Q. What type of cancer were you originally diagnosed with?
A. De-differentiated retroperitoneal liposarcoma
Q. What year were you originally diagnosed?
Q.What is the current status of your health?
A. The Cancer is still leaving my body!
Q. Please recall what it felt like when you were given your diagnosis?
A. A cancer diagnosis is scary for anyone. When you hear your doctor say, “There is a very large something in your abdomen and it is very likely a sarcoma,” your world just kind of stops. I was at work when I got the call. My husband was in the next office. I went in, sat down, started crying and said, “I have cancer.” That word just filled up my mind and seemed to pervade every waking moment.
Q. How did your family respond to the news?
A. They were very supportive. My husband was by my side mentally and emotionally. My oldest daughter, Sindri, was stoic, my younger daughter, Hannah, was devastated. We had no idea what my prognosis might be, whether my time on earth would be short or whether I had several years to live. I was immediately surrounded by lots of prayer support.
Q. What were your doctors telling you?
A. Following an MRI, I was quickly scheduled for surgery. My surgeon removed a .84 lb tumor from my abdomen. He was not able to get clean margins as the tumor had invaded my mesentary artery area (inoperable) and many of my muscles in my right side (psoas, erector spinae, thoracoabdominal muscles – beyond his scope). I was referred to a sarcoma oncologist, who told me that chemo was not particularly effective in treating this type of cancer, and because it was in so many of my muscles, radiation was not really an option either (to much collateral damage to organs). He did not give me a prognosis. The sarcoma surgeon I consulted with said that further surgery was possible, but it meant removing all of those muscles, reconstructive surgery, etc. He agreed with the oncologist that, given the slow-growing nature of this kind of sarcoma, and the fact that it wasn’t giving me very much pain, surgery could be delayed for a couple of years.
Q. Where did you personally look for information about your diagnosis/prognosis and treatment options?
A. My oncologist ordered genomic testing, which revealed that the CDK4 and MDM2 genes were amplified in my tumors. The report indicated that there were no FDA approved therapies for this type of cancer and what clinical trials were available. My husband did a lot of internet research, and we did ask my oncologist to try to get palbociclib, a CDK4 suppressor, for me, even though the trial was closed. I did get it through compassionate care use beginning in January 2015. In the meantime, I began going to a Maximized Living chiropractor for neck problems, who told me that there were things that I could do for my cancer. I read Dr. Charles Majors’ and Dr. Ben Lerner’s book, “The Cancer Killers: The Cause is the Cure,” and began implementing some of their suggestions.
Q. Did you feel like you had options at this time other than conventional treatments?
Q. If you knew back when you were first diagnosed, what you know now, what would you have done differently?
A. I would still have had my surgery. That large mass had to go. I didn’t begin making dietary changes until the end of 2014, almost a year into my diagnosis, or begin other protocols until 2015, so I would obviously have done that much earlier. I didn’t get a word from my oncologist about anything that I could do, not even “don’t eat sugar”.
Q. Please add anything else you would like to say about this time in your cancer journey?
A. Very early on, God blessed me with incredible peace. I didn’t know how quickly this cancer might take me, but Jesus is my Savior, and I know that when I close my eyes for the last time on this earth, I will open them to glory. I have no fear of death. I do have a healthy fear of pain, though!!! And I can be a bit of a baby when it comes to headache or nausea. Obviously, I want to avoid that as much as I can. But I figured that if God was allowing this in my life, He had a plan and a purpose for it. I chose to trust Him.
Q. If you did any cancer treatments before coming to Hope4Cancer, could you explain those treatments and how successful they were for you?
A. I had 21 treatments of High-Dose Vitamin C (250G) infusions from December 2014 to February 2015. I stopped because my port plugged up, and because they were very expensive. I had a catscan in March 2015 which showed the tumor was less enhancing and more necrotic than before. I also began eating the Budwig concoction in January 2015 (although the timing of that with the Vitamin C therapy was probably contra-indicated), which I still do daily, and coffee enemas in April of 2015. I did both Budwig and coffee enemas twice a day before coming to H4C. I also started juicing somewhere in there, but wasn’t particularly consistent. The catscan that I had in August 2015 showed my tumors either stable or slightly decreased in size.
Q. How did you find Hope4Cancer?
A. I listened to Ty Bollinger’s Truth About Cancer in October 2015. Hope4Cancer and Dr. Tony caught my attention.
Q. What treatments did you receive at Hope4Cancer?
A. During my initial visit, PNC-27 IVS, B17 & Vitamin C IVs, as well as in-clinic therapies – PEMF, Hyperbaric Oxygen, Cold Plasma, Indiba, Hyperthermia, NIR Sauna, Coffee Enemas, Ultra-Violet Blood Irradiation, Re-call Healing, Juices.
Q. What were the deciding factors in choosing Hope4Cancer Institute?
A. We prayed about it over a week. I specifically asked for scriptural guidance on whether we were supposed to go. On Friday, I asked God for a verse on “hope”. Nothing. That day, I was reading Being Mortal by Atul Gawande on my tablet. I could only read to a certain time, and when I tapped to the next page, there was a page break at the bottom. I decided to read to that point and be done. The last sentence that I read was, “Hope is not a plan, but hope is our plan.” There was my answer (Sometimes, God uses things other than scripture to give an answer!) In addition, before we came, we were skyping with Sindri and her fiance, Rajiv, who was a first year resident at U of Maryland Hospital and had completed medical school at SUNY Downstate. Being a medical doctor, he had concerns about our going the alternative route, and was looking at the slides on PNC-27 on your website. When he saw that the research had been done at SUNY Downstate, and that the pathologist had been one of his professors, he was much more assured. We don’t think that this was coincidence.
Q. Describe how your perception of the word “cancer” has changed, if any?
A. For me, it is now a condition that I manage vs something that I think is going to kill me. I have the advantage of having a cancer that is not fast-growing, so I feel that I have time to allow more natural methods to work. It doesn’t have to be a death sentence, and there is something that you can do about it, but fighting it naturally is a lot of work and can be expensive.
Q. What perspective in life do you now have that you didn’t have before?
A. My trust in Christ continues to grow. My ability and willingness to talk about faith has definitely improved. People cannot deny that I am not afraid and have peace and joy, and it gives me opportunities to talk about it that I did not have before. I appreciate each day more. I am learning to have a thankful heart.
Q. What does the next 3-5 years of your life now look like?
A. Continuing to fight this cancer! I have basically been stable for the past two years, but my tumors are still very much there. I believe that Jesus has told me, “This sickness will not end in death,” so I need to continue doing what I can to fight it. However, “Cancer” is not so over-shadowing now as it was in the early days. For the first couple of years, I was hesitant to commit to anything because I didn’t know if I would be healthy and strong enough to complete it. Now my assumption is that I will be fine, and if it can fit into the time that I have available, I’ll go for it.
Q. What would you say to the person coming behind you, who may be experiencing what you went through, for the first time?
A. There is something that you can do, but you have to work hard. It isn’t easy. You need to be committed to being consistent in your diet and therapies. And above all, if you don’t know Jesus, consider Him. He, ultimately, is the Healer.