Update

hiitdogs

Cathlete
I wanted to thank you guys for all the PMs and emails with questions about how I am doing and all the well-wishes. I am really touched by your kindness, I didn't know I was supposed to post an update.

I am doing really well, my surgery was 8 weeks ago. 8 days after surgery I started daily walking with 2 of my dogs and some yoga. I steadily increased my workouts and last week I was running 10.1 miles with all 5 of my dogs (well, almost all running, I took a couple of walking breaks :D). Some doctors had said that I shouldn't be lifting weights anymore, not so my surgeon. He told me to knock myself out if that's what I wanted to do, so 5 weeks after surgery PUB it was :D I was never happier to feel DOMS the next day.

So these days I am back to "normal", I workout 5 to 6 times a week, I have full range of motion back in both arms and I feel great. I have lost 75 lbs since July, my doctor and I agree that I still need to lose another 60 to 70 lbs which will bring me down to 130 lbs which was my weight before my yo-yo dieting career started. So for those of you who are counting, yes, I had gained over 140 lbs, how much over that I don't know because I stopped stepping on my scale at after I reached 272 lbs.

The staging of my breast cancer turned out much better than expected, I was stage IIb whereas originally it was thought to be III or even IV. The recommendation for post-surgery treatment was chemotherapy and radiation which I have chosen to forego and instead opted to start treatment with a naturopathic oncologist.

Originally, I was onboard with chemotherapy, however, after meeting with a "conventional" oncologist, weeks of research, reading through half our local library and online, looking at statistics, risks and benefits, with the support of my husband and kids, I decided to chose an all naturopathic treatment plan.

The naturopathic doctor ordered a gazillion tests for me, I am surprised I still have blood left :p, I am waiting for the results on those. In the meantime I am on so many supplements and pills that I had to type up a schedule when I have to take what so I don't get confused. I am kind of feeling like the crazy ole lady with the pill boxes :confused: and they started IVs of high doses of vitamin C. My diet is as clean as it gets and yup, exercise is part of the treatment plan - my doctor is a slave driver :p

I had been on several supplements before I met with the N.D. and he had warned me that if I wanted to go all naturopathic that it would require a lot of discipline and commitment, and he sure wasn't kidding :eek:Of course, there are no guarantees as there are no guarantees with conventional treatment.

I had many reasons to chose to forego conventional treatments, one of them was that in a naturopathic approach it is looked at what was the underlying cause of that cancer, something that in all of my conversations with conventional doctors always was dismissed. Let's assume chemo actually does work as they say it does, what good will it do, if you don't address what caused the disease in the first place.

As dreadful as the diagnosis was for me, I know that it has changed my life for the better. I am grateful for my husband and my kids who have stood by side through everything, my friends online and in real life who have rallied behind me without ifs, buts or why and last but not least my dogs who with their loyalty and unconditional love pushed me to take a few steps further every day.
Health care has always been one of the causes that has been near and dear to my heart for a long time, with that in mind we are in the beginning stages of forming a patient advocacy group. Looks like this is what is going to be my mission in life (well, aside from making it through DrillMax without collapsing :p).

So this is what's going on in my life. Things are great and I haven't felt this good and energetic in 7 or 8 years. Thanks again for all your support and concern! It means more to me than you will ever know.
 
Last edited:

RunninTeach

Cathlete
Carola,

Thank you for the update. It is great to hear you have come through the other end of this and are getting better every day, with your great spirit and humor intact. And now you'll use your experience and wisdom to help others in their battle? You have my utmost admiration.

Alles Gute,
 

CollinsMom

Cathlete
Yes, thanks for the update! The amount of weight you have lost is amazing, and I admire your courage and strength with the "unconventional" treatments your have chosen for yourself.

You are working out harder 8 weeks after surgery than I EVER have -- I bow to you, you truly are an inspiration!
 

elliemom

Cathlete
Carola

Of course we wanted an update!!! Now i promise I will stop flooding your PM box!!!!

As you know, i could write a book to you. But there's just not enough room here. I am so thrilled to here your news and am in total awe of you. This can not be said with enough emphasis in a post.

I applaud all your decisions and the fact that you and your family made them together. The whole cancer treatment thing can be so overwhelming. So glad you took the horse by the reins and went with it. You have to do what is best for you and your family.

