Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dain Bramage??

Get comfy. This is a long one. :)

On Wednesday, December 7, 2011 my world basically turned upside down. You might say it was a day of infamy for me. That morning, I didn’t feel quite right. (In fact, others tell me that for a few days leading up to that, I had not been “myself,” but I was unaware.) But that morning and early afternoon, due to some unusual experiences, I knew something was wrong with me. I was watching a documentary on the internet (The Burzynski Movie!) when I realized that I could not read letters or numbers, nor could I write. Soon thereafter, I lost the ability to speak in full sentences. My husband rushed home from work, and I soon began to seize. He called 911 and I was rushed to the hospital.

Long story short, it was discovered that my breast cancer had metastasized to the brain, and I had two tumors that had to be removed. I, of course, was oblivious to all of this. Minutes before my seizures on Wednesday, Scott had me lay on the couch to rest . . . and immediately I felt myself shutting down, like a dark curtain were coming down. The next thing I knew, I awoke on Saturday night, recovering in the ICU. I’d had surgery on Friday afternoon/evening.

During this ordeal, our friends and family were amazing!! We were showered with support, love, service, and gifts. Some amazing angels broke into our home and decorated our Christmas tree and our home, inside and out. Gifts magically appeared under the tree! I woke in the hospital to find my brother had flown in the day of my surgery. I also woke to find myself sporting a new pair of cozy Christmas socks, and covered in a new, hand-made Christmas blanket. Rumor has it that the ICU waiting room was packed with loving friends, such that there was scarcely a chair for anyone else’s family and friends! Thanks to all of you for your amazing love, support, and prayers!!

Despite the challenges of this new metastasis and all that it entails, I had some miraculous blessings which I would not trade for the world! There were two in particular: For one thing the Lord showed us that he was absolutely aware of us. At the moment of my first seizure, my friend Lorene felt a strong prompting to call me. She was busy at the time, and almost dismissed the thought, but it would not leave her. Right after Scott called 911, Lorene called my cell phone only to have him inform her that I was seizing. She was there by my side within minutes, and her husband was just behind her. She was able to assist the paramedics who attended me, and her husband, Bruce, was able to help Scott to administer a priesthood blessing before I was whisked into the ambulance.

The second miracle is that, to me, I truly feel that the Lord has been guiding me on my path. Most of you know that since my diagnosis almost 3 years ago, I have felt prompted that the standard treatment of chemo and radiation was not right for me. I have been seeing naturopathic doctors and taking the best and most sensible treatments they could offer me (high dose Vitamin C, Iscador, Thymus, Laetrile, etc.). Six months ago, after my July PET scan (the one referenced in my last post-- where things seemed to still be stabilized--better than the previous PET actually!), my oncologist had warned me that the type of breast cancer I had will often metastasize to the brain. She admonished me to watch for signs, which included headaches, blurred vision, and/or confused thought. If I were to experience any of these, she would order an MRI of the brain, she’d said. Well, I experienced none of those symptoms. That is, not until the very day of my seizures. The miraculous part of this struggle is that I know that all of my experiences of that day were leading me on a path the Lord wanted me on. Allow me to explain:

For years a handful of women in my life had been telling me to look into the Burzynksi Clinic for treatment. A year or so into my cancer journey, I did contact the clinic, but felt that it was too expensive to afford, so I had dismissed it. Well… Late Tuesday night, Dec. 6th, I saw where my dear friend Cheryl posted on FaceBook a news story about her cousin, Margaret Manning, who had been cured of her cancer by Dr. Burzynski. Despite the late hour, I watched the news clip and also read the transcript of the story, crying through the entire thing. At the bottom of the article, there was a link to more information about Dr. Burzynski: That took me to a page where the entire Burzynski Movie was embedded. I clicked the link and watched about half of the documentary before I gave in to exhaustion and went to bed. I resumed the film the next morning after taking kids to school and performing my usual routine. This is what I was watching when the symptoms showed up. When my husband came home that day (in response to me not being able to speak full sentences!), I pointed at the computer, and he asked, “Is this where you want to go?” Yes!!

After my surgery, the brain surgeon told my husband that he was astonished at how healthy I was, and indicated that I was so viable for the procedure because my cells were so healthy, because I had not taken chemo. Validation!

I did know that I wanted to pursue the Burzynski Clinic, though I did not know how, as the cost is a bit prohibitive, but our friends kept asserting that we needed to figure out what we wanted to do, and they’d “make it happen.” We had enough money to send them me records, and they accepted me as a patient, saying that I was a “good candidate” for his treatment. We were thrilled!

My niece’s wedding was on February 4 – the perfect timing—in Houston. So Scott and I made plans to go, and also made an appointment with the Burzynski Clinic. Again, God stepped in, and miraculously we had enough money for the trip and for the appointment! And an even further blessing—we found out from the financial counselor whom we met with, that our brand new insurance (as of 1/1/12) is the ONE AND ONLY insurance plan in the world that pays 80% for their treatments! It is still going to cost us a lot of money, both up front and ongoing, (which we don’t have, but are trusting God will provide), but we were thrilled with that news.

The Lord has truly opened doors for us and led us on this path. I am so grateful for the blessings of knowing that He is mindful of little me. He is working in my life. Despite all of the challenges that come with cancer, I can honestly say I would not trade my experiences for anything. God loves me. This I know.

More to come! Stay tuned!

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