Friday, October 29, 2010

What does THIS mean???

Look at the bags of Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Food, those aren't my normal raw food. They are "lazy raw food" as mum likes to call it because it has meat and veggies all mixed in together as well as other healthy additional items. Usually mum makes my raw veggies and we buy the raw meat separately and then she mixes them all together at meal time.

Beside these bags of lazy raw food, there's a bag with labels on them.

WHY does she need to label my foodies???

These are my canned squash and sweet potatoes to keep my bowel movement extra smooth as my poopies tend to get extra hard on those lazy raw foodies,

These are my supplements being bagged. Why are my supplements being bagged??? Can you count how many bags there are?? I get one bag per meal, and I eat two meals a day.

The long sheets are "Sunshade Feeding & Care Instruction Manuals". Why does mum need to write an instruction manual? She knows how to take care of me.

The bags are closed with zip ties and put into either AM or PM containers as my AM/PM supplements differ a bit.

My pills are being put into a special box, and each bottle has a label that says its either AM pill or PM pill or both. Why do the bottles need to be labeled?

My fish oil pills, probiotics and Denamarin (for liver health) are stored in a special container in the fridge. They're all labelled too. Mum also stocked up on yogurt, and labeled my dehydrated liver treat bag.

Last but certainly not the least, a VERY important label!!!

OK, so why is EVERYTHING labelled???

If you counted those supplement bags, there are 40 all together, which works out to 20 days supply.

Have you guessed it??

Yes.... mum is ABANDONING me... for 18 DAYS... to places where she and the D-Guy can do things like this,

They are under water and there's aire in those helmets!!

They get to touch funny sea monsters,

While the poor poor me gets abandoned...........

Monday, October 18, 2010

Longevitology - Study of Long Life

Mum's friend Issy loves me. She introduced me to her mom Lina, and Auntie Lina fell in love with me too even though she normally doesn't like dogs (I'm not a dog, that's why!!!). That was 5 years ago.

About 2 years ago, when I had no other health issues other than the arthritis in my front right elbow, Auntie Lina told mum to bring me over to their apartment. She had learned some "energy" work, and she wanted to help my leggie. Mum didn't know what the energy work was, but she thought she'd give it a try since the worst it could do is do nothing.

It was pretty strange because as soon as Auntie Lina put her hand on my head (mum: a meridian on top of the head), I fell asleep within minutes. I fall asleep quickly during acupuncture treatments, and mum was seeing me react the same way to this "energy work". Since acupuncture really works on me, she thought I might really be feeling something from the energy work. Ever since then, whenever we're around Issy's house, Auntie Lina would come and do energy work on me. There was one time when we were at English Bay beach in DT Vancouver, Auntie Lina came down to the beach and treated me there!! (mum: their apartment is by the beach.)

Recently, when Auntie Lina learned of my newly acquired health concerns (mum: Cushing's and stumbling, prior to the cancer dx.), she told mum that a new class was happening soon. She had mum sign up for the class, so that mum could treat me everyday herself. Mum was quite interested because she had seen the way I responded to it, so she signed up for the 6-Day "Longevitology" Class.

The Longevitology course is ran by a nonprofit organization based in Taiwan (where mum was born). The organization itself is a public charity that has no political, religious (worshiping Sunshadism is not required, although recommended), or commercial affiliations. Below shows a woman practicing Sunshadism,

Longevitology's goal is to make it possible for people to learn how to use natural healing energy to heal themselves and others.

Classes to teach this natural healing technique are offered to the public free of charge all over the world.

Class of 500+ in Taiwan,

Class of infinity in Malaysia,

Class in Los Angeles,

Anyone can attend the class, and they offer text books and translators in English, Cantonese, Japanese, and Korean. And yes, those are free of charge as well. There are free adjustment centers set up in major cities where people in need could go and receive treatments from experienced volunteers. Volunteers are ones wearing the purple vests.

Longevitology is like the Taiwanese version of Reiki (Japanese), but it has less restrictions. You don't need to meditate during certain hours of the day, you don't need to give treatments only during certain hours of the day. Basically, after your meridians or they call it chakras have been opened by the masters, you are free to treat yourself and others whenever, wherever.

From the US Longevitology Website:

What Is Longevitology

Longevitology (Chang Sen Xue in Chinese, which translates as "study of long life") is one of several healing modalities intended to adjust energy flow throughout the body to improve the body's ability to heal itself.

The general theory of health and illness underlying Longevitology is the same as in other forms of Asian medicine: Good health is the result of energy (referred to as Ch'i, Qi or Prana) and blood flowing smoothly through the organ systems of the body; illness results when the flow of ch'i is disrupted. When proper energy flow has been restored, conditions are optimized for the body to heal. The body lives in a rich field of universal yang energy. Just as a healthy body draws oxygen into the lungs to breathe, it also draws in universal energy to replenish itself. It does so through points on the body, neural plexes called chakras. (Insert from the textbook below - click to biggify if necessary)

Chakras are the body’s power centers, energizing cells and organs so they can function. Each chakra governs the functioning of a different organ system. When all chakras are operating properly, metabolism will be efficient, the immune system will be effective, and waste and toxins will be readily excreted.

In Longevitology, Master Lin Tzu-Chen and Wei Yu-Feng opens the student’s chakras to receive this universal energy. Students are taught how use this energy to heal themselves and others of common ailments.

(Below is a picture of hoomans lining up to have their chakras or meridians opened by the masters - taken from MY SuperCLASS!!)

Mission Statement and History

History and mission of the organization:

The Longevitology Benevolent Foundation Preparatory Committee is a not-for-profit organization founded in Taiwan in 1993 by Dr. Tom Lin. (The corresponding United States not-for-profit, which is based in California, is Longevitology USA.) The goal of the organization is to train individuals to reach out with loving hands to help others suffering from pain, illness and distress by means of Longevitology energy adjustments. The organization’s work has been carried out by Master Teachers Tzu-Chen Lin and Yu-Feng Wei since its inception.

With love, compassion and commitment, Master Teachers Tzu-Chen Lin and Master Yu-Feng Wei travel globally to teach Longevitology classes free of charge to anyone who wishes to learn. Classes are held in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, Tahiti, Taiwan and the United States annually or semi-annually. Already, more than a hundred thousand students have learned how to give Longevitology energy adjustments.

How It Works: Benefits

People who received Longevitology energy adjustments reported the following common benefits:

* Calmness;
* Reduced stress;
* Pain relief; deeper, more restful sleep;
* Increased energy;
* Relief from migraines, tension headaches and back pain;
* Increase mental alertness;
* Faster healing of injuries,
* Regular elimination;
* Shrinking of tumors;
* Improved quality of life,
* Among others.

It is important to note that the energy adjustments do not cure or treat any diseases and are not a substitution for regular medical care. By restoring energy balance, they may promote the body’s ability to heal itself.


(mum: so my way of thinking with Sunshade has always been that as long as it can't do any harm, I don't mind trying.)

The class in Vancouver ran from October 14th to October 19th. Mum totally forgot about it and missed the first class. Auntie Lina had to call mum from Taiwan to get her NonMUSCLE butt moving if you know what I'm saying. She went to the second and third class. Then, she decided to bring me, the PERFECT ME to the 4th class (a lot like how she used to take me to her university lectures at UBC without *ahem* asking for permission).

But of course, people could not resist the charm of my MUSCLE BUTT and they liked me right away.

Can you believe it? Class full of Asians and they all liked me!! (No offense mum, but you know how the majority of the Asian population here all seem to have fear towards dogs?)

This is Fion, a student from Malaysia who was hugging me and petting me,

(mum: Sunshade looks like a big toy, she is calm, and quite aloof towards strangers. She doesn't get into their space, and yet when approached, she is confident that she isn't fearful. So the combination of all that makes her not very intimidating even for people who have fear of dogs.)

People said I was so well behaved because I just stayed by mum the entire time,

I even let her use me as a table.....

One volunteer asked mum (in Mandarin),

How did you get such a good dog like this? Did you train her to be this good?

The answer is NO! I was born PERFECT, with a MUSCLE BUTT!

The master said to the entire class - look at that smart doggie, she comes to class everyday!!

She told everyone that they could all give treatments to their animals.
(mum: I think two other people in class had dogs LOL.)

The master proceeded to asking mum what my health issues were. Mum of course sited out the gazillion health problems that she thought I had, and the master so graciously told mum all the chakras she should be treating me with. Some of the volunteers and students offered to treat me during the class.

Here Fion came and asked mum if she could help treat me. She was treating my kidneys/adrenal glands below. The arm on the bottom left corner of the picture belonged to a nice Korean man. He had heard the master say that sometimes, treatments could be done without actually touching the pawson. So he voluntarily stuck his hand out toward me. Mum (in white) was doing the same distance treatment work.

Short video of me paying attention in class. Yes I heard everything, the master was talking about if you have joint problems or bone related problems, it is the kidney chakra you have to treat. If you have ear problems, you treat the back of the brain.

During the last hour of the class, the hoomans got into groups of 4 and took turns to receive treatments (3 hoomans treating 1 and rotate). Here you see mum in her group, and well the red arrow pointing at me.... (I was totally still paying attention just so you know)

Now when it was mum's turn to be treated, she would always ask her group of people if they were comfortable with me. Naturally, they all were, (I'm PERFECT btw). So everyday, I would have 4 people treating me. That went on 3 days in a row.

In case you were wondering, yes, I just laid there and let them put their hands all over me. As long as I could see mum, it was no big deal. (mum: she actually started snoring LOUDLY on one of the days LOL.)

The last day of class, all the students got to shake hands with the master, and the volunteers who worked tirelessly.

When it was mum's turn to shake hands with the master, she said to mum:

You have to take good care of your doggie. She has been so good to you all those years, and now look at her here, she has made all these people happy too.

Mum said something along the lines of YES MA'AM!

The mantra behind Longevitology was written on the back of the textbook,

(mum: Now this next part is something I haven't mentioned on the blog before, mostly because I really wasn't sure what to make of it.

Sunshade has always been a very energetically sensitive dog. She's sensitive towards another dog's energy, people's energy, and modalities involving flow of energy. Remember, the volunteers treated her during class, and also our group of 4 during practice time? So if the Longevitology worked, she had received 3 days of very intense energy work. The last day of class was October 19th.

October 20th, I groomed her in the morning, she went swimming afterwards and received subsequent massage from the therapist. That evening I felt the lump that was later diagnosed as a Grade 1 Soft Tissue Sarcoma (type of cancer). You might recall, the lump was initially thought to be a bug bite due to it appearing in mere hours.

I didn't think Longevitoloty caused the cancer. It is a modality that has been widely practiced for almost 20 years, and I'm sure we would have heard about it if it indeed causes cancer. I have heard of it curing cancer, but not causing it. However, I did wonder if it meant that it was something Sunshade wasn't responsive to. She went to the class without the lump (so I think), and a day after the class ended, the lump appeared. Unless it was purely coincidental, I felt this energy work had something to do with it.

During the 6 day course, the master brought up many examples of sick people receiving energy treatment and subsequently got worse before they got better. The reason given was that the energy has triggered the body to detox and eliminate toxins and poisons from the body. So the detoxing period is the period after treatment that you'd get worse first.

That logic made sense to me if we were talking about acnes breaking out before they heal and the skin becomes beautiful. But to detox and make cancer??? Suffices to say, I just couldn't wrap my head around it.

After I came back from my trip (Oct 22 - Nov 9), I asked Sunshade's vet Janice, who had way more experience in energy work than I. She told me it could very well be that Sunshade had cells inside her that were on their way to becoming cancer due to the immuno-suppressive effect of the Cushing's . The energy work that we did might have pushed them out to the surface instead of letting them brew inside. If they hadn't come out when they did, maybe 6 months down the road, we would find out she had lung carcinoma, a more serious type of cancer.

Meanwhile, I had received e-mails from a couple of volunteers from class letting me know that weekly adjustment center were being held. They gave me the location and urged me to bring Sunshade, not knowing the latest cancer development. Janice's explanation made sense to me, but still, I was feeling a little weird. I wanted to get in touch with the master regarding this new development with Sunshade, but I wasn't sure if my mandarin level would be comprehensible to her.

