Friday, February 29, 2008

Our New Cancer-Fighting Diet

JOHN HOPKIN'S CANCER-FIGHTING DIET
a. Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in color. Better alternative is Bragg's aminos or sea salt.
b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastrointestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk cancer cells are being starved.
c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.
d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruit help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).
e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer-fighting properties. Water- best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines become putrefied and leads to more toxic buildup.
13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body's killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.
14. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Florescence, Florescence Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the body's own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause a poptosis, or programmed cell death, the body's normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.
15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor. Anger, unforgiveness and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.
16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.
1. No plastic containers in microwave.
2. No water bottles in freezer.
3. No plastic wrap in microwave.
Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in its newsletters. This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as well. Dioxin chemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancer. Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies. Don't freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic. Recently, Dr. Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital, was on a TV program to explain this health hazard. He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers. This especially applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body. Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Corning Ware, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food. You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and soups, etc., should be removed from the container and heated in something else. Paper isn't bad but you don't know what is in the paper. It's just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc. He re minded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons. Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Saran, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip
into the food. Cover food with a paper towel instead.

Cancer Update from John Hopkins:
1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size.
2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person's lifetime.
3. When the person's immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.
4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors.
5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.
6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.
7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.
8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.
9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.
10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.
11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply.

Getting 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th...... Opinions

Brad and I went to MD Anderson yesterday to pick up his pathology slides, the path report and the most recent CT scans. We went to hand-deliver them to Dr. Marco (Brad's orthopedic oncologist who has been working on his case since the beginning).

Dr. Marco promised to take Brad's case in front of a panel of doctors at a conference he will be attending in California on Wednesday, March 5th. We are so blessed that this conference fell at the most perfect time. There he will share Brad's case information with Dr. Healez from Sloan-Kettering, several doctors from May's Clinic, and numerous other leading specialists from around the country. In Dr. Marco's opinion, having the opinion of this panel of specialists would be far more beneficial than us, personally traveling all over trying to get an opinion here, another there...etc. Marco insisted that he wouldn't stop until we shared Brad's case with all the doctors in the north/south/east & west. I was so happy and thankful for his efforts in helping our situation....I really could have kissed him on the spot....but, I didn't. I would have hated to embarrass him....he seems fairly shy. :)

So, this is our prayer at the moment.....we are fervently praying that the group of specialists have some new idea or new treatment plan that could possibly help Brad in any way. Thank you all in advance for your prayers. We love you all.

Itsy Bitsy Spider Lessons


video

Zeke is so excited to have his baby sister back home to play with him. As soon as she got home he turned to me and said, "Mom, I really missed that girl." The other morning he decided to sit down and read her a few stories. Upon finding "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" book, he insisted on teaching her how to do the finger plays.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Life Is Unbelieveable

I couldn't sleep tonight so I thought I would come to the computer to try to put some of my thoughts and emotions down on "paper."

Wow. Life is just so absolutely unbelieveable sometimes.

How does life change so quickly?....all in an instant I feel like I am watching as someone else's life if being played out in front of my very eyes. When I think back to where we were as a family just a year and a half ago, I wonder....how did we get to this point? Why must the man that I love and the family that surrounds him have to suffer in such a way? Why must Brad face his own mortality at such a young age? For a man who has such a passion for life...why must he face so many physical trials? Brad gives me courage, he gives me a friendship like no one else, he gives me joy, he makes me laugh (all the time), he is SO passionate about SO many things, he is an amazing listener, he gives me encouragement....we have such an amazing relationship together...why must we face such a difficult journey?

Up until today I felt like I had a reasonable grasp on where we were headed and now things look so very uncertain.

We went in to see our MD Anderson oncologist (Dr. Benjamin) yesterday afternoon. I felt confident prior to going in, that at least we knew what we were up against. The road looked difficult, but at least we were prepared to hear the plan. I even told Bryan, just moments before going in to see the doctor, that I wasn't even feeling anxious at that point....I felt like Brad & I had reached a place of peace about the chemo and the treatment plan that we were facing.

