Earlier this week I walked into the machine that is cancer treatment. Both my primary doctor and my naturopath (Dr. N) want me connected with an oncologist (Dr. O), in case low-dose chemo is called for as part of my breast cancer treatment.
As I waited for my appointment, I couldn’t help but recognize the inflow of patients. Many young, most my age and older. I heard Medicare more often than not. It brought to mind the many cogs of a machine that keep it running, with these cogs being big pharma, insurance and the treatment centers.
As I waited in the examination room for Dr. O, the thought kept running through me was, “I’m not supposed to be here.” The feeling of being where I wasn’t meant to be. I contemplated getting up and leaving, but I stayed because I wanted to have a conversation and hear what she had to say.
Some, including close family, have expressed quite clearly and directly that they wouldn’t choose my path and that they don’t agree with it. The underlying energy is they don’t agree with me. Some express themselves through complete silence.
We’ve been so indoctrinated to put our lives in the hands of doctors, to question the prescribed path seems blasphemous to some.
I know my loved ones want the best for me, but if support comes with the caveat of doing something on someone else’s terms, whose comfort are they really supporting?
If you don’t do what feels right in your own heart, it begs the question, whose life are you really living?
There are many things on a health journey that are never shared. We don’t need to know all of the nitty gritty details. Sometimes it’s enough for us to try to absorb it all, let alone attempt to share. And people will make assumptions based on their own stories.
A few weeks ago, I spent 2 ½ hours with Dr. N. We reviewed the blood analysis reports, what feeds my cancer, and what kills it.
There are a number of treatment options, and amidst all of it, my MDR1 number is high. This means my cancer needs to be treated with one medicine at a time. Otherwise, combining treatments creates an environment where the cancer finds new ways to mutate. A high MDR1 is why chemo often fails. Cancer is sneaky that way.
In reviewing the treatment options, Dr. N said we’re looking for a % kill-rate. It felt like we were talking about a military operation. In a sense we are, as the higher the kill-rate, the lower the remaining circulating tumor cells in my system.
My CT scan confirmed there’s no additional tumors to be addressed. Which means we were cleared for battle.
I left the appointment with my brain full and my body tired. It felt a bit like when I used to implement big projects. There was a lot of adrenalin and energy expended to reach the goal, and then I’d feel the energetic hangover. Almost like I didn’t know what to do with myself because I’d been so focused. I had a few days to decompress and digest before treatment started.
I now know the foods that cause inflammation in my body, the supplements that will support my healing, and how important it is to trap and bind the toxins that will be released during treatment.
It’s fascinating because my diet was already pretty clean. But until the analysis came back, I didn’t know that some of those healthy foods weren’t healthy for me.
I have science behind the effectiveness of what I’m putting into my body.
The week before meeting with Dr. O, I began high dose IV Vitamin C. This in addition to multiple types of lymphatic treatments, foot zoning, RIFE, Ozone therapy, and a cocktail of supplements. Two other protocols are lined up beyond IVC for months 2 and 3.
During my conversation with Dr. O, she reviewed the cocktails she wanted me to start right away, intending to throw the plan with Dr. N out the window. She emphasized a study showing higher survival rates when treatment begins within 4 months of diagnosis. The IVC started within that threshold.
Dr. O detailed six rounds of cocktail 1 that included two chemo medications plus a drug to help build white blood cells to offset the effects of the chemo. Then six rounds of cocktail 2 of three chemo medications. She was very clear about the side-effects, including the onset of new cancers. Nowhere in our discussion did she talk about MDR1. I thanked her for her time.
No matter the treatment, being hooked up to an IV for six hours isn’t what I’d call a party. What’s fascinating though is how the IVC worked in both of my breasts the first two nights of treatment. An internal working like nothing I’ve ever felt, deep within my tissues, and worth every bit of high discomfort and sleeplessness. This week the feeling was more directed to where my tumor was removed. One dose of IVC was shown to kill 30% of my cancer cells. We’re doing eight in month 1.
During the conversation with Dr. N, she mentioned two years and I felt disheartened. In my mind, wanting this to be done in a few months. It was the same thinking about my lumpectomy. Take it out of my body and then I can move on with my life. I have plans, things to do. It feels like the universe is saying, “hold on, not so fast.”
Like any mission, there will be bumps in the road, times where I want to retreat, times to allow my body to rest, where I must always keep the feeling of the end goal in focus. This military operation is a mission for my life and health. I’m settling in and there’s a comfort in tackling this, three months at a clip. Then we’ll test my blood again and create the next phase of the battle plan.
Cancer is a sneaky and devious enemy. No matter what road any of us choose when faced with a major health challenge, it’s to remember to maintain balance. To fight the enemy within with grace and kindness to ourselves.
Family and friends are entitled to their opinion, and it’s important to remember they’re like a backseat driver. Sometimes you need to put the divider up to block out the noise. Or tune them out altogether if they won’t respect your boundaries.
It may feel hard to teach old dogs new tricks, and it’s not impossible.
The morning after my meeting with Dr. O, I had a dream where I was at a medical center that looked a lot like the facility I’d been to the day before. I kept trying to get into a room I’d been in, but the door was closed. I didn’t want to knock. I walked in and out of the facility a few times, and each time by the same doctor who paid no attention to me.
I went back to the room one last time and two women who came out told me to go in. I stood at the door, a man laid in bed, a priest giving him last rights, a few others around him. I turned around, walked out of the facility, and walked by a hearse on my left. I passed the doctor again, still sitting on the hill, looking down, buried in his own world. I woke up. The feeling and the message from the dream is that I walked away from death.
The visit with Dr. O and the dream confirm to me my path.
Since diagnosis, this has been a time to drop old burdens and responsibilities that aren’t mine, a time to create new agreements, and a time to release others to their own path. We all have our own angels and guides. Mine have been working overtime, right alongside me the whole way.
Nature is working with me. Treatment will take as long as it takes.
I’m here for the long-haul. Spirit has plans for me.