Sunday, February 28, 2010

You Fighting Cancer – Week 14 of the Burzynski Treatment

Vectibix Rash

It’s been a tough week to say the least. Again, “what a difference one week makes”! The rash is back and I would say is worse at this stage of the treatment than last time.

Right now I manage the pain, itching and bleeding with pain, anti-itching and antibiotic pills and gels daily. The oncology nurse led me to a gel that provides temporary relief of the pain on my face, but does not help my scalp at all. I’m also getting this product in a spray for the rash on the trunk of my body.

The gel/spray for anyone that has a rash from Vectibix or any rash that has pain associated with it is Regenecare HA. It is a special order item at most pharmacies and is pricy at $26 a tube (cheaper on-line), but it does work. Here is also a web link where you can buy this product on-line. Regenecare HC 2%

Talked with the Burzynski Clinic this week to discuss the length of time and number of Vectibix treatments that are typical for my type of cancer. They are currently looking for another option to Vectibix and do not want me to be suffering. I told them if they could give me a number to shoot for I could make it, but time line of “as long as it takes” was tough for me to get my head around.

Lisa continues to be very strong in our battle and focused on the prize – me free from cancer. She continues to do extensive amount of research to find the very best options for me and my cancer. With all the new news about gene therapy and gene mapping we know we are on the right track with our treatment.

Battling the daily pain I will admit is a big challenge that wears on you every minute of the day and one that you have to focus on overcoming. If you are Fighting Cancer you know what I’m talking about, you can not let your thoughts go in the wrong direction.

One of the people that I listen to also is Joel Osteen and recently purchased his new book “It’s Your Time” on audio. It keeps my head in the game. So, if you see me walking around with my IPod you know it’s a good bet I’m listening to him.

You will need to focus on your thoughts, your nutrition, your exercise, and your rest to get through this journey. Your body as a whole needs all the help it can get right now.

I did receive and update in the comments from Dr. David Servan-Schreiber camp on some new updates that he will be posting on his WEB site and Facebook site on fighting and preventing cancer. He continues to talk about the extreme side effects that processed sugar has on your body and how it feeds cancer.

The last number I remember reading this year was that we Americans are now on average consuming 120+ POUNDS of processed sugar a year. Yes I know it’s hard to buy a product from your grocery store that does not have sugar in it, but no one said this was going to be easy. And I’ve said this before also, switching to artificial sweeteners is worse than processed sugar.

Instead of soda’s drink water, tea, even coffee. The last two are not the best for you but better than soda’s. Instead of white bread, eat whole grain breads, if you’re going to eat bread at all. Eat more fruits and vegetables daily. Get yourself a good juicer and have fun with it. Just don’t make any of the recipes that have potatoes in it! This is experience talking now. WOW bad!

Promote Colon cancer screening day, so you can prevent colon cancer. Here are some warning signs for you to be looking for! If you are a friend of mine and you have not gotten a colonoscopy yet, give your head a shake and get with it. Even if you are not a friend of mine yet, get going.

Till next time – You keep Fighting Cancer and ENJOY THE DAY!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

You Fighting Cancer – “We Can All Fight Cancer Better”

Not a lot to report this week (Week 13 of the Burzynski Treatment). The infusion of Vectibix went just fine and no rash side effects to report. I’m very happy about that. It does take a day or two after the infusion to get back to running speed (maybe just walking speed these days).

I will be doing more lab work Monday so as to monitor by blood counts, and liver function. This is a weekly event, no big deal and the nurses that take care of me are all truly amazing. 

Each and every day I get a listing of news articles written on cancer. Everything from who in the media now has cancer to new forms of testing and treatment. Each week I try to pass along just one of the 30 or 40 articles that I read. 

This week post comes from a doctor who has cancer and who has done an extraordinary amount of research on cancer. Dr. David Servan-Schreiber has also written one of the best books about dealing with cancer that we have in our library.  His book is “Anticancer, A New Way of Life”, as I’ve stated before if Lisa and I could only have one book on cancer this would be that book. Lisa uses this book as a major reference all the time.

Dr. David Servan-Schreiber published and article this week that we should all read and think about. It is the fundamentals that we try to live our life by now. It’s not just about eating right, but also living “right”.  What we put into our mind and body has a very direct effect and link to our health and happiness.

I some times think it is sad that it take a major event like cancer to get us to slow down and enjoy the truly meaningful things in our life. To know the value of a day, a friend, family, and health. 

The last paragraph in his article follows for those of you like me that sometimes don’t slow down enough to truly enjoy the roses… Though each day I am enjoying more of the little things in life. 

 “What I've learned in my own journey of 17 years with cancer is that the best way to go on living is to nourish life at all levels of my being: through my meals three times a day, through my walks in nature, through the meaning and purpose in my work, through the flow of love in my relationships, and through the protection of our environment. Science told me that this slows down cancer, but, perhaps even more importantly, it brings to my life, every day, a new light and a new purpose.”  Dr. David Servan-Schreiber

Until Next time – You Keep Fighting Cancer and ENJOY THE DAY!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

You Fighting Cancer – Week 12 Burzynski Treatment

More good news to report – the DIC (Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation) test came back normal and the ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura) are also normal.

So, what to do about the low platelet counts? We just press on. The cancer is not going to go away by it’s self so, we're starting the full treatment again that the Burzynski Clinic recommended. This will be a long list of pills to take each day and an infusion of Vectibix every two weeks starting this Tuesday.

Vectibix is the targeted chemo drug that causes the very nasty rash and that as I’m told is a sign that it’s also working on the tumors. All I have to say is it must really be working well then. I expect to see the rash start about 2 weeks after the first infusion. I’ve already started Minocycline to get a head start on trying to ease the side effects of the rash.

I’m already taking Tykerb and Xeloda (both chemo drugs), along with Sodium Phenylbutyrate (PB), vitamin D and Fish Oil. About 10-15 tablets 4 times a day. No need to eat much I get my fill on pills.

Before I get to the diet part of this Blog here is what I think is the main point in my battle with colon cancer! That's to tell everyone to get your colon check-up/screening. PLEASE! Take the time to check out this article from The Associated Press, "Millions missing out on colon cancer screening".

Now more on diet; this is personal observation with only my simple testing. If you are buying strawberries from the store these days you might think twice after reading this.

Strawberries are supposed to be good for you right? Well they are listed as one of the top 15 BAD fruits to buy from your grocery store. Why you wonder. These berries are sprayed sometimes daily with pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers in a greenhouse environment where they are grown. If that’s not bad enough, now they found something to spray on them so they never rot. That can't be good for you?

Try this if you have some of these berries already. Set the container they came in the back of your refrigerator and check them every week for as long as you like. I did this for about a 2 month window and they NEVER grew any mold or rotted? Maybe this is just me, but isn’t that kinda scary.

Another reason to buy organic or buy from you local farmers market. Since the farmers markets are currently not running this time of year here, I’m buying frozen organic berries from my grocery store. They are much cheaper than fresh if you can even get fresh right now. When you can buy fresh organic berries you will learn all too quickly that they do go bad within a week. You will want to wash and freeze these berries to use at a later date.

Another best bet is to grow your own berries when possible. I’ll be planting this spring for sure.

Till next time ENJOY THE DAY and keep FIGHTING CANCER.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

You Fighting Cancer – Week 11 of Burzynski Treatment

Well we got the P.E.T. scan report back. As I see it with what all that has taken place over the past 60 days we are holding our own. The scan showed no new tumors, no increase in size of the 2 active tumors and even a slight reduction in the thickness of one of the tumors.

The issues with my platelets continue to be an area of concern and question. I gave 5 vials of blood on Tuesday for a DIC (Disseminated intravascular coagulation) test and have been given a prescription of steroids for ITP (Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura) hoping that this will help boost my platelets.

The thought is that the only chemo drug Tykerb is not causing my platelets to drop to 33K now (normal is in a range of 130-160K. So, my body has something else going on. We may have to press on with the chemo treatment of 2-3 drugs and ignore the platelets and just keep and eye on any bleeding.

Note on diet; the nutritionist recommended that I eat beef less than once a month. That’s kinda tough when you live in Kansas and every other truck that goes by say “Eat Beef”. She recommended that you go to your local meat market and ask is they offer certified organic beef for sale or if they know a rancher that raises beef in such a format. I found this beef again at our local farmers market. Maybe it’s me, but I think the beef taste better.

We also have started to eat range feed bison in chili and sauces alike. I personally like this better than beef only because it is a leaner meat. Give it a try.

I ran across another article that rang home at Newsweek. Cancer is not just an emotional event that challenges you every single day. Pushing you to live life and not let cancer rule your life. I find that I have aloud myself to live again. For so long I would not start a project that I knew would take me 6 months or more. I figured “what was the point”. That’s the wrong way to go about this. You need to live your days doing the best and most you can of the things you love to do. If you get that project completed then you have fulfilled one more goal or dream.

This article touches on the financial challenges that you will also face no matter if you have great insurance or not. At some point if you venture out like I have to a non-traditional treatment that will cost you monies from your bank account.

Of if you take a leave of absence from work to concentrate on your focus of healing your body. The loss of income alone is an eye opener to say the least. The difference of being in loosing a job is that you can look for a new job or start a business. On LOA you can’t earn an income by the rules of the leave.

If you keep your faith many things show up just when you need them too that will help you through these times. It has happened that way for us. We are blessed with a great family and great friends.

This journey of you fighting cancer is a tough road, but it starts by taking one step at a time, showing up for the next event, living life, and not let cancer rule your life. New treatments come out every week and I pray that in my life time there is a cure for this monster that claims nearly 600,000 Americans every year.

Till next time ENJOY THE DAY!