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Monday, August 28, 2017

Loose Threads

"An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break. May you be open to each thread that comes into your life, the golden ones and the coarse ones and may you weave them into a brilliant and beautiful life." ~Anonymous

     I am moored up on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire canal at Tixall Wide just past the junction with the Trent & Mersey. I will be here for two weeks as I am in the middle of painting the boat. Les and I started this in 2015 but we ran out of good weather and then my left knee finally gave out and had to be replaced. Les' health declined and you know the rest of the story...
     So here I am and since I am not moving or doing anything but hard grafting I have decided to write a post covering a few leftover bits and bobs from the past month up to today.  Les would have called this post "Odds and Sods" but he has already written a post by that title so I will go with "Loose Threads." The first item is an answer to Chris Thorp's (NB Ceiriog) query in a previous blog comment:
     "Jaq, I"m interested in Gerson Therapy and I wondered if you could explain why a fully functional colon is necessary for it to work and how the medics can tell if a cancer is traveling via blood rather than lymph? Many thanks Chris (nb Ceiriog) "on Goodbye Braunston, Hello Rugby, With Some Characters in Between
     Gerson Therapy addresses serious systemic body illnesses such as cancer and other diseases by healing the body's immune system. In order to accomplish this feat, a body in its current ill state has to be supported so that healing can occur.  GT accomplishes this on a number of levels. In the case of cancer, most patients have had some form of conventional cancer treatment with cytotoxic chemotherapy and.or radiation treatments; neither one cures cancer. Both treatments simply kill cells--benign as well as malignant. Even if one has not had traditional therapy, once any therapy is initiated cancer cells die and tumor lysis kicks in (metabolic abnormalities that occur as a complication during the treatment of cancer, where large amounts of tumor cells are killed off (lysed) at the same time by the treatment, releasing their contents into the bloodstream). U.S. statistics relate that 20% of certain solid malignancy cancers result in death from lysis however it is now recognized that lysis occurs in all cancers especially those treated with chemotherapy. Deaths from lysis, like Iatrogenic deaths (caused by the treatment and not the disease) are generally folded into the cancer deaths and not provided separately but the American Cancer Society reckons that the death rate from lysis and iatrogenic causes is as high as 40%.
      There are no stats for cancer patients treated with alternative programs because large sums of money cannot be made from them. Studies are expensive and the funding is recouped through proprietary development of treatments and drugs sold for exorbitant prices to medical professionals. In my case, when I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, my health insurance company would pay the Oncologist $10,000.00 a month for the Cisplatin chemo drug they wanted to give me, but insurance will not cover alternative therapies. It cost me $840.00 a month for all the organic foods, supplements and other items required by GT. One thing you may be sure of though is that any treatment--conventional or alternative--that successfully kills human cells can and will result in lysis. 
     As treatment occurs, cells die and tumors begin to disintegrate. All of this garbage enters the human blood stream and must be processed by the lymph system, the liver and the kidneys which quickly become overwhelmed with massive levels of cell death (apoptosis). When this occurs, the result is acute kidney and liver failure, cardiac arrhythmia, seizures, loss of muscle control and death. 
     Coffee enemas are an essential part of Gerson Therapy which successfully addresses this syndrome and here is how it works: a pint of fresh coffee is brewed, strained, and allowed to come to room temperature and then used as an enema to flood the colon. It has to be held inside the colon for fifteen minutes and repeated up to four times a day. Our large colons have bile ducts in them just as the liver does. Coffee enemas open those bile ducts in the large colon. In fifteen minutes your entire blood supply will have traveled two complete circuits through your body. With each circuit the blood stream will pick up garbage and dump the dead cells directly into the large colon if and only if those bile ducts are open; otherwise this load of death continues to circulate within the bloodstream while the liver and kidneys attempt to process it. Once the fifteen minutes is up, one releases the coffee and all the detritus it carries into the toilet and the body can continue to work on healing the immune system instead of using energy to deal with cell death overload. This is why an intact colon is necessary to successfully undergo Gerson Therapy.  
     I will tell you I dreaded the enemas when I first begin researching Gerson Therapy but after I started on them I was amazed at how much better I felt--right away--and I found it very easy to complete this process several times a day. One doesn't have to have cancer to benefit from coffee enemas--everyone can use them to clean out your body, give your organs of elimination a rest, and boost your immune system. Coffee was known as Butt Brew in my house for several years!
     Speaking of coffee, I find myself frustrated by finding a good whole bean coffee over here that tastes good and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. My favorite coffee in this world is Kona which is grown in Hawaii. We used to be able to buy the beans by the pound in the '80's.The Hawaiian Islands are small and so is the resulting Kona coffee crop. Since it has been discovered by the wealthy it now costs an insane amount for pure Kona coffee beans--somewhere around $40 a pound so the next best thing is a Kona blend of beans. In the States I purchased Kona Blend coffee from Cost Plus World Market for $8.50 and we are talking about solid one pound vacuum sealed bricks, full to the top with delicious, aromatic beans. I brought several back with me in April. Sadly, it is gone now so I have been trying without success to find a satisfying alternative.
     Imagine my dismay to find that whole bean coffee is not available in the grocery stores here and trust me I have looked in Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons,Waitrose and Ocado online. Zip, zilch, nada.; what is available is ground coffee. I prefer to grind my own beans because it tastes fresher and I like to grind cinnamon stick with my beans which adds a further depth and richness to my brew and also because the magic of cinnamon is to promote wealth and who couldn't use some of that with their daily brew? My second choice after Kona is Columbian coffee. I ordered a 227 gram (half a pound) bag of ground Columbian Supremo coffee from Tesco Online. Imagine my deep distress to open the bag and find it half empty!! I paid for a bag of half coffee and half air. Quel dommage.The search continues...
     I made a trip to IKEA a month ago and while there I picked up the most luscious throw rugs. They are actually bath mats. I love the texture of them and while there is no latex anti slip backing on these mats, they stay put on my floor just fine. They also wash up in a trice and dry easily. At £3.50 each I bought three in deep Turquoise and I use them on the hallway floor to keep my bare feet warm when I am dressing, undressing or getting out of bed to use the loo in the night. These throw rugs make my feet and my heart sing...
Luscious bath mat from IKEA.
     It has been a long time since I have baked bread--over a year now. I simply didn't have time while caring for Les in those last month and no appetite in the time after he died. I am back to baking my favorite N. Y. Times No-Knead Artisan bread. I love the rich baked bread smell as it fills the boat; I love the way the loaf crackles as it cools, talking to me. I adore the way the thin, crisp crust shatters in my mouth while the flavorful, chewy interior fills me with joy. It makes wonderful toast too. The actual recipe is here
Aaaah! Fresh bread!!
Les at Cloudhouse in Pullman, WA in July 2011. He was justifiably proud of his first ever loaf of Artisan bread.

