One Year from Secondary Breast Cancer Diagnosis

I haven’t stopped to write anything here since my last visit to the oncologist ‘because life has just been so go-go-go!’ My little Life Energy C Liposomal Vitamin C making service has found its feet and is adding to the busy-ness…ahhh that’s what it’s called a business! It keeps you so busy.

There was unexpected good news from the oncologist. I hadn’t stopped to imagine that my breast cancer tumour markers would continue to drop as they were already down to 25 at last count. The normal range is 0>30, and they where once at 51; that was a year ago when my scans showed breast cancer metastasis in seven places throughout my skeletal system. Now they are 19!

The CT scan showed no lesions in my tissues and or organs and the bone scan showed the same spots to be taking up the calcium and radioactive isotope as last time. The bone scan report was unable to tell me if these spots had reduced in size and instead attempted to tell me that something new had been seen on the femur. The report was so questionable that I’m actually ignoring it until I have more detailed information from the radiography department. My oncologist and I are meeting again in a couple of weeks to see what radiography can, and can not explain, regarding both evidence of the healing that I am certain is taking place, and evidence of this new spot on the femur. Is it actually new cancer. I seriously doubt it is, I will report back on the blog when hopefully I know more.

Meanwhile my body is telling me that the radioactive poison being targeted directly at my healing bones is too high a price to pay for these bone scans; scans which can’t even report healing, size of bone tumour ..or even be certain there is any active cancer.

I have been fortunate to find a closed Facebook group called CannFit Survivor in which we can support each other with alternative and integrative cancer healing discussions. Within this amazing group I have made a friend called Heidi who led me to this book I’d never heard of, (but really needed to read right now). The book is called “Cancer Free, Are You Sure?” I am loving this book and Its inspired me to get circulating tumor cell count (CTC) blood tests done regularly, instead of getting more of these very toxic scans, that I believe are doing more damage than good.

Living on the mid north coast of NSW, Australia might mean a flight to Sydney to do the CCT blood tests on a Monday morning, so that the blood gets to TNT couriers in Sydney for a Monday 4pm deadline, and fresh to Germany for an analysis. The information on these tests and how to get them is found here. It’s not covered by Medicare and cost about A$630. It’s not cheap, but I think the money will give me valuable information without the long term radioactive destruction of the very bones I’m spending all this time and energy healing.

http://www.genostics.com.au/

The amazon link to the book is here and it’s available as an easy to read ebook on kindle. The author also a much in demand public speaker and one of her very informative talks from a few years back is linked here . She even facilitated and truly mind blowing online course on all things cancer detection, alternative and integrative healing.

One year in, and everyday I’m taking many supplements to support the healing process

At least 10g of vitamin C in the form of Liposomal Vitamin C,

2-3G of Curcumin Phytosome with Meriva,

3 tspns of Biohawk Relief Ginger Enzymes,

4 x Algae Cal Calcium plus capsules,

1 x capsule 300mg Ubiquinol bioactive CoQ10,

1500 mg of flush free niacin and

1-2 teaspoon of super green powder

with variety probiotics in some or any live forms.

I’m feeling full of energy all day and sleeping well.

I very recently read another book which inspired me to stop eating meat but have not stopped home made organic bone broths just yet. More research to do there. I was eating way too much animal flesh over the past few months and intuitively knew it was time to end my relationship with it as my body was no doubt recycling the excess proteins into glucose via my liver.

I’m still steering totally clear of carbs in the form of grains, white starches etc..but enjoying a fresh kiwi fruit each day. I eat heaps of broccoli!

I’ve just ordered some organic chrysanthemum tea to drink each day for supporting my bones to heal and have an appointment with a naturopath and compounding chemist this week to see what he has to say about my current diet and my supplements.

Oh, and I’ve recently been reading up on Far infrared and Ozone therapy, and Oxygen therapy for cancer as I’m sure that my pelvic bone area and lower vertebrae need the deepest levels of support and would benefit from adding this to my healing and prevention therapies. I’ve even booked a session at a local spa for a whole body pressurised oxygen session and infrared sauna for next week.

