in every department. As a result of that she quickly discovered that her favorite job, was working in the engine room. She was an outstanding student and studied hard and quickly passed every endorsement, that you could get without going to a special maritime college. She really loved working in the engine room and all that it entailed.

This was back in 1980 and 81. Things were still pretty primitive then. Her boss, the chief engineer, made no apology for thinking that women had no place on a ship. It should be men only.

But, he had Janet and another woman, who had been a nurse before changing to ships, working for him. They both quit at the same time, and he told Janet and perhaps several other people, that, even though he still felt ship should be all men, that these two women, were so exceptional, that if the former nurse ever applied to him for a job again, that the instant any position that she could handle became available, that he would hire her. Absolutely no doubt about it.

And he said that if Janet ever applied to work under him again, that he would fire somebody in order to be able to hire her on the spot.

High praise indeed!

However, even as I was saying that Janet knew her place, I was thinking that that was not strictly true. I believe that there were many areas where she was vastly better than she believed in her heart. I think that she should of had much more self-confidence about many things. And I always did my best to try to help her with that.

But, it is pretty obvious that none of us are perfect. The best we can hope is to do the best we can. And she did a heckuva job. I’m incredibly lucky to have known her for as long as I did.


I saw the following on a plaque on the wall of the treasurer of the company I was working for, in the mid-1960s. Quite early in the dawn of women’s Lib, at least in America.

In order for a woman in the workplace,
to be treated as an equal to a man,
she must do twice as much work,
twice as well, in half the time, as a man.

Fortunately this is not difficult.

You may, correctly, guess that the treasurer was a woman and she was also a full partner in the company. And sharp as a tack.

Celebration of Life for Janet Erken

The correct way to remember Janet!

The correct way to remember Janet!

February 9, 2013

There will be a Celebration of Life for Janet Erken on Saturday, February 23rd, at the Henry M. Jackson Conference Center at Everett Community College in north Everett.

The doors will open at 1:00PM, and the “program” will start at 2:00PM. We will try to get done before dark–about 5:00PM. We have the venue until 8:00PM for take down. I am sure some will want to visit longer than 5, but some will want to leave before 5. Whatever, just come. I want to see you.

I have a link here to a parking permit for EvCC, which you can print out and bring with you. A parking permit is not required on Saturday–you can park anywhere except Handicap areas, even Faculty parking–but it has very useful map, and simple driving directions.

This is not a funeral. It is a gathering of Janet’s friends to celebrate her life. I’ll talk a little, I will have some photos, and then I would hope that some would share stories about Janet, if you are OK with that. It is NOT required. If you have photos please bring them or email them. (Ideally full resolution digital that I can download or prints that I may keep to scan.

There will be no religious component to the celebration. Janet & I feel that is inside you. There will be a ‘moment of silence’ where I will be silently doing what I want in my head and you do whatever you wish. I want everyone comfortable. The pious and the atheists. All are welcome, and you don’t need to dress up. I won’t be. But, please feel free to dress up if you wish. Strut your stuff! I want everyone to be having a good time. We will have some light refreshments.

If you have not already, please let me know if you are coming, it will help with planning the refreshments, but don’t worry if you can’t respond. And, it is just NOT family or long time friends. Any of Janet’s friends are welcome. Students, co-workers, any friend. Please come and help me ‘Celebrate the the wonder that was Janet.’ I promise that you will find an interesting mix of people.

Hope to see you there,

David Heath
425-760-6056 Cell

PS: Oh, the campus is tobacco free.

PPS: The College also seems to have a STRONG rule against any homemade food. It can only be commercially produced food. So, please, no home made food, even though most of us love it. Susan and Mike have it covered.

A question for you all.

I have been reading the emails to Janet. I try to read her every one.

They are all wonderful and some are especially deep and moving and Janet has said several times that she wishes everyone could read these beautiful emails.

She just asked it yet again, so I will relay to you. May I post them all on the Blog? (if I can figure out how, exactly) to put a side window on the site so that one does not have to read hundreds of extra emails except by choice?

I will NOT post any without express permission and I can leave the names off entirely if you prefer, or I can leave on just the first names or nick names that few would know who that was. Only close friends already. And many of you have the same first names. I would not have email addresses or definitive stuff like “your next door neighbor”, “your mother” or some such. Unless asked to.

This will add to my work load, so, don’t look for it very soon. And, I will need to think just how to do it without a gigantic work load. It might even not be until I am back on the boat.

We are just watching the nice sunset here in Reno.

Our Love and best wishes to you all! We are getting emails from all around the World. South Pacific Islands, Canada, London, the Mediterranean, Panama, just everywhere.

