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Topic: Holistic tx only--what I've done

Forum: Alternative Medicine —

This forum is a safe, judgement-free place to discuss Alternative medicine. Alternative medicine refers to treatments that are used INSTEAD of standard, evidence-based treatment. Breastcancer.org does NOT recommend or endorse alternative medicine.

Posted on: Dec 14, 2016 07:08AM

pipers_dream wrote:

I've had several people PM and want to know what I did for treatment and I've been bad about answering them but time has been in short supply so I just thought I'd put this up here. I am not calling myself a success story and in no way would my path be for everyone but some are wondering what I've done and what I'm willing to live with. Turns out I'm really comfortable with uncertainty, which I suppose is a strength and certainly one I never realized I had. Slowly in my life my personality has revealed itself little by little and I still surprise myself.

I got dx'ed mid-November 3 years ago and it was completely overwhelming to me. My husband had left me a few years before this after a very long marriage, I was a very new empty nester, and I had started not just a new job, but a new career as a special ed teacher, under very trying circumstances and after having to move to take the position. The lump was not a lump--it was a subtle rippling under the skin of my left breast and I saw it in the mirror one morning. I'm normally a procrastinator but I got right in and got it checked and it was certainly BC.

They started right away making mistakes with my tests and such. I had to miss an important scan b/c they failed to schedule it in line with when my period was due. One male doc told me lumpectomy but the more competent woman surgeon in St. Louis marched in and said grandly, "Off with the boobs!" Well she said something like that. I went ahead and scheduled it for January of 2014, but the more I thought about chemo and radiation, the more reluctant I felt and of course I was googling like crazy and reading many books.

I wanted to do holistic but wasn't even sure where to start. Thought I'd start with detox but much of what I read said don't do it if you still have metal fillings so I made an appointment with a holistic doc in St. Louis, 2-½ hours from home. The appt was on Monday and the surgery was scheduled for Friday of the same week. The doc took a look at me and told me I didn't look too bad and suggested that if I were willing to postpone the surgery, he figured he could help me knock it down to a lumpectomy, or possibly no surgery at all. The idea of canceling a major surgery was really scary b/c what if they got mad and refused to treat me after that. I decided to go ahead and do it anyway and immediately felt like a huge weight was lifted off my soul--I was very peaceful about my decision. By this time I had been on the ketogenic diet for 2 weeks and the cancer seemed to have stopped growing. I had felt it grow before--now it had stopped and all it took was to get the sugars out. I might add that I'd had a terrible sugar addiction all my life so I wasn't terribly surprised by this.

At this point I'm going to stop and tell you all why my reluctance to do conventional care. The first and most obvious one was the fact that I've always been a wannabe hippie. I was 5 years too late for the real fun, so I thought, but had always fooled about with herbs and making my own salves and herb teas and such and I actually think this is fun. The other reason was darker--only a year before as I was going thru mom's stuff after she died, I found pix of her aunt who had died of BC. She had a rare reaction to the chemo they used and was burned from the inside out. The pictures were horrific and I remembered some of the things they used to whisper about the case when she was dying--I wouldn't wish such a fate on Hitler. I knew that I wasn't going to do that. Some have pointed out that cancer meds have changed a lot in the last 25 years but when the MO gave me a list of what he wanted to use, that one was on the list. I knew it was a rare side effect but we were related.

So I will stop here and resume in another post b/c this one is getting really long. BRB.
Breast cancer should not be something to fear but rather a call to go deeper in this journey called life. Dx 11/14/2013, ILC, 5cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 10, 2017 05:12AM pipers_dream wrote:

Oops Bosum, I meant to get this to you: Fat for Fuel by Dr. Mercola I'm putting this out there b/c the book is specifically directed at cancer patients and it seems to be springboarded off Travis Christofferson's book Tripping Over the Truth. Both are good reads for the metabolic theory of cancer as opposed to the genetic theory, which seems to have come to a dead end according to both authors. I know some believe that Mercola is a quack and I will say that I don't agree with everything he says but I have learned a helluvalot from him and his advice has helped me tremendously.

