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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SURGERY WEEK

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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Kevin Goes Home A Winner

One of the first people I met in the clinic was Kevin, a Stage IV pancreatic cancer patient who was in the last few weeks of his treatment plan. He had come in with appallingly high circulating tumor stem cell numbers. Now he would be retested to find out how well he was doing after three months here.

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First day in Klinik: Apheresis

To think that my own immune system, which is currently losing the war with cancer, could be trained and fortified in order to come back strong enough to win the competition. What a fantastic thought! Let’s do it!

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Since May I have been undergoing tests. Final diagnosis:  Stage IV breast cancer.  Prognosis:  Not a winnable fight.  Chemo until drugs don't work anymore, which could be 10 years or more.

But here's the weird cool thing:  During two months of ever-worsening diagnosis I got my act together and have felt steadily better.  Now I'm back to teaching and practicing, and I've decided to go to Germany for immunotherapy. Read more...