Aug 31, 2011 - 12:26 am
My name is Laura York
I have not posted on here for a while mostly because I have been extremely busy with treatments and when I am feeling good I play (rock climb, hike, ski, bike, etc.) as much as possible.
I was diagnosed last year at age 38 on March 24, 2010 with severe, extensive, aggressive, incurable, inoperable cholangiocarcinoma. It was (and still is but I will tell you more about that in a minute) in every segment of my liver. Not neat little tumors but giant ones, some as large as 9cm, that spread throughout every lobe and part of my liver. I was expected to live about 6-12 months and had about a 20% chance of living 5 years.
When I was originally diagnosed I had a PET scan showing the extensiveness of my disease. There was so much disease in my liver that my heart did not even absorb any of the radioactive sugar isotope! It did not even show up on the scan!
My oncologist started me on cisplatin/gemzar combination two weeks on/one week off and I continued on that for quite a while. My platelets and blood cell counts were getting really low and I was beginning to have uncomfortable muscle pain and neuropathy pretty badly, along with the normal nausea, fatigue, severe chemo brain, skin rashes, hair loss (never bald just very thin), and often severe pain in my liver, complete loss of appetite, and all of the other fun stuff that comes along with it. I then received chemo every other week and have been ever since (and still am for a while longer).
I also see a naturopath every other week as well. There I get a nutritional IV with all kinds of vitamins, minerarls, and most importantly glutathione. Glutathione is important for liver function especially when it is already compromised and taking it orally just does not cut it. It must be delivered intravenously to do any good at all. Anything else is basically wasting money. He also put me on a slew of vitamins and minerals and supplements. You can see my entire list either on my facebook site or my blog. I will provide both of those at the end of this message.
I also completely changed my diet. Not gradually over time, but in a frenzy. I could not afford the luxury of doing it gradually. It was do it or die. I knew it wouldn't be easy but I did it anyway. I knew I would miss things like wine, sweets, meat, junk food, etc but I would miss my life more. The choice was very easy.
This is what what I found out last Friday August 26 2011. If you would like to know more I am most happy to share anything and everything with you. I really want to help as much as I can. Please keep in mind I am still getting chemo for a while just to make sure that all of those cells are dead. So it may take a while to respond, and depending on how many emails etc I get it may take me longer.
I have had a CT scan every three months for the past year and a half. They have all showed progress meaning that the tumor cells have been shrinking but lately they have not been shrinking as rapidly as they were in the past. My oncologist thought that the chemo was losing effectiveness and referred me to a surgical oncologist. The surgical oncologist told me that there was nothing she could do because the tumors affected every area of my live and that if they took them out there would be not enough liver left for me to regenerate or survive. I was starting to get bummed....She referred me to a radiological oncologist who has a cutting edge treatment out there called Yttrium-90 (this you simply MUST check out!) that looked extremely promising and I was excited to receive it! I saw the radiological oncologist last friday and he spent the first 5 or 10 minutes complimenting me on how healthy I looked in spite of having such severe, extreme, and aggressive CC. Then he got serious and told me that he would love to help me and that I am the perfect candidate for this miracle treatment but he couldn't help me. The PET scan I had on the prior Wednesday (only the second one since I was originally diagnosed) showed that there was NO MORE BIOLOGICALLY LIVING CANCER IN MY BODY!!!!
Let me say that again. No More Cancer Still Alive, It is all dead!
The CT scans showed all the tumors still there, but what the CT scan does not show is the biological activity of cells. Cellular activity. The PET scan shows biologically active areas such as your brain, heart, kidneys, eyes, cancer cells etc....
I am still in shock, but I feel the absolute NEED and desire to share this with you all who are affected by CC or who have love affected by this as well. These things helped me go into remission after 1.5 years from a hopeless situation. Perhaps it can help you too.
I changed my diet. No dairy, no meat, no sugar, no processed anything, no chemicals, organic always or as mush as possible, no animal protein of any kind, no alcohol. Basically if I could not identify the ingredient in a food, I did not eat it. I made green juices and ate lots of veggies...I still do all this stuff but I eat yogurt now and occasionally indulge in some sweets. I still never ever drink. Like I say, I was do or die.
I got rid of EVERY chemical in my house. I clean with essential oils and water (rosemary oil is a natural disinfectant) and peroxide with water. I got rid of chemicals in my bathroom and makeup and soap. I use a dry brush at almost every shower.
I get as much exercise as I can when I feel good. I love to rock climb, hike, ski, and anything at all outside.
Most importantly I try to find the positive in everything. Even in the crappiest of situations, when I feel like hell, and the universe seems like it conspiring against me. I try to find at least one good thing no matter how small. It can ALWAYS be worse. I always knew I was going to kick cancer ass. I just really did not expect it to be so soon. I am positive that the combination was the key in my success. I think that a positive attitude and a good support network is an amazing thing! The power of the mind is an awesome thing. What you focus on expands.
I wish you all the best of health and please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.
The Cancer Assassin
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I receive chemotherapy at The Northwest Cancer Specialists, Rose Quarter, OR