There are several camps in the “Cancer World”.
One believes that everything the doctor says is to be taken as gospel.
Got a pill you want me to take? GULP!
Got a shot you want me to have? OUCH!
Doctors are never to be questioned, and whatever they say, the patient will do.
Another camp throws all of that out the window.
Pills and shots? NEVER!
Chemo and radiation? POISON!
Herbs and fruits and vegetables! Eat ALL the organic!
Another camp says people are only healed by one thing.
Now, when a doctor is sitting across from you telling you that you have stage four cancer, and no matter where you go, the protocol will all be the same because you’ve skipped all the other stages and went right to Stage Four, (Kind of like Monopoly when you pass Go, but not nearly as fun), you take ALL the shots and pills at that moment.
Give me all you’ve got.
You give in to the soul crushing fear you’ve been served on a platter, pull down your pants and get shots in the ass, roll up your sleeves and get shots in the arms, and then gag as you swallow the pills that have been prescribed.
Then you go home, cry it out, and decide what to do next.
Which camp do you join?
You never know until you’re told to choose a side.
I am lucky that I have a husband who has researched and supported me and talked through everything.
We decided to make our own camp.
We call it the “Let’s do a little bit of everything with a whole lot of faith.”
Jesus is my camp counselor.
He leads me to everything, I pray on it, and do whatever my gut tells me to do.
In a way I am lucky to have gotten the diagnosis now. Ibrance is a new targeted drug. Some women only are on it a short time, but others? I am in a private support group and a woman has been on it for five years, and was part of the initial study. I take it every morning for twenty one days, then have seven days off. I’m on the highest dose you can get, and have minimal side effects compared to others. That’s the thing about cancer and medicine, every cancer and every body is different. I’m on this drug indefinitely. People are always confused when they hear I’m still taking medications.
Stage four means it’s out the gate.
The ship has sailed.
The barn door is open.
The cancer cells are floating around in the main body, no longer contained.
The stem cells of the cancer cells are like a drunken cowboy, riding around the body, looking to lasso some new friends to join the party. The oncology world says that eventually the body will adjust to the current protocol, and the shifty cancer cells will morph and become immune to the drugs, then start to grow again elsewhere. When that happens, it’s time to switch treatments.
I say that won’t happen to me, because all of the other natural stuff I’m doing is starving the cowboy. He is alone, in the desert, gasping for sugar and stress and sleep deprivation, but I’m saying, “Sorry, partner. There’s a new sheriff in town. Have you met my camp counselor, Jesus Christ?”
I also take another pill, an estrogen blocker, as estrogen fed the cancer. I imagine it as the soup nazi pill, like the guy from Seinfeld. “Hey Cancer, no hormones for you!”
I am now on a three month schedule for two injections, Xgeva and Zolodex.
Xgeva is for the bones, to help strengthen them. It has a whole host of side effects, jaw necrosis being one of them. I’ve cut it back to once every three months, because I had some jaw pain, and my herbalist also told me he doesn’t want me to take it. For now, I compromise and straddle between Eastern and Western medicine. The nurse pinches my belly and sticks the needle in. I breathe and hold Rob’s hand and visualize Chinese herbs making my bones super strong.
The other injection is the big one, the one with the coils and spring loaded trigger. For a girl who is a needlephobe, seeing the ginormous needle with coils can be enough to make me want to run out of the room…every single time. To me, it looks like a harpoon whale spear. The nurse again pinches whatever belly fat she can grab hold of, we count, and she inserts the harpoon. Then she pulls the trigger and releases the implant.
I catch my breath, usually cry, and stomp my feet in pain and disbelief that I am even in the chair getting these shots while Rob strokes my head.
Repeat every three months.
One time I had a nurse tell me he worked in the trauma unit and this shot was the biggest needle he has ever seen.
That made me feel badass, not gonna lie.
After the shots, I always pose by the butterfly quilt at the cancer center. Butterflies are a sign to me of the Holy Spirit, and I feel close to Jesus when I stand there.
I am grateful to those who are working hard to find the cure to cancer. I do wish that there wasn’t so much money to be made by pharmacological companies, and that there would be more studies on how nutrition and faith and herbs and all sorts of other therapies can work synergistically. Alas, you can’t patent faith, hope and organic food, so no money is to be made.
Stage four gets so little funding, because so many women die quickly.
That is changing.
I am making sure of it.
I plan on being the longest living stage four thriver ever, and am looking for others to join me.
Will it be because of the medicine? The diet? the herbs? The mindset? The faith?
I’m saying it’s because of it all, led by my camp counselor, Jesus Christ.
Coolest Counselor ever.
May we all soon find the cure for cancer for everyone, especially children, so that no one has to have the ginormous needles and pills and medicine and side effects ever again.
In Jesus’s name, amen.