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Wednesday, September 21, 2016


A small glimpse of my weekly steps towards beating cancer:

Chemo went very well this week. Done quickly and painlessly for the most part. I even had a little tea party with today's visitor ❤🍵

All these bags. Just for me. *deep breath*
Only 10 more chemotherapy infusions to go!

And then...

After chemo, I spent an hour in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. My integrative oncologist has recommended this therapy to compliment my chemo infusions. *breathe in, breathe out* Pure oxygen filling my lungs and aiding the healing process. 

"Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is currently being utilized in conjunction with conventional treatments, including radiation and chemotherapy, to attain optimal dosages for patients, stimulate tumor regression and reduce the side effects of treatments. Cancer thrives in hypoxic or low-oxygen environments and HBOT has been shown to increase these oxygen levels to weaken tumors and reduce their aggressiveness. Studies have demonstrated the benefits of HBOT for cancer with the following:

Enhance "Conventional" Cancer Therapies & Treatments: increases oxygen levels in tumors, better radiation therapy results, improves chemotherapy outcome, enhances brain treatment, decreases tumor drug resistance, allows for optimal therapy dosage to be attained, improves surgical results" [More info on HBOTherapy I received, please visit their website at] 

Additionally, I am going to this same location, Cure Sauna, for my infrared sauna sessions, also recommended by my wonderful integrative oncologist. These high temp sessions help my body to sweat out toxins, improve cell health, and aid in relaxation, stabilizing blood pressure, and pain reduction.

I started physical therapy earlier this month with the lymphadema specialist. She is helping to loosen up the tightness across my chest, increase my range of motion in my affected arm, and reduce risk of lymphadema. This consists of deep tissue massage across my chest, low-light laser treatment along my scar tissue, stretches, and hooking me up to a lymphatic pump once a well to help my lymph system work properly. I'm particularly interested in reducing the tightness so that my reconstructive surgeries next year will go smoothly. 

After seeing a naturopath last month, I shared the intensive dietary restrictions that were added to my already strict diet. Since my diagnosis in May, I had been doing very well with a cancer fighting diet geared towards keeping me as healthy as possible during treatment, namely chemo. My integrative oncologist had approved of my research and resulting diet, made a few tweaks and encouraged me to continue. She also approved of me having a naturopath on my care team. Neither of us anticipated that he would run extensive food allergen panels 2 days AFTER a round of chemo. Needless to say, we will not be using this information and find that it is likely highly inaccurate. An expensive but valuable lesson, to be sure. *sigh* I am now back on the previous eating plan and, at the request of several of you, I'll write that out in detail soon. Meanwhile, a big thank you to all that have brought meals and shared organic produce with us. It sure helps take the burden of cooking off of Charlie especially 😊  

For those of you that have contributed to our donation fund to help with medical expenses, a large portion has gone to my integrative oncologist and these recommeded therapies (only my medical oncologist and my physical therapist are covered by my insurance). It's also covered genetic testing that helped me avoid unnecessary treatments and helped customize my care plan to the ones best suited to fight my particular cancer in my particular body. I can't say thank you enough!!

One last thought...
Next month is well known as Breast Cancer Awareness month. Very soon you'll start seeing a lot of pink ribbons and silly slogans meant to inform the general public. Your favorite stores and brands and even coffee stands will sell millions of dollars worth of products while advertising that a portion of those dollars will go towards finding a cure. I'd like to encourage you to really consider if that's what's happening the next time you see pink. 
Thank you!
💖 Tika

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