Where I Find Myself
This is not what I wanted, but this is what I got. I am new to the metastatic breast cancer world (diagnosed on April 24, 2018). Since my diagnosis, there have been many people who I have had the good fortune to meet. Most of them, in some way or another, have impacted my path.
My first call to a friend, a retired doctor who has lung cancer, led me to the author of “Keto for Cancer”. The keto regiment is removing sugar and getting to a normal, healthy weight. Cancer cells feed on sugar but not on ketones. Work on getting your body into ketosis. More advice from this author is to find a personal trainer and strengthen my core and upper body, and consult with a Naturopath. This led me to a Naturopathic oncologist in Scottsdale, Arizona who I have had two zoom meeting consultations.
Information is power
The naturopath has prescribed some supplements to raise my white blood cells (I am not having chemo, but my white blood cells tend to be low). I am using other supplements to build up my immune system. Her one recommendation for me was to have the Guardant Health 360 Test done. What is that test? It is a blood test that will determine the DNA of the originating tumor and the test will help the medical oncologist along with my entire team of professionals to determine the best treatment. The test is very expensive, but some insurances will pay a portion. It is my belief that this test is critical to help me find the right path. So often, I think we can live in fear and just rush off to do what the doctor tells us is best but, in my world, taking the time to read, research, and be a good listener is key.
Acupuncture has been a big part of my life. My acupuncturist who is a wonderful friend has been one of my greatest guides to know the balance for my body. She has led me to Metta Meditation (loving kindness) and restorative yoga.
What is my normal day?
I wake up with gratitude and meditate for 20 minutes. I put on my gym clothes and depending on the day, join a yoga class, dance class, do some weight training or walk on the treadmill. I love to cook, journal, and read. I currently have very little pain and am reviewing the results of the Guardant Health test. Again, I go slow with the decision making. For me, the Guardant health test results will craft my next treatment steps on this journey.
Currently, my drug protocol is a monthly injection of Xgeva. Since my recent bone scan showed the bone metastases seem to be getting worse, my oncologist feels the Arimidex (anastrozole) needs to be deleted from my med list. Funny that I have no pain and the bone mets are getting worse. My new oncologist has prescribed for me Fasolodex, another injection.
This story is a good reminder to me and many of us who have to make choices every day. Choices pertaining to new drugs, new tests and new ways to heal. It has helped me realize that with each doctor visit, upcoming blood work results or scan results, I can meet them mindfully.
With gratitude for what has been, I wait to see the path for my life. Each day has been unfolding a newness of information. Clearly, each one of us with metastatic breast cancer is unique but we can all read, research and be good listeners to the road signs for a disease we did not want but we have. Lifestyle changes coupled with loving kindness for “self” is where I find myself. It is a great place to be!
Editor’s Note: It is best to check with your healthcare team before starting any new supplements or diets.
Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on November 5, 2019, Linda passed away. Linda’s advocacy efforts and writing continue to reach many. She will be deeply missed.
How old were you when you were diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer?