Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When will this chapter close?

Im still here in Switzerland. I was hoping that this would be my last visit to the klinik but it just doesn't look that way. Im not sure if its a security thing coming back here and getting everything done under one roof or what. I always tend to be overly optimistic which is good to a certain degree but I tend to think that I will get results that all is perfect and Im fine. My definition of fine obviously is cancer free and free of any lumps and bumps. So no such luck because at this point I still have this very annoying constant cancer reminding tumor under my armpit and it still shows melanoma. So that fear of the cancer taking over the body once again makes me feel anxious if i was not to return and to just trust my gut.

Optimism? It is how one looks at it because I have to remember where I started.....the cancer metastasized in nearly a year after being diagnosed to my liver, spleen, hip bone, paratracheal nodes, lungs, and auxilla lymph nodes. Now all cleared except the one under my arm and the small spot on the liver which is inconclusive as it showed up on my pet scan but not on the ultrasound. so all in all that is huge progress and I am very thankful for that. I also was so sick to the point where my energy plummeted, my hair was breaking off by touch, and I felt sickly like my body was failing. I no longer have any of that which all is a good sign that my body is on track to optimum health and wellness.  Also the bottom line is that a diagnosis of stage IV melanoma very rarely allows one to live longer than 1-4 years! Im still here and feeling pretty damn healthy which in itself is something to be optimistic about!!

My test results thus far vary but for the most part have improved. My blood work according to the doctors is better then it ever has been. They indicated that my blood is doing MUCH better with my spleen gone. My zinc level continues to be low so I will be taking extra zinc and they will try and figure out why it is that Im not absorbing zinc very well. My lymphocyte test, which monitors my immune system and how the mistletoe injections are working, showed that my natural killers improved. My defending cells are also more balanced however there is room for improvement. My thermomography also showed decent results...my hormones are better balanced and my lymph system improved since my last visit. My digestive track could continue to use some work according to the thermomography. One of the big tests for melanoma is measuring Protein S100, which is the tumor marker for melanoma specifically. Its currently at 1.30 which is lower than my last visit but higher than my first. A normal range (a person without melanoma) is 0.2 and it could go as high as 10 in really severe cases of metastasis. So in a nutshell those tests that came back have all showed an improvement or stayed the same which in the world of cancer is HUGE. Im awaiting results from my food intolerance test, heavy metal toxicity, fatty acids test, and the test that determines if my current diet is cancer or non-cancer friendly.  

As for my biggest and most annoying indicator of melanoma.....the tumor under my arm. I have been having daily injections directly into it of a low dose chemo and other homeopathic therapies on a daily basis. I also have the not so pleasure of having ozone injected into it. AHHHH!!! Painful as all hell!!! It became very swollen and was "talking" as I say. Luckily it only last a little while and was more tolerable after some time. The decision that now needs to be made is whether or not I am going to have it removed surgically or try the black salve. Basically, all these injections are helping to kill it but it could be that it always remains there even is it has died off. This is because it becomes similar to scar tissue and the body does not break it down. So this is the reason I decided that it is coming out....I just have to sit with it for a little and decide which method to use to eliminate it.

Call me crazy but I really feel that it is going to be one big ball of necrosis (deadness). Melanoma is a systemic cancer. So even though I am focusing on this tumor (hard not to) my body is showing good results systemically (good blood, improved tumor marker, improved lymph system). So this to me is something to stay focused on!!! As Dr. Rau says the less masses in the body the easier to heal the body. So now I, little Miss indecisive, has to make a very difficult decision to get this thing out of my body.

Hyperthermia time!!!
My hyperthermia went quite well. I reached 102.2 fever which is pretty good (highest allowed is 104). This time around was not as psychologically distressing as the other times I was in the heat box when I was thinking absolute craziness. I actually studied for a big exam I have coming up while I was contained in the tight space. Not too bad.

Im so ready for this all to be a distant memory...Im SO ready to move on and just continue living a happy and fulfilled life.  Im fortunate to have learned as much as I have from this journey, changed my lifestyle, and that Im still alive. I know that my current chapter is not only building the foundation for my future chapters but its is also helping shape my life story.

Strength, Love, and Appreciation,


Thursday, November 24, 2011

So much to be thankful for....

Well here I am in Switzerland for Thanksgiving. Luckily the hustle and bustle with the busy schedule at the klinik today kept me busy, but this evening thinking about Mike and everyone back at home gathering around to celebrate the holiday made me a little melancholy. As much as it would be wonderful to be home for the holiday I am very happy and fortunate to be here getting the treatments I need to rid this cancer.

I have been undergoing vitamin infusions with many different holistic remedies on a daily basis along with ozone intravenously. The ozone creates a very weird feeling very suddenly....like an elephant is standing on your chest and you need to gasp for air. Luckily it is something that only last for 15 minutes or so but it brings me back to my asthma attack days and that fear of not being able to breathe. I also have several magnetic treatments that basically balance out the magnetic elements in the body. The areas that are affected or diseased have an unproportionate of paramagnetic elements and these magnetic devices relieve the pain or the issue. I also have been getting a lot of deep muscle work done on my shoulder to break up the crazy degree of tightness and  the thick amount of scar tissue. My therapist said my skin around my scapula is like "stone" and boy did he dig at it for a whole hour. It was a relief to soften it up a bit but I will be sore tomorrow for sure.

Regarding my current tumors, I have the same two at the moment....the one in the liver and the one under my arm. However, according to my ultrasound today the one in the liver was not visible. This is good news in that it cant be too big but there is still a possibility that it just was in a spot that was not visible via ultrasound. As for the one under my arm, it shows that the tumor in the lymphnode is secluded from the tissue under my arm. The reason this is important is it can be removed without affecting other lymph nodes and cutting deep under the tissue. So it is an idea I am bouncing around but I rather not subject myself to the knife of a conventional oncologists. Hate to say it ....I just dont trust if they will go ahead and take out more than necessary once I am knocked out on anesthesia. Also, I dont even know if they would be in agreement as it is not protocol to remove a tumor once the cancer has metasisized to other organs in the body. Plus the tumor has a medium vascular rate according to the ultrasound which shows that it is still cancerous and it may be best to try and kill off the cancer cells before messing with surgery.

BLACK SALVE.....here goes....its a natural drawing agent that literally will suck out the cancer/tumor. All Dr. Rau had to do was mention that he did it for another patient and he had success and I have been asking him to let me give it a try. It would be applied on to the skin of the tumor site and after some time it will begin to draw the tumor closer and closer to the surface until it begins to break the skin and literally fall out. It will leave an open wound and be pretty gross to look at for some time. It sounds crazy and I dont know what to expect really....will it just roll out and drop on the floor or something? Will I have to go into the open wound and take it out? Dr. Rau sounds like he wants to try it on me but has reservations about the open wound it will leave. He said only heroic people could try black salve... He said I was a good candidate but I figured I would continue to prove my heroism when I told him I was injecting my tumor at home to withdraw blood. I thought he was going to say I was crazy and get upset with me. Well crazy he thought I was but he said it was good that I did and said it was good blood came out as this means "good luck." His theory is that blood from a tumor is a good sign that is dying off. Im not certain what we will do....we will make a decision on Monday if I will begin the black salve. Its best if I try it here because I know myself....once something is placed in this head of mine....I will get my hands on some black salve in the states and try it on my own. Its either that or taking a knife to this damn thing and cutting it out one of these days. Just kidding....well kinda...

Its funny....when I was younger and thought about what I was thankful for it was always the cliche responses....family, friends, food, a house to live in, etc. While all those things listed are still things I am still very much thankful for, its just different since having a diagnosis of cancer. I came to appreciate things at a whole different level. Each and every day is different and I am so thankful to still be here. But that of course is obvious and a no brainer. Things that use to stress me and frustrate me no longer do. I have a better understanding of 'everything happens for a reason' and people come and go from our lives for a reason. I now am able to just glance around nature and escape my thoughts and just focus on the beauty in front of me.  There is no point to think about the what if's. So rather focus on the what ifs, I will focus on the "thank gods." Thank god for this opportunity to go through this journey of cancer. It sounds ridiculous but it is the truth. I had the pleasure to meet such wonderful people who are also battling such horrific diseases as well as those people helping cure others. Thank god for Fred and Cellect. Thank god for Dr Stills for all her help and for recommending Dr Rau and the Paracelsus Klinik.  I thank god for being SO incredibly fortunate to have found an alternative route to treating the body systemically.  Not only has all I learned on this journey been priceless but the changes that I made along the way are only going to better my future. Yes a lot of change has taken place...with change comes a lot of pain and turmoil ......but in the end it creates a stronger and more knowledagble me and makes my relationships with those that mean the world to me stronger.

I am so thankful to have such an incredible support system to aid me in this fight against melanoma. Believe me, I have met many people along my journey and they dont all have such an amazing support system that I have been so fortunate to have. I know that most of the battle is up to me but if I didnt have that encourgement and support from Mike, my parents, my brothers, my family, and all those of you who have been here along the way I couldnt have came as far as I have. For that I am thankful.  

As for tomorrow....I am not very thankful.....my fifth time in the hyperthermia.... aka the human heat box. So nerve racking!!! I will be in a totally closed box (okay with a very small window of ventilation ) of a total of four hours. During my last visits I had some crazy (somewhat appropriate) and scary thoughts when I was in that thing.  You never know where the "heat box" is going to bring your psychological psyche......Im a fighter and will be fine but wish me luck !!!!   :/

Happy Thanksgiving!! Have some stuffing, sweet potatoes, string beans, cornbread, and antipasto for me!!!

Much Thanks, Peace, and Love,


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Third time is a charm

Hi ! Not only am I back to blogging, I am also back in the wonderful world of Switzerland. My mother and arrived yesterday for my third go-around here at the Paracelsus Klinik. Since my last trip a lot has gone on.....my exhaustion was so extreme that I was sleeping more than 12 hours at times and If my life schedule allowed me too I would be sleeping all day long. It winded up that the intensive treatment caused my spleen to get bombarded with cleaning out all those dead cells. The already existing spleen tumor kept getting larger and larger causing my spleen to rupture. So I had the splenectemy and have spent the last couple of months recovering. However, I felt that I had energy back and I no longer had to sleep as much so I thought that was an incredible sign. I felt so well that I contemplated not returning to Paracelsus and having the money spent elsewhere and just being home and spending time with that darling husband of mine. Plus, at first I thought being away for Thanksgiving would be no biggie but as the time got closer I realized how much I will miss being with Mike and our families for the holiday. Plus my brother Anthony and Dana just had my second niece. Being home to hold a newborn and play with my neice sounds a hell of a lot more enticing then being a human pin cushion and being nuked in a big oven box.  However with some "family talks" I decided it would be best to come back and have another round of intensity and blow this cancer out of my body.  I also needed to finish up my dental work and still have not found a great natural dentist in the states that I could trust in building the 2 bridges that I need to repair my removed root canals.

Im VERY happy that I decided to return....heres why....

I went for my pet scan on 11/11/11 , figuring those numbers had to pull me luck and be somewhat on my side, and the results were no where near optimum. Optimum = no more cancer that is.... As much as I learned to take these tests with a grain of salt as they are super sensitive and pick up all metabolic activity, it is still frustrating to not see what you want to see. Basically, the tumor under my left arm has increased in size as well as the liver tumor. Then it reads  that there is "hypermetabolic activity" in my left breast, pancreas, and in my leg bones. Now, since I just had my spleen taking out it is not surprising that the liver would be stressed out as it is taking over for the spleen and will need some time to adjust. Also, the tumor under my arm has changed very much and appears as though it trying to filter out alot of cancer cells. It is very purple and red and still feels as though it has broken apart.  It has a higher SUV (sugar uptake value) which means that its probable that it has more cancer cells in it, meaning that my lymph system is trying to filter out the cancer cells. However they could be dead just trying to be pushed out of my body. Thats the problem pet scans do not show dead cancer. In regard to the other "hypermetabolic activity" going on elsewhere in the body, it could very well be the body's normal response to working all out after a surgery. It is natural to have a lot of inflammation, hence "hypermetabolic activity", after a surgery never mind after the removal of a critical organ.

My doctors here in Switzerland expressed concern of the indicators of an increase in tumor size as well as the hypermetabolic activity that was noted, but also warned me against the false positives that pet scans show. So far they only have my darkfield (microscopic testing) to look at my current situaion....which indicated that I have a lot of "crystals" which means there is a lot of acidity (can be from my diet not being what it should be), that I have balloon shaped cells which means that my liver is stressed, and that my digestion has improved a great deal.

I knew in my heart that I should'nt have gotten the pet scan as I just knew it was too soon after having such a big surgery and the radiologists have a grand time with reading those reports once they hear a cancer diagnosis. Any little thing that "lights up" is deemed as a metasisis when it could very well be a simple infection or inflammation. Completely insane!! Not only was it to soon after my surgery, there is just no point to them. There are other ways to see what is going on in my body naturally and being injected with that glucose and radioactive toxicity seems to defeat the purpose of all I have been doing for my health. So for now on , unless something makes me change my mind, I am sticking to ultrasounds, thermographies, and the less invasive tests such as ct scans and MRI's.  

Yes I am a disappointed as well as frustrated hearing the results of my pet scan as well as finding out that I am increasingly more acidic, but I am optimistic. I know that other than some sharp pains by my incision site, I feel really good and sometimes you just have to listen to your body rather than depend on all these test results. I am eager to know how my blood work is as that will also help to understand whats going on  in this body of mine. Im.....hmmmm.....I dont know how to explain it.....I guess fed up with the cancer fighting game. Its not that Im scared as I just know in my heart that everything is contained in there and it is just trying to work itself out. Is it crazy that I feel that way? Am I being to optimistic? Either way, Im a fighter and the day where Im in remission will eventually come and boy are we going to all have a big bash.

Yesterday was an intense day of treatments from 7am to 5:30 and today I was at the klinik bright and early to see Dr. Rau (6:45) and then had again a full day of treatments. I will update tonight or tomorrow about the specifics of my day.

PeAcE, LoVe, and HeAlTh,