RGCC testing… another option to help me out?

It’s Monday already and the weekend has been fun! Saturday started with an early morning drive to the beautiful countryside and there we had over two hours of learning archery on a private estate. The views were breathtaking and the lesson was great. Anyone that knows me may be surprised by this as I don’t automatically like outdoor pursuits! Well not when they are surprised on me but as this was planned I didn’t overreact and hate every minute. I wouldn’t say I was a natural but I wasn’t awful either. I am so surprised as to how achy the whole of my arms and shoulders are right now! To top it the weather was outstanding. Cold and fresh but bright sunshine. I had plenty of vitamin D, lots of fresh air and lots of feel good hormones. Plus it was lovely doing something with my man. I know we do everything together but he really enjoyed himself and that makes me feel great too.

From there we drove a few hours down to the coast and after a short stress time were out having dinner with our good friend. I devoured plenty of vegetarian Thai food and had lots of soft drinks… No alcohol for any of us. It was refreshing and surprisingly easy!

Sunday we were recommended to go to an amazing grocer in Brighton known as Taj. There you will find a whole range of fresh fruit and vegetables from all over the world. We bought some items we had no idea what they were and what to do with them. After some research we found we had bought a taro root thanks to one of my followers from India who told me. We are having a yummy taro root and coconut milk curry tonight with fresh spinach.

I was amazed at this independent grocer that stocked such a huge world wide range and in each department there were also many organic, gluten free and vegan options. It was brilliant. We could have spent hundreds of pounds.

Sunday was a dreary day so we decided that we should head home and start cooking. Pete was chomping at the bit to get in the kitchen and start creating. We made parsnip and butternut squash, taro root curry and turmeric juice. In Taj I purchased a bottle of turmeric juice and fresh turmeric root. When I finished the bottle of juice we decided to replicate it and make our own using the same ingredients. I now have my very own turmeric root juice waiting to be drunk. As you know turmeric has the active extract Curcumin in it which is hugely anti inflammatory and believed to be anti carcinogenic. In fact everything we ate yesterday was loaded with turmeric.

So here I am back to Monday. I am really happy and grateful and have so much to look forward to. I have finally received a date for my next scan which is now right at the end of this month. I still feel really well despite having taken a high dose of vinorelbine and I hope that continues.

I have a few things in the pipeline that I am planning and my new friend is helping me out with sharing information. I am thinking about having an RGCC test. This is a test for circulating tumour cells and is used for predicting canSer as well helping people like me with metastasised canSer to decide what treatments may help such as chemosensitivity as well as herbal and complimentary medicines.

Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) are a subpopulation of tumour cells derived from the primary cancer site which have breached the surrounding cell matrix and entered the blood stream. Their detection can:

1. Aid in the early diagnosis of a malignancy

2. Provide information about risk of disease progression and/or likelihood of relapse after treatment

3. Provide information about best treatment options (chemosensitivity testing)

From the time a malignant tumour reaches 2mm in diameter, it needs its own blood supply to ensure that enough oxygen and nutrients reaches the cells to enable their continued growth. From this point, it becomes possible for malignant cells to enter the bloodstream. Many will be destroyed by the body’s immune system, but the most resilient cells will persist. These are the ‘circulating tumour cells’. They have ‘metastatic potential’ as they can settle and grow in distant organs, which is the basis of ‘metastatic spread’. These cells also have ‘stem-cell like properties’ because they can both generate new cells, and reproduce themselves.

The presence of CTCs doesn’t automatically mean there is metastatic spread, but it indicates that this potential exists. The ‘micro-environment’ in the body, plus the individual’s immune system, as well as a range of other factors seems to determine whether these cells activate and generate metastatic disease, or remain quiescent. They can remain quiescent for years. When a cancer relapses many years after the primary tumour was diagnosed and treated, it is because some cancer cells were left behind with the potential to re-activate and generate new disease.

