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Has anyone been cured via the holistic route?

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24

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  • jo6359
    jo6359 Member Posts: 2,009
    edited December 2018
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    santabarbarian- I'm in complete agreement with you. I ran 5Ks and 10ks throughout my chemo treatments. Yes I did have anemia and fatigue but was able to push through. And I believe strongly my diet and exercise throughout my life assisted me in dealing with SEs from chemo. I also know people who were extremely healthy and struggled with numerous side effects from chemo. After I finish herceptin and perjeta in February there are no other treatments. It's all wait and see unless the cancer returns. So I will continue to do what I've always done eat healthy and exercise. I might follow up with a holistic doctor/specialist in conjunction with my quarterly scans. You gave me something to think about. Thank you

  • illimae
    illimae Member Posts: 5,574
    edited December 2018
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    santabarbarian, I agree, I worked and exercised during chemo, SE’s were minimal, no fatigue at all. Part luck, part staying active. I will say that both my oncologist and nutritionist advised eating an 80/20 plant based diet from the beginning, I assumed this was a recommendation from all docs. Not sure how you get compliance though, people love their food, myself included. Thanks for sharing your info.

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293
    edited December 2018
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    I think treatments that actually work are known to medicine. There is no secret, there is no treatment that is being hidden from people.

    Spontaneous remission does occur but rarely and I think they key word there is spontaneous - we haven't figured out how to treat it. Lots of oncology researchers suspect the answer lies in immunotherapy and that is promising but we're not there yet.

    Also, up above someone in a text msg image was saying 'cancer is a yeast'. Cancer is not a yeast. Yeasts are in the fungus family. Cancer is your own body's cells going rogue. They're your own cells with genetic code alterations which allow them to grow where they're not supposed to and/or to circumvent the programmed cell death protocols. Cancer is just simply unchecked cell growth.

    Our cells reproduce constantly and copying errors are made all the time. Usually the cells either die on their own or are killed by our immune system which recognizes these mutants. Sometimes, a mutation is strong enough to avoid the systems to kill it.

  • melissadallas
    melissadallas Member Posts: 929
    edited December 2018
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    And to add to Moth’s observation about the text image above, nothing you eat or drink will make your bodysignificantly more “alkaline” (or acidic). Your body maintains a very tight PH balance. if it didn’t you would die.

  • pebblesv
    pebblesv Member Posts: 486
    edited December 2018
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    All - I was asked to post what worked for my friend’s aunt and she was gracious enough to share with me. She’s 5 years out and NED and while a lot of us choose different paths, me included, we don’t have to knock down someone else’s path do we?


    We are all snowflakes. Different things work for different people. I myself have done surgery, radiation, will start hormone therapy next and have updated my nutrition and exercise habits to help reduce chances of recurrence and help me minimize side effects. Don’t know if it will work but that’s my path. And I celebrate and cheer on those who have healed without any traditional medicine at all, those who are choosing a middle path like me, and those trusting just medicine and eating whatever they want. I hope it works for everyone and don’t try to impose what I’m doing on others! I think we all need to find what’s right for us, believe in it, and move forward with optimism that we figured the best path for ourselves and it’s gonna work.

    On what’s working for my friend’s aunt, I adopted no processed foods and cut red meat (she still eats it) based on other research too, but you will never find me doing a coffee enema or vitamin c infusions! However if that worked for her, and she needs to believe she’s creating an environment in her body that is toxic to cancer, good for her! It’s worked for 5 years so I say pat on the back for her and that doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong for us! We just have to find our own paths.
  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited December 2018
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    The evidence for many of these practices is that they kill *or weaken* cancer cells while sparing healthy cells. In my opinion, not taking chemo would have been foolhardy for me, given the cancer I have, which can either kill me fast-- or be cured, if hit hard at an early point. I did keto diet because cancer cells do not like to eat ketones; rather they like to feed on sugar/carbs. I fasted to boost my immune system and lessen chemo SEs. I took the drugs at the times closest to their peak bioavailability per circadian clock. I took melatonin and metformin daily, as both correlate with lower recurrence rates. This is all validated by western published science. I knew that stuff like ketosis would at least stress my cancer, and weaken it. I figured I should do all I could, to knock the cancer to its knees, and then chemo could deal the death blow. Similarly heat kills cancer at temps that do not kill healthy cells (109). My tumors were right at surface and easy to het externally so why not? If cell does not die it gives off "heat shock protein" and this "outs" the cell and makes it recognizable to the immune system as cancer, so system can attack it. Vitamin C is well validated also to kill cancer at high concentrations (cannot achieve this high orally) that do not harm healthy cells.

    I read up on CBD, enemas and many other therapies also out there... I decided to do the ones that made sense to me, and had a high level of buy-in from western doctors too.

    I would not suggest these practices as a substitute for western meds, but rather as a way of making the chemo's job easier.

  • jo6359
    jo6359 Member Posts: 2,009
    edited December 2018
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    Cancer is scary and complex. My background is in science. I will continue to use alternative methods combined with Western medicine. I have former friends who still won't speak to me because I chose chemo and radiation. They didn't have a problem with the surgery. It was simple for me. Early-stage cancer. My life. My decision. I have friends who have chosen only alternative medicines and other friends who have chosen only Western traditions. I completely respect others who do not choose Western medicine. Let's keep an open mind. This is a great forum for sharing, learning and not judging.

  • MDRR
    MDRR Member Posts: 63
    edited December 2018
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    jo6359

    I think that says it very well. Each decision is so personal and each of our bodies is so different in what we respond to. I also use a combo of traditional and alternative medicine. Some of my medical providers are traditional, others are integrative. I love the various input and none of them slam the others, even if they may not agree with everything. I learn so much! my friends may not understand my choices, but they are supportive. I'm sorry your experience with some was negative.

  • pebblesv
    pebblesv Member Posts: 486
    edited December 2018
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    Hi jo6459 - I cant believe some friends didn’t speak to you because of the choice you made to treat yourself! I find it so strange how people judge or try and impose their beliefs on others. Western and alternative combined is also what I’ve chosen to do, and I have so much respect for those who choose one or the other and succeed. Every story gives me hope that we can beat this and there are many paths. Supporting you!

    MDRR - so glad you have the support around you and how interesting that you end up learning a lot from different doctors and/or nutritionists with different points of view! I am trying to take all the nuggets from various POVs and align what’s in common. All I know is everyone says carrots and berries and turmeric are good lol.

    Wishing everyone here success on whatever path you’ve chosen! We are all snowflakes, we all have our own design and composition and we all have different things that will work for us and different choices. Figuring out what works is the tricky part - hope we all find that and heal.

  • jo6359
    jo6359 Member Posts: 2,009
    edited December 2018
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    pebbles losing those two friends turned out to be a good thing. Sometimes we hang on too friendships out of longevity or convenience. I'm speaking for myself.. When it reaches a point that a person has to constantly assess the pros and cons of a friendship it might be a good time to say enough. With these two friendships the time was right. It worked out best for all three of us.

  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 1,051
    edited December 2018
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    This is not one disease we're dealing with it's 10 or more. Then there's all the stages and grades. Oh, and genetic factors. I had a serious version of BC and was happy to do neoadjuvant treatment plus radiation. Then Tamoxifen. I'm four years post treatment and NED, plus two years post treatment for prostate cancer and NED for it.

    My stories of alternative treatment relate to two friends. F had a lumpectomy and was called back to the hospital due to not attaining pCR. She refused to return and did the Gerson therapy. She's ok four years on. S was a TN case and he had a mastectomy and partial chemo before going down the CBD road. She died recently two years from diagnosis.

    We know there's no cure for cancer, so I guess what we all want to know is who is in remission still after whatever treatment they had. If we're being scientific, we'd lay out all the cancer types and stages, etc, along with the results. In any case, with recurrence possible up to 20 plus years post treatment, we are likely all works in progress.


  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited December 2018
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    It’s such a roll of the dice. I opted for the conventional treatments. 7 years out last August

    My sister had a MX no chemo or radiation. 4 years later she had a local recurrence. Different kind of BC from me. Her’s was ILC - mind was IDC. I had a low Oncotype score of 11. Her’s was intermediate. I had a lumpectomy and 33 radiation treatments. She had a MX as mentioned above.

