Thursday, November 21, 2013

When being positive is negative!

Most recent blood work wasn't good news. Estrogen levels were high and tumor marker was back up to 100. It had previously been at 73. The tumor marker is an indicator of localization (of disease) or metastasis (spreading). We don't want the number to increase. We want it to decrease. My original biopsy results indicated the tumor was estrogen receptor + (positive). So, when my body creates an abundance of estrogen, the excess estrogen binds to the tumor's receptors to feed it. In summary, estrogen receptor positive + high estrogen=growing tumor. I am working with my doctor in making modifications to my therapy, focusing on lowering estrogen, specifically. I had been easing off some things that I didn't realize were estrogen lowering efforts. I had quit taking melatonin before bed. I was taking 20 mg, which is a large amount and makes for groggy mornings and rather dangerous middle of the night trips to the bathroom. I ran out of vitamin D, which I had been taking 20,000 IUs of. I figured I would just get more sun (I do live in FL). Cruciferous vegetable prices had become more than I wanted to pay (fortunately, prices are going back down now). I had been eating broccoli, cauliflower or brussel sprouts with every meal, but I refuse to pay $5 a head. So, I had cut those out. All these things (and there are still more I didn't bring up) were things that help lower estrogen. My doctor discusses my estrogen levels each time we talk, but I didn't relate it to tumor growth. My fault. I knew, but for whatever reason, I just failed to put two and two together. Doc also has me adding in some items that are temporarily forbidden on Gerson. I'm adding nuts/seeds, lentils/legumes, ginger, tumeric... So I've added items slowly, as not to disrupt my digestion too much. So far so good. Yesterday, I had sunflower seeds in a salad and tonight I had flax seeds in my salad. I used fresh ginger in salad dressing I made yesterday and it did upset my stomach a tad, but just for a short time.

I seriously dislike being open.  It makes me feel vulnerable. I never would have blogged before this. But I am finding a treasure in stretching myself to be more honest with people than I feel comfortable with. In some wacky way, I feel that it helps with my healing. This is a roller coaster of emotions. I can see that it helps me to release emotions. Often, I get to see others open up when I lead the way. It's nice to see a genuineness in people.  I actually feel honored when others are transparent with me. Life is definitely about relationships; not things or careers or successes.  I am enjoying richer relationships with people. There are often tears in my eyes when I'm talking with others.  I'm learning to be okay with that instead of trying to stifle it. I have many kinds of tears lately. Tears of joy, when someone has blessed me somehow. Tears of humbleness when someone has gone out of their way to do something kind for me. Tears of frustration when things aren't going my way. Tears of strife when the road seems long and drawn out. There are even "I don't know" tears. Those are the one that freak out husbands. I have those too. I guess I'll blame those on the excess estrogen!  I've shed lots of tears lately. My neighbor has been bringing me radishes from his garden. He strolls through the pastures and fields out back to come through the path leading to my back yard with radishes in hand. Another farmer friend calls me early on a Sunday morning and says, "Get out of bed! I'm bringing you some chard!". A close friend calls to ask if she can come over on her day off. Another friend calls my husband and says she bringing fresh flowers over me. Will he come outside and get my special delivery. Mothers and mother in laws call and say they are going out. What can they pick up for me. My carrot sponsor says, "I just picked up another bag of carrots for you.". My pastor and his wife call to say they love me. A Facebook friend messages me to ask if I would like some pomegranates. People in my church family ask how I am and they mean it. The owner of our local health food store gives me fresh picked lemons. Friends and family call/text to see if I need anything from the hippie grocery store in Pensacola. The elderly man bagging and carrying a bag of groceries to my car speaks the healing words of God to me. Another friend comes over to help me clean carrots, make my salads and encourage me in the Lord. The lady who runs the co-op I buy organic produce from goes out of her way to help me get what I need. Another person in the co-op gives me fresh herbs from her garden (and I don't even know her really). My family calls, texts, and tells me they love me. My husband takes hold of my hand as we drift off to dreamland. All these things bring tears. I can't begin to express how much I enjoy your personal facebook messages, texts, phone calls and acts of kindness.  Please keep them coming. I appreciate your encouragement.