I’ve never been a runner but started jogging lightly on my daily beach walks as a way to help my cells learn how to take up more oxygen too. I have even been on the exercise bike and did 2min bursts with 4min rests x 3 ..to condition my red blood cells to take up and release oxygen with more ease. I need to do this three times a day; well that’s my goal at this stage, as it’s only happening once a day due to this busy-ness.

Blessing for a joy-full recovery

Abbey

Extra Care During Radiation Therapy

Sitting in the waiting room prior to my initial appointments at the cancer institute I saw plenty of  burnt skin on the hands, legs, feet and faces of people getting radiation treatment. The oncology nurse told me to use plain sorbolene cream on the area after the treatments and to make sure the area was clear of this sorbolene cream each morning prior to treatments.
I have plenty of aloe vera growing in the garden and know how powerful it is for treating burns, so instead of sorbolene I would apply fresh aloe for a few weeks after the targeted radiation sessions. It was even more soothing when I remembered to collect it from the garden early and place it in the fridge.
Another cream I used both during, and for several weeks following radiation therapy was one I bought from Tony, the naturopath and compounding chemist at the Tree of Life, Sawtell, NSW. Tree of Life mail products out to customers Australia wide, so I encourage anyone going  for radiation to get in touch via their website contact link and see if something can be made up for you, or your family member for application during and after radiation treatment. I’m pretty sure the cream he made for me was a combination of comfrey and vitamin E.
I’m pretty sure as a compounding chemist the ingredients in each jar are particular to the person’s needs. I’m going in to see him next week so I’ll make a note to ask him some more on this subject.

Visit the website for Tony at Tree of Life, Sawtell, NSW

I didn’t mention the Cream from the Tree of Life to the nurses, but I did mention the aloe vera and they were very happy with me using it. I’m thinking that free aloe vera plants should be available for people getting radiation. You want the fresh aloe vera only, not the stuff in bottles that is often a mix of ingredients including alcohol.

Diagnosis Shock and Stressfr

When I first got the news from my breast surgeon, in June 2017, that the breast cancer was back and  had found its way into about 7 places in my bones I was deeply shocked. The first month or two after diagnosis of stage 4 cancer was overwhelming. I got a horrible response and no support from my original GP, and then a couple of weeks later went on Zolodex hormone blockers as prescribed by my oncologist. My adrenal system was well into over-drive. I speak to other people each week who are in similar ‘totally shocked, exhausted and or highly stressed’ early stages of healing,  and my hope is that my story below will be helpful to one of these dear souls

When I got my secondary breast cancer diagnosis I went to see my then GP, who at the time was is well known in the area to offer alternative medicines and referrals to her patients. The earliest possible appointment for me to see her was two weeks after I found out the news of metastasis. During the two week period I waited to see her, I was online researching hormone receptor positive breast cancer treatments and talking to my very supportive breast surgeon in Brisbane, Dr. Christopher Pyke.  I had regular contact with Dr. Pyke, after my stage 2 mastectomy in 2014. He saw me each year and ordered my MRI scans and had also ordered my PET & CT scans after the MRI in May 2017 found three spots which led to three biopsies, all of which returned the news that the breast cancer was in my lymph nodes and remaining breast tissue.

So, in the first two weeks after the CT and PET confirming secondary breast cancer to the bones, I was spending  a lot of time online researching the new ketogenic diet I was on, and learning about the conventional hormone therapies that Dr. Pyke had told me about. Before I got in to see my then GP, I had already come to the conclusion that I would ask her for a referral for the Cancer Institute in Coffs Harbour where I could speak to the oncologist hear what she had to say about the various hormone treatments available.

When I went in to see her, I let her know I was there to obtain a referral to the oncologist; she sat and nodded. I then asked her if she could refer me to a good dietician as I was seeking support and some assurance in regards to  the ketogenic diet. Her response was. ‘the cancer institute has a dietician, speak to them’. Then my next question to her was regarding a referral to a good exercise physiologist so I could  learn how to best support the specific muscles near the tumour on my L3. Her response to this was exactly the same as the first response; ‘the cancer institute has a physiotherapist you can speak to’.

So now, I’m sitting there barely five minutes into our appointment time, wondering what else I had on my list. My partner Neil looks up from his empty note pad ( his job is to write down what the doctors say) and he asks her “So what can you do for Abbey?” Her response to this question was shocking and what I believe sent me from manageable stress, into adrenal over-drive. Her words, no joke, were these;
“Come back to me when you need me to write you a referral to palliative care.”
Hearing these words I stood up to leave her office as I knew then that she was not interested in practicing integrative health, only alternative.

