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(The following is an article I wrote for my column at Examiner.com, but it was rejected as “self-promotion.”)
It has been some months since I have written an article for my column, where I have been sharing my research on religion and mythology for a number of years now. The first couple of months were busy times after I got a terrible diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer (“IBC”) – a rare but increasing condition that affects 1-5% of breast cancer victims – followed by an even worse diagnosis that the cancer had metastasized to my liver, making it Stage IV. I immediately jumped into action to find out how to treat and heal my body, carefully and diligently weighing the options, without panicking, despite the fact that I was told it was “high grade and fast-acting.”
As I was being diagnosed through almost 30 biopsies of both my breasts and liver, the latter of which turned out to be excruciating, I immediately started what turns out to be a ketogenic, anti-cancer diet, supplemented with known cancer-fighting substances as curcumin and many others, including mushrooms and ginger, which I’ve been chewing on for nausea. While waiting to see what my new doctors were going to recommend, I figured I would hedge my bets by employing as many relatively non-toxic cancer-fighting strategies as I could. Scientific studies from around the world have shown there are many substances that fight cancer in vitro and in vivo experiments with animals; the only question is whether or not they will work in humans.
Over the next couple of months, unfortunately, a liver ailment knocked me down – was it the cancer, as the doctors suggested? We didn’t want to think so, especially since an ultrasound showed no progression in my liver, while an x-ray revealed no spread to my lungs. My breast remained the same, as well, fortunately. The liver ailment was accompanied by lightheadedness, so an MRI was scheduled, in case the cancer had spread there. I did not have a contrasting agent, so the MRI was not conclusive, but at least it did not show a decisive mass. It did, however, reveal possible “swelling” and “flaring,” something my optimistic friends and advisors reminded me could be just a “shadow” on the scan.
At this time, I am pursuing medical treatment that will not be covered by “Obamacare,” as I have been compelled to work outside of that box, so to speak. I was told early on by the surgeon who did the first biopsy of my breast skin – inflammatory breast cancer is marked by a skin thickening – that I was “inoperable,” which took surgery off the table. I was placed with a palliative care oncologist, which means I was not pushed into aggressive chemotherapy or radiation, as these often are not recommended for those with metastases in their liver.
It is my understanding that renowned cancer center MD Anderson does work with Stage IV IBC patients with metastases to the liver, and we tried early on to get me into their program, without success. Their fees are extremely expensive, including $20,000 just for a consultation.
When first diagnosed, I also became very hopeful after viewing HBO/Vice’s “Killing Cancer” documentary. Unfortunately, the treatment options highlighted may not be available for years.
Also, this article says the documentary’s claims are “overstated,” and experts are not optimistic about a pending “cure” for cancer. Under such circumstances, one can see how difficult it could be to remain positive.
Thus, I have established a fundraiser to cover medical expenses for treatment outside of what is available to me now. There is no other option at this point, but I am optimistic, especially since the response to my fundraiser so far has been inspiring, to say the least! But I will need every bit of my goal, so I hope others will jump in to support, whether financially, emotionally or via networking.
On my fundraising site at GiveForward.org, you will read about my dear young son, whom I call my “sweetness and light.” He would be crushed if I lost this battle, so I am fighting with all my might. There have been success stories with virtually all types of cancer at all stages, and I take great inspiration from these accounts.
If you are inspired by my story, please know that I am highly grateful for all assistance. Please go to the following link to read more and to help out:
I also have a “community page” on that site where I can chit-chat with friends and supporters:
If or when I succeed in “beating back the beast,” you can be sure that I will be bringing wider attention to what is becoming a global epidemic. Before this nightmare struck me, I had no idea how bad the cancer rates are worldwide. It’s positively frightening and will require all of us to work together to deal with it.
As always, thank you very much for your attention – and a big hug!
P.S. For more information, including disturbing, graphic images of IBC patients before and after treatment, see: