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.