Sunday, March 28, 2010

You Fighting Cancer – Week 17 & 18 of the Burzynski Treatment

Never Ever Give Up Hope!

Well I was kinda waiting to put a new post up once I heard back from Burzynski Clinic, but that news will not come until next week so, here’s what we learned this past two weeks. 

The CT scan that I did 2 weeks ago shows a 12% reduction in tumor size on my liver. This is very good news for the low dosages of chemo that I’m taking.  Because of the rash I don’t know if I could handle higher dosages, but will talk to the oncologist about that in 3 weeks. 

Platelets remain very low at 39K this week and hemoglobin is down also to 9.8. This is not good for either. But we are going to press on with my treatments. 

I learned that my rash is a nothing to take lightly. Any infection could have a very serious outcome. So, we monitor it daily. 

Now to talk more about dealing with and fighting cancer;

When you first learn that you have cancer you know in your mind that you will die soon. And as I commented on this in one of my very first postings to this site that may be true in some more advanced, aggressive cancers, but not the norm’. 

Today we were at a CT scan lab where a man and wife came in and she was in getting a CT scan. Her husband was talking to the receptionist about the cancer they just learned that she had and she was given very little hope and time by her doctor. 

The lady at the desk told this man that no matter what, do not give up hope. She told the story of her husband with the same type of cancer who also was given bad news with very little time to live by  the first doctor they  saw.
She went on to say that they went on to get a second opinion from another oncologist that put him on a very aggressive chemo and radiation treatment.  One that I’m very sure made him very, very sick. 

As she finished her story with the fact that all this was 16 years ago eased the man in the lobby’s ( waiting for his wife )fears and gave him I’m sure the first light of hope since they learned of her cancer.  He repeated the story to her the second she came out of the CT scanning room. 

I hear story’s like this all the time and yes I hear the story’s of a few that only make it weeks as did my Aunt. It was only a few short weeks from the time she found out she had cancer till she passed away.  Her cancer was very advanced and very aggressive. 

With new technology like Nanotechnology, advances are happening every day. We are also learning many ways to prevent cancer or prevent it from killing us by the choices we make early in life and the lifestyle we choose to live. 

Never give up HOPE!

Until next time – You keep Fighting Cancer and ENJOY the DAY!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

You Fighting Cancer – Week 16 of the Burzynski Treatment

Fatigue and Questions to Ask

One of the things I have not talked much about is the amount of fatigue that cancer treatments put on your system.  And that fatigue is what lead me “finally” to go to the doctor in the first place to see what was wrong.

I had no pain before I knew I had cancer, but I did know that I could not keep pace with my old self. The day that I was out cutting trees and had to sit down after only and hour of work I knew something was not right. I was used to going all day at that pace.

Now with my hemoglobin only around 10 (normal for a male is 14-18 and female is 12-15) on a good week with numbers as low at 6.1 during my first surgery. Two weeks ago it was only 9.1, which staying awake at that level is a challenge for sure.

Also a factor here is that one of the side effects of most chemotherapy drugs is fatigue. You really notice this a day or two after chemo treatments. With the Burzynski treatment process, I’m taking very low dosages of chemo drugs on a daily basis (except for Vectibix) that your body does not get the extreme fatigue that you get from infusion treatments which are normally a higher dosage of drugs.

So, the bottom line here is not to beat yourself up about it like I did (and do from time to time still), but to just lie down and take a nap if your body feels like doing so. The rest will do you good.

I visited with a good friend of mine on the phone today and he is having challenges with his diabetes still and will be seeing a diabetes nutritionist finally this week. I shared with him some of the questions that Lisa and I asked the nutritionist in Houston and some of the questions I wish we would have asked.

For cancer patients we believe that what you put into your body for nutrition is going to determine whether you have a good day or a bad day. I know this to be very true for me.

1)    The nutritionist better tell you to stay way from processed sugar, flour and rice. Great, so what do I eat? Most everything in your grocery store has at least one if not all three items in it. I would add to this one stay away from soda’s drinks also. If you are like me at one point I was drinking a 6 pack of Mountain Dew a day. Now I rarely drink a soda and I never drink a whole can. You can do this, I did. The other day our granddaughter was drinking a mini can of soda that had 33 grams of sugar in it. The equals 8 teaspoons of sugar in one 4oz can of soda. You ever measure out 8 teaspoons of sugar on your counter? Try it and it will scare or should scare you. 

2)    Once they share with you what you should be eating ask where in your local area that you can find these foods?

3)    Sugar FREE (a.k.a. artificial sweeteners) vs. regular organic cane sugar, vs. raw honey. Which if I’m going to eat anything sweet ever again (like that’s not going to happen) which should I be using in my cooking and drinks? Most of the what you're going to eat is going to be prepared at home. I believe that artificial sweeteners are worse for you than the real thing, if that exist anymore.

4)    The nutritionist in Houston told us to eat beef less than once a month (sure)! I understand the red meat thing, but if the issues is in the steroids and antibiotics do not chickens, turkeys and in some cases fish have these substances in them also? And where locally can I find organic meats?

5)    What are the recommended supplements for me and my treatment? We all should know by now that most of the food we eat today does not have the nutritional values that we need to help our body’s stay health.  Supplements are a must in my book.

6)    Any recommended books for references that I should be reading?

7)    Any alternative treatments that I might check into? Your doctor will probably not be able to share this kind of information with you, because the FDA will shut him/her down if they go across that line. A nutritionist is not bound by those laws for the most part. I would recommend you ask this question to save some time and money in finding a legitimate resource and not some fly by night deal. Do your homework here and for me it had to be in the USA. I was not looking to go outside the States.

8)    Any recommended retreats that can teach me good eating habits for my disease? Sometimes if not most of the time we need a coach in changing our old habits. Some of these retreats that teach as an example Raw Food dieting can be well worth your time and money. Not only are you learning how to eat better, but you’re probably going to be around people that have the same or very similar disease like cancer or diabetes and that can mean a lot in your support.

9)    Good water is critical in my book in all of this. If the nutritionist can not give a good source as to how to get and drink good “clean” water then drop me a note in the comments below and I can help. Your city and well water are probably not helping you get better in any way at all. And putting a $10 Pur water filter on your sink is not going to do it either.

10)    This one is not a question for the nutritionist but for you. Have you done your homework and research on this? There is an over whelming amount of information on the web on this subject. Again some good, some bad. By seeing a nutritionist that specializes in your disease is huge advantage over the shotgun approach of the web. One thing on the web be it a book or a supplement is that one thing might work for one person but not the next person. Every part of this new way of eating needs to be tailored made for you, your disease and your blood work up to be at the max effective level for you. There are good resources on the web the hard part is finding the right one for you.

I personally believe good organic/healthy nutrition should be a required class in all high schools (along with a couple other “real life” courses), instead of playing catch up after you get sick.

Well till next time,
You keep Fighting Cancer and ENJOY THE DAY!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

You Fighting Cancer – Week 15 of the Burzynski Treatment

Break from Xeloda

Another week has gone by and things are a better with the rash. I’ve been given a break with Xeloda also in order to try and bring my platelet count up from 23K to anything higher. The last time my platelets were this low the doctors were giving infusions of 7 units of platelets.

The new antibiotic medication (Clindamycin HCL - Cleocin HCL) that I’ve been given for my rash seems to be working better. Some how it’s keeping the rash off my arms and is improving the rash on my face.

This week brings more lab work and a CT Scan. I will get the results of the CT Scan a week from Tuesday from the oncologist. I will also send a copy of the scan to the Burzynski Clinic for review. 

People ask me from time to time how I stay in such a positive attitude on life. Well I’m sure you’ve heard me ask what the alternative to that is? You can go through life being mad at the world or who ever else for your situation or you can make the best of the day.
My positive attitude comes from 4 places;
1) My family and friends. They have always been there for me and always see things in a positive way.

2) My parents – Who have given me a life time of looking at things in a positive perspective. They taught me a long time ago that you can do and be what you want and that a positive attitude will get you a lot further than a negative one.

3) My wife – Lisa is positive in everyway and everyday. I don’t know how she does it I just know she does. She has a gift and a belief that good things come to good people and that a strong faith will guide you in directions that you can not even see yet. I have never seen her negative in the 2 years we have been battling this monster.

4) Myself – Am I positive every day, heck no, but I try to be. I have truly tried the sad, I feel sorry for myself path and it’s no good. You have to make the best of everyday, whether you have cancer or any other disease and move on. And yes I believe that a large amount of faith plays into your overall wellbeing. This is enhanced by the books and audios that I read and listen to, daily. If you are what you eat then you will become what you think about!

Don’t forget March is National Colorectal Cancer Month.

Till next time – You keep FIGHTING CANCER and ENJOY THE DAY!