Overcoming cancer one day at a time
To find out more details, visit our go fund me page here:
If someone had told me five years ago that I would be told I had cancer at 26 years old, just over a year after finding out our firstborn son’s surprise diagnosis of Down Syndrome at his birth, I would have dismissed it as a cruel joke. What are the odds? At 26 years old, with no family history, with a little boy who (despite how amazing he is) has extra challenges and needs me to be there for him? There’s no way. It’s too much.
If someone had then told me that I would find out it was a rare, aggressive and fast-growing type of breast cancer (a particularly aggressive, recurrent strain of triple negative, the hardest to treat conventionally) with only a 10% survival rate, I would have been left in a state of disbelief. Especially if they told me that the doctors would then say, after two surgeries and then finding a third lump in my lymph nodes within nine months, that they did not recommend having surgery again since it would just keep coming back. Or that eventually the doctors would say there was little else they could offer that would help my chances of survival. That conventional therapies like chemo and radiation would most likely have no effect on it whatsoever and would be palliative (have a small chance of helping extend my life), not curative.
The oncologist told me back in August 2016 that by the time of my next scan in three months time, it would have spread throughout my body to all my major organs. That I would most likely have no hope of survival once this happened.
26 years old. No hope of survival. The words themselves seemed impossible.
If I had been told that instead of accepting this grim prognosis, I would find after doing much research and reading that there are thousands of first-hand accounts of people turning around even a terminal cancer diagnosis through a radical change of diet and lifestyle, natural supplements and alternative treatments, I would have been skeptical and cynical. In fact, at the beginning, I was. If this is true, that there are other options, why do we never hear about them from our doctors?
As I did more reading and research into it all, I found that there are other options that doctors either haven’t been taught about or dismiss because there haven’t been widespread (expensive) scientific studies proving beyond a doubt that treating cancer naturally actually works. Even though Hippocrates, regarded as the father of medicine, famously quoted ‘let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’, this kind of thinking is now usually dismissed and ridiculed. In my case, I decided to try it and threw myself into it, changing my eating habits radically to a whole-foods, plant-based diet and doing a host of different natural and alternative therapies. What did I have to lose?
Up until recently, 18 months after my oncologist said it should have spread throughout my body, the cancer had miraculously still not spread anywhere else. It remained localized and contained to one area in my lymph nodes under my arm.
AND, after starting to take high doses of a powerful liquid mineral supplement at the beginning of the year, the lump started to actually shrink! MIRACLE.
This is our story of how the impossible can actually happen.
More than putting our hope in surgeries or food and supplements to save me (although I’m sure they helped a huge amount), I believe this is because we put our hope in a God who specializes in making the impossible happen. We’ve had prayers flowing in from around the world that I know our God has heard. We believe this is the God who wants to see every person on earth healed, whole, set free and living life in abundance, until it overflows. The God who will stop at nothing for his children. The God who makes it possible to still live a life of joy and fullness despite our outward conditions. The God who gave up everything, became human through his son, came down to his creation and went through unspeakable torture, pain and death so that we can have health, wholeness and life to the full. The God whose son’s name we only have to whisper to be rescued and made new. The God who has carried us through this and every other hard battle we’ve had to face, the one who has somehow managed to turn the most impossible of circumstances around for good. Every single time. And we are so thankful.
However. This journey is not over yet.
Although the lump started to come away, it came to a standstill and has become a large open wound, causing intense pain and multiple bandage changes a day. I have been having constant pain of about 7 out of 10, with intense periods of pain that is 10+ – at times even worse pain than I remember having in childbirth. My left arm has become swollen, painful and unusable with symptoms of lymphedema, which is common after the type of surgery I had. I have had little to no energy and can’t move my arm without causing the pain to be even more intense, which means no housework, no lifting our son, no cooking, no diaper changing or doing the millions of other things it means to be a mother. When we first arrived I was spending a huge amount of time every week in the prayer and worship room here which made a big difference, but for the last few months haven’t been able to play piano or go up as regularly because of being pretty much glued to the bed or couch.
We recently celebrated our beautiful son Levy’s FOURTH birthday (how is that possible??), who is doing so well despite it all. He recently started at a mainstream school here that he miraculously got into (another impossible story I’ll share later), and is thriving and absolutely loving it there. He has a beautiful little girlfriend already (this boy!! Little heart throb) and friends who rush up to hug him as soon as he gets there. He’s walking on his own more and more, still singing songs constantly at the top of his lungs and can now count to twenty in English and to ten in both Hebrew and Arabic! We couldn’t be prouder of him.
The hard part was having to celebrate his birthday at home, opening his presents on the couch because of not being able to do much else. We did make it to the aquarium one day (which we thought he would love. He was not impressed), but I would have loved to do so much more to celebrate him.
On top of everything else, having these pains and symptoms has also meant little to no social life or having people over, no going out to show visiting friends and family the sites and no traveling, even to other parts of the country to see friends or get away (all things I love to do). I’ve barely seen anyone since being back and haven’t been sleeping or able to leave the house much because of the pain. Although we have had had a huge amount of help from our incredibly supportive families and friends, it means my husband William has had to become the working father, house husband, household chef, primary caregiver and tour guide for visiting friends and family. We’re so thankful for all the help we’ve had. Despite it all, we became exhausted.
Because of the intensity of the pain and the swelling keeping me from sleeping or functioning, we decided to go to the hospital here to see what could be done. About a million tests and scans and long days spent in the hospital later, we found out the results…and they were not what we were hoping for.
The latest CT scan showed that the cancer has started to spread throughout the lymphatic system. They also found a small mass on my spine, making it stage 4 metastatic cancer.
We were devastated.
It was still a miracle that it hadn’t spread any further or to any organs. And though this diagnosis usually means it would be terminal, the hospital here still gave us hope. They told us about a new medical treatment called immunotherapy, which works by supercharging the immune system to recognize and fight against the cancer itself and has seen incredible results. After finding out more about the potential of this new treatment, we decided to look into cancer clinics that specialize in immunotherapy.
We found one such clinic near San Diego, called the Immunity Therapy Center. It uses cutting edge medical technology and treatments, combined with holistic, non-toxic, intensive natural therapies. Most people who go there are stage 4 and, judging from all the independent reviews on Google of it that are overwhelmingly positive and 5 star, have had incredible results. Most report a huge improvement within a few weeks of treatment, with some testimonials (including ones with stage 4 or triple negative breast cancer) saying that within two weeks, the lumps disappeared and they actually left the clinic cancer free.
Since it’s so far away, it’s been a big decision to make. After a lot of prayer, research, talking it through and confirmations, we all felt a peace that this was the most promising option for me to take. As soon as we got in contact, everything started miraculously falling into place for me to fly over and start treatment right away. Within three days from making the decision to come I was on the plane (!!) with my mother, who came with me to support me so that William could stay home with Levy. We had the easiest, most stress-free travel experience I think I’ve ever had to get here. I just finished my first day of treatments here and already felt a difference, feeling a lot more energy. We set up a Go Fund Me page that has unbelievably raised the entire initial amount for the treatments in three days! We have been blown away, humbled and so grateful for all the support that has come in from all over the world.
Although the initial goal has incredibly been reached, we’ve decided to raise it since there are additional costs coming up from having to see specialist doctors and take medications/supplements that aren’t included in the treatments. They have also strongly suggested having some treatments or procedures outside the clinic that would incur additional costs, along with all the other costs of living with this condition. There is a chance as well that I may need to stay longer than the initial three weeks depending on how I respond to treatments.
We are so thankful for everyone who’s given already, and would appreciate beyond words anything else that could be given – every dollar donated and link shared on social media helps us a huge amount.
As hard as it’s been, we know we will see this impossible situation turned around for good. We’ve seen the miraculous happen too many times before for us not to believe it will happen again. I believe that soon, we will be celebrating a miracle that seems inconceivable from a medical perspective. Until then, as hard as it is right now, we will keep believing that the impossible can, in fact, happen. This is what fuels our hope and gives us the strength to carry on in the face of the hardest of circumstances. God has brought us through this far and we know he will finish what he has started. We know it’s only a matter of time.
To donate and find out more details, visit our go fund me page here:
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