Friday, July 30, 2010
July 22, 2010
In February I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer - one that doesn't respond to hormone therapies. The doctors wanted to do the works - chemo, mastectomy, radiation. After much thought and research, I found I simply could not do those things. At some point I may agree to a mastectomy, but not yet. Instead, I have embarked on a journey of alternative healing, and I feel confident it will be successful. But I also know that, even if it is not, maintaining a high quality of life is more important to me than one that may be a few months longer while I'm sick and miserable because of treatments. I know that many have lived a long while following breast cancer treatments. But when you look at the statistics, it becomes evident that they have survived not only the cancer, but the treatments as well. They have my deepest respect and prayers for their continued health. But they have taken a path I simply cannot.
There is much wrong with our illness care system today, much of that stemming from the power that drug and insurance companies and the FDA wield over doctors, hospitals, and treatments, making it almost impossible for doctors to do anything innovative, or even to use very successful treatments that are common in Europe and other parts of the world. I won't go into that now, but I will touch on it in future updates.
Last Thursday I flew from cool Olympia into a pizza oven otherwise called Phoenix, Arizona. The temperature that day was 115. It hasn't cooled a whole lot since. But that doesn't matter, since I'm simply existing in an air conditioned world and only step outside to go from car to clinic to condo. Today I wished I'd had pot holders for the steering wheel. Linda, you warned me! I’m saving the little bands they use to hold gauze against the exit wound from removing IV needles to use to crochet pot holders! Right!
There has to be a very good reason for going to Airzona in July, and this is it: An Oasis of Healing, or, if you want to check it out, www.anoasisofhealing.com. This clinic uses many well-researched and successful therapies to heal cancer, often cancers that mainstream medicine has given up on. I'll tell you about some of the therapies, and how they relate to healing cancer, as I experience them.
I'd also like to tell you about some of the other patients, if they are willing to let me share something of their stories. We all have a story, don't we? For now, suffice it to say, I've met patients from Toronto, Ft. Nelson, BC, Maryland, North Dakota, Chandler, AZ, and Russia. There are others I haven't talked with yet. Some have completed their therapies and only come in occasionally for follow-up. When I look around, I appear healthier than most, because many of them have been treated for a little while by the typical therapies, until they realized that the treatments would kill them before the cancer had the chance. Several have very serious cancers, cancers that are almost always fatal, and they appear to be getting better.
One man was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma in March, and subsequently lost 50 pounds. Now he appears almost skeletal, except his liver, which has several palpable tumors. When he arrived three weeks ago he was in a wheelchair. Today I watched him walk into the therapy center with just a little support from his dad. He has 2- and 4-year-olds at home and his devoted wife is with him.
The four young daughters of another Canadian patient flew in yesterday, so happy to see their mom. This morning they were at yoga class, the six-year-old basking in the pleasure of sitting out on the lawn doing poses, and getting a little extra attention from the teacher, her older sisters and grandpa joining in the fun.
This looks like a place where miracles happen. I hope you'll enjoy the stories of people who remain hopeful and positive, who visit, joke and nap while getting IV treatments, people who are truly living one day at a time, seeing the good in life and understanding poignantly that we are all in God’s hands.
With love to all,
Posted by Rebecca at 8:49 PM