A long journey ahead...

Last July I began experiencing symptoms out of the ordinary including feeling full after eating only a partial plate of food, and discomfort in my belly that felt like bloating.  I saw a doctor and immediately found myself in the St. Pete's ER Olympia for the first time ever in my life. For most of my life I have been relatively healthy and have rarely been sick. I have read and researched about healthy lifestyle and diet for years. Your perspective on life and how you live it tends to change drastically when an ER doctor sits down next to you following multiple tests and tells you very abruptly and rather bluntly that I have Ovarian Cancer. My CT scan and ultrasound revealed a tumor the size of a canteloupe in my pelvis.  My tumor marker from my blood work, the CA125, was 3996.  Normal is 30 or below.  The "c" word is never good news and I had a sense immediately that this is not a death sentence for me.  I am not sure exactly why I felt this way, but I knew that I was going to put up the fight of my life to survive.  I immediately stopped eating anything except for vegetable juices and cut out all sugar, meat and dairy, because I know that sugar feeds cancer. I also began researching natural therapies while waiting to see a gynecologic oncologist in Seattle, to be able to make an informed decision about my treatment. I read about a nutritional therapy that has been around since the 50's, called the Gerson Therapy. It is nutritional therapy, based on a mostly fruit and vegetable diet, supplements and coffee enemas and has had tremendous success with ovarian cancer patients, although there was a caveat that patients with ascites (fluid in the abdomen) sometimes have issues with recovery.  I saw the oncologist a few days after my ER visit.  He suggested surgery right away and immediately starting chemo.  I listened to what he had to say, agreed to schedule the surgery, but in the back of my mind I had a need to explore the nutritional therapy.  In order to do the therapy, I had to retain at least 50% of my colon.  The oncologist could not guarantee he could do that.  I ended up cancelling the surgery and decided to commit myself to the Gerson Therapy and see if I could recover using this treatment, which in total takes a full two years and is extremely restrictive. I began the therapy in August and saw a decrease in my CA125 tumor marker of over 1000 units over the next couple of months.  By November, my tumor marker climbed to over 5000.  I knew that I had a decision to make.  I had another CT scan and the tumor size had increased, and I had additional tumors on my spleen.  I was at a crossroads between continuing on this path and seeking the advice of another oncologist.  I decided to see Dr. Liao at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.  I chose them because the deal with UW Medical Center, one of the best hospitals in the Northwest, as well as Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center.  I immediately was impressed by Dr. Liao and he genuinely listened to my concerns and agreed to take me on as a patient.  He suggested chemotherapy first (Carboplatin and Taxol), then surgery after a few cycles, followed by additional 3-6 cycles of chemo.  I had a biopsy done, which revealed what I suspected, Stage IV Ovarian cancer with metastasis to my spleen. January arrived and I began treatment, in declining health and very weak.  I promised to live a long and happy life with my husband 10 years ago. I have amazing family and friends and am beyond thankful for your support and prayers through this. My journey is continuing, and with your support I am well on my way to remission. I still have a lot of living left to do!

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Organizer

Mollie Meagher 
Organizer
Olympia, WA
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