     As I have been moored up here at Tixall I've enjoyed meeting several wonderful boaters. First there was Sue and Mike Gallagher on NB Curraghmore berthed in Pelican Wharf on the River Wey. They were moored behind me the other day and we struck up a conversation one morning as I began sanding the boat. It turns out they know my friend and fellow boater Ray Oakfield (NB Stronghold) who kept his boat on the Wey in a nearby berth. When I mentioned Ray's name, Mike laughed and said, "Oh yes we know Ray. He's crazy!" We had a lovely chat before they cruised off. 
     The next boater to cross my path was Chris on a boat moored seven lengths away from me. I noticed him trodding along the tow path past NBV several times a day, walking his short legged, Welsh Jack Russell Terriers which trotted along behind him. While other boaters waved and said hi to me, they didn't acknowledge this bloke but they certainly couldn't ignore his presence. Obviously Gay, he was rather swish as he walked along wearing a very, very short-short sleeveless black onesie or jumpsuit with a multicolored striped shirt underneath, a scarf around his neck, red Converse sneakers on his feet, bright red rhinestone earrings in his ears, and a red beret a'top his short, well groomed silver hair. Oh and he wears those very large Jackie O sunglasses. Not everyone could pull off this look but this man did it well and had a great "I don't give a rat's arse if you like me or not," attitude. On Friday afternoon as he made trip number three into Great Haywood, I noticed his canine retinue was not along for the walk so I stopped painting and said,
     "Where is your crew?" He stopped and looked at me blankly. " Your dogs--they are usually following along behind you."
     "Oh! They are at home. The dogs are only good for two trips to the village After that they lie down with their little legs in the air and say, "No more-we're done!" We laughed and introduced ourselves and had a lovely chat about this and that.
     I rose at 5:30 AM on Saturday to get stuck into painting. As soon as the sun hits the metal it heats right up and one cannot paint hot metal. I was just finishing up at 7:30 when Chris and company came along the tow path. After a quick chat he asked if I needed anything from the village store and kindly brought me back a Saturday paper. I love Gay men. I feel safe with them. They have no designs on me or anything I own unlike some straight men who view a single woman as a victim opportunity. Gay men are a part of the GLBTQ family of which I am an adopted member owing to a daughter who is an L and dozens and dozens of wonderful friends who are gay, lesbian, and transgender. It was the GLBTQ community that supported me and my daughters through my Uni years as a single parent student. Every year the Imperial Sovereign Court of Spokane held fundraising drag shows which entertained and supported people like me and mine. 
Image result for Auntie Bijou
Our friend Kevan Gardner right, AKA the beloved drag Queen Auntie Bijou and his mom Mother Matinee!
     I was adopted by the university GLBTQ community and they put my name in every Thanksgiving and Christmas for gifts and food baskets without which my daughters would have had very poor holidays indeed. Their kindness, generosity and support made a tremendous difference to us. I will always go out of my way to acknowledge one of the Tribe if for no other reason than to make it understood that this boat is a safe place and I am a supportive and non-judgmental woman who believes in acknowledging people especially those that privileged mainstream folk often prefer to marginalize. 
     This morning I simply couldn't rise at dawn to paint again. When Les and I started this job two years ago he made it fun as he did most things in life. It is a grueling job on my own and I will be well happy when it is done. I hope to never undertake it again other than touch ups as needed. So I was happily lounging about in my jammies and house coat, coffee in hand, when a woman appeared at my window and knocked. I went out to the bow and said hello. 
     "Hi Jaq. You probably don't remember me but we met up on the Ashby several years back when you had your boat out for blacking. I'm Pat Smart on NB Smart Move and my husband is Collin. I've followed your blog since then. I knew you were up here somewhere and as we were moored up at Great Haywood I decided to take a walk and find you!'
Pat and Collin on their boat NB Smart Move on the way to the Llangollen canal.
December 2012 on the Ashby Canal. NBV was out of the water for blacking. We lived aboard while we blacked it ourselves. Les is telling me, "Go ahead Jaq--jump! I'll catch you baby!