Pictures:  My husband and me with my grandparents who visited recently and fresh flowers from my friend.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Personal Eden

As I passed by a window in my living room, recently, I caught a glance of something that startled me.  I stopped to get a better look.  On our pond, I could see what seemed to be twinkling lights dancing merrily along the surface of the water.  I stood there confused; not knowing exactly what I was watching. Was God granting me some supernatural eye candy?? It was such a beautiful sight!  I moved to a different window to get a new perspective.  I saw what was really happening.  It was beginning to rain and from where I had been standing, the sunlight caught the rain drops in a way that made them look like diamonds when they hit the water's surface, but from where I now stood, it just looked like plain old rain.  I let out a chuckle at myself.  Had my husband been there, he would have said, "Darlene, it's rain.  Haven't you seen rain before?". In those few seconds, my eyes were opened to a life lesson.  Life is how I see it.  Now, I knew this before, but now I am experiencing it in a new way.  

As I write this, I'm sitting on my back porch, the sun warming my body, a light morning breeze is still moving across my skin and I hear the birds singing and chatting.  It's peaceful and still.  It heals my soul.  This is what I'm talking about.  Simple things.  They are coming to mean so much to me.  Don't get me wrong, I have quite a bit on my list of things to do today.  It's like that every day, so I am learning that if I want to have these quiet peaceful moments, I have to make time for them and just take them in small increments.  15 minutes will be better than nothing.  With each 15 minutes of solitude, comes a renewing, a peace, strength to continue, and "A ha!" thoughts of clarity.  I take these blissful escapes on my back porch, on my front porch, in the pathway to the pasture behind our house, even in my bathroom.  You are laughing right now, if you have been to my home.  I don't live in a place even closely resembling The Biltmore Estate or a grand mansion with acres and acres of extravagantly landscaped property.  There are weeds in the yard, a rusting shed in front of me and a toilet sitting on the porch next to me (bathroom remodel).  But from where I stand (sit) it's a beautiful picture.  If I move to a different spot, I see it in a different light.  I have been choosing more often than not, to look at the positive, to really take in the small things. Many small things make up the big things.  I'm breathing deeply.  I'm taking in the fall weather, my garden, the peaceful stream emptying into our pond, the white daisies from my friend, my husband's strong embrace and soft words, my first taste of pomegranates, the relaxing scent of lavender oil on my pillow.  God is so good to allow me these things that make up my personal Eden. I'm doing well...great actually.  Healing is coming from the inside out.  I'm learning much about healing.  I'll save that for another blog.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Week 30

Hi, friends!
Yes, I am finally writing my next blog entry.  I am most likely the worst blogger! I cant seem to find the time to write, although I am constantly thinking of things to write about.  I have had people ask me to address specific subjects so I will try to address those in this post and upcoming posts.  If you are new to my blog, please stop here and go back to my first post and read them each sequentially.

I am nearly seven months into my therapy at this point and I still find ways to make it a little easier on myself. Although, a typical day only allows me to sit down when I am enjoying a meal.  I am giving myself 30 minutes right now to start this post.  I will have to write in intervals until it's finished
Honestly, I can't remember if anything specific has changed since I posted last..I had a birthday. So, I am a year older, I guess. I am not ashamed to tell you I'm 39.  I look forward to each day with anticipation.  I am enjoying getting older, because of so many things.  I am experiencing life like I have not done before now.  I know things I didn't know at 25, at 30, etc.  I am much wiser now and able to relax and enjoy life more.

