Happy 2017 and a video: Natasha Laing – from Stage 4 breast cancer to remission

Happy 2017.  I am still alive!

To all of you who are struggling in your journeys with cancer, I want to share this interview of a friend of mine, Natasha Laing.

Natasha had Stage 4 breast cancer with mets to the lungs and bones which deteriorated until she was placed in a hospice.

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Brachial Plexus injury #5 – acupuncture to the rescue

Colon4

The famous Colon 4.
photo credit: http://www.sthelensacupuncturist.com/

I had my first acupuncture session 4 days’ after the mastectomy, my surgeon agreed to release me for 4 hours from the hospital.  He knew that acupuncture helped calm my agitated system down and gave me a reasonable night’s rest.

However, two days after the electromyography torture test, I had an encounter with acupuncture that wasn’t so pleasant.

Acupuncture works by releasing blockages or facilitating flow of energy by the insertion of very fine needles into energy lines (meridians) in the body.  Pain when needles are inserted may indicate a blockage at that meridian.

The acupuncturist I saw wasn’t my regular acupuncturist (who was on holiday and recommended I see this other acupuncturist instead).  This second acupuncturist used to be a concert pianist and I was looking forward to meeting him because I was a pianist myself.  The room where he had his practice couch had a grand piano in it!

He inserted a needle into a classic acupuncture point, Colon 4, which is between the thumb and index finger.  OMG.  I nearly jumped into the air.  The pain was unexpected.  The point actually started swelling up and bruising blue-purple before our eyes.  I felt the pain radiate into the knuckles.

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Best of Breast: news for week ending 12 December 2014

The latest news in breast cancer and cancer, aggregated from Google Alerts, for the week ending 12 December 2014.

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Smoking can erase the Y chromosome (on the right) Image credit: techtimes.com

There’s been a gradual but steady rise in the number of immunotherapy articles, featuring cancer vaccines.

I think what people need to realise is that a cancer vaccine is not like a flu vaccine where a one-off will provide cover for that season’s viruses.  A cancer vaccine has to cope with a myriad of different metabolic factors, the state of the patient’s immune system etc.

Often cancer vaccines require a course of vaccines for as long as the person lives. The nature of the beast is that it is different in everyone and it mutates, presenting different faces to evade and disguise itself from the body’s immune system.  Multiple vaccines has to be administered to adapt to this enemy that wears a thousand masks.  If the person is lucky, the immune system will wake up and do the rest.  But if not … there are no guarantees that cancer vaccines will work for everybody.

I visited Prof Nesslehut, the world’s expert in dendritic cell vaccines and other immunotherapies, and was advised that a course of vaccines would start at one per month for six months, then tapering down to three-month and six-month intervals.  Over a five-year period that would add up to about Euro100,000 depending on the variants used.

So personalised immunotherapy that is affordable is yonks away unless you’re lucky enough to get onto a trial.

It’s the start of the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium which means loads of research into breast cancer sub-types and treatments, which this week is heavy on TNBC.

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Happy 2014 – lessons learned in 2013

Updated March 2016 – For more information on GcMAF, please join the GcMAF and GcMAF Cancer forums on Facebook – they are closed groups, so you have to wait for your membership to be confirmed.  They contain up-to-date information on sources of GcMAF, and also feedback and contributions  by people who are using GcMAF.

Updated 10 Jan 2014 – previously “Happy Christmas and 2014”

Updated 22 Feb 2014:  please note that the process for culturing Maf314 is different from Bravo Probiotic.  I am therefore unable to offer any cultures because I suspect my Maf314 culture is no longer viable.  I suggest that if you want to start, you buy a fresh set of cultures from Bravo as only they can guarantee the activity of the cultures.  Compound 1 must be cultured afresh from powder each time.  Compound 2 can be re-propagated from the existing culture.  

Here is the link to Bravo Probiotic:  http://www.bravoprobiotic.com/

And for further information on GcMAF and Maf314:  http://www.gcmaf.eu/

Happy 2014 to all my friends and family.

It’s been a year when the rug’s been constantly pulled from under my feet.  So thank you for seeing me through a challenging year.

It was a year in which I found a voice through this blog, I also met Grace Gawler who is a wise and generous cancer strategist who has held my hand throughout 2013, and been an integral partner in my journey.