And then the ground was yanked out from beneath us and we have been spiraling through our emotions ever since.

The doctor told us that Brad's cancer was not de-differentiated but instead true chondrosarcoma now present in numerous spots on his lungs. That "rare cancer" that "rarely matastasizes", went from his leg, to his lungs and is "uncharacteristicly" spreading more quickly than previously documented in other cases. He told us the original chemo treatment plan that we would have taken (if the cancer were de-differentiated) has no effect on the true chondrosarcoma. He continued in saying that Brad's cancer has no known successful treatment at this time. He gave us little "from a medical standpoint" to hope for, but said that there was a new experimental chemo treatment that Brad could try. He said that the drugs could slow down the cancer, or it might have no effect on it, or it might speed up its growth. I'm not sure how comforting that information was....but that is what we are considering.

From MD Anderson's standpoint, we are looking at 2 options: 1.) try the experimental drugs to see if they have any positive effect or 2.) do nothing for now (left untreated the doctor told us that we could expect Brad to live 6months-2years). It was upon hearing that news, that I really stopped listening to anything he had to say and knew from that second forward... our life would never be the same.


Dear Father,
I am asking that through this uncertain, unclear, and absolutely unbelievable time in our lives that you give us strength, that you give us courage, that you give us a sense of peace, and that most of all you give us hope. As Brad & I struggle to find answers, may we find peace, courage, hope and strength in your steady and unwavering love. When everything else looks dark, help us to find the light in your love for us. Let your presence be seen in all those who touch our lives and touch the lives of our children. Lay your hands on our family and lift our heavy hearts. Help us to truly feel your presence.
Amen.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Zeke's Pledge

Last week while Aunt Krista was here for a visit, Zeke made the sudden revelation that "Krista," "Kendall," and "Kaelynn" all start with the -ka- sound. Krista told Zeke "oh, if only Mimi were here to hear you say that." Then she went on to say "and just wait til you learn the pledge, Mimi is going to pee her pants!" Zeke thought that was HILARIOUS! So, Mimi.....you better get a towel ready before you continue.

Oh, I have to apologize for the sideways view. I wasn't thinking about the fact that I can't turn the video over. So feel free to set your computer screens on their sides for ease in viewing :)


video

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Kaelyn's Trip to Kerrville





Kaelyn went to Kerrville this week to spend time with family. She spent the first few days with Gena, Doug, Ryan & Regan. Then the last few days with Mimi, Dan, Krista, Ashton, & Kendall. The break has allowed us a week to spend special time with Zeke and also to get some home projects accomplished. It's amazing how much I can get done with only Zeke in tow! Nonnie & Gwanddad are coming here by way of Kerrville to spend a little time there and to pick up K. We are SO excited about seeing her tomorrow night....can't wait!
This is the note that we received from Gena yesterday (along with the great pictures):
WE'RE NOT SENDING HER HOME!! She's being held hostage indefinately!!! The first picture is of her eating mashed potatoes and peas. We dressed her up in her A&M outfit (lots of comments by people in Walmart about how cute she was--even some t-sips couldn't resist complimenting her) The last pictures are of her dancing to "Play that Funky Music White Boy" She was cracking us up. We're having lots of fun as you can see. I've loved getting to play with bows and frilly socks for a change!

Friday, February 22, 2008

My Little Worker Bee




Zeke has taken it upon himself to give me a hand around the house recently. He helps me take out the trash, he feeds Bucky, he picks up his room, he helps unload the dishwasher, and he helps me with the laundry. I had to take a picture of him the other day because he was practically inside the washing machine trying to reach the items that were stuck at the very bottom. He is such a great help & he's just so cute doing it! I don't know what I would do without him.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Lesson In Family Dynamics By: Zeke Wims

Zeke & I were sitting in my room this morning right after he woke up. He turned to me at one moment and asked

Z: Momma, when I get bigger, will I still live with you?

J: I don't know...do you want to?

Z: Yes

J: So, when you have your own kids and your own wife...you'll still want to live here with us?

Z: Well we might get too stacked up on each other with all those babies (I think he meant we might be too crowded....and on a side note...I do hope Zeke is clear with his future wife about his intentions for "all those babies"....he's got it in his head that he wants a BIG family)

J: Well, maybe when you're bigger with your own family you can live close by and I can come to visit you a lot.

Z: I think instead we will get a house with a lot of stories and you can come live with me.

J: Which story do I get to live on.

Z: You get the bottom because you'll be tired and won't want to climb up all those stairs. (wow....I'm thinking to myself...he has really thought this through)

So, that being said...I can't decide where Zeke get these ideas.....is it from Aunt Lisa & Uncle Bryan who live in the "top story" of Grammy and Papa's house (Jane & Bill) or is it the fact that Nonnie & Gwanddad lived with us for most of 2007 to take care of us? Hmmmmm....it's hard to say....but those gears are certainly turning.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lung Biopsy Results

I called in to Dr. Benjamin's office on Wednesday afternoon and the nurse's assistant let me know that the biopsy came back showing the same chondrosarcoma is now showing it's presence in Brad's right lung. Unfortunately, this was the worst of the possible scenarios that the doctor gave us a month ago with the least desirable treatment plan. This diagnosis was not necessarily surprising but at the same time...still difficult to hear.

We spent over an hour with our orthopedic oncologist (Dr. Marco) on Thursday afternoon. Originally we had planned to see him as a follow-up visit for Brad's leg pain, but instead we spent most of the visit discussing possible treatment options for this new diagnosis. Dr. Marco said Brad can anticipate a lengthy period (6-12 months) of heavy chemotherapy in treating the cancer, most likely taking him out of work and possibly putting him into the hospital for certain periods. Following the chemo we can expect surgery to remove any remaining tumors.

Dr. Marco promised to speak with a Dr. Healez from Memorial Sloan-Kettering (in New York) to ask about new chemo possibilities for metastatic chondrosarcoma. He said that with this information we can compare the treatment plan from MD Anderson and see what treatment options are being given at both facilities to treat this condition. This would offer us a second opinion on Brad's condition and give us further insight into what might be the best care option for him.

We are scheduled to see Dr. Benjamin, our MD Anderson oncologist on the afternoon of Tuesday, February 26th to discuss MDA treatment plan for Brad.

There is such a sense of security in knowing how many people are caring for us. Thanks for your hugs, your tears, your many prayers and words of encouragement. We love you all.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bathtub Fun

Bathtime is one of the best times of the day. No matter what mood they are in, Zeke & Kaelyn always enjoy time in the bathtub together. Yesterday they were laughing so much at each other, I decided to video their interaction. There is no sound more joyous than hearing the two of them giggling together. They just enjoy each other's company so much.


video

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Zeke's Family Tree



I opened a new package of bathtub crayons for Zeke the other day. I left him alone for a few minutes and came back to this incredible art display. When I asked Zeke to tell me about his picture he said it was "his family." Ashton, Kendall & Kwis-ta are on the mid-left (Ashton's the tall one)...then Gena, Ryan & Regan....the Hanna's are on the bottom right....Zeke happened to mention that Lisa was the one with the "big head." (sorry Lisa). Uncle Matt and "his girlfriend" made the masterpiece.....along with both sets of grandparents, Vick, Gene, and quite a few others.

In case you are wondering about the the red markings on the center people...those are the "Texans cheerleaders that Daddy likes"...the red markings are their pom poms.....don't ask me why the cheerleaders make it on the family portrait, but I'm sure that prospect makes his Daddy proud.

