I am sure of. I didn’t come to this conclusion on my own though. I have learned from many knowledgeable people and faith has kept it at the forefront of my mind. As I mentioned in my last post, I am no longer fighting Dave and Dave the 2nd, I am transforming them. Transforming them into healthy cells and a healthy body. FUD is no longer what it used to be. I am playing around with some new words like forgive and would love some suggestions to match my new attitude. Anyway, a bunch of really awesome stuff has happened since my recent diagnosis that is proof of this and that I would like to share. I also want to update everyone on what has been going on since then.
Lets start with the goodness. I wear a bracelet with the Mother Mary on it every day. I always thought that wearing it was kind of “enough.” I pray often but have a newfound appreciation for Mary. My oncologist came to the hospital to explain more about my new diagnosis of leptomeningial disease and discuss a plan for going forward. As I said in my previous posts, I felt calm and confident during this discussion. I can’t explain that feeling but it was so very apparent to me. Right after the doctor left, I was reaching over my bed to grab my charging phone and I heard a loud clank. I looked down and the Mary charm had fallen onto the metal part of the bed. I must admit that when I saw it my first response was “oh great, look who jumped ship.” My Mom screamed “No! Look who is reminding you that she is here for you!”? Again, I felt calm. She was right. I got a serious reminder and my faith has been strengthened immensely.
We had made the decision to push our wedding back to next June a few months ago. Every time I told someone that, it felt terrible. The day after I got out of the hospital, Kyle and I were lying in bed and discussing everything and through my tears I said “well I am going to live!” and he agreed. So we decided that since I am going to live, we are going to have to have the bridal shower because we will need some new plates, damn it! I told my Mom and bridesmaids the next day and BOOM the shower and the wedding are on! ON LIKE DONKEY KONG!
Prior to any of the wedding festivities starting, I had to start my Dave(s) transformation. I began what was originally supposed to be 20 sessions and ended up being 17 (to save my eye sight!) of radiation of my whole brain and spine. The mask was extremely tight and very uncomfortable. I normally don’t mind things like this for a short while but this was pretty brutal. I had to go as far as taking anxiety meds prior to each treatment in the beginning.
Upon being diagnosed with leptomeningial disease, I asked my family to read a book that I had found months back called Radical Remission. The book is about just that. People who were given a very grave diagnosis and who survived for many, many years using alternative methods or a combination of alternative and traditional treatments. SO began my new lifestyle. I started became vegan (as previously stated), started ramping up my acupuncture treatments (Loveeeeee), began seeing a Reiki person in NYC (hello, Sky), went to see a Ayurvedic doctor (hello, Dr. Naina) and got serious about my meditation because of the two previously mentioned people. Both have changed my life since meeting them. AND both told me that they got a feeling, through their different methods, that I WILL SURVIVE CANCER! The Ayurvedic doctor taught me a new way to meditate that I think could be applicable to everyone. She told me to close my eyes and picture a purple light in between my eyes (my third eye). Then move the light around and give love to every organ and thank that organ. It should take about 20 minutes. I have been doing this as well as adding some hugs to the tumor spots and previous tumor areas.
And now, some updates.
On August 4th, fresh off an amazing week of vacation with my entire family in Rhode Island. I met with Dr. Kim Kramer, who will hopefully be transforming the cancer in my meninges to healthy cells. Dr. Kramer developed this treatment at Sloan Kettering where radioactiveimmune cells are injected directly into the cerebral-spinal fluid via an Omaya catheter. The catch is that my tumor cells have to have a certain protein on them that the immune cells may recognize. Without this protein, I am not eligible for the treatment. We had no clue about this but I am confident that I am a match for this treatment. All prayers and good thoughts are welcome to ensure this!
After seeing Dr. Kramer, I went to see my regular oncologist, Dr. Tap. He came in looking pretty serious. He said he was concerned, based on my blood work, that cancer cells are still hiding in my bone marrow which is caused my cells counts to recover much slower than they should be. He would like me to see a Hematologist to figure this out. We asked about bone marrow transplants and his reply was simply “I don’t know.” In order to attack the bone marrow cancer, if it is there, I would need high doses of chemo, which he does not know if I can handle at this point. Let’s pray that the hematologist has a solution, I can get the chemo and heal that right up.
I have also been having a great deal of pain in my back and down my left leg, which I chalked up to post-radiation pain. Dr. Tap wasn’t so convinced and said if the pain continues I should have a PET scan. Let’s again pray that the pain is due to radiation and not to anything new growing!
NOW back to how I am going to use love and some other tools to heal me. First step is acknowledging how scary this is and the possibility of what could happen. I can’t be strong and in a good place without this. It is hard to allow yourself to do but I have learned that it is necessary. By suppressing these thoughts, I am not helping but actually hurting myself. My favorite response when I voice that I am scared or sad or whatever is when the person acknowledges it by saying something like “Wow. That must be very scary.” Shutting it down just doesn’t help.
Diet, juicing, meditation, yoga, deep breathing, essential oils and supplements are all a part of my daily routine now. I would like to get a little more serious about all of them but I am trying. I am also trying to feel the love that people are giving me every day, take in a big deep breath of it and be truly thankful. It’s easy to close yourself off when you are scared or feeling down and not really feel this love. I also am trying to make more of an effort to love my body and myself and thank myself for all that I have been through.
In closing of this pretty rambling post, I wanted to share a little story. I met a priest a few weeks ago that blessed me with a relic. During my visit with him, we chatted for a while about my diagnosis and what I have been going through. He said he believes that I am experiencing this in order to see the good in all of those around me and for them to show how wonderful humanity is. My parents and I both nodded in agreement. I have been shown how amazing and good people can be and I feel so incredibly lucky. I know my family and friends agree. It seriously blow me away daily. I cannot thank everyone enough. You keep me smiling and give me strength and faith in my darkest days.
I love you all. I love my journey and my life. I will love every bit of this cancer into healthy cells.