Wednesday, 28 December 2016

The Old Year passes - here comes 2017

As I walked Sandra to work this morning, December 28, the town folk were either asleep or still away south somewhere on vacation. -29C but no wind. The town was very quiet, except for the snow crunching under my -100C snow boots. And dark, of course, but the sun is starting to come closer back up to the horizon every day.

The lack of activity in Inuvik this morning seemed to add to my sense of isolation. But isolation has its advantages. I am free to walk anywhere with minimum chance of getting hit by a bus. I can. I can dream dreams and believe they will come to pass - because there is no-one to look over my shoulder and tell me "it's impossible" or "that won't work" &c. However, the down side is the wonderful coffee shop is closed for the holidays. Would you believe it? When people are relaxing off work and have the time to meet and sit and talk and drink a mocha and eat a muffin, the darn shop is closed! Life isn't always fair!

Well, with reference to my last blog, I am back on my Asus computer after having it repaired by the one tech person in Inuvik who knows these things. I have had to send things that I filed on the old Acer from mid October to last Friday. The server I use only holds three weeks of email. I have come to rely on the old USB flash drive method to keep documents from disappearing forever from memory.

And I am back from London. Sandra and I had the best time every in London this time around. We stayed at the Commodore Hotel just north of Hyde Park. It cost about $225 per night, which is cheap in London. But we were then in walking distance from Buckingham Palace, and only a couple of hundred metres from the nearest tube (underground railway) station. We used the tube (remember: Mind the Gap) to travel a bit further to the Covent Garden market and to book stores. We haunted coffee shops and book shops. We bought a real honest-to-goodness English china teapot (NOT made in China) for our friend Louie in Inuvik, and other neat gifts for the kids.

The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 reception at Buckingham Palace on December 1 certainly met our expectations. We were able to meet Princess Anne, in whose honour the reception was held. She has now been President of the Royal Commission for 10 years. She asked where we were from as she shook hands with us. "Inuvik" we replied. "Oh, I've been there," was her reply. She visited Inuvik in 1970 when she was 20 years old. Great memory. Prince Philip was in fine form for his 95 years. I am sure there will be another reception in 2026, when I will be a sprightly 86!! I can hardly wait.

Ok, I am still concerned about the cancer thing of course. My next CT scan is in Yellowknife, Friday January 6, and my visit with the visiting oncologist from Cross Cancer Institute is on Tuesday the 10th. That will mean almost 5 months since my last CT scan August 22. All I know is I feel just fine. With the reduced weight and better nutrition I do indeed feel better than I did 30 years ago. However, the nagging cough, although less prominent, is still there. And that might be a symptom of continuing cancer. Looking back, the nagging cough began during the months preceding the discovery of the already Stage 4 kidney cancer just over a year ago. Does the cough mean anything today? Nobody knows.

Another reason to go to Yellowknife next week is that daughter Lynn and hubby Derrick are moving from our house on Ragged Ass Road to Saskatoon February 1. Derrick will continue driving for Superior Propane, and Lynn plans to go back to university. Anyway that puts us into a bind regarding what to do with our house. Rent it out (and how do we find good renters)? Sell it? That will keep us busy for a few days, including packing and moving yet more stuff into storage, including our piano. Not good to put a piano into cold, dry storage, but we have no choice since we do not want to sell the piano. I will let you know how this all turns out.

I need to figure out how to post photos in this blog. When I was in Tuk in late November, I took a really neat photo from my bandb window that showed the sun skimming red along the horizon, and two pingos outlined against the sun rise/set. 

So that is all for now. I will update you, dear reader, upon return from Yellowknife on Sunday the 15th after CT scan and packing and moving stuff from house to storage.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The saga continues!

I have been very busy over the past couple of months. And to top it all off I am back on my old Acer computer because the Asus I purchased in 2014 has given me no end of trouble. Most of my recent work is on that computer. I will be able to get it back running again, I hope.

Sandra and I went to Florida for a mental health break in mid September. I found there that my strength had pretty well returned - I walked up to 15 miles (24 km) per day there. Then at the end of October we flew to Los Angeles for a Writers Digest Novel Writing Conference. That was a great experience, including seeing the hundreds of homeless on the streets of downtown LA, right in the middle of a conglomeration of marble-fronted bank headquarter buildings and 4/5 star hotels.

In LA I met agents and fellow authors and came back all full of high energy to get writing on my Young Adult novel. The story takes place in the Arctic and I am on my first rewrite. I sent one complete chapter to my new author friend KK Allen and she gave me great encouragement to write on. You can view some of her published work at her facebook page: 

Well, that was the fun side. I have now got some paid work, training engineers on four new Northern Infrastructure building standards to respond to climate warming and melting permafrost. And this weekend I am in Tuktoyaktuk doing a business planning study. It is good to be working as a professional again. Although that leaves me less time for writing. 

The sun is going down at the end of next week in the Arctic, permanently at our latitude for about 6 weeks. The sun will rise again around January 6 and there will be a Sunrise Festival in Inuvik to mark that occasion, with fireworks and huge bonfires out on the ice of the Mackenzie River. During that 6 weeks the sun will be just below the horizon in the afternoon, with the most magnificent and brilliant sunrise/sunset colours you can imagine.

In my early September post I pointed out the importance of both Iscador and concentrated curcumin in my cancer treatment. I forgot to point out the importance of keeping my immune system on high alert at all times. I do that through my old standby, elk Velvet Antler capsules from Erica Yurt at, that I have been taking daily for several years. I take two capsules daily, or more if I feel a tickle that might be a coming sore throat. Why take elk Velvet Antler? - you may ask. Because it boosts my immune system so that I almost never get a cold or the flu. I get a cold at most once a year, whereas 10 years and more ago I was forever getting colds. The reason that I recommend Erica and is because she sells the highest quality product, consistently. So take my advice. Elk Velvet Antler will keep your immune system working at full throttle. I have recommended it to others who have had similar results of better immunity and freedom from colds.

On a more somber side - yes, the cancer thing. Today I read a cancer recovery blog by a friend of a friend. His name is Rob Truscott and you can view his blog at .  Colin Hackett was an Alberta athlete who courageously fought colorectal cancer for two years. If you click on the podcast link at around the 26 minute mark you will hear an interview with Colin done only about 3 to 4 weeks before he succumbed to the dreadful disease. His upbeat courage in the interview is wonderful.

Cancer doesn't play around. After I read Rob's RIP account for Colin I couldn't help but come face to face with my own fears again. Because this Stage 4 kidney cancer thing has an infamous history in other patients of returning within two years of the original cancer operation. And only 8% reach the 5 year mark of life extension after their operation for renal carcinoma. Am I in that 8%? I am patiently waiting now for the next CT scan to take place in Yellowknife in mid January 2017.

So I am firmly resolved again to severely limit my sugar and simple carb intake. That has served me well up to now, as you the reader know if you have read my earlier blog entries. And I will probably be on Iscador for the rest of my life, complemented by concentrated curcumin just for good measure.

Well there you have my update. And later this week, on Friday the 25th of November Sandra and I are London bound. I am invited to Buckingham Palace for a 10th Anniversary celebration for the Princess Royal (Anne) as President of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. The 1851 Royal Commission awarded me the Overseas Scholarship that took me to the UK away back in the mid 1960s to do my PhD research at the University of Warwick. You can read all about it in a neat CBC North broadcast record at . I will let you know how the trip went when I return.

Monday, 12 September 2016

A Cancer Reprieve

The results are in From the August 22 2016 CT Scan. It turns out that the two slightly enlarged lymph nodes have not changed in character since before my operation December 6 of last year. So that is good news, since there is no indication of cancer there.

