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Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Hope

As 2009 draws to a quiet close for me, I find myself wondering what 2010 will bring. I hoped to go into the New Year cancer free. That hope has not materialized. So, cancer will cross the imaginary line into the New Year with me.
I remember the Lord telling me 2009 would be a difficult year for me, but that He would be with me. He has been and I know He will continue to be with me into the unknown of 2010.
My heart's desire for the coming year is to see the enemy robbed of the weapon of cancer. I want to see him disarmed and cancer rendered harmless. I do not believe the Lord ever intended for us to be robbed of so much in the body of Christ by cancer. He doesn't want women loosing their breasts or men loosing their prostates or anyone loosing their lives to it. Cancer is confusion and it is not authored by God. It is an alternate information coming into cells and creating chaos.
I seek authority and dominion over cancer this year. Please join with me to see cancer defeated in the spiritual as well as physical realms. We need to fight for what the Lord has already provided for us. Happy New Year to all.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Not So Good News

My blood test results came back from the nutritionist and they were not so good. I lost a lot of ground. My liver was bottomed out on the scale, and all of my organ functions, including my immune system, had fallen at least by half. I expected that they would not be quite as good because of the stress of moving out of state, but I have to admit I was surprised at how much ground I lost. Now that I am settled and able to rest, I do expect to get all that I lost back. I am hoping that I will recover quickly. He said the cancer seems about the same, neither gaining ground nor retreating, although I have experienced an increase in pain at the tumor sites.
The nutritionist put me on a mild cleanse and will recheck my blood in two weeks. I am taking this time to refocus my energy on getting well, taking care of myself FIRST. It is hard to be around my grandchildren and not offer to take care of them. There is no shopping for Christmas, mostly because we don't have the money (alternative cancer therapies don't pay for themselves) and partly because I can't afford to spend the energy going out shopping.
I am very grateful to be near most of my family now. My children are here, one of my sisters, and my parents. Another sister will visit for Christmas.
As I contemplate the Christmas Season and the New Year, I am filled with gratitude. For the most part I feel great. I have my family here. We have food, a roof over our heads, and the Lord has provided the funds for my supplements every month.
Life is a gift. God is good. May you find the true peace of this Christmas Season in the One who provided it. Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward Men!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Good News

I went in to the doctor for a three month diabetes, high blood pressure, and thyroid check today (I have an auto-immune thyroid disorder). My A1c, which tells the average blood glucose level for the last three months was 5.1. That is excellent. She reduced my diabetes medication by half and is having me monitor my blood sugar frequently so that I don't get too low. No matter how hard I tried to watch my diet, I could never get my blood sugars into the normal range until I did the cleansing fast and raw food diet. More results tomorrow.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Four Month Mark

It has been four months since I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, seven months since I found the tumors. I am feeling great. My blood sugars are all in the normal range. That is a miracle. I am hoping to go off my diabetes medications as my body heals. I will know more after I get blood tests done. I have lost 37lbs on my raw foods diet and my heart rate has dropped from the 90s to 66bpm. Much healthier overall.
Tumor growth is very slow. I don't notice much of it but do have some pain in my breast and lymph tumors. I use Frankincense oil from Young Living Essential Oils to manage pain. My tumors were already very big (over 6cm and 3cm on the two biggest ones) when I was diagnosed.
Now that I feel things are under control, I would like to focus on seeing things reversed. I am doing enough to get my health back, but feel I have some work to do to see real progress made against the cancer. There are things I know I can improve on. I send in another blood sample today which will tell me alot about my progress and will help me know what adjustments to make.
Overall, all is well and God is good. I am feeling very grateful that I don't have to suffer the side effects of chemo, I still have my breast and lymph nodes, and the only discomfort I have is choking down some disagreeable tasting supplements like cod liver oil and Barley Life! We are preparing to move to be near my children and grand-children for the holidays. What fun!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Will to Live

As usual, I am reading about 'the enemy' cancer. Today I was reading a book called Breast Cancer, Beyond Convention by numerous conventional and alternative doctors offering hope outside of the boundaries of the Big 3 in addressing breast cancer. It has some very interesting chapters about prayer, meditation, diet, etc. But one that caught my attention was on the will to live. I have often questioned whether I have a strong enough will to live because I just would not ever go through some of the things women do to treat their breast cancer. I ask myself, 'What's wrong with me? Why don't I go running to the doctors and beg them to save me?'
I do think part of it is that I just know that there are worse things than death. I have been through some things that in my estimation were worse. I also know that the system could not save me. Only Christ can. I knew from the moment of diagnosis He was my only source. But there wasn't the panic I see in people as they rush to look for answers to try to save their lives. I had no fear, only the peace of knowing Christ is in control. I didn't even cry, and haven't cried about having cancer, although I did cry about the thought of leaving my family in death, if that were to happen.
The doctor who wrote this chapter said the will to live was beyond us, a 'universal law' that is ingrained in our very fabric. We cannot loose it, but we can become detatched or seperated from it. In other words, when life is threatened, it will still do what it needs to survive. I took comfort in what she said, because it is true. God created us with the will to conqueor death and the enemy. He bread it into us. We may get weary, but I do believe when push comes to shove, we do what we can to cling to life.
She told several stories of clients who fought terminal diseases. She said one of the things that helped those who struggled connecting with the will to live was having someone close to them whom they could glean positive 'life force' (for lack of a better term) from. I began to think about my husband and his steady faithfulness, day in and day out to take care of me. Suddenly I realized my question about myself was wrong. It was not 'Do I have the will to live?' but 'Am I important enough to continue living?'
I remembered how I asked that question when my uncle committed suicide. 'Isn't our relationship (or in my 14 year old mind, aren't I) important enough to live for?' Then again, as my first husband replaced me with another woman, 'Am I important enough to stay faithful for?' and then again, when my second husband was self-destructing. 'Am I important enough to straighten up for?' I realized that I might be asking God that same question, 'Am I important enough to heal?'. But as I was having that realization, I also realized He was already answering my question and had been for many years... one of the ways was through my husband Eric's persistent, faithful love for me. All the things that happen in life can cause us to ask questions about the validity of our being here, but in the end it is God who has the final say as to whether we are important enough to live. He said we were important enough to send His Son to die for so we could live. That is the answer to the question. But, sometimes in life He sends special messages of His love, through people. Eric is one of those messages to me. He is a message every day of God's faithfulness and tender-loving kindness. He cares for me (a fulltime job right now!) and never complains. My favorite moments are with him, and if he wasn't there to share something with it would be bland to me. When I need alittle extra 'live force' I can just cozy up next to him! I am a blessed woman! I am important enough. Yes, I want to live.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Being Lead Through Darkness

Though I don't always feel His Presence, God has ways of showing me He is indeed with me and is leading me. I have been doing quite a bit of research on cancer and find some of the ways He has lead me through that. The other day I was reading Anti Cancer by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD. On page 46 I came across some important information about tumor growth. I will quote him:
"3. The new tumor cells that spread to the rest of the body-metastases-are dangerous only when they are able, in turn, to attract new blood vessels.; 4. Large primary tumors send out metastases. But, as in any colonial empire, they prevent these distant territories from becoming too important by producing another chemical substance that blocks the growth of new blood vessels-angiostatin. (This explains why metastases sometimes suddenly grow once the principal tumor has been surgically removed.)" italics mine.
I was so excited to read this! You see, I didn't know why I was SO against the removal of the primary tumor in my breast, other than I wasn't going to let anyone take my breast from me. But my protection of myself from surgery was deeper than that. I felt a deep-seated sense of stubborn defiance of ANYONE coming near that breast! It was something that was beyond me that I could not understand myself or explain to others. Reading that having my primary tumor removed would also remove protection against the metastases growing made me want to leap up and praise God for His protection. It clicked! I understood why I felt the way I did! And I thought I was just being stubborn! But there was something so much deeper and I just didn't realize it was God's leading. You see, I know because of how aggressive my cancer is that it had metastasized before I even discovered it six months ago. I didn't know how to keep those metastases from growing but He did. And He lead me in ways I have not known. Praise Him!
It made me realize the importance of treating cancer 'wholistically' not just tumor by tumor in an isolated fashion. It also makes me ask the question: If they know this, why do they take out the primary tumor in the first place? Isn't that just asking for trouble? I'll leave you to think about that.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cancer: It's About Me

I have ups...and then, like all human beings, I have downs. This cancer thing can be tricky to deal with. I am thankful that I have not had to deal with fear at all. From the time of my first ultrasound to this moment, fear has been absent. Even at the diagnosis, there was no emotional trauma, just peace. I know who my Redeemer is, and I am at peace with Him. He is my very present help in trouble, so what would I fear? Nothing.
My downs come in feeling like I am not hearing God's voice of guidance at times, and also of aloneness. Not loneliness, but aloneness. You see, I don't have all the signs of cancer on me. I am not nauseous and throwing up from chemo, not recovering from surgery, my hair is still on my head, I have lost weight but look very healthy, I don't have outward signs of illness. But I am fighting what doctors would say is an incurable stage of the disease cancer. Because of the lack of outward signs people seem to think I'm OK and can do everything I used to do. My immediate family knows that I can't, but others look perplexed when I can't do something they have asked of me. I feel misunderstood and forgotten sometimes.
Then, I don't know anyone else who is fighting this nutritionally as I am, who is as advanced as I am. I know one wonderful woman who is almost cancer free but her cancer was not nearly as advanced as mine is. The only person I have been able to find is Dr. Lorraine Day, whose teachings I have gobbled up. Her cancer was at the same stage when she started her journey as was my cancer when I found it and she has been cancer free for at least 12 years now.
Cancer forces an inward look at what makes me, ME. It makes me re-evaluate all I know and believe. The longer I journey without an outward manifestation of healing, the more I am forced to find out what makes ME tick. I was a full-time mom to eight children (step-mom to three more), am married to my third husband, and have always served others to the best of my ability. In all my busyness to care for others 'I' somehow got lost in the shuffle. Now I am forced to put ME first. It is disconcerting to have to purposefully think about how something is going to affect me before I think about the impact on others. The attention cancer brings in prayer meetings and conferences is difficult for me to handle. I like to be in the shadows and cancer yells for attention and thrusts me into the limelight. But it is a lonely limelight. Even the few who are thrust there with me don't want to be in the cancer 'club', so there is little comradere.
I have been told by my nutritionist that I have to get stress under control (my cortisol levels are high) but I don't feel stressed. Then comes more introspection. It seems a slippery slope into self-absorption so I pull out of it and just don't try to figure it out.
In all of this, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord the Maker of Heaven and Earth. He has told me to rest in Him. The peace which passes all understanding is then mine and I cease from all my labors. I DON'T have to figure it all out. He will tell me all I need to know. With that assurance, I rest.

Books/DVDs I've Researched on Cancer and/or Nutrition

DVDs: (*indicates those I recommend)
*Double Blind: What Science Can't See-Dr. Lorraine Day
*Stress Success-Dr. Lorraine Day
*You Can't Improve on God-Dr. Lorraine Day
*Diseases Don't Just Happen-Dr. Lorraine Day
*Sorting Through the Maze of Alternative Medicine-Dr. Lorraine Day
*Cancer Doesn't Scare Me Anymore-Dr. Lorraine Day
*More on Cancer-Dr. Lorraine Day
1. *Beating Cancer With Nutrition-Patrick Quillin
2. *Breast Cancer? Breast Health!-Susun Weed
3. The Oil-Protein Diet-Dr. Johanna Budwig
4. The Cure for All Cancers-Dr. Hulda Clark
5. *A Cancer Battle Plan-Anne Frahm
6. *A Cancer Battle Plan Sourcebook-Dave Frahm
7. Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book-Dr. Susan Love
8. Insights Into Cancer-Dr. Henry Wright
9. The Hallelujah Diet-George Malkmus
10. *Recipes for Live-Rhonda Malkmus
11. Overcoming the Threat of Death-Arie Brouwer
12 .Guide Lines and God Lines for Facing Cancer-Marvel Patton
13. By the Grace of God and Good Nutrition-Fran Connor
14. The Cross and the Scapel-Gwen Wilkerson
15. *Your Body's Many Cries for Water-Dr. F. Balmanghelidj
16. *Getting Started on Getting Well, a workbook-Dr. Lorraine Day
17. *The RAVE Diet and Lifestyle-Mike Anderson
18. *Beating Cancer From the Inside Out-Mike Anderson
19. ***Cancer: Step Outside the Box-Ty M. Bollinger (A 'must have' book!)
20 .*Why Suffer-Ann Wigmore (not necessarily the book, but her work with wheatgrass juice)
21. *The Breast Stays Put, Put Your Scalpel Back in Your Pocket and Nobody Gets Hurt!- Pamela Hoeppner
22. A Story of Grace, Holistic Healing After a Diagnosis of Breast Cancer-Nancy Anne Battilega
23.*Winning the Battle Against Cancer, They said I was going to die...but I didn't-Elaine Hulliberger
24.***Anti Cancer-David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD (this book helped me greatly, though he does tout the benefits of Eastern meditation...just meditate on the Lord!)
25.**Healing Oils of the Bible-David Stewart, PhD
26.***The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to Breast Cancer-Sat Dharam Kaur, Nat. Doctor (a must have reference for preventing/healing breast cancer)
27. *The Macrobiotic Cancer Prevention Cookbook-Aveline Kushi with Wendy Esko
28. ***Cancer Salves, A Botanical Approach to Treatment-Ingrid Naiman
29.*How to Pray for Healing-Che Ahn
30.*A Divine Revelation of Healing-Mary K. Baxter
31.***From the Inside/Out-Dr. Henry W. Wright
32.*Cure or Cover Up-Dr. Henry W. Wright
33.**Healed of Cancer-Dodie Osteen
34.**The Divine Code of Life=Kazuo Murakami, Ph.D
35.*Cancer Medicine From Nature-Roger Bloom

Friday, October 30, 2009

Three Months and Blood Analysis

It will be three months since I was diagnosed with Triple-Negative breast cancer on Aug. 4th, six months since I found the lymph tumor. I just had my first follow-up blood analysis and received the results today. I'm so excited! All my organ functions were way up and my immune system is working great! My lymph toxicity was down by half. That's great considering the cancer is also in my lymph.
The regimen of suppliments combined with the diet restrictions are difficult to keep up with and I do struggle so I didn't expect to get such a good report. It really made me want to continue to put in the effort. I started working with my nutritionist one month ago. I had already changed my diet three months ago, but my test results on diet alone were very poor. I am so pleased and do have to thank my husband because if he wasn't doing all the work I certainly wouldn't be doing so well. Thanks, Hon!

Monday, September 28, 2009

From My 19 y.o. Daughter

From the Daughter of a Breast Cancer Patient
My mom has breast cancer. And unlike most people she and my dad did not freak and go running to the modern day doctors who “supposedly” have all the answers for health these days. They waited. They prayed. Then they acted on what they believe to be the right course of action to not only cure my mom's breast cancer but to all around give her the health she deserves to have. Most people that I know, including me at first, think that it is a stupid move, a very common belief among todays world. But over the past 2 months I have come from wanting to beg my mother to just get it cut off and radiated from her to firmly believing that radiation and surgery are not the way to go. And if you knew me you would realize that making me truly believe in something is no easy task.
When my mother was first diagnosed it crushed everything I knew. The whole foundation of my life was shattered as I had never felt it before. When I wasn't at work or sleeping the rest of my time was spent sitting in my mothers living room. It was a good 2 weeks before my buddy got me to go hang out with him and a few friends that I had hung out with a couple times. It was late one night after mom had already gone to bed (so I wouldn't miss a minute with her) when I went to hang out with him and one of my new friends, Preston. At this time I was mad at my parents for not doing anything medical to help my mom. I got to know Preston a little better that night. I learned his mother died of breast cancer when he was 12. She had gone through all the surgeries and chemotherapy only to be miserably sick the rest of her short life. Without me asking, Preston offered a small piece of information that I was not expecting. He said, and I quote, “If there was one thing I could have done different, it would have been to beg her NOT to do chemotherapy. She was so very sick the last few years of her life that we didn't get to enjoy any of it. If you want my advice, I would say beg her not to do chemo, enjoy every minute you have with her, and do something that would make her proud.”
Over the next few weeks I thought a lot about what he had said. I listened to what mom and dad were doing to fight this and all the books mom was reading about chemotherapy and natural detox. In the end I came to the conclusion that I had done the same thing as most people do and had panicked.. I had panicked and went straight to the first conclusion that we are taught here in America, that doctors are gods. They can do anything and they are the only way to get well. Since then I have tried my best to do exactly what Preston wasn't able to do when his mother was here. As most of you have heard I haven't had to beg my parents not to do chemo, I try to spend as much time as I can over at my parents house, and I'm still working on the proud part.
I am so grateful that Preston is my friend and that he cared enough to let me in on his life changing experience enough to try to help me with mine. And I want everyone to know how proud I am of my parents. They have stood up to so many people for what they believe in and are doing about this cancer. And now it is my turn to stand up for them. So today for the first time since this has all started I have given my opinion on how my parents are taking care of her breast cancer. And I say way to go, Mom and Dad!
-Sam, the daughter of a breast cancer patient.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Starting My Second Fast

