Monday, June 18, 2012

Raw Thoughts

" There is life before a cancer diagnosis and life after the will never be the same as before." Somebody at the klinik this week said this to me and it really had me thinking. Prior to my devastating news years ago, life was good....Mike and I were living it up and enjoying all the stuff that most young couples enjoy. We were both happy, our love for one another was radiating and we were settling into our careers.

Then BAM, Lisa has stage III melanoma....and has to undergo surgery, chemo, and radiation. And if thats not enough a year later Lisa has stage IV cancer....the cancer metastasized to her spleen, hip bone, lungs, and liver. Clinical trial? Conventional? Holistic? Decisions decisions... On top of it all a month or so after initially diagnosed Mike proposed.... a day I will never forget that will forever make me smile ear to ear and elicit goosebumps instantly on my skin. The whats-suppose-to-be-joyous wedding planning, was tainted with my, with our, fight against cancer. When I was in it I was happy to have a distraction and truckin along with treatment, decorating our new beautiful home, and for the meticulous Virgo in me, hastily, rather than anally, planning our wedding. I was happy as ever on our wedding day but I was sick, and not myself. I used every little ounce of energy in me to enjoy and dance the night away. The Italy wedding and honeymoon was also tainted by the cancer. I lost energy to go gallivanting toward the end of the honeymoon and became really sick from indulging in all the delicious Mediterranean cheeses and bread.  Our Italy wedding was amazing as anything but I was so weak emotional.

Looking back, our young lives were so impacted, and we both began to feel the normal stressors that come along with cancer. We were so strong, together, but there comes a point where it builds and builds and you begin to break. Truthfully, no one really knows the impact unless your living it first hand. Will Lisa live? Will this be a life long battle? These thoughts are tough and take there toll. Do I work and take a paycut? No, I cant... I would feel horrible not contributing to our household. Im not a mind needs to be preoccupied. But should I dedicate my time to healing and curing myself? The dietary tweaking was constant. Should I eat this? Am I allowed this? I will just stick to vegetables because I know thats safe. But NO.....what about protein, fruits, and grains? There were many losses to get used to. Do I continue to go to Switzerland? Its disgustingly costly....I feel terrible the astronomical amount this is costing my parents. My dad worked so hard....for what....sending his daughter for this ridiculously costing holistic care? Why do I have this privilege to undergo this biological treatment? What about other people who are suffering that would never be able to afford this? There was always important decisions to be pondered about. Socially things became difficult....I couldnt drink alcohol, I could no longer indulge in the fun Italian dinners at my in-laws, I had to eat very specifically and Mike was supportive and followed my strict diet.  Mike's diet changes brought me guilt. Its unfair... I wanted him to enjoy his lifelong comfort and "manly" foods. Despite knowing it was healthier for him you still get comfort out of seeing those people you love enjoy their food, especially their traditional foods. I was so focused on curing myself. I had tunnel vision....cancer....I need to cure this cancer....what could I research next....what could I blog about.....what else should I do to help myself...infusion? acupuncture? work? preparing healthy food? morning regimen of ....enema, drinking supplement drinks, taking drops and downing pills? physical therapy? lymphatic massage? exercise? much can I fit in a day? What about whats most important? My relationships, my amazing husband and making time for those people in my life that keep me going. That naturally gets lost in this I -got-to-fight-this-god-damn-cancer journey.  

So, yes, its very true that life prior to being diagnosed will never be the same but whos to say which is better? Im thankful from all that I learned since being diagnosed. I feel a hell of a lot healthier now then I did in the past and I learned how to treat our bodies. Mike as well....he is super fit and health conscious. Everything happens in steps...and eventually the balance between extreme diet and a healthy diet routine comes into play. You learn that your allowed to indulge every once in awhile and have to live a little. You find peace in talking to fellow cancer/life threatening disease warriors. The importance of "giving back" becomes that more heightened. Who is truly there for you is revealed. You learn to appreciate life for what it is and focus on whats really important rather than the gluttony and the need to want want want. You lose patience for people's bullshit. You distance yourself from those who lead stressful days and unnecessary dramatic antics. After going through a very tough situation first hand, its difficult to wrap your head around the nonsense and the unnecessary drama that people create in their own lives. You learn to let go and realize that its not worth it to stress about. These are only things that could harm our morale and central nervous system. You appreciate everyday for what it is and enjoy it. You feel a real sense of gratitude that you are fortunate to have the opportunity to be able to undergo such life changing yet costly treatment. You learn that anything is possible with the support from one another. You value relationships that much more. You learn the beauty ad intensity of a parents love for their daughter.  You learn to balance and prioritize whats most important for the mind and body and spend time with those people you love in your life. You learn to be conscious of breath and value your body on a totally new level. You learn that positive attitude and energy is critical. You learn that cancer is NOT an outside invader and that the internal milieu must be completely revamped. The dietary changes and new lifestyle becomes routine and not so alien-like.  You learn the power of love and that its the number one and best treatment that one will ever have. You learn that life post cancer diagnosis is better in many ways then pre cancer diagnosis....

Much Love and Appreciation,


Round Four in Switzerland

Well here I am in Switzerland once again, on day 6 of treatment. I dont even know where the days went. I had well intentions of blogging often but something about these intensive trips to the Paracelsus Klinik makes you just want to hang low and do nothing on your free time (which is not very often). This time around my energy is the best its ever been which can be contributed to my toxic spleen and lymph nodes now being freed from my body. Or should I say my body is freed from those nasty little bastards? My mom and I were actually able to get up enough steam to make a trip to lake Constance in Germany. Which was gorgeous and a beautiful day of sitting by the lake and watching the cute European kids carefreely jumping in the ice cold lake in their under garments. A trip to Germany always is nice with a nice beer (eventhough I hate beer) and a pretzel but I started the liver cleanse on Saturday, so..... so much for that! Ill tell you more about the joyous liver cleanse in a bit.

