Tuesday, August 25, 2015


I saw the doctor at the Atlanta clinic 2 weeks ago today. I haven't posted because I have been busy, out of town a lot, and have been unsure about how I feel about the visit.
The doctor and I had a shaky start. I didn't come away from the appointment feeling like I had been heard. We have communicated by e-mail a few times since then, and I feel better about her, but still am not completely convinced she can provide what I need.
She ran quite a few lab tests which I haven't heard the results of. She also helped me figure out a way to have a genetic test for a methylation problem I suspect I may have. There is a website called 23&Me that will send you a kit for a DNA test to discover your heritage, and will also tell you if you are likely to be predisposed to some inherited conditions. They will only go so far with medical information, but another group will take their raw data and give you more specific medical information, including whether or not you have 1 gene with the methylation mutation (as I suspect I may have) or 2 genes with the mutation. I don't have the symptoms of the 2 gene (homozygous) problem. These include a very low tolerance to alcohol and anesthesia, painkillers, etc. I actually seem to have a high tolerance for those. Interestingly the symptoms of the lesser problem (heterozygous or one mutated gene) are the same as the symptoms of yeast overgrowth. These include but aren't limited to; chronic fatigue, fuzzy thinking, poor metabolism, chronic constipation or diarrhea, sensitivities to various foods like gluten, craving sugar or breads, etc. This isn't the complete list- I am writing this from memory. There is a website you can find by googling methylation problem folic acid. That is what one's body can't use properly if this defect is present- folic acid. I won't go into the biochemistry of folic acid and why it is so important but look it up if you are so inclined. Folic acid is a very important nutrient and our bodies must be able to methylate it to use it. Another interesting thing for me is this methylation problem is greatly exacerbated by yeast overgrowth! Also by exposure to heavy metals like Mercury! Mercury exposure also can encourage or facilitate the overgrowth of yeast! It is weird to keep coming across these looping symptoms. It makes me feel confident I am on the right track.
I am waiting to hear back from the DNA test but I believe it could take a few weeks. By the way, the cost for the DNA test is $99.00. The kit they send requires you to send in a sample of your saliva. Easy to follow directions.
The doctor in Atlanta did an energy scan based on Chinese medicine. It measured the chi or energy flow to each organ. Not surprisingly it showed a deficiency in the flow of energy to my liver, my large intestine, as well as my spleen and lungs. There were lots of other problems noted but I don't understand a lot of it yet. I took it to my acupuncturist and she is treating me.
One other big change came from my visit to Atlanta. The doctor gave me some information on adopting a ketogenic diet to starve the yeast as well as any lingering cancer cells. You probably won't remember, but in an earlier post I mentioned that my chiropractor had suggested the same thing to me back in the Spring after I was first diagnosed. After some careful study I have decided to give it a try now. I am convinced that resolving the yeast overgrowth is essential to my healing and, in spite of everything I have been doing, there is strong evidence that the yeast is still thriving.
Again, for the sake of brevity (I hear you laughing), I won't go deeply into the ketogenic diet, but will summarize for you. On this diet your body burns healthy fats and protein for energy rather than carbohydrates. Yeast and cancer cells are both obligate glucose users. This means they can only survive on sugars. Our normal cells can use fats and protein for energy but will only do so when carbohydrates (sugars) are not present. To determine if fats and proteins are being used for energy, one must check the urine for the presence of ketones. That is where the name comes from. After carefully exploring the diet, I realized it is in fact not much different than what I was doing. I simply needed to cut out most of the fruit I was eating and add some more protein ( for me eggs and a little organic meat and raw milk cheese) and some healthy fat in the form of avocados, flax seed oil, coconut oil and butter, olive oil, etc. I have to say I am also eating a bit more cooked food. Stir fries, roasted vegetables, and eggs never tasted so good!
One of the most interesting things about this diet is it tends to normalize one's weight. One will either gain or lose weight as needed.
I had another filling replaced last week. I only have one left to go! Then I need to decide about replacing a crown that has some Mercury under it, and a bridge that is composed of mostly nickel, which is on the list of materials I should avoid. Again, can you hear the sound of money- ch-Ching ch-Ching? (Not sure why my iPad wanted to capitalize the chings.)
I am horrified to see typos in earlier posts. Sorry! That is really not like me at all, perfectionist that I am. I suspect at least some of them are the fault of predictive text. I try to proof as I go because I once completely lost a long post trying to go back and change a mistake. I am unfortunately still on the learning curve for this format. Please bear with me.
Let me say here, before I close, that I would be happy for any of you to share this blog with anyone who might benefit from the information presented. I do not claim to be a physician. I do not recommend that anyone follow any certain protocols for treating disease. This is just what I titled this blog and nothing more; my journey through breast cancer my way.
Thank you and God bless you one and all.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Curiouser and Curiouser

This is like a game of Clue (for those of you old enough to remember Clue). Or like a game of Spider Solitaire, which I am semi-addicted to. I find one avenue to explore, and I read and discover many clues about it; then suddenly I am led on a detour which I later realize is actually the main road after all. Warning- if you are squeamish and/or don't like to talk about poop, you should just skip the next few paragraphs, and hopefully I will have something of a conclusion at the end that will be less TMI.
As I indicated in an earlier post, the key to the program I studied at the Living Foods Institute (LFI) is colon cleansing. Very few adults are walking around with a clean colon. I am sure some of you are saying to yourselves, "I go every day just like clockwork." You may indeed be eliminating each day. What they told us at LFI is you will know your colon is healthy when you have movements that are 10-12 inches long, well-formed, without a bad smell. The clincher is you should experience this 2-3 times a day after each meal! I don't know about anyone else (as this has never been a common topic of conversation for me- have you ever heard the saying, "You know you are old when talking about your bowel movements is part of your everyday conversation."?), but I personally have rarely experienced this even once in a day, much less multiple times. That said, here I am 4-5 months later finally figuring out what has been going on in my digestion/elimination systems, or not going on, as the case may be, for most of my life.
I grew up on the standard American diet of the 50's and 60's. I ate sugar for breakfast; sweetened cereal with chocolate milk, powdered sugar doughnuts, pop tarts, Hawaian punch, pancakes with syrup; nothing with any real fiber or nutritional value. For lunch I ate white flour biscuits made with Crisco or brown 'n serve rolls with cane syrup, lots of syrupy tea, and whatever meat my mother prepared that day. This would be fried or baked chicken, country fried steak, pot roast,  fried pork tenderloin, or fried salmon croquettes. We always had meat, biscuits or rolls with syrup or jelly,and all of the sweet tea we wanted. If I ate at least 3 peas (I am not making this up), I could have dessert. That would be store bought cookies or homemade pound cake or something else along those lines. Until I was in college I never remember seeing broccoli or cauliflower or romaine lettuce. We had peas of all kinds (which my mother picked, we shelled, and she blanched and froze), baked potatoes, corn, green bean  casserole made with canned French style green beans, or canned English peas. We may have had squash, since I didn't eat it I really don't remember. We had fresh tomatoes my Daddy grew, but I didn't eat those either. In fact the list of foods I would eat was very short. I ate meat and bread, fried potatoes, corn and the occasional pea. I also drank lots of sweet tea with lunch and dinner ( called dinner and supper back then), lots of jelly and biscuits, and the occasional obj on white bread with the ends cut off of the bread. I didn't like milk unless it was chocolate, nothing green except iceberg lettuce, no fruit except canned fruit cocktail in heavy syrup or canned pears in light syrup, no dressings of any kind- not salad, mayo, or ketchup. I did not eat cheese or tomatoes in any form. If we had spaghetti I ate plain white noodles. If we had hamburgers I ate them plain on a white bun. Some of you may find this hard to believe but I assure you it was true. I won't go into the details of my dysfunctional family in this post, but I will say I had very little power as a child. Eating was the one area I did have some control over and, although it was a constant source of conflict between my parents and myself, it was the one area where I could have some power. I used this to my advantage. My diet became the battle I could most often win. That said, I have to say I remember the smell of  cheese making me nauseous, and to this day, the texture and taste of cold cheese is repulsive to me. I also remember feeling like I would gag if I chewed those 3 peas, so I would just wash them down with my sweet tea.
So I am sure you see the picture emerging. I ate very little fiber and very little food with any life left in it. I ate mostly refined carbohydrates, bad fats, lots of meat and sugar. Is it any wonder I was chronically constipated as a child? I also had insomnia as far back as I can remember. Probably had something to do with 4 or 5 glasses of sweet tea I had with supper each day.
If this wasn't bad enough I also was prone to colds and bronchitis so I would have a shot of antibiotics on a regular basis. In my youth this was probably some form of penicillin since that was about all we had, but as I grew up and started having what would become chronic urinary tract infections (UTI's), this evolved with modern medicine into broad spectrum antibiotics. This treatment led to vaginal yeast infections and set me up for where I found myself this year.
I had a UTI last winter and after the prescribed antibiotic found myself with a painful case of thrush- a symptom of a more widespread Candida (yeast) colonization. The physician gave me Diflucan after  the antibiotic to fight the yeast. I becam sick after these treatments with what I thought was the flu, but now I believe I was actually sick from toxins released by the dying yeast.
Here comes the gross part if you want to skip this paragraph. As I have been giving myself enemas these last 6 months I have noticed my stool contains a lot of mucus; in fact sometimes that is all there is. This has not gone away and has led me to continue with the enemas even though I do now experience bowel movements when I stop. We were taught to implant wheat grass juice  at LFI after our enemas - this is just what it sounds like. You put the wheat grass in a large syring, attach some tubing with a nozzle, and put it into your colon. It was recommended we try to retain it for 10-20 minute, sometimes I never passed it. This was ideal because the wheat grass juice is rich in chlorophyll and fights yeast and other pathogens where they live and thrive. Often when I would pass it later it would come out in the mucous. It is bright green so you can always tell when it is expelled..  It was all very strange and fascinating to me. Yes, I am really fascinated by mt bodily functions. Probably has something to do with my life without television.
At a pot luck with some of my LFI friends recently I talked with one of them about something I had read in Anne Wigmore's book, The Hippocrates Diet. Her book formed the basis for the program at LFI. This suggestion was that one could implant Rejuvelac in the colon and directly inoculate beneficial bacteria. Rejuvelac is a fermented drink we were taught to make from sprouted soft wheat or cabbage. It is similar to Kombucha which you may be familiar with. I rarely make Rejuvelac because I don't find the taste palatable, but I began making it again to try this inoculation plan. The results have been staggering. I will spare you all of the truly gross details but it is essential to say that my colon was definitely colonized with Candida. I thought I had parasites but have come to realize this is just the pathogenic form of the yeast. Long ropes of mucus that I believe is the Candida that has made my colon severely compromised. The symptoms I didn't recognize but now know to be those of  Candida overgrowth are: stomach aches accompanied by gas, bloating, and/or indigestion or acid reflux, craving sweets and carbohydrates, poorly formed stools irregularly passed and often of sticky consistency, chronic UTI's, painful and frequent urination, fatigue, depression, reduced sex drive, fuzzy thinking, poor digestion of food in general, and the one I don't seem to have which is sensitivities to gluten and/ or other foods.
I also learned that exposure to heavy metals (in my case, Mercury) exacerbates yeast overgrowth biochemically. I won't go into the chemical processes but will be glad to share my sources with anyone interested.
Today I am consulting with a doctor at the Atlanta Center for Wholistic and Integrative Health. I am excited to talk with an MD who is actually concerned with what has caused my illness rather than just treating the symptoms of it. I am hoping to find some guidance and recommendations as I continue to detox and heal my body.
Thank you to all who have sent cards and prayers. Your support has been invaluable to me. Blessings to you all.

