What the WHAT?!?
That was pretty much my response when I read the biopsy result that said the breast tumor I had found was invasive poorly differentiated ductal carcinoma. Final pathology reports after surgery said that the tumor was 18mm, grade 3, Ki-67 at 91%, ER-, PR-, HER2+, and 1 of 5 lymph nodes positive.
Want to know more? Like if breast cancer runs in my family (it doesn't) or if I used the Pill (I didn't)? Read My Risk Factors & Dense Breasts.
Trying to give a glimpse of my story has been a challenge for me. What do I include? What do I skip over? Stick to just the facts? Talk about the HUGE life-changing, soul-changing, heart-changing transformation I've experienced? I'm sure the content of this page will change throughout the coming months and years.
I was trained as a Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner (HRHP) and have been working with individuals and families since 2011. Holistic means looking at the WHOLE person... mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and physical. Want to stop making decisions based on running away from fear and death, and base them on walking toward love and life? Consider following me on Instagram, joining my private Facebook Group, and subscribing to my newsletter.
I chose to have a single mastectomy without reconstruction and stay flat on my right side. I have not regretted this choice and do not wear a prosthetic breast.
Because I chose the mastectomy, my doctors said that radiation (radiotherapy) wasn't necessary.
I chose to decline chemotherapy to follow a more holistic, Eco-Soulcentric healing.
January 2015 – first felt lump, but movable like the many other cysts and fibroids I've experienced
April 10, 2015 – saw my doctor and got a referral for a breast ultrasound
May 1, 2015 – breast ultrasound is abnormal but not consistent with malignancy, breast mammogram is negative for cancer
May 28, 2015 – biopsy of breast lump and lymph node
June 1, 2015 – given diagnosis of aggressive breast cancer after biopsy, lymph node biopsy is benign
June 3, 2015 – consultations with 2 different breast surgeons
June 8, 2015 – breast MRI reveals no lymph node involvement
June 12, 2015 – consultations with 2 different oncologists
June 16, 2015 – consultations with 2 different plastic surgeons
June 17, 2015 – combined PET/CT scan reveals minor lymph node involvement
June 24, 2015 – single right mastectomy without reconstruction, port placed so all of my options are open (and I know alternative treatments can use the port)
July 7, 2015 – told 1 of 5 lymph nodes removed is positive for cancer and therefore Stage 2A, it's "kind of" like triple-negative breast cancer because it's not hormone-sensitive, but it’s considered very aggressive because it’s HER2+
July 20, 2015 – send email for recommendations specifically for me of alternative cancer clinics in Mexico and Germany
July 22, 2015 – talk on Skype with a doctor in Mexico who said the cancer was a "serious problem"
July 23, 2015 – talk on the phone with Dr. Andreas Demuth at Hufeland Klinik in Germany who said the cancer was a "special case"
July 24, 2015 – get Heavy Metal testing, 23&Me Genetic testing, OncoBlot test, and "Greek" test
July 25, 2015 – decide to travel to Germany for holistic, alternative cancer treatment
July 30, 2015 – meet with a Registered Nurse through the A.C.T. NOW Program to learn options & recommendations for medical cannabis
August 17 to September 28, 2015 – receive holistic, alternative cancer treatment at Hufeland Klinik in Germany
October 6, 2015 – arrive back to Colorado
October 21, 2015 – get Nagalase test, start monthly IV Vitamin C infusions through my port at Thriveology in Denver, CO
January 5, 2016 – combined PET/CT scan all clear, blood work looks good
April 5, 2016 – blood work continues to look good
May 24 to June 21, 2016 – receive second round of holistic, alternative cancer treatment at Hufeland Klinik in Germany
June 24, 2016 – celebrate 1-year cancer-free at a Bare Naked Ladies concert in Portland, Maine
July 13, 2016 – get Breast Thermography
August 22, 2016 – get Nagalase test
October 19, 2016 – get Breast Thermography
November 30, 2016 – combined PET/CT scan all clear, blood work looks good
January 1, 2017 – move to Germany
January 16, 2017 – continue receiving monthly IV Vitamin C infusions through my port at MedicalCenter Mommsenstraße in Berlin, Germany
March 7-9, 2017 – receive Fever Push at Hufeland Klinik in Germany
May 2017 - start weekly "Berlin Young Adult Cancer Meetup"
June 5-13, 2017 - attend a healing, weeklong retreat for people after a diagnosis of cancer at Puissentut near Toulouse in the Midi-Pyrenese region of South-West France (highly-recommended!)
August 2017 - start monthly "Berlin Cancer Support Group in English" at the Berliner Krebsgesellschaft
October 2017 - get Breast Ultrasound, begin to experience symptoms of Disembarkment Syndrome (MdDS) that last for 6 months
November 2017 - start Alternative Cancer Connection to help other international patients find the right doctor, clinic, and treatment for them in Germany
March 2018 - diagnosed with Autoimmune Hyperthyroid Graves' Disease, return to the US and live near Philadelphia with my family to receive thyroid treatment at Bucks Thyroid and Endocrine Care in Yardley, PA
April 2018 - continue receiving monthly IV Vitamin C infusions through my port at Capstone Medical Associates in Harrisburg, PA
May 2018 - get Breast Ultrasound with normal results
June 2018 - celebrate 3 years cancer-free! Oncologist says my survival statistics are higher for me than they were in 2015! I was told the average time for this particular type of cancer to return is 15 months
November 2018 - blood tests and cancer markers continue to be normal
January 2019 - breast MRI, breast ultrasound, and mammogram are all normal
February 2019 - continue receiving monthly IV Vitamin C infusions through my port at Serenity Functional & Integrative Medicine in Denver, CO
All This to Say...
Just as I've found my way through this crazy maze (which for me has included declining chemotherapy and radiation in exchange for alternative cancer treatment here in the US and in Germany), so can you find your own way on this crazy path.
I encourage you to cry and scream and stare for as long as you need to.
Allow this life-changing energy to move through you. It won't last forever, so spend as much time as you need to doing that. And little by little, I invite you to read about my journey that I've shared on my blog. And right now, read "Newly Diagnosed with Cancer? 5 Things I Wish I Had Known" first.
I'm hoping to let you in on all of the knowledge I've learned, the wisdom I've gained, and the insights I've seen with cancer from a holistic perspective... and all of this filled with nothing but love for me and for you.