Monthly Archives: September 2014

I apologize for not posting for over two weeks

I regret not posting in over two weeks.

I have absolutely no doubt that the science based nutrition that I’ve incorporated into our lives has helped my wife tremendously. Her breast cancer was diagnosed as recurring in her chest wall (stage 4) in November 2011. Despite working her way up the chemo ladder to include one drug (Lepatanib aka Tykerb) that cost $11,000 for a bottle of 120 tablets, in 2012 the cancer spread to her lungs to form about 30 lesions. She started to lose weight, lost her appetite, became gravely and progressively weaker, started coughing every five to ten minutes. Conventional oncology alone was giving me no hope or encouragement. As I researched and changed our diet and lifestyle many of her symptoms started reversing. She stopped losing weight, got her energy back, got her appetite back (this is in spite of the chemo often making the food taste awful–which makes her improvement all the more remarkable), she stopped coughing.

I have no doubt that science based nutrition has given her more life and a much better quality of life and regret none of the changes we’ve made. But her breast cancer is a particularly aggressive type (ER PR neg. HER2 pos…. not that far from the dreaded  triple negative breast cancer that doesn’t respond to any hormon therapy). It is relentless.

The last few months have been tough. My wife’s last three CT scans (done every two to three months) have all shown minor growth in both areas of concern. Despite any growth being minor I am looking for, at the very least, no change or shrinkage.

The last few months have been an emotional and psychological roller coaster due to the stubborn (“minor”) growth and the stress of the financial pressures associated with dealing with the 20 percent of chemo costs not covered by Medicare. A cousin died of lung cancer in June in Chicago and his treatment and testing ran up a bill of about a million dollars (and he had no insurance!). We may not approach that lofty figure but the thought of anything resembling such huge bills results in pressure for anyone in the middle class. Catastrophic illness is the number one cause of personal bankruptcy in the U.S.. The rich have money and usually coverage, and the poor have government help. Unfortunately anyone in the middle class that loses coverage or only has partial coverage (for example 80/20 or 70/30) is probably in for a real roller coaster ride. My advice is to apply for all the nonprofit help you can possibly qualify for (see my the tab at the resources section at the top of the page for links to some nonprofits).

Anyway I hope to be posting again soon. I’ll continue in my search for more answers and share the best of what I’ve found.

I’m going to contact a company named Nutritional Solutions started by a doctor that has done cancer nutritional consultation around the world since 1997. It was highly recommended by my friend Rick Shapiro (latestagecancer.com) who lost his father to cancer and who is an extreme skeptic so I give his recommendations a close look. I may post my experiences with Nutritional Solutions if I think it will help others.

 

 

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NEW VIDEOS AND ARTICLES USUALLY POSTED ONE OR MORE TIMES A WEEK BELOW THIS INTRODUCTORY MESSAGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sharing the results of my continuing search for more of the science-based anticancer nutritional strategies that helped significantly reverse my wife’s decline from stage 4 cancer after it adapted to her chemo in 2012

Welcome to Stage 4 Living

Above photo: Left to right: Dr. Keith Block, my wife and me (holding our copy of Dr. Block’s book, Life Over Cancer) at The Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment in Skokie, Illinois April 2013. The integrative science-based nutritional strategies in Life Over Cancer are what I most credit helping reverse my wife’s downhill slide in 2012 after her cancer adapted to the chemo drugs she was prescribed.

How my wife has benefited from using science-based nutritional strategies when her stage 4 cancer adapted (as it always eventually does) to the chemo drugs prescribed for her  

My wife’s aggressive metastatic, invasive breast cancer was diagnosed in November 2009 (stage 2b). After six trips to The Medical City in the Philippines for treatment her cancer went into remission. We made the tragic mistake of putting our guard down, thinking that our battle was over.

Her cancer recurred (stage 4) in November 2011. It was classified as ER PR negative HER2 positive. Opinions vary but one of her oncologists informed us that there are several types of breast cancer and, in his opinion, the only type more aggressive than my wife’s is a type called “triple negative” breast cancer. On a scale of 1 to 10–with 10 being the most aggressive–he would classify triple negative as a 10 and my wife’s as an 8.

Despite the use of some very expensive medicines–one of which cost $11,000 a bottle of a month’s supply of 120 tablets (Tykerb aka Lepatanib)–her cancer adapted and spread from her chest wall to form about thirty lesions on her lungs. She also began to slide downhill in 2012 with symptoms of cachexia; she lost 32 lbs. quickly, lost all appetite, and started experiencing profound and growing weakness. She also had pain in her left arm from lymphedema (due to having two lymph glands taken out in 2010 during her mastectomy) and numbness in her left hand and tingling in the fingers of her left hand (which from reading I believe were symptoms of neuropathy– nerve damage from extended use of toxic chemo drugs). She also coughed every five to ten minutes which was a constant reminder to me that the cancer was now invading her lungs and that I (and she) was running out of time.  

What happened when we started to use science based nutritional strategies to complement my wife’s conventional treatment (as of March 2014)  

This blog represents the fruit of my search to find answers on science-based nutritional and lifestyle strategies we could use to complement conventional treatment to help manage (as opposed to cure) my wife’s late stage cancer. Through research in books, and websites I started making some recommended changes in our diet and my wife’s lifestyle (for example regular walking, etc.).

As we started to make the recommended changes in various books and websites and other resources in 2012 here’s what started to happen:

*The pain in her left arm and numbness and tingling in her left hand I described above slowly subsided and completely went away.

*She stopped rapidly losing weight. We now have to deal with the problem of keeping her weight under control again. (Her weight has slowly crept up to 156 lbs. which is not optimal at her height of 5 ft. 2 in..)

*Her energy returned and is still excellent.

*Her coughing stopped and has not come back since then.

*Her appetite returned and is still excellent (despite food sometimes tasting a bit strange due to the effects of her ongoing chemo).

*In her quarterly high resolution CT scan in December 2012 the thirty some lesions on her lungs started to  shrink.

*In her high resolution CT scan in March 2013 many of the lesions had almost completely disappeared.

*In her CT scan done the end of October 2013 there was evidence that parts of the remaining tumors were showing signs of necrosis (death) and there were only minor signs of any new growth.

How does my wife look and feel (as of May 2014)?  

We’ve regularly hear from from many people that meet us that, other than for some minor thinning of her hair (she’s lost it all twice to the chemo drug Taxol aka Taxotere) she doesn’t look or act like someone entering her fifth year of battling metastatic, invasive, stage 4 cancer or someone that’s endured a mastectomy, 33 radiation treatment sessions and countless chemo sessions.

The thirty some lesions have regressed to only two areas of concern. There has been some minor growth in the last two CT scans which is why I continue my search for more science-based nutritional answers to help her.

This blog is my effort to share the fruits of my search, in the hope it will help others.

Here are just a few of the things you’ll learn through the mini videos, links and blog posts on Stage 4 Living 

*A review of the one book I would use if I had to choose only one book on integrative treatment (i.e. integrating conventional treatment with science based nutrition and lifestyle strategies). It’s by a doctor who has treated all types and stages of cancer for over 35 years and is regarded by many to be the Father of the integrative cancer treatment movement

*How a compound in a common herb has been shown in studies to turn back on the “suicide switch” in cancer cells which all normally functioning cells have. This compound has also been shown to fight cancer at every stage: establishment, growth, metastasis, and invasion.

*A review of a book by an integrative oncologist who has dedicated herself to researching the over one thousand cases of late stage cancer remission documented in medical journals. She talks about the nine strategies that these survivors used to varying degrees to help bring about their late stage remissions.

*A video presentation by Dr. William Li on how to eat to starve cancer.

*And much, much more. 

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September 4, 2014 · 10:20 pm