A healing journey
This is a health update and a fund-raiser for me. In September I started feeling ill, and by November, I received a diagnosis of rectal cancer. After some research, I decided to move forward in treating it in holistic and alternative methods.
I changed my diet and started juicing even before the diagnosis, went vegan and mostly raw at first, got a rife machine (sends wavelengths to my body in certain frequencies), did 3 weeks of intense bowel, kidney, liver detoxes along with a liver flush, emotional work to see what I still have not forgiven within, took natural anti tumor stuff, went to the Far Infrared Sauna, coffee enemas, visualizations, yoga, walks...and had an imaging after 6 weeks.
The pain stopped about 3 weeks into the treatment full time and the pressure sensations stopped 4 weeks into my full treatment. I had extreme fatigue throughout.
The imaging showed that I am on the right track. All the previously seen blood vesseles disappeared and the tumor cells appeared smoother and coming together. It looked like the ulcer is healing as well.
Now comes the next part, working on shrinking the tumor and getting the immune system around the 'safe-guards' created by the tumor. I rented an ozone machine and am using it daily, getting my blood UV irradiated, am using essential oils, will have a port put in and then daily vitamin C drips for 3 weeks, stil juicing and eating vegan, going to far IR sauna, cofee enemas, taking supplements: pancreatic enzymes, immuno stimulating herbs, anti tumor herbs and teas, and deeper emotional-mental-spiritual clean-up.
It's a perfect journey for me on all levels and I am grateful. I get to do a major cleanup...see what patterns I bought into that helped to bring this into my life, and release them...make internal, physical and social changes. I'm learning so much about health.
I've had lots of love poured into me and lots of support, my house-mates "holding me" and supporting me through scaryand hopeful days, lowering my rent, friends coming with me to doctor appointments, angels coming to juice and cook for me so I can have time to get to appointments or rest and heal...friends bringing organic, vegan meals...suppot from work, friends encouraging and supporting, family encouraging and supportive.
It was getting too stressful for me to work 7 days a week and handle the incredible amount of phone calls and doctor appointments and follow through on so many lab tests and imaging. December 21st I took family medical leave and am on state disability right now. (So grateful!)
This journey is coming mostly out of pocket, and I am coming to no more pockets to fund the continuation of my treatment. I feel confident in my body's ability to heal on this path as well as my mind, emotions, and the spiritual So far everyone I've worked with has been terrific, conventional and alternative.
Even though I have medical insurance, I don't have much financial choice within the insurance company about how I want to treat this body if I want to treat it holistically. For my diagnosis, the conventional treatment of Chemo, radiation, surgery, another round of chemo, and another surgery would cost a few hundred thousand. The path I have chosen will cost much less, and yet, it doesn't get funded by my insurance company, so I turn to you for support and assitance.
What I need for this next part is about $15,000 to continue treatment here. Just to explain, IR saunas are $800 for 8 weeks, my anti tumor medication is $800 for 8 weeks, immune supplements $1000 for 6 weeks, digestive enzymes $400 for 6 weeks, Vitamin C, $1000 for 6 weeks...UVBlood Irradiation another $1000, and the consultations with doctors I work with can be between $250-400 per meeting...biologic dentistry..... metal clean-up, more lab tests, and more supplements, imaging, rent.
If I add the strong anti-cancer treatments in Mexico to my protocol, and I might need to, they are an extra $6600 for PCN27, or $13,000 for RigVir, or $23,000 for an immuno vaccine made out of my cells...if I go to Mexico and stay in a Clinic for 3 weeks and let them take care of me rather than me running around to all places here, then it will be $45,000.
For right now, I'm choosing to stay here, though I might go and add one or more of the treatments above in Mexico. At some point I'd love to go away somewhere for 3 weeks where they take care of me...maybe in a few weeks. I'ts been a tremendous effort and work to bring me to this place right now...it's been non-stop work since the beginning of November and dealing with extreme fatigue.
There are lots of ways to support me: donate money, create a fundraiser for me, post on your facebook page, send light to this process for the highest good of all concerned.
Thank you alll. I'm grateful to have such a large network of friends and family and I am grateful for any support I get to continue on this path. I am appreciative.
It's been a while since I connected.
It took about 6 challenging months for me to find a probiotic called VSL#3 and to use it. Within a week of taking 2 capsules a day I noticed remarkable positive changes to my system, and after upping the dose to 4 capsules a day (500 billion counts), my system became much more livable!
I can now eat salads! And drink smoothies for breakfast several mornings a week! I can even eat small quantities of beans and lentils now and be OK! And my underwear is finally clean of stool streaks!! Well, most days :). The stool is less acidic, and I can now be more comfortable and predictable on the planet.
I went back to gentle yoga 2 weeks ago. And resumed walking in the neighborhood and going on a hike.
My port was taken out a month ago and the area is healing well. And my weight went up, now to 123. Most people that see me now say, "You look like your old self again. You look good, your face has more color."
I now have a new normal of living without a rectum. My meals need to be not too large...and if they are, I immediately need to go to the bathroom. And most mornings, I need to have several b.m.s and it's doable and livable.
My next puzzle to solve is the radiation induced vaginal scar tissue and the hyper-sensitive nerve damage. I've been reading online about digestive enzymes and MSM that people have taken in between meals and I'll keep researching. I found a cream that is supposed to numb the nerves and currently I'm looking for essential oils that numb nerves as well to make suppositories and see if they work. I also found out about FemTouch, it's a laser that shoots carbon dioxide into the vagina and creates a slight damage, then the mucosa layer renews itself and this treatment helps with vaginal dryness post radiation. I don't have the funds for that right now, so at some point in the future when I start working, I'll try this options.
In September I posted a survey on 2 colorectal FB forums. I asked for women to tell me if they were told that radiation creates vaginal scar tissue and hyper sensitive nerves. 63% were not told! All doctors know about this and 63% of women were not told... really mind boggling. Radiation to the pelvis affects every woman's sex life forever, and 63% were not told of this certain side effect. I saw 2 surgeons, consulted with 2 radiation oncologists and oncologists and none shared about this side effect. It's beyond me how this side effect was not disclosed. Had I known about this side effect, I wouldn't have done radiation.
So now I look for solutions...enzymes, numbing creams...I'm hopeful I'll find a solution at some point.
Since bowels are doing better, I will ease into work, Life Coaching and Consulting coming soon.
It's almost May and Happy Birthday to all the April babies, including my awesome brother!
Two weeks ago I had a reversal surgery to reverse the ileostomy. I was with the stoma for 8.5 months and wasn't sure if I wanted to reverse it. After 8.5 months I was able to eat everything and do everything and I felt well. I knew this surgery would take time to heal from, and debated within myself...finally I chose to have the surgery.
Thursday, April 12th I went with my uncle Yacov to the hospital. The surgery went well. The surgeon created an incision in the abdomen, cut out the piece of intestines that was outside of the body, and reconnected the two pieces of intestines with titanium staples. Now I can sing, "I am Titanium"... the incision was stitched together.
It's been 2.5 weeks since...healing is a process, not an event...It took 4 days to have a "bowel movement" and then I went to my uncle and aunt's home to recuperate and have assistance. My aunt Susi said, "Kiki, you'll get better each day now"..."Really?" I said, I could not imagine... Each day presented some new challenge. The first few days involved severe crampings of the digestive system the whole day and understanding how the body eliminates. The body took time to figure out it was time to work, and by Friday, about a week after the surgery I was on the toilet the whole day. And Saturday...and then I asked the Divine to help me calm things down so I can function and start to heal the sensitive areas affected. Sunday was a calmer day. I don't have a rectum or a sigmoid colon anymore, so it's a different process now. The rectum is a RESERVOIR, it holds the feces until it's full and then it evacuates, and it absorbs water. Now the body believes it has to go to the bathroom the whole day, so I'm in process of toilet training, which involves holding in what wants to come out many times during the day. The reservoir also gives the bowel movement its size, the colon is much smaller in diameter, so now what comes out is different...a new normal...a new body...it is "mushier" than a normal b.m. because the water absorption in the Colon pieces that were taken out is not happening anymore...a new body...a new normal...and a new life.
I'm playing with pull-ups and diaper rash creams, and bidets, and sitz baths, and taking time to learn this new body and what it does. This week, there was no cramping! That was amazing. My bottom is healing too.
For sleep, I use cannabis oil, indica prep, and it makes sure that I am sound asleep at night, no pain, no cramps (for the most part). For the first couple of weeks, my favorite time of the day was sleeping...no pain, no needing to hold stuff in the whole day, no struggle or pain...some ease, some relaxation, and healaing. By the way, the amazing company, Jetty Extracts, sent me cannabis oil for free- they do that for everyone with cancer who asks! I bless them!
Today was my first adventure on my own...I drove to the dermatologist's office, went on an easy hike, went to the store...and I only had a few times of needing to go to the bathroom, and I was able to hold it in. This is excellent news. OK, I didn't eat this morning to ensure that I wouldn't have too strong urges...and still, today was excellent! Today in the afternoon I am trying out underwear and seeing if I can hold. So far, so good!
It will take some time for the system and I to get to know each other and feel comfortable and confident, though I am becoming more optimistic...at least I am today.
I'm on a couple of FB forums for colorectal cancer diagnoses and I get help and support from that, as well as a mentor who guides me as to what to do.
As far as we know, cancer is in the way way past! When I've figured this out and healed form the surgery and toilet trained, I'll be able to get back to work. I am in a 6-month coaching program, to become a certified life coach, that will be a nice addition to the spiritual counseling, and I am in process of setting up this business.
Hugs to everyone, thank you so much for the out-pour of love and support for me on this journey, I am so grateful for all of you and deeply appreciative of your presences in my life. My whole life of past and present came together to support me and I am beyond grateful.
I'm doing well!
After a 3-week break, I started round 6 of chemo today (for 2 weeks), it might be the last one...
I'm focusing much internet time researching answers to questions. After the radiation was done, I found out that because of the radiation damage to the pelvis and the vaginal wall, sexual intercourse hurts! Since I learned this I have spoken to women who underwent pelvic radiation and all with no exception report the same: pain, so much so that many women choose to not be sexually active. I'm 45 and many of the women I've spoken to are young...
I've been looking and so far the "treatment" is to use a silicone-based dilator to insert and stretch the vagina...they say to start with great lubrication and use the small one first...then with time move up to larger sizes...but that hurts, it's not fun. The other thing I found is a laser that is inserted into the vaginal canal and shoots carbon dioxide gas into the vaginal walls creating some damage that then the body repairs. It is contra-indicated for women who underwent radiation, however, I spoke with a gynecologist who used it on women post radiation and reported good results...I asked to speak with a woman who actually went through it...I'm waiting to hear back from them.
My radiation oncologist and all the other doctors supporting me didn't mention to me that radiation will create this kind of pain afterwards...had I known, I might have made other choices...not sure, it's hard to make sound choices when all the variables are not in front of me.
Another thing that's up for me is deciding whether I will have the ileostomy reversed or stay with it forever. Most of the time, my ileostomy and I are great buds, and other times, the stoma retracts inward and digested food leaks from the top. It lasts for a few days and then I go back to being more stable with the stoma. Reversal would mean I would need to be "potty trained" since the rectum and sigmoid colon are out of my body and the system needs to be recalibrated. This can take weeks or months or years and there can be sincere issues and a change in the quality of life. Yesterday for the first time I spoke with 2 ladies who had a fantastic reversal story...inspirational.
I was in Israel last month! My cousin got married and I decided it was a great opportunity to go visit and be with family and celebrate the wedding. It was wonderful to be there. I hadn't been in 5 years. I apologize to all my Israeli friends that I didn't let you know of my visit. I was still taking chemo and chemo makes me tired. I didn't want to schlep around looking for people, taking public transport. I wanted to connect with family, celebrate with them and take it easy. And that's mostly what I did. I met my sister's kids for the first time and my cousin's kids...it was a lovely visit.
In Israel, I took the generic Teva chemo that I take here and after a week I had serious headaches...even a migraine where I threw up from pain...never had anything like that before in my life. So I stopped taking the chemo. It took a week to clear my head, though I had daily headaches there until I came back to the States.
The stoma had many leaks when I went to Israel. I reckon the change in food, climate, air, water, caused my body much changes and the stoma retracted a lot. The same happened when I came back here. I had 2 leaks a day for the first week of being here while my body was readjusting to California food/water/etc... now it's back to being manageable.
I'm well, as well as can be. I'm taking a Spanish class, dance class, go for walks, I spend LOTS of time researching and talking with folks...so many decisions in this journey..and honestly, most of the time, I'm not sure what to do, what to choose...that's the hardest part of this journey.
I still juice and use food as medicine as much as I can, mostly vegan, about 60% raw.
One of the best things about being in Israel was being with my Mom. I hadn't seen her in 5 years! I missed her, missed having a mom. So glad I got to be there and spend quality time with her. I love her so much. All of you mothers out there...your kids love you so much :)
I'm well, I gained some weight while being in Israel (it's a good thing), my family is so loving with me, and I love them so much.
Let me know how you all are doing? Anything that has made your heart sing lately?
It's 12 weeks post surgery and I am doing well. I thought I had a handle on the bag changes and 3 weeks ago I was experiencing bag leaks. At first it was happening first thing in the morning as I awoke and I'd rush to the bathroom and get cleaned up. Then it started happening in the middle of the night, and during the evenings. I found it humorous to wake up hurriedly, hand wet from digested food particles, pajamas soiled, and be surprised by a splatter of digested material on my foot as I'm making my way to the bathroom, and then have it go on the carpet and the bathroom rug and the floor...It was also amusing to have the stoma gush out as I'm trying to change and it going all over the floor...kind of comical and at the same time, it got to 5 bag changes in 2.5 days and I was becoming tired, confused and curious about what's changed...
I went to an ostomy support group and they had a company representative give us information about ostomy products. They said they had ostomy nurses on staff to help, and I called. They asked questions to trouble-shoot and sent me different kinds of bags and supplies to try. They asked that I look if the skin is flat around the stoma. As I looked closely I realized that it isn't. When they pulled the intestines outside, one part on top and left was higher than the bottom and right side, so it was easier to leak from the right side. They said it was fixable if I place paste on the lower parts to create a more even surface for the bag adhesive. they also said that a stoma can retract and become more flush with the skin, and that can create a leakage without the right kind of bag. One night as I awoke I saw they were right and the stoma was much closer to the skin than I'm used to seeing it. With the new bags I have not experienced a leak in the past 2 weeks. That is very good news!
I wake up a couple of times at night to empty the pouch; that way I ensure it won't explode from all the gas and food inside :)
I re-started chemo 6 weeks post surgery. I decided to go with the protocol of taking chemo pills, twice a day for 2 weeks, then one week off for 6 cycles or 4 months. I finished 2 cycles and will start the third tomorrow. So far, the chemo gives me a headache every few days, and makes me tired, especially toward the end of the cycle. It created a rash on my face, and my knees have started to feel arthritic. I'm back to eating fresh fruits and vegetables mostly in a smoothie. It makes it easy for my digestion, so a fruit smoothie, and a salad smoothie are my preferences. I have a hard time digesting beans, it makes me so tired and I need to lie down after, so I don't have them much. I'm choosing to be vegan most of the time.
I started to dance again and have taken a tango class and a west coast swing class. I love and enjoy the challenge. Last week I wanted to take a dance class but it was a chemo headache day, so I didn't. It's OK, it's just the way it is right now, and I'm fine with that. I'm cherishing my one week off of chemo every 3 weeks, especially towards the end of that week. My house mate and I found a Spanish class at the senior center. That will be a good mental challenge. I may also join their conversational Spanish class. A couple of weekends ago I went to "cancer camp" put on by the Cancer Hope Foundation, it was very lovely and they took good care of us, pampered me with a facial, haircut, and a massage. I visit with friends and family and I'm taken care of, and I go for walks when I can and it's not too hot.
My insurance changed and I am no longer on MediCal. Instead I have a covered California plan. Now I pay an extra $100 a month and $150 for the 2-week chemo pills as well as doctor visits and labs. I am not doing acupuncture or buying as many supplements, so I'm hopeful it will even out. I'm still on medical disability, thank goodness for long-term disability insurance!
I've been going to a physical therapist to strengthen core muscles and sphincter/pelvic floor muscles.
People newly diagnosed with cancer that I know are connecting with me and sharing about their diagnosis and there's something lovely about that...
Love and Hugs!!!
woohoo!! what awesome news! im so happy!
You are my inspiration. Lots of love, Martha
Sending healing love and light.
Love you Kikile. Thanks for sharing your updates. We are all on this journey with you and wish you continued positive spirits and good news. Here for you always ❤❤❤
We love you Kiki! So glad you are staying strong. Wishing you much love from me, Natalia, Teresa, Ziggy in Chicago ♥ -The K's
I love you, dear friend.
Love you Kiki! It was so good seeing you last week. You are such a strong woman, and such a beautiful spirit! You got this!
Love you Kiki!
Shana Tova, full of healing and wonderful things. Martha