Sunday, May 26, 2013

Great PA Flavor Fest: Lung Cancer pushing Multiple Sclerosis

CaregivinglyYours  and My Lung Cancer Odyssey  cohabitate these days. Sooo, Saturday morning I put my Stage 4 lung cancer with brain metastasis on my back and pushed my wife’s wheelchair over a sizable chunk of the 35+ acres of paved walking paths, stone or grass covered areas, and frankly at times near vertical terrain of the Great PA FlavorFEST™ on the medieval themed grounds of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. Patti was blindsided and physically broken by Multiple Sclerosis in 1989 yet with a little help, the person trapped inside her body and I have been doing this annualy on Memorial Day weekend for years. 

Saturday was my first day off after a consecutive week of brain radiation treatments, 8 down 2 to go.

Brain radiation has zapped the physical symptoms of lung cancer metastasis and here again the stigmas of treatment have not happened. … Well OK I admit I did launder my wallet the other night, forgetting to take it out of my pants. As I have never done such a thing in my life that I’ll have to chalk up to brain radiation.

Empowered by our daughter’s assistance we headed out on this beautiful autumn morning as we picked Patti up from her Care Facility under sunny 48°F (8.8°C) skies. … .. What is not to like about free parking, free admittance, and free tasting of wines, beers, and foods?

Bee venom therapy was a two year campaign in Patti’s quarter
century war with MS. Since then bee related products have always caught my attention. ... Soooo reading of a vineyard, Bee Kind Winery, that incorporated not only traditional grapes and fruits but also homemade wildflower honey  … was a must free taste stop for me. It was so heavenly I bought a bottle of their “Bee Berry Black.”

We ended the day in the ‘Globe Theatre’ feasting on frozen lemonade, Irish nachos, frozen chocolate cappuccino, and roasted turkey legs. Yes, I had to finger feed Patti tearing pieces off my turkey leg, and collective Irish Nachos but frankly it always looks more like “here taste this” than assisted outdoor dining. Most important there were no MS dysphagia related choking or swallowing episodes. Since verbal cues are always necessary, I had fun creating hand puppet verbal cues to compensate for volume of music.

Mark DeRose and the Dreadnought Brigade launched into Van Morrison's spirit quest song “Into The Mystic” as I drifted in my seat back to the first time I fell in love with that song in 1970. Except now 43 years later not only my body and my soul but also my roasted turkey leg began to sway:
“We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun …”

BBC claimed in a 1999 study that it’s among the most popular songs doctors listen to while operating.

Lung Cancer take your paws off my “gypsy soul”. Medical professionals have likewise noted the improvement. Following my 7th radiation treatment, I high-fived my radiation oncologist, Stephen J. Milito, M.D. as he reduced my steroids as part of the attack on the metastatic lesions.

Meeting with my pulmonologist , Todd Eckroth, of Carlisle Regional Sleep Disorder Center later that morning he checked me out including pulmonary function tests and found my lungs ‘good’ especially considering I had a piece removed last year and was being treated for lung cancer. My Oxygen Blood Level was 96%.

Most important to me was not only did we have a fun family day but Saturday’s outing was our 4th this week, a record since my abduction from Stage 1 lung cancer to Stage 4.

Patti’s MS dementia erases my diagnosis in her mind, conversation and activities. My lips to God’s ears, having NO lung cancer is best if only for a couple hours.

Exiting the Renaissance Fair grounds up the steepest hill, I confess to pausing to catch my breath, obviously Patti has gained some weight. :) 
Patrick Leer
Health Activist:
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @


  1. Sounds like a little sumpin' for everyone! There's a Bee Kind shop in Sebastopol, CA where Kate used to live - it sells every bee product imaginable (honey, beeswax candles and the like) - but no wine! (Of course the rest of Sonoma County has hundreds of wineries from which to choose.)- however, I always liked Bee Kind. Sounds like a lovely day of family fun. Quite a nice weekend - here in College Park we are enjoying a weekend of sun and blue skies and temps in the 60's and 70's and NO humidity! (VERY unlike most Memorial Day weekends!)

    1. Hey Liz! unfortunately bee venom therapy was not a success, however for two years it held MS at bay as good as or better than drugs. Apitherapy for health is so unusual in US as I said I find myself intrigued by it's mention, especially something like wine making. Enjoy what remains of Memorial Day weekend and my best to all.

  2. Replies
    1. thanks for visiting. Day by day I am learning it is about taking control. Sharing information empowers knowledge to fight.

  3. Irish nachos? Potatoes? Cabbage? Black pudding? That should cure what ails you!

    Just checking in, to let you know I'm following along. Strength, friend.