The Starfish Project

The combined effort of our whole family.

Posts Tagged ‘cancer

Update on Mom (5/19/09)

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Last Friday, Mom’s hand started hurting quite a bit and three of her fingers started getting purple.  After the incident with her thumb, we knew what that meant.  So, Dad and Gretchen loaded Mom up and took her back to the ER.  They saw the same ER doctor we saw last time (which was helpful, as he was already familiar with Mom).  He couldn’t find a clot with the doplar, but felt they were probably small clots that were down in the capillaries of her fingers.  He wrote them a prescription for some nitro glycerine ointment which had to be applied to her hand every few hours and wrapped up.  This ointment is such a strong vasodialater that the person applying it had to wear gloves and be careful not to let their skin come into contact with it.  He said to use this through the weekend and if it didn’t help by Monday, to get Mom in to see a hand doctor.

Dad faithfully applied the ointment all weekend and Mom’s hand was still hurting quite a bit – so much that she needed to take pain pills to take the edge off the pain.  From what I’ve read, the pain from circulation problems caused by blood clots is quite terrible.  Mom and Dad had a pretty rough weekend with it with very little sleep.

On Monday morning, Gretchen started bombarding the primary care doctor’s office with requests for a referral to a hand specialist ASAP.  They were right on the ball and Mom had an appointment for 11:00 AM this morning.

I am still recovering from the flu (the normal one), so I still haven’t seen Mom since the morning of the 15th.  So, Dad and Gretchen took Mom over to the hand doctor this morning.  He did an x-ray and found that the clot was further up her arm, near her armpit.  The doctor was respectful, but still didn’t have any good news either.  He looked at Mom’s three fingers (which were now purple) and said that she would lose them, as well as the index finger and the rest of her hand.  He said all we could do was make her comfortable until all this happened and he could amputate her right hand.  He gave her a prescription for Darvocette and sent her on her way.

Well, this was definitely not the kind of news we wanted to hear.  But, we’ve learned that allopathic doctors generally don’t have good news for us (except for a few who we’ve appreciated so much).

Gretchen called me when they got home from the doctor and she was pretty shook up.  I imagine all three of them were – especially Mom.  I was also pretty shook up too.  I asked Gretchen how long she was going to be at Mom and Dad’s house and she said she was going to be there for a few more hours.

I got on the internet and started looking for anything that looked like it might work.  After only about 30 minutes of searching, I was amazed to find information about a supplement called Nattokinase.  It is an enzyme that aids in breaking up fibrin (a strand-like portion of the blood) that forms blockages in veins.  The Nattokinase is derived from fermented soybeans and has long been used in Japan to deal with and/or prevent blood clots.  It comes in a standardized formula which Gretchen was able to purchase at the health food store for around $30 (but available MUCH cheaper online through VitaCost for less than $7).  But, we needed it today, so Gretchen paid the $30 for it today.

She also picked up some stuff to make a blood thinning soup — it consisted of an organic beef broth base, onions, garlic, and green cabbage.  All of these veggies are good for naturally thinning the blood in both the arteries and the veins.

So, at 4:00 PM tonight, Mom was hurting, a bit scared, but encouraged that we had possibly found a solution that would save her hand.  She took her first 2,000 FU Nattokinase pill.  Gretchen also made the soup and Mom scarfed down a good portion of that too.  And, then we waited…

Gretchen came home (where I was babysitting her kids) at around 9:30 PM, and she said that you could already see a difference in Mom’s fingers.  She said that all day today the three fingers had a very delineated purple line straight across where the circulation was being compromised.  But, only 5 1/2 hours after taking the Nattokinase, the lines were no longer straight and it was now blotchy (with areas of pink) where they had once been only purple.

Gretchen called back at Midnight to remind Dad to give Mom her next dose of the Nattokinase and he said he had just given it to her.  But, then came THE BEST NEWS —- Mom’s hand no longer hurt.  She was sleeping and in absolutely no pain!!!  She hadn’t taken a pain pill since the morning and her hand was no longer hurting.  It had been hurting terribly since last week – but, the pain is now gone.  Gretchen asked if it was still purple, but he said they were in bed and the light was off and he didn’t know.  But, since the pain was gone, that can only mean that the circulation has been restored to her fingers and hand.  Isn’t that just awesome?

The thing that we have come to realize in this journey with cancer is that we, as a family, are alone.  We can’t count on my Mom’s doctors to know what to do anymore because they just simply don’t know what to do anymore.  Perhaps the insurance company doesn’t want to pay for any more treatment for her because they’ve now classified her as “terminal.”  Who knows.  But, perhaps it’s the best thing that could have happened to us.  Because, we’re finding that there are answers out there for many of the things that conventional medicine says are hopeless.

Mom has been taking her Poly-MVA now consistently for a few days and her appetite is returning.  Tonight is the first time in several weeks that she hasn’t had some kind of pain or another.  We’re praising God about that.  He’s been with our family through all of this and showing us that His ways are higher than our ways — His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

Well, it’s very late and I need to get to bed.  Thank you to everyone (both those we know and those we don’t) who’ve whispered a prayer to heaven on Mom’s behalf.  We know we’re not really alone.  But, sometimes it feels like it.

Until next time (I’ll try to update tomorrow on the status of Mom’s fingers and hand) …

Tracey

Update on Mom #2 (5/14/09)

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I just got home from Mom and Dad’s house.  My sister, Gretchen, called this morning and said that Dad called her and wanted to have a family meeting this morning.  She said Mom was lucid and sitting on the couch with Dad.  So, Gretchen picked me up and we went over there.

I have a terrible chest cold, so Dad gave me a mask to wear while I was over there.  I really don’t want to give Mom any kind of a respiratory infection.  But, we felt that the need to have a family meeting and discuss everything that was going on was paramount.   So, I wore the mask and tried not to touch anything while I was there.

Mom looked good.  I guess she “woke up” earlier this morning.  She doesn’t remember anything about yesterday.  She doesn’t remember signing a DNR with the hospice nurse.  We didn’t even know she had signed that until the hospice nurse came out of the bedroom holding a signed DNR with Mom’s signature on it.  Well, Mom does not want a DNR and didn’t even know she had signed it.  They had given her a massive dose of liquid morphine before she signed it.  I hardly think a person is capable of making such a decision when so heavily medicated.

Anyway, we explained to her that her body isn’t dying.  She’s just sore from the draining of the pleural effusion and her arm is a little sore where the blood clot is.  But, other than that, she’s not in any pain — certainly not end-of-life pain.

We talked to her about what she wanted to do.  She said she wants to keep fighting and she doesn’t want to be doped up anymore.  So, we were very glad to hear that.  She looked good and was communicating very well with us.  She was nibbling on some ice chips and drinking some water.  It was nice to see her hydrating herself again.  She didn’t have anything to eat or drink yesterday because of the narcotics.

So, we press forward together as a family.  Dad looked absolutely exhausted.  It was a very rough night for him.  He didn’t sleep a wink.  He spent most of the night praying for Mom (as we all did) and keeping a close watch on her like a mother hen.  He is the strongest person I know and I’m so grateful for him.  If it weren’t for him, I think our family would have fallen apart through all of this by now.  He’s definitely the rock for our family.

So, it was a good morning for us.  Gretchen is going to call hospice and talk to them about what we really need.  Mom needs some mild pain management – like prescription Motrin – to manage her arm pain and the pain she’s experiencing from her left lung re-inflating.  It’s sore from that, as well as from all the coughing.  So, we’d like to help her manage that without narcotics.  We’ll see if hospice will honor our boundaries and Mom’s decision to keep fighting.  She’s weak and her fight isn’t very strong – but, she’s fighting nonetheless.  And, for that we’re very, very grateful.

So, like the scripture says … Joy comes in the morning.  While yesterday and last night were very, very dark, this morning is much brighter.  Thank you all so much for your prayers and good thoughts.  We’ve had over 14,000 visitors to the blog and we know there are people all over the world praying for Mom, as well as searching for answers for themselves or their loved ones.  Keep fighting the good fight of faith.  Only the Lord knows the end of the story for each one of us.

