Please note that I’m writing this blog post in response to Ryan’s most recent blog post, “Two Battles, Not One” written October 1, 2015. I wrote this blog the same night he posted his, but as usual I’m always a wee bit hesitant. Hindsight, I should have just hit the “Publish” button. . . so here you are 🙂
The answer to this question changes everything.
It really does.
This answer overhauls the standard route of cancer protocol.
Stay with me, you’ll understand the question and the reason I ask.
I have been on the alternate path of medicine for 8 years. Why eight years? Eight years ago my son’s pediatrician tells me that at 18months of age she would be diagnosing my son with “reactive airway disease.” In other words, she said, “I think your son has asthma.” With that diagnosis she said my son would be put on a steroids regimen and albuterol treatments 4x/day. I left the pediatrician’s office sobbing and confused. Asthma? Really? Steroids, this young?
Thankfully, another young mom in our couple’s life group suggested that maybe all of these symptoms were not asthma but a response to an allergen. Hence, I went into full blown research mode. Within days I put my son on a dairy free diet . . . and within 4 days his wheezing stopped. Completely. Like never again he wheezed or had any issues with asthma related symptoms. Ever. Even to this day. I’m not kidding you, I’m not exaggerating. When we moved from Georgia to Oklahoma my son was given conditional insurance and there was a clause in his health insurance policy because BCBS of OK would not cover any treatments for asthma. That’s how bad he had it when we lived in Georgia. When we moved to Oklahoma I didn’t care that clause was in his policy. My son had already been symptom free for over a year. Hence, I could never fully trust a physician’s diagnosis unless I tested it against nutrition and my intuition.
What you also don’t know is that the pediatrician scoffed at me when we returned months later and I was happily telling her of my findings and how well my child was doing. She didn’t believe me. She told me I was wrong. I NEVER went back.
That simple experience changed how I viewed the world of healthcare forever.
Fast forward eight years and here we are. . .
I’m in full blown research mode. I’m momma bear figuring out if it’s asthma (figuratively speaking) or can diet change make all the difference in the world? Its my boy, its my husband. Been there, done that.
Ryan’s current diagnosis is what the medical community would call a Differential Diagnosis. It basically means they are not sure yet what it actually is. Some signs point to aggressive and some signs point to slow growing. The difference is everything. We already know what the surgeon believes we should do. I can guarantee you, no doubt at all, what the oncologist will say on Monday. Its already been decided by them, even before we have all the results and final diagnosis, staging and grade.
Ryan’s Surgical Pathology Report states:Follicular lymphoma, grade 1-2 of 3 (although the number of centroblasts approaches 15 in rare fields – which could make it a grade 3).Ryan’s Molecular Diagnostics Report states:B-Cell lymphoma of germinal center cell origin. . . This immunophonotype would be consistent with follicular lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Further classification requires . . .
Both reports state clinical history: diffuse lymphadenopathy with B symptoms including night sweats. . . But neither report can tell us the staging (1 thru 4) or if and how much it has spread.
This seems like a lot of rubbish. A lot of “over my head medical terms.” It can be, it was to me at first. It doesn’t have to be. Please bear with me.
Why does it matter? You already know that Ryan and I aren’t excited about chemotherapy. You already know we are not 100% anti-chemo either, but we have reservations, big ones. Its the standard treatment, usually coupled with radiation, for so many types of cancers. Its the go-to protocol. To be honest with you, I haven’t spoken with anyone that after a few minutes of discussions they haven’t brought up the “chemo and radiation options.” It’s ok, I understand. That’s what we all know. But, it doesn’t mean its the only way or even the best way . . . hear me out.
Thursday, September 17th, Ryan comes home from Oklahoma City, pale and in pain. Symptoms are overbearing: long coughing episodes, head splitting migraines, night sweats, inability to sleep thru the night, fatigue, decreasing appetite and more. I didn’t want to believe something could be terribly wrong, but the signs were there. Hindsight, it was obvious. As blogged in “The Sun Rising in the Horizon” we knew Saturday the 19th of September that it was likely going to be Lymphoma. Everything changed that day. Merely minutes after the news Ryan asked me, “What do we do? What can I eat?” I replied, “No sugar. I think plant based, but I’m not for sure. Give me a day.” Ryan responded with a “whatever I gotta do, I’ll do” attitude and I was scared. Scared he wouldn’t make the immediate changes necessary, but he did. Immediately. Not one gram of sugar has knowingly been in his mouth unless naturally from whole raw fruits and vegetables. We did make additional changes in diet, supplements and lifestyle. Right before my very own eyes, he was getting better. He went from on and off all day/all night headaches to less and less. On Thursday, the day of his lymph node biopsy we mutually decided it was best for him to do a 4 day juicing fast to cleanse out his body of toxins. Before the fast even started his headaches were completely gone. By the time the fast ended his night sweats were gone, his other symptoms lessened dramatically and even one lymph node completely went down and the Virchow’s Node has dramatically improved. Folks, that is real. I’m not kidding you. I’m not exaggerating. I’ll share the initial protocol once I can get that blogpost finished. (*Edit: Ryan’s October 2015 protocol is inside The Whisper in the Rain blogpost.)
So, what question is so important to me right now?
Did you notice I already asked it?
I’m momma bear figuring out if it is asthma (figuratively speaking) or can diet change make all the difference in the world?
I’m fairly certain I know the answer.
You can also say I am asking:
Is it Indolent Lymphoma? or Is it Transformed Lymphoma?
The answer can determine how aggressive we need to be. Where we need to go and what we need to do. The outlook, the prognosis. . .
Indolent Lymphoma is not usually treated specifically by chemo/radiation and Transformed Lymphoma is. Follicular lymphoma (grade 1-2) is an indolent lymphoma and unless it is rapidly growing there’s absolutely no reason to even consider chemotherapy. It’s already proven that all chemo can do is treat the follicular cancer in hopes to lessen the cancer, but its also proven to come back.
Transformed lymphoma is more aggressive. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is a transformed lymphoma. There is actual medical proof that chemotherapy actually works on this type of lymphoma.
I know that a week ago Ryan was likely be a latter stage and have a more aggressive lymphoma. Based on symptoms dissipating I believe we have started the healing process and reversal of the lymphoma. That’s really what the hopes of chemotherapy are. That it attacks the cancer, kills it and the cells mutate back to normal state. Unfortunately, if it even works, that’s not all that chemotherapy does. It poisons everything else too. There are also long term effects from both chemotherapy and radiation. Ask my father-in-law. Ask my mother-in-law. Ask many of the cancer survivors you know.
We are actively seeking and researching alternative methods that do the same as chemotherapy hopes to provide but doesn’t kill/poison the rest of Ryan’s body. We have several options and many, many caring people have sent us books, ideas, links, articles and more. We believe we are led and by His leading we’ll know how to proceed. Even if we go the chemotherapy route I can guarantee you it won’t be the traditional chemotherapy route. There are options. There is even different ways to administer chemo other than the traditional way. There are even integrated medicine doctors here in the USA that will administer it differently and more effectively than all the standard cancer centers! Chemo is also not the only route to health. In fact, many times it routes you the other way.
To conclude, Ryan and I aren’t some crazy, read one article and just jumped on the bandwagon couple that is blindly heading to death. No, this has been a long, education-over-time journey that happens to be going at top speeds at this moment. We are thankful that our journey to health started 8 years ago. It has not ended and will not end anytime soon.
Live your life. . . Because, YOLO!