moments

Look At Me Now

I’m still processing everything that happened today so don’t expect pulitzer prize material here.

I walked into my oncological visit at CTCA today to discuss next steps and instead we were discussing my pathology reports.

“According to your pathology reports, there was no malignancy in anything removed from you during surgery except for the small tumor on your small intestine.”

“What?!”

“There was no cancer in your liver, large intestine or gallbladder.”

“But there was at one point, right?!”

“Yes. At one point it was cancer. Except the gallbladder may have just been a mass”

“Wait. What? Are you saying all the tumors and masses weren’t cancer?”

“The liver tumors were stage 4 adenocarcinoma after your biopsy in 2015 and the large bowel tumors were adenocarcinoma as well. They grew between your last two scans so we have to assume they were cancer even though they weren’t biopsied. But after we looked at the removed tissue we found no malignancy. The cancer was dead.”

“So, what about the small intestine?”

“The small intestine tissue we removed was adenocarcinoma originating from the large bowel, but the margins are clear and the lymph nodes removed during surgery are negative for cancer as well.”

“So, what does this mean?”

“It means we will see you in 4 months for a follow up scan to see where we stand. But what it means is that the targeted therapy and the alternative therapies you were on killed your cancer. So keep doing what you’re doing.”

I had ten pieces of my body removed during surgery. Here’s a brief recap of the path report:

A.) Falciform Ligament – Benign Tissue
B.) Small Bowel Resection – Invasive Adenocarcinoma; resection free of malignancy
C.) Colon and Rectum – Negative for residual carcinoma and malignancy
D.) Urinary Bladder Peritoneum – Benign Tissue
E.) Small Bowel Fistula – Negative for malignancy
F.) Liver Segment 1 – Negative for malignancy
G.) Liver Segment 2 – Negative for malignancy
H.) Liver Segment 3 – Negative for malignancy
I.) Gallbladder – Chronic Cholecystitis Granuloma. Negative for malignancy
J.) Tumor Debulking of Gallbaldder – Negative for malignancy

“How does that happen? Is this normal?”

“It is a very outstanding result that you should be very happy about. You have no visible disease and now we watch and wait.”

I am still speechless and in shock a bit. I knew about all of these things that they took out of my body, but I hadn’t heard back about the pathology report until today. I would think about it from time to time and if they had the results, but I never called to ask for one reason or another. I guess I didn’t want to hear about why cancer had spread to my gallbladder and why it was growing in my large intestine and why there were three lesions on my liver instead of two. I didn’t want to know cancer was growing before the surgery.

But now, come to find out, the cancer was already dead. The liver lesions that were staying relatively the same size with some fluctuation were already dead cancer tissue before surgery. The large intestine masses that were growing were already dead cancer tissues. The Gallbladder is confusing to me, but it wasn’t a malignant tumor. The small intestine tumor (originating from large bowel) has clear margins.

I am Cancer Free.

I am a Radical Remission case.

Stage 4 cancer to Radical Remission.

I called my wife to tell her the news.

“So… something weird just happened in my oncology appointment”

“What?”

“Everything they took out of me that they thought was cancer wasn’t malignant. It wasn’t cancer anymore.”

“Whaaaaaaaaaat?!?!”

“I don’t understand it and I don’t know what happened but it wasn’t cancer.”

We were both silent and in shock.

“I just don’t understand it. It doesn’t make any sense. I need it to make sense”

“Mike. No you don’t.”

I then called my naturopath oncologist to leave her a voicemail, but instead she picked up. She was ecstatic. Maybe more than I was due to the shock of it all. But she said something I needed to hear.

“Vectibix alone as a treatment doesn’t typically produce these kind of results, so lets keep doing everything you have been doing before surgery. You’ve worked very hard for this result! You should be very happy!”

I then headed to my Quality of Life appointment to get my IVC script and as I was sitting in the room waiting for the doctor I was lost in thought.

“I don’t understand how this is possible? Everything wasn’t cancer? Even the things that were growing between the two scans? Everything was malignant or benign? No lymph nodes? What about the gallbladder? And what about the small intestine? It needs to make sense.”

Then I looked up and saw this simple sign on the wall.

Live for the moments you can’t put into words.

So I stopped.

And I cried.

I can’t explain it medically very well. I stopped chemo. Some things got better on the natural treatments along with the protein therapy. Others got worse. And some things that shrunk started growing again. We know cancer was in the liver because of the biopsy and we know it caused the initial perforation. And then things appeared during surgery that they had never seen on scans. Surgery was necessary as my large intestine wasn’t a viable organ anymore due to years and years of chronic inflammation and disease.

And now surgery proves in a weird sort of way that everything I was doing naturally and non-toxic healed my body.

The first oncologist I saw in Michigan told me not to believe in the voodoo magic of alternatives like acupuncture or IVC or reiki or supplements, and that my only chance to shrink the tumors and live up to 5 years would be chemo.

The intake doctor in December of 2015 at CTCA told me with confidence that I would die if I didn’t do chemo. He said that nothing I was doing naturally would help.

I think I can say with a good amount of confidence that that clearly isn’t the case.

I then saw my Belarusian (not russian) acupuncturist. I’m not sure if she already knew or not (I assume she did), but after I told her the news, she told me this (in her perfect broken english).

“I don’t know if you remember our first visit but I do. I don’t remember most patients but I remember you. We were in other room and I walk in and the sun was shining on you through window and it was very bright. You were very low. Very… sad. You say ‘I don’t know if I can get treatment because they won’t let me do anything here unless I do chemo’ and I feel very bad for you. I tell you that since you’re here I will do acupuncture to make you feel like you get something. I wanted to give you hope.

And now look at you.

Sometimes life is like a strong winding river and not a gentle stream.”

She’s literally my favorite person I’ve ever met through all of my cancer journey and I hope she knows that. Her and Jen. And Meagan. In fact I’ll have to tell her tomorrow before I leave. I know she knows I appreciate everything she’s ever said to me and helped me with, but sometimes the little things you say to someone mean the most. And she was always full of such simple wisdom that left a strong mark on me.

… And now look at me.

I don’t know what else to say except thank you to everyone who has helped us these past two years from the smallest things to the largest things.

And thank you to God, not because he chose to heal me, because I don’t believe he did. But for letting me find peace amidst all this hell around me. I know some people reading this might find it weird that I would say that, but I honestly don’t understand why God would choose to heal one person of cancer and not another. What I do believe is that our bodies are already made to be miraculous.

That’s the important thing I believe I need to say here… is that the body is already made to be miraculous, made to heal. It truly is. I have no idea why some people heal and others don’t, but I have no doubt in my mind that my body was in the process of healing my cancer. I’m not special, but I do believe I put my body in the position to be what it was designed to be… miraculous. Cancer that was present in many areas of my body was no longer cancerous. And I wasn’t on chemo at that point.

And now I keep up the diet. I keep up the supplements. I keep up the alternative therapies and I keep up the belief that I can stay cancer free if I give the body what it needs to be to be miraculous, what it needs to heal.

I Am A Radical Remission case.

I Am Greater than Cancer.

I Am Wonderfully Made.

Look at me now.

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