I’ll keep you posted on Mom’s progress.

Tracey

Written by Tracey

May 14, 2009 at 10:46 am

Update on Mom (3/5/09)

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mom030409bWell, Mom has been home from the physical rehab facility for almost two weeks now and she’s getting stronger every day.  Her biggest victory has been that she’s been able to go back to see Dr. Jason Porter, her Naturopathic Medical Doctor and resume her Vitamin C IVs.  Yesterday was her first treatment since January 14, 2009.  I took this picture of her yesterday during her treatment.

She’s still wearing the TLSO brace to support her back and stabilize it so she doesn’t twist and/or turn.  It’s causing her some discomfort, but overall it’s fine.  She’s not having any pain with her back whatsoever.  So, we feel very blessed about that.  We had been very concerned about  her level of pain with her back.  Now, that issue has completely resolved.

mom030409dShe was able to use her walker to walk out the front door, down the little sidewalk that leads to the driveway, down the driveway, and (with a little help) get into the car for her appointment.  This was the first time we’ve been able to transport her without a wheelchair transport service since she was hospitalized back on January 21st.

Once we got to Dr. Porter’s office, we used the wheelchair to get her into his office.

It was so nice to see everyone there again.  We talked with Dr. Porter for quite a while as he got her IV ready and hooked her up.  He started her back on her usual 75 gram bag of Vitamin C with an energy push at the end.

He looked at her thumb and felt he could help get the blood flowing into it a little better, so he did three acupunture treatments around the thumb.  We’re just believing when it’s all said and done her thumb will be completely whole again.

She finished up her last Decadron pill last Friday – so it’s been almost a week.  We just can’t wait until all that stuff is out of her system.  It’s not been her cancer – but the Decadron that’s been our biggest challenge since she was diagnosed back in August 2008 with lung cancer.  We call it the “demon drug” because it’s so insidious.

In the above pictures, she’s at Dr. Jason Porter’s office for an IV Vitamin C treatment.  She’s sitting in her wheelchair during her treatment (since it’s easier for her to stand up because of the arms) and she’s wearing her back brace.  Hopefully, she’ll only be in the brace for a few more weeks.

When we got her home, we were helping her with the walker in the driveway and all of us were with her (me, Dad and Gretchen).  She had been doing so well with her walker that we weren’t concerned to have her stand with it.  Well, Dad turned to shut the car door, I was dealing with the wheelchair in the back of the SUV, and Gretchen was in front of her.  It was like for one split second we all took our eyes off Mom and … wouldn’t you know it … down she came in that one micro-second she wasn’t being supervised.  She says her knees gave out and she came down landing on her bottom.  She bonked her head pretty good too.  But, overall, besides being pretty shook up, she was fine and uninjured.  She complained of a little bit of soreness today – most likely from the fall – but she is fine otherwise.

Today was my birthday and we all got together tonight.  Gretchen made me a homemade pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting.  It was delicious.  Mom had a bowl of fruit – which is about as sweet as she can handle these days after being off sugar all these months.

A good time was had by all.

I think Mom’s at the place where she can begin to have short phone calls from her friends.  Dad, Gretchen and I talked about it and we think it would do her a world of good to hear from you.  So, feel free to call the house now to chat with her.

Until next time…

Tracey

Written by Tracey

March 6, 2009 at 12:01 am

Laetrile: The True Story Behind B-17 & Cancer Treatment

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Dr. Ernest Krebs

Dr. Ernest Krebs

During 1950 after many years of research, a dedicated biochemist by the name of Dr. Ernest T. Krebs, Jr., isolated a new vitamin that he numbered B-17 and called ‘Laetrile’. As the years rolled by, thousands became convinced that Krebs had finally found the complete control for all cancers, a conviction that even more people share today. Back in 1950 Ernest Krebs could have had little idea of the hornet’s nest he was about to stir up. The pharmaceutical multinationals, unable to patent or claim exclusive rights to the vitamin, launched a propaganda attack of unprecedented viciousness against B-17, despite the fact that hard proof of its efficiency in controlling all forms of cancer surrounds us in overwhelming abundance. Why has orthodox medicine waged war against this non-drug approach?