As I recall, the now, very old cruising book “The Sea Was Our Village” refers to how we know a few hundred, dear friends, like the population of a small Village. It just happens that the population is spread all over the World. We always liked that observation. Miles and Beryl Smeeton, the Hiscocks, and the rest of a fairly small number of authors back in the early 1970s were our heroes. Not all were Master Mariner’s. Many were pretty klutzy, but they had gone out there and done it, so why not us?

We were so blessed as to meet both Miles and Beryl Smeeton and John Guzwell several times when they spoke in Seattle. Janet has met the Pardey’s aboard Taleisin when she was the Pardey’s very new boat.

Ironically, we saw Trekka sail into Black Manele, in Hawaii not long after meeting John Guzwell and have seen, at big boat shows, many other of the famous “hero boats” of the 1950s to 1980s. We are very lucky folks. And not ONLY because we know YOU.

Sun’s down. Hey Janet,should I close the drapes or you want to watch the lights?

Warmest thoughts to you all. Warm Fuzzies to you all. (Google “warm fuzzies and cold pricklies”)

Dave & Janet

Janet is still with us and says things are OK

0800 Pacific Time Reno, NV
She was just awake for over an hour and is doing OK. Obviously we’d love to be taking another look at the incredible Vatican Museum or the Museo Nacional de Antropología (the National Museum of Anthropology) in Mexico City, or sailing on a beautiful sea, like many of the days and nights crossing the Atlantic in 2005. But, this is our task right now. To make her as comfortable as possible and lately we have a nice combination that works well.

My apology for perhaps giving too much information before was offered because (A) I am painfully aware that my Skill Set of Social Graces is broken, I never have found all the pieces. And (B) I assume that some people would prefer a sweet note about how much Janet & I love each other and that she is not well. Then, later to hear that she passed peacefully in her sleep and will be missed by one and all.

I respect that.

But, I just really wanted to say what I said. Anyone that has know me more than an hour knows that I don’t know any SHORT stories. I am accused of giving more info than the recipient wanted to know.

Well, hey. At least you know it it the real Dave writing this and not a Ghost Writer. Humm, I feel a politically incorrect pun there.

Janet & I share with many of you the firm and thoroughly considered belief that our soul (it has other names too) is indeed eternal or at least does not end when the physical body does.

We are certain that death of the physical body is just a natural part of life on Earth. At age 69, I have many friends and all 4 or our patients that have already passed over.

Please do NOT judge our views. Just try to wrap your mind around them, to see where we are coming from at this moment. As we learn more, our views change. Please stay very certain of your own views of How The Universe Works. These things have been argued for as long as there have been two beings that can communicate and had the spare time to wonder and argue about them. I would never be so full of myself as to think that I had figured it all out.

But, lets get back to Janet. When awake, she is usually quite lucid. Not her best, by any stroke, but nice to see that she is still with us. We get to talk about various things.

We wait to see how this unfolds. I will protect her comfort to the very best of my very obnoxious ability. Get in my way on that Quest and you will remember me a very long time. I am still her faithful Rottweiler.

But, for now, we believe that we have enough, effective tools, to keep her comfortable while the drama unfolds.

With MANY thanks to all of the very dear friends and many strangers who send their considerable written word and the warm and loving non-physical support.

Janet is by no means the only wonderful person here. Each of you is a jewel. A gift forever.

Dave & Janet

Long Awaited Update, from Reno, NV

The summary:
First of all Janet has had some bad times, but is doing much better now (10/14/2012) and we are very optimistic.

The short version:
I apologize for the long delay in updating. It is still a Roller Coaster Ride and I was having to hang on tight and updating the blog was not high on my list.

The expected bowel obstruction following her Aug 21 surgery has been a learning experience for us. There have been many bad times where the small intestine stops for a few days and Janet keeps her stomach empty with the gastric tube (that can be opened to continuously drain, almost pump, her stomach). Then she cautiously drinks clear liquids like water or juice for a few days, then thicker liquids like protein shakes or cream of rice or congee.

Then she would like to go to very low fiber foods, like cheese omelets, cheese sandwiches on sourdough bread. (She has gone back to ovo-lacto vegetarian, since most nutritious vegan foods are high in fiber.)

But, before she could eat the cheese omelets, or cheese sandwiches, the intestines would block again. So, then she keeps her stomach empty with the gastric tube. Then she cautiously drinks clear liquids like water or juice for a few days, but then before she can get to the thicker liquids like protein shakes or cream of rice or congee, it stops again. This means that she gets more and more malnourished. And it got so bad that she got very dehydrated and had to go to the hospital for IV hydration several times. And to have potassium and other important minerals, etc, sort of IV Gatoraid, added. And some sugar, but, no protein or oils at all.

So, when they let her out of the hospital at 9PM Monday night, October 8th, we drove 14 hrs non-stop to Reno, NV, to the Reno Integrative Medical Center. They are very versed in doing many alternative treatments in a clinical setting under Dr and Nurses and other technicians supervision. We gave up on the Do-It Yourself method. We were running out of time.