Let me get the basics out of the blood work comes back showing improvement each month.  The tumor has not shrunk any that I can tell, but growth has drastically slowed. That is evidence of the therapy working. When I first noticed it (in October 2012), it was growing extremely fast.  On the therapy that I'm on, they say breast tumors (especially large ones) are slowest to respond to the therapy.  I have seen improvements each month with my liver and kidney function. My white blood cells are increasing,'s a process of internal healing that takes time.  The immune system is detoxified and strengthened so it can fight the disease.  I have tried some additions to the therapy that I did not see any success with and discontinued them.  I have researched Far infared for a while now and am hoping to purchase a portable FIR hot house dome and chi machine soon.  These have been used with success in Europe (clinically) and many health spas currently use them in the U.S.  I am specifically hoping to see tumor shrinkage with it, but will appreciate the other benefits, as well.  I am feeling like I have more energy these days.  I never felt like I didn't have energy, I just feel like I have more now.  This is good, because I have been busy all morning (cleaning carrots, scrubbing apples, cleaning my water distiller, making batches of coffee, cleaning my carrot orange sink back to white, sorting my supplements for the day, squeezing in my hourly juicing, etc...) !! I need the energy!

I have been asked about the things I use daily (supplies and supplements).  This is a question I get a lot. Below I'll post pics for you to see.  I use castille (plant based) soap for washing my hands and body.  I use a coconut based bar shampoo and sometimes I use a coconut oil based conditioner that I purchased when I was on the west coast in February.  Other times, I don't use a conditioner.  If I need to moisturize my skin (rare, because of all the juice I drink), I use organic castor oil or castor oil based unpetroleum jelly.  Many castor oil based cosmetics are showing up now days because so many people have nut allergies.  Coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, almond oil...these are all popular right now, but they are all derived from nuts.  I bought an organic lip balm from that I really like.  It's castor oil and beeswax. Things I use on a daily basis are: castor oil products, peroxide (for disinfecting and cleaning) vinegar for cleaning.  Supplements I take (in some form) daily are: iodine, potassium salts, liver caps, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin D, niacin (flushing niacin), vitamin C, digestive enzymes, pancreatic enzymes, acidoll pepsin, COQ10, I'm sure I'm leaving out something.  I make my own laundry detergent using Borax, Fels Naptha and washing soda.   I use witch hazel for many things. Facial astringent, bug bites, oven burns, cuts, scrapes, etc.  My toothpaste is a children's tooth gel. It's hard to find a toothpaste with no flouride, no sodium, no sugar or fake sugar! On my therapy the following are prohibited: flouride, sodium (including baking soda which is sodium bicarbonate) (all forms of sodium), cosmetics, lotions, hair dyes, aerosols, chemical cleansers and detergents, chlorine bleach, ointments, perfumes, pesticides, preservatives, flour (except organic rye), cheese, cocoa, anything bottled (food, I mean), epsom salts, oils (with the exception of flax oil), legumes (temporarily), milk, mushrooms, nuts, berries, pickles, salt substitutes, soy and soy products,sprouts, many aromatic spices like pepper, basil, oregano, cumin..., tea unless its herbal and caffeine free.  Whew!  Try going a whole day without any of that!  Nearly impossible unless you restock your home/kitchen.  If you don't already read a label before you purchase a product, I suggest you do.  You may be surprised at what you are ingesting or putting on your skin.  Your skin is your largest organ.  Everything your skin touches, is absorbed into your body, into your blood, etc.

I know this has been long, but I had a lot of information to share.  Feel free to ask my questions. It's my bed time!!  Until next time...good night!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Loving life at week 21!

21 Weeks into my therapy!  Actually, my 22nd week begins 7/24. A few minor changes have been made.  I added more yogurt, cut back on some supplements, nothing major.  My blood work continues to look GREAT! Liver, kidneys, glucose, etc.  The tumor marker is coming down, so I am headed in the right direction!  Thank You, LORD!!!  My doctor and I have added some additional supplements temporarily.  I try to come up with new recipes when I have time.  My vegetarian carrot sushi was SOOO delicious (pic below)!! Rice pilaf wrapped in julienned carrots with crushed garlic and balsamic vinegar. MMmmm.

I am enjoying some great health benefits on my therapy.  My skin is really soft. 120+ ounces of fluids each day does the trick, I guess.  My hair is soft as well.  I'm not able to use any chemicals, lotions, sprays, nail polish, make up, etc.  Regular shampoo is out of the question because of the chemicals.  I use a bar shampoo that I adore.  J.R. Liggets Herbal formula.  It's made with coconut oil and has about four ingredients.  I never thought I could go without conditioner, but I can take it or leave it now that I'm using J.R. Liggets bar shampoo.  In addition, old scar tissue is disappearing.  When I was in second or third grade I stabbed my hand with a steak knife, trying to cut one of those big valentine Hershey's kisses (thanks, Mom!)  It was just a small scar, but the hard scar tissue beneath the skin is gone.  Also, the underlying scar tissue on both sides of my C-section incision site is gone.  Within the last 13 years, I have kicked furniture with my each of my big toes, making the nail rather unsightly.  Now, both nails are almost completely healed!! I keep admiring them when I'm barefoot.  It sounds silly, I know.  But God created our bodies to heal themselves.  This is a perfect picture of holistic healing.  On my therapy, my body can't help but heal everything!  2 Corinthians 7:1 says, "...let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God."  This is my goal.  My therapy is a detox and purification. I am savoring the process.  It is really fulfilling.  One of my favorite aspects is getting to share my experience with others.  Sometimes, it's just people I meet in the grocery store and other times it's someone who has gotten a similar diagnosis or who has been through cancer with a family member.  People or cancer organizations may call some "survivors", but in reality, most cancer patients that have undergone conventional medicine have life long side effects to deal with. I want to say, there are alternatives.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."  It's an honor to live each day and do God's will.  Life is good (actually, it's great!).
Until next time, choose to be healthy.  It's up to you.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Wow! I am in week 12 of my therapy. I feel like the time has passed quickly.  I have waited two months to post again. Not purposely. My therapy is labor intensive and leaves me little time for other things.  I have several things I'd like to address in this post.  It will be mostly informational.

I am doing very well.  I enjoy doing my therapy each day and look forward to it.  I am in contact with others on the same therapy and some do not enjoy it.  Some find the food boring and the routine a thorn in their side.  I am just the opposite.  To me, the food is delicious and the routine is comforting.

I want to dispel some myths about me and my therapy, give you a glimpse of my schedule and an idea of how much food I consume each week.

I am hearing from people that other people have told them certain things about me or my therapy that are untrue.  So here are some facts to clear things up:
-I am not on a liquid diet.
     I eat three regular, vegetarian meals.  Towards the end of the blog, I will post some pictures of previous
     meals I have had.
-I should not be exercising.
     When a person exercises, the body then goes into recovery mode.  This takes energy from the body.  On
     this therapy, the body needs to use all of its energy for healing.
-I don't feel sick.
     I feel great, as always.
-I don't have time to go to lunch or much free time.
     I would love to, but as you will see later when you see my schedule, there is little time.  If I am not juicing,
     I am most likely preparing a salad, or special soup, washing dishes, scrubbing carrots, showering,
     ordering supplements or produce, etc.
-I would love help!
     If you have an hour or two of down time, I would be relieved if you called to ask if you could stop by to
     help with food prep or maybe you could pick something up for me from the store.  Sometimes, It's hard
     for me to get out to do it myself.

Below is a list of items I use every week and an estimate of how much:
30# carrots
42-50 green apples
12 heads of lettuce
2 heads broccoli and cauliflower
8 green bell peppers
8-10 gallons distilled water
21 potatoes
14 tomatoes
8 onions/leeks
Citrus (oranges, lemons, grapefruit)
2 heads red cabbage
3 bunches of chard
3 pkgs of celery
350 supplements in pill form (some in liquid form)
All of the food has to be organic. No exceptions.  This is for detox purposes.

