Hooray! The cancer marker blood tests, Ca 15-3 and CA 27-29 are both so low as to suggest there is no detectable levels of cancer in my blood. These levels both went up last year when a pet scan revealed cancer in my hip and back. I have these blood tests done every 3 months to monitor if there is cancer activity and should they go up I will have other tests done as I did last year. I am taking Arimidex to cause estrogen to decrease to very low levels, the cancer was estrogen positive and according to current medical wisdom the cause of the cancer. I still hold to the theory that it is the artificial estrogens or pthalates that caused the cancer not natural hormones. But until I can reduce the amount of toxic estrogen in my system I will continue taking the drug.
This drug is not for the faint of heart, the low hormone level is evidenced by extreme hot flashes! I sweat in places I never knew had sweat glands! Knees and eyeballs! However this is a small price to pay for not having cancer. Another side effect is elevated cholesterol. The blood tests revealed high (for me) cholesterol of 220, I usually have very low cholesterol, about 160. As I said if being cancer free causes hot flashes and high cholesterol it is a small price to pay. I have raised my Vitamin D levels to 58 in addition to all the other changes I’ve made in diet, supplements etc as in my previous blog to Elaine.
I am determined to beat this cancer and live so I have agreed to take the drug Arimidex which eliminates and stops any Estrogen from being produced in the body naturally. Well that is certainly a lot of fun when it throws you into full blown Menopause. The hot flashes occur about every hour on the hour so that you can almost set your watch by them. Power surges my *@#! This is no fun when the face turns beet red and sweat is dripping off your upper lip. It is hard to maintain your composure in polite company when that is going on! I usually escape to the ladies room when possible and fan myself till it is over! Night time is really a lot of fun when you wake up to the sheets wringing wet, bathed in sweat. Then of course you are freezing cold as a natural effect of sweating profusely. The husband tries to understand but first sees me flinging off the covers, fanning and drinking a gallon of water to be followed within minutes by diving under the covers and shivering. It’s a test for any man.
I am still of the opinion that the cancer was caused by # 1) stress and #2) synthetic estrogens, xenoestrogens or pthalates. Therefore when the tests show that I have eliminated the pthalates in my body I may supplement with natural estrogen while keeping a close eye on the cancer markers with blood tests and see how it goes.
As New Years of 2010 was upon us, I experienced some pain in my hip and down the side of the leg. Attributing it to Sciatica, and not the high heels I wore on New Years Eve, I had several sessions of Trigger Point Therapy. The first session was very interesting as I became nauseus and experienced the same sort of headache that I had with the chemotherapy. The therapist didn’t know what to attribute this to other than perhaps body memory. The Sciatic never resolved but was somewhat better after the treatments probably due to just relaxing the muscles.
After consulting with Dr Hennie she suspected the breast cancer had returned and ordered more tests. The cancer tests, the Ca 15 and Ca 125 showed an increase in the cancer cells and a MRI revealed Hennie was right. I had lesions in the right hip and the lower vertebrae, along with a generally bad back. She suggested radiation might target and get rid of it. I underwent 10 radiation treatments to the hip and lower back. This was difficult for me because radiation is the treatment that had ended my daughter’s life but I had chosen to live and therefore elected to do whatever it took. As scary as it was for me it was painless and a little less terrifying than I had expected. Along with the radiation a drug to eliminate the estrogen was recommended as the breast cancer was determined to be estrogen positive.
Elaine passed away March 2, 2010 from chemo therapy complications. Her heart was weakened from the very strong chemo she was given to fight the many tumors in her body. Lungs, spine, liver and brain were involved this time. Many people do not realize and are not told by their Oncologists that a side effect of the full strength chemo is heart damage. Any one contemplating the traditional chemotherapy would be wise to consult with their doctor on the side effects and how to counteract them. A wise course of action would be to supplement with CoQ and any and all of the other heart strengthening supplements. A good source to consult is Dr Stephen Sinatra who is a cardiologist and writes a newsletter and has an excellent background in natural therapies and alternative health. You can see more on Elaine and and how she brought joy to all of us during her short stay on this earth at CanteringThroughLife.com
I keep thinking of things I neglected to tell you in my first email.
I highly recommend Susan Somers book, Breakthrough. I know many people put it down. The negativity seems mostly to be from people who haven’t read it. She doesn’t make recommendations but interviews reliable medical doctors who have successfully treated various forms of cancers to the point of calling it a cure.
Things I do every day: Count my blessings and think of all the things I have to be grateful for, even write them in my Secret Gratitude Book.
1/2 fresh lemon squeezed into a full glass of water.
Coconut oil, at least several tablespoons daily.
Non negotiable supplements: A, D, E, very good multi vitamin.
Good quality green powdered mix and fiber.
A positive outlook on life.
And The Anti-Cancer Diet.
Good luck and sending you lots of love and light.
I am so sorry your cancer has returned. I know everyone has a suggestion and you’re pacing yourself to just get through each day, so I will try not to over burden you. If you want more information after reading this just let me know and I’ll direct you to where it can be found.
After much reading and researching and soul searching as to why I found myself with this problem I can boil it down to several things:
- Stress. As I said initially on my blog, I think the stress of losing my daughter overloaded the system and instead of really making myself the priority and working on my health I lost myself in being constantly busy and focusing on business.
- Excess of sugar: Mostly wine, I have to confess I tried self medicating to ease the pain of losing my daughter and drank too much wine on a regular basis and sometimes without eating. The IPT treatment focuses on the physiology of the insulin / sugar connection to cancer.
- Hormonal imbalance: Everything from going through menopause, night sweats, not sleeping etc to adrenal and thyroid imbalances. All of that increased the stress on my system.
- Diet: My approach to what I ate during treatment and currently adhere to is a compilation of 30 years of reading on different diets. I have settled on the Weston Price philosophy of eating. Natural, as close to nature as possible; organic grass fed beef, lamb, etc. free range chicken, organic, free range eggs and vegetables, raw milk products, no fruit due to the sugar. Wine only with food; protein and fat to slow the absorption of the sugar.
So just a short laundry list but of course there is much research behind all of this and I would be only too happy to share more with you if you are wanting to do any study on your own!
Please let me know how I can help you, I know you have an incredible amount of support but I can offer you a unique perspective having just traveled this journey.
Surgery is scheduled next week and as much as I protested the surgeons insisted I get this PET scan done. I objected because I really don’t want that much radiation in my body, ever! But it seemed that it was do it or continue arguing with the docs and possibly have the surgery postponed. It is my belief that when you set your mind to do something distasteful you should get it over with as soon as possible or the anticipation just wears you down. I can’t say 100% that I’m glad I did it but the results were no cancer anywhere else so it is a relief. As much as you believe it isn’t anywhere else I think there is always that small voice saying “Are you sure”?
So it was done. I’ll just hit the highlights of that experince, if anyone wants more detail please leave a comment and I’ll fill you in. No food for 12 hours before and only protein for the meal the night before. The whole basis of this test is they pump you up with radioactive sugar and then see where the sugar goes because it goes first to the cancer that has so many more receptors. Sound familiar? Just based on the same concept as IPT! Starve the cells of sugar then feed them and they take up what ever is with the sugar whether it is sugar, radiation or chemo drugs!
I really don’t understand why traditional medicine doesn’t embrace IPT when they use the same logic for other things!
After much anxiety, and confusion; conferring with both doctors, petitioning the insurance company to approve a new MRI it was finally approved and the results are confirming what we have been seeing. When taken as a whole the results were nearly impossible to decipher. The Ultrasound done on 6/16 was compared to the earliest one done back in February which of course showed the mass increasing. It was not compared to the MRI done just before treatment started on 4/23. The measurements were reported differently so the calculations had to be changed to one standard of measurement. After many hours of pouring over the results from all tests I created a spread sheet of the results. This showed the largest area decreasing 87%. The smallest change was 23%. Physically the area in the left side cannot be detected by any of the physicians who have examined me. Based on these results I think we’re ready for surgery.
A stellar day! I finally found a surgeon I believe I can put my confidence in! The name was given to me by a friend who is a VP at a major health provider here. The surgeon is very down to earth, doesn’t patronize or have an attitude. What a refreshing change! She is willing to listen and didn’t pre judge the lower dose chemo, IPT. She didn’t insist on all those scans like the cancer center surgeon, I think his mission is to increase the bottom line for the center all compliments of our insurance. Oh and how do we decrease insurance costs? Don’t let them order all those tests so they can cover their a**. I prefer to keep my radiation at a minimum, thank you very much! My dentist still argues with me about xrays. We absolutely know that radiation causes cancer!
The next step is a plastic surgeon to begin the reconstruction process and schedule surgery. I’m hoping it will be soon, I would like to get this stage over with. Dr Bowers wants to consult with my IPT doctor to see if they are any drawbacks to continuing the chemo until just before surgery and also to find out more about lower dose chemotherapy.