G. Edward Griffin, author of the book World Without Cancer contends that the answer is to be found not in science, but in politics, and is based upon the hidden economic and power agenda of those who dominate the medical establishment.

Each year, thousands of Americans travel to Mexico to receive vitamin B-17 (Laetrile) therapy. They do this because it has been suppressed in the United States. Most of these patients have been told that their cancer is terminal and that they have but a few months to live. Yet, an incredible percentage of them have recovered and they are living normal lives. However, the FDA, the AMA, the American Cancer Society, and the cancer research centres continue to pronounce that Laetrile is fraud and quackery. The recovered patients, they say, either had “spontaneous remissions” or never had cancer in the first place. If any of these people ultimately die after seeking Laetrile, spokesmen of orthodox medicine are quick to proclaim: “You see? Laetrile doesn’t work!” Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of patients die each year after undergoing surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy, but those treatments continue to be touted as “safe and effective”.

In the U.S. the FDA has tried to use strict regulations, not law, to ban vitamin B-17 for over 18 years. Vitamin B-17, or Laetrile Therapy is only used by some hospitals in Mexico, which treat cancer with nutrition. These hospitals achieve nearly a 100% recovery rate with virgin cases (localised tumours/cancers that have not yet been burned up with radiation, poisoned with chemotherapy, or cut into with surgery). A majority of Laetrile-treated patients report positive responses, ranging from increase in the feeling of well-being and even brighter outlook of life, to such noticeable reactions as an increase in appetite, weight gain and, frequently, restoration of natural colour, reduction or elimination of cancer-connected pain and cancer-caused fetor. In thousands of cases, total regression of all cancer symptoms has been confirmed.

Vitamin B-17, commonly known as “Amygdalin”, or “Laetrile”, is a natural substance that can be found in a variety of species in the Vegetable kingdom. The greatest concentration is found in the seeds of the rosaceous fruits, such as apricot kernels and other bitter nuts. There are many seeds, cereals and vegetables that contain minimal quantities of vitamin B-17 and form part of our daily diet.

With great satisfaction we are proud to present this vegetable agent whose anti-cancer properties have been known empirically for many years, but in the last twenty years they have been scientifically proven, primarily through the clinical studies directed by Dr. Ernesto Contreras Rodriguez and carried out in the OASIS of Hope Hospital formerly known as the Centro Medico y Hospital Del Mar at Playas de Tijuana, B.C.N. Mexico. More than 100,000 patients have sought Contreras’ care since 1963.

The information on this web site will educate you on the benefits of metabolic therapy and prevention. All the food supplements mentioned in this site can be easily obtained by patients who are not able to go to Mexico because of financial reasons, patients who are too weak to travel, and by patients who have already been to these hospitals and need to remain on metabolic therapy. You will be taught how to benefit from metabolic therapy either in Mexico, or at home at a fraction of the cost. You will find information on where to obtain metabolic products in the “contacts” section of this site.

Throughout this web site you will find valuable information such as documents, research, and studies relevant to vitamin B-17, its monographic summary, clinical studies, the biological and chemical descriptions of the destruction of cancer cells by the components of B-17, testimonials, case histories, biographies, bibliographies, photos, graphs, links, and much more. This guide was created to explain the different elements of metabolic therapy and act as a reference when needed during the course of your therapy. Should you have questions, please refer to the “Frequently Asked Questions” section.

Source:  World Without Cancer

Please Pray for Mom

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Dad just called me from the hospital a few minutes ago and told me that Mom’s right thumb has turned black and she’s in a lot of pain with it.  The doctor sent her down for an MRI and it was determined that she has several blood clots in her arm blocking the blood flow into her thumb due to the arterial line they placed in her arm.

