Wednesday, May 16, 2012

On the Road Again

I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much.

-Mother Theresa

Dear friends, a lot has happened since my last post. 

I went to NYC at the end of March for my six month check up.  This was an important meeting to me because we repeated the entire hair sample analysis from August and I was hoping to learn (1.) what’s changed/improved and (2.) why my IGA was increasing.

The results were mixed.  The good news is that I had fourteen improvements in my organs, etc.  I was pretty excited to hear this.  It’s nice to know that so many things are functioning better than they were in August, despite my disease.  It showed that the program is working really well for me.  The bad news is that we confirmed that the reason my IGA was increasing was because my disease was growing.  We weren’t 100% sure about this (or at least I wasn’t) going into the meeting but the hair sample confirmed that my disease was indeed increasing.  Dr. Gonzalez called me about a week before my NYC appointment to review the detailed analysis of my blood work he had received and implied that the results weren’t what he wanted.  I went into the appointment somewhat expecting bad news but it was still hard to take.  Really hard.

So, in summary, my disease regressed significantly my first three months on the program and increased  a little the second three months.  As of March, I was still better than I was when I began the program but I had begun trending in the wrong direction.  Dr. Gonzalez explained that it’s good that I improved so much the first three months because I had room to move; as a result, this trend in the wrong direction wasn’t too damaging.  He explained that it’s important that we not just throw additional enzymes at the problem but, instead, figure out what’s changed and address the issues.
After careful analysis and consideration, Dr. Gonzalez explained that he believed that the change was due to stress.  We spent a lot of time discussing various stressors in my life but there was one that really stuck out to Dr. Gonzalez as a significant problem and that is tooth pain.  Last winter, as part of the Gerson protocol, I had a mouth full of mercury fillings replaced with composites.  As a result of all the drilling, I lost tooth structure and, a year later, began having issues with my nerves.  I can’t chew on one side of my mouth because the pressure is too painful and it’s challenging to chew on the other side due to sensitivity to hot and cold.  Dr. Gonzalez explained that tooth pain can throw the autonomic nervous system (ANS) out of balance and that one of our main goals on the program is to balance the ANS.  It has to be in balance for my organs and systems to work right and for my body to fight the disease.  If I'm throwing the ANS out of balance every time I eat, the protocol isn't going to work.
At the time of this appointment, I had been using special sensitive  toothpaste for a couple weeks and it was helping.  In addition, Dr. Gonzalez suggested I add three new supplements to my regimen to help with the inflammation and pain.  He also suggested that I walk daily to clear my head and wear special glasses at night to block out blue light rays which suppress melatonin production and inhibit sleep (by the way, these glasses are working wonders helping me fall asleep quickly and sleep more soundly through the night
Interestingly, Dr. Gonzalez does not recommend that his patients replace their mercury fillings.    He doesn’t believe that anyone should have mercury in his mouth but once it’s there, he says you leave it be.  His patients are able to work around the toxic effects of the mercury with detox and supplements.

So, I responded to the growth of my disease the way that any sane, mature woman would – I panicked, cried and hyperventilated for the next day or so as my mind raced with all the possible “what if” scenarios.  Mainly, “what if” controlling my stress wasn’t enough to turn things around? 
Meanwhile, my husband and sister, who attended the six month visit with me, were confused “um, Theresa, what are you so worried about?  You’re still much better than you were in August.  Dr. Gonzalez seemed pretty confident that you can manage your stress and turn this around”. 

So…..I took a few deep breaths and got rational.  Over the next couple weeks, I remembered three things that helped to keep me calm and sane: 

1.      I am utilizing the single best cancer doctor and cancer protocol on the planet.  (I recognize that some would disagree but I believe this wholeheartedly)

2.      My doctor didn’t seem all that bothered by my results.  In fact, he was totally calm about the whole thing and seemed kind of been there, done that about it.  He said that “patients don’t heal in straight lines” and encouraged me to “be patient”.  He also explained that the important thing in this scenario is that we not just throw more enzymes at the situation but rather understand what has changed and address the issues.  Once we address the stress, things should reverse.  His explanation made perfect sense to me because I was responding so well to the protocol the first few months.  Then, in December, my tooth pain flared up and my IGA increased right along with it.  I also began writing this blog in December and set deadlines and goals which were probably too much for me.  In addition, my oldest daughter started having some problems at school which I found really hard to take.  So, a lot of stress was added to my plate in December that could have affected my results.

3.      God is with me.  Yes, I know I have to show up each day and do my therapy but the reality is that I don’t have complete control over every single thing - not even close. 

I found that when I kept these truths in mind, I did pretty well.  I also used EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique, to manage my anxiety and that seemed to help with the little things that popped up.

Two weeks after my appointment in New York, I had my blood drawn.  Although my IGA moved a small amount in the wrong direction, I had significant improvements in some very important numbers such as hemoglobin, kappa lambda ratio and free light chain.  Dr. Gonzalez thought that things were leveling off and would likely begin to reverse. 

Once I heard that news, I started to feel really good about things.

A month after my NYC appointment, I sent in another hair sample and my CT Mass (cancer measurement) improved by two points.  This was terrific news.  I would’ve been happy if it remained stable and thrilled if it improved by one point, so, to hear that it improved two points was pretty exciting.
The good news continued last week when I had my blood drawn again and heard that I had several improvements in all the important numbers, including IGA which finally moved in the right direction by almost 600 points. 

So, after several months of some bad trends, I am back on track.  I recognize that I hit a speed bump and it served its’ purpose – it slowed me down so that I could take more walks, get more sleep and control my stress and these were all things that I knew I should have been doing anyway.  I was ignoring the little woman inside me who was pointing her finger and shaking her head “tisk, tisk, haven’t you figured out by now that your sleep and stress management have to be your priority?” 

The funny thing is that I’m enjoying these changes.  It feels great to wake up rested and I realize that I am a much happier, balanced person if I take time each day to get outside, breath in the fresh ocean air and clear my head.  I’m a better mom and wife.  When I make wellness a priority, everyone wins.

The other big news I learned at my check up is that I gained twelve pounds.  Twelve pounds.  This wasn’t exactly a surprise.  My five year old saw me changing the other day and scrunched up her cute little face, pointed at my mid-section and said “Mommy, do you have a baby in there?” Um, no honey, Mommy’s just really enjoying eating real food again.  J 

My little Sierra bear….she keeps it real. 

So, all is well here and I’m back on the road to optimal health.  This time, I’m listening to my intuition and driving a little more cautiously….