Tomorrow I will start my second week-long juice fast. I have received all my suppliments and am looking forward to getting started building up my immune system. I feel great and look very healthy (I'm told!). People cannot believe I am in end-staged cancer.
The fasts are not hard for me at all. The Lord has given me a grace with this diet change and the fasting that is really supernatural. I am grateful and continue resting and worshipping during this recovery-time I am experiencing. Rest is very important to rebuild the immune system.
My frame of mind is focused on Jesus and I don't even really remember I have cancer most of the time. He truly "keeps in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on Him, for they trust in Him." I will be praying and worshipping as much as possible during the next week, and would appreciate your prayers as well. Thank you!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Blood Test Results

I had a nutritionist analyze a sample of my blood. I received the results and spoke to him about them today. My immune system is barely functioning. Across the board, every organ, gland, and cell group responsible for my defense is down. It is also not communicating among itself to work properly even if it was built up. I'm in trouble.
The nutritionist has suggested a plan for building it up. It will cost over $1,700/mo. (not including shipping!) to impliment. Since my healing is not yet manifest we feel the need to continue doing all we can nutritionally to keep me healthy. As you know our finances are less than adequate to cover that kind of committment, but in the last two days $800 did come in from family and a few friends who did not know the need so we can start and trust God for each month's supply. I am supposed to have my blood tested again four weeks after I begin the regimen to see if my body is responding properly. Each blood analysis costs $200.
I have been reading alot from Dr. Lorraine Day . She had breast cancer at about the same stage as mine (same size, too, only mine is buried in my breast). She beat it completely by nutrition alone. She has been cancer free for over 10 years. It is a very inspiring story. I admire her stand as well as the courage she has in exposing the barbaric way the medical establishment deals with cancer. Her teachings are very eye-opening and educational. I do not agree with all her theology, but I admire a faith that looks solely to Jesus and Jesus alone for the answers to all problems.

Tumor Trivia

Did you know?
*Tumors feed on sugar and animal protein.
*A tumor morphs it's DNA once a week. That's why the same drugs that worked against it at
first quickly loose their effectiveness.
*Women increase their risk of breast cancer by 2% for each mammogram they get.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Intimate Issues

Very soon after my diagnosis I received the same prophesy from different sources. Basically the gist of the message was that I knew Jesus as my Savior, as my Lord, and as my Husband (the woman who said this had no idea I had been divorced and widowed and how I had clung to Him as Husband when my own husbands weren't doing the job!). But now He wanted me to know Him as my Father. I was told to just climb up into His lap, lay my head on His chest, and rest in Him. God gave me a picture of me as a little girl. I was so happy, twirling in a field of white daisies and picking them with little pudgy-girl hands, then giving them to Him with total delight. I hadn't felt that kind of joy in my relationship with Him for, well, maybe ever. I have always been so serious about SERVING God, like He was some faraway ruler who only notices us if we're doing something for Him. Don't get me wrong, I had known Him in suffering, He was always there for me then. But my life had become about suffering. That was all I knew. And, if you knew the details of my life, you'd know a lot of it definitely was suffering. I began to identify and fellowship around the suffering Christ to the total exclusion of the RISEN Christ! Therefore I had little joy.
He began to show me that He wanted me on the other side of the cross. The side where Jesus lives in resurrection power and we do, too. He showed me that Christ is in me and that He took the penalty for sin so I didn't need to suffer to be more like Him. I am like Him if I am identifying with Him and walking by His Spirit. This went hand in hand with my healing. Can He use suffering to make us like Him? For sure! He's just that great. Does He send cancer to make us suffer to be more like Him? NO! Cancer is definitely of the devil!
Luke 11:11-13 "If a son shall ask bread from any of you that is a father, would he give Him a stone? or if he asked a fish give him a serpent? or if he asked an egg would give him a scorpion? If ye being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly FATHER give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?"
There was the title of His new identity in my life: FATHER.
Suddenly I knew He wanted to give me the kingdom as my Father. As my Father, He wants to give me my inheritance!
On Daddy's lap I have learned a whole new rest. I am resting from trying to receive healing by earning it, by striving for it, by figuring it out myself. It is all done and all I have to do is sit in His lap and rest, trusting Him for the manifestation in His perfect timing.
I have also been given liberty to be me in a whole new way. I have never expressed anger to God before. Only acquiescence to His will and acceptance. After all, I was too spiritual, I wouldn't get mad...well, there's alot of things I get mad about now. As a child, I can get mad about things I don't understand, knowing that my Father understands all and will sort out the emotions I am feeling for me. It is a healthy place to be with Him. And it is a place of peace not dependent on my behavior.
While at Redding I had a major meltdown. I swore! If you knew me, you'd know I don't swear! The pressure of 'getting healed' was getting to me. I had been to the healing rooms by then and no manifestation of healing yet. I began to be alittle worried about how my children would react. If I wasn't healed that weekend we needed to make some serious decisions. At least we thought we did. Do I go in for treatment? Do we move or stay in Texas? Do we go back to Ukraine? What was God saying? I felt terrible and spent after my explosion to Him. But He just ignored it and left behind a blessing of favor. That night was when Heidi Baker preached about favor and I received two words about being favored of the Lord. He knew me and sorted it out for me. I am so safe with Him!
I want everyone to be able to enter into His rest with me. It is so delightful to be known by Him! Do you realize that is where our true source is? If we have that, true intimacy with the Father, we are in need of nothing else! That is the cake and icing of life! Anything else is just bonus! All our problems are solved. Cancer is so little in comparison. I don't need less cancer, I need more Jesus! How can cancer stand in His glory?
Please, won't you join me and enter into His rest?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Go to this site to see the serious implications patenting human genes has on our health care. Since when have we allowed our government to grant patents on parts of OUR bodies or food supplies (check out Monsanto and how they have patented all the seeds they can and now control our food supply)? Traditionally and in the patent laws, nothing that grows naturally or parts of the human body (ie. God grown) could be patented. Our government is breaking that law! This is serious and we need to get angry! The BRCA-1 and 2 gene mutations are what cause triple-negative breast and ovarian cancer in many cases and should be openly researched by anyone who wants to, not just Myriad. These are my genes, these are your genes, these genes belong to all of us and were created by GOD. Oh, please, educate yourselves as to what our government is allowing these large companies do to us! They are denying God's creation and authority over these created things.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Counting the Cost?!?!

In case anyone wondered, I thought I'd share from the business side of this little cancer venture. The first day of tests, a mammogram and an ultrasound, cost alittle less than $800. My biopsy proceedure the next day cost $9000. Yes, you read that right. Two days worth of cancer cost almost $10,000. And that was just the beginning!!! We do not have insurance, which I was told was a good thing for us, more government handouts I guess. My husband was laid off work with many of his colleagues in March. They have kept him busy some since then, but we did qualify (I think) for a grant to pay for the diagnostics part of this venture.
In order to see the team of doctors I needed to be funded first. Yes. You can't get into a cancer doctor unless they know you have funding. There is a breast cancer medicaid available but we made too much to qualify for it at first. Eric's hours were cut to 12 per week which did bring us under the qualifying amount but by that time we had decided not to use the doctors anyway.
The stripping in our lives right now is intense. We are not bringing in enough to pay the bills, and have no idea where God wants us. I have been spending my time resting while my husband cares for me and everything else. A friend brought us a bed so that we could at least sleep together instead of on blow-up matresses on the floor. I don't care what happens to the house, etc. Material posessions really aren't high on my list of priorities. In fact, we had just returned from giving our furniture away so that we could sell everything else and be available to God for anything He wanted when we received the cancer diagnosis. Sounds like a frontal attack, huh?
Our prayers are for provision and guidance. We need to know His will. Do we move closer to family? Do we stay where we are? We were supposed to go to Ukraine in October. Our work there is in question, too. What do we DO, Lord?
*An additional note: We recently heard a cancer survivor talk about his treatments. Each chemotherapy treatment he received cost him $35,000. He had to pay out of pocket until he was accepted into the VA, at which time the cost went down to $50. Hummmmm!

Testing, Probing, Prodding

Sometime during the two days I was going through diagnostic tests it dawned on me that this was just the beginning of the testing, probing, and prodding. According to the doctor I would be seeing a team of at least five doctors who with their assistants and teams would all be testing, probing, and prodding at me from now into the forseeable future. I couldn't imagine having to fight my way through with all these people, insisting on seeing the doctor first, then once again exposing myself to all of them while they figured out how they were going to save my life. Their ways didn't add up as any type of salvation in my book. They wanted to poison my immune system to push back the cancer and then take my breast from me and poison me some more. All with little promise of more time than I already had if I didn't get treatment. Extreem suffering with no reward. Not my cup of tea. Not that I blame them, they do what they know and have been taught, but I couldn't reduce my mind to think inside of the narrow box of conventional medicine. I watched afew women's stories on the net and saw them posing for before and after mastectomy topless pictures. How degrading! Anger flared up inside of me. How could this system reduce women to this and WHY do we let them. I am supposed to be poisoned, then cut, then poisoned again, probably barely making it through the experience and then turn around and thank them for saving me? I don't think so. Not for me. I also looked at the miriads of pictures of women with their reconstructed breasts. Even the best jobs looked butchered to me. Why would I give up what God gave me for that? I couldn't bring myself to face the inhumanity of the medical system. (Please understand I am referring to the system, not the doctors. There are some great compassionate doctors out there. I am not anti-doctor.) I knew God could guide me through it if He wanted me to do it, but I couldn't see Him wanting me to go through that. It wasn't for me. I became angry knowing women were going through this everyday, giving up their breasts on the altar of medicine in exchange for their lives. I felt they were being robbed. This was just another way the devil was robbing women when Jesus wanted to make them whole. Resolve began to build in my soul. I will see victory in this and then lead others to Him for healing. Oh, come Lord Jesus! Have Your way!

Friday, September 4, 2009

One Month Mark

Today marks my one month diagnosis with breast cancer. I feel great. I am on a complete vegeterian diet and at this time am on a juice fast. I have never been so healthy. My tumors are still with me.
I have sent a blood sample to a nutritionist to have it analyzed. He will be able to help me to make dietary changes that will help my immune system fight the cancer. I am still contending for complete supernatural healing. I believe this is something that has been won already but must be contended for until it is a physical reality.
Eric and I are planning to visit his sister in Kansas City and go to the International House of Prayer there for healing prayer next week.
I am released in my thought life from any fear. I don't see myself as having cancer, but I know I do. It is just so far removed from my reality. I don't pray for my own healing anymore. The burden I had for that is gone. It actually wouldn't matter which way it went, life or death. I am at peace. But I know life is the will of God for me. The only prayer I have about death is that when it is time for my heart to be readied to meet Him, that the motivation of readiness in my heart would be love for Him and not a need to escape pain.
What the enemy meant for death and evil, God has used to bless me with life and a tenacious fighting spirit. I will see my King victorious!

Cancer and Sin

One of the things God has shown me is that cancer is like sin. Cancer dwells in our flesh. Sin dwells in our flesh. I am not to identify with my cancer. I am also not to identify with the sin that dwells in my flesh. I would not introduce myself, "Hello, I'm Breast Cancer." If that's the case with cancer why would I identify myself according to the sin that dwells in my flesh? If I see myself as my shortcomings, I will never identify with how the Father sees me through Jesus finished work on the cross. Cancer taught me that sin dwells in my flesh but IT IS NOT ME. It tries to decieve me, it tries to kill me, but it cannot because it is not me and has no authority over me. Jesus is the Lover of Soul and the King of this Temple. I will not be afraid. He sees me perfect and healed through the Blood of the Lamb. Hallelujah!

No Conventional Medicine: The Decision

We had actually already decided not to pursue conventional medicine for treatment almost from the first. I struggled whether it was my will or God's will I was doing until I realized He was as concerned about my sufferings as I was. During one of my latenight prayer sessions I had two revelations. One was that Jesus didn't just say, "Be healed," but, "Be made WHOLE."! It resounded within me. The enemy of my soul was trying to steal my breast from me, as well as my life. God had given both to me, and He was on MY side! He wanted me to keep both. I no longer wondered if God told women to go have their breasts removed. He wanted them to be whole. He was there to help us keep them. I rested from my struggle. I knew I would keep my breast and my life. The other revelation that night was that it was our Father we were praying to when we were asking that His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Our Father! My Father! And He had said He wanted me to know Him as my Father. I knew that I could pray with confidence knowing it was my Father's will that I be made whole. The only way for me to be whole was if I did not pursue conventional medicine. A mastectomy was pretty much guaranteed for me, and out of the question in my view of things.
Another thing God showed me about healing was that it would be done to me according to my faith. We are healed according to our faith. When the angels tried to deliver Lot from Sodom and Gomorrah they wanted him to flee to the mountains (go to the high places with God). Lot begged to go to a small city instead (Zoar means small, maybe small in faith?). Something familiar and safe, like doctors are to us. That is where his faith was. God showed me that He is so merciful He will use doctors to heal. There is no condemnation if that is where your faith is. But what He really wants is for us to go to the moutaintops with Him. He wants us to come to Him for our healing. I was convinced and haven't looked back.
What the rest of my test results did was to kick any crutch that was left out from under me. I knew conventional medicine definitely couldn't help me now. It was final. It already had been, but the finality of it hit me then. No looking back.

Proliferative Index

My sister's voice sounded a little shaky when she described what the proliferative index was. "It's how much of the tumor is reproducing itself at once. 80% is high."
I was too caught up in what I had learned about triple-neg. cancer to notice her voice falter. "Usually this kind of cancer hits young African American or Hispanic women. Or women with a BRCA-1 gene mutation. How did I get it? We don't have this in our family."
We finished up our conversation and I began to do more research. I found out that the proliferative index gave the doctors a good idea how well treatment would work on someone and what their chances of recurrence were. 1-10% was good chance of recovery without recurrence; 10-20% was moderate chance of recovery without recurrence; and 20% was poor chance of recovery without recurrence. Anything above 20% was a very poor prognosis: for treatment success and for recurrence. Mine was 80%! No wonder both the doctor and my sister sounded shaky. I was beginning to understand why the doctor did not try to talk me into treatment. He knew my hope of cure was nill and that the treatment might not even prolong my life. Both my husband and I felt that if the doctor had thought I would be helped by conventional medicine, he would have tried to convince me to go for treatment. With what he knew of my personality, he knew I wouldn't want to spend the rest of my life doing chemotherapy when it probably would not prolong my life. I was thankful he had the insight and thoughtfulness to let me make my own decision.
We had some decisions to make.


My doctor and I played telephone tag the whole trip back from Redding, CA. He ended up calling me the next night at 8:45pm. I was surprised to hear from him so late. He explained that he couldn't allow it to go on any longer. It had been three weeks instead of the one week we were supposed to have to wait for the receptor cell results. They had wanted me to see a team of five doctors afew weeks ago. Everyone was in such a hurry to get me into treatment. Everyone but me.
"Your tumor is what we call triple-negative." I felt like he punched me in the stomach. "Your proliferative index was rather high...80%" I didn't know what that meant. I went back to the triple-neg. "I can't believe it...I thought it would at least be estrogen positive."
"No," he added, "I understand you are looking into alternative treatments,"
I was flabbergasted, "I don't remember telling Kim that, but yes. I am."
"Let me just throw this out there so you know what to expect. You will be facing chemo, then surgery, then more chemo. That is what you can expect." He didn't try to talk me into it. I was alittle puzzled. His voice was very compassionate, "Well, if there is anything you need, any questions we can answer for you, please call. Call if we can do anything to help you..."
"Thank you, Doctor."
I called my sister. I had never heard of the proliferative index so she did the research on it while I looked into the triple-neg. designation some more. We would talk the next day.

Redding, CA

Eric, my daughter, Sam, and I headed for California on August 20. We were going to visit the Healing Ministry at Bethel Church. We were alittle disappointed to find out that Bill Johnson, the senior pastor, was out of town during our visit, but it really didn't matter who we got to pray for us. They had faith for healing there, and we wanted to receive from them.
The first divine encounter was on the second flight. from Phoenix to Sacramento. The man sitting next to me asked about the book I was reading The Cancer Battle Plan, by Dave Frahm. We had already implemented many of the diet changes in the book and noticed tumor growth had slowed. Jerry just happened to be a Spirit-filled believer who had lost his wife to cancer a year earlier. He was so broken and missed her terribly. We talked alot. He shared that they had done alot of what we were trying, but he felt that it was just too late for her. He was sweet and helpful. We prayed for eachother and he gave me his e-mail address.
Bethel has a 24 hour prayer house. We spent quite alot of time worshipping and preparing our hearts for prayer at the healing rooms Saturday. We were there for Friday night service where we met Elena. She was my angel sent from heaven. She showed us where the prayer room was and helped get us oriented. She took an interest in me and began gathering others to pray for me. Our trip would not have been near as special without her. It was also through her that we learned Heidi Baker was visiting Bethel.
The Lord had set us up! Heidi Baker was there, at Bethel. Eric had told me that if I didn't get healed soon he was going to fly me to Mozambique just to be prayed for by Heidi. Well, God brought Heidi to us!
The whole weekend was a wonderful experience, but had not manifested healing in my body after prayer at the healing rooms. Heidi was preaching Sunday night. We were filled with anticipation because of the anointing on her life. We waited in a long line for almost three hours before the doors were opened. The first thing Heidi did was to call up all who knew that they would die if they didn't get a miracle. I knew that was me, but it was strange to walk up the aisle in acknowledgement of it. Heidi preached on the favor of the Lord in the life if Mary, mother of Jesus. Funny, a friend had called me earlier in the day saying she kept getting the word 'favor' for me.
Heidi prayed for me extensively after the service. A man came to me and said that I was favored of the Lord, "in fact," he said, "you are one of His favor-ites." I knew what he meant. I felt favored, even if it didn't look like that from others' perspectives.
My primary tumor did shrink on our journey home, but not all the way. We were not discouraged, though. We knew we needed to "walk it out."

Biopsy Results

August 11, 2009: My reaction to the diagnosis of end staged cancer was very business-like. I knew I had cancer, but it just didn't seem to alter my emotional status much. There was very little fear involved in my thinking. I had been receiving words of knowledge, or prophecies at church and from individuals who didn't know eachother repeating the same things to me. "God wants you to know Him as your Daddy. Rest in Him and be at peace. You will minister to many, many, many people." Two women told me that they saw Jesus wrap me into some kind of cloak. I was at peace.
Kim called Tuesday morning with the biopsy results. It was indeed invasive ductal carcinoma with metastisis to my lymph nodes. The tumor was Grade 3. The fastest growing category. I had expected that also. My right breast was negative. I asked about receptor status. She fumbled alittle, not expecting the question. "Is it 'triple-negative'?" I didn't know much about it, but I knew I did not want it to be triple-negative.
She explaned that triple-neg. was a buzz word of sorts, and that these tumors were usually not triple-neg. but that the part of the biopsy that tests receptor status was not done yet and would be ready in a week. I felt it was important for me to know these results so I could try to understand how I ended up with breast cancer. We have no history of it in our family. Where did it come from? I assumed it was because I had gained so much weight when I became diabetic, and that since fat produces estrogen, I had estrogen (receptor) positive cancer.. Our family has a strong history of diabetes.
I knew I didn't want to have triple-neg. breast cancer because there wasn't as much known about it and the treatment options consisted of chemo and surgery, then more chemo. It is notorious for coming back and metastisizing early on. Even though I thought in my head I had estrogen positive cancer, in my heart I feared triple-neg. Triple-negative just means the cancer has no estrogen, progesterone, or HER-2, receptor cells that feed the cancer. There are no targeted treatment drugs known to work against it. It is harder to treat and reoccurence is way higher.
While waiting for the rest of my results I began to grapple with the conventional medicine question. The Lord had been preparing me before my diagnosis to receive supernatural healing. Eric and I had been exposed to the teachings of Bill Johnson, Roland and Heidi Baker, Mahesh Chavda, and others who believe Jesus heals all who come to Him. We were excited about the life they proclaimed in Him. We wanted it and were so hungry. Many of the people who believe this teaching would also say to me, "Well, Jesus can use doctors, too." That would really grate on me. Of course I knew He could use doctors, but if you believe He heals everyone who comes to Him, then you must also believe that He never told anyone who came to Him, "Go see my buddy, Luke, over there. He's a doctor and he'll fix you up just fine." It was really all-or-nothing for me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Core Biopsies

August 6, 2009: The staff was already used to me. They knew my husband would be accompanying me for the biopsies. There were no arguements. He waited while I changed out of my shirt into a short gown and the volunteer escorted us into the same ultrasound room. I was so tired, having only slept for a total of five hours of the last 48.
I asked the assistant, Kim, if she could please make sure my breasts were numbed before they used the ultrasound probe or did any disinfecting for the proceedure. She said that it wasn't possible. I was confused. "But my sister said she was completely numb...I don't understand...I don't know if I can go through with this. I already know I'm very advanced, at least a stage 3c..." She looked at me sympathetically, nodding her head slightly in acknowledgement of what I had said. I went on, "Why should I put myself through this?" My voice trailed off. I was tired and couldn't stand the thought of that probe. "You have to understand, the pain of anything touching my nipples, it makes me feel like I need to crawl out of my body..."
My husband spoke up at this point. "Kim, why don't you give us a minute."
Kim left the room. My heart failed me. Eric, my husband, came over and prayed for me. I cried out to God. "Lord, I don't know what to do! I need your strength! I don't know if you want me to do this biopsy. Please. I need you to tell me what to do." I was unable to go on. My husband urged, "Honey, we can leave. You don't have to do this...'
Just then the strength came. The presence of God came upon me and I was OK. That was all I needed. Kim came back into the room. "She's ready" my husband told her.
I told Kim how God met me with His strength. Kim was so wonderful. She did everything she could to keep the probe off my nipples. Then the doctor came in. Being a man (in sorry to say this, but it's true), he couldn't understand my discomfort. When I asked him to do a breast exam with the flat of his fingers instead of the fingertips, he just couldn't figure out how that could be accomplished. My regular doctor, a female, had no problem with that request. I told him I didn't want anything on my nipples. He ignored me and proceeded to use a betadine soaked Qtip to rub over my nipple. I was very angry. I couldn't say anything. Why don't they just listen to me? He asked a question. I told him I couldn't talk now I was too angry. He stated, "I have to do what I have to do"...I countered with, "I am a healthcare provider and I would never say that to one of my clients when they asked me not to do something!"
He finished the biopsies on my left side and left the room. Kim offered to prep me for my right biopsy. "I used to do it anyway." She was a life saver! She found a way to roll the Qtip over my nipple in a way that was not near as uncomfortable as what the doctor did.
The doctor came back in. "OK, I'm not angry anymore." I said. He chuckled. He couldn't believe my pain tolerance of the proceedure when I was having such a hard time with the nipple thing. I tried to explain it was the type of pain. I told him, "I had five children at home, I don't have a problem with a low pain tolerance." He was impressed. He loosened up and began talking about his life. We came to a pretty good understanding of one another. I liked him. "Now, Doctor, I am 100% responsible for my healthcare decisions. I see you as my resource person. I absolve you from all responsibility and want to know what you are thinking. IF I wanted to do some research on the type of cancer I have, what would you tell me to research?"
He was totally at ease with me. "I am 95% sure it's invasive ductal carcinoma with metastisis to the lymph nodes."
"Thank you."
More research.

D-Day: Diagnosis Day

August 5, 2009: My husband and I arrived for my appointment at 8am. There was some confusion on my part because I thought I was going to see a doctor. I was instead scheduled for a mammogram/ultrasound. Because I am a health care provider I have certain expectations of how things should go when I am seeing a doctor. One of those expectations is that I don't ever take my clothes off for someone I haven't met. I thought I would be sitting down with a doctor to decide what tests would be done, and then have them done. The staff had other ideas. They informed me I would be having the mammogram/ultrasound and that I wouldn't be meeting the doctor ahead of time and that my husband would not be welcome to come back for the tests with me. That's where I put my foot down. I informed them that I WOULD be talking to the doctor ahead of testing, that I WOULD decide for myself what tests would be done after talking to him, AND that my husband WOULD be accompanying me while the tests were being done. Except of course where radiation was used. I got my way.
The doctor was very cordial, but it was obvious he thought I was a fruitcake. 'Who is this woman coming in here with a report of a 'friend' doing an ultrasound for her and finding "something wrong" that requires further testing? Why is she questioning me on having a mammogram. She doesn't know what she's talking about.' I could see the wheels turning in his head. He was bothered by the change in routine. It threw him off schedule. He explained why I had to have a mammogram. I was not sold on his reasons, but I did want to get this over with so I didn't argue with him. Why is it that I always feel that I need to apologise for standing up for my rights, even when I am being nice about it?
The mammogram was less than plesant, but the woman doing it was great. I didn't like that she put tape with a metal marker on my nipple without warning me, and I refused to allow it for the breast that had the tumors. That was not a problem for her. She used a sticker in another location not as uncomfortable for me. The mammogram did squeeze my already sore breast awefully hard, but was not near as bad as the ultrasound.
My husband was present with me when the doctor's assistant did the preliminary ultrasound. He was positioned with a clear view of the screen. The tumor cluster was large and located right under my nipple, a tender place on the best of days. Of course, she wanted to run the probe over my nipple to get a good view. Ouch!
I again could not see the screen, but could see my husband's face. When she brought the probe up under my collarbone I saw something register in his countenance. He saw something he didn't want to see. There was lymph involvement under my collarbone along with what my friend had found in my armpit. He look crest-fallen.
The doctor came in after his assistant reported her findings. He re-examined both breasts and lymph areas. Even more ouch! Everytime he found something he took a picture. He was taking pictures of my other breast, too. I was sore by now, but I wasn't reacting to anything. Just lying there feeling like a piece of meat.
Finally I was allowed to cover up and sit up, which I did, trying to gather the little dignity I felt I had left.
"I am 99.9% sure it's cancer," the doctor said bluntly. "There are three suspicious areas on your other breast, also." I thanked him for being so straight forward. He had aquired a new found respect for me. "We need to schedule four core biopsies for tomorrow. One on your lymph node, two on the primary tumor and another on your other breast."
The appointment was set.
I went home and called my sister, Denean. She had recently had a core biopsy for a non-malignant tumor. I asked her what to expect. She let me know that her breast was completely numb during the proceedure so the discomfort to my nipples would not be an issue. That was the only thing I was concerned about. I couldn't handle the probe on my nipples. It was the kind of pain that made me want to crawl out of my skin. Like running your fingernails down a chalkboard. I just couldn't take it.
I did as much research as I could with what little information I had. What I did find out was that my cancer, before it had actually been identified, was at least a stage 3c. My primary tumor was over 5cm (6.2cm), it had metastisized to my lymph under my arm, AND was found under my collarbone. Stage 3c, at least. I knew I was in big trouble already.
I didn't sleep that night. My breast was so sore I couldn't stand it. It was the only time that I wanted to just cut it off myself! I prayed and did alittle reading, but nothing seemed to comfort me. I got in bed and asked my husband to hold me. I felt safe.

Pre Ultrasound

August 4, 2009. I had been suffering from what my doctor thought was mastitis for awhile. I had been on antibiotics for three weeks to clear it up. The antibiotics did shrink the "infection" from an orange-sized growth to about the size of a golf ball. There was no reason to think it was anything else. I am diabetic, and I did my research, diabetics can get these kinds of infections. The way the growth reacted to the medications I assumed it was an infection. But it only got so much better, and then the redness and heat began. I knew I was going to have to have more testing to rule out anything else. So being a midwife and not particularly wanting to go to the hospital for a mammogram, I asked a business aquaintance if he would mind doing a preliminary ultrasound to give me an idea of what it was. My husband was there with me. From the start I knew it was bad. I could not see the ultrasound screen but I didn't need to. I saw the realization dawning on my husband's face that this was not just an infection. Something serious was wrong. My friend broke the news we already knew. "This isn't a diagnosis, but you need to get in right now. You have four growths, two with "flow". One of those is in your lymph nodes."
I called my doctor. She knew my ultrasound guy and knew he was good at what he did. She asked me what oncologist I preferred. I assumed that was the appointment she was making for me. It was not. She was making an appointment for a mammogram/ultrasound for the next day.