The naturopathic treatment sounds phenomonal. I wonder how many people realize that sooooo many of our treatments started out as plants and flowers. Think digitalis and poppy. Conventional medicine actually uses naturopathiic ideas. We have just over used and added a little too much to them.

I am also surprised at your ability to exercise!!! Well, jealous too. Because I am not doing 1/2 of what you are doing and i am not sick. Did you say you ran 10 miles!!!!! I think I need to count my blessings and get my butt off the couch!!! That's a major inspiration.

Again, I wish you the best and hope you continue to feel well. You are a fighter and you will come out on top. Good luck with your new Mission, you can be the voice for others!!!!

ellie
 

fit44

Cathlete
Thanks for the update Carola. I'm glad you're doing so well.
Keep us posted on the treatment path you have chosen. I've never met anyone with cancer who didn't choose chemo. I've never heard of vitamin C IV either.:cool:

I will continue to pray for you.:)
 

eminenz2

Cathlete
Thanks for the update, Carola.

I am glad you are comfortable with your treatment plan.

And I am very psyched that your staging was 'downgraded'!

Keep your spirits up and keep us posted!

Susan L.G.
 

Govtgirl

Cathlete
Wow, you are awesome! I'm so glad that you are doing so well...you really are gutsy and inspirational! :D
 

Becky L

Cathlete
Here's to you Carola!

You are such an inspiration! I can't even express how much... words fail me.

You will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Becky
 

kathryn

Cathlete
Carola,
It's so good to see how well you are doing post-surgery. As others have said, your workout regimen puts mine to shame right now!

I know what you mean about conventional treatment for cancer. It often seems as destructive as the illness itself. I shouldn't be surprised, but I'm appalled that the oncologist dismissed entirely treating the cause rather than just the symptom (the cancer).

Best of progress with your naturopathic treatment.

Here's a bit of inspiration for you: Ruth Heidrich, 20-year breast cancer survivor who has since won gold medals in races including marathons and ultramarathons http://www.ruthheidrich.com/Box9.html
 

Miss Lee

Cathlete
{{{{{Carola}}}}}

^^^5's to you, my friend! I feel so convicted about my own sloth with regards to diet and exercise. :eek:

I have a little goal with you and me in mind. :D

Check your FB messages :D
 

meowracer

Cathlete
Carola - what an inspiring story! Interesting to read about the natural approach to treatment. I have issues with medication...will only take Advil if absolutely necessary. There are so many other methods of treatment and I am glad you are seeking those. There is always chemo if nothing else works but really, who would want to jump right into that if not necessary? I just realized as I read your post that I am not getting facebook emails and haven't for some time so I apologize if you posted back...I have not been on facebook for some time now - I better use my Saturday and catch up with some people! Thanks for sharing with us - I am now going to go pick my jaw up off the floor...running 10.1 miles with 5 dogs:p WOW!!!
 

Kimenem

Cathlete
So glad to hear that you are doing well. Please keep us updated, if you will, and I wish you nothing but the best!
 

bitmover

Cathlete
Carola,

thanks for giving us the update -- that is quite a story, and quite a journey you have had. You are amazing.

Stay strong,
-Beth
 

SirenSongWoman

Cathlete
I'm so glad you posted to tell us all what's been going on. I'm so happy you've been able to exercise and keep moving forward. In the event cancer ever strikes me I'll know how to behave. I'm so impressed.

BTW, FIVE dogs?
 

hiitdogs

Cathlete
Keep us posted on the treatment path you have chosen. I've never met anyone with cancer who didn't choose chemo. I've never heard of vitamin C IV either.:cool:

I will continue to pray for you.:)

LOL, the naturopathic treatment isn't only high doses of vitamin C.

I just want to clarify for those who are wondering, no they are not sticking insense between my toes and pray that I get well , or do other weird stuff :eek:. Naturopathic doctors here in Arizona actually have to get licensed and have to prove that they have gone through an accredited school. My N.D. is actually a graduate of Southwest College of Natural Medicine one of the best colleges for naturopathic medicine in the US. In fact, the training there is even longer than for MDs. He also was appointed by the governor as an officer to the Naturopathic Physician's Medical Board in AZ, he is an editor of several peer-reviewed medical journals, etc.

There is a lot more testing than conventional medicine does and the treatment is highly individualized based on the results of the tests.

I am kind of hesitant to post my total treatment plan because I don't want people to start to self-medicate and take things for prevention or treatment if they should consult with a professional.

One of the supplements I am taking has been recognized in conventional medical journals is Modified Citrus Pectin. Theories of the nature of cancer are evolving whereas it has been previously thought that one single cell that escapes from the tumor would travel throught the blood stream or lymph system establishing a new "colony" somewhere else in the body, scientists now believe that the development of a tumor is more of a "group activity" with cell-to-cell interaction which is made possible by special molecules that sit on the outer surface of the cancer cells like in breast cancer. And one of these, known as galectin-3, plays a key role in the spread, or metastasis, of cancer.
Modified citrus pectin appears to inhibit the cell interaction of the cancer cells and manifestation of the cancer cells into healthy tissue, in laymen's terms if you think of the cancer cells as pieces of a puzzle where the galectins sit on the edges and orchestrate the puzzle being put together, MCP jams it and hence can inhibit metasting and prevent manifesting into healthy tissue.

The premises of treatment is based on the assumption that cancer is a disease where at some point the immune system failed. This could have been for a whole host of reasons, most likely several events that just accumulated. All of us have cancer cells floating around in their bodies normally our immune system recognizes them as invaders and destroys them. So either the cancer outsmarted the immune system or the immune system was no longer capable of dealing with this attack. Either way, the only way to have a remote chance to prevent this from happening again is to prevent the immune system from getting overwhelmed, booste the immune system and help the body heal itself. That is the only thing that makes sense to me in my mind.

Chemotherapy and radiation are both

1) mutagenic (meaning they cause gene mutations, mutations of certain genes relate to the development of cancer which can accelerate the growth of cancer and spreading)

2) carcinogenic (known to cause cancer and can actually be responsible for the development of secondary cancers

3) immune suppressive (they weaken the body's own mechanism of controlling cancer cell growth by damaging natural killer cells and other immune functions).

There certainly are cases where the benefit may outweight the risk and I am not recommending for anyone but myself to forgo a recommended treatment.

So whereas I will refrain from sharing any doses or other details I will say that aside from herb combinations which have shown great results with not only inhibiting the growth of cancer cell but also resulted in remission I take a combination of several mushrooms called Host Defense, omega oils, vitamin D, CoQ10, coral calcium, magnesium, milk thistle, melatonin, paleo greens, selenium, iodine, zyflamend and low dose naltrexone. So there really is no vodoo dolls or anything like that :eek: it's just a different view and approach to cancer therapy but it is based on a lot of testing and science. It is not always recognized by conventional medicine and pharmaceutical industry because according to one executive at a well-known drug company "there is no money in it because it can't be patented" and they are doing everything to discredit it, conveniently "forgetting" that their expensive high powered drugs with horrendous side effects only work for less than half of the people anyway.

But the studies and statistics of the pharmaceutical industry and medical community is a whole other subject in itself though which I am not going to comment on but it did play into my decision of refusing chemo and radiation.

I am aware of several cancer patients who refused chemo and radiation and went on to live healthy and productive lives including my personal hero, Ann Fonfa.

Again, please don't take what I am saying as medical advice in any way shape or form. Thanks so much for all your kind words and support. You guys are awesome!!!!!
 
Last edited:

jodijodi

Cathlete
So glad to hear you are feeling good, Carola! I wish you all the best in your treatment. Thanks for the update!
 

janiejoey

Cathlete
Carola,

Thank you so much for your update. You seem so brave to me. Your attitude and what you've been doing to combat his horrid disease, has gotten you far IMO. I watched on TLC, a show called Crazy Sexy Cancer by Kris Carr. She was on Oprah's show as well. Anyway, you two are incredible to me. And Kris is doing as you are and not going for the Chemo...from what I've seen in her documentary, it is hard. If you get a chance, see the documentary and go to her blog. You are not alone in this choice at all.

I wish you well and a very long, healthy and strong life.

You will be in my thoughts and prayers,

Janie
 
Last edited:

Our Newsletter

Get awesome content delivered straight to your inbox.

Top