I am back from Germany for the first round of vaccinations for this year.
We left early Sunday morning and flew to Hanover then drove to Duderstadt where we stayed for the two nights during the treatment. Luckily all flights left on time and it was even snowier than here in Germany...-8 degrees. Ouch..
I love going to Germany. I have said it before- but it is like going to stay with an old friend. I love the hotel we stay in and we have all our evening meals there. Following the advice of Kelly the dietician I factored in eggs for breakfast and fish at my evening meal. I have to admit it was good to be eating those again. However as usual by this morning I was looking forward to my juice to start the day. My last day of chemo tablets was yesterday so today was also the first day where I didn’t have to eat something to go with the tablets. I love eating but for me juicing is sometimes all I need first thing.
The first day of treatment included a Newcastle disease virus injection as well as heat and air. We couldn’t do much that afternoon as the snow really came in and it was too dangerous to drive around but probably for the best as I started to feel ropey. A bit like I was coming down with something like the flu. It didn’t last long as I was up and fine for my evening meal. That night I barely slept which was such a difference to the night before when we had 12 hours sleep!
The next day, Tuesday, I had more heat and air and this time my chest had been aching throughout the whole treatment. I almost wanted it to stop. But I didn’t of course as I want those little naughty cells to feel all confused and be gotten by the NDV and the vaccination.
Later that day we went back and saw Dr Nesselhut Senior. He is such a lovely man and so clever. He told us all about how he has partners in New York and Hong Kong. He has also a met a lady who works for a university researching cancer studies and they are going to be working together combining their work. Dr Nesselhut says it is very hard to be recognised in this country as he doesn’t work for a university however the lady who he is going to work with is also editor in chief of a well known publication and she has said that she will publish his papers on these studies and his work. This is great news for him. Let’s face it all he is trying to do is cure cancer. He told us of the success stories he has had in the past years and seems to really have a plan for me and what to treat me with. Depending on the research findings in March I could be having the treatment that they discover?! Crazy eh?!
In the meantime I had two injections by him. One under the skin which was my cells primed with NDV and something else, all I know is that a big lump came up on my arm and it hurt! (Baby!) Then he injected into my vein another vaccination that on the first beat went straight into my lungs.
He said he had another patient who had metastases of the bones, brain and lungs. The normal vaccinations had done a great job on her bones and brain but not her lungs so he injected the same into her vein and the lungs were also sorted! Blimey I have everything crossed. Of course on paper it all sounds so doable but the thing with us humans is that we are all different; different lifestyles, sizes, genetics and so on. I did confirm with him that I still have the P2X7 in the cells also. He said again that my dendritic cells were excellent and he can’t decide if that it is just me that isexcellent or the work his lab does! J I say it is clearly...... Me! Ha ha! I wish.
As soon as I had the jabs the aching in my lungs went. I’m hoping that’s not a coincidence.
We discussed the naltrexone that he prescribed me and he asked if I have been feeling happier. I said I thought so. I didn’t feel as down in the dumps for as long as I normally would after getting the news from the hospital in December. I also wake up in the early hours feeling really motivated and excited...I definitely feel optimistic. I sometimes have fleeting moments of being emotional but I have recognised that is when I am tired and hungry. I am like a baby!
He then went onto discuss prescribing me Metformin, a drug used for diabetes. Apparently research shows that it does some good in preventing and stopping cancer cells growing.
Metformin not only exerts a major protective effect against cancer development, but those who develop cancer exhibit a significantly higher survival rate, including those with malignant cancers of the lung, colon, and breast. Also when Metformin was initiated, the greater the preventive benefit.
There’s additional evidence that Metformin not only prevents cancer from developing, but also helps to improve the prognosis in patients who do develop tumours. In one study of breast cancer patients on chemotherapy, 24% of those who were also taking Metformin had a complete response rate, compared with just 8% for those not taking it.Numerous recent studies further support a close association between Metformin use and substantially reduced cancer incidence, along with improved survival.
Metformin operates at the molecular level by activating adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase or AMPK, a molecule essential to life. AMPK or its molecular analogs are present in virtually all living organisms. It also happens to be intimately involved in cellular processes whose dysregulation play a central role in both diabesity and cancer initiation.
Cancer results from disordered regulation of cell growth. AMPK is critical to normal regulation of both metabolism and cell growth, as a result of millions of years of evolutionary development.
As a fuel-sensor and metabolic master switch, AMPK recognizes and responds to changes in cellular energy levels, determining how fats and carbohydrates will be used in storing or utilizing energy. In metabolic terms, AMPK tells cells to conserve and generate new energy stores. In so doing, it lowers sugar output from the liver, increases glucose uptake from the blood, maintains insulin sensitivity, and ultimately lowers blood sugar.
AMPK exerts similar effects in terms of regulating cell growth and replication, instructing cells to conserve energy, slowing and often shutting down aberrant cell growth entirely. In essence, when AMPK is activated, incipient cancer cells starve themselves to death for lack of adequate energy supplies.
As well as this taking Metformin can prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Wow.... Needless to say I now have it! The only down side is that it can cause an upset stomach. I have never taken so many drugs. I would normally be against taking so much but I have to give it a go. Every little helps. And who knows I may be living till I am 150 at this rate!
The journey home was a doddle despite the weather and we arrived home at 9.30pm last night. On the way back I did have a hot flush and became feverish. It didn’t last for very long but it was very unusual. Then I noticed the lump on my arm had gone completely. This again is unusual as the last vaccination stayed as lump in my arm for about a week... I’m all a bit excited. I just hope this is working. I feel like it is but then I thought that last month.
Dr Nesselhut also confirmed that he has a friend with a brain tumour who had been having vaccinations. One month his tumour appeared to have grown a lot as the CT scan stated. So he had surgery to remove it and the histology of the tumour actually showed that most of the mass of the tumour was in fact denr8itic cells and not cancerous ones. That makes me feel a bit better. It’s such a tricky thing eh?
I just know that today I feel great. I got up and got on with my chores, exercised (I’m very aware that I need to increase this as Kelly said that chronic tiredness can be alleviated by exercise which causes acute tiredness by releasing endorphins. That’s a good enough reason for me to exercise if any) then did a spot of painting in my bathroom. I am feeling really positive and am looking forward to the future.
Today I was meant to have a CT scan booked by my hospital consultant to see how the chemo drugs have been doing but due to the vaccinations I have postponed them for three weeks. It gives me more time and hopefully there will be something to be happy about.....
I’m looking forward to my Bear coming home. He has to work so much harder when he has been away with me. We both have such a lovely time together but it makes life difficult, especially money. All these things cost and he is working and worrying I know. Bless him. An amazing man. I love spending all my time with him. I miss him when he is not here. ..... Not long till he comes home I hope. Looking forward to a vegan dinner!
Back to early nights in my bed... sigh........