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Block center for integrative cancer care

cgtrapp
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2009

Has anyone gone to the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Care in Evanston, IL for an evaluation? I'm curious as to how it functions. My mom has pancreatic cancer.

insgrams
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2010

I was treated at Block Medical for pancreatic stage for cancer diagnosed in 2004.
I was surprised to find out I had a large tumor that had spread to my liver, over around and thru my portal vein and was growing there too. I had no symptoms. A virus shared by our office caused 4 of us to seek emergency room treatment for bloating and pain one weekend. The doctor there said my lab work said it was viral BUT... one of my liver enzymes was slightly elevated which could be an indication of gall stones and suggested I follow up on that. I did since my mom's side has a big family history of gall stones. I had never had symptoms but figured why wait till I was in pain from that. An ultrasound revealed a large, grapefruit sized tumor in my pancreas with three more in my liver. I had visited a few different clinics, seeking their opinion... most of whom said "too advanced" "3 months max" "you are terminal" "chemo doesn't work for pancreatic cancer" "there's nothing else to do". One told me I could be a participant in a blind trial which meant I would not know if I
was getting the chemo or not. Then the lights went on bright...I was warmed by the warmth and caring of two doctors at Block Medical Center of Integrative Cancer Care. Their program analysis of where you are, what is your chemical, timing, nutritional, physical condition leads them to prescribe intensive personal treatment designed just for you. They give you the real story, no sugar coating but they give you hope. Hope for a better quality of life, hope for survival and hope to flourish. Their program involves eating to keep you at optimal health, peak immune health. I was told to eat to help to starve the cancer, to let my body fight the ability for the cells to reproduce, to keep my blood counts strong and healthy while the chemo destroyed the cancer and a few good cells along the way. My diet was specific, a diet I follow today...no dairy, no red meat, no sugar, lots of vegis, beans, non meat sources of protein. I have a large vitamin and supplement routine that keeps my body defenses at their peek. I excercise and enjoy life.
My experience at Block Medical was absolutely unbelievably wonderful. I was not sick thru 20 months of chemo therapy. The regiment was every three weeks, in the beginning 4 days/3 days
alternating. As I got well, it was reduced. I was given chrono therapy that worked with my body timeclock to give me optimum chemo at most effective times of my day and night. I lost my hair but enjoyed sporting various wigs for fun. Their program gives you tools of how to live with the cancer. Tools like how to face it, how to help your family deal with it. How to imagine it shrinking in quiet moments of your day. Your mind has a lot to do with it's healing. Your spiritual connection...very important. Excercise and breathing exercises to get oxygen into your cells to keep them resistant to the cancer. Relaxation and meditation. Recipes, taste tests... They deal with the whole person, not just your disease. They are proactive, not reactive. They know what you will experience and how you will deal with it and tell you what to do if you have symptoms of swelling feet, achey legs. They explain why and are there with the armor you need to defend yourself. They are great with working with your insurance companies in negotiating your care.
Block Center is located in Evanston, IL I live in Green Bay, Wi and we drove back and forth each day for my chemo. Many patients stayed locally. The hotels will work with you giving you special pricing if you tell them you will be a regular. Corporate angel network will help you arrange free air transportation on volunteer corporate jets. I mention these resources because I want to encourage you to seek a better quality of care. It is your life..
you have been given choices, use them. You have to search for what is going to be the best fit, the best chances for you to survive and LIVE for whatever time we will have on this earth.

When you first call in there, set up an appointment to come. Gather all your medical records including labs, prior tests, films, cat scans etc and send them there ahead of time. They will also send you a lengthy questionnaire so they can understand who you are, where are you coming from in terms of health and dietary history.
Send this form back asap. I found I had to get a little crabby with my hometown doctors to give me my records. Legally they are yours and you can demand them at any time. Simply tell them you will be in at xx:00 oclock today to get them. When you arrive they will do a series of blood tests to see where you are at as well as review your records with you. They will already have some idea of exactly how they will be proceeding with your treatment and with the blood tests they take will give you your vitamin and nutritional regiment as well. They will answer any questions you might have. You will be given instructions as to the type of port they want you to have for the administration of the chemo so your veins don't collapse.
Ahead of time, give your insurance information to Linda. Linda will find out what your insurance will cover and if you are out of network she will begin working on getting your care paid for under your policy by negotiating with them. She is absolutely excellent in this area! None better. You will have a 24 hr access number to call for urgent changes to your health or new symptoms. I never felt I was far away from an answer. Matter of fact, they treat with with such care and respect and down to earth conversations, you feel like you just are visiting with old friends or family. They became my family very quickly.

I am here today and feel I want to give back and help others because of my experience with Block. I am available be email at insgrams@yahoo.com. If you contact me by email I will share my phone number and feel free to call and ask specific questions. If you want to me talk to mom, I will do so as well. For many people, fear of the unknown is so much worse than reality. We all tend to imagine the worst based on tv stories or things we've heard from someone.

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