This is my best friend Ali, who’s more like a brother to me. He has MPNST (Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor) which is basically Cancer. The cancer has spread to his lungs and he’s going to need intensive chemotherapy to reduce the size of the tumors before surgery. As if this wasn’t bad enough, he also has a tumor in his brain and multiple smaller tumors in his back. All this feels like it isn’t real and it’s actually not happening. I just want him to go back to normal and go back to having steeped tea,sitting in my car in the parking lot talking and debating about random things, I really miss that. Go back to listening to Nusrat fateh Ali khan, singing qawali and playing my guitar haha I want things to go back to normal and I know they will InshAllah, it’s just going to take time. In the meantime I kindly request all of you reading this to pray for his quick recovery and well being, Thank you all!

I’m so glad to have eyebrows, eyelashes & hair again!!

I know I am always doing face progress but it’s not just for the weight loss.

It amazes me to look back on the face that I wore for 2 years - it almost feels like without the pictures it wouldn’t be real

The pic on the left was taken the weekend we celebrated me finishing chemotherapy 6th of July 2013 and the second pic was taken last week so just over a year between them

That pic of the left was truly all the chemotherapy I could have taken, my body just could not take anymore.

My leg is not totally fixed even after 4 surgeries, but I spent 3 hours dancing at Lady Gaga’s artRAVE tonight so I am definitely making progress even if it is sore.

You are constantly faced with obstacles but you need to just take them one at a time and know that even when it doesn’t feel like it things will get better

8

I have a stage 4 rare cancer called cholangio-carcinoma and need as much financial help as I can possibly get. I have two gorgeous children and my soldier that I’ve been married to for 10 years that need me. This cancer is rare and because of that there’s not many people donating to that specific cancer so there arent very many many financial resources for it. Ive called and spoken to so many resources and been turned away I had a huge break down because of it yesterday. I’m not just asking because I want to, but because I’ve turned to a lot of other organizations and been turned away before trying to raise money on my own. I need this treatment or I’ll die. Today I had to put back a pair of slippers I need due to some pretty shitty side-effects of chemo because I couldn’t afford them and gas for the next week. (because of the chemo pills I take, the skin is literally falling off the bottoms of my feet and is very painful, thus the need for slippers.) My children need me, my family needs me and I need your help. My babies are only,9 & 7. I lost my mom at 12 and I cant have my kids go through that pain and heartache. Please for hells sake, donate we need it and I need it to stay alive. www.gofundme.com/donate2CharityA

Connecticut forces 17-year-old to have chemo

A 17-year-old Connecticut girl has been forced to undergo chemotherapy treatments against her will.

From ABC News:

A court will determine whether a 17-year-old girl, under something called the “mature minor doctrine,” can be forced to undergo chemotherapy after she refused treatment for her cancer.

The case will go to the Connecticut Supreme court this week to determine whether the teen, identified in court papers as Cassandra, has “the fundamental right to have a say about what goes on with your [her] body,” attorney Michael Taylor, who represents the teen’s mother, told ABC News. Taylor was appointed by the public defender’s office, and Cassandra has her own court-appointed lawyer, but they’ve filed joint appeals.

Cassandra was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in September, but decided she didn’t want to complete the prescribed treatment, according to a court summary. Her mother supported this decision, but the Department of Children and Families stepped in and ordered her mother to comply with the doctor’s treatment recommendation.

“It’s really for all the reasons you might imagine,” said Taylor, adding that he couldn’t go into more detail.

Although chemotherapy is a drug that destroys cancer cells, its side effects include hair loss, nausea, pain and fertility changes, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Cassandra underwent two chemotherapy treatments in November and then ran away from home and refused to continue treatments, according to the court summary.

…The state Department of Children and Families issued the following statement:

“When experts – such as the several physicians involved in this case – tell us with certainty that a child will die as a result of leaving a decision up to a parent, then the Department has a responsibility to take action…”

Read the Rest

In other words, the state can force anything upon you so long as they–not you–deem it is in your best interest. Are we in America?

Yes, I realize that the case is more complicated because she’s a minor. But by all accounts she’s a competent, mature person who is capable of making her own decisions.

Yes, the government’s opinion about her impending death without the treatment might be accurate. Yes, her mother might be irresponsible for supporting her decision to decline treatment. Yes, she might be being short-sighted in her decision. But all of these things are irrelevant. The state does not reserve the right to force anything upon free people. And the mere fact that it assumes that it has this right should frighten all of us.