To my friends on the cancer journey – may this year bring you NED and good health and loads of money for and success in all the treats and treatments you may need.

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Winter at Hallwang video

(Here’s a short video I found, that I took from my room at Hallwang – the magic of the soft, falling snow and wintry scene in the Black Forest seems apt for this festive message)

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National Federation of Health “Health Awareness Conference” 25 Feb 2012

I attended the National Federation of Health’s (NFH’s) “Health Awarness Conference” on Saturday 25 Feb 2011.

I’d never heard of the NFH before, but decided to attend because one of the speakers was Barbara Wren whom my nutritionist had trained under.

It turns out that the NFH are an international nonprofit, consumer organisation working to protect individuals’ rights to choose to consume healthy food, take supplements, and use alternative therapies without government restrictions.  Sounds good so far, but what was the day like?

Barbara Wren was the first speaker.  She is the author of “Cellular Awakening“, which focuses on how your body holds and creates light and how light controls all the body’s functions. 

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Complementary treatments: how to choose one that works

Although I’ve selected intravenous vitamin C on the basis that it seemed to offer scientific evidence to back up its efficacy as well as a track record of working, I’ve come to realise that selecting a complementary cancer treatment is quite hit-and-miss really.

Today I came across the best explanation for why some complementary therapies for cancer may work for some people and not others from the alternative cancer treatment website: http://alternativecancer.us/

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The (exhorbitant) cost of complementary therapies and a few ways to offset the cost

Tired-of-Expensive-Medical-Bills-Change-is-on-the-way

Updated 11 July 2016

I’ve noticed a lot of fundraising being done for people with Stage 4 cancer.  I understand that not everyone wants to sell or re-mortgage their house, or take out a loan, or run up huge bills on credit cards, or maybe they’ve already done so and have reached the limits of borrowing, or they’ve got families to think about and support and can’t stretch their finances any further.  Or maybe they just can’t imagine borrowing money in case they die.  But what I’ve noticed is that some of these people with Stage 4 who are fundraising, is well, by the time they meet their targets, it’s taken a month … two months (if they’re lucky) … and then they die before the money comes in because the cancer has become more aggressive and advanced.  What I want to say is:  if you’re Stage 4, don’t wait for the target to be reached.  Go now.  Time is critical if you’re Stage 4.  Run up the credit card bills.  Buy yourself that precious time.  And in the meanwhile, yes, fundraise like crazy.  Because the longer you live, the more money you will need to keep the cancer in remission.

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When I first started out with using complementary therapies as a means to heal myself of the cancer, I hadn’t realised it was going to be so expensive.

I understand that practitioners with skill and expertise should be fairly rewarded for their service, so before you jump into the world of complementary therapies, please note that complementary therapies are not as cheap as allopathic medicine because complementary practitioners believe that they can charge a fair market rate.  Often this equates what a doctor would charge in private practice.  Unlike free treatment on the NHS, all complementary therapies must be paid for out of your own pocket.

I’ll give you a quick idea of how expensive treatments can be.

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The IV C files #1 – Intravenous Vitamin C – how it works

Just in case you’re wondering how Vitamin C (a seemingly-natural and innocuous substance) works for cancer treatment, here’s a summary from “Intravenous Vitamin C and Cancer” from http://orthomolecular.org/library/ivccancerpt.shtml

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What is metabolic therapy?

Metabolic therapy is based on the principle that cancer is caused by a state of imbalance in the body.

This imbalance can be the result of environment (e.g. toxins like amalgam fillings, tobacco), a poor diet (so that the body’s defenses are weakened), which lead to cancer.  Another contributory cause are stress and negative emotions which can affect the hormonal and endocrinal systems of the body which in turn cause the body’s immune system to get depressed.  Yes, cancer may be the result of genetic flaws, but there are people walking around with genes that predispose them to cancer, and yet they don’t get cancer – why?

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What I did next

I wish I could say that I was cool and calm when I got the diagnosis.  I probably looked cool and calm because when I’m really stressed I retreat into a no-feeling land and turn into a robot.

So it was a robot that faced the doctor, and all I could do was look down the notebook I had and ask him questions and write down his answers, cursing my shaky hand.  I have always taken copious notes, and this habit was to stand me in good stead in the months ahead.  If anything it gave me something to do, otherwise wound up like a tight spring, I would have burst into tears.

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