Just keep swimming!


Ever watch “Finding Nemo?”  After his son is captured in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney Australia, a timid clownfish sets out on a journey to bring him home.  Sure, it is an animated movie, released by Walt Disney, however, it is one of my favorites, with the quick witted, Ellen Degeneres, with her one liners.   Maybe I am odd, but I just think it is a well done comedy and would recommend if you haven’t watched it that you should.    It is set in the ocean with wonderful sea creatures and beautiful vivid colours.   Good for  the young and the old.  What comes to mind, is when Dory the fish played by Ellen, kept say “Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming”    If you are on a quest or journey particularly in a large body of water, you better swim or you will sink and drown.   It is so obvious, especially if you are a fish, that you need to swim, it is comical.  So I think we should all sing that on our different quests.   I know I am singing it as I continue on my cancer quest..just keep swimming just keep swimming.

I love tropical islands, the oceans and the sound of waves which are so relaxing and enjoyable.   Speaking of swimming and sunbathing, makes me think of Mortisha!  This story goes back to about 1985 when I bought 4 little red eared turtles.   It is a semi-aquatic turtle belonging to the family Emydidae.   The turtles I bought were no more than 2 inches big.   I had bought a small square aquarium and slowly within a few months, 3 of my 4 died.  They each got some eye disease.   It was disappointing particularly because I know I had carefully fed them and cleaned that tank regularly.

So, I desperately wanted to save the last one from death and had a friend John, now my brother-in-law, that had a huge fish tank with many tropical fish and asked if he would adopt Mortimer.   He was happy to contend with him and contend he did.   Mortimer thrived and grew and grew.   It could have been because of his spacious living area and because he loved his sea creature friends or mostly likely because John fed him roast beef.  I kid you not.  Sure he fed him turtle food but he would feed him anything else that he thought would be satisfying for a young turtle.     Several years ago now, I remember receiving an email from John telling me that our beloved Mortimer was actually a Mortisha.   This was before transgender sex changes were a thing.    He said she had layed eggs.  Who knew?  It’s not like we could turn her over and figure it out.   We have talked about Mortisha many times over the years and she even went AWOL for about a month one time years ago.  Somehow she got out of the tank and walked around the farmhouse that John lived in back then until one day John found her again.

I just love that John is the best turtle father in the world.   A few days ago John sent me an email to see how I was doing and wanted to send me some pics of Mortisha because he knew it would cheer me up.  It sure made me smile and was great to see her happily swimming.    Here she is 33 years old, looking healthy.  Check out her long fingernails.   I will have to get John to measure her but she must be at least 6 or 7 inches wide..  She is huge and she keeps on swimming!  I swear she will live longer than all of us…



Back to me, what a difference a day makes.  Life is looking up, the nausea and vomiting is gone!  I am definitely on the mend now!  I did have residual head splitting headaches which ended early yesterday morning.   Metal mouth is gone and appetite is back.  Talk about nasty nasty antibiotics!   I will never ever take “Sulfatrim” antibiotics ever again.   The only good thing about those antibiotics it will help you get slim but not in a way you would want.   Probably why it has the word “trim” in it.   It was a rough few days to say the least…

I still feel weak and sort of winded at times and decided to check in with my GP today.  I was having some major heart palpitations.  I guess it is to be expected since I had 2 to 3 days of getting the shxt kicked out of me.  Plus never had a full night’s sleep in a week.    I definitely get tired quickly.    I mostly went to see her to put on my record that Sulfatrim should have a big X on it.   I wanted it recorded as drug not to be prescribed for me “never ever” again.   Dr. Ok was way ahead of me and told me she never prescribes it to any of her patients because it has nasty side effects.  She said most patients do poorly on it and some can get a complete body rash.   Thank the heavens that didn’t happen to me!  She explained that is why she hesitated when I asked whether I should take the medicine for my tainted titty when I saw her the day after chemo started.   She agreed because I appeared to have an infection and after all, the oncologist wrote the prescription.   The oncologist had to consult with the pharmacy team on that antibiotic due to an allergy I have to another commonly used antibiotic that would have been his first choice.

Anyway, she said to just continue monitoring my boob for any changes.  It is better but still not 100%.     She said she could send me for an ultrasound but we both agreed we felt was likely unnecessary at this point.   I forgot to ask her but since I will be seeing the oncologist again soon, I will inquire if there is some diagnostic test to determine the specific bacteria or other issue before another antibiotic is just picked.   I am not sure there is such a test but would rather avoid being an antibiotic test guinea pig.

I also asked my Doctor to recommend me for the BRAC1 & 2 test.  These are Breast Cancer genes and apparently everyone has these genes but some have an inherited mutation in one or both that increases the risk of breast cancer.  I want to see the risk of breast cancer exposure to my kids.  If I have this gene, my kids may have a 50% change of inheriting it.   Part of sending the referral required me answering a small questionnaire.   Dr. Ok told me sometimes the request is denied.   So I will have to see what the responding hospital will conclude.   I get it because it is only an indicator and may people with that gene will actually never get breast cancer.

Just a little information for those unfamiliar.   Women that have a BRCA1/2 gene are at an increased risk of breast cancer.   Risks are different if you are a BRCA1 or BRCA2 carriers.  Apparently BRCA1 carriers have a 55-65% chance while BRCA2 have about 45% chance of developing cancer by age 70.  Apparently women in general have about a 7% change of getting breast cancer by age 70 while those with that BRCA 1/2 mutation have a 45-65% chance.    This is average risk and nothing is precise or guaranteed.   Makes me wonder why anyone would choose to cut off their tatas.   I am hoping they look at all their overall risk factors, like lifestyle, diet etc.      Plus with advances in science, technology and cures…I would still opt to keep the twins.    Noteworthy these gene mutations can also increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer.

Whether or not I get acceptance to have this test done, it is a combination of factors that cause breast cancer…so it is the luck of the draw so to speak.   At least I can say I asked for the test.

Anyway feeling better and looking forward to resting up before Round 2 of chemo!

I will just keep swimming! Just keep swimming!

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