Exit thought: If she wanted an abortion, her defense would be “I can do whatever I want to with my body” and the state would honor it.

Nanoparticles could help deliver a killer blow to cancer

“The reason chemotherapy doesn’t always work is because you can’t give enough of it without exposing the body to too many toxins,” explains Jack Hoopes of the Norris Cotton Cancer Centre in New Hampshire. “So you can’t get enough drug into the tumour to be effective. I think what nanotechnology offers is the ability to target things to individual cancer cells and that’s the future of cancer therapy.”

The unique architecture of tumours’ blood supply makes it easy for them to absorb nanoparticles. There are “fenestrations” or gaps in the walls of blood vessels that opened up when the tumours formed, says Helen Townley of the Department of Engineering Science at Oxford University.

Once the nanoparticles are inside the tumour they’re likely to stay there, she says. Normal tissue is drained by lymph vessels, but tumour tissue lacks this efficient drainage system

The main aim has been to use nanoparticles to increase chemotherapy doses but researchers have been increasingly looking at additional means of destroying tumours or slowing their growth. Hoopes’s group uses iron oxide nanoparticles coated with biocompatible substances. Once inside the tumour, the iron oxide nanoparticles can be heated using an alternating magnetic field, killing it with little damage to the surrounding tissue.

Electron micrograph of a breast cancer cell. Iron oxide nanoparticles could be injected into a tumour and heated in an alternating magnetic field. Photograph: Rex

A Connecticut teenager will continue to receive chemotherapy against her will and her mother’s wishes.

In an oral ruling, the state Supreme Court unanimously found Cassandra C., 17, was not legally competent or mature enough to reject life-saving treatment. Those hearings led to temporary state custody of Cassandra and court-ordered chemotherapy to treat her Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Earlier last year, Cassandra and her mother wanted a second opinion after Cassandra was diagnosed. Her mother was then was reported to the Department of Children and Families for medical neglect and Cassandra was put in a foster home.

“This experience has been a continuous nightmare,” Cassandra said in an editorial. “I want the right to make my medical decisions… This is my life and my body.”

“Whether I live 17 years or 100 years should not be anyone’s choice but mine,” she continued. “How long is a person actually supposed to live, and why? Who determines that? I care about the quality of my life, not just the quantity." 

So my mom just finished her second round of chemo. She’s doing well physically. But I know the next few days she’ll be up and down.

Emotionally is another story. Up until now, any drugs prescribed to her have been covered by her health plan. But she’s been prescribed an immune booster after each of her chemo treatments. These booster shots cost $2,700 each and she’s just found out that her health plan won’t be able to cover all of them. They can cover at least the one she’ll be given this Thursday, March 5th. But after that, it looks like she’ll have to pay at least $1,000 towards each one. With four chemo treatments left, this means she’ll be paying $4,000 in total just to stay healthy and to avoid having to go to the hospital with Neutropenia.

For those of you that don’t know what Neutropenia is, it’s an abnormally low, usually 0, count of neutrophils. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that fights off infections, particularly those caused by bacteria and fungi. If my mom develops Neutropenia over and over again, her life will be at risk each time with the slightest infection. I’ve already had to call 911 once because of it. I’d rather not have to do it again.

My mom currently has no source of income since she is a self-employed singing teacher. Doctors have advised her not to teach during the rest of her treatment. So I’m reaching out again to you guys. I’m hoping for the kindness of strangers to help my mom get through this.

I’ve setup a gofundme where you can donate. Anything at all helps and will take even a little stress of her shoulders. Please help my mom.

http://www.gofundme.com/ln21es

Because I suck at updates...

Dear Tumblr friends,

I’m sorryyyy!

First of all, I’m alive! Yay!

My post-chemo CT scan came out great. My body really responded well to treatment. Just a few sub centimeter nodes/tumors left that are now being treated through radiation therapy.

I’m on day 3 of 36 for radiation. So far, so good. Just really exhausting. And still a bit scary. :(

I haven’t been writing much because of work responsibilities. What little free time I had was spent on sleeping. Because, you know… it’s important. ;)

I miss writing everyday. I have fragments of verses, but nothing coherent. Maybe I can do it again now that I’m on work leave and have relatively more free time.

I miss Tumblr and I miss you guys. Thank you for all the messages the past couple of months. Please keep me in your prayers and thoughts. I’m still fighting. :)