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.
11/14/2013, ILC, 5cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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