Our family is on the top left. First me...then Brad, then Zeke and Baby Kaelyn. The smaller circles under our family are the "other babies that we are going to have." Wow. I have made it clear to Zeke that I think it would be fun to have a large family.....but, wow.....by the looks of things....he has another 14 siblings in mind. I just told him that he needed to talk to Daddy about that idea. But, if we are going to have that many....we better hurry (Mommy's no spring chicken).

Happy Valentine's Day





On Friday we took pictures with our cousins Callie & Jack. Lisa & I had been meaning to take the kids to the studio for another group pictures....but we decided to finally take one on Friday when we were all together for a play group at their house. It's always an interesting adventure to try to take pictures of 4 children under the age of 5. I have to say that this was one of our more successful attempts. The only picture I really don't like is the first one...Kaelyn looks much too old in that shot.
Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Zeke's Modeling Moves






The other day Zeke asked me to take out the camera so that he could pose and I could take his picture. I was thrilled at the idea because he has often fought me when I want to photograph him. Once he started posing, I was cracking up at all "his moves".....he was hysterical.

Allie & Kaelyn



Valerie found this really cute leopard dress for Kaelyn that happened to match one that Allie had. We finally coordinated on Superbowl Sunday to take their picture in it together. In the first picture it looks like the girls are saying, "What...I can't believe you wore that! We are wearing the same dress....how embarrassing!"

Yesterday's Visit w/ the Doctor

Brad has been experiencing some sudden swelling and pain below his right knee so we decided to go in yesterday to see Dr. Marco's PA (Jerry)...the orthapedic oncologist who first took Brad's case in November of 2006. X-rays were ran and Jerry didn't see anything immediately causing the pain. He ordered a couple of other tests to be run on Thursday and then we will go in to follow up with Dr. Marco that same afternoon. It was comforting to have Jerry look at Brad again...after several months of working with MD Anderson...it was a nice change to talk with Jerry again who has been working with Brad since his first symptoms started. Jerry and Brad have a good relationship...side conversations always going back to the Houston Rockets or the latest videogame. It's like coming home when we walk into their office...we have been there so much over the last year and a half.

We're still waiting to hear from MD Anderson. But, more good news...Brad had another great night of sleep. There is nothing like it. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Waiting Some More...

A quick update: I spoke with Dr. Benjamin's nurse yesterday and she said they would need several more days to look over Brad's pathology report before they would be ready to share results with us. So, it looks like there is a good chance that we will not be going in to see the doctor for results until Tuesday of next week.

On a positive note...Brad had another good night of sleep last night. Hooray!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Kaelyn's Party

















Kaelyn's birthday party was Saturday evening. I was working for most of Saturday, so the boys were left in charge of the bulk of the party planning. Brad decided to take Zeke out to run errands with him that morning. This is their conversation before leaving the house that day:

B: We need to go to Toys R Us to get your sister a birthday present.

Z: When we go to the store, let's get a present for me too.

B: No, it's your sister's birthday so we are going to get gifts for her.

Z: Well, she likes to play with my toys, so lets get one little boy toy.

Here are some pictures from her party. She really seemed to enjoy her cake...not so much eating it...it was more fun to throw on the floor and smear into her hair.

Still Waiting...

We just wanted to let everyone know that we are still "patiently" waiting for the results of Brad's biopsy from last week. I called on Wednesday to see if we would be needing to make an appointment to come in for the results and Dr. Benjamin's nurse told me that he would be out of town until this week (of the 11th). So, it looks like the earliest we will know anything will be Tuesday or Wednesday of this upcoming week.

On a VERY exciting note, Brad has rested well the past 3 nights which has been wonderful.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Hallelujah!

We want to send of a prayer of praise....Brad finally slept through the night last night! Well, he woke up a handful of times, but went back to sleep each time. Brad has had lots of difficulty sleeping over the past year with pain in his leg throughout the night, but recently the problem had only worsened....leaving him with sometimes only 2-3 hours of VERY broken sleep. I'm not even sure how he managed to function during the day with such severe sleep deprevation.