   We had a lovely fifteen minute chat while Collin brought the boat around and pulled in behind me to pick up Pat. They have been boating for twenty seven years and are on their way up the Shroppie. Meeting Pat and Collin gave my day a lovely start and I hope our paths cross again when we cam sit over a cuppa. Just after they cruised onward my bread came out of the oven and I decided to cut my hair and shower. I was dressed and brushing out my wet hair when I saw the bow of NB Free Spirit cruising past. I jumped up and ran out to the bow, hailing Irene and Ian. We've followed each others blogs for five years but never met! They pulled in, I put the kettle on, Irene and Ian brought a delicious cake and we sat at the dinette catching up in person. What a delight!! We covered a wide variety of topics from cancer (Ian was diagnosed some years ago and they have been through the cancer war too), how they first met, when they first fell in the cut, and I shared  some Les stories too. I feel as though I know them well having followed their blog for five years and as we sat and talked I knew I was in the company of kindred spirits and dear friends. Finally they had to move on as they are traveling with friends up to the Llangollen. 
Ian and Irene Jameison kindly stopped for tea and cake aboard NBV.
Me and Les on a final short cruise last August.
     Finally as I look at the calendar I wonder where August went! I am not ready for September but it rolls onward none the less. Les has been gone for seven months now. I note in my journal that a year ago today we met with the Hospice Team on our boat. We hoped and fervently thought we had twelve months left but cancer had stolen a six month head start on us...I still wake in the middle of the night sobbing with grief, loss, and loneliness. I was awake at 3:40 this morning, crying in the dark, hugging Les' pillow, aching to feel his strong, warm arm gathering me in, creating my safe place which doesn't exist anymore in this world. 
     I want to thank blog reader and boater Lesley Parkinson for contacting me about a book she recently read and recommended to me: Getting Grief Right - Finding Your Story of Love in the Sorrow of Loss by Patrick O'Malley. This book contravenes the five stages of Grief as defined by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler Ross. I was surprised to read these stages are not actually built upon actual scientific research and yet they have become concretized as the proper way to grieve. If you are grieving the loss of a loved one or you want to be sure to support someone who is grieving and you aren't sure how to do that, then this is the book to read.

17 comments:

christine thorp said...

Yes... yes and yes - still not sure about caffeine enemas though! I too am sanding, treating rust & waiting for ideal painting conditions - been trying to paint the roof for the last 10 years heyho
Chris
nb Ceiriog

Anonymous said...

