Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Plan of Action for My Little Cellular Dysfunction


Hello, my dear friends and family.  As most of you know by now, for the past several weeks, Dave and I have been researching our treatment options for what we are calling my "little cellular dysfunction” (after all,  a cellular dysfunction is what’s really going on here, and do we need to give breast cancer and the "c" word any more power?   I say no, no, we don’t).

We’ve spoken with a number of extremely intelligent, compassionate and capable doctors – both conventional and integrative - and feel truly blessed to have had so many great choices.  Ultimately, we have decided to pursue my treatment at Angeles Hospital in Tijuana, Mexico, which is a credible, well- respected part of a 23-hospital health system, much like UH or the Cleveland Clinic.  The Functional Oncology program at Angeles Hospital is a comprehensive, whole-body approach that has been proven in both science and with great patient results, treating cancer by supporting the immune system and targeting cancer cells through cell-based, non-toxic  therapies.  At Angeles, I will have a team of doctors including a Functional MD, Surgeon, Oncologist, Nutrition Therapist, Immunologist and Psychologist who will work together on my customized treatment plan.  

You can read more about the details of the approach and the various therapies on their web site (http://cancertreatmentmx.com/what-is-functional-oncology/), but in laymen’s terms, they will get my immune system to its ultimate, peak state and keep it there so it can do its job, weaken the cancer cells and introduce super-charged cancer fighting cells to clean out all of those confused, dysfunctional cells.  

For those of you who are at all concerned that I'm not starting with the conventionally-prescribed course of six months of chemo, I’ll offer a few additional thoughts:

  • I want to take advantage of the fact that I’m very healthy and I know my body can do this with the right help and resources. Each of the physicians with whom we spoke indicated my overall state of well-being is a great advantage and I intend to use that to my benefit.  I also have been very concerned about the prospect of decimating my immune system while I have a 19-month old petri dish in livin’ and lovin’ all over the house.   It’s not like I can keep little man from sneezing directly into my mouth or putting other kids’ germs into his!
  • This approach was recommended by a doctor we trust completely who has researched it, visited the facility, has worked directly with the doctor who will be treating me and has seen patient successes.
  • We have great confidence in the doctor – Dr. Perez – who demonstrated incredible intelligence, insight and compassion, and has great experience healing cancer.
  • The survival rates (I think I may start calling them “thrive-al” rates because, let’s face it, I intend to do much more than just “survive”) are very high, and even higher for patients who use this course of treatment as their first course of action.

I share these points not to convince you of our choice, because whether or not you would choose this course for yourself (God forbid you’d ever have to make the decision!), I know that you will offer your love and support, trusting that we conducted extensive research and listened to our heads, hearts and instincts in making this important decision (and if nothing else, you will fake it).  Rather, I just want all of the people who are sending me their love and prayers to know that I will be in exceptional hands and even more importantly, that I know that I’VE GOT THIS. 

Thanks again to the blessings that are our loved ones and the amazing caregivers in our lives, Dave and I are both in a confident, positive place.  We know that while it’s going to take some work and a great deal of focus (yes, Vegan/Gluten-free/Dairy-free/Soy-free Diet, I’m looking at you!), we have what it takes to get through this particular challenge.   We will be continuing to cultivate our positive outlook, incorporating mediation, yoga and whatever else might bolster our physical, mental, and spiritual strength.  Your continued encouragement and belief in us is playing a tremendous role in our success. 

So now that you know the course of treatment we’ve selected, here are the specific details:
  • We’ll be leaving for Mexico next Saturday and will spend three weeks there.*
  • We should be all set for Charlie coverage while we’re gone, and have gotten so many kind offers from those of you here in town to help out where needed.  You may just get a call…
  • Once we return, I’ll have four months of at-home treatment and regular testing and contact with my doctors – both here and in Mexico, followed by another round of comprehensive tests to gauge our (positive, of course!) progress.  At some point, I’ll likely be a candidate for some form of surgery, but we’ll get more information on that as our journey progresses.
 * Just in case any would-be burglars or squatters have somehow found their way to this page, you should know we have a security system and the most vigilant neighborhood watch in Cleveland.  Trust me, you do NOT want to mess with this posse.  Plus, there really isn’t much of value to make it worth your efforts, unless you want Dave’s collection of outdated and useless computer parts, which are all yours if you want ‘em.

Once again, I cannot begin to express our gratitude for the outpouring of love and support our friends, family and even strangers have showered upon us and you should know that we feel each prayer and positive thought you send our way.  We welcome them with open arms and hearts, so please keep them coming! 

I would just ask that if you have concerns, doubts or worries, please continue to use Dave as your filter.  I really need to stay focused with the utmost confidence that we’ve found the approach that is going to bring me to optimal health and I need all of my interactions from here on out to support that state of mind.  In all honestly, I really don’t want to go back to the dark place of a few weeks ago.  There is an incredible tangible and physical difference between how I felt when it was all fear and terror to how I feel now where there is so much confidence and light.  Whatever you can do to keep fostering this positive energy is greatly appreciated.

I’m sure there are a number of you who will be very interested in the details of the treatments, our interactions and of course the food, so we’ll try to deliver some good updates via this blog.

Thanks again and much love to you all.

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