Our last two weeks have definitely been filled with ups and downs. To realize the magnitude of our situation and then get past that and start doing something about it has taken every ounce of strength, mental and physical.
If I could get my blood to cooperate I think things might be a little easier. I just can't seem to get my counts up and that just drains me. The only thing that seems to be helping now is transfusion. Last week I spent the night in the hospital with Ward, who thought we'd make a date of it. He went to get us Schezuan Chicken from Maple Gardens. We thought we'd watch a movie since I was going to be there for 7-8 hours. We didn't count on how the pre-medication knocks me out. After I fell asleep Ward dozed off in the recliner. So much for a fun date, huh?
Dr. Gray has been working with me to get on a drug replacement program for the drug Avastin. Avastin has shown great promise in other cancers and is approved already for many different types--but not melanoma. Things didn't look so good for me to be accepted to the program, but this week because of a very understanding drug rep and a huge blessing from Heavenly Father I started the Avastin on Wednesday. (And hallelujah brother-- the side effects are nothing compared to what I've been on!)
Most of our time over the last two weeks has been spent wading through a ton of Alternative Medicine options. I say wading because it is so overwhelming. There is so much out there and much of it is literally wacko. I firmly believe that the mind has great power to heal. I also believe that if you believe in something enough it can heal you. We have investigated everything from Gurus waving medicine sticks to much more normal things like vitamins and herbs for healing. I've read until my brain wants to explode. We've talked to some very nice people and I've been very grateful for all the help offered. I've learned how helpful it can be, and I've also seen how expensive it can become. So, this is what we've decided.
I believe in modern medicine. So I am still letting Dr. Gray be a huge part of what I am doing. I am on Avastin. I am back on my diet, but not as strict as before (still no sugar and lots of whole foods). I am focusing on three areas of herbal supplements: Glyconutrients, Immunoboosters (I want to vomit every time I drink this stuff, but I'm still doing it) and AHCC (which is a very researched supplement derived from mushrooms. It has been widely used with cancer patients in Japan for over 30 years. There is a ton of research showing how beneficial it is--I am on board here). I'm also doing some detoxification and reflexology and I am looking into acupressure and acupuncture.
Most of all we're just getting on our knees and doing what we know really works. This week because of a loving friend, I was in contact with two very professional men--one works with clinical research at MD Anderson, the other is a Hematologist Oncologist at City of Hope in LA. Both of them did everything they could to help me find all options at their facilities. They both felt like I'd had very good care up to this point and both of them said that Avastin was probably an excellent option for me at this time. But they both also understand the reality of what we're facing.
I may be healed by herbs or Avastin or something else I haven't found yet. I have no doubt that if it is Heavenly Father's will, I will be healed. But even if I'm not, I have to admit that I feel at peace. The last month has been fraught with panic and frantic anguish, but now I feel differently. I trust Him. I look forward to asking WHY all of this had to happen. I'm not going to ask it now, because I know that He can see the whole picture and I know that whatever His will is, things will be okay. My girls will be okay because they have Ward. I know that Ward will be okay because he has them. And we all have each other--FOREVER--and that's what really matters.
I hope you all have a great few days.
11 months ago