Cell counts as low as 1 cell per ml are detectable. For a tumour to be visible on a scan, between 109 – 1012 cells must be present.

As CTCs are essentially the ‘engine’ of the cancer, in terms of its potential to metastasize and grow, they are increasingly of interest to researchers and clinicians. The hope is that they will become the target for future treatments.

A growing number of clinical trials have been conducted, in which CTC counts are made and correlated with the clinical outcome of the patients involved. There is therefore some guidance about what each specific cell count means, but there are no formal reference ranges yet due to the lack of formal clinical validation of these tests. It is clear, however, that the number of CTCs detected in a standardised blood sample does provide information about prognosis.

CTCs can also be tested to see which treatments they are sensitive to. This is chemosensitivity testing, and it forms the basis of personalised cancer therapy.

What does RGCC detect?

1. Individuals with a current diagnosis of cancer who are interested in undertaking a CTC assay and/or chemosensitivity testing for additional information about their disease and treatment options can do so under the care of their own Oncologist (if he/she is happy to facilitate the tests). Alternatively they can consult a doctor known to RGCC who can organise the tests, interpret the test results and facilitate treatments.

2. Individuals without a current diagnosis of cancer, but with a higher risk of developing cancer e.g. on account of their family history, or on account of a pre-malignant condition, may also be interested in undertaking a CTC assay. The purpose of this screening test would be to add information to their standard screening options, in order that the presence of a malignancy can be diagnosed as early as possible.

CTC assays are not yet routinely used for the early detection of cancers, and standard methods of diagnosis exist which are usually based on histology e.g. via tissue biopsy. As the latter requires a detectable tumour (at least 0.5cm diameter on a scan) it is possible that there can be a delay before a formal diagnosis can be made, and therefore before treatment is initiated. However, the knowledge that CTCs are present (and immunophenotyping can also help identify the origin of the cells) may allow proactive screening programmes to be implemented, as well as lifestyle changes which will not only expedite early detection of the malignancy but may also improve outcome.

I suppose the question is why didn’t I have this sooner? Well as you know it’s a mine field out there and it can become all so overwhelming. At first when I heard of this testing I would have had to send off my bloods to Greece but as I have discovered through word of mouth it is possible to do it here. As with everything it costs and what with everything else I do I have to bide my time and when it feels right do it then. I don’t always want to seem like I am looking for the next thing and be too keen to book things because I want to believe that I can be cured and for all I know that right now things are working for me maybe. One has to live as well as plan for the future and be one step ahead of canSer but there is a fine line between one step ahead and being pessimistic.

I think the time is right for me now if it possible despite me having chemotherapy currently. Let’s get the ball rolling. Some people may think it’s never ending… Well it is but I don’t ever feel exasperated by it because if it wasn’t this it would be something else.

 

Hyperbaric oxygen… second time lucky…

Yesterday I took day eight of the second cycle of my chemotherapy. I reduced the intake of the anti sickness and had everything crossed as the chemo dosage is still 130mg, the most any person can take. Luckily my mind and body worked hard at keeping the nausea at bay but I did have an ‘off’ day.

Maybe I was nervous, maybe it was a bit of a side effect but I didn’t feel right all day. I did do a coffee enema in the afternoon as I thought helping my liver would be a good thing. Initially I felt great but I think the coffee really does make me feel wired and I get a little jittery. It’s crazy really! However the feeling passed and I was left feeling meh. I had a reasonably busy day with clients so it was nice to be home based. We had a lovely healthy meal and off to bed for me.

I have woken today feeling much better… thank you.

Off I trotted to the MS therapy centre this morning for my second experience having hyperbaric oxygen. I hadn’t been since the end of November due to having blocked ears from a cold and flying so I was a bit nervous how I would get on especially as the ‘dive’ was going to be twice as deep as the last time. The people there are absolutely lovely. MS is such a debilitating disease and the level of illness range from no obvious symptoms to very serious symptoms. My heart goes out to these people. What is quite scary is that by talking to them I found out that they were not referred by their doctors but had to find out about the place and services through friends of friends. It’s a crime. What’s more is the benefit it can do for canSer survivors too. I feel lucky to have been given the details from Patricia Peat at Cancer Options.

I don’t love having the hyperbaric oxygen session. It takes about ten minutes to get to the ‘depth’ all the while clearing the ears to ensure they are not blocked. Then put on the mask and breathe for an hour then another ten minutes releasing the oxygen. I feel a bit claustrophobic not so much being in the chamber but more so having a mask on! I know it’s all in my head but at least I had an hour of reading my Zest magazine (which sadly has gone stopped going to press after twenty years of production. What will I do with myself now?!)

I don’t actually feel any better or have any side effects after having the treatment but I am assured that it is actually good for me. Enough said.

The year is already panning out nicely. Plans are being put in place and things to look forward to. I’m getting excited! Yay..

I’m still waiting for confirmation of a CT scan date, and this is kind of holding up my next plans for treatment. I have been given dates for Dr Nesselhuts’ treatment but I am not sure whether to go for that or try out GcMAF for a week first? I don’t want to expel too much thought on it at the moment. The plan will fall into place I am sure.

So for the rest of the day I have had the pleasure of my friend joining me for lunch. We put the world to rights and had a tasty sweet potato, coconut, chilli and ginger soup… Mmm, all warm inside.

I have an exciting morning tomorrow. I am having an archery lesson. Pete said that Amazonian women used to remove one of their breasts to be better archers and warriors. He says that I could be a great archer now I only have one breast! It could be fun and you never know I could be the next Olympic female archer! Ha ha! That or an Amazonian warrior. Pahaha.

 

Today didn’t quite as planned…

Grrr… Today should have been a really good day. I didn’t have anything planned other than driving to have acupuncture in Farnham then pranic healing in Langley.

Being ever conscientious I ensured I had plenty of time in-between appointments to ensure I would get there in time just in case of accidents and tailbacks, especially with this crazy wet weather we have been having. I did perhaps over cook it by leaving two hours in between appointments but I figured I could go and have lunch or sit in my car and catch up on some admin and homework.

I had a lovely acupuncture appointment which then followed by great traffic and plenty of time to kill before my 2.15pm appointment. At 1.30pm I get a text to say that my appointment was to be postponed to 3pm. I have to admit I don’t respond well to stuff like this. I plan my days and I had to be home by 4.30pm. But I figured as I had travelled that far I would wait. I waited until 3.10pm and still no sign of the therapist. Now I hate moaning and I am sure there is a good reason for the delay… but I am just letting off steam. I’m home now and happy but I won’t get those three hours back plus I could have really done with the treatment as I start day 8 of my chemo cycle tomorrow.

I have been getting a lot of response about the GcMAF treatment from a few of my followers and have been avidly reading. It does seem promising in many respects and that it could work potentially very well with DC therapy.

Essentially GcMAF is a protein in our immune system that activates macrophages (white blood cells that eat cancer cells).   But viruses and malignant cells like cancer send out an enzyme called Nagalase that blocks production of your GcMAF.

Prof Harris said yesterday that if GcMAF was that good that it would have been distributed globally much like Herceptin which has made over 5 billion pounds! It clearly isn’t that good. But it does make me wonder is it because it is a simple vaccine immune boosting thing and it is only now that they are coming into favour? He said that I had something very similar to GcMAF when I had chemo a few years ago. They supplied me with injections that I gave myself daily to raise my white blood cell count. He said that GcMAF is essentially what that is. He also mentioned that Goliec which is another GcMAF offering is simply from Olive oil and that it would be best to get it from our nutrition. This made me smile. A doctor telling me about nutrition when they have always shied away from it?!

