Pinky Pie

The Unsung Hero & Me (or maybe not & me)

Posted on: October 10, 2009

Rock on Little Richard

Rock on Little Richard

Ok, he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt here

Ok, he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt here

Let him sing

Let him sing

In the early days after I was home after my double mastectomy, my husband, Dick Mial, had the duty of changing my dressings, working around the three drains in my chest.

One day, I said to him, “Let me know if there is anything hot in there.”

It was a reference, of course, about whether there was an infection. As soon as it came out of mouth, I knew that set me up for a great comeback and I smiled.

Peering over his glasses, Dick responded kindly with, “I can assure you, madam, that there is nothing hot in there.”

I laughed.

Dick is really the unsung hero in by care. Without even donning a Hawaiian shirt, he took about a week off for my surgery, using vacation time, personal holidays and who knows what else. This man knows how to party.

He had to work on Sunday this week so he arranged for Thursday – my second chemo – to be his day off.

I have to tell you, it’s not fun to sit around and “watch what happens,” as they say on Bravo TV. I get blood work and then we wait to see the oncologist who told me that I did really well last time despite being sick and wiped out. After all, I had not ended up in the hospital. It was not said unkindly just a statement of reality.

I laughed. Her standards still were a bit different than mine on that point.

Nothing much happens at chemo other than my getting premeds to prevent nausea that work very well. I make some of the same jokes I’ve made with everyone to a new nurse or two, handing out pink noses.

Once the premeds are on board, I get the first drug, Adriamycin which is injected into the IV attached to my under the chest port. That takes about ten minutes while I suck on a Popsicle – the cold is supposed to prevent mouth sores. Then I get Cytoxan, which takes about 30 minutes. I get that bonus shot to boost my immune system and I’m on my way. Nothing dramatic happens at all.

Meanwhile, Dick ran to the pharmacy to get new prescriptions and returned because the insurance company doesn’t want to approve the good stuff even in generic form without our jumping through a prior authorization hoop. We eventually got it for $6. Without the hoop, it would have been several hundred dollars per treatment but we are lucky at this point prescription wise.

On other days, Dick also is running errands, picking up medicines, laundry, cooking dinner when generous donors have not brought food and is cleaning the cat litter box. Oh and he also works.

This unsung hero is particularly an apt name because he loves and needs to sing and play guitar and mandolin. He’s in two bands – Grand Picnic – a traditional string band, and Muddy Flats and the Hepcats, an eclectic mix of music.

Although he would NEVER admit it, he loves performing music even more than being with me at the cancer center at Franciscan Skemp. I can understand it. I don’t particularly want to be there either, a reason to send him off on those errands.

His love of music is really positive and healthy for him. When we were first married I thought maybe I could learn to play an instrument and join him. I picked the five-string banjo to join him in Blue Grass music. Believe me, it did not work out.

Despite private banjo lessons, I couldn’t manage the tapping of my foot to the music, let along playing  tunes.

I did try to go with him to a weekend bluegrass music workshop called Pickin’ and Grinnin’ but was so demoralized that I left it the first day. I couldn’t stay even in the beginners group.

Rhythm? I have none. And in terms of singing, forget about it. I was told to mouth the words in elementary school, starting in kindergarten, and I haven’t improved since then.

Thanks and much love for all you do, my Unsung Hero. Now please get out there and sing.


12 Responses to "The Unsung Hero & Me (or maybe not & me)"

I just watched the piece on NOW. I am inspired by your courage and humour. It is not easy to have a television camera watching your every move, no matter the issue, but especially during such an intimate conversation. Thank you for sharing. I really loved when you said you’d convert! Your spirit is wonderful, I hope your health is too.

aw…great photos of your UH…love banjo pickin’…

hey Pinky, I was going through my stack of saved NY Times (you know, all those articles I’m too busy to read but one day I’ll get around to…) and I came across something that might interest you…

If you are a patient, you can use LAMsight to share your knowledge anonymously and learn from other patients around the world. LAMsight enables you to contribute to research happening now and makes it possible for you to be contacted if you qualify for future clinical trials.

If you are a patient, researcher, or clinician, you can access and shape a central database of information built collaboratively by LAM patients and researchers around the world, across languages, nationalities, and country-based organizations in order to increase the speed and impact of LAM research focused on treatment and cure.

Sue, Just finished reading “Unsung Hero”. You make me laugh and you make me cry, but more than anything, you inspire me with your courage. Happy Birthday, you brave, beautiful woman! May tomorrow mark the beginning of many joyous, healthy years ahead!

Sue, HAPPY BIRTHDAY on Sunday !
Great article and thanks for letting us know about your husband’s musical talent. I have thought about going to hear these two bands, now I will be sure to go since I know who one of the muscians is.
Take care of yourself !

I, too, love your unsung hero. Thanks, Dad, for being so amazing!

Does Dick always call you madam? Another great post – You & Dick are both heroes in my book! Happy Birthday to you!!!!

Hi Sue,
I saw your interview on NOW a few minutes ago. In the past few decades I have been reading on alternative health in order to improve my own health. In the course of my reading, to my surprise I found information about people who have reversed various types of diseases that I had thought were incurable. One of them is breast cancer. I started collecting references on reversing various types of cancer, including breast cancer, and put them into a document that I send to friends and family when I hear they have or know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer. I thought I’d send this document to you so you could possibly prevent further cancers in your body and share it with anyone else whom you think it would benefit. May God grant you a much longer life than you had anticipated.
Sincerely, Ann Nelson


The first excerpt is from God’s Key to Health and Happiness. It’s a brief chapter from a small paperback book written by a man who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1936 and how he regained his health. At the writing of his book in the 1970’s, he had been well for over 40 years. He even lived many more years after that in good health.
When a friend first gave me the book in the early 1980’s, she said, “Once you read this book, you’ll never eat pork again.” I just laughed, because I ate all kinds of pork and loved it. Well, she was right. I haven’t touched it in over 25 years, or any other so-called ‘unclean’ meats, (although I think Mom used to slip some ham hocks into the green beans when I came over at Thanksgiving.)


(From God’s Key to Health and Happiness by Elmer A. Josephson, Revell, Fifteenth Printing, 1998. ISBN: 0-8007-5018-7)

(Chapter 8) My Brush with Cancer
Cancer, without doubt, is the most dreaded disease in Amer­ica today. There are various forms of internal and external cancer. It is no respecter of organs or members of the body, but attacks the blood, bone, lungs, brain, liver and the various parts of the body. Although some progress has been made, it still baffles medical science. Serum cures have been reported in ani­mals but results in humans are not conclusive. Research contin­ues and we hope that a cure may soon be discovered. In this, more than in any other sphere, it is true that “an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure.” I am fully persuaded cancer can be prevented through proper nutrition and common sense health measures.

Faced With Death

In 1936, a doctor stated that I had a carcinoma (cancer) of the stomach with all its attendant symptoms. I was wasting away and could not have lived much longer if I had continued failing as I was. Attacks of excruciating pains first began in my stomach. Many times as I drove along in my car, I would have to stop, and pull over to the side of the road and cry out to God.
Later, I felt these sharp burning pains spreading to other sections of my body: My gall bladder also became affected. Since I could not keep even water on my stomach (sometimes up to ten days at a stretch) but would vomit it up green, I was sure I would starve to death. I dropped in weight from 155 pounds to 115. My complexion became a greenish yellow.
Arthritis plagued me so that I could not sleep at night. I could not walk on concrete without severe pain in my hips. I would walk on soft grass turf if possible when it was necessary for me to go about.
Every organ in my body seemed to quit functioning–my bowels and kidneys–and even my nails and hair quit growing. We understand that after death the hair keeps growing. Well, I was worse than dead! God only knows the misery I suffered.
My mental torture was indescribable as the result of a com­plete nervous breakdown. It seemed I could get no comfort from the blessings of the past. My present seemed to be a prison of misery, and there seemed to be no hope for a future as far as an earthly existence was concerned.
Unbeknown to my loved ones, I went to physician after physician, consulted specialists and was constantly in and out of medical clinics and doctors’ offices. As a dying man, I grasped at every straw. I was always on the search for anyone to talk to who had experienced anything like my afflictions. I searched any book that offered the slightest hope. Expensive prescriptions, far beyond my means, helped me none. Since there seemed to be no hope, I began to plan my own funeral service.

A Promise of Hope

In final desperation, I cried to God with all my heart and soul. Every earthly helper had failed. It was then I received the promise in Psalm 107:20, “He sent His Word and healed them.” I began to study the Scriptures earnestly. I found that God’s original nutritional plan before the flood was for man to live on a diet of grains, vegetables, nuts, fruits, etc. One doctor in­formed me that red meat builds a sweet-acid that feeds cancer, so for two years I lived on a diet without red meat but supple­mented my protein by eating chicken, fish, eggs, a little cheese, milk, nuts, plus fresh vegetables and fruits. One day I awoke to the realization that my physical miseries were beginning to fade away.
At this time, I was pastor at the Calvary Baptist Church of Leavenworth, Kansas. We were in the midst of a new building project that required more than the usual activities and duties of a minister. I felt the need of a greater source of protein than I was getting. As I studied the Scriptures further, I came across the dietary law, and so began to observe this plan of eating the clean meats. Before this veritable hell of sickness and misery, I was a great consumer of every form of the swine product–­pork (chops and roast), ham, sausage, bacon, lunch meats and wieners (unsanctified garbage). Now I started supplementing my diet by eating the clean meats of veal, beef, lamb and even some beef bacon and beef wieners.
I continued to gain in strength and health. That has been over forty years ago. Since that time, I have never known sickness, headaches and the various multiple ailments that so many peo­ple suffer today.
Had all this merely “happened”–by chance? No, I found that God has established the universe to operate according to law in every realm, and I have found this true also in the realm of physiology–the human body. God’s plan always works.


Here’s a brief email I sent to my friends in my health food co-op a few years ago. It’s about REVERSING LEUKEMIA.

Date: Sun Jan 25, 2004 11:54 am
Subject: The Germ That Causes Cancer
Wanted to tell you all about a web site of a man, Doug Kaufmann, who
has apparently studied extensively on the relationship of fungus and
cancer in the human body. One quote says: “In 1999, a Medical
Tribune article discussed how a Dr. Karthaus placed three leukemia
patients on three antifungal drugs to treat their ‘secondary’ yeast
infections. He was amazed when all three recovered from their
leukemia.” Doug Kaufman also says that fungal diseases can mascarade as other
diseases, even cancer. The web site is worth visiting:

For someone who is ill with cancer there are 3 very good books by Dr. Hulda Clark. I consider her to be one of the best researchers in curing cancer. She doesn’t use drugs, chemotherapy or radiation, so of course, she isn’t backed by large companies, because the treatments she has found don’t cost a lot of money. Her books are long, but if you get The Cure For All Diseases and read the first 20 pages, you will understand her methods and why they succeed. Her book The Cure For All Advanced Cancers tells you how to get well, even if you don’t have much time. Here are a list of her books. I think she has another one out now as well.
The Cure for All Diseases (On page 336,she says “nickel draws cancer to the prostate”.
The Cure for All Cancers
The Cure for All Advanced Cancers
(and she also wrote The Cure for HIV and AIDS,

I have four of her books, and I have found that she bases her findings on scientific data, and not on ‘fuzzy science’. She maintains that all types of cancer have the same origin: an unnatural pollutant in the body and a virus, bacteria or parasite – without one or the other, you can’t have the disease. She tells which organism causes which type of disease along with the specific, unnatural pollutants that made their way into the body, and she also gives the usual sources of the pollutants. She has been very successful in curing cancer, but she is humble enough to state when she doesn’t know something. Her books are written in lay language and are a very good source of information on curing your own disease(s). I have found her books at Barnes and Noble and at a local health food store.


Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) In late 1993, Dr. Folkers arranged for the first clinical trial of Co Q10 at a clinic in Copenhagen, Denmark. Doctors treated 32 patients with advanced, “high risk” breast cancer. In addition to appropriate surgery and conventional treatment, each patient was given 90 mg of CoQ10 per day. They also received other vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. On this regimen, 6 of the 32 patients showed partial tumor regressions, significant in “advanced” patients. Then in October 1993, a strange thing happened: one of these six women, on her own, increased her dosage from 90 to 390 mg per day. By the next month, her doctors wrote, “the tumor was no longer palpable and in the following month, a mammogram confirmed the disappearance of her tumor. After that, another woman in the group also increased her dose, this time to 300 mg. Her tumor also soon disappeared and a clinical examination revealed no evidence of the prior residual tumor, nor of distant metastases. [Ralph Moss, Antioxidants Against Cancer]

There is another very good book that I consider to be ranked up there with Dr. Clark’s books. It is entitled Your Body’s Many Cries For Water by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. He has done at least two decades of research on the harmful effects that deep, cellular dehydration has on the human body. He said that many people are dehydrated and don’t even know it. He further said that a person’s urine should be clear, and if it is not, then a person is dehydrated within his or her cells. The darker the urine, the more a person is dehydrated. He stated that by the time we feel thirsty, we are already dehydrated. He explained how drinking enough water and using sea salt instead of table salt can rehydrate your body and makes many maladies go away, even some “incurable” ones. The sea salt is necessary for the water to be able to get into the cells and take in nourishment and wash out the cells’ waste products, instead of just circulating around in the blood stream. He also said that sodas, tea, coffee, and alcohol have substances in them that dehydrate the body. Cancer is also one of the diseases that has been reversed and you can read about it on the websites listed below. On the outside cover of his book, it says

You will learn how to use water to:
· Prevent and reverse premature aging
· Eliminate pains including heartburn, back pain, arthritis, colitis pain, anginal pain, migraine headaches
· Cure asthma in a few days, naturally and forever
· Cure hypertension without diuretics or other medication
· Lose weight effortlessly and naturally, without strict dieting

I found 3 copies in our local library, and it is also available at Barnes and Noble for about $15 (paperback).

His website has the science behind his discoveries. There is another website with less scientific language and has the testimonials on it. The website has a menu on the left-hand side of the Home page. If you click on the topic of “Cancer”, it will bring up quite a few testimonies of people who, by rehydrating themselves, got well from cancer. Here is the “Watercure Recipe” from the websites:

The Water Cure Recipe
Drink 1/2 your body weight of water in ounces, daily. Example: 180 lb = 90 oz. of water daily. Divide that into 8 or 10 oz. glasses and that’s how many glasses you will need to drink, daily. Use 1/4 tsp. of salt for every quart of water you drink. Use sea salt liberally with food. As long as you drink the water, you can use the salt. Use only 50 to 80 mineral, no additive, unprocessed sea salt. Avoid table salt. It only has three minerals in it. While the best sea salts contain all minerals, you should eat a banana or two a day for potassium and take some magnesium, calcium and zinc to maximize your immune system. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic drinks. These are diuretics and will dehydrate you. Every 6 oz. of caffeine or alcohol requires an additional 10 to 12 oz. of water to re-hydrate you.

My note:
I heard Dr. “B” in an interview a few years ago – he has passed away since then – and he said that taking vitamins and other supplements without drinking enough water is like putting fertilizer on your lawn, but not watering it. Even though the lawn has been fertilized, the grass will still be brown, because it lacks water. For some reason that illustration really stuck in my mind. As I mentioned, he also said that you can tell if you are hydrated if your urine is clear and has no color to it. I found the science behind Dr. Batmanghelidj’s discoveries very interesting as well.
I also remember Dr. “B” mentioning that the thirst and hunger centers are very close together in the brain. He said that sometimes, when you are thirsty, you will feel hungry if you are not hydrated and will eat as a result of just being dehydrated. He also said that drinking a glass of water about 20 minutes before a meal will diminish appetite, and more importantly, it will prepare the stomach for digestion of the meal. He further said that stomachs can’t really digest a meal when they are dry.


In recent months I found the website below with information on how a man reversed his prostate cancer (13 years prior) with the use of hydrogen peroxide. He is apparently 85 years young now, and he has a YouTube video explaining what he did.

I have since looked for more information about oxygen therapy in reversing various types of cancer and have found some very promising references to it. I can hunt those down if you want them.

Agreed. You guys are both great heroes. I’m luck to have you in my life.

Hi Sue,

I saw you on PBS’s NOW last nite. I was concerned when you seemed a bit hessistant on whether you would under go treatment if the odds of survival was only 5 in 100. One of the problems with statistics is that NO ONE knows what one’s turn out will be until one has gone thru the treatment. I had breast cancer 20 years ago…it had spread to the lymphnodes under my arm…before surgery. After surgery the Dr. found cancer in the lymphs in my neck….so it was pretty fast moving. I went through both chemo and radiation. Someone has to beat the odds…hope that person is you.

Hang in there.

What a lovely tribute! To both of you.

What a great tribute to a caregiver. I’m sure Dick knows how much you appreciate him, but it is very special to share this with others.
I was able to see you both on the NOW program while I was in Montana. My sister Becky was very impressed with you, to be able to talk about something so personal. You and Dick are both wonderful examples of people willing to give of themselves for the greater good. I hope your message about death panels will make a difference.

Happy Belated Birthday!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Posts by month

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 63 other followers

October 2009
« Sep   Nov »

Blog Stats

  • 138,129 hits
%d bloggers like this: