Monday, January 25, 2010

You Fighting Cancer – Week 9 of the Burzynski Treatment

The good news is we are one day closer to Spring! And I’m starting to get back into a treatment cycle with the Burzynski Clinic again.

The few weeks I was off all cancer fighting drugs to recover from bleeding, rash and very low platelet counts is now going my way again. Though my platelets have dropped 10 points this past week, I’m sure due to the drugs. My blood counts are still above the minimum amounts.

I’ve completed a 14 day cycle of Xeloda and will be on a 7 day vacation from that drug, but will be increasing the amount of Tykerb (500mg to 750mg). This will cause some nausea and insomnia but nothing we can’t handle.

This 9th week will bring lab tests and another P.E.T. scan to see how things are progressing. P.E.T. scans are a bit different than a CT scan if you’ve never had one before. You don’t have to drink a gallon of barium for a P.E.T. scan. You do however need to let them shoot you up with a radio active drug that flows through your veins for 30 minutes before the scan starts. Warning lab says to stay away from pregnant ladies for at least 6 hours after the testing. This is suppose to be a good thing right?

Once you’re glowing in the dark you then go into a scanner much like a CT scan. A donut looking devise with a table that slides in and out of the center ring. The hardest part is you have to keep your arms above your head for the whole time of the scan, any where from 15-45 minutes.

The results will be reviewed by a technician and the data is then delivered to your doctor. When things are working correctly the tumors will be smaller in size on the scan.

Now a small note on that diet thing: rule number one as a cancer patience is to stay away from sugar. Most of all processed sugars and artificial sweeteners. If you’re going to sweeten something use Agave or Raw Organic Cane Sugar, your super market should have both.

The same goes for processed flour. No-goodski! If it says “enriched flour…” put it back. You’re looking for “whole grain” floor, not just “wheat flour”. Wheat flour is processed just not as much as white flour, but none the less processed.

So, no processed flour and/or sugar of any kind, this should apply to everyone not just cancer patience’s. Can any one do this 100% of the time, I really don’t think so in the environment we live into day. Nearly everything you touch in the super market today has processed sugar and/or flour in it. Can we all do better most of the time, for sure!

Visit your local farmers market and the near by health food store to see what you can do to help prevent this terrible disease and to keep yourself healthy longer.

If there is some aspect of cancer and/or its treatment that you would like me to talk about please let me know. We have done 100’s of hours of research and are humbled to share what we have learned with anyone.

Till next time You Keep Fighting Cancer and ENJOY THE DAY.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

You Fighting Cancer – Day 37 – 44 Burzynski Treatment

What a week or two can do for you with no chemo drugs! The rash I have, I’m learning is something that the oncologists are just now trying to understand. These new chemo drugs that are “targeted drugs” have new side effects that are yet to be understood how to deal with.

As for my treatment, the Burzynski Clinic has me back on 2 of the 3 chemo drugs (Tykerb & Xeloda) and also the Sodium Phenylbutyrate. I’ve completed all the antibiotics for my rash which is finally getting better. My fear is when I start the 3rd chemo drug of Vectibix again the rash will reoccur. Which I’m told is a sign that the drug is working.

Good news is that my tumor markers are currently 1.1 which means I’m holding my own. Platelets and Hemoglobin are also going up each week. All good things!

I also want to thank all of you that offered to donate blood in my name. I hope I do not need it or that I go through that event again any time soon. There are many more people that could use your blood if you still wish to donate. I do not know the process, cuz no one wants my blood for sure. Again thank you from the bottom of my heart.

My local oncologist has been there for me the whole way, which I more than appreciate. I’m sure it’s tough taking second chair to an outside source that is not of the “traditional” roll of oncology and having to take care of side effects that were caused from the drug combination of an outside party. But the bottom line is my health and not the politics of the medical world.

I'm also learning every visit to every doctor that it seems as if the insurance company’s decide your treatment and the drugs you get or do not get. My doctors know as much about what and when the insurance company’s will and won’t pay as they do about medicine and I personally find something very wrong with that concept. That’s a soap box I will not get into, right now anyway.

Diet is another issue that is very important to all cancer patients. One that every time I see my oncologist or any one from the Burzynski Clinic is “what is your weight?” It is also the hardest area for me to change. I have 51 years of eating one way and to change that habit overnight is tough to say the least.

Raw Foods and Organic Foods are good for you, but very low in calorie count. For me it is issues of needing to gain more weight not loose any. I find that I eat much less beef than every before. The nutritionist recommended eating beef less than once a month. I hope to share more on diet as I post new articles.

I'm feeling very humble today after reading an article today by Dana Jennings who is a cancer survivor. Here is a link to his Jan. 12, 2010 article. I can relate too many of the things he is talking about and hope to relate to the ones he talks about 2 years after no drugs.

His statement of “I have no patience these days for jerks, for trivia — kindness and humility matter most to me” this is so true for me, also. Some folks need to give their heads a shake to understand just what is really important in life.

I have a great friend who is suffering from some of the side effects of his diabetes and I worry more about how he is doing than I do myself or any trivial matter. I focus on how my mother is doing with her cancer and the health of my family. The number one thing in my life is my wife. It is because of her I have no doubt that I’m still here today. She kept me going on days I no longer wanted to fight.

These things you can not buy or schedule or stress about, these are the things that are free and should be the most important. Take the time to give someone in your family and/or your spouse a huge today. You both will feel better. Cherish the moment as if it was your first or possibly your last hug.

I am personally grateful for all my friends, family, this day and maybe good old Rock & Roll beyond words, because I know how short of time we really have here.

Till next time ENJOY THE DAY.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

You Fighting Cancer - Day 27-36 Burzynski Clinic

Here is the reason I tell you to Enjoy The Day on You Fighting Cancer Blog, everything can change in a day or in a minute.

On Dec. 28th, I started losing blood and it continued throughout the day, to the point the last phone call to the Oncologist head nurse I was told to go to ER, where they promptly admitted me into the hospital.

Long story short was that my platelet count had dropped to an all time low of 37K and my red blood count went from 10.5 to 8.1 in one day.

Over the course of the next 3 days I received 7 units of platelets. I would like to thank all of you that donate blood, platelets, bone marrow… Cuz people like me really need them.

They also add a high powered IV drip antibiotic for my rash and some good pain killers. The first night was pretty long since the blood pressure cuff went off every 5 minutes and I didn’t make it into a room until 11ish pm. from ER

I had blood taken every 6 hours to monitor my platelet count and to see if another unit of platelets was to be ordered. I’m very lucky; because once the platelet’s got above 40K I stopped bleeding. So, no surgery was needed. I’m very blessed not to have to go the surgery route again.

On Dec. 31st my platelet had hovered around 48K 2 days, so they let me go. Of course the begging might have had a small part to play in all of it also.

So, where are we are today in Burzynski treatment? It’s at a full ahead stop until I get another lab report back (tomorrow) and this rash gets under control. I’m still on antibiotics 3 times a day for the rash and I do believe it is getting better, but it’s slow going.

I’m sure on day 37 I will talk with my doctor at the Burzynski Clinic to see where we go from here.

Until them I will eat as health as I can and ENJOY THE DAY. I have so much to grateful for and so much to look forward to.