Sarah's IV Treatment Fund
Thank you for checking out my GoFundMe page! I am raising funds for a targeted IV Treatment intended to treat chronic Lyme disease and Toxic Mold disease. Please help me not only be released from this burden of disease, but unleashed into my God-designed purpose.
(*All donations that exceed my goal will go toward outstanding medical bills, travel costs and to help cover living expenses while taking 5-weeks away from work to undergo treatment in Chicago.)
Check out my story here:
In the summer of 1995, I was a healthy and vivacious young woman with a bright future ahead of me. I loved the outdoors, and that summer spent a month in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains working on a ropes course at a camp for youth. I was studying radio, TV, and film and aspired to do work both behind the camera and in front of it, hoping this adventure would take me all over the world. I was an avid runner, spent some afternoons working with inner city kids, and most evenings with my nose in a textbook. My life was vibrant and full of potential.
When I returned to university that Fall, I began to experience pain in my joints and in a few short months could barely walk. I saw many doctors and got zero answers, and a few misdiagnoses. My life had turned in a drastic new direction and I felt I'd been blind-sided by my new reality "” constant and chronic pain, and the despair and disappointment that came with it.
Faced with a debilitating disease, I felt as though my life was disintegrating. I began to lose hope. I could no longer do the things I enjoyed, and routine activities, like going grocery shopping, took all the energy I had for the entire day. While my friends were worrying about who to ask to the Homecoming dance, I was wondering if I would spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. I was faced with a decision: Would I be held captive by my life circumstances, or would I pursue freedom? Thankfully, I chose the latter.
Slowly and steadily I pursued healing, believing, with all my being, that it was possible. I embarked on a complete lifestyle redesign with a new found focus on healing, balance, self-care and wellness. I began to explore nutrition, fitness, bodywork, detoxification, coaching, and body-centered psychotherapy; all supported by my spiritual practice of prayer, faith, and trust in God.
My story is one of resilience and over-coming that happens to take place in the context of physical limitation. Dealing with chronic pain and health issues doesn't limit my work to individuals with that same experience, but connects me to the collective human experience that life doesn't always go the way we might hope and plan. We are never powerless to choose how we are going to respond to this reality. Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, says that "man's last freedom is the freedom to choose how he will react in any given situation."
We all have circumstances in our lives that convince us that our dreams are just too much, too hard, too far out of our reach. But, I believe that each circumstance in our life is there to teach us, to increase our capacity for life, and strengthen us in the pursuit of a meaningful, joyful life.
Posted by Sarah Sherwood
We did it! Today was my final treatment!
What a journey this has been and one that could not have been complete without your love, support and faith. Oh, and speaking of faith, this final treatment was my 19th infusion and in Biblical Numerology the number 19 = FAITH. Such a beautiful expression of fulfillment.
I'm sure you're curious about my numbers, so here they are:
My CD57 (measures T Killer cells/Immune system function) went from 36 to 112 in 6 weeks!!! (astounding, really) C'mon, give my Immune System a high-five!!!
My mold count went down to 4.2 (I found out that below 1.8 is considered "negative"). I've had 2 treatments and 2 oral anti-fungals since that sample was collected. My doctor is confident these last treatments took care of the rest.
I will be following up with a 6-month detox/rebuild program. The aftercare will take care of anything that lingers...
Of course, if you're willing, anyone who goes through an experience like this has open opportunity for deep transformation, beyond the physical realm. I can confidently say that my healing has been holistic, deep and complete: body, soul and spirit. I'm looking ahead to what is next as I reemerge free from this heavy burden of dis-ease. And I walk forward in confidence, knowing there is connection in vulnerability and a new way to experience healing in tribe. It took courage for me to take in your compassionate support. I will forever be changed.
When will you be back?
I'll be back in Austin sometime during the last week of March. I'll be back at work on April 4th, so if you want to get on my books send me an e-mail or private message.
So, now you're all better right?
This is the most difficult part for people to understand. I have successfully removed 2 chronic infections, but the impact that's had on my body (over the past 20 years) still needs to be healed and restored. A good metaphor is the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Once the water receded the tsunami was "over" but, as we saw through images on television, the community was left to rebound from the impact. For years I've been on a healing diet that helped manage my symptoms, but now my body can really begin to regenerate. I can't know how long that will take, but I'm optimistic it will be accelerated in this time.
I'll be traveling back to Chicago every few months to get a Low Dose Allergy shot for mold and food sensitivity. This will eliminate my sensitivities to airborne mold and foods all together. (sorry Austin peeps, don't be jealous!) I also have a pretty extreme 6-month aftercare program to support this completed work of healing. It feels in line with the other things I feel called to in this season and is essential to my rebirth.
One last thing of note, the treatment cost was 2-3 times what I had anticipated. Most people need 10 infusions and I, in the end, needed 19. That, with 10 weeks off of work instead of the 5 I had planned for has all added up (not to mention travel expenses). If you've felt led to give, but haven't had the chance, please feel free to do so. I'll leave the fundraiser open until the end of the month.
Thank you, again!!
Posted by Sarah Sherwood
This week I received two very different pieces of news. Â
On Wednesday I found out that my CD57, which is the marker we're looking at for the amount of Killer T cells and the function of my immune system (Lyme), more than doubled from 36 to 85 in 3 weeks! Â The goal is for it to measure above 100 and I am well on my way. Â I rejoiced with the doctor in this news and was encouraged by how positively my body was responding to the treatment. These results are not unheard of, but definitely uncommon. Â Â Â
On Friday I found out that my mycotoxin (mold) test went from 6.3 originally to 8.4. Â The goal is to get it down to 0.0. Â Huh?? Definitely not what we were expecting to see, a 'head scratcher' and a little confusing. Â There are some good and probable explanations, but still initially disappointing. These results are not totally unheard of, but definitely uncommon.
After the initial shock of my mold test results, I've had a rich process of deepening my faith around where my heart, mind and spirit create alliance. Â What is the reality of my situation? Â Was it a week of good news or bad news? Â Does this information change anything I'm believing for this time, for my life, for my healing? Â I quickly rebounded into an even deeper place of peace and resolve around all that God is doing, and very clear alignment with a reality that goes beyond what we can see...the true essence of Faith. I have so much peace about where I'm at in the arc of my story.Â It feels like that point in the story where the unimaginable, the unthinkable has happened but you don't find out until later that it was all part of the epic plot.Â (think Dumbledore's death, etc.) I'm on the edge of my seat as I watch this story unfold.
My treatment has been extended and I still don't know when I'll return home, hopefully sooner than later. I'd like to invite you to intentionally take a stand with me this week and create an atmospheric shift around my healing process. Â I have no doubt that this is not the end of the story, and that the story ends better than I could have imagined. Will you use your imagination and the power of prayer to help bring that into being? If you're willing, please pray/visualize/declare/hold the thought that I AM healed. Or draw a picture that says, "Ochratoxin 0.0" and agree in your heart every time you come across it, whatever you feel led to do. If you're not inclined, please ignore this request, I've just learned to be bold in the asking.
Thank you all for walking with me, standing with me, believing with me. As I sit alone in a city that is not my home, I've never felt more connected in my whole life.
Full of gratitude,
Posted by Sarah Sherwood
There are still a lot of unknowns at this point.Â I will get my re-test results back at the end of next week and that will give us a better picture of where I'm at in the process.Â My body responds very quickly to most treatments I've done, so I am hopeful I've had a major shift in a short amount of time.Â But, even though I was seemingly healthy in so many ways when I arrived in Chicago, my levels are actually quite high.Â To put it in perspective, I was chatting with another patient one morning while we were receiving our infusions.Â She was telling me how when she was tested for mycotoxins (mold) it came back as 0.44.Â All I could do was blink at her twice and not say anything.Â My level for mycotoxins is 6.3! It's possible to be fully recovered (symptomatically), but still test for a small amount in your system, but I'm holding out for my levels to return to 0.0.Â Â
On another note, part of my theme for 2013 is Ease (and Flow).Â I've definitely been sinking into that and allowing myself to experience that during my time of healing here in Chicago.Â I had a really cool "˜a-ha' that the opposite of Dis-ease is Ease! I love how God plays with words and speaks beyond them to deep places of the heart.Â I believe that I'm not only coming into Ease, but coming out of Dis-ease.Â Very cool.
I'll leave you with something really amazing a friend send me that I'd like to share with you:
When "˜i' is replaced
You all are a significant part of my "˜we'! Thank you for journeying with me.
Posted by Sarah Sherwood
Greetings from an unusually warm and wet Chicagoland! (61 degrees, currently) Thank you so much for your prayers, words of support and encouragement, powerful belief and unwavering faith for this transforming time in my life.
I could bottom line this update quickly with one simple word: Fatigue. Make that two words: Extreme Fatigue.
I wondered when/if it would hit after I didn't feel much impact after my first 2 treatments, but it has arrived. I welcome it as part of the healing crisis I am in the middle of and acknowledge that it gives me permission to just be present with what is; the unmanageable, unpredictable, uncontrollable process of healing. And proof that the treatment is doing its work.
I'm too cloudy and exhausted to say more, but will send more updates throughout this journey.
If you are inclined to pray or hold positive intentions for me, here are some more specific ways you can do that:
~ Support for my body to go through this process
~ Lyme bacteria is spirochete bacteria, which is basically designed like a corkscrew and can burrow down into the cell. Pray specifically that it can't hide in my cells, is exposed and brought to death
~ That the insurance company would supernaturally cover a large portion of my treatment. It's still unknown if they'll cover any at all and if they don't, I'll still have a significant amount of debt even with the large amount I've raised.
~ The CD57 is a blood test marker for your Immune System. Typically, it should be well above 100 and mine is currently at 36. Pray by the end of treatment mine registers in normal range.
~ Complete and total healing, of course