Its been the same type of treatments for the most part as well as the same comprehensive, and I mean VERY comprehensive testing. Treatments consists of hyperthermia (aka heat box), infusions of a medley of homeopathic goodness, oxygen, ozone therapy, local hyperthermia to needed areas, magnetic therapy, other electric magnetic therapies, a neuromuscular massage, cupping, colon hydrotherapy, and of course injections injections injections.

I could honestly and proudly admit to all of you that Im now a homeopathic injection junkie. Im a human pin cushion when Im here. With two Dr appointments a day, one with dr Rau and one with his sidekick, Dr. Felix, I have been getting many injections a day. Its considered neurotherapy where different homeopathic remedies are injected into a specific spot, or trigger point, on the body to help the problem areas. So for me this includes fresh cells (like stem cells but biological/ goes in each butt cheek), injections into my new incision area, neurotherapy for my colon and digestive system, stimulation of the liver (for liver cleanse), and injections into my "spleen scar." Apparently these injections into the scars are extremely important because scars tend to block meridians with all the scar tissue causing loss of energy flow in the body. Also it helps with cosmetics...never hurts to be a little vain. It dawned on me to ask Dr. Rau if he could inject my shoulder (aftermath of frozen shoulder and just pure stiffness and chronic pain) and he laughed and said he never had a patient who begged for more and more injections like I  do. We all laughed. Hey, Im here to get better so if that means getting poked and prodded at...bring it on!

The treatments in general have been going well. The hyperthermia went quite fine...I reached 102 degrees which is good. Only issue was my left arm swelled up due to the recent surgery so I opted to not have a second hyperthermia treatment this stay around. I read the last book of the trilogy of Fifty Shades of Grey. Nothing like a racy novel to keep you distracted in a freaken heat box. I absolutely LOVE my manual massage everyday. My shoulder freed up alot since it has been being digged at the past 6 days. Once again its painful but one of those pleasure pains because you know its helping and releasing. The fact that we are able to focus on my shoulder, which is not life threatening, this time around says a lot in itself.  Im determined to be able to have my almost full mobility back and I will succeed!! It will just be a matter of finding a good neuromuscular massagist back at home and being diligent with my stretching...for both arms.

As I mentioned earlier, the comforting part about schlepping to Switzerland for treatment is the comprehensive tests. Its comforting to know whats going on inside our bodies and whats causing what. So the test include a variety of things....very thorough blood test, thermography, heart variability which measure the unconscious central nervous system, heavy metals test, ultrasound,  stool test, food allergies, tumor marker level, fatty acid test, and dark field microscopy. So despite waiting for most test results the following is what has already been discovered....

1. My blood is looking great, Im in normal ranges for everything :)
2. My thermography was "better than ever" (said Rau). It did show the wrong bacteria in my colon and lots of air being trapped inside digestive track.
3. My unconscious nervous system is working good.
4. AND the ultrasound showed my liver is CLEAR of any lesions, tumors or the alike!!! Despite being somewhat apprehensive about this since my latest scans in the states showed activity on the liver, Im pretty stoked. I explained this to the Dr and asked him probably about 15 times if he was sure and he said there is CLEARLY nothing on my liver. Ok, thanks Doc, Im taking this news and running with it!!!

All in all this is really good and an improvement. The next three big results are the tumor marker, the stool test and the heavy metals test. Based on my last heavy metals test Im high in arsenic and copper, however both of these went down from the previous test. So in my infusions a chelation agent has been added to help lower the levels of heavy metals in my system.

So where is this body of mine at during this point of time, you ask?

1. My energy is improving ( i think the removal of toxic lymph nodes and the ending of the black salve fiasco helped ) :)
2. Im having pretty severe digestional issues such as an always full feeling and inflammation of my colon. 80% of our immune system is in our gut so given all the stress my immune system has been under I need to rebuild the flora and good bacteria in my gut to relieve these very depressing and quite uncomfortable symptoms.
3.My new incision from the removal of the black salve tumor is looking okay. As dreadfully expected I do have swelling in the arm :( Pathology reports from removal of lymph nodes did not note if the cancer in the lymph was dead or alive. Dr. Rau explained that after using black slave pathology reports cant determine this.
4. My right arm, from the original lymph node dissection, is still stuck in many areas but has improved 80% from the beginning.
5. My hair is growing like wild fire and my nails are as strong as anything...which both speak volumes to health.
6. And the biggest question I get.....How many more tumors do you have? This is a tough one. Based on tests here all my organs are functioning great and nothing else can be detected. My liver and black slave lymph node were my last two that I was working on. However based on my last pet scan there were "light ups" in several areas. Quite honestly, I dont buy into it and am 99% sure I will never under go a pet scan again. They are false positive and depressing. I feel good and my blood tests speak for it and there are no lumps or bumps to be found so thats what I focus on.  
7. Emotionally....Definitely on an upswing but  of course I have some more healing to do and dealing with all that I, and those closest to me, have dealt with along the way will be a life long struggle. The fear will always be there but like anything else we must let a positive attitude persevere and keep on truckin!!

Thanks for following my journey! And guess what? I just adore comments :)

Peace and Strength,