I don’t want to live as a chemo damaged version of myself. Eight different chemotherapy agents over the last twenty months have changed me from a fun loving, excited by new experiences kind of person into one who has been dulled by spirit killing apathy. In between the courses of chemo, I did feel myself again for a short time, but with each new infusion, I always returned to this empty shell of me. Taxotere, the current agent that I’m on is supposed to be my ‘for life maintenance ‘chemo until my body can no longer tolerate its toxicity, according to my oncologist. When that happens, “there are a few more chemo’s that we can try”, he said.
Maintenance chemo: that means for the rest of my life. That’s all that conventional oncology has to offer me and it’s not a rosy picture. I can choose this and accept that the side effects will be with me until I am no more or I can step outside of the box. Since the side effects of Taxotere, after only 2 cycles, have caused: my hands to swell, turn purple, itch, burn and then completely peel, painful sores in my nose that make blood clots come out every time I blow it, my finger and toe nails to turn purple and thick, me to be unable to stay awake throughout a whole day and feel too sick to want to do anything, see anyone or go anywhere. My feet and ankles are swollen and I’m coughing now more than ever. Cooking, juicing, exercising, taking a walk or meditating are all too overwhelming because I just feel too weak, unless it’s one of the few days that I’m pumped up on steroids. How can I choose this life? I can’t. So with the remaining shreds of energy I have left, I’m going to change course.
I’m telling my oncologist this week that I’m done with chemo and that I’m going to take Protocel. This was developed by a chemist to decrease the cell activity inside cancer cells so that they are no longer able to sustain themselves. As a result, the cells die, fall apart and are excreted by the body. There is story after story of people who were told to get their affairs in order but instead were cured of their cancers by Protocel. I’m not going to write much about this now but I do want to mention it briefly in case anyone wants to do their own research. I also want to point out that there are many other natural cures that have also worked. If you want to flip the coin from the conventional cancer treatment of chemo, radiation and surgery, you might find a new world of possibilities on the other side.
Which side of the coin to choose is up to the individual and I’m not endorsing one or the other, because we each have to do what feels right. And what feels right at one time during one’s cancer journey, may not feel right at another time. For me, it is now time to turn the coin. I’ve agonized over this for months and it was not an easy decision to make. It’s taken all of this time for me to become comfortable with it. Maybe it never would have happened if my brother hadn’t sent me an email link to the book, “Outsmart Your Cancer”. That opened my eyes to see that I have more options than accepting a life of maintenance chemo or deciding to stop it and just give up. I realize now that I have the choice to try an alternative treatment that may give me better quality of life than chemo. And even if it doesn’t cure me, I won’t spend the rest of my life feeling dead before I am.
At the very least, I’ll have some time where I can feel like myself and have fun doing what I like to do with the people I love most. I’ve learned through this journey about what matters and I don’t want to miss out on enjoying it because I’m too sick to even care.
So, I am saying no to more chemo and I’m saying yes to Protocel, healthy food, meditation, exercise, sunshine, walks, spring, time with my precious family and friends, gardening, music, writing, maybe a trip or two, a big party, good books and movies, concerts, theater and life – for as long as I’m blessed to have it.
I wrote this piece the beginning of the week, then had a PET/CT scan yesterday and am seeing my oncologist tomorrow. About thirty minutes ago, I received the PET/CT scan report and the tumor has increased in size and has spread to other areas in my right lung and lymph nodes in my chest. I’ll know more details tomorrow but it’s obviously not good news. Luckily, I ordered the Protocel and accompanying supplements earlier today and am staying positive that they will give me a chance. What else can I possibly do? ©