It is with some anxiety and surprise that I am writing this. The anxiety part will will soon be evident. Surprise because I had always mused at home that I was planning on living to 150. I picked that number because as a little child of about 5 I secretly prayed to God nightly for several years that he would help me live that long. I am reminded once again that there is truly only one Infinite being. Blessed be his name!
The last two months, especially the last two weeks, have proven to be quite a rollercoaster and emotional time. What at first seemed to be a strained back muscle, which had been causing pain for several weeks, has progressed to be a serious condition. I was diagnosed with a quickly spreading Stage 4 prostate cancer. The cancer had already spread throughout my colon and had formed additional tumors on my back. The doctors have all commented with their bafflement and surprise at my condition as "I was doing everything right from a standpoint of eating, exercise, and spiritually. " Unless I have come into contact with an unknown toxin, there is truly no logical reason for what is happening.
I spent twelve days in the hospital at Gunderson Lutheran in Lacrosse. The team of doctors working on my case seemed to be some of the finest in the world. They began an aggressive campaign to fight the cancer. I have undergone several surgeries and have had radiation to shrink the size of the tumors and gone through intense physical therapy. Jane and I have discussed treatment options with the doctors and are not convinced that chemotherapy is the best way to proceed. Although the treatments do attack the cancer, they also weaken the immune system, leaving making more advanced chemicals a necessity to control the growth of the cancer cells. Online statistics boast only a 2-5% success rate and maybe extending life by 5-10 years, if you survive the treatments. Instead of pursuing this route, after much prayer and consideration, I chose to travel to Mexico for treatment at the Immunity Therapy Center (ITC).
The difference between ITC and chemo is that ITC focuses on training your body's own immune systemto recognize, attack, and destroy cancer cells. They have a success rate much higher than chemo: 50-75%! So your body is trained to heal itself as God designed it. ITC uses a wide range of therapies which all work together to correct the problem. The ITC center is located in Tijuana, Mexico, about 5 miles from San Diego. Treatment would take about 3-4 weeks on site as an outpatient.
One issue is that our normal health insurance will not pay for these alternatives. We have contacted Samaritan Ministries and they are looking into ITC, having previously covered similar situations. The total cost of the program, for Jane and I to go to Mexico (including travel and meals for 3 weeks), would run about $25,000. We are considering flying to San Diego as early as October 22, 2017, for at least three weeks of treatment. Our son, Ryan, has set up a YouCaring page for us to help raise financial support. If you feel so led, we would greatly appreciate your support.https://www.gofundme.com/help-dennis-baldridge-fight-cancer
Please be praying for Jane and I as we travel to Mexico and as I undergo treatment. We will keep you all informed as to how I progress. Many thanks for your prayers, and may His name be glorified.