Note to all the newly diagnosed: Be aware of the difference between alternative and integrative when seeking a good GP.

I had seen this same alternative GP back in 2014 when I had 3 lobular carcinoma lumps detected in my left breast. Back then, she talked about the oncologist and the hormone treatment in a way, that easily persuaded me not to go that path. She did not encourage me to be brave and learn all I could; instead she spoke to me about estrogen-less sagging breasts and dry vaginas. She advised me to increase the time I spent on my meditation and Qi Gong practices and make monthly appointments with her colleague, a very alternative energy healer. She made no suggestion that I return see her for blood tests regularly or anything else, after my post mastectomy check up in April 2014.

So here I was 3 years later, in June 2017 walking out of her office (for the last time) with a referral to the oncologist but no other professional support in place. It was only after a month or so, of not knowing who to turn to, that a series of almost magical events led me to a really wonderful local integrative GP, Dr. Adrian Hekel.

When Dr. Hekel asked me why I was there, I told him about my need to have an integrative doctor, someone outside the cancer institute to walk beside me and support me in doing the very best I could to get through this. I asked if he could find me the diet and physio support, and he did. I also told him about the mental, emotional and physical side effects of the chemical menopause. I had just begun a monthly Zolodex implant and was an emotional  mess.

After my second appointment at Northside Health, and a thorough biopsychosocial evaluation, Dr. Hekel suggested I try  a supplement, the Metagenics brand of AdrenoTone tablets. The idea was that they would support my adrenals replenish after the shocking diagnosis and the effects of  drastic hormonal manipulation. The herbs in the AdrenoTone product quickly agreed with me, and my ability to cope with situation on all levels improved rapidly.

I am so grateful that I was supported at this level, when I was. This integrative support enabled me to regain and focus my energy and emotions, and direct them toward my healing goals.

One of the herbs in the AdrenoTone was Siberian Ginseng , and I’m sure my oncologist would not have been happy with me using it. Siberian ginseng ‘might’ act like estrogen, Estrogen being the hormone the oncology injection was blocking. The official word of caution is “If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don’t use Siberian ginseng.” I decided for myself within days that if taking it was improving my quality of life this dramatically that I would continue to take it ‘short term and not long term’. Just long enought to get me through the overwhelm, shock and stress period.

Ashwagandha was another herb in the AdrenoTone tablets, however it that was not going to be an estrogen issue. I did go out and buy a large bag of Aswagandha from Noodles Emporium on Ebay. Ashwagandha really helped me in smoothing out the early days of overnight menopause madness. I still have some in my kit, which I take from time to time.

I wrote this because I care about so many of the people I speak to each week who are reeling in shock and confusion like I once was; unable to think straight or keep it together emotionally. I firmly believe that replenishing our adrenals during times of  deep shock and great stress is the best place to start the healing process. Being in that sustained state of fright, flight or freeze post diagnosis does not help the body heal one bit. I believe that the stress occurring around the time of diagnosis can be outright highly dangerous in itself without the right integrative care and adrenal support.

Thank-you Dr. Hekel for offering me this support at the start of my own healing journey.

Integrative Oncology

I’ve met with my oncologist about 10 times and each time I do, it gets easier to walk my own path, with her there at my side. In the beginning I was very afraid that the cancer on my spine would lead to a life of much loss and pain and underwent 10 days of targeted radiation therapy. I even took their bone cement medicine for one month. That was before I woke up and realised it was for people she had convinced that there was no hope of healing their bones.
My courage developed over time and so has my healing power and energy. My hope is that one day the ideas of conventional oncology will align more with my own ideas about healing. When I read these two news stories recently I began to think that they are looking in the right direction.

