I am going to try to keep a journal of my feelings, so I can look back and draw strength from the times I was blue and things turned out to be ok. So here goes the first one.
September 4, 2012 - I spent the weekend with my family in PA for our annual Idlewild Trip. Although happy I can't help but wonder if this might be my last year. My back has really been hurting me again. I thought about going to the doc since I don't go again until the end of October. Then it hit me, why go get the bloodwork early? If I find out in October that my numbers are going back up, I will simply get serious again with all my protocols. Since there are so many, I found myself no longer taking them as serious. Funny how we do that. I haven't been taking my Beta Glucans, or my mushroom extracts. I haven't been drinking my green drink to stay alkaline. So I replaced concern with proactive actions. I figured, why wait. I must admit when I purchased the Beta Glucans from the vitamin store I openly wept in the car. I think it was relief in knowing that I still have options. During the weekend, I fell right on my tailbone. It hurt, bad, but it didn't fracture or break. I took this as yet another sign right from the man upstairs himself telling me that I am still strong. To have cancer in my tailbone and fall that hard on a concrete floor and not even have a fracture is a miracle, unless that cancer is gone! So until I test again in October, I am not going to worry I am simply going to take better care of myself!
October 5, 2012 - I tried multiple times to gain access to update this journal, but couldn't for the life of me figure it out. Things shouldn't be this complicated! Anyway, I finally figured it out! So things got a little more confusing for me. I called the doctor because I could no longer distinguish between the pain in my back from possible cancer growing or from my fall. I wanted to know if we could possibly move the cat scan up. After months of the doctor begging me to have the dang test, she told me no, she wanted me to wait a week to see if the pain subsided...even though she knew I had the pain before the fall! I think this was her way of getting back at me for all the pro-active steps I have taken against her will LOL. So, I figured it was for the best due to swelling that may have been present due to injury. But, the pain didn't go away and my stomach has been upset. I don't know if it's from the beta glucan or nerves or flu bug or metastases to the organs. This is where journaling my ailments would have helped me see the timeline. So I called and asked if we could move up the blood test, I didn't even ask about the Cat scan, that will come in time. They agreed with no problem. It has been about 4 months since my last test and they are supposed to be done every 3 months, why I had to wait an extra month I'm not sure. So I went this past Wed. and just got the results. A little disappointing...OK...a lot disappointing! They not only went up, they nearly doubled. Ok, the bad. My numbers are no longer in the normal range and not even slightly above the normal range. They are high. This is sad. Here's the good. I know my body. I knew something was wrong. God gave me symptoms and signs. Time to stop it again before it gets out of control. The even better. My blood work also for the first time showed my glucose reading high. Really? No sugar in my diet but high glucose? It has to be the carbs. My chiropractor has maintained from the beginning, a little grass fed red meat and chicken, a little dairy from cage free no antibiotic chickens, and only 50 grams of carbs a day. I eat no meat, no dairy, but like 200 grams of carbs per day! I guess I better start reducing those carbs. So here is my new theory. Lower the carbs to lower the sugar to stop feeding the cancer cells and low and behold, lower the tumor marker numbers! It is worth a try. Meanwhile, I went to a friends psychic party which was all in good fun. I specifically asked about my health and my upcoming tests. I did not share that I was having tummy aches. She said she sees some bilious conditions (had to wiki that one - means symptoms from belly ache) and increased numbers on test results but not too high, just enough to raise the red flag again and monitor. She said she doesn't see anything major for me health wise for the next year or two (that's as far out and her abilities allow her to see for anyone). Ok, these surely are such broad statements that it could fit anyone in my situation, however, I choose to gain strength from her words! So that's my update! If my belly ache doesn't go away in a week or so from cutting the carbs, I will try to reduce some of the beta glucan. Meanwhile, hello baking soda cocktails again...anyone care to join me? LOL
October 15, 2012 - So...LOL. The Beta Glucan reduction did stop the belly aches which pretty much instantly stopped the worrying about the spread of cancer to my organs. I have increased everything else including the baking soda. My body just does not want to stay alkaline, it loves to stay acidic. Actually, I am right in the middle where a person should be, I have a nice balance but balance is not what I need right now! So I've increased the baking soda cocktails to 3 per day...shiver! I managed to pull a muscle in my back ironically in the same location as the pain. I went for xrays. Interesting results. Now I am not a doctor nor do I claim to be and of course I have yet to talk to my doctor since I picked up my own results! But, if you ask me, I think I am a walking miracle. Here's why. The report says that the known metastatic deposit (known I'm assuming means proven and it's only been proven in my tailbone) is ...ready...vaguely conspicuous (vaguely meaning barely conspicuous meaning seen or visible). This tells me that the tailbone was healing. HEALING!!! That folks is a miracle in itself. What I was doing plus all the prayers were helping. Next part...some subtle increased sclerosis on left iliac bone might indicate another metastatic deposit. The cancer cells have invaded my hip bone. Subtly though LOL. This would explain the increase in my numbers. Maybe just maybe more dormant cells woke up but if I fought them off once I can fight them off again! This is exciting!!! Of course, this is all my philosophys and they may be waaay off but I'm going with it for now! So please, keep up the prayers. I can't tell you how much I not only appreciate them but I believe in them. The hardest part of this for me is trying to understand why God would listen to prayers for me when there are so many deserving people who need a miracle. A good friend reminded me that we are all Gods children, he loves us all the same. He does not compare us! It was a great reminder! Cat scan on Friday...I will post the results. Prayers up and fingers crossed please!!! Love to all!
Duh! Even though I was trusting my theory, I kept thinking about it. Then it hit me. The test that originally showed the cancer in my tailbone was a CAT scan. The normal Xray is what showed that the known cancer spot was vaguely conspicuous. Of course it wouldn't be as obvious on a normal xray vs a CAT scan. Oh well, I'm going to chose to believe the cancer was disappearing, after all, my numbers did return to normal after being elevated so something died! I crack myself up with my theories!!! :)
October 20, 2012
So I had the CAT scan Friday. I have a great rapport with the tech there since I have seen him so many times. He told me the doc on duty reading the results is very fast and to check by the end of the day, my results may be in. Sure as poop I called at 2:30 and they were ready! Here is what it says. That left iliac bone on my xray wasn't even mentioned. The tailbone is stable. There is however, a dramatic increase on the vertebrae of my spine around L3, that's the lower back. Back in January it showed an unmeasurable spot that may be cancer. Well it went from teeny tiny to 2cm big. That's a huge jump. Then to add salt to the wound it has a fracture running through the lesion. That's the bad news. If that's all that happened then I am lucky! The organs were clear, that's the most important thing. I have yet to talk to my doctor but I am pretty certain she will recommend radiation for the pain. My back pain has gotten worse, and I am the first one to admit it might be my mind playing tricks on me now that I have proof the cancer is there. In any case, my focus is now back to what the heck caused the cancer to act out again? It was behaving so nicely! How my doctor chooses to deal with these questions will have a huge impact on whether I choose to stay with her or not. I have chosen another Doctor to see since I feel my situation is a little heightened right now. I think I need a doc who is willing to help me think outside of the box. I will see if she is game next Friday. Meanwhile, I am taking rx strength ibuprofen for the pain which is helping greatly. I am still a little confused, I think the left iliac bone, the left sacral ala, and the tailbone are all the same area! If so, the cancer there has stabilized!! So, that's it for now. I am so thankful for the prayers and support that I receive from everybody. It's not an easy topic to talk about. Cancer in my mind has always equated to dead person walking. I'm not one of those that think well I have to go through it and maybe they can learn something from me, I am more NO I WANT TO BEAT IT and then I can teach others how to help themselves! I don't want to be a statistic. Never have been and hope to never be! Hey, this sounds kind of like a rhyme: Ugly dirty cancer you'll never catch me, yucky statistic I will never be! LOL
October 27, 2012
Happy Birthday to my sweet baby boy Alex. He turns 14 tonight around 10:30 pm. What a difference 14 years make! I am so proud of both my boys, they are awesome young men. They both have more courage and strength than I did at that age. They are my hero's.
I went to the oncologist on Friday and left that chip on my shoulder at the door. I let her play doctor and I played the patient. I figure most of the bumps in our relationship come from me being obstinate, which is not necessarily a bad thing but there is a time and place for it. We actually had a great meeting. She told me that she could offer me more chemo right now to slow the growth but she hated to do that because I am so healthy. I laugh at this often, everybody says, you are so healthy or you've never looked better! I guess I wear cancer well LOL. We discussed how I was under the impression that I am no longer chemo eligible because she told me I am chemo resistant. She said she meant at that time I wasn't bad enough to receive it and she still feels that way. I felt the chip trying to leave the doorway and jump back on my shoulder but I resisted. For 9 months now I felt she led me to believe I am not a candidate because it didn't work for me. She did mention an old school type radiation that might benefit me. Instead of getting 32 targeted treatments I would get 1 IV injection that goes to all the cancer in the bones and kills it within an 8 week period. Like chemo, it wreaks havoc on bone marrow but since I am so healthy it shouldn't be a problem. I will meet with the radiologist some time soon after I have a bone scan to make sure there aren't more locations. It may not be worth this risk at this point if only the spine is affected, but it's nice to know there are options. All in all, it was a good appointment and I guess I will keep her for awhile! She wants another blood test for tumor markers the middle of November so I won't have to wait another three months! Hopefully with all the prayers and all my protocols, I will have much lower numbers!
November 10th 2012
I had another bone scan and it showed the same 2 cm lesion on my spine along with the fracture. It didn't show the tailbone lesion but it never did. The amazing part is that it showed that the unspecified mark in my femur that the doctors assume is cancer is smaller! This is hugely awesome! So when I met with the radiologist and he suggested 10 targeted radiation treatments to the spine to kill those cells and allow the body to start rebuilding the bone. I will start this next Tuesday. I had blood work done yesterday so prayers to God that my numbers come back lower! I will update next week.
December 2 2012
Well the blood work did not come back lower, it came back higher. It keeps climbing. Hopefully the radiation will take care of this, but meanwhile, back to the drawing board to find out how to stop it. My theory is if I was able to stop it before, what am I doing wrong now. I decided to take a class with my friends on the subject of Macrobiotics. The instructor was given 3 months to live from metastatic colon cancer. He learned the Macrobiotic way and is here to teach the class 24 years later. I hear this more and more from Macro people. He of course assigned all his stress away and meditated for 8 hours a day. Most of us, including me, don't have the time or the patience and dedication for that. So I am struggling trying to eat the macro way. It is so similar to my eating habits but yet so different. I am increasing the deep breathing and trying to meditate. I finished the radiation and am glad that it's over, it really gave me a bad stomach ache. I have blood work the end of this month so we will see if the treatments and protocol are working for me. I am not losing faith, I am still very fortunate that my cancer is not spreading fast, it gives me trial and error time! I have changed my baking soda protocol too. My friend Vern (the one who I lovingly call my BFF for teaching me about the baking soda) has learned from a very smart man that sea salt and lemons do the same trick, but is much easier to get down. Fingers crossed and prayers to God!
December 30th 2012
Trial and error... I keep needing to remind myself of this! It's all about the trial and error. I had my blood drawn hoping the numbers would be next to normal considering I had the radiation to the spine. Well, there are two markers that are checked and they both measure how much cancer is in the body. One marker came back 4 points higher and the other came back 4 points lower LOL! I guess my stubborn body made a compromise! My doctor feels that this is an indication that it killed the area in the spine but another area is growing, maybe the tailbone again. In any case, she feels like we should just sit still on it and wait to see what happens, no sense starting the chemo since my numbers are essentially the same. I am in total agreement with this, to a point. Chemo is my last option. But she can sit still medically, I will not! Obviously the lemon and salt did not do it's job. I never got the sick feeling that they claim you get from the dying of the cells and I was taking the most you can take. So, I am going against my "no dairy" philosophy and pulling out the Budwig Protocol. This was created by Joanne Budwig in 1931 I believe and she has been curing cancer naturally. I could go to her clinics if I had $11,000 for a two week stay but I don't, instead I have the Internet. She claims that mixing 3 tbs of flaxseed oil with 6 tbs of organic lowfat cottage cheese will create an opportunity for the cancer cell membranes to become weak allowing oxygen into the cell to kill them. I am trying this along with the other 5 things mentioned in Bill Hendersons "Killing Cancer Gently" book. It includes Heart Plus, Green Tea Extract, and Barley Power along with the Beta Glucan and Vegetarian Diet, which I already do. He states in his book the body needs to follow this protocol for 6 weeks to become cancer free. Hey, I will try it! I am a little nervous about the dairy but they claim that during the digestion process it loses it's dairy properties. Lactose intolerant people say they have no issue with this protocol. I am using the organic and I do take not one but two estrogen blocking drugs so I guess I will give them some work to do! So that's it. I am still doing my breathing, trying to meditate, and just picked up a Qigong tape for the lower back. Excuse me, not tape, DVD! LOL I will be sure to update again in about 6 weeks! Prayers to God!!!!
March 2, 2013
Holy Numbers! So about $400 later after the cottage cheese/flaxseed oil and supplement protocol, my numbers jumped sky high! They went from 54 and 60.7 to 81 and 89.7 at the February 8th reading! Not good! So another cat scan was ordered and loads of prayers went up hoping it didn't spread to my organs. I didn't feel at this point that it did. As a matter of fact, I believed with my entire being that this was just proof that I need to keep the dairy out of my diet. So while waiting on the cat scan and repeat blood test, I made an effort, and it took a lot of effort, to increase the Qigong, mediation, deep breathing and yes, the baking soda. I cannot do the baking soda with the molasses, I am gagging right now just writing that m word so I used honey instead. I kept my PH level between an 8 and a 9, that's where it has to stay to kill the cells. My Cat scan came back great! Nothing is found in my organs and the spot in the spine is healing from the radiation. Even the fracture that was there is now healed. Nothing was mentioned about the tailbone area so he needs to re-read it. However, those darn numbers raised again. From 2/8 to 2/27 they jumped again from 81 and 89.7 to 85 and 93.9. To be totally honest I am feeling a little defeated. Not a bad defeated, but something else. I feel like I need to stop looking into the numbers so much. God is for sure watching over me while this grows, it's growing in all the right places so to speak. My doctors plan right now is to find out where that growth is, with a bone scan of course LOL! I can't help thinking my numbers are only responding to the radiation I fed it through the cat scan! I don't think I need to add more radiation for her to say, "Yep, it's now in another bone". That's if the bone scan even shows anything because normally it doesn't. We know this. We know it's growing, we know the organs are clear. I think I should be counting my blessings. Will I give up what I'm doing...heck no!! I hate to think of where I would be if I wasn't doing the natural route. So, here's my medical plan. We are switching my estrogen blocking drug from Arimedex to Aromasin to see if that helps. I am turning down the bone scan as well as a chemo drug she wants me to take. This drug would be taken orally at home and will cause some hair loss but not a lot along with other mild side effects. This is what I would get from it. There is a 40% chance that it will stop the growth of the cancer cells. It won't take them away but they won't multiply. Sounds great right? Here's the catch. It's only for 8 months on average. So, I am to pump this poison in my body so the cancer won't grow for 8 months (a 40% chance remember). It has been 15 months since they found the breast cancer in my bones. That is when I first exhibited symptoms and testing proved it to be true. I have had the cancer in my bones longer than that. That means for at least 15 months the cancer has grown 1.5 cm in my tailbone and 2 cm or so in my spine. I think I am doing better naturally than with chemo. If I was told the cancer moved to an organ and they gave me less than 1 year to live, then maybe I would do the chemo again. But for now, I am counting my blessings.
On another note, I talked to a pastor at our Church. He helped me with something I have been struggling with. When I brought up my greatest fear, thinking of my boys living a life without me, he helped me realize the other side of the coin. Although it is still hard and I write this now with tears streaming down my face just thinking about it, I find great comfort in not focusing on how they will live without me but how they will live with the foundation that I have set for them. They are turning into fine young men that I am extremely proud of. I am teaching them how to survive in this world with or without me based on my values, morals, etc. For this, I am thankful for the cancer. My life was not cut short by a sudden tragic accident, I can prepare them and myself, and we live everyday to the fullest!!! Until next time....take care of yourselves and hug your family!!!
March 20, 2013
I finally got my scan re-read. Funny how they tell me it's no big deal that he didn't completely read the scan. There is new bone mets found in my asabrium bone. I know the spelling isn't right but I'm too lazy to go find the proper word. It's the bone by the hip joint by the pelvis. It is another area that is hard to radiate and could cause a great deal of pain. My doc urges the chemo but I am still going to turn it down until I see the result of my next bloodwork. I am trying my best to stay away from wheat and increase my workouts. As I read some of these entries, it makes me sad. I feel one way inside but am afraid that I am jading myself. If I were on the outside reading these journals of someone else, I would in my heart of hearts feel that the writer is doomed no matter what she does. I hope I prove myself wrong!
May 3, 2013
So I got my numbers back and guess what? Higher still! I can't believe they are still going up. So I decided to go with the chemo drug. It is actually a targeted chemo for kidney cancer but it's fresh off the clinical trials for slowing estrogen positive breast cancer. So, I guess we will give it a try. I went to another doc for a second opinion, since this is the drug that I found in a magazine and my doc knew nothing of it. The second opinion doc said that this is what I need. I found people online who were involved with the clinical trials and one had to get off due to side effects and the other said it worked for 3 months and then stopped. A few months after she stopped the cancer spread to her liver. I don't think she made the same lifestyle changes that I have made. So anyway, I started it a few weeks ago and I do have the side effect of the mouth sores and the extreme mood changes, but all in all it's not so bad. We will see what my numbers look like by the end of this month. Meanwhile, I am gearing up for Relay for Life where I am the guest survivor speaker so I will finally have a opportunity to preach what I practice! I'm not liking the commitment but excited to share what I believe. I will update soon. Fingers crossed and prayers up to God please!
May 28, 2013
Numbers are in! Much lower...much much lower. Back to my February numbers! My doctor said she is very happy with the results, she hasn't seen such a drastic drop on the other handful of patients currently on this drug. I did incorporate more raw foods in my diet this time, so hopefully the combination is doing the trick!! Thanks for all the prayers, I know they are helping!
June 13, 2013
The Relay for Life is over. I had received so much support from family friends and community members it's crazy! I feel like my itch to give back a little has been scratched. I do feel like I was not at the best venue for my cause though. I think if the itch comes back I would be so much better off at a health fair or something along those lines. All in all, it was a good time and I hope I made a difference in one persons life. Meanwhile, I recommended the book on Facebook and will add it to here after this post. This book is by Kimberly Snyder and is called Beauty Detox Solution. This is a must read for everybody! Well that book was given to me by my friend because it inspired her so much. From my FB post people have contacted me with info about it and not only went and bought it but are practicing some of the awesome recipes from it. This book is not specific for cancer, actually, it about nourishing your body to be at its best. It is for EVERYONE! I love hearing the stories of how people are making nutritious meals for their families, and the best part is, the kids and husbands are on board! It's amazing to me! You should definitely check this book out! As far as I go, my numbers will be tested again next week. The doc didn't order them this time which I think is odd, I usually go about every 4 - 6 weeks and she didn't order them until the end of July. So, ask and you shall receive. A simple phone call and I can have them tested! I feel this is important because if the numbers start climbing, I don't need to be on a pill that's no longer working! I will post those when I get the results. In the meantime, take a look around the blog, I will be adding a few new things and some new recipes!! May God bless everyone!
June 17, 2013
GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT???? Numbers are lower again! I went from84 and 94 down to 60 and 85. I'm getting closer and closer to those normal numbers of 35 and 40! My body is starting to take a toll though, my mouth sores are out of control and my platelets are very low leaving me with a ton of unusual bruises! The good news is, besides the fact that my numbers are lower, is that the mouth sores and bruises do heal so my body is still able to recover! I haven't experienced some of the terrible side effects such as lung issues and liver issues that I have read about on the breast cancer forums. I am one of the lucky ones! They say the average is 3 months that this pill works, again I say that's what clinical trials showed, and I'm sure very few people on that trial changed their eating habits so I'm hoping for more! I am hoping to get the numbers back to normal before the cells disquise themselves again and this drug stops working! The numbers will be tested again the last week of July so keep praying please! Meanwhile, keep checking my recipe section, as I find them I am posting them, but only if they are tasty! I just met a gal who is going in for a bilateral mastectomy today, she is 31!! They keep getting younger and younger! So Sad!
July 31, 2013
Well I guess 3 months is my magic number too...numbers are starting to go up again. I do notice that I am stressing a lot more than usual and that I am not deep breathing. It's so hard to be on this journey. When the numbers are great I pat myself on the back, give thanks to God and family and friends, and thank the medical industry. When the numbers are higher I blame myself. I'm not doing enough of this or enough of that. I can see why sometimes depression sets in, it is a very difficult thing to go through, all while trying to keep a smile on my face to not "scare" anybody. I feel like if I'm not the brave one, I will be giving in and fall deep down that well of depression that many of us know too much of. So I need to remind myself of the positives, even though my numbers are up, there is such a small amount of cancer living in my body right now. It's literally a cm here and a cm there. Hopefully it's still only in the bones. The chemo tx is still keeping the numbers at bay, I am still lower than my numbers in April. I am healthy and I am here. I am given today. Sometimes I say these things because I mean it, sometimes I say them because I need to remember it! Right now, I need to remember it! See you next month with hopefully some good news!
September 21, 2013
So the numbers went up again. Still not higher than my April numbers but recent scans show more cancer than before. I have a new spot on my ishium and slight spreading on my acetabulum going into the pelvis. Another new small spot on my right rib is seen. The CAT scan says the L sacral is stable and the bone scan notes a slight increase. My left femur seems to have the most in it right now, the area on the scan looks quite large but no measurement is given. I am awaiting to see if we can do a biopsy to see if my cancer is still estrogen positive. I went off the chemo drug a few weeks ago and of course they are pushing another one. I started a new protocol of ginger and garlic with primrose oil.The pain in the knee and the L back are pretty strong and I am hoping they will offer some radiation to take the pain away. So...my options now are to start another chemo and hope it works, get radiation, and/or start a new estrogen blocking drug. Not new on the market but new for me. I think Femora is the only one I haven't tried so I opted for that while waiting on for the biopsy. I will update soon! Keep praying please! I feel very blessed that it still remains in the bones and not the organs!
WHATS WORKING FOR ME TODAY
I like many loved to eat. Fast food, ice cream, oh and don't even get me started on the diet pop! My favorite diet was the Protein Power Plan where I could eat as much meat as I wanted! That was heaven, and I lost weight! Only to have to come back of course with the first carb I put into my mouth! Then the cancer came back. I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands. With the given life expectancy of two to five years, I figured I had to fight like never before. I decided to educate myself. With the help of wonderful loving friends and family, I read, watched, and listened to books, dvds, and advice. I learned about baking soda from my friend Vern at phkillscancer.com. I drew inspiration from his site about the health benefits of Qigong, Meditation, and of course, breathing. From the dvd Cancer vs. Diet, which I enduringly refer to as cancer for dummies, I learned that each and every one of us has cancer cells in our bodies, but eliminate those cells before they become a problem. That in itself gave me comfort. If people everyday are flushing out their cancer cells, what do I have to do to flush mine? Dr. Sherman does a great job in explaining how to do just that through diet. I learned all about turning cancer on and off with diet in Forks over Knives and The China Study. These media resources have convinced me to take on a Vegan Lifestyle. Since my cancer is estrogen positive, I decided to go the full route and give up not only the meat but also the dairy. Since sugar feeds cancer, I gave that up too, along with all the whites; white flour, white rice, etc. I eat pretty close to a whole plant based food diet eating organic as often as possible. I do however, eat a serving or two of fish a week. I know this is not accepted by "true vegans", but the fish feels right for me so it is something that I chose to do for myself at this time. A chiropractic doctor who is very knowlegable about supplementation, who is also a cancer survivor, has taught me that the key to everything starts with digestion. If the liver isn't working right, toxins including cancer cells cannot be flushed out. So I use a liver supplement. That's the key to all this folks, you have to do what's right for you. You have to be your own advocate. If you feel the right path for you is medical only, then that is what you should do. If you feel it's nutrition only, then go for it. I personally do a little medical and a lot of nutrition encompassing the mind, body, and spirit. Along with my vegan lifestyle (including fish), supplementation, qigong, meditation, and praying I do go along with what my doctor says, but only after I research it and make sure it's right for me. Educate yourself. Chose what's right for you. Hold on tight to your faith. And don't forget to breathe!!!