Saturday, December 26, 2009

You Fighting Cancer - Burzynski Clinic -Day 12 – Day 26

Well it turned out that the cancer fighting drug Vectibix (most likely), the one treatment I received in Houston and the second I received here in Wichita caused a severe rash. So on day 15 I was taken off all 3 of the chemo drugs to work on the rash.

I have to admit that this is one of the worst side effects I’ve ever had. I have a painful rash from head to toe. Not kidding.

I’m now taking 2 different antibiotics and 1 antihistamine. I’m also taking Tylenol or pain pills to sleep at night. For anyone that is about to get a treatment of Vectibix you will want to ask to start an antibiotics that same day.

I can not explain to you the pain and itching that this rash will give you. I could but you would get sick.

Another tip is that a hot show will make it worse and a bath will feel great while you’re in the water, but when you get out make sure you have a shirt to put on that you no long wish to keep.
The shirt will start to stick to you and the rash at some point and the rash will bleed, ruining the shirt. But the fun part is when you pull the shirt off your back. The first pull is the worst, the rest get better.

I’m seeing very slow improvement in this rash and will be evaluated again on day 29 before the next scheduled Vectibix treatment. If this stuff is work half as good on my cancer as it has done to my skin, it’s really going to town.

I want to change gears here for just a second before signing off You Fighting Cancer to talk about more research that I’ve been reading on Vitamin D. If you take nothing else please take a high grade of Vitamin D supplement. The cancer prevention and fighting characteristics are starting to stack up.

I’m very grateful to be present for another white Christmas and to enjoy my family. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and will have a safe and Happy New Year.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

You Fighting Cancer – Days 9-11

Day 9 - To our surprise we were released to go home. Everything was progressing in a positive direction and no adverse side effects were taking place. To date the only side effects that I am having is fatigue, upset stomach and a dull head-ache. Fatigue seems to be the biggest issue for me.

I did get one infusion of a chemo drug called Vectibix. This is only a one hour infusion verses the 4-5 hours I would spend in a normal chemo treatment. And the side effects are fatigue, upset stomach and that’s about it. I will continue to get this infusion once every 2 weeks.

Upon our exit interview we saw our primary doctor that is assigned to our case to go over all the medications and to make sure we understood what we needed to do once we got home. We went over the complete regiment of medications and when they were to be taken.

A two and a half page report was provided with orders to be given to my oncologist and family doctor for lab work, scans, infusions and prescriptions. My responsibility was to coordinate all this with those doctors back home.

We also met with Dr. Burzynski and his chief medical doctor to go over any questions we might have. The only question was whether to continue the standard chemo treatment back home. Dr. Burzynski left that up to me and advised to not take one of the medications that he prescribed; it would be doubleling up on that chemo drug type.

I would like to say how impressed I was with the Buryznski Clinic and their professionalism.

Day 10 – Driving and that’s about it.

Day 11 – Met with my oncologist here at home to schedule ongoing infusions and to go over my prescriptions. I was very pleased with the positive support that my oncologist is providing with this treatment.

In six weeks we will do another P.E.T. scan to see the positive progress we are making and go from there.

I would like to thank those of you that have left comments on this page, also. It's good to know that someone is reading this blog and I truly hope in some way it will help someone else down the road.

Until then ENJOY THE DAY!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

You Fighting Cancer - Day 6 Burzynski Clinic

Day 6
It has been a very busy week here in Houston. “You Fighting Cancer” is a lot of work, or should I say a lot of tests.

I brought a current CT scan with me, but orders were written for extensive blood work, P.E.T. Scan, EKG on my heart and more blood lab work. The results of all the tests came back very quickly.

I spent a day whole day doing EKG and P.E.T. scan testing. Of course the radiology imaging lab was 40 minutes from here. The traffic in the 4th largest city is little crazy.

We sat down with a doctor in radiology to go over my P.E.T. scan results. This is the first time we had seen an actual scan result, though I’ve had 3 P.E.T. scans now. The results showed 3 cancer tumors. One that was inactive, one that is 3cm and one that is 7cm in size.

I’ve been put on a regiment of prescriptions and supplements. I will also be taking a chemo drug twice a day. In total I will be taking about 35 pills a day. That’s a lot better than a chemo treatment. Though I will be doing chemo as well.

We also spent an hour with a nutritionist and learned a lot. The first thing we learned is that I’m starving myself. At best I’m taking in 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day at best. I should be taking in around 2,400-3,000 calories.

You know that bowl of oatmeal you eat in the morning it equates to 100 calories and that’s it. It’s not that you want to stop eating foods like your oatmeal, but you have to get your calorie intake up. So everything you eat needs to count, really count.

So, instead of that bowl of oatmeal I’m now eating bagels which would equal 8 baked potatoes. Not surprising again was fruit and vegetables have hardly any calories. I still need to eat fruit and vegetables; I just can’t make a meal of it. Protein is also needed at every meal and every snack.

The bottom line here is if you are fighting cancer your calorie intake is very important.

Here are a couple reference books that might help;

Eat to Beat Cancer by J. Robert Hatherill, Ph.D.
Nutrition: The Cancer Answer II by Maureen Kennedy Salaman
Anticancer: A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, M.D. – I talked about this in an earlier posting.

Until next time ENJOY THE DAY!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

You Fighting Cancer - Day 1 Burzynski Clinic

The journey into the “alternative” treatment world has begun. Though I had many doubts about doing this as I think anyone would have that has been brought up in the United States to follow the herd into the “traditional” medical route to fight cancer. I would like to say right here that the “traditional” route has gotten me this far, but long term (2 or more years) was not looking that great.

The doubts that I had have all been washed away with the professionalism of the Burzynski Clinic. At every level, from the receptionist to Dr. Burzynski himself. Yes you do meet Dr. Burzynski himself to go over the treatment plan for your cancer type and your personal situation.

Everyone takes the time to sit down with you and go over every aspect of the process. Our day started at the receptionist desk to ensure we had completed all the forms needed and photo copy of insurance and ID. They constantly ask if you have any questions.

The day started at 10:30am with the coordinator and all the information forms that are sent via email well in advance to have completed. You have an up-front fee for your medical history review and consultation with 4 different doctors. Then we met with a patient advocator that is there to answer any questions, to introduce you to the staff and she will give you a business card with her direct line if you need anything at any time.

We then met with my primary carry physician who goes over every detail of your medical history. She then takes this information to the senior physician and Dr. Burzynski for final review and to determine if you are a candidate for treatment. I would guess that most people are given the chance for treatment at this point.

The one thing that impressed me is that in 2-4 month another set of scans will be done to see if there is any positive process in the treatment. If there is not then the treatments will be stopped. There is no reason to waste time or money in their eyes in this process.

We met with Dr. Burzynski and an oncologist and my primary care physician assigned to my case. At this point Dr. Burzynski goes over a planned treatment that will be tailored made to my gene type. Every piece of this treatment is tailored made to your gene activity. And once again you are asked if you have any questions.

They are even going to do testing on my blood that could help my oncologist at home to tailor my current chemo treatment for my needs. This could possibly help reduce some of the side effects I’m having with my current chemo treatments.

From here we had a nice lunch in the small café in the clinics building, before meeting with an insurance coordinator who takes care of filling and calling all insurance. She also covers what things will cost and how much is needed that day to start the treatments.

Since this is an “alternative” treatment some items may not be covered under your insurance even though they would pay if ordered by a “traditional” medical doctor. So you do have to put a sizable amount of money down to start treatments and testing. Just a side note, this amount is half as much as a month of chemo treatment.

From here we head off to do lab work and a complete physical exam. With my cancer type a P.E.T. scan and an EKG were ordered, which I will do tomorrow. There is no messing around here. If you can afford the treatment and you say you want to try, then the wheels start turning that day.

Once your blood is taken and a physical is given by the senior physician your finally free for the day. A second appointment is scheduled for the next day as was the P.E.T. Scan and EKG are scheduled.

I received 2 phone calls this evening to make sure I knew about a time change on my tests and that a free shuttle would pick me up in the lobby of the hotel to get me to and from the radiology center that will do the tests that were ordered.

All the test results from lab to P.E.T. Scan should be compiled by Friday this week in order to tailor make the medications that I will be given for my treatment.

Till then ENJOY THE DAY!