As we speak, they are prepping her for surgery with a vascular surgeon to get rid of these blood clots and open up the blood flow into her thumb.  The doctor said he thought there was a 60% chance he could save her thumb.  We know that with prayer, those chances go up significantly!

As you can see, this is very serious.  So, our family is asking everyone who reads this to please pray for my Mom that the surgery is a success and the circulation is restored into her thumb.  We have not come this far with her cancer treatment to be derailed by something like this. 

As always, thank you so much for your prayers and positive thoughts.  You guys are the best!

Tracey

Written by Tracey

January 28, 2009 at 12:45 am

Update on Mom (1/27/09)

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Mom is still in the hospital, however she has been moved from the Neuro ICU up to the regular Neuro floor.  Her new room is very nice and is much more conducive for the rest of us.

Since she’s not on the telemetry floor, she’s lost most of the tubes and wires that have been connected to her since last Wednesday.

Her Gamma Knife surgery is on the schedule for Thursday (1/29/09).  So, she’s working with physical therapy to get a little stronger before her Gamma Knife treatment.  She’s still having a difficult time using her legs and she seemed particularly tired today.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe just changing floors late last night and being in a different room has thrown off her schedule and increased her fatigue.  I’m not sure, though.

She’s eating well, but her sodium is running a little low so she’s not been able to drink any water, coffee, or tea for the past six days or so.  Apparently, drinking these things reduces your sodium.  She is drinking orange juice and V8, but is really hoping to have some herb tea soon.  She’s missing that a lot.

I think that’s about it for today’s update.  She’s looking and sounding great.  We just can’t wait until the Gamma Knife surgery is done so she can get back to normal again and start living life to its fullest.

Again, thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers for Mom.  We all really appreciate them.

Written by Tracey

January 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Update on Mom – 1/25/09

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Well, I think we’ve come through the valley and are coming out on the other side.  I just got back from the hospital and Mom is doing just great.

When I go there yesterday morning around 9:15 AM, they had just removed the ventilator tube and she was breathing on her own again.  She was very alert and said she was hungry.  So, the nurses said we could order up some food for her from the hospital kitchen.

Trying to eat a proper “cancer diet” in the hospital has been difficult in the past, but with Barrow Neurological Institute they allow you to order what you want from a menu.  So, Mom has been getting lots of fruits and veggies and some chicken and fish too.  She hadn’t been eating much meat, but since it’s a little too difficult for us to try to make protein shakes for her in the intensive care unit, we decided to just go with a little chicken and fish.

Mom ate a good lunch and dinner last night.  I think that made a world of difference for her.  Plus, Dad had cut up some organic pears and some organic veggies and brought them for her from home.  She gobbled those up while waiting for lunch yesterday.

She was slightly anaemic yesterday afternoon, so the doctor ordered two units of blood and she received those during the afternoon and evening yesterday.  Her color did “pink up” a little bit after that.

Her nurses have been the best we’ve ever had.  They are all so caring and nice to Mom (and to the rest of us too).

Mom had a great night’s sleep last night.  She took little cat naps throughout the day yesterday, and then slept for six hours straight last night.  That might not seem like a big deal – but getting a stretch of sleep that long in the hospital can really be a miracle.

She wasn’t aggitated at all during the night and she slept like a baby until 6:00 AM this morning when one of the doctors came in to do a neurological evaluation of her.  She passed with flying colors.

She’s been in good spirits all day today.  The doctors are a little concerned about the platelets in her blood and are changing her anti-seizure medicine to see if that will correct the problem.

She’s slated to be moved out of the Neuro ICU and into a regular room later today – that is if the doctor feels that the platelet issue is resolved.

At this point, we’re going to believe that Mom is going to be right on schedule for her Gamma Knife treatment next Thursday – so she can be home in time for the Cardinal’s SUPERBOWL game!!  Go Cardinals!

I’m going back to the hospital tomorrow – so, I’ll post a new update when I get home.

Written by Tracey

January 25, 2009 at 5:55 pm