Now for an example of my daily schedule.  There are a few components to my therapy: Rest, nutrition and detox.  All three are included below:
6am Wake up, detoxing
7am Juicing, take supplements, prep breakfast (typically steel cut oats with an apple grated into it), eat
8am Still eating... make next juice when done, take supplements
9am Juicing, shower, scrub and cut tops of carrots for next few juices, store in fridge
10am Juicing, take more supplements, detoxing
11am Juicing, errands
12pm Juicing, take more supplements, pick and prep produce from garden for my lunch salad
1pm Juicing, take supplements, detoxing, prep rest of lunch items and cook (soup, potato, veggies)
2pm Juicing, eat lunch, take supplements
3pm Juicing, take supplements, clean up lunch mess
4pm Juicing, take supplements, begin to prep dinner for my family, wash dishes, etc
5pm Juicing, take supplements, detoxing
6pm Juicing, prep my dinner food, finish my family's dinner
7pm Juicing, eat dinner
8pm DONE WITH JUICING!! Organize supplements for the next day, prepare anything I didn't get to during the day, like soup or peppermint tea, etc
9pm Take bed time supplements and go to bed! Rest! Keep in mind that I have to fit in stuff like phone appointments with my doctor, getting blood work done, grocery store trips, ordering supplements, being a mother, wife, etc!

Now, I have many people to thank:
My God! He sustains me and provides for me, daily.
My family who asks what they can do to help
My carrot sponsor ;-)
Neighbors that have brought me flowers (and green apples from The Fresh Market) haha
People that have picked up items for me
People who have given me gift cards for groceries and supplies (sometimes anonymously)
People who have texted or called to give me encouragement
People who have come over to juice or prep food for me (so I can sit down!)
People who have sent me cards and care packages
People who have given me fresh, organic produce from their own gardens
The many people who have showed concern and love for me.
I honestly don't believe anyone has a better support system of friends and family than I do.

Whew! I got a lot into this blog. Next time, I will try not to wait so long.  I welcome any questions you may have.  If they are personal, please send me a private message.  Also, please don't share this with anyone, unless you get my permission.  Before you leave, don't forget to scan the pictures below of some meals I have eaten.  Bye bye!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Day 14

I have been holding off on creating another post until after I had my initial visit with my doctor.  I flew to the west coast at the end of February for a workshop on my therapy and my first appointment with the doctor.  I made this appointment on faith, not knowing any logistics.  This is how God worked it out for us:

A friend of ours asked us to use his frequent flyer miles.  We ended up staying with an aunt, who is about an hour away from the doctor.  A friend (who I didn't know had moved to WA a few years ago) provided transportation, and as mentioned in my last post, someone from my church, anonymously, provided the exact amount in cash for my first appointment with my doctor.  No one knew how much the appointment would cost...but that's just how God is!

 I enjoyed every part of the trip! The beauty of God's creation there was so amazing to me!  We visited with family and a friend of mine.  I met some other people who are undergoing the therapy also.  I was so nice to meet them and we are keeping in touch now.  The west coast is so different than here.  The overall attitude is one of health and taking care of yourself.  People were exercising, literally everywhere I went.  From morning until 9:00 at night!  Organic & healthy food grocery stores are in abundance and fast food places are sparse.  I saw McDonald's twice while I was there.  Here, we have three in my tiny town.  Basically, I am seeing more and more, how we, in the south, seem to be excited to buy cheap stuff.  We want the cheapest food, and household items, but when it comes to clothes/accessories, we want the expensive stuff.  Why do we want to put cheap junk into our bodies and adorn it with the expensive stuff?  What we put into our bodies affects what we get out of our bodies.  Junk in = junk out (i.e. sickness, disease, lethargy, depression, etc)  Seems like we have some priorities out of order.  We don't want to be sick or die of disease, yet we cram fast food burgers in our mouths because we "don't have time" to make dinner.  I long for the west coast logic, here in the south.  ...or maybe I should pick up and move to Cali (or Baja)!

Anyway, I started on the full therapy the day after I flew home.  That was day 1.  Today is day 14 and each day, I follow a strict schedule.  Every hour, on the hour, beginning at 7:00am, I prepare one of four organic juices.  I enjoy the fresh juice immediately with a cocktail of supplements, cleverly arranged by my doctor.  Add in breakfast, lunch and dinner and various other additions (prescribed by my doctor) and you have one FULL day of my therapy.  The therapy has a few components: Diet, juicing, detoxification, supplements, and rest.  My last juice of the day is 7:00pm, with my dinner.  So, around 8:00, I am finally done for the day.

I am feeling energetic and great!  Healing reactions are to be expected and are part of healing.  I will take them as they come.  I will keep the blog up to date, so check back for updates.  The therapy I'm on has been used to heal MS, diabetes, heart disease, cancers, tuberculosis, arthritis, fibromyalgia and most degenerative diseases.  Contact me, personally, if you have any questions about it.

Check out the pictures from my trip too! (a typical lunch or dinner on the therapy: soup, juice, salad, baked potato, spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and rye bread with plum/pear sauce on top, the spectacular view from the ferry and the healing center, where the workshop took place.
** Bye-Bye!

Monday, February 11, 2013

...which leads us to today.

The three weeks since my diagnosis have been full to say the least.  I will touch on what I can briefly.

I prayed.  I researched.  I cried.  I met with doctors. I made myself eat. I was still healing from several biopsies.  I felt crippled.  Some days were good, some were awful.  It seemed like I had no control.  I immersed myself in God's word, knowing I would find comfort and strength there.  I cried out to God knowing He was my only hope.  He began to speak life to me.  He began to show me how He had been not only preparing me for this, but equipping me.  His word strengthened me each morning.  My family in Christ reminded me that we had already prayed for my healing.  God's word says that by His (Jesus') stripes I am healed.  I came to understand that those words applied to me.  I know God's word is true.  So, I began to claim to truth in God's word for myself.  I am healed.  I may need to remind my body of that at times.  But I know that I am healed.  I say it out loud.  I thank God for it.  I rebuke every lie from the enemy.

So much has happened to bring me to today. God has clearly laid out a path before me.  I have peace.  I continue to walk that path, not knowing what lies ahead, but trusting God with every step.  He has led me to use holistic treatment as opposed to conventional treatment.   After an exhaustive search, I finally found a doctor.  She is an integrative oncologist.  She is on the west coast, so I will travel to her office initially, then we will communicate via phone afterwards.  I can have labs and adjunctive therapies done locally.

Not knowing how we (my husband and I) would logistically work out the details of choosing this west coast doctor, I made my appointment anyway...again believing God was pointing us in her direction.  Two days later, someone provided two round trip airline tickets for us.  The following day, I was asked to stop by my church's office.  My pastor handed me an envelope of cash that someone in our church family (anonymously)  wanted to bless us with.  I opened it and it contained the exact amount I needed to pay for my initial appointment with my new doctor!  We had not told anyone how much she was charging us.  Miracles like these have become almost a daily occurrence!

I am leaving out a lot, but I need to get this published so that those who are waiting for updates can have them.  Check back soon for more.

In Christ,

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The beginning

Welcome to my blog! I have never blogged before now, so please excuse my ignorance...I am learning.  A lot has happened over the last few months and I am having a difficult time keeping everyone up to date.  This is the easiest way I could think of to remedy that problem.  Here we go...

In August 2012, I quit my job.  I had worked at the same accounting firm for 12 years prior and was leaving to pursue my passion...personal fitness training.  I had finally completed my certification in January 2012 and slowly worked towards leaving a job I thoroughly enjoyed for a job where I could help people in a different way.  I wanted to show my community how to be healthy!

Towards the end of 2012, I began training for my first half marathon.  I completed it on December
30th.  I felt GREAT!!! No aches, no pains, no problems, just pure joy!  Then in January, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  There were so many things going through my mind.  How could this happen to me?  I eat healthy, live healthy and have no risk factors.  I am too young to have... Could the tests be wrong?  Am I having a bad dream?  How do I tell people?  What do I do now?  On the outside, I sobbed. On the inside, I felt surreal.  People walking by me, living life.  This cannot be real.  There were people all around yet I have never felt so alone.