Anyway on reading through blogs and research it isn’t as simple as that. If you would like a firsthand view on GcMAF then click on this blog here;

http://bisforbananascisforcancer.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/fulda-conference-2-gcmaf-professor-ruggiero/#more-2113

 

Pete saw this online and it really sums up the last year for Triple Negative Breast canSer research in the eyes of a fellow blogger and author of Surviving Triple Negative Breast Cancer;

http://hormonenegative.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/top-research-of-2013-on-triple-negative.html

Hopefully now Ihave had some green juice, green tea and am making a homemade parsnip soup I will be able to reflect on today and look at the positives. Hey ho!

 

Frustrating start to the day but I got there in the end…

Phew what a mental day… I had a really early start as I was first in line to see Prof Harris today. I wasn’t sure why I had yet another appointment but all the same I got up to battle the elements. It frustratingly took an hour and half to go a twenty minute journey…Argh! I’m not sure how I am ever going to learn patience. It was all good though seeing the Prof wearing his leopard print tie! It cheered me up no end.

It was good seeing him and he explained that if I can take more chemo then it could be beneficial which is why he upped the dosage. He said if I start to feel rough or my bloods come back depleted then we will reduce it down again. Touching everything wood… I feel great.

The only downside to having early appointments is that I don’t have time to do my morning rituals. Now I know I could get up earlier but last night was such a good night’s sleep. Sigh… we both agreed this morning how good it was. One of those really deep calm sleeps. I put it down to the evening we had yesterday. We had a light meal, a bath listening to some soulful Eva Cassidy then got to bed really early and lights were out by 9.30pm. Bliss. I highly recommend trying to wind down in the evenings before you need to sleep. They say if you fall asleep within 5 minutes of turning off the lights you are sleep deprived.

The rest of the day has also been challenging with annoying phone calls to companies and trying to get things done like home insurance quotes. All necessary things when watching the pennies.

In the midst of all this I have had some great communications with people that have been reading my blog and are offering me advice and further links to more research as well emails from companies who supply products that I am interested in using for my clients; such things as supplements. As I am training to be a health coach and as I use products regularly I can only highly recommend that others do the same. This is an exciting time for me and I hopefully will be able to help many people.

This afternoon though I had time to catch up on my rituals like exercise and heat and air. I tried out Davina McCall’s new exercise DVD and I have to say I was well exercised and out of breath. I then felt that I should do another coffee enema. I don’t usually do them on consecutive days but really felt the urge to do so today. Besides it gives me time to listen to my lectures online.

The course I am doing is really interesting and I learning so many new ideas and diet approaches.

I actually feel quite tired now but I am excited as I have prepared a cauliflower and coconut milk curry for this evening’s meal. I love Thai food and this is going to amazing. Hurry up bear come home!

Boom back to reality!

Today was the first back to reality. I have to admit dragging myself out of bed what with the weather being so miserable was a hard task not because I was reluctant to get on with my rituals but because it meant applying myself. It’s so easy to let things slide. Once up though I as raring to go. I knew today was going to be a mix of chores and getting myself sorted for the year ahead. There is so much to be done, but it’s better than having nothing to do right?

I began my day with meditation, stretches then bounced away for a good half hour. I have to admit that it was hard work! I didn’t realise how quickly the muscles used become out of practice. My core and inner thighs were crying by the end of the session.

I had a coffee enema to start the week off well and used the Gerson blend of coffee that had arrived at the weekend. It was ground Turkish coffee. It looked great and I felt quite buzzy after having the enema. It spurred me on to clean the house from top to bottom and once that was done I then began my phone calls and research. I am trying to tie up lots of loose ends and look into the new treatment that I mentioned previously.

The treatment is called GcMAF. I am still finding out lots of info but if you would like to check it out here is the website; www.gcmaf.eu

So far I am less than satisfied with the information provided even by the staff on the telephones. They have little medical knowledge and the answers to my questions were all too flaky. I am assured that at their treatment centre in Switzerland there is very well known oncology doctor of thirty years. I am still at the stage of finding out more information and am awaiting first hand feedback from a friend of a friend who is currently receiving treatment there as we speak. I won’t dismiss it yet. I am keen to keep all options open. You never know it may be something I don’t need!