Monday, August 3, 2015

More Western Drama and Angst

Microscopic report of the lymph node came back with a few clusters of malignant cells in the subscapular sinus. Right- nothing is ever in English. After lots of talk with doctors and chasing my tail to get my hands on the report, their recommendations remain the same; chemo followed by radiation.
After hours of research I have decided not to follow their recommendations. I found evidence that there is no significance in those microscopic cells they found. All of the research papers I found said I am still considered node negative and giving chemo based on those results alone is not justified. Some went so far as to say the stains used to identify the cells should not even be done when the node shows no sign of tumor. Risks from the treatment outweigh the potential for benefit.
I had another amalgam filling replaced less than a week after the lymph node surgery- not one of my better ideas. It put me in a deep depression for a few days where I mostly slept. Then 3 days later I woke up feeling fairly normal. Weird. I definitely need some help detoxing from the mercury after it is all removed. I go back the end of August to have 2 more removed. I will be done unless I decide to have a bridge replaced that apparently has some mercury under it (ch-ching$$$). I will make that decision later.
I feel really good to have finally made the decision not to have radiation and chemo. I continue to find research in support of that given the particular characteristics of my tumor. I have decided to seek out a holistic doctor who will guide me through my continuing path of detoxification and supplementation. I look forward to going to the Integrative Practice I found in Atlanta through a close friend of mine. I will see a M.D. who is also trained in more wholistic medicine. I have a consultation next Tuesday. Wish me luck!
I will also be proactive in watching for any more cancer to develop. I now have the tools to have my body scanned regularly in a safe way.
Thanks again to all my wonderful friends who have texted, prayed, sent cards, etc.  I am truly blessed.