We are very pleased with the Dr. Bob Eslinger, and the Nurses, and other staff at Reno Integrative Medical Center. Janet is already showing much improvement from a week ago. We are still usually very busy, so there may be more delays in updating.

The Longer Version:
As an example of how we spend our time. Janet had become dehydrated on Monday, Oct 1, so we were told to bring her to the ER at the University of Washington Medical Center, (UWMC). They hydrated her and added potassium and other important minerals, and some sugar. She was in the Hospital until Friday Oct 5th.

She had more hydration on Saturday, October 6th, at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, SCCA. Later that day, we decided that we needed a faster, Dr controlled approach to the alternative treatment we are pursuing. The Reno Integrative Medical Center is one of the highly recommended places in Outsmart Your Cancer and on various websites. It is the only one in the Western US that we liked and people go there from all over the World. So, we resolved that when they opened on Monday at 9AM, that we would phone them and ask if we could fly down for treatment.

However, Sunday night, the 7th, we noticed a swollen area in Janet’s stomach that appeared in a few hours, so was not a tumor. We immediately called the On-Call Dr and he said to bring her into the ER ASAP.

They X rayed, etc and decided that the swollen area was gas trapped in the small intestine by the obstruction. There had been a lot of gurgling, but no farts or burps for a day or so.

By the way, we had not been sleeping very well, what with Janet’s frequent middle of the night medical needs and such. And, we got to the ER about dark on Sunday, but had no opportunity to sleep at all until she had gotten a room and more or less settled in about 3AM Monday. We were up at 06:00 with blood tests, Dr visits, etc.

We were kinda tired by then.

Janet needed more hydration and electrolytes. And, on Monday the 8th, they also put in a long term “port” in her shoulder. http://www.bardaccess.com/picc-hick-brov-leon.php shows a picture, but she has the two hose model, not the three as shown. Her’s is product code 0600630.

This makes it very easy to connect an IV or to take a blood sample, etc, without “poking her” yet again. And, since it goes into the main intake artery to the heart, it is best for many kinds of IV’s that cannot be put into your arm. It is the latest in her “medical hardware store look”. No fun, but if you need it, you need it.

We needed copies of her recent medical records for Reno, but by the time Janet got out of the surgery for the port, and could sign the request, their office had closed. Finding someone who could print out at least some of the records was a challenge, but we got some. And we got a disk of her recent X rays.

So, Monday the 8th at 9PM we drove out of the parking lot. Off on a new adventure!

Dave drove at first. All was good for a few hours, but Dave, who had thought that we would begin the trip about noon, was feeling sleepy. Well, he’d always wanted to try one of 5 Hour Energy gizmos. So, he went into a 24hr gas station and got the “Extra Strength” version.

Sadly, it did not seem to do much. So, a couple of hours later, he found a 24hr McDonalds and invested in their biggest black coffee (16oz). That worked very well.

Dave likes coffee, but found that he is sensitive to it and even though his normal consumption was only two, 9 ounce black coffees a day. Breakfast & Lunch. If he missed a dose, he would get a major headache.

Various people have strong views about coffee being good or bad, but Dave has recently been off coffee and only having one or two cups of green tea to keep away the headaches.

So, it is no surprise that 16oz of coffee would work. For a while.

Around 3AM, he needed more, and the brand X gas station had perhaps a 24oz coffee. That got us to Reno, but Janet drove several times when Dave was beginning to weave.

We borrowed Mike & Susan’s GPS as it is easier to use “solo” than ours. It routed us from Seattle to Eugene, OR on I5 and then SE on Highway 58. But as we turned off onto 58, we saw a sign saying that 58 was closed 11 miles from I5. Janet drove while Dave used the computer map to see if we could route around the closure, but it appeared to be in a remote area with no way around it, so we turned back to I5 and continued south to near Mt Shasta, where we cut across to Reno.

On Monday, at 445PM, we’d learned that Janet would be very late leaving the hospital, and Dave immediately phoned Reno Integrative Medical Center, but they’d closed early, so we could not warn them that we would be later for our 1030AM appointment. We knew that they were closed for lunch from 12 to 1.

At 905AM on Tuesday, we called and they said to just do the best that we safely could. The Dr took his lunch early and talked with us during his lunch hour.

There is much more to say. Dave does not know any short stories, but we will spare you for now.

Please keep those prayers, good vibes, healing thoughts, love, etc. coming. Janet’s small intestine is not fully functional yet, but the beginning and the end are now working and some of the major gas blockage from the middle is coming out. It also does not hurt nearly as much anymore. Snow, she just feels like she just ate 4 Thanksgiving dinners at one sitting. Not fun at all, but lots better than a week ago. So, we are very hopeful.

Our emails and even phone time may be very limited for a while more. Please understand. We’d love to call, or at least email, each one of you, but we just can’t yet.

Dave & Fuzzy

Janet Update 24 Aug

Thanks for the many well wishes. Janet continues to improve and today the doctors said that the tumors are the “same kind” as from the beginning. So, great news in that it is possible to have a totally new kind of cancer appear. That is not good.

But this is “only” the same old cancer, but it seems to have adapted to resist the Abraxane (the Taxol type chemo that Janet had this year). This is very much like bacteria getting to be resistant to a particular antibiotic. Not good either, but much better than a whole new cancer.

Now they hint that she might get out of the hospital on Monday if all goes well.

Thanks again,

Dave & Janet

There is a happy ending.

Let me start by saying that Janet is doing VERY well and the doctors and very happy with her recovery.

From what, you may ask.

Janet is in the University of Washington Hospital in Seattle. She developed a severe abdominal pain Monday afternoon , which they decided was probably due to a perforated colon. (They found gas bubbles in an X-ray.)

So they opened her up at 3 Tuesday morning and took a look. They didn’t find any more evidence of a leak, so they put in an ileostomy bag near where the small intestine joins the colon. This removes nearly all of the pressure on the colon and makes it both less likely to leak and easier for it to heal.

When she is done with chemo, this can then be reversed. Made to go away and put everything back to normal.

Today is Saturday, Mar 3, Janet continues to improve, take much longer walks in the halls, etc. But, while she wants to see everyone later, she is not comfortable with visitors in the hospital. Also, they are very, very concerned about communicable diseases in this part of the hospital. There are people in adjoining rooms with bone marrow transplants and other very high risks of infection, so, the less traffic the better for the whole floor.

Janet has been betting her “meals” through IV since Tuesday. She can start sipping clear liquids Sunday, Mar 4, and progress to soft food and then real food over several days. That implies to us that she will be in the hospital until mid week or later, but we really have no idea at this moment.

Janet’s regular oncologist is off for the weekend and today (Sat, Mar 3) we met Janet’s regular oncologist’s colleague who made clear to Janet that she is incredibly lucky.

You may be as surprised as we were to hear that. But, in Janet’s case, the perforation was noticed and correctly diagnosed, within about 4 hrs of occurring.
More often, it gets not correctly understood.

The following approach is much too common. “Must be a pulled muscle or a ‘stitch in the side’. Let’s watch it for a few days. If it is still bothering you, call and make an appointment.”

But, this time, they did an X ray of Janet’s chest & top of the abdomen that showed air in the abdomen that was not in the bowel, and did surgery about 11 hours after the (very small) initial leak. They also knew to get her on the correct antibiotics right away. It is extremely valuable to ‘nip in the bud’ with abdominal infections. Once they get going, they are very, very hard to stop.

Janet has never shown any sign of infection other than a slight fever in the first 2 hrs, that went away very quickly with her treatment.

So, she really was/is very lucky.

Dave & Janet

Janet’s Latest CA125 is in.

Her CA125 from Feb 16 was 40, down from 63 two weeks ago, and 624 at the worst on Nov 8, 2011. “Normal” on the kind of test that they use at SCCA is 0-35. (On some CA125 tests normal is 0-21. Sort of a Centigrade/Fahrenheit thing, that no one seems to be able to explain. But, all agree that lower is better.)

We’d been seeing 50% drops or better, so we were hoping for below 35, but probably next time, in 2 weeks. We think that the medications will stay the same through April 12, but there will be a PET/CT scan Mar 20 and at any time, the doctors may decide to change the program, based on the latest data. We assume that Janet will stay on the various medications for a time after getting “normal” readings of the PET/CT scan and the lab tests. The idea is to be sure to get any remaining “seed cancer cells” (our phrase).

Our current understanding is that the whole idea of cancer is that one cell mutates and usually begins uncontrolled reproduction AND stops the normal, programmed cell death (Apoptosis). In a healthy body cells are supposed to have “just the right number of kids” and then die on a certain schedule. Each part of the body has a schedule. Some are replaced and the older ones die every few weeks. But cancer cells may live many years and just lurk. Obviously we want them all gone.

So, just like you don’t stop the antibiotic the first day that you feel better, Janet will be on treatment for a while. However, when she does not need the Abraxane infusion, we believe, we hope that she can just take a bag of her oral medicines and we can fly to the boat (Turkey) for perhaps a couple of months.

We will see. There have been so many changes in plans in our lives of the last 2 years, that we have adopted a wait and see attitude.

Thanks for all of the support! We can feel all of the prayers, well wishes, positive thinking, etc. Please keep ’em coming.

Dave & Janet