Author: Julie Daniels

I’m Back in Treatment – Germany 2020

I’m back in Munich for a recurrence of my cancer. I nearly did not come for my check-up this year because I’ve been doing so well. I had a couple of bone scans about 6 weeks apart in the U.S. because I had a nasty bout of costochondritis and my sternum had been painful for months. The scans showed no progression of disease so no PET scan was ordered and I was pronounced stable on December 31. I was scheduled for another CA 27-29 reading in February due to that number trending up, and then I was turned loose at home. My yearly check-up in Munich, Germany, was already scheduled for January 20, and I brought copies of my scans and reports with me. They looked good! Little did I know. Good thing the clinic here does not rely on U.S. tests as the definitive word. Here I am in one of the hundreds of public gardens in the beautiful city of Munich. I had been coming back to Munich for check-ups ever since I finished my first 3-month course of treatment. That was in the fall of 2016, 18 collections and returns of Natural Killer (NK) cells plus surgery to remove my primary tumor in the left breast. My first check-up here after that course of treatment had been in May of 2017, just 5 months after leaving....

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Home to New Hampshire

Home for Christmas! The power of that well-worn phrase! My family arrived and all went well with no help from me. A quiet welcome to 2017, acknowledging the gift of all things known and unknown.

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My tumor was trying to kill me. It has been shedding tumor stem cells and had already established metastases in my bones. My body was doing heroically to shrink it, but it was still active and aggressive. The doctors in Munich felt that the fight could not be won long term unless the tumor was removed, and they chose just the right specialist to do so. That is this chapter, Surgery Week. My trip to Siegen and my experience with a genius surgeon who is part artist, part scientist, and all optimist.

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I’m Doing So Well That I Get to Have Surgery, Part 2 – The Tumor Chronicles

We hear about successful surgical removal of cancerous tumors. But often Stage IV patients are denied surgery because the cancer has already spread. I offer hope that our bodies can do much to shrink our cancerous tumors. My primary tumor was measured several times over the course of my cancer journey in the U.S. In two months, with NO chemotherapy, my tumor was shrunk significantly by my improved diet. With the help of immunotherapy, my body is now strong enough to have the surgery.

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I’m Doing So Well That I Get To Have Surgery, Part 1 – Staging My Cancer

Many people have written to ask about the specifics of my diagnosis and staging process in the U.S. The standard of care is similar in other countries, even Germany where I chose to have treatment. How was my cancer found and diagnosed and staged? My diagnostics began on May 20 and the definitive report of Stage IV came on July 26. This post is about my life during this process, the diagnostic tools, and the characters in play. I’m not qualified to advise you, but perhaps my life can help you.

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