Breast cancer should not be something to fear but rather a call to go deeper in this journey called life. Dx 11/14/2013, ILC, 5cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 10, 2017 05:16AM MelissaDallas wrote:

I assure you I fasted for several months beccause the ascites and tumor were so huge they compressed my stomach, heart and lungs to the point I couldn't eat, had cachexia, malnutrition and a PE, so no, fasting (even involuntary) didn't help. It almost killed me

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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Jul 10, 2017 02:39PM Momine wrote:

Piper, :D Yeah, Mercola is a quack, but even quacks may trip over something useful here and there.

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/19/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/12/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 1/8/2012 Surgery 3/7/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 10, 2017 02:40PM Momine wrote:

Melissa, that sounds horrifying, so glad you are here to tell the tale though.

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/19/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/12/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 1/8/2012 Surgery 3/7/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 10, 2017 07:44PM new_direction wrote:

I think fasting helps but has to be combined with blocking the glutamine metabolism.

from another thread:
https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/73/topics/856479

Although dietary energy restriction and anti-glycolytic cancer drugs will have therapeutic efficacy against many tumors that depend largely on glycolysis and glucose for growth, these therapeutic approaches could be less effective against those tumor cells that depend more heavily on glutamine than on glucose for energy

Glutamine is a major energy metabolite for many tumor cells and especially for cells of hematopoietic or myeloid lineage [47,49,294,295]. This is important as cells of myeloid lineage are considered the origin of many metastatic cancers


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Jul 13, 2017 01:48AM pipers_dream wrote:

Melissa, I too am glad you're here--most with ovarian cancer are not so lucky. I'm sorry if I offended you in any way with this and I by no means am suggesting that fasting is a cure for cancer but I do believe that it can be one contributor to rebalancing the body back to the "maker's specifications." However, I hope I am appropriate in suggesting that it may be a factor in leading to the fact that you're still with us. We'll never know of course, which is the objection that most mainstream docs have to holistic methods (voluntary or not), in that holistic treatment throws everything but the kitchen sink at cancer and if it helps they have no idea what was the biggest contributing factor. Mainstream docs have a mindset that values certainty.

I just finished a very good book on fasting called The Complete Guide to Fasting by Jason Fung, MD. He deals with a lot of diabetic patients and has managed to help just about every one of them to reverse their disease. Part of his explanation for why this works better than diets, even very low carb ones, is b/c nothing will get the insulin level down more than fasting. You need to get insulin down as low as possible in order to start losing fat b/c insulin is the fat storage hormone and while it's up, there is no possible way that fat will come off. I have come to believe that it's not as simple as "sugar feeds cancer"--what actually happens is that eating sugary foods raises your blood sugar which raises your insulin level and it stays high when you have metabolic syndrome so you can't lose weight, even when on the ADA diet or weight watchers, or any diet which allows carbs. Some folks even have trouble with keto diets b/c if they've done it a few times they have more trouble going into ketosis. All of this may explain why metformin helps those with cancer or helps people to not get cancer in the first place--fasting does what metformin does but w/o the side-effects. I'm not so sure the ADA diet is bad per se, but it would be better to get the weight off first with a combo of fasting and very low carb dieting and then segue over, experimenting with raising the carbs gradually by using root veggies and beans, rather than bread and pasta as your carbs of choice. If you start to gain weight then take another fast day or kick back on the carbs or both. One thing I like about the author is that he does not advise a spartan lifestyle--he insists that you go ahead and eat that birthday cake or Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas goodies and then go back to your fasting lifestyle when the fun is over. He also gives several different plans--most people choose intermittent fasting and some may choose a more extended fast for quicker results. All in all a good read and interesting information. One of his most interesting statements was this: at least 75% of Americans have enough fat stores to walk from NY to Miami without ever stopping to eat! LOL

Good news: sis finished her fast with good results, even tho she did drink some apple juice--she thought it was ok b/c it was "no sugar added" but we all know that apple juice has plenty of sugar of its own. She feels much better so she has agreed to see the doctor. Yay!

New direction: I am going to look into your study--I know that on Dr. Mercola's very low carb diet, he insists that you keep protein grams within tight limits--you must eat no more than your minimum daily requirement in order to avoid feeding the cancer thru the mTor pathway. According to him, most of your calories should come from very high quality fats. Remember, this is a diet recommended specifically for those with cancer.

Breast cancer should not be something to fear but rather a call to go deeper in this journey called life. Dx 11/14/2013, ILC, 5cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 13, 2017 02:58AM MelissaDallas wrote:

Piper, I agree about intermittent fasting being good for some things, especially glucose control.

My medical records show "malnutrition" at my hospitalization and I continued getting bigger and bigger with more and more ascites over the course of the months before my hospitalization, so I still think three months of not being able to eat and/or drink made me much iller. The resulting severe dehydration also almost certainly caused my PE.

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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Jul 13, 2017 03:06AM pipers_dream wrote:

Well good point there. Fasting is never recommended for those who are malnourished and is not a cure-all for everything. It's merely one more tool in our arsenal and great if you can use it but not everyone can. The reason I bring it up is b/c almost no one thinks of it and while many docs are horrified at the thought, it's actually the oldest healing modality on the planet and one that has helped many people. I had bad fibroids before my fast--had just passed my 56th birthday and was still bleeding regularly and then did the fast. Started my period, again 2-1/2 weeks after the last which really pissed me off, and then never had another. That was 2 years ago and menopause was essentially trouble free--none of the emotional crap and very light hot flashes. My ob/gyn had told me it would be hell, due to the fibroids but it wasn't.

Breast cancer should not be something to fear but rather a call to go deeper in this journey called life. Dx 11/14/2013, ILC, 5cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 13, 2017 04:41AM MelissaDallas wrote:

I fasted INVOLUNTARILY until it CAUSED malnutrition.

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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Jul 13, 2017 04:56AM - edited Jul 13, 2017 04:58AM by pipers_dream

Oh shoot Melissa, I was just getting ready to get on here to explain that I already knew that because I was afraid you would think I was chiding you, but since I'm talking to others as well, I felt the need to explain that one shouldn't start to fast if malnourished. Yes, I do believe that a 3 month involuntary fast would indeed be harmful but glad you're here with us now. Please don't take any of what I say as telling you what you should have done--after all, I've just learned much of this myself. I cannot imagine what you must have gone thru.

Breast cancer should not be something to fear but rather a call to go deeper in this journey called life. Dx 11/14/2013, ILC, 5cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 13, 2017 05:00AM ChiSandy wrote:

Such drastic dietary restrictions would, for me, be like being on permanent chemo without the hair loss and immune impairment. It’s a personal decision for everyone, and QOL is high on my priority list. Dairy is not harmful so long as it comes from grass-fed cows who graze on no-pesticide non-GMO pasture and receive neither abx nor hormones (BTW, abx and hormones are illegal now in beef sold in the US). The carcinogenesis of red meat is that it raises the risk—in susceptible individuals—of colon cancer by 6%. But the risk is comparatively low to begin with. And fasting can lower metabolism by sending the body into “famine” mode.

Do what works for you and does not make your life miserable. For me, having to ditch alcohol, caffeine, & dairy and go pure keto (and avoid those “Plant Paradox” green veggies like nightshades that some now say are “toxic”) would seriously interfere with my vacations, deprive me of a hobby I love, and make me a general PITA when it comes to friends (not to mention making me cranky as hell). I once had to house a touring band from back East who were my friends. Lovely people—but one was gluten-free, another lactose-intolerant with nut and fish allergies, another kept Kosher and only one was an omnivore. I felt like a short-order cook at a yoga retreat. Don’t even get me started on finding a restaurant where we could all eat after the gigs.

Low-carb is about as far as I am willing to go.

Diagnosed at 64 on routine annual mammo, no lump. OncotypeDX 16. I cried because I had no shoes...but then again, I won’t get blisters.... Dx 9/9/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 9/22/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 11/1/2015 3DCRT: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/30/2015 Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 13, 2017 11:00AM pipers_dream wrote:

I understand what you're saying Sandy and believe me I have the same thoughts. If I have given the impression that I'm doing everything perfectly and that I have a lot of discipline then I have failed in my message. The fact is that I still have about 20 extra lbs and I've been happy with this for awhile b/c I weighed 185 lbs for years but I've realized that my blood sugar is still out of control if I'm overweight. Also I've gained some lbs this year b/c bread is my absolute and most favorite food in the world--I would happily give everything else up if I could just continue to eat bread and I'm really good at baking it besides. I went on a cracker making spree just this past spring and I think I put on 5 lbs just from that b/c I wanted to try out all the variations. But, alas, bread is the new sweets for me. Sad

This has put me right back into sugar burning mode, as opposed to the fat burning mode that I need to be in, so I'm hoping to drop a few lbs and get the sugar/insulin down and then I will be able to have some treats, but certainly not as excessively as I've been doing them. Also, remember, I'm single and I want to date. LOL.

I've had to ditch alcohol anyway b/c I'm ILC so it's a rare occasion when I have a drink, and dairy isn't advised for ER/PR+, even organic, but I do have a spot of cream in my coffee. The good doc says to have that coffee so I do--never gave it up and I drink organic.

Breast cancer should not be something to fear but rather a call to go deeper in this journey called life. Dx 11/14/2013, ILC, 5cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 13, 2017 11:08AM pipers_dream wrote:

Bosum, I never took that as criticism but I guess I did feel a little guilty so maybe got defensive. I know how hard it is to get an unwilling patient to the doc since our family has a long tradition of that. I had an uncle who died of Lou Gehrig's (so they thought) and never once saw a doctor for it. The only reason he knew it was LG was because in that side of the family it runs rampant.

I know that what I'm talking about sounds like a lot of work but I haven't done it all at once--this has been spread out over the past 3.5 years and most of the time I spend in enjoyment of what I like to do and my job, but I"m a teacher and have summers off so I do spend a bit more time on it then. And yes, I have def turned this over to a higher power and consider that just as much a part of my healthcare as the other stuff. Remember, I just got back from a month long vacation in South America so I'm certainly not suffering lol.

Breast cancer should not be something to fear but rather a call to go deeper in this journey called life. Dx 11/14/2013, ILC, 5cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 27, 2017 07:40AM Houston2016 wrote:

Hello Ladies,

I followed the conventional treatment and completed rads Jan.31, 2017. Since then I started taking several herbal remedies such as Curcumin, green tea extract, reservatrol in tablets. This in addition to vitamin s D, C B complex. Although I did check out the side effects of these supplements but my thought was to reduce the inflammation outweigh the risks. Just this past Friday, I started to feel soreness under my rib cage, underneath the right breast that runs to my lower abdomen. I checked the info on green tea extract and lord and behold, it has been linked to liver damage. My question to you all is has anyone tried this supplement and what was your outcome?Thank You.

Dx 4/5/2016, IDC, Left, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/14/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 10/5/2016 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 12/12/2016 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Oct 5, 2017 05:32AM Maggiemoo63 wrote:

Houston 2016

I don't take the green tea extract but drink green ice tea everyday and a little to much at times and I don't have liver damage from it.

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Oct 28, 2017 11:03AM hopeful_36 wrote:

Dear pipers,

Very encouraging to read about your path.

Would you update us on your tumor progress? Is it all gone?

Dx 3/27/2013, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/20/2013 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Dx 8/27/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Left Surgery Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Oct 28, 2017 12:20PM Icietla wrote:

Pipers_dream, I recently found some soy-less, sugar-less crackers that might save you a great deal of work -- Medford Farms Stoneground Wheat Crackers.

My latest (Stage IV) diagnosis is almost certainly of another distant primary type. To the best of my information and belief, I am still apparently what we call NED as to breast cancer, doubtless thanks to Letrozole. Dx 2/12/2016, ILC, Right, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/19/2016 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2016 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 4/25/2016 Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 8/2018, Stage IV
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Nov 15, 2017 10:34AM hopeful_36 wrote:

Anyone HER2+ and refusing conventional treatments?

I was HER- first time around for DCIS (2013). 2017 recurrence, they've tested it twice with results "unequivocal". Retested for the third time, and it turned out to be HER+.

It'd be good to hear there is someone else who's gone alternative with HER+.

Dx 3/27/2013, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/20/2013 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Dx 8/27/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy: Left Surgery Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Dec 2, 2017 11:55PM pipers_dream wrote:

Hi all, so sorry I took so long but things are mostly going well and I've not been on here as much. Still I have been thinking of updating for awhile now.

I've been talking to my friend who is going on 9 years with this path. She is still doing well though she calls her breast "the mutant boob." LOL. We lost our first cancer patient in our holistic support group and I'm going to take the opportunity to say that if you're under 50, I would not recommend holistic tx b/c the tumor is so aggressive in folks of a younger age--she was 45. The funeral was very sad as she had two little girls under 10. I suspect she would not have made it anyway but it's so hard to say really. Most of us are doing holistic b/c we all had a deep inner feeling that we personally would not have done well on conventional tx.

Another thing we talked about is the "dark side" of holistic--the fact that after a couple of years you lose your fear and you begin to drift from the program. It's just so hard to keep going at times--you start eating a little junk food here and there, give yourself more breaks from exercise or the endless pills. A little at a time the program begins to fall apart. And yet I guess we've found our balance b/c we still seem to be doing well. At this point I'm not sure I even care since I've lived with it for so long. Did I have a death wish from the beginning? Many of you would believe that the answer is yes, but perhaps ... well I just can't say. I'm living my life day to day and drinking club soda when I go out with friends. I'm constantly having to pull or push myself back into it and guess I always will. Either way, whether I live or die soon though, I suspect I will think this was worth it.

The main thing I am grappling with right now is the emotional end of this. My family was so dysfunctional as I was growing up. We appeared normal to the outside world but I'm beginning to have the thought that it's possible my mother was a sociopath, or perhaps had S tendencies. Dad was a functional alcoholic and mostly ignored us so we were all severely emotionally neglected growing up and I'm having trouble getting past the sadness of what might have been. It starts eating me every year just before the holidays and it's eating me now. I'm not openly depressed--I get up and go to my job every day, but my mood is often so flat or irritable that I'm having trouble even caring about the future, even though I have two delightful daughters. Lately I've been over-sensitive and have had several run-ins with friends or co-workers and though these situations seem to be clearly their fault, I can't help but think that I've done something to spark these off. My therapist says that I need to drop that line of thinking but it's hard to believe there's not something wrong with me as I've felt that way all my life. My sister is the same way--a big hallmark of those who were emotionally neglected is feeling that you're fatally flawed. Still I will keep plugging along and though I'm not fit company for anyone right now I will go dancing tonight with the friends I have left, lol.

Breast cancer should not be something to fear but rather a call to go deeper in this journey called life. Dx 11/14/2013, ILC, 5cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 7, 2017 08:22AM gemini4 wrote:

Big hugs to you, Piper! I rarely check BCO these days but decided to catch up today. I was glad to see you posted, as you're one of my board favorites. I'm sorry to hear you're feeling down. This is definitely a tough time of year. I ordered (and received today) a special wake-up alarm clock lamp for my bedroom and one for my daughter (age 18, HS senior). It simulates sunrise, and I'm eager to try it and hope it works. It's really hard to get up in the morning when it's so dark right now -- super depressing. I also ordered another light therapy device that's due later this week. Didn't mean to make this all about me, but wondering if the short days are also contributing to your feelings of darkness right now.

I would go dancing with you if I lived near you! :-) Keep on dancing and stay connected with your friends -- you don't need a lot ... a few quality people are better than a crowd of acquaintances. Hang in there, and please keep in touch here.

xo

Age 48 at Dx, pre-menopause / OncoType score 16, no chemo Dx 12/7/2012, ILC, 1cm, Stage IB, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/19/2012 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Surgery 1/14/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/10/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 4/3/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 7, 2017 09:04AM pipers_dream wrote:

Oh my goodness gemini, tomorrow is your 5 year anniversary! Congratulations!

Yes I've wondered if it's the darkness making me dark too and I've even wondered about the spraying of the cotton crops around here--they dump a substance very like agent orange on the fields with planes and it has neurological effects that I've noticed in other years also. In fact, I get this way about the same time every year. I've responded by getting serious about my diet again b/c I was beginning to stray and I had to have a come to Jesus talk with myself. Feeling much better lol. And maybe that fast helped and cleared some cotton toxins out of my system. Thank you for your kind concern and I've been considering getting one of those alarms too. Where did you get yours?

Breast cancer should not be something to fear but rather a call to go deeper in this journey called life. Dx 11/14/2013, ILC, 5cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 18, 2017 11:39PM Amelia01 wrote:

Piper- I've spent the past hour reading through every single post of yours on this thread and just want to reach out with some comments / book suggestions etc.

In one of your posts you mentioned a cancer personality or something to that extent. Not sure how that looks or how one can have a cancer profile, but if my holistic oncologist is correct, you seem to have all the characteristics of someone who will kick it to the curb! Keep in mind I am just starting out on this awful journey, but both my husband and my oncologist say that if they were a malignant cell they'd be sure as frightened to be in my body. Hard to balance the fight with mediation or relaxing in my eyes, and I am a long way from inner peace as I'm a rabid fighter, which goes back to the fight or flight instinct and how our bodies handle stressors.

I was asked by my HO if I had any life changing events in the past two years which caused grief. Absolutely, I told her, the loss of my marriage. She found that odd as I was accompanied by my husband who stood there with his jaw dropped, but I went on to tell of my severe depression being in an emotionally and psychologically abusive marriage that even prompted thoughts of suicide. Having been in such a mentally depressed state it also caused the deleterious effects on my body and on the left breast, which is said to be the nurturing one. I nurtured everyone around me but not myself.

Fight and flight create inflammation, and this is where the causes lay. Chronic inflammation (even in teeth or stomach) wreck chaos on the body. I never ever ever get sick as in the a cold or flu but due to my stress level being at alarm level my body gave in and here I am now.

My oriental Setsu Shin practitioner went on to delve to my past as a child and metagenealogy and suggest I study this book. Metagenealogy: Self-Discovery Through Psychomagic and the Family Tree by Jodorowsky, Alejandro

Well, I must admit it is a hard read but if I look at my family dynamics I see things that are similar to what you tell of, emotional neglect being the top of the list. All families are dysfunctional in my opinion but some of them are extremely so and leave severe scarring. My mother, my aunt, and my sister all have major personality issues (and here I am the "normal" (seemingly!) one in the family, and I fall ill. In the past years I've spent the weeks together with my family as the goal keeper, the referee and honestly, I was sick and tired of always listening to their crap (one against the other looking for an alliance with me) that this year I had already decided not to return home for Xmas. Then this happened in October....

How much to we need to clean up our past skeletons and how much can we just overcome it just by telling ourselves that it is in the past, and the future is where to look? I can never address my mother about her behavior when we were kids (she denies it) and I don't even think it is worth it to stir the pot at this stage. Maybe writing it in a letter that gets put away or burned is enough to cleanse ourselves from it? I don't know if you have children, but the most therapeutic aspect would be to ensure that we don't put our kids in the same kind of situation as we were in as kids. Cut the vicious circle in pieces.

I found your suggestion for younger women not to choose to take the holistic route of great reflection. I just had the port placed today for chemo to start on Jan 2. I always said to myself that should I be plagued with this, that I would never ever do chemo. And here I am with a date on the calendar....

I must say that I am still on the fence and have a thousand doubts. My HO even said that she realizes chemo has many negative effects but to date, not one of the single holistic therapies has as much clinical proof of working as conventional therapies. She and I have done a list of the dos and does of complimentary therapies and in addition to various vitamins, herbs (ashwagandha!), colonics, she said to take anything Dr. Bernie Siegel says as scripture. The body cannot be cured if the heart and soul are not at peace.

Sending sincere blessings of good things your way.

Amelia xx

Dx 10/17/2017, ILC/IDC, Left, 6cm+, 17/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/7/2017 Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Jan 13, 2018 02:53AM pipers_dream wrote:

Wow I have stayed away too long! LOL and I'm feeling much better. What sweet thoughts Amelia.

Since you asked about the cancer personality, and it's been on my mind, I will elaborate. I will mention that there is absolutely no scientific evidence for this and many docs would be reluctant to share this info, as if we were somehow to blame but I don't see it that way because I didn't choose my family situation and when I had children I did everything the opposite of what my mother did and they tell me they enjoyed a lot of love and a happy childhood so something must have worked lol.

So some of the type C traits, and esp those for BC are people who did not have a close or good relationship with their mother and often did not feel loved by her. They tend to suppress their own desires to that of the group and tend to be "overly nice." They may be suppressing long held resentment and hostility and never feel that they get the love they so desire. That describes me to a T, but I realize that of course many of you did enjoy the love of your mother and may in fact be quite outspoken so I don't take this as gospel, but I do take it as something that I personally need to work on and I've realized that many of those fights I had this past fall were me standing up for myself when people around me aren't used to that from me. Since I am soft spoken and kind, people often mistake me for a pushover. LOL. I've come to realize that I am much stronger than I ever realized and that was worth everything I have gone through. I must say that I can't blame my personality for my BC though--my health habits were terrible before I got the dx...not enough sleep except on weekends, too much sugar, and too much stress put me under. And I realized later that I was stuffing my tougher emotions with cookies.

Amelia, I don't see you doing conventional tx as a failure...you must follow your heart in your choice of tx but who says it has to be one or the other? There are many things you can do to make your chemo work better. If you're not overly thin you can fast 3 days--the day before, the day of, and the day after. Also, broccoli sprouts are supposed to make the chemo work better. Look up Dr. Valter Longo for stats on the fasting. The beauty of this is that it's supposed to help with the side effects as well as make the chemo blast through that tumor more effectively.

For those who are interested in dietary interventions, I just read a brilliant book by Miriam Kalamian called Keto for Cancer. She used it with her young son's brain tumor when conventional could do no more and they told her he had months to live and she said that his tumor was growing quite aggressively at that point and they put him on a keto diet and he lived 7 more years I believe. Honestly that's the best any of us can hope for is more years as there are no guarantees and we will all die at some point. So, I am back on my keto diet and feel better already.

Breast cancer should not be something to fear but rather a call to go deeper in this journey called life. Dx 11/14/2013, ILC, 5cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 13, 2018 09:04AM terrifiedBUTstillHOPEFUL wrote:

I am in total AWE reading all the posts here... I love that there is no judgement, just so much support! I was recently Dx on December 14th and awaiting for surgery on February 13th, then chemo, then radiation... I want to learn more about Holistic treatment, to see if there is a way to incorporate it with my conventional treatment...

Dx 12/14/2017, ILC, Right, 1cm, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 13, 2018 10:35AM pipers_dream wrote:

Terrified, I can recommend you some books--these have helped me a lot. Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients by R. Blaylock, MD. This had many things you can do for physical symptoms and SE of tx. Tripping Over the Truth by Travis Christofferson. This one was informative as well as extremely entertaining. Radical Remission by Dr. Kelly Turner. I see this one mentioned on here more than any other. It made me realize these things happen way more than most people imagine.

Well that should get you started. Good luck on your journey and keep us all posted please.

Breast cancer should not be something to fear but rather a call to go deeper in this journey called life. Dx 11/14/2013, ILC, 5cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 14, 2018 03:40AM - edited Jan 14, 2018 03:44AM by terrifiedBUTstillHOPEFUL

Pipers_dream, thank you for the recommendations! I will definitely be getting my read-on Smile

My family has been stricken with cancer since 2006, starting with my Aunt (my mom's eldest sister) whom passed from Ovarian Cancer... Then, my mom's second to the eldest sister was Dx in 2015 with Ovarian Cancer but is now in remission... my younger sister who is ony 32, Dx with Stage 4 Lung Cancer in 2016 (has never smoked in her life) but also in remission... and my mom's second to the youngest brother Dx with Stage 4 Prostate Cancer in 2017 -- he has been bed ridden since but hanging on. Hearing about others being diagnosed has no comparison to what we feel when it's ourselves that have been diagnosed. I felt like my entire world was thrown into a tornado of mental and physical emotions, not to mention all the information being spoken by your doctors. However, I'm so glad that we can come here to get more support and information from others alike... Since I joined BCO, my fears have subsided (a little lol) ... there's a "warm" feeling you get when reading these posts and seeing others' comments. I'm thankful that we are not "alone" in this life changing process. ((hugs))

**BTW, I'm craving for CHOCOLATE!!! Scared Can we? Should we? Alternatives that taste like it???

Dx 12/14/2017, ILC, Right, 1cm, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 14, 2018 05:40AM pipers_dream wrote:

Breast cancer should not be something to fear but rather a call to go deeper in this journey called life. Dx 11/14/2013, ILC, 5cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 16, 2018 06:35AM terrifiedBUTstillHOPEFUL wrote:

Wow! ...would the milk powder be considered "dairy"?

Dx 12/14/2017, ILC, Right, 1cm, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 16, 2018 08:54AM pipers_dream wrote:

Yes it would terrified, but I just posted the first pic that came to me...you could also get dark chocolate, which would be a lot less likely to have dairy and if it did it would have less. Be careful with this chocolate...it's easy to eat too much. I've heard Thrive Market has the best prices on it.

Breast cancer should not be something to fear but rather a call to go deeper in this journey called life. Dx 11/14/2013, ILC, 5cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 16, 2018 11:04AM terrifiedBUTstillHOPEFUL wrote:

Got it, thanks again!

**PS, have almost everyone on BCO gotten a 2nd or even 3rd opinion??? I know I am nearing my surgery date, but I've been wondering about this... and, how have you been feeling lately?

Dx 12/14/2017, ILC, Right, 1cm, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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