Alyssa James

On August 9, 2018 I was diagnosed with Stage 4 "Terminal Cancer" that originated in my stomach, esophagus and small intestine and then spread to my ovaries and spine. Up until six months ago, I showed no symptoms and then rapidly lost 30 pounds over that time period and started experiencing extreme pain. But I thought I'm young how bad could it possibly be? Apparently...pretty bad. The doctors told me I was already Stage 4 for probably all of this year, and all of last year and didn't have a clue. I was still running long distances every week and living normally until six or nine months ago. My father had colon cancer in his 20's when my parents met. They met at a macrobiotic center and through nutrition, my Dad's cancer was miraculously healed but that also means that I carry a potentially mutated gene. I have undergone 3 rounds of chemo and then was switched to immunotherapy after the chemo proved ineffective. I spent 24 days of my first month of my diagnosis in the hospital. I am so blessed and lucky to have a great oncology team that has my best interest at heart and has my back. I trust my doctors. Although I wasn't afraid of chemo, the immunotherapy is more gentle on my body and I feel lucky to have this treatment because it is so expensive and not everyone can have this option. Because of the cancer in my esphohogus I am unable to consume enough calories to support my survival therefore I must carry an infusion bag with me at all times. I am a restaurant manager by trade, which I LOVE and MISS so much. My infusion pump makes it difficult and basically impossible for me to go to work. Considering basic job requirements....I am unable to lift 50 lbs. and simply don’t have 2 hands free (bc I must carry the bag behind me in a case...not too glamorous for a dining room floor). I have worked in restaurants my entire life, but the nature of that beast is just too much for my body’s abilities right now. Just like my Dad, I believe that I can also help heal my body through nutrition and naturopathic remedies, methods and therapies. A family friend took my to a naturopathic oncologist to give me the option of trying everything possible to support my healing. I have started on a regiment of several supplements that he recommended along with dietary guidelines. This branch of my healing plan is unfortunately not covered by insurance and the regiment can be costly. I am juicing, eating nutrient dense foods via smoothies, soups, grains and juices (and the occasional grilled cheese). I already detect a big improvement in the way I feel from this diet change. The doctors keep telling me that I will certainly die from my cancer...but I refuse to believe this. I instead chose to believe that I can fight and heal myself, just like other miracles are possible, especially if I work hard and do my part. I can’t wait to get well. Thanks for taking the time to read my story. ~Alyssa
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Organizer

Alyssa James 
Organizer
Denver, CO
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