I have placed a number of orders over the last week for many new supplements and gadgets to make my life even better and easier. I am feeling a little overwhelmed with all the new information and things I have discovered in the book Mum’s not having chemo but it is all such good useful information.

Over the next week I will detail the new things whether it is supplements or treatments that I am looking into. I feel I am chiselling through so much potential good stuff!

One of my new year’s resolutions is to transfer all my makeup, cosmetics and more, to natural no nasty products. I have come across a few really good websites that supply so many amazing brands such as Love Lula, the natural place to shop; www.lovelula.com

So as not to scare Pete with the amount of new things I am going to order I aim to start slowly. I have also decided that I will do the same for my business, Live Love Glow. I have seen a no nasty nail range called Zoya. The products are Free from Toluene

• Free from Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde resin and toluene

• Free from DBP (Phthalates) and Camphor

• Vegan friendly

• Cruelty Free

• Safe during pregnancy

This is brilliant and I urge anyone to think about making positive changes to avoid toxicity in their lives and body’s.

So much to look into and let’s face I have plenty of time… this year is a big one for me I just know it.

The Bear is home now and I am looking forward to chilling with him. He’s going to get some cuddles tonight!

 

The tree comes down tomorrow… Come on 2014..Lets be having ya!

It’s still technically the festive holidays and how fast time goes when you are not in a routine. I am looking forward to going back to ‘normal’ but also loving having time off doing things out of my usual daily rituals. The last couple of days we have been starting the year off on the right foot by visiting family and friends that we didn’t get to see over Christmas and before our year flies away with us we decided to make some long road journeys to make sure we saw those that are important to us.

The weather has been Godly to say the least and our world seems so very wet at the moment. There is more scary weather coming tonight and it seems sad that most of the UK hasn’t had the chance to really spend any time outside in the last few weeks. I am certainly feeling like I am missing vitamin D.

The list of things we would like to do this year is increasing and I am starting to get excited and a little bit impatient. Monday it seems I have the longest to do list ever but the most important thing is to get back to organising and researching my treatment plan.

I simply do not feel like I have canSer and to be honest I am fully ready for it not to be part of my life anymore. If only life were that simple. I have been reading a lot about people that have had full recoveries even in stage four and I am convinced it is possible.

Still patience is something I have to deal with and as I keep being reminded by Pete someone that looks and feels as well as I do isn’t going to die. However we all know how life can change at the flip of a coin and I simply will not take life for granted.

Tomorrow is the last day of our holiday and we return to our lives on Monday. Our Christmas tree has been beautiful and has barely dropped a needle so we will be sad to take all the decorations down tomorrow and chop the tree up for fire wood. I cannot believe I have to wait a whole year to do it again.

Still that’s one thing we can all be sure of.. That time stands still for no man and you can always guarantee that things will change. My aim is not to be afraid or fear for the future. It has been and will remain to be the biggest obstacle for me to overcome. I let life flow. I say this to myself daily as a ritual.

I welcome in 2014 with open arms and live each day as fully and happily surrounded by love as much as physically possible. After all love is all you need… Right?!

C x

Hold onto your hats 2014 is going to be epic!

Happy New year to you all!

The last few days of 2013 were wonderful and full of expectation for the New Year. New Years Eve was spent with our good friend as we sang, danced and ate vegetable chilli and drank champagne. The night was long but totally worth it seeing in 2014 in style at the Bear at Home. Pete saw a shooting star that evening and has made a very special wish. Let’s hope it comes true.

During the 31st December Pete and I decided to plan our new year ahead with visits to some of the places on our long list of destinations we haven’t yet been to. It’s going to be a great year we just know it and I have every intention of continuing with the good work I have been maintaining for most of 2013. The biggest commitment is to myself and to stay calm as long as possible. Right now I don’t feel any regrets and I have feelings of gratitude for everything in my life. I love my life. I don’t feel overwhelmed with things to do and I will take things in my stride.

New Years Day was a very wet and windy one so it was perfect to take advantage of the bank holiday and watch wall to wall movies all day long including the Sound of Music, a complete classic.

Today the 2nd January is different with beautiful blue skies and a crisp atmosphere. I have done some chores clearing leaves in our drive and we have been to see our old gentleman we care for by doing his lunch and hoovering his home. I have also started a new cycle of chemo today; a week late because we were away but I was told it wouldn’t matter. The dose has increased from 100mg to 130mg which is classed as quite high but I am confident that it will be fine. If not then I will simply reduce it down. I have today also contacted a specialist nutritionist to gain more information about eating a ketogenic diet as I have read so much about it and canSer. I am willing to give it a try if it can reduce the sugars in my body and therefore say ‘farewell’ to canSer.

As ever there are big plans for both Pete and I this year and it wouldn’t be New Year if we didn’t decide to make big changes to Pete’s diet and health. He already exercises regularly but now he wants to ramp it up and is also going to be completely alcohol free for a month. We have done it many years before so it will not be too challenging but it’s such a lovely way to see the New Year in feeling fresh and full of energy. Stress is a major factor but it;s hard not having stress when watching your loved one ill. This is something we will try to work on together this year to make life easier and more healthy. It is a known fact that stress causes cortisol to sit around the body and can actually affect weight gain.

Another thing to look forward to is the longer nights. Although it will take time since the 21st December the nights have been getting longer. This is Pete’s favourite time. He loves getting more out of the days.

We have been spoilt with love from our kitty and she is filling me with happiness every day. We are considering getting another furry member of the family. A puppy or dog would be great but kitty is my first concern so we need to think long and hard. We definitely feel the need to have another fur baby in our lives. 2014 could be a real change to the Grant family.

Most people make resolutions in the New Year mainly nutritional ones, to lose weight, to be healthier and so on. I think making too many changes is unrealistic to maintain and having simple things that will massively enhance your life will be more achievable.

Here are a few things I would urge everyone to introduce into their life to achieve a more cleansed and energetic body. They aren’t new things just tried and tested good options;

1.       Start each day with a hot lemon and slice if ginger if you fancy pepping it up. This flushes the body out and gives it a big of zing to wake up every cell in the body.

2.       Make wholesome unprocessed food every day. When preparing food make enough for the next day’s lunch. Think about making your life easier. Unprocessed foods have more nutrients and will guarantee you have a balanced diet.

3.       Be happy. Put on some music and move your body, even just a little bit. Moving and singing will lift your spirits and get you in the right frame of mind for the day ahead and relives stress. My step son plays his ‘shower music’ to get him going every morning.

4.       Introduce a Buddha bowl into your meal planning every day. This is great idea from Kris Carr. It’s basically a way of getting a healthy wholesome alkaline addition to every meal. That will help with your intake of proteins and those important veggies into your diet not forgetting healthy fats. A good all rounder.

http://kriscarr.com/recipe/kris-carrs-buddha-bowl/

5.       If you feel meditating isn’t for you at this stage, put on some relaxing music and simply breathe. Taking in extra fresh oxygen floods all the cells in your body assists with lymphatic drainage and gives you the sense of clarity and ease of calm in our gut that is needed to think about the year ahead.

 

My new year’s plans are obvious ones. I clearly am going to kick canSers butt and share it on here with anyone that wants to help themselves. I want to learn yoga properly by taking a course and I would love to go on a retreat holiday too. Maybe a fur baby will be an addition to our lives and of course I want to continue loving my job. Most of all I want to feel as well if not better than I do now by this time next year. It doesn’t sound too exciting but then I love having a simple life. …

Hold onto your hats everyone 2014 is going to be epic.