Since Sunshade was going through marginal surgery and recovery, I opted to wait until my friend's mom, Lina, had returned from Taiwan. Lina very nicely talked to one of the senior volunteers who in turn got in touch with the master. According to the master, even though Sunshade was symptom free of having cancer, she had cancer forming already no doubt. It was just a matter of time that it showed. If we had waited, it could very well end up being an internal cancer that would be harder to diagnose and treat. She basically reiterated what Janice had told me couple weeks earlier, if I understood it correctly. The master did urge us to continue treating Sunshade to help with her immune system so it can fight the cancer.

A slight detour.....

Last week, I purchased a kindle e-book from Amazon called - Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Beyond Surgery, Chemotherapy & Radiation - By Dr. Demian Dressler

The book focuses on a Full Spectrum Approach, taking the best from allopathic veterinary medicine and combining it with the best from alternative/holistic medicine.

In Chapter 5 of the book, Dr. Dressler explained in layman's term how cancer forms. It starts by damage or mutation to the DNA of a cell where the cell growth switch gets turned on, and there is no longer an off switch. If the immune system fails to destroy those cells, then cancer happens.

From the book,

"This can all sound pretty grim and pretty alarming. But what not many people know is this: it is very normal in our dog's bodies (and our own bodies, too) to have many cells that are on their way to becoming cancer cells.

In fact, everyday there are about 10,000 measurable mutations in mammal DNA.

In other words, it's actually OK to have DNA mutations - rather, it's normal and part of being a living being. It is fairly easy for damage to occur on the cellular level and change the DNA in that cell. It happens all the time.

These little mutations inside cells only start, or initiate, cancer. In a healthy body, these cells are found and destroyed by other, special cells that are actually designed to kill mutated cells so that they don't cause problems later!

These "good guy" cells are part of the immune system, and we will talk about them in detail later. The main point right now is that as scary as all of this talk of cells growing out of control can sound, it's important to know that the body has a way of dealing with those defective cells. In a healthy body, the immune system can handle them.

That is, unless the immune system is compromised somehow. When the immune system cannot dispose of the damaged cells, cancer form."

After reading the above segment, I had a better understanding of what Janice and the master meant regarding the formation of Sunshade's Soft Tissue Sarcoma. Of course, there is always the possibility that it was just all coincidental :-)

Below are three screen shots on Cancer Initiation: How It Begins, (you should be able to read it if you click on the pics)

I haven't finished reading the book yet, but I highly recommend this book for anyone dealing with or just wanting to prevent cancer in your dogs. There are sections on specific kinds of cancer, mainly on the more common, aggressive types of cancer: Transitional Cell Carcinoma, Tumours of nose and sinus, Hemangiosarcoma, Melanoma, Lymphoma, Mammary Cancer, Osteosarcoma, and Mast Cell Tumours.

Unfortunately (or furtunately), Soft Tissue Sarcoma isn't one of them.

Dr. Dressler also has a blog that is basically the summary of his book - Dog Cancer Blog

Back on track.....

Reading the book gave me a better understanding, and I became more comfortable to continue having energy work done on Sunshade.

Last Saturday, I brought Sunshade to the adjustment center for the first time after our October class. It was their potluck day... LOL... so the volunteers got to see the "other side" of Miss Perfect. She was begging fairly enthusiastically. Fortunately, the volunteers all really liked her and told all the treatment people (not from our class) that Sunshade was a "VERY good dog" LOL. After the food was put away, Sunshade went back to her treatment state and let Lina and a couple of other volunteers treat her.

One incident I do want to mention is - there was an old couple that attended the 6 day course. They had heard many Longevitology success stories from friends and relatives in Taiwan that they decided to give it a shot. The husband was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. He was on chemo, but the cancer was progressing. He attended two classes and received treatment from volunteers almost none stop during class. On the third day of class, only his wife showed up. She told the master that her husband was hospitalized because after they went home from the second class, he started having excruciating chest pain. The master right away had a couple of volunteers go to the hospital to continue treatment for him. She assured the wife that he was feeling pain because it was getting better. The old man didn't come back to class until the last day. He came in a wheel chair and his frailty was apparent. On that last day, the wife made a speech to the entire class. She urged young people to start practicing Longevitology, so it wouldn't become too late like it was for her husband.

That was October 19th. I saw them at the adjustment center this past Saturday (December 11th). The old man looked amazing. He was walking on his own, he was no longer pail, he was very engaged in talking to people. He just looked a lot better than I had remembered. That was my observation anyway. I didn't really ask him about the status of his lung cancer, but I told him he looked great. He was SO happy to hear that, and so was his wife.

At the end of the treatment session, the old man asked one of the volunteers if he could give a little speech to everyone there. From his speech, he told us the mets in his lungs had shrunk and his doctors were amazed (chemo wasn't working for him). He said he goes to one of the volunteer's house twice a week for treatment. He also treats himself everyday and does special stretching exercises that stimulates the lymphatic system. He was very chirpy and talked about his no carb, organic diet that his wife and daughter prepare for him everyday. He just looked full of HOPE, and HOPE, we all know, is the best medicine of all. Whether or not the energy work did anything in this case, we have no way of knowing. However, it was a great development in a seemingly hopeless case. I sincerely hope that there will be a happy ending for this lovely older couple.

Lastly, Mr. Derek, the biggest skeptic of all time has been known to chase me around the house nowadays while chanting - energy work please... energy work please!

I "practiced" on him a few times during our trip when he complained about headaches, muscle aches, and chest pain. He surprised himself (and me too actually) when he told me "the pain is gone".

Of course, all these could be coincidental, and I will probably have to have more personal experience to be convinced. Meanwhile though, I will continue to try on Sunshade and take her to the adjustment center every week to be treated.

Please visit the Longevitology Website for information on free adjustment centers as well as class schedules happening all around the globe. You have nothing to lose, it's free!)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Labour Day Weekend Day 4 - Neurology Consult

Mum took me to this place after my date with the 4 B's,

She said I was going to see the Stumbling Doctor about my stumbling, (mum: she meant a neurologist.)

I waited patiently in the hoooge waiting area,

When will it be my turn??

Then a nice lady came and took us to a room. She listened to my SuperHEART, and violated my MUSCLE BUTT..... (mum: she had her temperature taken)

The lady told us that the Stumbling Doctor was coming soon. See the drawing of the weird Dog X Snake creature behind me on the white board?

The Stumbling Doctor came in, his name was Dr. Sanders. He was very nice, and he thought I was very funny because I dragged mum's backpack down from the chair and started opening the zipper while he and mum were talking. (mum: there was a small bag of cheese and one boiled egg inside.)

Dr. Sanders and SVS came highly recommended to us. My friend Darwin saw Dr. Sanders when she had an owie back, and my other friend Sam had his owie back surgery at SVS.

Dr. Sanders flipped my toes, hit my knees with a hammer, and looked at my eyes with a bright light. (mum: reflex exam.) Mum had her laptop there to show Dr. Sanders videos of me stumbling. I just waited patiently for the boiled egg and cheese,

Dr. Sanders drew some funny picture on the white board. He said this is a doggie brain, and the purple ball is something bad in the brain. (mum: Pituitary Macroadenoma (type of brain tumor that causes Cushings).)

That's not my brain! I'm sure my SuperBRAIN is prettier than that.

Then he drew an X on the Dog X Snake creature. He said that's where he got an ouchie response from me, (mum: Dr. Sanders got a bit of a pain response from Sunshade at the thoracolumbar/lumbar junction (T13-L1) in the spine.)

I got bored from looking at the drawings and listening to them talk, so I thought I would show them how great my SuperBRAIN was working so they could stop saying how I might have something bad in my SuperBRAIN,

I scored an egg. See, brain working perfectly! (mum: That's Atypical Cushings acting, not normal Sunshade behaviour.....)

Mum and Dr. Sanders talked some more (while I finished the cheese chunks), and then we left the clinic.

(mum: While we were in Seattle, I took Sunshade to see a Neurologist about her stumbling.

Well, the result is inconclusive. Sunshade passed the neurological exam. Dr. Sanders said he couldn't pin point or localize anywhere that he could confidently say ok, this is what's making her stumble. Basically, Sunshade's history didn't really fit with his findings to come up with a firm hypothetical diagnose. He said he could make sense that her lower back pain (probably a chronically herniated disc or DDD) is causing her hind legs to stumble, but couldn't tie that to front end stumbling. At any point on the spine where an injury happens, you would expect functions below that injury point to be affected, not above. The "X" in the picture below is the spot where a pain response was perceived. If Sunshade had a chronically herniated disc in her neck, then the front + back end stumbling could then be explained. Sunshade's neck was fine upon palpation.

Dr. Sanders said he could make sense that a Pituitary Macroadenoma (tumor in the pituitary gland that also causes Atypical Cushings) is causing the front + back stumbling, but usually a dog develops severe neurological symptoms and is gone within a year's time untreated. That puts Sunshade at 4-6 months untreated if she does have a tumour.

The diagram on the bottom shows a normal brain with a normal Pituitary Gland (red arrow). The diagram on the top shows a Pituitary Macroadenoma (purple ball) that's putting pressure on the brain. The blue area is the part of the brain responsible for motor function. A macroadenoma can interfere with the motor function signals causing retardation in the motor function of the patient.

Sunshade was rated normal in the neuro exam performed. Her first stumble happened over 3 years ago, so that didn't really fit the Pituitary Macroadenoma profile - UNLESS the stumbles that happened 2-3 years ago were of a different origin (ie, ortho), then we could say it's of two unrelated sources causing the same symptom (stumbling). In that case, a Pituitary Macroadenoma might still stand. Another possibility is that its a separate brain tumour, unrelated to the Pituitary (Cushings), but that's stretching it a bit.

Dr. Sanders did mention the stumbling could very well be from the built up of the various orthopedic issues that Sunshade has had throughout her life, and at age 11, she's dealing with what naturally (for her) comes with that age. Front end stumbling could just be from an 11 year old with tired biceps muscles from years of over compensating due to the bad elbow. Hind end stumbling from the thoracolumbar/lumbar sacral region of the spine. He must have felt those were the more likely causes as he got his colleague, Dr. Kirkby, an orthopedic specialist to examine Sunshade as well. Dr. Kirkby had similar findings as Dr. Sanders. He also seemed to feel the front end stumbling was due to muscular weakness and aging.

I asked Dr. Sanders if there were tests I should do that would play a factor in Sunshade's longevity. He told me at this point, the only thing he would consider would be an MRI. The MRI would be able to tell us if a Pituitary Macroadenoma is present. If she does indeed have it, then we can do radiation therapy. The success rate for radiation on this type of tumour is apparently very high. The radiation therapy involves 18-25 rounds of radiation over a 3-4 week period. According to Dr. Sanders, dogs treated with radiation therapy are often older dogs, and they go on living anywhere between 2-5+ years of quality life without major neurological problems. Almost all of those dogs pass away from old age or other unrelated illnesses.

11 + 5 = 16 (years), not bad for an Airedale (not nearly enough for Sunshade...). MRI would also give us a better picture at what's going on in her lower back. Dr. Sanders mentioned back surgery could be considered if the pros out weigh the cons, and if I was willing to take the risk since back surgery could make a patient worse than before.

As far as I'm concerned, there will not be any back surgery for Sunshade, doesn't matter what the MRI say. So for me to do an MRI, it would solely be for the possible Pituitary Macroadenoma. But would I be willing to put her thorough 18-25 rounds of radiation therapy? I have no idea at this point.... SIGH..

Here is the full report for anyone that's interested, (click to enlarge)

One thing that had me quite excited from our consult was that, neither Dr. Sanders nor Dr. Kirkby got any pain response from Sunshade's bad right elbow. Some of you might recall, she had the stem-cell replacement procedure done on the bad elbow back in April of this year. Well, I'm so happy to report that the elbow that had been my main source of worry over the last 10 years is now clinically sound, even after days of being active!!! Dr. Sanders was genuinely surprised to find out about Sunshade's bad elbow and the subsequent stem-cell procedure. He said the elbow felt excellent and he was going to tell Dr. Kirkby that the dog he just examined (Sunshade) had a very successful Vet-Stem procedure. Apparently Dr. Kirkby had been wanting to take the Vet-Stem course.

For anyone with a dog/dogs with arthritis, or Elbow/Hip Dysplasia, or torn ACL (repaired or not), Vet-Stem is a great procedure to consider.)