    There is no cure. All we can do is hope the treatments take whatever they are.

    Diane



  • jo6359
    jo6359 Member Posts: 2,009
    edited December 2018
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    diane and traveltext-So true

  • WC3
    WC3 Member Posts: 658
    edited December 2018
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    In most instances I have heard about this, the person actually did some conventional therapy. They just didn't do all of the conventional therapy recommended to them, and perhaps overly attribute their remission to lifestyle/dietary changes.

    I did make some dietary changes after being diagnosed and I did have what they are calling a pathologic complete response but I am sure that is from the chemotherapy and targeted therapy because I made the dietary changes a month before starting treatment and the tumor kept on growing...visibly.

    I'm sure there are cases of spontaneous remission but I think they are rare.

    As for natural cures...Taxol comes from the Pacific Yew tree.

  • LoveFromPhilly
    LoveFromPhilly Member Posts: 1,019
    edited December 2018
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    what’s funny for me is that before my diagnosis I was like probably much more neurotically healthy in terms of my diet and now I have purposefully chosen to be not neurotic and not worry as much about what I am eating if at all. Today I enjoyed a delicious glazed donut as a snack from Dunkin’ Donuts. I have completely swung the opposite way!!! 😂

    I don’t wanna stress about anything anymore! I just wanna enjoy life

  • pebblesv
    pebblesv Member Posts: 486
    edited December 2018
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    WC3 - I’ve noticed that too! In most cases people do the surgery at least. Also some other types of cancer like prostate cancer and my friend’s melanoma, all they do is the surgery - no chemo, no radiation, no hormone therapy. So I wonder sometimes if surgery is the most curative thing and everything else is to to help your odds of it not coming back.

    LovefromPhilly - glad you are enjoying! We have to live life to its fullest too, good point.

    Diane/edwards750 - 7 years out and NED is fantastic! You are my role model! Gives me so much hope that if you could do it we all can.

    Traveltext - so true and that’s why different approaches work for different people. We are all snowflakes here.

    Jo6359 - glad it worked out for the best and how strong you are to know when to let go of those friendships.

    Anyways it’s Christmas! HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL! May we all find success in our chosen paths


  • 1redgirl
    1redgirl Member Posts: 94
    edited December 2018
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    This book, written by a woman that works in the medical field, and is not a quack, follows some interesting people and their journey to remission after exhausting all efforts through conventional treatments. Who is really cured? Today. Next year?

    Radical Remission, surviving cancer against all odds.

    Another book worth reading at least once, if not a few times for clarity, is Tripping Over the Truth. Best book ever IMO.

    I had breast cancer 25 yrs ago, and opted just for surgery. Unfortunately I did not at that time realize how important nutrition, exercise, and fasting were for my long term health against cancer. This year my cancer returned. Most I would imagine would assume after so many years I was “cured". Apparently not. Cancer does for unknown reasons go dormant. Maybe permanently. This time as prior, I opted only for surgery. I have drastically changed my life. No sugar, no carbs, strength training, biking, fasting, yoga, and avoiding people and things that stress me out. I feel fantastic. Getting lots of sleep. I am 66 and frankly feel about 40. I shed 41 lbs.

    I am hopefully going to participate locally in January about my experience with cancer and the medical community. My nurse navigator tried in vain after my surgery to find me a doctor that would follow me. Failed. I am still looking.

    My best friend died of breast cancer after all efforts made to save her which included chemo and radiation. My sister has lost several friends to breast cancer after conventional therapies as well. When such people die, the medical community and boards like this one, exclaim those women did all they could do to live. Heros. However, when we learn of those choosing a holistic approach that have died, those same people do not see those women as heros. Their holistic approach is deemed quackery.

    The holistic survivors are silenced, or just called lucky. The medical community and trials do not follow these people mostly because if cancer was cheap to “cure", the 250 billion dollar cancer industry would be out of business.

  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 1,051
    edited December 2018
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    Thanks 1redgirl, will look out for those books. Good luck with your new bout of bc.

    All survivors, holistic or medical, are all in the same boat and I don't think anyone with this disease is necessarily a hero.

    If we die of breast cancer, our treatments, whatever they are, have failed us.


  • LoveFromPhilly
    LoveFromPhilly Member Posts: 1,019
    edited December 2018
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    1redgirl - I am sorry you feel like you are the one to blame for your cancer returning. But I am so happy for you that you have made such amazing changes to your life that are allowing to feel so incredible!

    I know the books you are speaking about and I love to know about people who had radical remissions. It gives us all hope! And hope is what we can lean on in times of uncertainty and anxiety.

    I wish that I could believe that the medical industry has malicious intentions out there trying to keep people sick and not cure cancer but I just have a very difficult time acknowledging this to be true. I have friends and colleagues in cancer research and they truly are searching for a cure. I keep having friends now and again try to lure me into some supplement protocol that “cures” cancer. Unfortunately, what I do believe is that if there were a cure, there are enough wise and caring people in the world that would make sure that we all knew about it. And sadly, that just isn’t the case.

    It seems like we each have our own path and some people are able to live manageable lives with cancer while others die more quickly from it. It’s been around in humans and animals from the beginning of time. A nasty disease :(

  • 1redgirl
    1redgirl Member Posts: 94
    edited December 2018
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    Love - my husband and I worked for big pharma. Renal at that time was where the money was. Big perks. Big raises. Big salaries. Conversely parenteral division with big sales but thin margins was NOT where the big salaries were. I also was very involved in biotech IPOs many years ago. Burn rates. Promises. Egos. We know reality. Cancer research, well really, all research is dictated by who and why funding happens. The agenda is already picked. People are denied labs. They are denied grant money. They are silenced by media who refuse to give certain approaches airtime. The media picks the darlings. It is political. It is ego driven. It is very competitive among researchers. Who gets credit? Who has rights? Mergers. Acquisitions. What is the criteria for approval of the next chemo drug? You would not be happy if you knew how low the bar is. Improvements are barely incremental. Companies are not in the business of taking risks that do not pan out. Pink ribbons and all that money for marketing is NOT going to cure breast cancer. Again, if the cure was thought to be a chemical already available, the industry would do everything possible to discredit any such theory.

    I believe our western diet of added sugars is causing cancer and other chronic diseases. 6 tsp a day of added sugar is allowable. The average person according to stats is getting 24 tsp a day. I suspect it is much higher. Look at that stat. How about excessive sodium levels. It all begins with kid’s cereals. Train them young. Get them addicted young. Future patients. My cancer hospital has bowls of candy sitting out. Obviously they see no correlation between sugar and cancer.

    I do take full responsibility that I never took nutrition seriously which I believe contributed to my cancer. I had migraines almost my entire adult life. I had joint pain so much so I took 6-7 pain medication pills a day. I slept poorly. I felt agitated. I feel none of that today. All gone. My nails grow like crazy. My skin is so soft. Clearly nutrition actually makes a huge difference. Sleeping 7 hrs is easy now. No more agitation. No more insulin spikes. I have no idea if changing my lifestyle will stop my cancer, but I already know without a doubt that my quality of life is much better.

    As we say in the equineworld, it is time for a come to Jesus moment. I will not be silenced.
  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,939
    edited December 2018
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    I think cancers can't be pigeonholed, nor can people. Some people get a "one and done" experience, some get recurrences, some get other types of cancer but not recurrences. Perhaps there will be even more refined genetic testing in the future for personal predictability. But in the meantime, I prefer to just keep plugging along without too many major lifestyle changes, or gobbling a lot of supplements. It's too much like someone who's had a broken bone refusing to do anything that would put them at risk for another one, so they never leave the house or use stairs. I'll stick with moderation and take my chances.

  • leftduetostupidmods
    leftduetostupidmods Member Posts: 346
    edited December 2018
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    Not myself, but a good friend. She DID have surgery (lumpectomy & SN), stage II B. She refused chemo and rads, went holistic on a juicing diet with all kinds of supplements and CBD oil. She was afraid of traditional treatment because I am the only person she knows who did not die due to cancer treatment. This happened 2 years ago, she was 70. She's still alive, thriving and NED.

