Here I am…

Well…I shall not die…and I am proclaiming the greatness of the Lord.

I think it’s been about a year since I last posted. Much has happened and I don’t think I can even begin to describe it all. My most defining moments date back to the beginning of this year. In January, I gave up my stubborness and got an oophorectomy. I tried Lupron again as it became evident that as I cycled, the cancer grew faster. I tried supplements, diet, etc., but I just could not keep up with the growth of the cancer when my estrogen peaked. The pain of tumor growth in the bones is horrifying and can wear a person down quickly. I fell into a very deep depression afterward the surgery because this was the final blow to my chances of ever reaching motherhood. Many well-intentioned people spoke swiftly by assuring me that I “can always adopt.” I think this just depressed and angered me more. I worked in adoption. I understand homestudies and the adoption process quite well. I’m also a single gal with a terminal cancer, living in a small apartment, working full-time with a modest income. How will that work out with adopting? An adoption agency would laugh me right out of their agency before the thought of an incredibly expensive homestudy would come to their mind. I have a cat now. I was allowed to adopt her, and we love each other.

During this deep depression I could care less about living. I wasn’t exactly suicidal, but I just wanted the cancer to quickly and painlessly take me out. It was that bad. I spent time laying on my floor bawling daily for a while after my oophorectomy. Then, it happened…that moment where I thought I was surely going to die and headed to the emergency department of the local hospital.

Mid-March, right after my birthday, I ended up in the hospital with a compression fracture at my T-12 area. I couldn’t bring myself to look at the scans, but I guess I had three broken vertebrae and a large tumor pressing into my spine beginning to paralyze me. At that time I was doing an alternative therapy where I had to limit some very crucial nutrients like Vitamin C, Selenium, Iodine, and many other things. That therapy, however, did seem to work for the first few months last fall, but the lack of crucial nutrients caught up with me and the cancer started growing again.

Currently, I am receiving chemo through my oncologist as well as a cancer-fighting nutrient infusion (including very high vitamin C) from my naturopathic MD. After three Vitamin C infusions and only two chemo treatments, my tumor marker dropped by nearly 1,000 (went down by half). Conventional treatment is actually my “complimentary” treatment while the more holistic care is the front line. I dealt with my depression head on, but still have some bad days. I have to give myself some grace though, I entered an immediate menopause at age 43 which has some pretty extreme side effects.

I had to re-evaluate my walk with God…again. While I was in the emergency waiting area before they hospitalized me, I sat next to a young, Baptist woman who noted I was reading my pocket bible that I keep in my purse. She struck up a conversation with me and brought me to tears with her admonishment to make the Word of God my best friend and comfort during this time. Up to that moment, my bible studying was fading away. I have been visiting her church since it is so much easier to get to right now with all my challenges. They are a very victorious church and take the Word seriously. I like the accountability and the straightforwardness of the Gospel there. I feel revitalized finally.

God is doing a good work in me, and He will bring it to completion just as He promised. Through this all, He has never left my side. He asked of me to be obedient and learn from Him. I would have never thought of going back to chemo, but He has promised me good. I put my hope and trust in Him to heal me. I no longer have to strive after anything in this world to save or heal me. It is Him. Yes, I will go to chemo. Yes, I absolutely love my Vitamin C infusions. But, it is Him and He has kept me. I know that He will not forsake me. I’m learning to be obedient to Him all over again. Obedience brings blessings. Not just proclaiming that God owes anything to you. He is a God of great grace to this fallen world, but obedience to Him and His Word is key to a healthy, whole and blessed life.

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Mission to Romania

Mission to Romania.

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Mission to Romania

In less than two weeks I will be back in Romania.  It will be a much shorter trip – only 15 days.  But I know I will have many stories and pictures to share. 

Since being diagnosed with an incurable cancer over two years ago, God has given me a different outlook on life.  Facing death, as I do every day, there is not much I won’t do for my Beloved, Jesus.  I wish I would have had this perspective prior to the diagnosis as I would have been doing so much more to serve the Lord and not so much for my own upkeep. 

