May 13, 2019 Latest post:
Aug 13, 2019
Dear precious family and friends, So many wonderful people have wanted to come alongside and keep track of us on our journey. Sometimes we don't know which way is up ourselves. All of you raising us up in prayer to our King of Kings and Lord of Lords has been so priceless. Starting this website has been suggested to us so that we have one site to share our story and updates.
In September 2018 I found a lump in my right breast. Later that month I had an ultrasound biopsy of the lump and surrounding lymph nodes. The results showed aggressive, Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). Our first good news was that nothing showed up in a bone scan and CT anywhere else in my body. I started my treatment with a full round of combination chemotherapy which caused my tumor to shrink, followed by an extremely intense second combination chemotherapy from which I suffered several infections and required a blood transfusion. In May, I underwent surgery to remove the lump and surrounding lymph nodes. Five of the 15 removed nodes tested positive for cancer. Treatment included 28 rounds of radiation throughout the summer. Although some people have had positive results from conventional chemotherapy, a PET scan in October 2018 revealed it did not work in my case. The cancer had spread to a spot on my liver. Now I was considered stage 4. As you could imagine, the news was shocking and devastating. I would have assumed this was a death sentence, but as I researched treatments I found a website called ChrisBeatCancer where I learned it is possible to heal from stage 4 cancer (and there were many interviews/testimonies on the site to that effect). Instead of surgery and its inherent risks, I discovered a cutting edge therapy and elected to have cryoablation (freezing of the spot) by a doctor in San Diego followed up by a 3 week treatment at a hospital in Mexico that utilizes nutritional and advance therapies not yet available in the United States. Following those treatments, I had a CT scan in December which remarkably showed an ALL CLEAR. What wonderful news to receive just in time for Christmas! In my ongoing research I also discovered that there was a blood biopsy test that could reveal circulating cancer cells and which chemo/nutrients are most effective for a particular cancer. With TNBC, I knew I was at high risk for recurrence so I pursued this testing so I could be on top of anything that might develop. I located an integrative doctor near Milwaukee who could perform the test. My results showed circulating cancer cells slightly above normal. That doctor's recommended treatment was not yet available in the U. S. As I weighed my options for treatment, my March followup CT scan unfortunately showed recurrence and progression of the cancer in my liver. The only treatment my Milwaukee oncologist team could offer was standard chemotherapy that they said would not cure the cancer, just try to slow it down, and I would once again face the damaging full body side effects (like blood and heart damage, permanent neuropathy, etc) At this point, I decided to pursue more targeted and focused immunotherapy under the direction of specialist I had met previously in Mexico. His research had shown positive results from targeting the immune system and customizing treatment for particular kinds and locations of cancer. The clinic he worked with could also target chemo directly into the tumor area through the cancer's insulin receptors as opposed to the entire body. This sounded like a much more intelligent and effective way to treat my cancer and I prayerfully decided that was the route that would be best for me. I packed my bags and returned to Mexico for outpatient treatment at St. Andrew's Clinic on April 29th. I hope to receive at least 5 weeks of customized treatment here (ideally 10 weeks, but it is a very costly process). I will be having another PET scan soon and will update you as soon as I know anything more. The reason I went alone is that Joe has his own health journey to deal with (surgery to remove malignant GIST stomach tumor and follow-up treatment). More on that later. Even though I am giving my all to pursue treatment and LIVE, I do realize that my healing is in the Lord's hands. There is no formula. I have learned that it is the Lord, not the treatment plan, that I need to worship. In the midst of all of this, He has spoken tenderly to me and given me sweet times in His presence. He is asking me to keep my eyes on Him and His love for me.