Also, the two nodules on my lungs that were evident in May are not now visible. I seem to be vitually cancer free at the moment. Dr North the oncologist said on the phone, "There is nothing to be concerned about at this time."  I will next see him in Yellowknife sometime in January 2017. However, he simply does not believe in naturopathic healing or in nutrition having anything to do with cancer treatment even though proper nutrition improves immune system health and hence the ability of the immune system to kill cancer cells. Go figure. I guess I am just a statistic to him I am the one in 100 or one in 500 or whatever of renal carcinoma patients that experience a complete regression in Stage 4 cancer. Uh-huh!

I personally attribute the reduction/elimination of cancer cells to Iscador (from mistletoe) injections 3 times a week, as well as concentrated turmeric (curcumin) daily. Them there cancer cells and tumours don't have a chance. They are targeted for destruction!!

It is true that abnormal cell growth that may become sources of cancer tumours is alive and well in our bodies virtually all the time. However our immune systems are able to deal with the dispersed abnormal cells and wipe them out.

Dr Fairey mentioned that once a kidney starts to behave in an abnormal way it won't get better. It will stay that way! I take that as a challenge. Because the GFR rating which tells how well the kidney functions to discard body wastes is gradually increasing. Back in early 2016 it was between 35 and 40. Lately it has been as high as 47. So I am taking it as a challenge to use proper nutrition to improve kidney health.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

In The Danger Zone

More than 10 weeks have passed since my last blog entry in mid-June. The summer has been a busy one. Time to catch up. I chose the subject name for this post, In The Danger Zone, because it it so easy to suffer from apathy. Because there seems to be no real danger right now. My previous CT scan on May 16 only showed two small 5mm nodules in my lung plus a slightly enlarged lymph node in my chest. So the temptation is to be very nonchalant about the whole thing and forget about cancer altogether. However, to stay out of the Danger Zone I must live "as if" the cancer is aggressive and spreading. I must keep a really positive attitude to help both my immune system and my quality of life in general.

The latest update is a CT scan and visit with Dr Fairey the surgeon on the previous Monday August 22, followed by an appointment with the oncologist Dr North at Cross Cancer Institute in Edmontnon on August 23. Dr Fairey and Dr North both remarked on how very healthy I looked. That is both good news and bad news. The good news is that the cancer probably has not progressed. The bad news is that Dr North has now lost interest in my case. I am not sick enough for his serious attention! He didn't even take a quick online look at the CT scan before our appointment! He will phone me next Tuesday with the results of the Aug 22 CT scan.

The sad thing is that the medical profession is only interested in treatment for symptomatic disease. There is not interest in disease prevention. I mentioned my Iscador subcutaneous injection treatment to kill cancer cells to North and he almost yawned! He said if that made me feel better from a psychological point of view  then go for it.

The GFR for my kidney was only 37 so they would not give me intravenous contrast, which means that from now on I will be scanned in Yellowknife with some contrast in the one litre drink beforehand. My GFR has been as high as 47 from recent blood tests. According to the med folks kidney function cannot be improved much and that it deteriorates with age. North was of the opinion that my GFR would never increase no matter what I did. However, since I have reduced creatinine and increased my GFR as high as 47 I am going to keep trying. At the very least I can prevent kidney failure in the future (where the GFR falls to below 20 and dialysis is the only option). I am going to seek the help of my doctor here in Inuvik, Dr Gail Robson, so see how nutrition can be optimised for my kidney.

Now I get on my nutrition rant again. It is a shame that the medical profession no mo more about nutrition than to recommend the industry-sponsored Canada Food Guide! I look forward to the new Guide which apparently has thrown out industry sponsorship. And Naturopathic Doctors and nutritionists are almost totally ignored. However, I continue to attribute my diminishing cancer to high immune system function governed by nutrition and supplements such as high dose curcumin to help T-cells target cancer cells and destroy them.

Drugs, drugs, drugs! An article in the 2016-07-01 edition of the Guardian Weekly has an article entitled Cancer hope higing in your bathroom. Talking about every day medicines like aspirin etc are seen to have beneficial effects in fighting cancer. A certain Pan Pantziarka, a coordinator of the Repurposing Drugs in Oncology project is quoted: "Basic evolutionary biology tells us that cancer is a complex, adaptive system that evolves resistance to very closely targeted agents." Of course, it is great that there is a lot of innovation happening in the cancer drug world and how to deliver the drugs to target cancer cells. For example, see the recent CBC News article:

So what about nutrition? What about insulin resistance and high blood sugar, allowing cancer cells a growth spurt? Our own body's immune system is all we have to fight cancer cells, yet when we eat high sugar foods the immune system almost shuts down for a few hours - again providing cancer cells with a growth spurt opportunity. Here is a good link - why not starve cancer to death?!: 
It is a heavy-duty New York Times article that again points to the importance of high sugar diets in feeding cancer cells.

That is all for now. After my discussion with Dr North next Tuesday, and after receiving the radiologist's report of the Aug 22 CT scan, I will update the blog again.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Some sobering thoughts

In the last post I remarked about the American Cancer Society statistic that only 8% of patients with Stage 4 renal carcinoma survive past 5 years. So there you are. My focus is to be among the 8%! 

But attitude is so important. On a daily basis I tell myself - "I am going to beat this thing, and if it is unbeatable, I am still going to beat this thing. Conversely if it is really on the way out and I have nothing left to beat, I am going to behave as if and continue to beat it anyway!

On Wednesday June 8 I had my appointment with Dr A Fairey, my surgeon of much renown (he brought me back from death's door, that's why). Two or three times he remarked how good and healthy I looked. And I told him that my weight was within a pound or two of my weight when I returned from the hospital in mid December. I was 179 then, and I am 178 this morning for example.

However, here is the sobering thought. He finished his few remarks with saying in effect that my recovery was proceeding very well, and he was pleased that I was not on any medication or chemotherapy "yet". Yikes! The yet-word is scary. In other words he expects is to come back, even if it hasn't shown any growth "yet," which is in keeping with all I have read so far about renal carcinoma - it often recurs within two years of seeming remission, and that it is resistant to chemotherapy.

So I continue my rant about chemotherapy and radiation. These treatment protocols are meant to reduce the size of tumours and slow their growth, rather than to kill the cancer cells that cause the tumour growth in the first place through epigenetics (the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself) to bring about programmed cell death or apoptosis. However it is true that the latest chemo-therapies like Sunitinib do work with the immune system to help target cancer cells. At least that is my understanding.

The whole idea of epigenetics is that we can control our genetic expression through out own biology. Our genes built us but how they are expressed to cause or control disease for example is up to us. Just a few minutes ago I received a notification from Hay House by email of new publications that address this very issue (see:

There are two aspects to my health regimen right now. One is to improve and protect the health of my remaining kidney and the other is to kill the clear cell renal carcinoma. I am tackling kidney health through mitochondria-targeted antioxidants like Coenzyme Q10 and R-Lipoic acid (see: I am also steering away from red meats, pork especially and processed meats of all kinds to help kidney function. I am concentrating on fish and chicken products and poached or boiled eggs for protein. Eggs are not a cholesterol problem I am told if they are cooked at low boiling temperatures (boiled or poached, NOT fried or scrambled).

And oh yes, there is the problem of the GFR rating which is supposed to be above 60, where as my remaining kidney has had a number generally between 35 and 40. at Cross Cancer Institute they will not give the intra-venous enhancing radiological stuff to improve the deatail in a CT scan if the GFR is below 40. Dr Fairey, who is an expert in kidney health, says as long as this number is greater than 30 he is not worried. So my goal with the super antioxidants help is to increase that GFR thing to above 40. Just to jog memories mine included eGFR is short for estimated glomerular filtration rate. Your eGFR is a number based on your blood test for creatinine, a waste product in your blood. It tells how well your kidneys are working

The key things about killing the cancer cells is choosing foods with a low glycemic index to help lower sugar as a fuel for cancer cells, and to boost my immune system by taking zinc to improve thymus health (the thymus produces the cancer-killing T-cells) and injecting Iscador which helps the immune system target cancer cells as well (see:

To close this post, here is a neat video showing how T-cells attack and kill cancer cells: . Really neat how you can take videos with a microscope!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Sobering thoughts - but hope and joy are necessary

I am not out of the woods yet, just a burst of sunshine in a clearing! I decided to search out kidney survival rates and here is what I found: 

Survival rates by AJCC TNM stage
Stage5-Year Survival Rate

Survival rates for kidney cancer by stage - American Cancer Society

Kind of looks dire, doesn't it? And they also say that regression of kidney cancer after removal of a kidney is "extremely rare". So although my cancer seems to be receding I cannot relax my nutritional vigil.

Today I am travelling to Edmonton for a follow-up appointment with Dr A Fairey, the surgeon who saved my life on December 06, 2015. One of my interests will be to ask him how to improve the health of the one kidney that I still have. That must be considered seriously so that I can have the intravenous when I have my next CT scan which will be August 23, 2016, 2 1/2 months away now.

I now have my Feb 3 and May 16 radiologist's reports, and I have compared them with considerable wonder to the report of Dec 3, 2015 just before my operation. Yes, it is a wonder that I am alive and quite well. More about that in the next blog entry.

One of my favourite books has become Nina Joy's "Adventures of a Cancer Maverick". I think her surname, Joy, is interesting because joy is one of her main ingredients for healing and long-term survival. Here is the cover for her book just in case you are interested in finding a copy: 

Product Details

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Living in the Miracle!

It is a month and a day since my last entry and a lot has happened - all good by the way. I want to give a summary of the mystery of mystory! Because mystory indeed remains a mystery and a wonder and a miracle.

I will begin with the end. I flew to Edmonton from Inuvik on Canadian North as planned on Sunday afternoon May 15. A full chest-abdomen-pelvic area CT scan on the 16th followed by a consult with Dr North at Cross Cancer Institute (CCI) on the 17th. Then early on Tuesday this week, May 24 Dr North phoned from CCI to discuss the Radiologist Report of the 16th CT scan.

Here are the results. The abdominal cavity is clear of any cancer indication and the renal artery and renal vein are now clear as well. The only complications now are a slightly enlarged lymph node in the chest area, and 2 small 4mm (less than 1/4 inch) diameter nodules in the lungs which could be anything, not necessarily cancer. These seem pretty much the same as in the February 3 results that showed how greatly the cancer had shrunk and been reduced. They could be remnants of the blood clots, thrombi that were very evident in my lungs according to the CT scans just prior to Dec 6. 

As far as the enlarged lymph node is concerned it is definitely not due to TB (tuberculosis) since I tested negative for TB in February. The lymph node might be swollen still as a remnant of the cancer invasion and part of the healing process.

The actual Radiologist Reports for May 16 and February 3 are in the mail and I will get them this next week. When I get them I will provide more detail. And I will also like to go through the detail of how my cancer episodes began. I now have a complete copy of my medical file that goes back in detail to 2014 when my health was just fine thank you very much. I will also talk about my kidney health. That is very important now that I only have one. 

The fact that I am also cancer-free now really is a miracle. RCC (Renal Cell Carcinoma) is not known for quick cures, and in fact some reports say it resists both radiation and chemotherapy. It also may recur during the next 24 months from now. So over and out for now.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Recovery continued

There is one more book that is indeed worth reading about a cancer survivor. The book is: 
Teva Harrison, In Between Days: a memoir about living with cancer, House of Anansi Press Inc, 2016. It is a very personal graphic novel, with short essays interspersed with graphic story. Order it from your favourite bookseller today.

I am still faced with the medical communication challenge where three hospitals are involved in the ongoing monitoring of my renal carcinoma. The Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton sometimes communicates with Stanton Hospital in Yellowknife, which sometimes communicates with the Inuvik Regional Hospital, which sometimes communicates with me. I used to say that tongue in cheek that cancer recovery is my full time job, but now I know it to be true. I am left as the one person who must make sure that communications actually take place, and that doctors and other staff actually follow through. This is complicated by the fact that Cross Cancer does not communicate AT ALL with my doctor here in Inuvik. If something needs to be in my medical file, it is up to me to find it and make sure a copy makes it to the file! Sometimes it gets exhausting.

Just today I have read of case studies about the role of humble asparagus in curing cancer. It is indeed a powerful natural healer as you will find in multiple sources on the Internet. So turmeric (or curcumin, the active ingredient) and asparagas seem to be the primary plant-based healers. With other antioxidants like blueberries and many vegetables providing nutritional support.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Continuing Recovery at home in Inuvik

At last I have new dates for a cancer status appointment. As mentioned in my last post, April 11 didn't turn out in Yellowknife. It turns out that the CT Scan equipment in Yk was not working during that week when Dr North of Cross Cancer was in town. So the next dates are May 16 and 17 in Edmonton at Cross Cancer Institute. CT scan on 16th and consultation with Dr North on 17th. Again, because of my hearing disability, Sandra will accompany me on the journey. I am hopeful for the best because I am feeling very good, energy has returned, the old irritating cough has subsided. It is likely the cough was indicating all not well in my lungs.

One concern I have is a week bit of anger against people who profit from cancer anxiety in recovery. There is one particular CD-selling business that has had several "free" online video episodes that has particularly attracted my ire. Here is some text from an email I sent that explains the thing:

"Some of you may be watching videos from something called The Truth about Cancer. AVOID THIS ONLINE PROGRAM. It is all about selling videos. Except for some sincere cancer survivor stories it is all about sensationalism and health-related conspiracy theories. One of the so-called experts Mike Adams - Health Ranger is under investigation for promoting murder of scientists (see for example:…/shining-light-mike-ad…/…). In my watching of this series I have seen nothing new in true things about cancer growth or treatment that I didn't already know, and I have seen a lot of misleading junk."

I know that not all people have agreed with me on this, but featuring a quack like Mike Adams is the rotten apple that spoils the barrel! Also I have been getting an average of 6 emailsl a day from this Truth about Cancer outfit. And the last couple of days of the "free" episodes the used car salesman running the show has been virtually pleading: please buy my CDs. And oh yes, you can get the Silver collection or better yet the Gold collection, etc etc ad nauseam.

And I am comforted that my naturopath considers this Truth about Cancer programming as garbage that should be illegal! My nutritionist also was NOT impressed. So there you have a professional consensus.

I thought I would not give a list of books that I have found useful and compelling regarding cancer recovery:
1) Cancer Fighting Kitchen - Rebecca Katz, Ten Speed Press (2009) - a great cookbook!
2) Mind over Medicine - Lissa Rankin, MD, Hay House, Inc., distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books (2013) - a quite general book but includes reference to cancer recovery
3) The Definitive Guide to Thriving after Cancer - Lise N Alschuler and Karolyn A Gazella, Ten Speed Press (2013) - this is a second more readable edition to the 2011 publication Five to Thrive, Active Interest Media, Inc. (2011)
4) Wondering who you are - Sonya Lea, Tin House Books (2015) - a well-written memoir by Sonya Lea focusing on the near death and brain injury of her husband, and the long road to partial recovery.
5) The Adventures of a Cancer Maverick - Nina Joy, The Solopreneur Publishing Company Ltd, 9 High Farm Meadow, Badsworth, West Yorkshire WF9 1PB (2014) - - a great book about a personal cancer recovery journey, emphasizing joy and attitude!
6) Beating Cancer with Nutrition - Patrick Quillin with Noreen Quillin, Bookworld (1994) - out of print but you may find a second hand copy on Abe Books
7) Adjuvant Nutrition in Cancer Treatment - Patrick Quillin and R Michael Williams, editors, Cancer Treatment Research Foundation (1993) - believed out of print but you may find a used copy on Abe Books. This book presents research current only to 1993

Well, that is all until next time. I am struggling against fear again, because of the extra month delay before I find out the status of my recovery, so joy and attitude are all important. Anxiety will only hasten cancer not defeat it.