  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited December 2018
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    Me too Alice. Everything in moderation is my plan too. I’m not abstaining from anything totally. I eat red meat although not every day and I am admittedly a sugar baby especially this time of year. I am going to refrain from eating it every day though for other reasons than a fear of a BC recurrence.

    To each her own. My sister did not and does not consume a lot of sugar and her BC came back 4 years from her DX. Of course it might have happened anyway just saying.

    We all know women who lived the super healthy lifestyle and were DX with BC. My oncologist said they really don’t know why some of us draw the unlucky card. In my sister and my case our mother had BC and her aunt. High risk although 70% of BC cases are not genetically driven.

    It’s a crap shoot. We all need to eat healthier that’s a given but to some of the drastic changes I’ve read about they are too extreme to me plus there are no guarantees they will ward off a recurrence.

    I’m 7 years out last August. I had Stage 1b, Grade 1 IDC. I had a lumpectomy and 33 radiation treatments. I took Tamoxifen for 5 years. My sister had ILC and didn’t have chemo or radiation. My Oncotype score was low; her’s was intermediate.

    I still go into panic mode right before my annual mammogram - that will never change despite being years from my DX.

    Good luck to whatever you decide just don’t second guess yourself and look back and wonder what if...

    Diane

  • jo6359
    jo6359 Member Posts: 2,009
    edited December 2018
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    Edwards- I am one of those women who lived a super healthy lifestyle and still ended up with breast cancer. Vegetarian since I was a teenager, don't like sweets or salty foods, , minimal alcohol" Avid Runner , spiritual but not religious. It didn't stop me from getting cancer but I do believe it has helped me deal with the side effects from treatment. As far as making any changes since I was diagnosed I tried to add fish to my diet for additional protein. My stomach couldn't tolerate it. I'm still open to learning new things and making changes if deemed necessary. But there isn't any cookie cutter solution out there to treat breast cancer. We all have to do what's best for us based on our value system. It's also important to respect others right to choose different paths.

  • LoveFromPhilly
    LoveFromPhilly Member Posts: 1,019
    edited December 2018
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    red - thank you for all of that information! It is so important to be informed! and I am thrilled for you for your amazing and incredible lifestyle and healthy changes. It is amazing how we live in such a wealthy country that has the highest rate of unhealthy people. It is absolutely fantastic that you’ve done this and I hope you feel proud of yourself! Isn’t it fantastic to feel so well and take control of your health? This speaks so much to your inner strength!

    Jo - I too have always been a total health nut. I’ve practiced years of yoga, qigong, taichi, dance, meditation, have had an incredibly healthy diet free from sugars and highly processed non-organic foods. I have spent years in therapy to work on my traumas. I even made my career out of helping others find balance in health and diet and lifestyle as an integrative nutritionist and a practitioner of Classical Chinese medicine. What a blow to the system to receive a cancer diagnosis!! Hence, I’ve become less rigid in all my practices and have decided to simply enjoy :-)


  • jo6359
    jo6359 Member Posts: 2,009
    edited December 2018
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    lovefromphilly- I do simply enjoy my life. Please forgive my curiosity. Did you feel as if you were depriving yourself ? I do not feel as if I'm depriving myself of anything. If I want that extra piece of a really good cheese I go for it. What a wonderful resume you have. I'm sorry to hear about your traumas. You have been gifted with so many skills and you're willing to help others. That is impressive.

  • LoveFromPhilly
    LoveFromPhilly Member Posts: 1,019
    edited December 2018
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    hi Jo! Thank you! I do not think I deprived myself but rather took a journey down a path and the pendulum swung in one direction very intensely and now it’s swinging the other way, so to speak 😊

    I’ve always believed in the premise “you are what you eat” AND I don’t believe I was ever depriving myself. I work with people with disordered eating and I have family members with disorders eating, and through this, I have examined my own behaviors very thoughtfully. I did eat junk food a lot as a youth but when I turned 18 I was introduced to a vegetarian and organic lifestyle and things took off for me from there in the realm of being thoughtful about food. Always evolving always changing...from vegan to vegetarian to paleo to pescatarian etc etc etc...

    jo I am happy to hear you are not depriving yourself. I still sometimes struggle with worrying about the donut I ate and the fear that people like to push into cancer patients heads about the evils of sugar. I sincerely believe that not all calories are created equal. The nutritional value of the calorie from a roasted squash is quite different from the nutritional value of a calorie from corn syrup. When we are incredibly depleted, the body will gobble up any calorie that will bring it energy. When over-saturated (as many USA people are), those calories from corn syrup don’t do a body much justice.

