In Part 1, I wrote about my responses in first learning that I have small breast tumor that my doctors believe to be highly likely to be malignant. Here is what transpired next:
After going to one of the most skilled breast surgeons at MD Anderson, Ivan and I returned home. I met again with my practitioner at the functional medicine center to reassess our game plan, got input from some of my supporting doctors. and we agreed that a 3T MRI would give us more information about the composition of the cells. I talked this over with the radiologist at MD Anderson who did my scans, and she agreed that this would be a good, conservative next step.
Cancer cells are not well differentiated and that shows up on this particular scan. Normal tissue will have very well differentiated cells that will look symmetrical, round, and neatly spaced. The cancer cells look like a hot mess. I want to avoid an unnecessary biopsy. Biopsies are not without risks, and I cannot see causing more inflammation and damage to a mass that is already inflamed and freaking out, much less to allow bleeding into healthy tissue from malignant tissue. Seeding new cancerous lesions is rare as a result of having a biopsy, but it does happen.
If I can get the information I need without taking that risk, I want to do that. We got the MRI ordered. In the meantime, all my blood work came back – no elevated cancer markers, no tumor markers, no elevated white blood cells. What is going on? My score came back from the diagnostic center as a BI-RADS 5: highly like malignant.
I have to admit that right now I am looking at all the conflicting information and finding myself feeling like I’m suspended in mid air like Keanu Reeves in one of the Matrix movies.
While waiting for the MRI to be done and the results to come in, I went to the center in Austin every day for IVs and hyperbaric medicine. I went to one additional alternative treatment each day: one day to my osteopath, the next to my acupuncturist, had another session of qigong, and engaged in lots and lots of laughter, soaking up the love of my sweet husband, walking in nature, taking warm salt-water baths with cleansing clays, and unplugging from my laptop, cell phone and iPad and actually having conversations with loved ones and friends. So many close friends reached out just to share their love with me. It has been amazing.
This is where the next wonderful gift has started manifesting itself. I realized that I have let myself run ragged. I have put too many things and too many people ahead of my own self care for WAY too long. I have allowed my plate to be piled so full, then continued to pile more on it myself! I have also realized that there are things I want to do that I have put on the back burner. In doing that, I have literally put myself on the back burner. And now as I sit in my times of silent meditation, I am feeling very centered and very peaceful. My mind is quiet, my breathing is slow and deep. How did I not notice that I have been basically holding my breathe half of the time? No, make that most of the time.
Ivan mentioned that he did gently try to point this out to me, but to no avail. It took this teeny, tiny messenger to finally break loose my hearing to be able to get the message loud and clear. Ivan has been great – totally supportive, helping me process all the information pouring in, and above all seeing to it that I get one good belly laugh every hour. He can really be SO FUNNY! Love you, Babe!
And then during my Matrix, mid-air suspended reality, I came to a realization. What will I do if the MRI comes back with confirmation of the preliminary diagnosis from the radiologist? I told my husband before we were even married that if I ever were to get a breast cancer diagnosis, I would be going to Mexico for a month of alternative treatments and would come back healed. I have already made this decision!
So, what am I waiting for? There is obviously a metabolic problem that has allowed things to go even this far. Is it ever too early to immerse yourself in a healing process that is both non-toxic and effective?
Again, after seeking referrals, and getting two recommendations to the same clinic from functional medicine specialists I respect highly, my medical records have been reviewed and I have been admitted to the Issels Immunotherapy program. I will be starting with a one-week hospital stay in Mexico next week to continue the diagnostic phase and start treatments to empower my own immune system to not only fight cancer, but to address any viral or bacterial underlying causes. After next week, I will return to the US to their Santa Barbara out-patient program which will include the detoxification treatments I have already started, and will add in chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, colon hydrotherapy, psychotherapy, prayer, meditation, qigong, sun therapy, and long walks on the beach.
I’m so certain my path will hold more gifts than I can even anticipate that I am overwhelmed with gratitude for everything that is coming to me through this experience. And you are a part of the gift. As you share positive affirmations with me, my whole body responds with a release of serotonin which has been clinically proven to boost the immune system. When the overwhelming outpouring of love flows my way, a deepening sense of peace and total well being settles over me like a soft, warm French duvet. I love you all so much, and I’m really grateful to you for your support, edification, and expressions of love. It means more than most of us realize.