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.