    I became hyper aware of my diet while in school - I was surrounded by other students who I believe suffer from something called orthorexia - meaning that they believe that “unhealthy” foods are making them sick...and if they binge out on some French fries one day, the next day they are doing a detox of one sort of another. To remove the “toxins.” This is not a healthy approach.

    The idea of toxins is so pervasive in our society. The idea that we are “toxic” and must clear out the toxins from our bodies. It’s a huge money maker and full of people selling snake oil cure-all’s. My schools teaching fully supported the toxin idea. It is not a black and white issue. There are many layers.It is challenging because there is a fine line between living a “healthy” lifestyle and going over the edge with it. And the going over the edge in health is praised and cheered on by society.

    Anywho I have so much to say on this topic. But truly to each his own. We are all on our unique soul journeys and what works for one person and supports their core beliefs may not work for another person.

    That’s why I try to stay off my soapbox. Not always easy to do!!

    Love

    Brenda

  • pipers_dream
    pipers_dream Member Posts: 187
    edited December 2018
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    I’m sort of in-between, in that I chose to go fully holistic, without surgery or anything conventional but I still have the tumor. Was dxed stage III 5 years ago so I must be doing something right. At one point the tumor had shrunk down to the point where I couldn’t feel it anymore and then I went to visit my daughter in S America for a month and did too much I think—way too much stress and the food in Chile is awful junk food—their national favorite is hot dogs! Not that I ate any lol. So when I got back that pesky tumor was back dammit. It has grown some over what it was before but I’m still in good shape.

    Now I’m in Arizona and starting to get serious again about holistic tx and using cannabis products as part of my regime. Since I’m driving a lot, I’m afraid to use as much as I need for a cure though—a lady at a cannabis store who had cured her own BC said it takes being stoned into the ground for about 2-3 months. Think of me, the crazy lady running around in the desert stoned out of my gourd lol

    Cancer is tough any way you look at it, but strangely it has added meaning to my life. Sad that it took something so harsh to do that but after 5 years it no longer seems such a big deal. Maybe because ive come to terms with the idea that anything could happen and I’m fine with that. It helps that I’m single and my kids are grown, but otoh I have a first grandbaby on the way.

    The reason I chose holistic is because I had a strong intuition that conventional would hurt me badly—I have such weird reactions to drugs and anesthesia that I felt it wouldn’t go well for me and the docs weren’t taking my concerns seriously. Also, an aunt died an agonizing death from a strange reaction to chemo and that has been stuck in my head for years.

  • meow13
    meow13 Member Posts: 1,363
    edited December 2018
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    piper, are your doctors actively monitoring your tumor with mris or mammograms? I have read that ILC can be slow to leave the breast area. I have tried CDB oil for joint pain but I haven't been consistent because of the price. It may help somewhat just not sure.

    I also had a friend die from chemo, her tumors grew out of control but the chemo is what killed her. She got very aggressive treatment that turned out to be ineffective she may have lived longer without it.

  • MDRR
    MDRR Member Posts: 63
    edited December 2018
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    Piper I now have this image of you running around in the desert! I think our own intuition is so critical as a factor in determining our medical care. One time (not cancer related) one of my doctors actually told me that medicine is as much an art as it is a science, and that I know my body better than he did. I LOVED that doctor and was so sad when he moved away. We have to be partners in our own health journey, whatever that means for each of us, and without that I don't think we can be fully healthy.

    Cancer is tough, as are many things life throws at us. I think we each make our best choices with the information we have plus our instincts. There are no crystal balls available so for me, it's critical to look forward and not look back.