I have never been thankful enough for a good night's rest as I have been recently. Newborn babies have nothing on Brad right now and praise the Lord....last night was successful. Thank you to all who have been praying specifically for this problem. Now, I am just going to pray that it continues....knowing how important rest is for his recovery and healing.

Kaelyn's Turning One!


I am taking Kaelyn in for her one year appointment today. I can't believe how quickly the year has flown by and she still seems so tiny to me. At the same stage, Zeke far outweighed Kaelyn and was wearing size 24 month/ 2T clothing. Zeke was also walking and had a mouth full of teeth. Uncle Bryan did stick his hand in Kaelyn's mouth just the other day to discover her very first tooth starting to break through the skin. Finally! According to Brad, we have been blaming any of Kaelyn's fussiness as "teething" issues for the last 8 months.


Monday, February 4, 2008

Lung Biopsy

We went to MDAnderson today for Brad's lung biopsy. The procedure was difficult for Brad because laying still on a hard surface for an hour was very painful on his leg (it doesn't straighten all the way so laying on his stomach is very challenging). We were relieved to have no other complications following the biopsy. The technician told us that we should be hearing the results from our doctor within 5 business days. We will let everyone know the results as soon as we hear them.

Thank you for the prayers!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Recent "Zeke-isms"

One of the biggest attractions to blogging for me is the hope that I will sit down more frequently to write down the funny moments that Zeke & Kaelyn have blessed us with daily. I know that Brad and I have been disappointed in the past to realize how quickly we forget all the cute words, funny sayings and priceless moments. So here is our new attempt to "capture" those memories.

Here are some of the more recent "Zeke-isms."

1. At bedtime the other night, Zeke & Brad were saying their prayers. At the end of Zeke's prayer he said, "God, please be with Me, Kaelyn, Daddy & Mommy. Help us to take our vitamins and Singular (his allergy medicine) to help us stay hel-fy."

2. On Friday, while the kids and I were driving in the car (running errands), Zeke informed me that he thought I was a "sorry sucker" (a term that he and his Daddy use to affectionately describe each other). I pretended to be quite offended at this statement and as I complained about his description of me, Zeke told me, "Don't worry about it Momma, it's opo-sis day."

3. Anyone who has spent any time at our house in the winter knows how much Brad likes to avoid the use of centralized heat. We LOVE the cooler weather that winter brings and one of the ways that we savor the coolness is by allowing our house to drop to unusually low temperatures. Like father like son......we have discovered that Zeke is quite warm-natured also. One morning last week we got up to a house temperature of a brisk 58 degrees. Zeke woke up, walked into the living room and said, "Mom, may I please take my shirt off.... I am SO hot!" We really do live in the wrong part of the globe for the 2 males in our house.....the North Pole is where I believe they would be best suited. Then (maybe) they would finally get cooled off!

4. This past year proved to be a challenging one for Zeke with seperation anxiety from his momma. There were numerous times when Zeke could be found clinging to my ankles as I would try to leave the house or the room for that matter. Zeke found comfort in staying within a 24 inch range....anything more brought on lots of tears and agony. Turning four-years-old brought a big change in materity for Zeke and he has been pleasently content with life and events happening around him.

Just the other day, my friend Kara Dennis and her two children were over to visit. I was leaving for a doctor's appointment and before leaving, I gave Zeke a couple of choices.

J: Mommy has to go to the doctor...would you like to stay here with Mrs. Kara or would you like to go to the doctor with me? (feeling certain that he would choose going with his mommy of course!)

Z: I want to stay here with Mrs. Kara and Jackson.

J: (kidding with him) But Zeke! Mommy will be so lonely. I will really miss you!

Z: It's ok Momma (as he patted my back)....don't be sad....you'll be back in just a little bit. (got to love hearing your own words being quoted back to you)

The Blogging Adventure Has Begun

Ok, so I'm probably the one of the slowest technological persons that I know. I have recently enjoyed viewing the blogs of some of my closest friends and decided that I needed to "take the plunge" and join in cyberspace journaling.