I have a five-year plan for going full-time missions.  That idea scares me and excites me at the same time.  Every time I speak of fulfilling this dream, my heart races and I get a little freaked out.  I’ve been in contact with some people who may be able to help me get to Prague, Czech Republic.  I have always wanted to return to my Czech roots although I’ve never been there and have always lived as an American.  I find that teaching English to non-english speakers is such a beautiful and rewarding endeavor through my experience with the refugees in America.  I would love to share that skill with those in the Czech Republic while also fulfilling God’s word to me: “I shall not die but live, and shall declare the works and recount the illustrious acts of the Lord” (Psalm 118:17).

Please check out my fundraising page and consider helping me get to Romania.  Eventually I will modify it for my short-term Prague mission which will take place in 2015.  Join me in this adventure.  There is nothing my God can’t do!

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Natural Cancer Therapy: Turmeric

I have been doing a lot of research recently on turmeric and breast cancer. I read an article that discussed how turmeric has been proven to work well as an adjunct to chemo. I’m thinking that may be true, but research is often publicized and accepted only if it includes a big Pharmaceutical company; and it will get ridiculed if it’s about a natural, non-toxic therapy done alone.  In any event, I do plan on using my newly discovered turmeric drink as an adjunct to Xeloda which I will be starting in a couple weeks to treat my stage IV breast cancer.

I started out with juicing the rhizome and taking the best supplements I can afford. However, because of its poor absorption, I didn’t think this was effective. I also feel I have been throwing away my money on expensive supplements when I can get a one-pound bag of organic turmeric powder for less than twenty bucks on Amazon.  Plus, the research I have been reading states that a person would have to consume a lot of turmeric to reach a therapeutic level, and increase the absorption rate for it to be effective in fighting disease.

On Dr. Mercola’s website I found information on how to make turmeric work for someone looking to increase it’s effectiveness for cancer prevention and treatment.  What I have started doing, after reading Dr. Mercola’s advice, is:

  1. Boil about 12 oz of water
  2. Add a tablespoon of organic turmeric
  3. Sprinkle in a little organic pepper (it increases absorption)
  4. Add a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or add some cloves depending on taste preference
  5. Allow to lightly boil for 8-10 minutes
  6. I then put it in a coffee mug that I don’t mind staining and add organic coconut milk to fill what was evaporated,  which is about a quarter cup (I use Native Forest from a can; it’s thick and creamy and really makes it taste good)
  7. Add a little raw honey to sweeten

To my amazement it is absolutely delicious. Dr. Mercola suggests drinking this three to four times a day for anti-cancer purposes. I just started this regiment and will report back with results. If anything, I found a new healthy habit that pleases my taste buds.

Here is another recipe: http://www.healthy.net/Recipe/Health/Golden_Milk/48.  I stay away from dairy because I don’t trust the treatment of cows (antibiotics and their GMO food supply), processing and added chemicals.  Plus, considering turmeric is fat soluble, it may be more absorbable using the coconut milk.  I get Native Forest coconut milk by the case from Amazon and love how it makes the drink creamy.  It just seems like the turmeric and coconut milk are meant to be together.  And, if you are using the drink for therapeutic reasons you really should use a full tablespoon of turmeric instead of the 1/8 teaspoon in the recipe.

For a forum on a breast cancer support site you can click here.  If you are battling cancer, the BC Advisor is a good place to hang out with others going through what you are going through.  This is a place where you may be able to find answers for your questions your doctor is not telling you.  You may even have some valuable input for others.

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You can access about 820 articles on PubMed (US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health) regarding turmeric and cancer here.

References:

Ravindran, J., Prasad, S., Aggarwal, B.B. (September 2009). Curcumin and Cancer Cells: How Many Ways Can Curry Kill Tumor Cells Selectively? The AAPS Journal, Vol. 11(3), 495-510.

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Never Give up on Anybody

When I left Romania last summer, it seemed that Ghiuler was at a pretty serious crossroad in her life. It didn’t look good from my perspective. But they continued to love her, to teach her, and to correct her. Watch the video to see where she’s at today.

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Come away with me, my beloved

Come away with me, my beloved

“My beloved responded and said to me,
‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,
And come along.
For behold, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
The flowers have already appeared in the land;
The time has arrived for pruning the vines,
And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.
The fig tree has ripened its figs,
And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance.
Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,
And come along!’”
~ Song of Solomon 2:10-13

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Romania Mission trip fundraiser

Romania Mission trip fundraiser.

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