❤❤❤
Ozlem xxx

Anonymous said...

So glad it was useful, Jaq.

with love,

Lesley.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Oh Jaq it was a delight to meet you even though it was but briefly. Next time it will be dinner and wine and a much longer natter. Take care of yourself and thanks for the white tea. Ian likes it so much I will be adding it to the shopping list. Xxx

life afloat on nb tickety boo said...

Hi Jaq, you have no idea how much better your post has made me feel...I thought it was just me that had zilch enthusiasm for painting the boat! I am great once I make the effort to start, it's just the starting that's the problem! No doubt we will get there in the end, the weather doesn't exactly encourage us does it? xxx

nb Chuffed said...

Hi Jaq, I don't know whether this is of interest -
http://www.traidcraftshop.co.uk/c-1121-cafedirect.aspx?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIm8zXiar81QIVz7ftCh2z_wgNEAAYASAAEgKkA_D_BwE

Cafe Direct is fairtrade organic coffee. I get mine (ground) in my local Oxfam shop, though I have seen it in supermarkets too. I don't buy whole beans but it could be worth while checking next time you are are passing an Oxfam. There are whole beans available on the link.

Independent wholefood shops may be worth trying too. Good luck!
Debby xx

Marilyn McDonald said...

Hi Jaq darling,

And guess who stopped by us today for an all too brief catch up? It was those Jamiesons!
David and I are still in Penkridge, leaving Thursday and heading towards Tixall - should get there Thursday pm (or Friday am at the latest). Will keep you posted. Dinner on Waka Huia one of those nights - OK?

Thank you for the GT explanation - I had read it online before, but you explained it here very succinctly and clearly. We have a friend in NZ whose lovely wife died with no cancer in her body but from the treatment given prior to her stem cell transplant for acute myloid leukemia. The stem cell treatment didn't have a chance to work as her system just shut down. I won't send him this post, but will show it to him when we are back in NZ.

Looking forward to a Biggs hug, friend,

Mxx

christine thorp said...

Hi Jaq,
Will be passing by Tixall wide tmz - you busy (apart from boat maintenance that is)?
Will be around Grt/Ltl Haywood for a while if it's not convenient...
Chris
nb Ceiriog

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi 1chris,

I am having dinner with friends Marilyn and David on Waka Huia tonight (Saturday) but if you are going to be in the area I would love a good chinwag with you. I will be here for another week as I am trying to finish this blasted painting. If you email me (my email is on the blog at the top left) I will send you my phone number

Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Debby

Thank you for the link and the info about Oxfam!

Big hugs,

Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Irene,

It will be a pleasure I look forward to and in Marilyn's absence, I can also cut hair. I was a license hairdresser for many years and I still have my implements, so bear this in mind when next we meet.

Love Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Deb

Yeah I am the same way. I don't look forward to starting it but once I get stuck in I am all right. I just really want to finish it all up and not make a pig's ear of it!!

Love Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Marilyn,

We have caught up with one another and it has been balm to my soul to spend time with you and David. As usual you learn things form me and I learn things from you. You are a veritable repository of wisdom and experience and I feel blessed to draw from your well and sup at your table.

Love Jaq xxx

christine thorp said...

Hi Jaq
Passed by this morning quite early (10.00ish) - saw Valerie & Wakefield Huia, but no sign of you though;I can't see your email on the blog with this phone - but this is mine nbceiriog@gmail.com
Chris

Oakie said...

Hi Jaq, Good to hear that you met up with Mike and Sue on nb Curraghmore. they used to be moored up close by and we have known each other for 12 yrs now. I would presume they had dogs with them? So Mike thought I am crazy eh? The only thing I am crazy about is nb Stronghold. Guess what? I was looking through a kitchen drawer today and found a set of plastic American cup measures!!
Carry on painting and I hope you get to the end soon, if the weather improves, that is.

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Oh Christine I am gutted I wasn't there to meet you! We had walked down to the farm shop and a bite to eat. I will email you to see where you are now.

Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Ray,

Mike's comment about you being crazy was said with much shaking of the head and deep laughter. I took to be a good thing!

Hurrah on you for finding and having a set of American measures! Just goes to show one never knows what lurks in the depths of one's kitchen drawers and cabinets.

I will carry on the painting because I really must get 'er done. I have other fish to fry and I cannot concentrate on things with the paint job hanging over my head.

I hope you had a swell time at the festival in Atherstone. It seems strange to think you are back on land now.

Jaq

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs