Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wow how time flies!!

Well it is December 26th and it has been five weeks since I came home.  In fact, I have been home as long as I was in Arizona, which seems unbelievable!!!

I have been through two holidays, a business trip, and several kids who have been sick with strep and walking pneumonia and feeling very much back to my ordinary life, but trying very hard not to forget the things that I learned at an Oasis of Healing.  Thankfully, I have a very strong immune system and have been able to stay healthy in spite of the sick house I have been living in. 

The lifestyle is a work in progress, but I think I have done rather well in doing an 80/20 raw almost vegan diet.  Definitely vegetarian and have stayed away from dairy and sugar for the most part.  The holidays have made that a little tricky.  I am now armed and dangerous as far as the kitchen is concerned. I have a VitaMix blender, a Hurom juicer and I received a Cuisinart elite food processor and recently received my order of raw nuts, seeds, raw honey, etc., all of which will assist in my raw vegan diet.  I plan after the holidays to do another juice fast to detox and cleanse and then pursue the finer art of preparing more creative raw foods other than just salads.  A friend of mine from An Oasis of Healing has put together a blog where we can support each other and post recipes that we have tried that are good.  I also found a co-op where I can buy mostly organic fruits and vegetables for an amazing price.  If you want to know more about that, just call me.

I have had a hard time finding someone who does high-dose vitamin C that is non-corn based and who has the know how and experience to access a port.  To spare you all the details, I think I have finally found a way to make this work, but in the meantime, I have only had one vitamin C infusion since I have been back. That should change very soon to where I will received 100 gm twice a week. 

Wednesday, December 29th, I am scheduled for a PET scan. This will show that the cancer is completely gone!!  I feel the blessing of ongoing prayers of family, friends and many I don't know.  I am amazed to hear that neighbors of my family members or ward members of my sister in Oregon are praying for me, as well as business colleagues across the country.  I am so touched and moved by their love and faith.  In fact, my sister, Joyce, who was with me in Arizona, brought me a beautiful fleece blanket that was made for me by three ladies in her ward who don't even know me.  I am very touched and feel deep gratitude for the faith and prayers in my behalf.

In a few more days, we will be facing the new year.  While we all have hope for good things in the coming new year, and to move past the not so good things of the past, I have to say that the things that I have learned from my experience with cancer and my healing journey is not one I want to forget.  The journey is ongoing and I look forward to the future with anticipation, taking what I have learned and adding to it. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Good to Be Back

After several facebook comments that I haven't updated my blog in awhile, I felt I needed to make the time to do that.  I suppose I got a little trunky towards the end and didn't have that much to report so I slacked off. 

The last week of treatment went well.  I had mixed emotions about leaving.  I was excited to come back home to be with my family and get in a regular routine, but I was also sad to be leaving Oasis of Healing because I felt safe there.  I knew what I had to do every day, I didn't have to worry about what I was or wasn't going to eat and I didn't have to worry about food preparation for five other people.  The total focus there was on my healing and I knew when I came home that I would have to make a more concentrated effort to implement what I had learned and what I need to do to maintain my health and keep cancer from coming back.  Dr. Lodi always said that getting rid of cancer was the easy part, keeping it away isn't always so easy if you go back to old habits.  I became very close to all the nurses and several of the patients.  It was hard to say goodbye, but at the same time I was ready.  Even though it was a wonderful place for healing, I was ready to come home.

Mike flew down on Friday, November 19th, and on Saturday the 20th we dropped my sister off at the airport for her to return to Oregon and then Mike and I drove to Sedona.  We stayed the night there.  Sedona is a beautiful place, a lot of red rock, kind of a tourist town like Park City.  It was a lot of fun and nice just to have some time with my best friend.    On Sunday, we continued our trek home and decided to take the scenic route.  We drove by way of northeastern Arizona and passed by Monument Valley and Mexican Hat, Utah.  I have never been there and I was so awestruck at how beautiful these places were.  We the drove to Moab and stayed the night at Red Cliffs Lodge.  That place was amazing and the scenery was gorgeous.  It was like a ghost town as we were there in the off season, but that is just the way I like it.  The next day we drove through Arches National Forest before coming home.  I have never been there.  I know, can you believe it, I have lived my whole life in Utah and have never been to Arches.  Needless to say, we couldn't go to Arches and not hike to Delicate Arch so we did that and then drove around to see the other amazing rock formations and arches.   It kind of delayed our arrival home and I know the kids were anxious and expecting us to be home a couple of hours earlier. It was a nice surprise to see the Welcome Home sign on the garage door and I so appreciated the thoughtfulness of my friends who took the time to do this. 

It was great to see the kids again and to be home.  I love being home even if it is freezing cold.  Surprisingly, it hasn't bothered me as much as I thought it would.  Albeit, I could totally live in Arizona, at least from October through May.  After that, they say it gets so miserably hot there, but at least they don't have to shovel the walks every other day!  The good thing about the snow is it at least feels like Christmas.  It was weird to see Christmas decorations out when it was 80 degrees and you are thinking what in the world are they decorating for Christmas and then I thought, oh yeah, it is almost Christmas.  Kind of funny how you associate holidays to the seasons, and if it always feels like summer, then it doesn't seem like Christmas. 

So a lot of questions I get is about the dietary changes I am making.  I am doing pretty much a 80/20 raw vegan diet.  I can do about 20% cooked.  So for Thanksgiving, I took my own green Waldorf salad and baked a yam, not ones coated in brown sugar and marshmallows.  It was all really good and I indulged in a little mashed potatoes and a little stuffing.  I made sure I had my digestive enzymes and I was good.   I don't miss meat at all and I don't crave sugar or dairy.  This has been a blessing, but once you wean yourself off those things, your tastes change.  I found the reason that I craved chocolate before was because I was low in magnesium.  If you are getting plenty of that from healthy sources the craving goes away.  Your health can also be a big motivator as to what you stick in your mouth.  I don't want to undo the good that I have done and I want to continue to build my immune system and maintain the health I have achieved.

The question I get a lot is, "Do you have to go back?"  The answer to that is no.  I am going to do ongoing therapeutic high dose vitamin C here.  I have been spending a lot of time trying to find someone who does that here and who is willing to work with me in my particular situation since I am already under a doctor's care.  I will be doing a follow-up PET scan towards the end of December.  The chemotherapy has a cumulative effect and so even though my last treatment was almost two weeks ago, the low-dose chemo is still working up to eight weeks post treatment, so Dr. Lodi wanted to see a scan towards the end of that time period to see the ultimate results.  I am completely confident that it is gone given the fact that my previous PET scan showed very minimal uptake.  Based on the results of others at the Center with much more serious cases of cancer and tumors, and have no doubt that I am cancer free. 

The next question I get a lot of  is, "How are you feeling?"   I feel great!  I have always felt really pretty good.  Probably the worst time for me was when I was detoxing as mentioned in earlier blogs. After that, I really felt pretty well other than tiredness by the end of the day.  This treatment is unlike conventional therapy and it is pretty surprising how well most of all the patients were doing, and the improvements I saw in several patients were amazing. 

I have been keeping in contact with a few of the patients who became close friends, a couple of them are winding down their treatment.  It was a wonderful experience and one I wouldn't trade.  I don't believe the things I learned about my health and wellness and the things I learned about myself could have been learned any other way.  I don't think I would have been open to it if it wasn't for the cancer diagnosis, and I don't believe I would have slowed down to discover and learn the things that the Lord taught me. It was truly a mind, body, and spirit healing for me. 

My journey to healing is not over, rather I believe it is just beginning.  A new journey, a change and shift in what I was doing on many different levels. 

Thank you for all of your thoughts, prayers, meals, care of my children, etc.  I cannot adequately express my gratitude and appreciation for your friendship and all that has been done for me and my family.  I would appreciate your continued prayers. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

One More Week To Go . . .

I have made it through another week.  The time seems to be going by faster I suppose.  I have been feeling pretty good most of the time.   I am tired by the end of the day, and sleep is not my friend on IPT days because they give me dexamethasone, which is a steroid and that keeps me up, and when I do fall asleep, it is short lived, so that only perpetuates the problem.  It is a pretty common side effect.  High dose vitamin C therapy has its up and down days, mostly up, but some days it can make you really tired and not feel so well, which is really weird because you would think that vitamin C would make you feel good, but to put it in perspective, I am getting 100,000 mg of vitamin C, which not only kills cancer cells, but it has high detoxing effects and that is what can make you feel a little off.  Coming off the juice fast has been harder than anticipated as it takes a while for your digestive tract to get back into action.  Food has lost its appeal.  Nothing sounds good and I have to be careful about what I take in so as to not make my gut unhappy.  Fruit does okay, but I have to be careful about what types and how much because fruit has sugar and too much is not good because cancer thrives on sugar.  Even though fruit sugar is better than refined, I still have to be careful. 

I have learned a lot and am grateful for the journey.  I have so appreciated the journey I have taken with other patients at the center.  Their stories are all stories of inspiration.  Rodney had great news this week.  He came in with stage IV myosarcoma which had metastasized to his lungs.  He had five nodules on his lungs. He has been undergoing treatment for six weeks now and his PET scan showed that he had only one lesion left.  This is positively amazing because his doctor back home told him there was nothing that he could do for him and said that chemotherapy would do nothing for these lesions.  It is so exciting to hear such great news, which just confirms to me that more people need to know that there are cures for cancer outside of the conventional methods, which don't destroy the immune system and actually build the immune system. 

Today happens to be my birthday and Mike came out for a work-related visit.  It was really great to see him again.  Mike, Joyce and I went to Sedona on Saturday and had a great day.  It is beautiful in Sedona and it is nice to do something different for a change.  Weather has been beautiful, like in the 70s.  I am going to have a major climate shock when I head home.  Mike flies back on Friday and we leave for home on Saturday, November 20th.   

When I get back I will undergo a PET scan.  I have no doubts that my cancer is gone, and I have learned much about what I need to do to maintain a state of good physical, mental and spiritual health.  This is not a destination, but a true journey, a journey that will continue for the rest of my life.  In my first consult with Dr. Lodi, he said that cancer is a divine tap on the shoulder, and to heal with gratitude.  Throughout this process, I have had some really tough days, but I truly feel my diagnosis has been a blessing.  The Lord knew it would take something like this to shake me to my core and it has made me teachable, and I am truly grateful for the things I have discovered about myself and the things I need to change in my journey to healing. 

My heart is full for the thoughts, prayers, text messages, emails, birthday cards, flowers, meals for my family, and the help with my children by friends and family.  To all of you who have extended yourself so selflessly, please accept my sincerest appreciation and thanks. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Healing with Gratitude

This week has been a great week. I have felt good every day this week.  I think I turned a corner as far as the cleanse was concerned and that has helped tremendously.  It was an amazingly humbling experience in which I discovered and learned so much on an emotional, spiritual and physical level.  It truly has been a healing journey on many different levels. I feel so grateful for what I have learned and for my healing.

I have now completed three weeks of treatment, which has included six IPT/chemo treatments, along with eight high-dose vitamin C treatments, along with many additional healing therapies which strengthen the immune system and continue to detox the body.

The staff at an Oasis of Healing are amazing and it feels like we are all family here.  There are about 15 patients here at any one time and we are always together during our treatments and we really feel the love and support for each other.   I have made a couple of close friends here that I know will be friends for life.

There are patients from all over. We have one even from Turkey, one from Canada, several from back east and from various other states.  I would say that currently there are about six of us with breast cancer receiving treatment.  There is great success with this type of therapy and I want to tell you of some amazing successes.  There is one fellow here with a glioblastoma (aggressive brain tumor) who underwent surgery in May followed by conventional chemo and radiation, to no avail.  He has been here for one month and his tumor has shrunk over a full centimeter as compared to no response on conventional therapy.

Another woman had a three inch tumor in her breast that after five weeks has shrunk down to less than one inch.  One other guy had stage IV liver cancer that had metastasized to his colon and rectum. After three months, his tumor markers had reduced from 3400 down to less than 300 and he is more than 90% cancer free.  These successes are not the exception, but the norm with this type of therapy, and there are other alternative therapies being used that are curing cancer.  If you want to learn more, you need to read KNOCKOUT by Suzanne Sommers.  I guarantee you will be amazed by her story and the information about cancer that cancer doctors reveal to her.  Also, another informative read is called Cancergate.  It will blow you away when you learn what the FDA, AMA, NCI, NCA and the big pharmacy companies DON'T want you to know. Perhaps if more people understood the lies, deception and corruption of this industry, perhaps cancer therapies would change that would actually increase the survival rate of cancer patients.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

All is Going Well

I am doing well this week. I have felt better.  I am slowly coming off the juice fast/cleanse.  It has been hard but amazing.  First off, the physical detox is no fun at all.  I had no idea how sick you can get when your body is releasing toxins.  Emotionally, it has been very freeing and healing.   Spiritually, it has been so enlightening.  I feel very blessed by the whole experience.  I have had quite a few breakthroughs that have given me great cause for reflection.  

Treatments are going well.  I am tolerating IPT/chemo just fine.  The worst side effect thus far is I don't sleep well after it because they give me dexamethasone, which kind of hypes me up.  Vitamin C is going better.  Staying hydrated is the key.  All the other therapies are very healing and helpful. 

I have met so many great people and have become good friends with several.  The nurses are fantastic, as is all of the staff.  I am learning a lot and know that I am healing more each day. 

I feel much more positive about everything, which I have determined is easy when you are feeling good. 

I am also so grateful for all the wonderful people who are taking care of my family while I am away.  It allows me to focus on my healing without any concern for their welfare.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to family, friends and neighbors for all you do and for all your prayers. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

This isn't easy

I have officially completed two full weeks of treatment, which include four IPT/chemo treatments.  All has gone well, but I just haven't felt very well.  I am on day eight of a juice fast/detox and that has been a trip on its own, not to mention the other therapies.  On the days I don't have IPT I have high-dose vitamin C.  What is weird, is I feel worse on high dose vitamin C than I do on chemo, but it is highly effective.  In fact, I actually have a huge medical journal article showing that the FDA approves high dose vitamin C as a cancer treatment because of its cytotoxic effects on the cell. 

Other therapeutic treatments I have had this week for immume building and detoxing have been colonics, accupuncture, structural integration, infrared sauna, exercise with oxygen therapy, hyper ozone blood therapy, lymphatic drainage, yoga, psychotherapy, as well as exercise and food prep classes.   It makes for very busy days and I come home pretty tired.  It is hard to keep the blog up to date just because I don't want to do much once I get home.

As far as home goes, I was staying with my brother for the first few days, but the drive with traffice was very stressful and challenging.  My sister and I found a condo to rent just five minutes from the center and it is really nice and fully furnished.  It is a much better arrangement given how I have felt lately.  I am not complaining, it is all part of the process and I know it will get better.  Let's face it, this is still cancer treatment and I don't care how you slice it up, it is no picnic.

I ask for your prayers in my behalf more than ever.   I know the power of prayer and faith of many, and feel grateful for all of the thoughts, prayers, texts and messages I have received.  It really brings me up especially on my bad days.   All in all, things are going very well and I know this is for such a short time.  I can do this!