Good News for Women With Breast Cancer: Many Don’t Need Chemo

Doctors hail world first as woman’s advanced breast cancer is eradicated

What conventional treatments I have agreed to continue for now?
I am 47 and I was still menstruating at the time of my secondary breast cancer diagnosis. My estrogen receptor signalling status was checked and found to be very high on the cancer cells they had biopsied. This told us that my secondary breast cancer was very easily able to access my estrogen hormone in order to grow. The majority of estrogen is produced by the ovaries and Zolodex, is used to prevent estrogen production by the ovaries.
I found the Zolodex and overnight menopause challenging at first. After a few months things improved for me and I think my meditation. Qi gong, ketogenic diet, curcumin supplements, vitamin C all helped with this part of the journey.

My oncologist originally suggested I do chemotherapy and I told her I did not want to. Nine months ago she wrote me a script for another hormone treatment Letrozole and I have not taken it. I told her that ‘as long as the cancer appears stable , (which it still was when we last checked), or even better ..’in remission’ or ‘no longer seen on the scans’ (which I foresee) then I’m not going to take any more conventional drugs or treatments’ they offer me.

Integrative Oncology is the term to describe the therapies, diets and supplements that will support you in avoiding the sickening effects of conventional cancer treatments such as hormone therapy, chemotherapy and radiation.

The latest and very well researched book to support you on this leg of the journey is this one:

Outside the Box Cancer Therapies

https://www.amazon.com.au/Outside-Box-Cancer-Therapies-Alternative/dp/1401954588

All the recommendations in this book are well referenced so you can show your GP or oncologist what you are considering adding to your treatment. It’s available on Kindle and paperback.

At the time of my targeted radiation therapy to my spine, I took and still take:

The wonderful integrative oncology book I mentioned above was not released at the time so I was doing my own research online.

 

Mind-Body

Underlying my capacity to access and utelise all the energy and information I need to heal my secondary breast cancer is a firm belief that

I am open to receiving
all the energy and information
I need to fully heal. 

  •  I did not begin this journey holding the belief that I could fully heal.
  • The moment I realised that the above belief wasn’t true for me, was a priceless moment.
  • In the moment I realised it wasn’t true for me, I became conscious of how very limited my beliefs about fully healing secondary breast actually were.
  • The first big step forward with my healing, was recognising and transforming any and all beliefs and habits of relating to myself that stood between me and my capacity to fully heal.

I found it helpful to listen and learn about the ‘biology of belief’.

Bruce Lipton

The Biology of Belief

https://youtu.be/jjj0xVM4x1I

I have understood, practiced and integrated the teachings of Dr. Joe Dispenza

You are the Placebo – Making your Mind Matter

https://youtu.be/FJFtQrn6zkY

Dr. Joe Dispenza has a website and many books, audio books and meditations.  I have enjoyed engaging with his knowledge and practicing with his resources and integrating his offerings into my own healing practices. “I listened to the Dr. Joe Dispenza audio book and meditations from ‘You are the Placebo’ whilst I was getting my high dose vitamin C infusion”.

There are many inspiring talks and interviews with and by Dr. Joe on YouTube too.

http://www.drjoedispenza.com/index.php

More reading matter for creating strong mind-body foundations

Australian authors and cancer conquerors, Ian Gawler and Petrea King have written some wonderful books too.

I have enjoyed, the ‘Mind that Changes Everything’ and ‘You Can Conquer Cancer’.

Movement Meditations

I love integrating  gentle and very powerful movement meditations into my life.
I live on the Mid North Coast of NSW and am so grateful to have  teachers running classes and private sessions in both ‘Medical Qi Gong’ and ‘The Form Reality Practice’.

I find that movement meditations such as ‘Qi Gong’ and ‘The Form’ to be so therapeutic and allow me a chance to deeply quite my mind and nourish my body, mind and spirit. Both these practices have also supported me greatly in the regular release of excess or draining emotions and or beliefs/thoughts.


 

more to come…

 

Welcome

I have been actively healing secondary breast cancer to the bones for the past 12 months, I believe that it because I am doing looking and feeling so well, that I’m often asked to share what’s working best for me with others on the cancer journey.

I have created this simple site as a way of supporting my current ‘need for ease’, as I’ve found, that I’m repeatedly sharing the same information with different people each week.

This site will be where I post information that has helped me during my secondary breast cancer healing journey so readers can learn more and or discuss with their doctor.

I will begin by listing all the key resources, supplements and therapies that I believe have helped me most. Over time I will continue to update the information about each of these resources, supplements or therapies but for now I will just get the basic information down so you have something to get you started.