First, I wanted to take a moment and try to put into words my gratitude to everyone who has donated to my Give Forward page. Every cent is helping me find alternative treatments and ways to keep me physically and mentally healthy. I also want to say that every hug, text, kind word is equally important. Everyone knows that I feel this fight is 80% mental and 20% medical. So thank you for your donations, prayers, love, light, and positive energy...its workin
I know I'm long overdue for an update but I've figured out that writing seems to break my beautiful veil of denial. It's strange, even when I talk about it I feel like I'm talking about someone else. there is something about sitting down, thinking out, then putting it all down that really makes it real. So, forgive me for living in my fantasy world and not keeping everyone in the loop. I know everyone only wants to know how I'm doing because they love and care for me. Once again, i promise I will try to do better!
So..with that being said, lets take the little box off of the back shelf of my mind and lets talk about this cancer. Yes, it's still here. Yes, I'm still in treatment and will be for the rest of my life. So before I get into all of that I'll take it back a bit for any of my new readers.
I was originally diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in July of 2012. My initial treatment was a lumpectomy of my left breast with a partial mastectomy on both breast. Followed by seven weeks of radiation and the hormone therapy Tamoxifen. I considered August 15, 2012, my initial surgery, as my cancer free date. In Janu
I was fortunate that the FDA had just approved a new drug called Ibrance that was for my type of cancer. ER+, meaning my cancer grows from estrogen. I would be one of the first in the world to start this new drug in a non trial form. On paper my treatment is easy! Two pills a day and one shot a month. However, what this treatment does to me isn't so easy. I wont go into all of the details but chemical menopause at 39 (now 40 as of the 7th!) is not ideal. If the hot flashes and night sweats were not bad enough, I've now been diagnosed with Osteophyte's and cervical spondylosis. In lamens terms bone spurs and arthritics. Nothing like a lack of estrogen to speed up aging. So to say this 40 year old body feels 60 most days is not an understatement. But hey..I am grateful to every day and know that my cancer adventure has been a million times easier then others.
The good news is that something is working! I have scans every three months and blood work done monthly. So far my tumors were half the size in May that they were in January. My scans in August showed that everything has stayed the same! In stage 4 terms that is amazing! My next scan is in November. Prayers and fingers crossed that things have shrunk or at the least have stayed the same.
I really feel that all of the alternative things I have been doing are as big a help as the meds. Below are the main things I've added or changed in my life.
- Diet - I try to eat organic whenever possible. I eat a predominately pescitarian diet and limit sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and dairy. I initially did a 28 day food delivery service, followed by a 10 day raw cleanse. I will try and do 3-5 day cleanse every six months.
- Exercise - I work out with my amazing trainer Jennifer two times a week on the Gyrotonic and Power Plate. We are working out years of abuse and the sessions are more physical therapy then a work out. One day we'll actually get to train but now we are working on breathing, core strength, and overall health and rehab from my surgeries. I didn't even know what an IT band was before this, I certainly didn't know it hated me! :) Jennifer has been an integral party of my team and a wealth of information, experience and support. She works with other cancer patients and gives me hope that I can beat this through their stories of remission. http://embody-health.com/
- Yoga - Lynn is part therapist/part life coach/part kick my ass yogi and Guru! I do yoga three to four times a week. My practice has grown leaps and bounds since I started in March. I'm the opposite of most people and have too much flexibility. I had no idea you could reverse it by strengthening and what a difference it makes. Lynn also has me on on array of aryvedic herbs and tummeric. http://www.liberationyoga.com/bios/lynn-taylor/
- Meditation - this is something that I struggle with but know it is as important as everything else. I do my best to meditate 10-20 minutes in the morning and a 10 min or 30 min sleep meditation prior to bed. It depends on my mood but I have several guided mediation's that I like. Anything from a sound healing meditation at a certain frequency, chakra balancing, primordial sound, or just a standard relaxation. I've also become fond of a few sleep hypnosis meditations.
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Thearapy - This is a pricy one but after my first scan I'm a believer! Attached are a few articles that can explain it better than can! http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejm199606203342506 http://www.beverlyhillshyp erbaric.com/index.html
- Far Infared Sauna - http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12265/6-benefits-of-infrared-sauna-therapy.html http://www.ameerrosic.com/infrared-saunas-kill-cancer-parasites-yeast-chronic-infection/
- Accupunture and energy work - I try to make it to accupunture once a week. This is especially benifical when I have my Lupron shot that brings on my migrains. http://www.healingstudiola.com/about.html
- Vitamin IV infusions - In addition to my oncologist checking my tumor markers and my white blood cell count, I also try to keep tabs on my vitamin levels. Vitamin D & C are especially important to my overall health. When i'm feeling especially week I'll go for a super charge or vitamins! http://www.cienegaspa.com/vitamin-therapy/
- Most important..Love and Laughter!
As you can imagine none of the above is covered under insurance and is not cheap! I will not even go into the bills that are stacked up from the scans alone! I am blessed to have an amazing boss and emotinally and finacially supportive friends! Thanks to you I intend on being here for 40 more years!
I'll keep this update informative! I have my next scan in November but I promise I'll blog more! Trust..I have a ton to say on the "pinkwashing" of breast cancer in October and the lack of support for the only type of breast cancer that kills... Stage V!