Journal Entry #5
I realize that it has been 4 weeks since the last journal entry here and I'm sorry about that. The news we received post-surgery was harder than expected and not knowing what our next step in this journey was going to be, made it difficult to write a journal entry. Thank you, thank you, thank you for each and every prayer along the way. I have needed all of them.
The news is not horrible, but we were told that the tumor was 1.8 cm in size and that 1 of the 5 lymph nodes removed tested positive for cancer, which means that it is Stage 2a. The repeat pathology report said the tumor was Estrogen Receptor negative, Progesterone Reception negative, Her2 positive, and the Ki-67 was 90%.
On Tuesday, July 7th, 2015, after meeting with the oncologist and surgeon I came home to very own "You Are Loved" book from Shutterfly. Josh wrapped me in a blanket and my tears turned to those of gratefulness for all of the pictures, quotes, prayers, and well-wishes that so many of you sent. This was a surprise project put together by my college roommate, Mandy, and arrived on the perfect day. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Since then, our days have consisted mostly of gathering information (lots and lots of information!) about all of my treatment options, meeting with a variety of providers, and seeking God's leading. There have been many ups and downs over the past month and I have really appreciated each and every note, text, card, and Facebook message you have sent.
On Saturday, July 11, 2015, Justina, Julianne, Mattie, and Freya (Mattie's 4 year-old daughter) kept me company for a low-key girls' night while Josh was at his 20-year high school reunion in Buena Vista. Justina slept over and has gone above and beyond helping me get groceries, make healthy juices, shop for bras, get a zillion answers about alternative treatments, and be an overwhelmingly positive/joyful/life-giving presence in my daily life.
Each Tuesday Jenah brings us dinner and a wise and caring heart. Kay has brought us delicious meals and helped me keep the laundry situation from getting out-of-control. Tammy continues to drive me to appointments when I cannot, Erika has gifted me with her skills as a naturopathic doctor and her love as a friend, and Megan generously shares her gifts of Healing Touch. Marc brings such a huge sense of humor somehow perfectly mixed with deep, authentic, hard-to-ask questions. Molly connected me with Judy who connected me with Kevin who has been a wealth of information regarding alternative treatments for cancer. Talking with my life-coach, Nancy, every week has given me just enough sanity to keep going. Julianne, Allie, and Heather keep me company when Josh is gone. And Allie just took me to see "the man in the mountains" yesterday too! My sister-in-law Ann is helping us get our airline tickets refunded when we couldn't make it for our family vacation in PA. My sister, Kerry, again, has been... beyond words... she's there... there for early morning freak-outs... there to bounce ideas around... there to better-understand the statistical jargon of studies... there to reorder supplements and pray with me and let me Skype with my beautiful, wonderful niece Gracie-Goose. Thank you. And both of our parents have been generous, generous, so very generous with financial gifts and the love that only parents can offer.
My days are filled with drinking veggie juices, eating veggies, and cooking veggies (are you starting to see a pattern?!?). I do infrared saunas many times a week, walk around the lake, go to lots of different appointments, ride my bike around the lake while Josh jogs, and spend lots of time singing praise songs, praying, and reading (or listening to) the Bible. Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds has been an important book for helping me focus on the "9 key factors that can make a real difference." We watched the Crazy, Sexy Cancer documentary by Kris Carr (gifted by Julianne along with 10 beautiful silk scarves from Thailand). I've sent my blood to Greece for their fancy cancer test (it shows which chemotherapy drugs and natural treatments are most likely to work on the cancer cells). I'm also using the OncoBlot test to have a baseline and see if the treatments I choose are successful.
So... after much prayer and research and talking to doctors around the world... without further ado... ***drumroll please***...
Josh and I are going to the Hufeland Klinik in Germany for 6 weeks of treatment. The plan is that I'll be receiving hyperthermia treatments (whole-body and local), induced fever therapy, Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT), high dose IV Vitamin C, mistletoe, Ozone treatments, and a myriad of other neutraceuticals, vitamins, minerals, and other supplements. They are very whole-person orientated and offer talk therapy, yoga (hatha and laughing), different relaxation methods, dancing, art therapy, singing, and church services at their chapel.
IPT is when insulin is given, blood sugar drops to between 40 and 60, normal/healthy cells transfer over to using fat for energy, cancer cells are "starved" and wide-open because they have 8 times more insulin receptors, and then a low-dose of chemo (10-25%) is given with glucose (sugar, what cancer cells use)... the targeted chemotherapy leaves normal/health cells undamaged.
Josh will probably be staying with me at the Klinik and they will feed us 3 organic, mostly vegetarian meals each day. Of course none of this is covered by insurance (and is so much less than traditional treatment offered here), so we'll be starting a page soon for those who would like to financially contribute to this treatment plan. Once back home, I'll continue many of these treatments with a local doctor and perhaps return to Germany for a repeat-treatment in 1-2 years.
So again... thank you. Thank you for being God's hands, feet, and heart to me so that I can feel His presence.